Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael to be inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame amid ALS battle

Former Bears Devin Hester, Julius Peppers also among Hall of Fame inductees

Friday, February 9, 2024
Bears legend Steve McMichael awaits potential NFL Hall of Fame honor
Steve McMichael, Chicago Bears legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, is awaiting an announcement Thursday.

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (WLS) -- Our coverage of this topic has moved here.

Chicago Bears legends Steve "Mongo" McMichael was announced as part of the latest class of inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Thursday.

Fellow former Bears Devin Hester and Julius Peppers will also be honored.

McMichael has been awaiting the special announcement as he battles ALS.

He played 13 seasons with the Bears, making the Pro Bowl in five of them.

While the ravages of ALS have robbed him of the ability to move or speak, his wife Misty has been his strongest advocate.

"It means everything to us," Misty said.

McMichael communicates through a special device that follows eye movements. He has made it clear how much the Hall of Fame means to him. Former teammates are also thrilled for him.

"I've always been an advocate of him being in the Hall of Fame," ESPN 1000 host Tom Waddle said. "It shouldn't have taken this much time. He should've been in years ago."

Waddle played with McMichael a couple of years after the '85 Super Bowl team. He said Mongo deserves to be in the Hall of Fame based on statistics alone, and sportswriters who covered the team agree.

"With Mongo, you just knew you were watching something special," said Rick Telander with the Chicago Sun-Times. "I just knew. You could tell."

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McMichael's former coach, Mike Ditka, said he is a great guy and was a great team player that made everyone around him better.

Mongo waited years until the Hall of Fame seniors committee selected him. He had plenty of support from Bears fans, including many from Homer Glen, where McMichael now lives. They passed a resolution urging the Hall of Fame to include the former Bear.

"This is a magical moment for him and for our village and we're proud of him," Homer Glen Mayor Christina Neitzke-Troike said.

The Bears already have the most players in the Hall of Fame. Devin Hester and Steve McMichael are the latest. Many people in the Homer Glen community are already making plans to be in Canton, Ohio, in August for the induction ceremony.

"This will go down in the history books of Homer Glen," Homer Glen trustee Dan Fielko said.