Moorehead family has ‘Super’ roots


Former Chicago Bears tight end Emery Moorehead looks over the newly-reconstructed Soldier Field in this Aug. 12, 2003 file photo, in Chicago. Moorehead says blood trumps team loyalty. Moorehead won a Super Bowl ring as a tight end for the 1985 Chicago Be The Associated Press

By Courtney Linehan

Emery Moorehead is a member of the ’85 Bears but also the father of current Colt Aaron Moorehead. So what’s a papa bear to do when his son goes against the family crest in the biggest game of the year? Cheer for everybody, says Moorehead, who spoke to the Daily Illini by phone on Thursday – after all, he was already in Miami celebrating the inevitable victory.

Q: So what’s it like being you right now?

A: It’s a tough situation. Being born and raised in Evanston, living there 70, 80 percent of my life, having played for the Bears. I’m a born and raised Bears fan. But then all of a sudden I’ve flip-flopped.

Q: Then who do you cheer for on Sunday?

A: I’ll cheer for the Colts because I want my son to experience what it’s like to be the Super Bowl champion. Only 40 teams have had that experience, and now Aaron has the chance to be the 41st. Then there have been a handful, maybe eight or nine, father-son combinations to play in the Super Bowl, and I think only one or two who both won it. So I’d love to see us in that group.

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    Q: Did you get tickets through the Bears or the Colts?

    A: I got two tickets from the Bears for being an alumnus, but Aaron wants me to sit with the Colts. I guess I’m a traitor. I wanted to sit with the other Bears, but Aaron’s a current player so he gets better seats, so I’m going to sit in his seats. His are on the lower level.

    Q: If you have to take one member of this year’s Bears team and put him on the ’85 Bears, who would it be?

    A: That’s tough, because they’ve got a lot of great athletes on this team. It’s very difficult to say who you want, although I’d play with any of my guys any day. But I’ve been very impressed with Lance Briggs. He’s played 16 unbelievable games. There’s guys like Brian Urlacher who you probably couldn’t keep off the field, but I’d probably take Lance Briggs.

    You watch as a fan, and I like Thomas Jones and what he’s done. He’s not Walter Payton, but I love his effort running the football. All the ’85 Bears love Thomas Jones, his effort and all that he does.

    Q: Do you think the hype and everything Aaron and those guys are going through now is the same as it was when you played?

    A: I think it’s pretty similar, but our guys set the standard. We had all the characters, all the guys everybody wanted to talk to. That’s why everybody loved us; everybody could identify with someone on the team. For some people it was the Fridge or McMahon or Payton. Some people could even identify with the Grabowski attitude of Coach Ditka.

    Q: If the ’85 Bears played this year’s team, who would win?

    A: Da Bears! Da Bears would win, the ’85 Bears. I’ll take my guys. I know we’d go to battle together any day. These guys might be bigger, faster, stronger than we were, but I’ve seen our guys in battle.

    Q: Do you think that’s how the game has changed? Just that players are bigger, faster, stronger?

    A: I think so. Our defense was based on fear. Our guys would hit the QB on the mouth, and you can’t do that today. They’ll fine you today. But our guys would hit him two, three, four times in the mouth, that was our strategy, then see how good the second string QB is. Now you can’t touch the QB above the shoulders or below the waist.

    Q: Is Chicago as hyped up for this game as it was when you went?

    A: Well, in 1985, everybody knew we were going to the Super Bowl. The fans today were waiting until the last game was done to make that claim. Part of it was Grossman; they never knew which Grossman was going to show up.

    But that’s the great thing for me. This game is a toss-up. Anybody can win it, and I can’t lose.