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Even ’85 Bear’s visit can’t bring fans victory

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

SANDWICH — Fans huddled around 1985 Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson before Sunday’s highly-anticipated NFC Championship game between Chicago and Green Bay.

“It’s a special day to think it has been 70 years since the Bears and Packers have played in a playoff game,” Duerson said.

“They’ve never played with anything more on the line than pride. This is special today, because the winner is going to the Super Bowl.”

Bears fans said they were sure the Bears would send the Packers back home.

“This is a bigger game to me than the Super Bowl,” said Richard Clark of Remington, Ind.

But it would be the Bears that were sent home packing, after losing to their oldest rivals 21-14 in Soldier Field. Their last-minute drive for the tying score — led by their third quarterback of the game — was snuffed by a Packers interception.

Duerson’s former teammate, defensive tackle Steve McMichael, invited him to start the party at Mongo’s On Main in Sandwich, where he is a partner.

The two legendary 1985 Bears signed autographs and posed for pictures with people who came from all over to share a moment with the Bears dynasty.

Duerson said it’s likely the Bears were feeling an awesome sense of anxiety.

“It calms at kick-off, but right now their stomachs are churning,” Duerson said before the game began.

Duerson said he decided to fly in from Miami Beach knowing it would be frigid weather in Chicago.

“When I boarded my flight, it was four degrees in Chicago — I had second thoughts,” Duerson said. “But Steve is a very good friend of mine — he’s like a brother. When Steve called and asked me to be at Mongo’s on Main to be with fans, I told him enough said — I am on the plane.”

Duerson said it has been awesome to be part of the Bears dynasty, but he was hoping their 25-year run as the last Bears to win a Super Bowl would come to a close.

“The fact they made it to a championship game says a great deal about the Bears and the talent they’ve put together. They surprised me all year long and kept finding ways to win,” he said.

Bears fans took the loss hard.

“I am so disappointed — we were so close to the Super Bowl,” said 25-year-old Tiffany Hamling of Sandwich.

“It’s horribly disappointing, but it was fun to sit with Bears people and hope a lot,” said Margo Romme of Plano.

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