HAWL IN: 31 years later, the Bears’ Super Bowl XX rout remains relevant

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Buddy Ryan and Mike Ditka each were carried off the field after the Bears' Super Bowl XX win.

CHICAGO – Twenty is the happiest number that a Bears fan can think of, even if the number of years that have passed since it happened now stands at 31.

Partly because of the group that pulled it off and partially because the team has yet to top the achievement, January 26, 1986 remains a watershed for a franchise and it’s fan base.

In 50 years of Super Bowl Sundays, this one belonged to the “Monsters of the Midway” – and that team did their best to mimic the nickname.

Seven sacks, seven yards rushing allowed, six turnovers, a pick six and a safety. Oh, and the offense got 37 points on their own, too.

It’s hard to think the Bears were actually trailing the Patriots 3-0 at one point in the game. Fourty-four unanswered points led to a 46-10 triumph that at the time set 14-team records in the Super Bowl.

Mike Ditka and the late Buddy Ryan were carried off on shoulders as the clock ticked down to zero. A few minutes later, the Bears received their first and so far only Vince Lombardi Trophy as champions of the Super Bowl.

The moment culminated what many would successfully argue as the greatest season in franchise history. The team won 18 of the 19 games they played and then ripped through three playoff opponents (Giants, Rams and Patriots) by a combined score of 91-10.

Nine players from the charismatic team were named to the Pro Bowl with 11 being tabbed as NFL All-Pros by the Associated Press.

Yet January 26, 1986 was the day that cemented the legend of this group. They went to the Super Bowl as favorites and acted like it for 60 dominant minutes.

The triumph still carries weight.

A year ago on the more round 30th anniversary a special celebration was held for the team at Soldier Field. ESPN came out with a documentary called “The ’85 Bears” that further documented the journey of the star studded team.

It can’t be denied, however, that one reason the triumph lives on is because it’s yet to be topped. This group would reach just one more NFC Championship game before breaking up in the late 1980s. It took 21 years for the Bears to get back to the Super Bowl, but dreams of a second Lombardi Trophy were literally washed away in Miami.

Bears fans reach this anniversary after their team failed to make the playoffs for the sixth-consecutive season. The past it all Bears fans have at the moment, and there was no better one than what happened 31 years ago today.

On the 26th day of every year, the number 20 is the luckiest one around.