Countdown to the Super Bowl: 9 days

We’re just nine days from the Super Bowl. Single digits, everybody! Are you excited yet?

And when you think of No. 9, it’s hard not to recall one of the most outrageous personalities to win a Super Bowl, former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. The punky QB — as he described himself in the Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle video — was always at odds with authority, be it the honor code at BYU, coach Mike Ditka or even Commissioners Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle.

One of his most memorable images was mooning a camera during Super Bowl week. Of course, by memorable, I mean something I would never want to see again.

But when you talk about the greatest teams of all time, the 1985 Bears are in the conversation. And as good as the defense was, McMahon was the one who held them together. When you consider how good the Bears were during the decade, it always came down to McMahon’s health.

Sports fans forget, the 1986 edition of the Bears was better than the previous year’s — at least statistically — setting an NFL record in allowing just 187 points. But McMahon was knocked out by a cheap shot by the Packers’ Charles Martin, and backup Doug Flutie couldn’t get it done in the playoffs.

If fact, Bears’ playoff losses in 1984 and 1986 came with McMahon on the sideline.

Fun No. 9-related  fact: The Bills set a Super Bowl record with nine turnovers against the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII.

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