At the end of the football season in 1985, Mike Ditka was on top of the world. As coach of the '85 Chicago Bears, his team had a nearly undefeated record that took them to the Super Bowl -- and they won. That year, the Bears solidified their reputation as being one of the most dominant and popular teams in NFL history. But their popularity and wasn't just a coup for their coach, as Ditka tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" It extended far beyond the goal lines.
"The 1985 Chicago Bears were something that the city of Chicago needed -- and something that the sport needed," Ditka says.
The way those men played the game, he adds, was downright magical in the way it drew in the fans. "They were old-style football players," Ditka says. "They captured the imagination of the average guy on the street."
On the field, the '85 Bears were the ones to beat. They plowed through the regular season with a 15-1 record, outscored their opponents 456 to 198 and put forth a ruthless defense that only allowed five of their opponents to score more than 10 points in a game.
"They went to work and they kicked somebody's butt. That's the way they played the game -- they came in and worked," Ditka says.
All that work paid off and, in Ditka's view, couldn't have led to a much better season in 1985. The roster was made up of invaluable contributors, and certain players, such as running back Walter Payton, were seen as superstars.
"I had maybe the greatest running back in the history of the game," Ditka says. "And I had a great, great defense. Maybe as ever played the game."
Adding together the powerhouse talents, the intense work ethic and the captivating style of the team gave Ditka and his 1985 Bears a winning formula both on and off the field.
"We had a great group of guys. It was fun to be around them," Ditka says. "It was a great time in America."
Ditka opens up about his experiences as a coach (and as a player) on this weekend's "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", airing Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.
For more from "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", visit wherearetheynow.buzz.
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