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The "Monsters of the Midway" is most widely known as the nickname for the National Football League's Chicago Bears—particularly the dominant teams of 1940 and 1941. The name underwent something of a renewal when the 1985 edition of the Bears proved to be similarly dominant.
Origins of the name
The nickname Monsters of the Midway was originally applied to the University of Chicago "Maroons", a college football team under the leadership of Amos Alonzo Stagg. "Midway" is a reference to the Midway Plaisance, a long, green swath of boulevard space bordering the southern end of the campus between 59th and 60th Streets and running from Washington Park to Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side. The U of C ended its football program in 1939, around a time of several Bears NFL Championships. During this time, their home field was Wrigley Field on the North Side of the city, roughly 12 miles (20 km) from the Midway. The "C" symbol on their helmets is borrowed from the U of C Maroons. The moniker is also used by the university's Velo Club bicycle racing team, for their annual criterium in May on the Midway.
The popularity of "Monsters of the Midway" was renewed by the dominant Chicago Bears defense of 1985. That year the Bears went 15–1 in the regular season. In the playoffs the Bears posted two shutouts against the New York Giants (21–0) and the Los Angeles Rams (24–0). This culminated in the Super Bowl, wherein they defeated the New England Patriots 46–10. The 1985 Bears defense was ranked first in the NFL in points allowed and yards allowed, naturally making them first in defense overall.
TSR also published a game entitled "Monsters of the Midway" in a 1982 edition of their magazine The Dragon. It was a football simulation with various fantasy characters taking the place of football players.
The game Mutant League Football referenced the name, calling one of its fictional teams the "Midway Monsters".
- "Monsters of the Midway". chicagobears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/monstersofthemidway.asp.
- Jim Murray (January 1, 1985). "Dr. Ditka Has Created Some New Monsters". Los Angeles Times. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/52150055.html?dids=52150055:52150055&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Jan+01%2C+1985&author=Jim+Murray&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=Dr.+Ditka+Has+Created+Some+New+Monsters&pqatl=google.