The ugliness of the Packers-Bears rivalry under Green Bay head coach Forrest Gregg reaches a new level as Packers defensive tackle Charles Martin body-slams Chicago QB Jim McMahon to the Soldier Field turf, earning a two-game suspension and ruining the Bears’ chances to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
The egregious hit, considered one of the dirtiest if not the dirtiest in NFL history, came several seconds after McMahon threw an interception. The play was essentially over when Martin threw a bear hug around McMahon, picked him up, and slammed him to the ground on a bad shoulder that had forced McMahon to miss the four previous games. The two-game suspension was the first multi-game ban for an on-field incident.TV cameras showed Martin with a white towel hanging from his waist with several uniform numbers written on it, including McMahon’s No. 9, making the towel a “hit list” of sorts. Chicago head coach Mike Ditka reportedly never forgave Gregg for allowing his players to behave in such a way. The Bears would go on to win the game and finish the regular season 14-2, but they’d lose in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Packers went 4-12.