Iconic Freer product Steve McMichael says he has ALS

Posted at 5:54 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 22:31:57-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Steve McMichael, a star defensive tackle on the Chicago Bears' 1985 Super Bowl championship team and a legendary player at Freer High School and the University of Texas, says he has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 63-year-old McMichael disclosed his condition to the Chicago Tribune.

The disease, also known as ALS, affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing a loss of muscle control.

McMichael said his arms began tingling a while back and thought it was because of neck or spine issues from his playing days or while he was a professional wrestler, The Associated Press reported.

He went to the Mayo Clinic in September, and a neurosurgeon suggested he had ALS. He sought other opinions, and doctors in Chicago confirmed the diagnosis in January.

McMichael said he went public with his diagnosis "because he wanted people to know why he will no longer make appearances or provide analysis of the Bears on Chicago’s WMVP-AM."

McMichael was an All-Pro in 1985 and 1987.

He played in a franchise-record 191 consecutive games from 1981 to 1993 and ranks second to Richard Dent on the Bears' all-time sacks list with 92 1/2.

During his senior season at Freer, McMichael lettered in six sports for the Buckaroos - football, baseball, basketball, track, tennis and golf.

He chose a scholarship offer from Texas over those from 75 other schools. He played defensive tackle for the Longhorns from 1976-79, earning consensus first-team All-America honors his senior season.