Excitement for the Bears are at an all-time high, so while March Madness and the NCAA Tournament begin, we still have Bears on the mind. So we've created Chicago Bears Football Madness, pitting players from the three best Bears teams and legends head-to-head. This is the 1985 region.

1    Walter Payton
16  Kevin Butler

Payton: The greatest Bear of all, does all things well. Can be stopped, just not until a later round, but even then not by less than a max best effort. Makes everyone else better, unless you’re trying to tackle him. Beware of getting an early lead and thinking the game is over; it isn’t. Threat to run, catch, throw or dance.

Butler: He’s good but he’s no Cody Parkey. Still, can be dangerous anytime he gets within range. Too much of a one-trick pony, though, to win a matchup if the opponent has multi-weapons. Can be dangerous if he gets within range, best kept outside the arc and forced into a long-distance shoot-out.

By John "Moon" Mullin

8    Steve McMichael                                        
9    William Perry  
                   

 

McMichael: The sometimes-overlooked fourth member of one of history’s great Front Four’s is a load in the trenches as well as the wrestling ring, making him the eighth-seed nobody really wants to face. Didn’t miss a game over his final 13 years so capable of wearing rival down and winning late. Go-to guy if Wrestlemania breaks out at midcourt.

Perry: One of the ‘faces’ of the 1985 Bears is arguably an underachiever, with the ability to dominate when he put his mind to it. Capable of taking down a No. 1 seed or falling in an upset. Conditioning always suspect so likely struggles against opponent with speed. Will go for pancake block on his way to the hoop.

By John "Moon" Mullin

5     Jim McMahon                                         
12   Gary Fencik

McMahon: A winner with the ability to play above his ability and get others to do the same. The question is always injuries, though, and now whether he can stay healthy through a tournament run. Best guess is that stringing together W’s will be tough physically and not the most mobile against speed. May moon officials if unhappy with calls.

Fencik: Savvy 12-seed will not go out easy. A safety with total command of the overall will play physical to get opponent off his game but disguise traps to exploit weaknesses and tendencies. Bears all-time INT leader will convert steals and turnovers into points that can produce upsets. Gets sartorial edge with turtlenecks.

By John "Moon" Mullin

4     Richard Dent                                            
13   Leslie Frazier

Dent: Hall of Fame Sackman will bring pressure “D” start to finish, and double-teaming may not be enough. Produces best games in biggest moments, may struggle against lesser opponents if he’s not feeling motivated, but knows how to pace himself and get stronger against better ones. Can be aggravated by calling him “Robert.”

Frazier: The quiet assassin is a sleeper who can win on defense outright but among best strategists in the field. Threat as a point guard able to command overall offense and scheme swarming defense built around attacking in front court and cherry-picking in back.

By John "Moon" Mullin

6     Dan Hampton                                        
11   Jay Hilgenberg

 

Hampto: Wasn’t happy with his seeding and plays with a chip on the shoulder anyway. Has size to dominate and can win from multiple positions – end, tackle, on the nose in ‘46’ package. Will be difficult matchup physically because of length. Musical ability on bass guitar a secret strength and plays with a lot of mean. “Danimal” more than a nickname; it’s a state of mind.

Hilgenberg: Among grittiest in the field, undrafted center who made a mission out of upsetting No. 1’s and should be in the HOF. Undersized who plays above his size, may be toughest matchup for higher seeds. Overlook at your own peril: Reggie White rated Hilgy one of five greatest O-linemen the Minister of Defense ever faced. Matchup nightmare, able to win running golf course or doing pregame shows.

By John "Moon" Mullin

3    Mike Singletary                                                 
14  Otis Wilson

Singletary: Cerebral leader with complete mastery of own systems and study of opponent’s. Able to take advantage of own lack of height to gain leverage on bigger foes. Able to double as coach in case of ejection, simply does not make enough mental mistakes to allow opponent to gain edges. Eyes see all, impossible to defeat with subterfuge.

Wilson: Among most physical in the field, can win on raw talent alone if he gets hot and builds runaway momentum. No. 2 “Super Bowl Shuffle” dancer after Willie Gault, able to break down and win on moves or pure attacking style. Capable of playing any style opponent’s game and winning with speed or power. Answers to “Mama’s Boy Otis” from Shuffle days, but don’t push it

By John "Moon" Mullin

7     Buddy Ryan                                         
10   Wilber Marshall

Buddy: The master motivator, able to win with mental dominance and breaking concentration with insults and impish smack-talk. Fond of bringing one more attacker than opponent has defenders; may have scheme to bring six or seven coming out of timeouts and attack while opponent still in timeout-huddle.

Marshall: Deadly mix of brains and attack-dog mindset, considered by multiple peers to be best single talent on great 1985 defense. Most dangerous when loose ball bouncing around, particularly in snow; effective at scoop-and-score technique as well as generating own takeaways. Can struggle defending pure speed in Monday night games.

By John "Moon" Mullin

2    Mike Ditka
15  A Hurricane

Mike Ditka - Not sure how anyone can pick against Da Coach. He brought the Bears their lone Super Bowl. He oversaw arguably the NFL's greatest team. He played half of his Hall of Fame career with the NFL's charter franchise. The depiction of Chicago football. He's the #2 seed with the greatest case to be a #1. 

 

A Hurricane - Much like most #15 seeds the Hurricane doesn't stand much of a chance. It needs the perfect storm to overtake it's opponent. Fans of this #15 seed better hope the name of the Hurricane is Hurricane Ditka

By Matt Rooney

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