On Monday night December 2nd, 1985, the 12-0 Chicago Bears came to the Orange Bowl to battle the 8-4 Dolphins. Not only was Miami looking to move into a first place tie in the AFC East, but the ’85 Fins were looking to protect the legacy of the only undefeated team in NFL history: the 1972 Dolphins.
Kim Bokamper started at right defensive end that night, next to nose tackle Mike Charles and left end Doug Betters. Even now, nearly 25 years later, that game stands up as one of the most exhilarating in the history of the National Football League.
The Bears, of course, would go on to defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl XX, but they would do so with a single blemish on their record: a 38-24 loss in Miami. Here are Kim’s recollections on one of the best nights in Dolphins history…
Guest Blog, by Kim Bokamper:
The thing that’s most vivid in my mind after all these years is the feeling I had that night walking into that building- it’s the most electric building I’ve ever been in. Ever. To this day, having played in- and now reported on hundreds if not thousands of sporting events, I can truly say that that night at the Orange Bowl was the best atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of. The buzz that was surrounding the O.B. that night hit you the very moment you walked through door and it stayed that way for the entire game.
It really was one of those times for me where I really appreciated Coach Shula and who he was. He took the week to breakdown the Bears ’46 Defense with Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, and company. Shula was able to find the weakness. I thought Shula’s meticulous preparation for that game deserves a lot of credit; we spread them out and got a matchup of WR Nat Moore vs. LB Wilbur Marshall and exploited it early and often.
Another one of my memories as a defensive player on that team was that Walter Payton came into that game going for a record of consecutive 100 yard games. There was a point late in that game, towards the end, where we were up a few touchdowns and the Bears started handing it to Walter time and time again. We got back in the huddle, and we knew they were raising the white flag, the game was over and they were more concerned with getting Payton his record than trying to mount a comeback attempt. That feeling of forcing the big, bad ’85 Bears into submission is one that I’ll never forget.
Finally, I remember that night we celebrated in grand style. While it wasn’t quite South Beach, we rolled into Denny’s at about 2 or 3 in the morning and I enjoyed one of the most delicious Grand Slam breakfasts I’d ever had.
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