Imrem: Winning truly is everything

  • Imagine what Sammy Sosa would be today to the city of Chicago and the Cubs had the team won the 2003 World Serie.

    Imagine what Sammy Sosa would be today to the city of Chicago and the Cubs had the team won the 2003 World Serie. Associated Press File Photo/June 2004

Updated 3/1/2016 8:19 PM

Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon raked a little muck this week about the 1985 Chicago Bears that inspired "what-ifs" about the 2003 Chicago Cubs.

To say nothing of inspiring reminders of some great lines from the great film "Casablanca."


Rick Blaine said, "Here's looking at you, kid" and might have meant the "kids" on those famous Bears and infamous Cubs.

Like, what if the Cubs won the '03 World Series the way the Bears won Super Bowl XX?

A good guess is that even Carlos Zambrano would be analyzing baseball on local radio these days.

Forgiven would be whatever damage anyone thinks Dusty Baker perpetrated on the arms of Cubs pitchers.

Forgotten would be everything Sammy Sosa did, from steroids to a corked bat to an early departure.

"This is my house!" Sosa would roar to huge ovations every year upon his arrival at the Cubs Convention.

Now, though, Sosa would be booed from here to Santo Domingo if he dared whisper that anywhere around here.

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Why? Because the Cubs blew a 3-1 lead in the NLCS by losing three straight games to the Marlins.

Meanwhile, the '85 Bears remain what they have been for 30 years: icons for winning the Super Bowl.

No matter what the Bears did and do wrong, back then up to right now, they can do no wrong.

Boys will be boys, right?

Which is why McMahon's bulletin Tuesday brought to mind a line from "Casablanca."

Captain Louis Renault said, "I'm shocked … shocked to find out that gambling is going on in there."

The "there" was Rick's Cafe Americain, where wagering was as much a secret at the time as World War II.

Of course, Captain Renault was so shocked that he was handed his gambling winnings almost before the line was out.

"Shocked … I'm shocked" to hear what Jim McMahon was quoted as saying this week.


The former Bears quarterback blurted that members of the 1985 Super Bowl champions smoked marijuana.

Furthermore, McMahon suggested. Bears head coach Mike Ditka knew all about it.

For some reason this reminds of a "Casablanca" line from Signor Ferrari: "As the leader of all illegal activities in Casablanca, I am an influential and respected man."

Da Coach!

Seriously, nobody who was around here in 1985 can be "shocked … shocked" to hear that some of those Bears smoked some weed … or that Da Coach was aware of it.

Not much of anything would be shocking about the Super Bowl XX champs.

Remember, Ditka was cited for DUI the night he returned from the victory at San Francisco. Dan Hampton has had similar lapses over the decades. The tales about McMahon are legendary.

Oh, those likably wacky rascals … woof-woof-woof!

It wouldn't be shocking to learn that Bears players kicked their cats. That any number of them took performance enhancers. That they had as many inner demons as mere mortals who still worship them have.

Oh, how differently Sammy and Big Z and Dusty and the rest would be viewed today if only they had made it to the '03 World Series, much less won it.

A statue of Sosa would stand next to Ernie Banks'. Zambrano would be held up as a temperamental role model. Baker's handbook would be a managerial bible.

Winning and losing really are everything.

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