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March 24 , 2008

Blood, Sweat, & Bears

Putting a "dent" in the Game I Love


Richard Dent, a cornerstone of the Bears’ overwhelming defense during their Super Bowl run, and a 2011 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was an 8th-round draft pick out of tiny Tennessee State in 1983. The tall and skinny rookie would become a 4-time Pro Bowl selection who also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles. Dent wound up his brilliant 15-year career with 137.5 sacks, eight interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns. But Dent’s fascinating story—told for the first time in Blood, Sweat, & Bears is more about a young man beating the odds than about a football player racking up statistics. Coming out of a small college with less fanfare than many of his high-profile peers, Dent talks about the inherent disrespect he received, especially early in his career, even though his production rivaled that of most other players at his position. The book, written with veteran Chicago Tribune sportswriter Fred Mitchell, takes the reader behind the scenes, into the huddle and inside the locker room of one of the fiercest, most dominant defenses in NFL history. Playing in the NFL during a time before violent helmet-to-helmet tackles were not forbidden, Dent discusses the direction of the current game in this candid book. “Fans want to see hard hits and collisions,” says Dent. “If the NFL wanted to make the game perfectly safe, they would have the players wearing leather helmets and soft shoulder pads. But who would want to spend their money to come out and watch that?” Dent also discusses Hall of Fame teammates, such as Walter Payton, and his at-times turbulent relationship with Coach Mike Ditka. A quarter of a century after the brash Bears filmed The Super Bowl Shuffle music video before winning the championship game, Dent is ready to tell his personal saga, as well as the rest of the intriguing story behind the 1985 Bears. Blood, Sweat, & Bears hits hard… just like its Hall of Fame auth
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