Monday, October 20, 2008

Also, Ben Gordon is better than Michael

One of the most mindless arguments I've ever found myself on the unpopular side of is my opinion that the Chicago Bears of today would kick the crap out of the Chicago Bears of 1985.

Yeah I have said those words out loud to Bears fans who were around in 1985 and remember that season vividly. And I was ridiculed for it. Perhaps justifiably.

In 1985, the Bears went 18-1 (including the playoffs and Super Bowl) and are generally regarded as one of the best football teams of all time. The Bears of today have lost 3 out of 7 games so far and have a defense that had no problem giving up 41 points on Sunday to a team that starts Gus Frerotte at QB.

So how could I possibly think that the Bears of today would beat the Bears of 1985? It's simple, really. And pretty mindless. But let me try.

Let's start with the defensive line. In 1985, they had a mixture of Steve McMichael, William Perry, and Dan Hampton on the inside with Richard Dent and I think Tyrone Keys on the outside. That's one hell of a defensive line. Today, they generally use 4 guys with Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek on the inside and Alex Brown and Adawale Ogunleye on the ends. Not quite as good, right? But look at their sizes. In 1985, William Perry's listed weight was 315 pounds, which made him the only guy on the team to top 300. It even earned him the nickname "the refrigerator". Tommie Harris is currently listed at 305, but nobody is about to give him a nickname like that. And do you know why? It's because he is one of TWELVE guys on his team who weigh over 300 pounds. They're all bigger and faster now. Do you think those defensive linemen from 1985 could get pressure on Kyle Orton when they'd be going up against Roberto Garza at 6'2"/310, Josh Beekman at 6'2"/310, John St. Clair at 6'5"/315, John Tait at 6'6"/312, and Olin Kreutz at 6'2"/292? I really don't think so.

Let me do the same thing with the middle linebackers. In 1985, Mike Singletary played middle linebacker at 6'0", 230 pounds. Today, Brian Urlacher plays the same position at 6'4", 258 pounds. Oh, and he can also run the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds*. Was there anybody in the league who was both Brian's size and who could run that kind of 40 yard dash back in 1985? No there wasn't.

My point is that at just about every position, athletes today are bigger, stronger, and faster. So while the 1985 Bears were miles ahead of their closest competition in 1985, they'd get pushed around pretty good in 2008.

Of course you could make the argument that if players back then were offered the same training programs from an early age that players get today, then this would be no contest. But isn't it fun to start a subjective argument that nobody can prove and one that gets people mad for no real reason? Yes. Yes it is.

I told you it was pretty mindless.

*EDIT: I should have put "he used to be able to run a 4.5 in the 40". It's clear that he's lost a step or nine this season. Poor Brian. It was fun while it lasted though.

Labels: , |


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Forgetting Mike Hartenstine from 1985 and Israel Idijodji from today(sp?).
    And you really don't think that Urlacher is better than Singletary do you? Urlacher is the 4th best linebacker in Bears history (yeah, it's that deep)

    You're right, it IS mindless.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, I do think that Urlacher is better than Singletary. However I'm using subjective reasoning based on very little physical evidence. Well except for the stuff I put in the post.

  3. RomanWarHelmet Says:

    The only way to really have this argument is to use the old...if the 1985 Bears had the same training and nutritional standards as today's players argument. I think they all have the right talent sets but the size differences nullifies that. It's not like these guys weren't athletic either, so it's solely based on a life's work of training.