When I was a kid, he Chicago Bears were basically Walter Payton. The only other consistent bright spots came from Doug Plank and Gary Fencik on defense.
No. 45 (Fencik) and No. 46 (Plank) were terrors on defense. I am biased, but I don't recall any safety duo hitting harder than they did. They might not have gotten a lot of interceptions, but they were feared by receivers.
Plank played for eight seasons, while Fencik played 12, including the 1985 Super Bowl season. They played seven seasons as a tandem. For those seven seasons, the Bears made the playoffs twice as wildcards, but the team was pretty mediocre. Fencik and Plank gave fans reasons to cheer the defense.
Fencik went on to have a successful career in business. Plank became a coach. The Bears dominating Super Bowl era defense was named the $^ after him.
I met the pair at a small, but great memorabilia show in Rosemont. Meeting the two together was so cool. It seemed natural they should be together.
As agent Mark Childers took my picture with the pair, Fencik questioned why I didn't get autographs. With all due respect, I appreciated the offer, but the picture is all I wanted. This picture means a lot to me. It brings me back to my childhood days when watching the Bears was frustrating, but Chicago sports was my main concern in life. I immediately texted the pic to my childhood friend Tom.
The promoters have more shows scheduled. I hope they continue to have former players like Plank and Fencik.
Gary Fencik, Doug Plank and me in Rosemont, IL-July 2022.