Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Jan 2006

Illinois Legislature: '85 Bears Best Ever

It's great to live in a state where this is what they discuss in the state capital. The state legislature in Illinois has unanimously passed a resolution declaring the 1985 Chicago Bears the best team in football history. I'm thinking about calling some of these representatives and asking for some substantive explanations of why the '85 Bears were better than the '91 Redskins or the '79 Steelers or the '72 Dolphins or the '62 Packers.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 27 Jan 2006

29 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2006, 6:52pm by Ryan Mc

Comments

1
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 6:14pm

'85 Chicago is clearly ranked too low because William Perry scored a TD in the Super Bowl. The Illinois Legislature is way better than this. I beat Madden 93 w/ teh bears & went 19-0 without giving up ne pts!!!!!

Disclaimer: I didn't even have Madden '93, and sucked at the ones I did play/

2
by Björn (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 6:47pm

In other news, the Arizona State Legislature declared the Itasca Horizon the greatest recreational vehicleever. House majority leader Giant Douche said Friday that "we have calculated that the motorhome industry is responsible for about two thirds of all Arizona tourists. The state of Arizona would like to recognize both the substantial contribution to our economy, and the reckless consumption of fossil fuels that a vehicle such as the Horizon can provide. Besides, what have the stinking Cardinals ever done for us?"

What have they done indeed.

3
by JasonC23 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 6:48pm

Eddie Epstein agrees, and that's good enough for me. Go Bears!

4
by Dave (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 7:19pm

'96 Green Bay is clearly ranked too low because Brett Favre was The Man then, even if he's not now. The Illinois Legislature is way better than this. The petty, cheesehead-haters!

Had to be done...

5
by paytonrules (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 7:24pm

I’m thinking about calling some of these representatives and asking for some substantive explanations of why the ‘85 Bears were better than the ‘91 Redskins or the ‘79 Steelers or the ‘72 Dolphins or the ‘62 Packers

Cause they are.

6
by Paul (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 7:35pm

Indiana (next state over) legislature once declared the value of pi (ratio between circumference of a circle to its diameter = ~3.14... ) to equal 3. We should never let someone as important as creating laws and spending tax dollars fall to elected officials. Especially ones who are Arizona Cardinal fans (and admit it).

7
by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 8:09pm

I'm hoping Wisconsin passes a resolution declaring Illinois' resolution false.

8
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 8:28pm

Why can't Wisconsin just pass a law saying Illinois doesn't exist, and should properly be called "West Wisconisn?"

9
by TomC (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 8:37pm

Indiana (next state over) legislature once declared the value of pi (ratio between circumference of a circle to its diameter = ~3.14… ) to equal 3.

Dude, that was so a hoax. And it wasn't even Indiana, it was Alabama. See, e.g.:

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

10
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 9:17pm

#8, perhaps because Illinois is due south of Wisconsin?

11
by Raul Allegre: Highly Sophiscated Kicking Machine (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 9:18pm

Why can’t Wisconsin just pass a law saying Illinois doesn’t exist, and should properly be called “West Wisconisn?�

Cause it's like east of us.

12
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 10:37pm

Eh. Anything west of New York and east of Las Vegas doesn't count anyway.

13
by dutch (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 11:32pm

I think if your the best team ever, you would have been able to repeat the following year. 78 Steelers were best ever. and 76 Steelers had the most dominant defense of all time. Last 9 games of season, only gave up 27 points.

14
by joel in providence (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 12:33am

are people just trying to get interviewed by the Daily Show or something?

15
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 2:17am

This is crap. We all know that this year's USC team is the best of all time, barely edging out the 2002 Miami Hurricanes.

16
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 2:23am

Well, if I learned one thing from this article, it is that Illinois is west of Wisconsin, unless it is south or east.

17
by Jason (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 2:30am

According to Epstein 1996 GB was the #1 most Dominant SB Champ in NFL History, even more so than the 85 Bears

18
by Lezard Valeth (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 5:22am

re: #17

No, he doesn't, at least not in his book. He outright picks the '85 Bears as the best team ever.

I think his methods are somewhat flawed since they rely on conventional stats, but the conclusions are generally accurate. Hey, I'm happy to see a Browns team made the list. =)

One thing, though: The '99 Rams are on the list, and he said the 2001 Rams would also be on there if they had actually won the Super Bowl. Additionally, their 2000 offense rates among the best ever in his standard deviation calculations as well. I know this is considered to be a great offense, but might this be the result of a quirk in the system?

19
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 11:39am

They should at least do this in a state which has more than one team, like CA, PA or Ohio (imagine the heated debate about which Bengals/Browns team was the best of all time. Ooooh baby!)

20
by masocc (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 11:40am

Re #'s 6 & 9: I can't believe I'm actually arguing this, but:

Actually, it WAS Indiana that attempted to redefine Pi, though they never tried to make it 3. Linked to my name is the text of the actual bill that they attempted to pass.

But yes, Tom, in common folklore, you'll hear the story as coming from Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama... anywhere associated with rednecks/stupidity/the Bible.

21
by JC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 12:08pm

They meant "The greatest rap by a football team"

22
by JC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 12:09pm

At least Illinois' tax dollars are hard at work.

23
by rb75 (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 2:59pm

Big deal.

The Idaho House of Representatives once passed a resolution praising the makers of Napolean Dyamite.

Excerpts:
WHEREAS, Uncle Rico's football skills are a testament to Idaho athletics;
WHEREAS, Kip and LaFawnduh's wedding shows Idaho's commitment to healthy marriages;
WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote "Nay" on this concurrent resolution are "FREAKIN' IDIOTS!" and run the risk of having the "Worst Day of Their Lives!"

24
by rb75 (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 3:02pm

Maybe they'll get around to passing something important, like a resolution praising the Chicago Superfans.

25
by James Gibson (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 4:47pm

Hey, I have the '99 Rams on my greatest teams of all time list, too (see link) based on pythagorean projection.

26
by James Gibson (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 4:49pm

And in this link, I also included the '85 Bears as the best betwen '70 and '98 (so no '62 Packers to compare). The ordinal rankings methodology is flawed, but it was a fun exercise when I did it.

27
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 7:24pm

OK, I owe Paul an apology. Thanks for the tip, massoc.

28
by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Sun, 01/29/2006 - 6:01pm

Is anyone else surprised that the Rypien led '91 redskins are that good?

I certainly don't remember them that well.

29
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Sun, 01/29/2006 - 6:52pm

re #28: That '91 Skins team definitely deserves consideration as one of the best ever. They were so dominant that they did not concede a single point at home until their 4th home game of the season!, and yet were probably remembered more for an incredibly balanced and productive offense (28 TD passes from Rypien to go with 1700+ combined rushing yards from Earnest Byner and Ricky Ervins.)

Amazingly, that team fell apart really quickly as older players went passed their prime (eg. Byner and Art Monk) and younger players who should have picked up the slack (Ervins, Rypien and Desmond Howard, drafted the following year) never lived up to potential. The huge droppoff of Rypien and Ervins, in particular, remains a bit of a mystery to me to this day. If any Skins fans have some info on why these two didn't make more of an impact after 1991 than they could have I'd be interested.