Shuffling to greatness

The 1985 Chicago Bears ranked No. 1 over the last 25 years among NFL teams for a single season according to the ESPN television network.

The network is conducting a series of top 25 lists to celebrate its 25th year on the air. Among the lists revealed in an hour-long countdown program were the top teams in all sports over the last quarter century.

Coach Mike Ditka's Super Bowl champion Bears of 1985 ranked fifth overall on that list and higher than any other NFL team during this period.

The Bears that year finished 18-1, losing only to the Miami Dolphins in a meaningless Monday night game after they had wrapped up the division title and home field throughout the playoffs. They filmed the Super Bowl Shuffle and went on to dominate the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX in a way that no other team had done to that date.

A second Chicago team -- the 1995-96 Bulls of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, who set the NBA record for victories with 72 -- ranked No. 2 overall and higher than any other basketball team.

The Bears of 1985 were also behind the third-ranked 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier as well as the 2001-2002 Connecticut women's basketball team featuring Diana Taurasi.

The network's countdown of the top 25 athletes in the past 25 years did not include Bears running back Walter Payton.

Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time rushing leader who broke Payton's record, was rated the 15th best athlete.

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