A Class Act: The ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ Never Will Fade Away

by on October 26th, 2010
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Asked to choose and then write about my ultimate piece of sports memorabilia, I happened upon a shoebox filled with audio cassettes. A flood of emotions washed over me as I reached for the one cassette that instantly rekindled memories of Chicago. Two strips of masking tape hold the aging cassette together. I close my eyes and suddenly, I’m 11 years old again.

We are the Bears Shufflin’ Crew, Shufflin’ on down, doin’ it for you. We’re so bad, we know we’re good, Blowin’ your mind like we knew we would. We’re not here to start no trouble, We’re just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.”

More than 25 years ago members of the Chicago Bears recorded “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” The following month, on Jan. 26, 1986, the Bears crushed the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX, 46-10, making them the first team in sports history to have the audacity to record a Super Bowl song before winning the actual championship.

But there’s more to the story:

– 1. DA FANS: “We love to play for the world’s best fans,” they rapped. We believed them. Is it any wonder that Chicago native, President Barack Obama invited the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House for the celebration they never received? “This city was invigorated and brought together by this team,” Obama said. “This team ruled the city. It riveted the country… They were like the Beatles.”

– 2. DA IMPACT : When Obama said “they were like the Beatles,” he wasn’t exaggerating. “The Super Bowl Shuffle” was an international phenomenon. It sold more than half a million singles and a million videos. It ascended to No. 41 on the Billboard charts. It even earned a Grammy nomination.

– 3. DA COACH AND CREW: “It was more than a team,” Coach Mike Ditka once said. “It was a team of characters that had character that played for a crazy man, who let them be crazy and had fun doing it and won’t apologize for it ever. I was what I was and they were what they were and, damn, it was fun.” What could be more fun than the Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew? Performers included: “Sweetness” (Walter Payton), “Punky QB” (Jim McMahon), “Samurai” (Mike Singletary) “Mama’s Boy” (Otis Wilson), “The Fridge” (William Perry).

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