Breaking News
More () »

This Day In Sports: The Bears shuffle off with the Lombardi Trophy

1986: The Chicago Bears, who posted two playoff shutouts leading up to Super Bowl XX, finish it off the postseason with a defensive masterpiece in New Orleans.
Credit: AP File Photo
Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka is carried off the field by Steve McMichael and William Perry after the team won Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots in New Orleans on Jan. 26, 1986.

BOISE, Idaho — THIS DAY IN SPORTS…January 26, 1986:

The Chicago Bears humble the New England Patriots 46-10 at the Louisiana Superdome in what was at that time the most lopsided Super Bowl in history. It was the Bears’ first NFL championship since 1963, three seasons before the Super Bowl era began. They were dominant during the 1985 campaign, and they knew it. Midway through the season, the Bears recorded “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” a rap song with an accompanying music video (generally starring Jim McMahon, the brash and controversial former BYU quarterback). It actually made the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 41, and earned a Grammy Award nomination.

This Chicago squad was built on the innovative “46 defense” schemed up by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. The poster person was linebacker Mike Singletary, who was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The Bears allowed only 186 points all season, and they held the Patriots to 123 total yards that day. No team has gained that few in a Super Bowl since. Leading the effort was defensive Richard Dent, the Super Bowl MVP with 1.5 quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles, and pass knockdown. It was supposed to be the start of a Bears dynasty, but it was a flash in the pan. They wouldn’t make it to the Super Bowl again for 21 years, and they haven’t been to another one.

It was Walter Payton’s only Super Bowl, and he had 22 carries — but he gained only 61 yards. The Patriots keyed on the future Hall of Famer, forcing Chicago to get its yardage and points in other ways. And Payton didn’t get to score a touchdown despite a perfect short-yardage opportunity late in the game. Coach Mike Ditka elected to go with a gimmick, giving the ball to defensive tackle William “The Refrigerator” Perry for the final TD. Ditka has regretted Payton’s lack of a touchdown ever since.

This game marked the last time two teams were making their Super Bowl debuts. Thirty-seven years later, there are only four teams that haven’t been there. If it were ever to happen again, it would have to include some combination of the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. Lions and Jags, anyone? It doesn’t look like a Super Bowl featuring two newbies is coming anytime soon.

Author’s note: My nephew, Ben Mouser, was born at halftime of Super Bowl XX. Happy 37th to Ben!

 (Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

Watch more Sports:

See all of our sports coverage in our YouTube playlist:

KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Before You Leave, Check This Out