Da Bears at Da White House
President Obama receives a Chicago Bears shirt from "Da Bears" 1985 Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka at the White House Friday.
October 7th, 2011
06:13 PM ET

Da Bears at Da White House

White House (CNN)– It's been a quarter of a century since their moment in the limelight, but Friday, the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears were finally honored at the White House.

The tragic explosion of the Shuttle Challenger occurred just days before the champion team was to meet with President Reagan in 1986.  Fast forward 25 years and the Da Bear's number one fan, President Barack Obama welcomed his hometown team to be honored at the White House.

The president was almost gushing, "This is as much fun as I will have as president of the United States," he told an audience of Illinois natives and Bears fans on the South Lawn.

Chicago media have reported the 1985 team along with other former Bear's players and team staff numbering nearly one hundred, chartered a plane from Chicago to Washington.

Legendary coach Mike Ditka brought the president his own shirt emblazoned with "Obama 85".

The president confided to the audience he and Ditka could have had their roles reversed. "Some of you may remember that back in 2004 when I was running for the Senate some people were trying to draft Ditka to run against me," said Mr. Obama. 

 "I will admit I was a little worried because he doesn't lose."

Turning to Ditka, the president said smiling, "Coach, I am glad you didn't run because I have to say I probably would have been terrible on ESPN."

The 1985 Bears was a cultural phenomenon.  Coach Ditka had a larger than life personality.  The team even had their own rap song, "The Super Bowl Shuffle."  

But some of the most famous team members were missing.  The legendary Walter Payton who died more than 10 years ago from cancer was represented at the White House Friday by his wife.  And William "Refrigerator" Perry was unable to attend due to health issues.  

Star Quarterback Jim McMahon famous as much for his colorful antics as for his skill on the football field brought the president a sports headband to match his own which the president showed off, but declined to wear. 

Coach Ditka thanked the president for today's honor, be it a bit delayed, "We're very proud that you honored us by bringing us here. It's only 26 years after the fact and 5 administrations, but thank you."

Topics: Chicago • President Obama

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Toxins

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    October 8, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  2. Howard


    October 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • lisa2010

      oh shut up, another comment from a do-nothing american citizen...your mouth and comment shall be your downfall, get out there and do something, if not just shut up and go in your corner...

      October 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • mainer

        Well said, Lisa. Sounds like a nice day for all concerned. And why not?

        October 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
      • LNB

        I agree, too. Howard is infamous for his putzy ne0-c0n p0sts.

        October 9, 2011 at 3:40 am |
      • Howard

        Thank God, the public is finally waking up ... which will result in the corrupt Obama administration ... and the dregs of society who support Obama, returning to powerless mediorcrity ... where you belong !!!

        October 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • jean2009

        As usual the uniformed Howard mouths on and on with his tiresome drivel; probably paid to post here.
        Thank God people seem to be waking up to Howard....and have him pegged as a neo-con nut!
        Obama-Biden 2012

        October 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • ChiTownArkie

      I agree Nsa2010. Just another Obama bashing over an innocent gathering. It's so tiring and boring.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:56 am |
      • Howard

        obama's not the underdog ... he's the dog doo under the underdog.

        October 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  3. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I don't know if he's even an American or not! If he happened to have been born here, he's ANTI-AMERICAN! He's no better off than AL-AWLAKI!

    October 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • LNB


      October 9, 2011 at 3:41 am |
    • Jim

      You're living proof that a complete moron can use a computer. Anti American?? Please explain that idiotic statement with some facts supporting your argument. We'll wait...

      October 9, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Howard

      Liz ... your comment is a perfect description of your empty suit, false messiah, barack obama !!!

      October 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
      • lisa2010

        IT'S THE DO-NOTHING AMERICAN WHO'S AT IT AGAIN... I TOLD YOU TO STAY IN YOUR CORNER..this article is about an invitation to the white house by the president at that time that was long overdue because of the shuttle challenger tragedy..not about your do-nothing attitude.. its not political, its an invitation that was long overdue.. go take your comments to another story, we don't need your negative attitude here, we have enough going around.. i live in hawaii, and you STINKS from here, and its not the fish...lol

        October 10, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Howard

      Liz Carter of Georgia sez:
      I don't know if obama is even an American or not! If he happened to have been born here, he's ANTI-AMERICAN! He's no better off than AL-AWLAKI!

      October 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • jean2009

        Liz was describing you...not the president. I think we all doubt your citizenship. What to you consider a person who wishes their own country ill? Which is exactly what you do.

        October 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  4. Mephistopheles

    Howard and Liz Carter, my sweet children.

    October 9, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  5. Howard


    October 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • jean2009

      He can bring the Chicago Bears to DC or to Wall Street and they will still be Super Bowl champions.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
      • Howard

        Jean ... Obama bringing the bears to wall street refers to Obama creating a 'BEAR MARKET' ... you know, ruining our economy ... I guess this went right over your head. No surprise there.

        October 10, 2011 at 1:01 am |
      • jean2009

        @Howard if you were going to say over-a-cliff you as per usual named the wrong person..since as we all know and history places it the economy was already ruined and over and off the cliff before he got there. @Howard as per usual trying to rewrite or forget actual history. Take a hint on honesty and remember historical dates never lie.

        October 10, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    To whom it may concern: my comment was in response to the comment posted by lisa2010. Her's is the second one on this thread. I'm sure she was responding to the first one. Howard, you wish I was referring to President OBAMA; you anti-government, anti-American, racist, anti-Obama neo-con GOBBLIN! Don't you EVEN try to twist and spin my words. I'm one of the few on this blog who does NOT mince my words! I don't throw rocks and hide my hand...you know my 'ONLY' name and location. CNN has my e-mail address!

    October 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Thanks Jean!

    October 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm |