CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael revealed this week that he has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and gradually breaks down bodily function. There is no cure.
Here are some important facts about McMichael, his career and his current physical condition.
- McMichael told the Chicago Tribune that he was diagnosed three months ago. He has lost function in both his arms, and his legs are failing, too.
- McMichael was born in 1957 in Houston and was an All-American defensive tackle at the University of Texas. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1980, but only played one season there.
- The Chicago Bears signed him as a free agent in 1981, and he became a starter on one of the most feared defensive lines in NFL history. He helped lead the Bears to their only Super Bowl victory–Super Bowl XX in January, 1986 over the Patriots. He made the NFL Pro Bowl twice, in 1986 and 1987.
- McMichael finished his career with the rival Green Bay Packers. “For 13 years, I helped the Bears beat the Packers every year. I whupped their ass, right? So the last year, I went up there on my last leg and I wasn’t any good anymore. So I stole their money and whipped their ass again!” he told the Tribune in 2019.
- McMichael found a second career has a professional wrestler for about 10 years after his football days were over.
- McMicheal performed in a band, the Chicago 6, which included former teammates Dan Hampton and Otis Wilson.
- McMichael ran for mayor of Romeoville in 2013. He lost.
- McMicheal has been married to his second wife, Misty, for 20 years. They have a daughter.