Bears great Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael celebrates Hall of Fame induction amid ongoing ALS battle


It’s been a long time coming, but Chicago Bears legend Steve “Mongo” McMichael will finally be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The 66-year-old was included in the 2024 seniors category of finalists. 

McMichael’s name was announced during Thursday’s NFL Honors ceremony. A senior finalist must garner a minimum of 80% of the votes to be selected for induction. Mongo received enough votes to cross the minimum threshold.

Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester and Julius Peppers headline the star-studded group of modern era players in the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Peppers and Hester both played for the Bears.

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Chicago Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael (76) prior to the 1986 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots at the Superdome in New Orleans Jan. 26, 1986. The Bears defeated the Patriots 46-10. (Manny Rubio/USA Today Sports)

The number of former Bears players enshrined in Canton has increased to 39. 

2024 CLASS OF PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME REVEALED: DWIGHT FREENEY, DEVIN HESTER HEADLINE STAR-STUDDED GROUP

McMichael’s wife, Misty, said the former defensive tackle got the call about being named a finalist in August. A family spokesperson said a petition and letter-writing campaign in support of McMichael was launched in 2022.

McMichael, who suffers from ALS, was also hospitalized in August 2023 and admitted to an ICU with sepsis and put on two IV antibiotics, the spokesperson said. He was unconscious at the time of his hospitalization.

He was later diagnosed with pneumonia.

Misty also lobbied for McMichael’s Hall of Fame enshrinement, saying, “He needs to see himself enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Please pray for him to get through this.”

Steve McMichael speaks during a ceremony

Misty McMichael, wife of Steve McMichael, during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 press conference at the Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas Feb. 8, 2024. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

“The beloved Super Bowl XX Champion is battling ALS, which has progressed to the point of leaving McMichael paralyzed from the neck down, unable to speak, breathe or eat on his own,” a release ahead of his finalist announcement stated. 

“The hope of being inducted into the Hall of Fame has sustained Steve throughout his three-year fight against the debilitating and cruel disease.”

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McMichael spent the majority of his standout career in Chicago and helped lead the franchise to the Super Bowl title during the 1985 season. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to four All-Pro teams. 

His finished his Bears career with 92½ sacks.

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