CHICAGO — It's become a ritual on my way to Bears home games.
As I pull into the Soldier Field media lot, I'm playing "The Super Bowl Shuffle" to get in the mood.
What else is there with a injury-riddled team that lacks offensive weapons, is an underdog its first nine games, and has an overpaid coach who's 9-24?
And so we shuffle on, always hopeful.
"The Super Bowl Shuffle" is a wildly popular rap song performed by Bears players on the 1985 team. It was released prior to their winning Super Bowl XX, peaking at No. 41 in February 1986 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Former Bears' defensive great Dan Hampton has mixed feelings about the seemingly-innocent dance video.
An accomplished musician, Hampton took football so seriously, he refused to participate in "The Super Bowl Shuffle," thinking it was "too cocky."
There has to be regrets, now 32 years later. Right?
"No, no, no," Hampton said at the Calumet College of St. Joseph fundraiser last Saturday.
"Willie (Gault) came to me and said: 'You gotta be in it 'cause you're the only guy who plays an instrument.' I read the words and even though it wasn't derogatory towards anyone, it's like 'We're going to the Super Bowl.'''
But the biggest game was still a month away.
"How do you know what it takes to get to the Super Bowl?" Hampton said. "It's almost a process problem. If we had been to the Super Bowl the previous year, I probably would've done it."
Sports has always been about jinxes and superstitions since the first dinosaur was flattened by a swift rock to the noggin.
And so Hampton balked and was left behind.
Joining "Speedy Willie" Gault were Walter "Sweetness" Payton, "Samurai" Mike Singletary, "Punky QB'' Jim McMahon, Otis "Mama's Boy" Wilson, "L.A." Mike Richardson, Richard "Sackman" Dent, William "Refrigerator" Perry, "Mr. Clean" Gary Fencik and Steve Fuller.
They became part of the first sports team to have its own rap video. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1985 for best rhythm and blues performance by a group, eventually losing to Kiss.
"That year, I did not like putting the cart before the horse," Hampton said. "I'm an old-fashioned guy about you gotta first put the hay in the barn."
Steve "Mongo" McMichael had been approached to take Hampton's place, but being even more superstitious than the "Danimal," also turned down the video offer.
"I didn't have any second thoughts about the team doing it," Hampton said. "I just didn't feel comfortable. Somebody had to be the adult and keep the rig on the road."
Over $300,000 in profits from the song was donated to the Chicago Community Trust to help needy families in Chicago with clothing, shelter, and food — the video's original intent.
Sadly, Bears players are not allowed to perform the song at public appearances.
Julia Meyer of Renaissance Marketing Corporation has the copyright to the video and has threatened legal action if they do, according to Hampton.
But you can find it on YouTube and watch it until your eyes burn.
Here's just a taste:
"We are the Bears Shufflin' Crew.
Shufflin' on down, doin' it for you.
We're so bad we know we're good.
Blowin' your mind like we knew we would.
You know we're just struttin' for fun.
Struttin' our stuff for everyone.
We're not here to start no trouble.
We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle."