Gerald Gems, professor of health and physical education, was interviewed for an article by Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune correspondent in Washington, D.C., about the Chicago Bears 1985 championship team invitation to the White House on Oct. 7, 2011. Click here to read the article.
Gems, co-author of “Sports in American History,” commented on the historical precedents for sports team visits to the White House, which date back to 1884.
Members of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX champions were offered the opportunity to be honored at the White House by President Barack Obama in a ceremony. The honor comes nearly 26 years after the team completed a historic season by crushing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The team was never honored at the White House following its victory. Just two days after the Bears triumph, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, killing the entire crew, and the visit was never rescheduled.