Rams win is Hall inductee Richard Dent’s fondest memory
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org August 5, 2011 11:04PM
Former Bear Richard Dent will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. | Getty Images
Updated: September 7, 2011 12:40AM
Richard Dent’s favorite memory from his Hall of Fame career is the same cherished moment remembered by many Bears fans during the team’s unforgettable 1985 season.
“The championship game,” Dent said, referring his team’s 24-0 shellacking of the Los Angeles Rams en route to a resounding Super Bowl XX triumph.
In the fourth quarter of that game, Dent forced Rams quarterback Dieter Brock to fumble. Linebacker Wilber Marshall picked up the loose ball and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. During the return, snow began to fall at Soldier Field, which was interpreted as a sign of deceased Bears founder George Halas’ approval.
Dent went on to record 11/2 sacks, two forced fumbles and a blocked pass, and was named Most Valuable Player of the Bears 46-10 romp over the New England Patriots.
“It was supposed to snow and it finally showed up in the fourth quarter,” Dent said. “It was the most beautiful thing you can imagine. Everybody was touching somebody, everybody was clapping. I couldn’t hear but I could feel it. It was a whole different realm.”
Dent tried on his yellow Pro Football Hall of Fame blazer on Friday night in anticipation of Saturday night’s induction.
The other inductees are former St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk, former Washington Redskins linebacker Chris Hanburger, former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Les Richter, former Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol.
Joe Gilliam, Dent’s former college coach at Tennessee State, made the trip to Canton, Ohio, despite some health problems.
Dent’s induction speech will focus on those who helped him escape the poverty of his youth, including his mother Mary, who died in his arms in 1989.
“I just knew the NFL could be a quick way to relieve stress and tension on my mother,” Dent said. “I would take a back seat and take less to give her more and allow her to appreciate life for a change. I had some bad-ass brothers back in the time, and I saw what my mother didn’t want to see, and I wanted one of her kids to turn out great. I was determined to turn out great on her behalf.”