Matt Suhey - Greatest Chicago Bears "Grabowskis" from the past series

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by JustAnotherBearsFan99, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    Member of the Month DBS Writer

    May 21, 2012
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    I've had a long lifetime of good memories of Chicago Bears players. But I think the memories that I am most fond of are of Matt Suhey blocking for Walter Payton. Together they were poetry in motion. I've never (before or since) seen a running back duo as beautiful to watch as those two were. Some nights when I'm a bit down emotionally, I'll pop a DVD in and watch those two & it just warms my heart to watch how great they were together. It was special. I still have a hard time grasping that Walter is dead now. It doesn't seem possible that somebody that full of life passed away so soon.

    Matt Suhey was a fullback for the Chicago Bears from 1980 to 1989. He was a second round draft pick from Penn State University, and not a popular pick at the time. The Bears already had a popular fullback, Roland Harper, at that time who also happened to be a very close friend of Walter Payton - whom he was often the lead blocker for. Hall of Fame general manager, Jim Finks, saw something special in Suhey and decided to draft him anyway. Looking back, I can now see that this was a brilliant move by a brilliant GM. Matt Suhey never became a "star" player. Never made the pro bowl, or earned any other special honors as a Chicago Bear.

    He made a big difference for the Chicago Bears all the same.

    When he came to the Bears that first year as a rookie, Walter Payton wouldn't even talk to him. Part of that was probably due to him being a rookie at a position where Walter's friend, Roland Harper, was the starter. Matt, a quiet guy, just busted his butt and worked hard to learn his craft. He was a blue-collar "Grabowski" kind of player from day-1. Ultimately he earned the respect of Walter Payton, and the team, and had an incredible career.

    The knock on Matt Suhey when drafted was that he was NOT a very good blocking FB, and of course on the Bears of that era, blocking was "Job 1" and here was a guy from Penn State who wasn't supposed to be a good blocker. But he worked hard, and learned to be a rock-solid all around fullback. He became a stellar blocker for Walter Payton, and he was a very decent receiver - and one heck of a good runner too, when teams keyed and sold out to stopping Payton. I don't know how many games I saw teams hurt by Suhey when they over-committed on Payton. This was especially true in the '85 super bowl year. Matt made 'em pay when they forgot about him. Bigtime.​

    Most of you probably know that Matt ended up becoming Walter's best friend. Even when Walter was dying, Matt was the one who stood by him, and helped take care of Walter and his family. There are some wonderful articles about Matt, and his relationship with Walter. I'll post a few of them here. They are worth reading.

    LINK to "Still Watching Out For Walter"
    Still watching out for Walter
    Suhey paved way for Payton,
    and stepped in when friend's family needed him most

    If you ever get an opportunity to watch "A Football Life" Walter Payton, you'll see a lot of great Matt Suhey related stuff too.

    I tried to find video on Matt Suhey, and I couldn't find anything. He was just another Chicago Bears "Grabowski" guy and the highlights were always about Walter Payton. But if you watch the Payton highlights, you'll always see Matt laying the wood on defenders and springing Walter for big runs. Suhey never got the glory, but he seemed just fine with that. He was the kind of player that great teams need, but they are also the guys who just quietly bust their butt making the "stars" better. Consummate team players. Get 'er done players.

    If anyone has any Matt Suhey related video, articles or pics, please post them here for us to enjoy. Thanks.

    - Dave

    #1 JustAnotherBearsFan99, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
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  2. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods.
    Staff Member

    Feb 17, 2006
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    Bloody Mary
    Great stuff!
  3. a_miljan

    a_miljan Pro-Bowler

    Aug 11, 2013
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    excellent reading, appreciate that JABF!

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