FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 17th, 2015
COMCAST SPORTSNET LOOKS BACK AT THE GAME THAT ENDED A 14-YEAR PLAYOFF DROUGHT, ON THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF “BEARS CLASSICS”
‘Bears Classics’ presented by Knauz Automotive Group to debut Christmas Night (Friday, December 25) at 8:00 PM CT — Exclusively on Comcast SportsNet
Narrated by Chicago Bears/Pro Football Hall of Fame legend DICK BUTKUS
Chicago, IL (December 17, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet and the Chicago Bears will debut a brand new installment of its partnered Bears Classics presented by Knauz Automotive Group Emmy-winning documentary series when the network will once again go back in time to highlight a critical game between two legendary NFL franchises, one which would ultimately send the “Monsters” back to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
Debuting Christmas Night (Friday, December 25) at 8:00 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet, Bears Classics will turn back the clock to December 18, 1977. In final game of the regular season, the Bears traveled east to face their long-standing rival – the New York Giants – in a battle that would determine if the Bears playoff drought (since 1963 no less) would finally come to an end. This game in the Meadowlands featured horrendous weather conditions, including rain and near freezing temperatures. However, a determined Bears squad led by eventual 1977 NFL MVP Walter Payton, along with a group of young, hungry players, not only won this game in OT (their six-straight win to close out the season), but also set the table for a winning mindset in the years to come.
This hour-long installment of Bears Classics, subtitled One Giant Leap, takes an in-depth look at this turning point moment in Bears history featuring candid interviews with players and coaches from both teams, along with those who covered this historic game 38 years ago.
This edition of CSN’s Emmy-winning Bears Classics documentary series will once again be narrated by Chicago Bears legend/Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus. Butkus played for the Bears from 1965-1973 and is credited for redefining the middle linebacker position. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. Comcast SportsNet’s Sarah Lauch is the Executive Producer of Bears Classics, Willie Parker is the Producer, and Kevin Cross is the network’s Senior Director of News & Original Content.
In addition to the documentary narration by Butkus, among the numerous players/media/execs interviewed in this edition of Bears Classics include exclusive interviews with the following individuals:
Bears Safety (1976-87)
Bears Running Back (1975-82)
Bears Running Back/Tight End (1977-83)
Bears Offensive Tackle (1976-82); current CSN Bears analyst
Giants Tight End/Wide Receiver (1977-79); Bears Tight End (1982-88)
Bears Kicker (1975-82; 1983-84); current Illinois State Supreme Court Justice
Giants Linebacker (1976-88)
Giants Quarterback (1977-79)
Please note the following quotes from Comcast SportsNet’s premiere airing of Bears Classics: One Giant Leap, debuting Christmas Night (Friday, December 25) at 8:00 PM CT:
GARY FENCIK (on weather conditions): “I’ve never been so cold, ‘because you were wet and cold. And they’d just go ‘why don’t you just give up, we’ll get off the field too.”
ROLAND HARPER (on the 1977 Bears): “We were new, we were young, we were hungry…we wanted to try to do whatever we had to do (to win).”
HARRY CARSON (on the rarity of 1970’s overtime games): “Going into overtime…that was something that was the first time that I probably had experienced that situation being in the National Football League.”
DAN JIGGETTS (on Bears head coach/former NFL linebacker Jack Pardee): “That was a whole new world for him and we wanted to play for him, we really did because we respected the fact that this guy was a serious player.”
BOB THOMAS (on encouraging words from Bears teammate Bob Parsons): “I’m probably 5’10, 180 pounds and he’s like 6’2 or 6’3, like 240 right? And he picks me up by my shoulder pads and he said ‘Hey Bob, if you don’t make this kick, I’m going to break your neck.”
Comcast SportsNet will also re-air this episode of Bears Classics on Tue, Jan. 5 at 9pm and on Mon, Jan. 18 at 8pm. Details regarding the next installment of Bears Classics will be announced in the coming weeks. In addition, fans can also get interactive prior and during every airing of Bears Classics with their thoughts, memories and comments by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsClassics. Plus, CSNChicago.com will provide additional, online exclusive interviews and commentary write-ups from a variety of Comcast SportsNet on-air talent members and from CSNChicago.com’s Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year. In addition, CSN delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as the Chicago Bears, along with Emmy Award-winning regional sports news and analysis via SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live. Through the network’s growing digital platform, CSNChicago.com, Chicago sports fans tap into the most comprehensive and dedicated 24/7 online destination for breaking news, up-to-the-minute game previews/recaps, highlights, multimedia video clips, blogs and standout coverage from CSNChicago.com’s team of “Insiders.” Follow the network on Twitter via @CSNChicago.
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