View from a Fan

It's coming up on 20 years since the Bears and Patriots met in Super Bowl XX. After a 46-10 thrashing capped one of the greatest seasons in NFL history it was the Bears that appeared headed for a dynasty. However, the Bears have yet to return to the "Big Game" and the Patriots have three of the last four Lombardi trophies.

Watching the Patriots walk away with their third Super Bowl victory in four years, it reminded Henry Lewis of what could have been in the 80's.

When the Bears won Super Bowl XX against New England they were the youngest team in the NFL. The next two years followed with disappointing losses at home to the Washington Redskins. One of which could have definitely been avoided if there would have been a reliable quarterback behind Jim McMahon.

Walter Payton retired, others got older, but everything changed when Wilber Marshall was allowed to go to the Redskins because ownership didn't want to pony up the money. He never did anything great in Washington, but the defense started to lack the invincibility they once showed when he departed.

In '88 the Bears made it back to the NFC title game for the third time in five years, but couldn't stop the team of the decade. San Francisco took the myth of "Bear Weather" as the Soldier Field faithful watched a 28-3 blowout.

Things headed further south when McMahon was traded to San Diego the following year. The Bears failed to make the playoffs for the first time in five years.

The nineties started out with consecutive playoff appearances, but lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in 1990. The last hurrah came a year later when the Bears dropped a 17-13 decision to a young Dallas Cowboys that would go on to be known as the team of the 90's.

The Bears fired Mike Ditka after a 5-11 campaign and have won just one playoff game since. There's no case to be made for the return of Ditka, but something needs to be done.

The Patriots are well on their way to being the team of the decade and the Bears are struggling to find their way back to the postseason. One trip in the past decade just isn't cutting it and neither did one Super Bowl victory with a team that should have been a dynasty.

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