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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
An honor 25 years in the making

By Melissa Isaacson



CHICAGO -- Jay Hilgenberg remembers sitting on the edge of the bed in his Honolulu hotel room, getting ready to catch a bus to his first Pro Bowl practice, when he turned on the television.

It was Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1986.

"I was putting my flip-flops on, all fired up to go out there as a Super Bowl champ, and started watching the launch go off," the Bears center said of a scene that would become the biggest disasters in the history of the U.S. Space program.

"All of a sudden," Hilgenberg said of any Super Bowl afterglow, "man, that was the end of that."

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