CHICAGO – For many years in one sport, he got the chance to see what others did here in Chicago in another profession.
That was Steve McMichael’s gifts both physically as an athlete along with a personality that would make it easy for him to own a room, winning over those who were sports fans or not.
Chicago Bears players and fans found that out about “Mongo” from his time with the team from 1981-1993, in which he aided the team’s run to seven playoff appearances, six NFC Central division titles, and the Super Bowl XX championship.
McMichael’s charisma also made him a fan favorite on one of the most celebrated teams in Chicago’s professional sports history.
Eric Bischoff got to learn all of that about him through another sport: Professional wrestling.
The promoter, executive producer, and announcer for World Championship Wrestling worked with McMichael in his second career after his days in the NFL were over. Joining WCW after a quick stint with the WWE, Bischoff worked with the former defensive lineman from 1995-1999, and learned about him what many did during his 12-year run in Chicago.
“Obviously he was physically a big guy, but when he walked into a room, he just commanded it with a sense of humor and his presence,” said Bischoff of McMichael. “Not his physical presence, but just his personality.”
It’s for that reason that Bischoff like many others was saddened when they heard of McMichael’s diagnosis, knowing the impact it would have on him. Like those who knew him in professional football, he’s doing what he can with others from wrestling to show support.
“Money for Mongo” is a fundraiser by AdFreeShows.com originating at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg at 12:30 PM on Saturday and will be streamed live on FITE.tv.
It will feature Bischoff along with other wrestling legends Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Ross and Mick Foley to name a few. The event is one to share their thoughts on McMichael’s time in the ring along with his personality outside of it.
“Steve’s battle with ALS has been well documented. The way he and Misty have attacked this brutal disease is nothing short of inspirational, and we want to do something special for them to help in any small way we can,” said event host Conrad Thompson in a statement from the event’s organizers. “No donation is too little to this cause, and in return, my wrestling friends and I hope to give viewers some great stories, some laughs, and a proper celebration of the character and person that ‘Mongo’ is.”
For Bischoff, it’s a way to not only help an old friend but also to celebrate the person he was during his time in the business and still remains today, even as he battles a difficult disease.
“It guess I’m more in tune with my emotions, and it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be hard. But it’s also made me grateful to be a part of something that can kinda give him some love and support,” said Bischoff of Saturday’s event. “To see a community of people all doing the same and coming out and supporting someone who is worthy of that support.”
You can hear more from Bischoff about the event in his segment with Larry Hawley on WGN News Now by clicking on the video above.
You can get more information on “Money For Mongo” or donate to the cause by clicking here.