Super memories alive with Bears of '05 from Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I'm not a big football fan, but it was great to see this article from the Chicago Sun-Times about Chicago Bears great Dan Hampton. He was interviewed about the Bears that one Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. A comparison was made between Hampton's Bears from the Super Bowl winning 1985 season to today's Bears.
There were some interesting points made...
"They were an aura, a fear, an intimidation. They were about grown quarterbacks standing there to take the snap, wondering if maybe someone else would like totake this one."That was the Bears of 1985 and that was the Bears last Sunday apparently. Mind you I didn't see the game I'm just sharing this article with you. But I kind of like this especially in a hard hitting sport such as football. Psychology is important especially if you don't really intend to do some serious hitting.
Next they talked about the current Defensive line and their strategies...
"When we played, most of the offensive linemen were of comparable size [to the defensive linemen],'' Hampton said. "Most of them were 280, 290 pounds. We were 270, 280. Now, most of the offensive linemen are just big blobs, out of shape.
"With us, Buddy [Ryan, defensive coordinator] had a two-gap system. Basically, we would ram into the offensive lineman and destroy his inertia. Then you read and go where the ball is. But today, Ogunleye and Alex Brown are like 260 pounds playing against 350-pound tackles. They're not able to do what we did physically. So they have to proactively address gaps.''
The '85 Bears were pounding linemen while these guys are going around them. Linebacker Brian Urlacher said on the radio that sometimes he wonders why he's running one way toward a gap in the line while the ball is going the other way. But it works.
That is an issue that football players are out of shape. It's always better to be big but hopefully in good shape. I suppose it's better to have nothing more than a lot of muscle than fat. I remember a wrestler known as Mark Henry. He was big and claimed that there was very low body fat in his weight. It was all muscle. He was billed as Sexual Chocolate and The World's Strongest Man. He was once a weightlifter who actually competed in the Olympics but failed miserably. I would wonder if he could make it in pro football though with his size.
The next point is...
Maybe that's why football isn't interesting me right now. Perhaps the coaches are merely playing it safe. Wouldn't it be nice if the Bears can play football the way it was supposed to be played. Besides and to cross sports for a second, the Chicago Blackhawks was known for their hard hitting hockey play. Players were either thrilled with the challenge of facing the Blackhawks or they were intimidated.
Meanwhile, the salary cap has created parity, and everything is leveling off. Offensive game plans are about managing the clock and not blowing the game.
That doesn't lend itself to thrilling defense.
This Bears defense has been the best for weeks, not years. And it hasn't beaten a great team. But maybe there aren't great teams anymore, and this is how you win in this era.
Now I'm not sure what this means about the salary cap creating parity. But I would jump off and say some of these athletes might just be sissies compared to the players of old. They were actually hungry while today's athletes get more money than they could ever dream. If this turns out to be the case, I'd rather we get some hard working athletes to take us to the Super Bowl, just like the players who made up the White Sox for the most part, than some free agent who just won't and can't get the job done. Perhaps I should back off my criticism of Chicago sports ownership.
And I guess that should do it for now. I haven't been watching football since that Chicago Football Classic I went to on Labor Day weekend. I'll definitely watch the games on Thankgiving Day. I hope you do the same.
Have a great holiday!!!