Walter Payton Man of the Year

The Chicago Bears defense of 1985 is routinely regarded as one of the most fierce and dominant units in NFL history. That season, the Bears compiled a 15-1 regular season record en route to their 46-10 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Never before has a defense so seamlessly intimidated their opponents week in, week out. And, perhaps no Bears player better embodied the gritty work ethic of Chicago football more during that 1985 season than legendary linebacker Mike Singletary.

Known as Samurai Mike and the Minister of Defense, Singletary's tenure in Chicago was defined by his stellar play and uncanny leadership on the football field. Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft, the former Baylor linebacker quickly became one of the team's unquestioned defensive anchors.

Over the course of his 12-year career, Singletary was selected to 10-straight Pro Bowls and was an eight-time All Pro. The Hall of Fame linebacker and 1990 winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award also collected nearly 1,500 total tackles during his tenure, and finished as the team's first or second leading tackler in each of his last 11 seasons. It's no surprise, too, that on top of winning a Super Bowl following the 1985 season, Singletary also took home the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Today, Singletary uses his love of life and sports to help inspire others and improve the community around him. His work with the March of Dimes Foundation is aimed at seeking ways to improve the health of babies by preventing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. Through his work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Singletary and others try to encourage both athletes and coaches at all levels to make a difference within their community through integrity, teamwork and excellence. Both are fitting causes for the Minister of Defense.

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