(CBS) One of the most iconic moments of recent Bears history is return man Devin Hester taking the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl in February 2007 back for a touchdown. Chicago went on to lose to Indianapolis, but the return in part symbolized the defense and special teams foundation that the Lovie Smith era was built on.
Turns out, there’s an interesting backstory to Hester’s touchdown.
On Monday morning, former Colts coach Tony Dungy told the Dan Patrick Show that in the week leading up to the game, he had every intention of not kicking to Hester, the NFL’s most dangerous return man who now holds the league record for return touchdowns. Then the night before the game, Dungy reconsidered, to his detriment.
“We had decided all week that we were not going to kick the ball to Devin Hester,” Dungy said. “That night after the meeting, I thought, ‘That’s really playing scared. We’re not going to do that.’ So the next morning, I gtold the team when we were going to the game, ‘I hope we lose the toss, because if we do, we’re going to kick it right down the middle to Hester and we’re going to pound him. And when they know we’ve taken their best threat, they’re going to be finished.
“Thirteen seconds later, he was in the end zone, and everybody’s looking at me like, ‘Who’s (idea was) that?’ I looked back and said, ‘I told them we’d have a storm.'”