In honor of the Chicago Bears going to Super Bowl 41. Here are 41 things that have changed from the last time the Chicago Bears played in the Super Bowl (which was Super Bowl 20 in 1986):
1. Brian Urlacher was in 2nd grade. Rex Grossman was in kindergarten.
Peyton Manning was 10 years old. Eli Manning was 5 years old. Their dad, Archie, had just retired from the NFL two years earlier.
2. Lovie Smith was in his first college coaching job at University of Tulsa.
3. Ronald Reagan was the President, and Harold Washington was the Mayor. James R. Thompson was the Governor running for re-election and his office was in the new State of Illinois Center, which is now called the James R. Thompson Center.
4. George W. Bush was 39 years old and still drinking. His father would run for President two years later.
5. Rod Blagojevich was just out of law school and was a low-level prosecutor working for the Cook County State's Attorney, Richard M. Daley.
6. Barack Obama had just moved to Illinois, and Osama bin Laden was fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
7. Red Grange and Sid Luckman were still alive.
8. The Colts had just moved to Indianapolis from Baltimore and were the doormat of the AFC EAST. The Bears were the champions of the NFC CENTRAL.
9. Property in Wicker Park and Bucktown was cheap because they were really bad neighborhoods.
10. CD players, cellular phones and fax machines were expensive, cutting edge technology and only a few people used them.
11. "Surfing the net" meant a volleyball game at the beach, and virtually no one used the "@" key on their TYPEWRITER.
12. Sam Walton was still alive and was wealthier than Bill Gates.
13. Windows were panes of glass...not a computer operating system that was a pain in something that rhymes with glass.
14. The Soviet Union was our main enemy, and Saddam Hussein was our ally.
15. There were no lights at Wrigley Field, and the oldest park in baseball belonged to the White Sox.
16. Michael Jordan and Ozzie Guillen had just finished their "Rookie of the Year" seasons. Jordan's coach was Stan Albeck and Guillen's manager was Tony LaRussa. (Three out of four of those guys are now wearing championship rings, but what ever happened to Stan Albeck???)
17. Soldier Field had AstroTurf. The Houston Oilers played in the AstroDome.
18. The Fox TV Network didn't exist, and ESPN had yet to air a single live pro football, baseball, or basketball game.
19. MTV played music and so did some AM radio stations.
20. Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff weren't born yet; Jackie Gleason and Richard Nixon were still alive.
21. Hillary Clinton had dark hair and was the First Lady......of Arkansas!
22. "The Love Boat" and "Diff'rent Strokes" were still on network TV every week.
23. Martin Luther King Day was about to be celebrated as a National Holiday for the first time.
24. "9-11" was a phone number many cities were just adopting for emergency calls - not a date of terror.
25. I-88 was called "Illinois Rt. 5" and I-355 hadn't been built yet.
26. What the CTA now calls "The Blue Line" had just been extended to O'Hare, and the Orange Line to Midway hadn't been built yet.
27. Q101 played adult contemporary music and most teenagers listened to WLS. Music from the 70s and 80s wasn't "retro" yet.
28. Tiger Woods hadn't won an amateur golf tournament yet.
29. Most people knew Seattle just as a city in the Northwest U.S. - not the home of grunge or Starbucks.
30. Only Southerners went to NASCAR races and only Northerners went to NHL games.
31. The Chicago area had no Wal-Marts, Targets or Home Depots, and Walgreen's was only in the Midwest.
32. Depending on your bank, your ATM card was good at only "Cash Station" machines or only at "Money Network" machines, but there were no fees.
33. "The Phone Company" was Illinois Bell.
34. They still sold leaded gasoline and you couldn't pay for your gas at the pump.
35. Discover Card hadn't been discovered yet, and Miller Genuine Draft hadn't been brewed yet.
36. Stereo TVs were the rage that HDTVs are now. 8-track tapes were still being made.
37. All of the Blockbuster Video stores that are now closing hadn't opened yet. Betamax was still competing with VHS.
38. You paid cash for your groceries and fast food, and you used a travel agent to book airline flights.
39. Bowl games didn't have corporate sponsors, and if the #1 ranked team was in a conference that played in one bowl game and the #2 ranked team was in a conference that played in another bowl game, then so be it! They let the sportswriters vote on the national champion. (and no college football games were played after New Year's Day)
40. The Baltimore Ravens were the Cleveland Browns. The Tennessee Titans were the Houston Oilers. The Oakland Raiders were the Los Angeles Raiders that had just left Oakland. The Arizona Cardinals (the former Phoenix Cardinals) were the St. Louis Cardinals, and the St. Louis Rams were the Los Angeles Rams. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, and the Cleveland Browns (not to be confused with the Cleveland Browns that are now the Baltimore Ravens) didn't exist. The Seattle Seahawks (last year's NFC Champions) played in the AFC.
41. There were no iPods - just Sony Walkmen - so if you said something about a "shuffle" on your Walkman, they assumed you were listening to "The Super Bowl Shuffle"
This is a tough year for my house. Sons # 1 and 3 live in the Chicago area and are die-hard Bears fans. Son #2 has his football roots back home in Indiana and is equally passionate about The Colts. Fortunately for me, Dan is out of it - his being a Pats fan and all. (Better luck next year, Honey!) Any way you look at it, I am going to get telephone calls tonight.....and someone will be happy and someone will be sad. I shall be forced to celebrate and mourn at virtually the same time. I shall also be forced to deny having three-way calling capability on my cell phone so that no child in the presence of his siblings can catch me in the act and call me out on feigned sorrow or phony joy thereby solving once and for all (in the loser's mind) the age-old mystery of just which son it is that mom loves most.
Ahhhh....the horrible secrets of motherhood. No one told me there'd be games like this.