Great Games in Bears History

Chicago Bear fans all over the country could smell the turkey cooking on Thanksgiving Day, 1980. But the traditional holiday meal would have to wait a little while. The Bears and Detroit Lions were heading into overtime.

And how long did it last? As long as it took kick returner Dave Williams to zigzag 95 yards to pay dirt. Williams took the Lions' kickoff to start overtime and went coast-to-coast for the 23-17 win. Time to take the turkey out of the oven.

A humble Williams thanked his blockers in the jubilant locker room: Robin Earl, Matt Suhey, Rickey Watts, Ron Rydalch, Bruce Herron, Bob Fisher, Otis Wilson, John Skibinski, Dave Becker and Lee Kunz. "I just went to my left and ran off the blocks," he said.

He also could have thanked the man who made everything possible: co-captain Bob Parsons, who called tails to win the coin toss to call overtime. "I just don't like heads," Parsons said.

Someone else Williams could have thanked was quarterback Doug Evans, who led the Bears on an improbable 94-yard, 14-play touchdown drive in the final 3:37 to tie the score at 17. Evans scrambled into the end zone from the four-yard line as the clock wound down to zero, after he couldn‘t get the ball to Bob Fisher, James Scott or Brian Baschnagel on the designed passing play.

"Not a doubt in anybody's mind," Evans said, as he recounted entering the huddle 94 yards from the Detroit end zone. "Guys started to say, ‘ We can do it.' Everybody stayed on their blocks. It was a conglomeration of enthusiasm."

Another candidate for the thank-you list was Walter "Sweetness" Payton, who ripped off 123 yards on the ground, including 110 in the second half. And don't forget about Hall of Fame defensive lineman Alan Page, who blocked a Lions' field goal attempt at the end of the first half.

Bears' defensive lineman Dan Hampton was the only overtime casualty. He broke his nose when he jumped into the end zone celebration and smashed his snout on a teammate's helmet. "Sometimes those things in the end zone are more dangerous than what happens in the game," said safety Doug Plank.

Said Bears‘ Head Coach Neill Armstrong: "I‘ve never been as pleased or as happy after a game as I am today. I ran out on the middle of the field. I always go straight to the locker room." In the meantime, Bears fans were going straight for the turkey.

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