The Chicago Bears are finally getting their day in the sun. 25 years ago. When they were the 1985 NFL Champions, they dreamed of visiting The White House and receiving their due. But they would have to wait over 25 years for that opportunity.
Two days after the final, the Challenger space shuttle exploded, killing everyone on board. And the visit for t he Bears was cancelled indefinitely. Now, US President Obama, after receiving a team request, has invited them to The White House for their much delayed visit. A former Bears fan and Chicago resident himself, Obama said, while congratulating them:
“They changed the laws of football, they were gritty, they were gutsy, they were hard-working, they were fun-loving, sort of how Chicagoans like to think of themselves.”
Looking to the future, Obama said, “And as much fun as it is to finally have these guys here, we want today’s Bears to come home to the White House with a championship as well.”
Coach Mike Ditka thanked Obama for offering the team their over-due recognition. As he said, “It was a great group of guys…We’re very proud that you honored us by bringing us here.” In attendance with Coach Ditka were, among others, quarterback Jim McMahon, wide receiver Willie Gault, late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, and defensive lineman William “Refrigerator” Perry.