1985 Chicago Bears to be honored by President Obama

Michael GibbonsCorrespondent IISeptember 22, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 13:  Safety Shaun Gayle #23 of the Chicago Bears tackles running back Wendell Tyler #26 of the San Francisco 49ers during a game at Candlestick Park on October 13, 1985 in San Francisco, California.  The Bears won 26-10.   (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
George Rose/Getty Images

An invite to the White House is always a very cool thing even if it comes 25 years late.

On October 7, the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears will finally be honored at the White House. Their original celebration was called off after the space shuttle Challenger tragedy, and was never rescheduled in 1986.

Sadly, two key members of that great team, Walter Payton and Dave Duerson, will be unable to make it since both have passed away. Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan's attendance is probably in doubt as well, as it has been announced he has cancer and was holding off treatment until after his sons (Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan) faced off in Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season. Another player who may not be able to make it is William “The Refrigerator” Perry, who is suffering from several health issues.

This honoring will come almost a year after many members of the team got together for a 25th anniversary in November 2010. I would expect most of those to make it except perhaps the ones busy with coaching duties. Ron Rivera is now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers while Mike Singletary is an assistant under Lezlie Frasier with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 1985 Bears were named the greatest team in NFL history by ESPN, while it was named second behind the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins by the NFL Network series America’s Games: The Super Bowl Champions.

Possibly the most interesting thing about the ceremony will be the meeting between head coach Mike Ditka and President Obama. Back in 2004, President Obama was running for an open senate seat against Jack Ryan, who eventually had to withdraw from the race. This led the Republican party to search for a new candidate, and Ditka’s name was brought up several times. Just imagine how things could have been different if 'Da Coach had run and won. President Ditka has a nice ring to it.