Steve McMichael

Family of Bears' Steve McMichael to make Pro Football Hall of Fame announcement

Steve "Mongo" McMichaels, 65, has been battling ALS for three years

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Editor's Note: The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that Steve McMichael had been named as one of three finalists in the Senior category to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Our updated story can be found here. Our original story continues below.

A spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is looking brighter for legendary Chicago Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael after the former Bear received "the call" Tuesday afternoon, a press release said.

McMichael's wife, Misty, is scheduled to hold a press conference on the matter at 12 p.m. Wednesday at the former Bears' home in Homer Glen, the release said. According to the release, the McMichaels are "sworn to secrecy until noon," when the Pro Football Hall of Fame will release a statement on the final three former players chosen for the Seniors category.

Earlier this month, McMichael, 65, who suffers from ALS, was admitted to the ICU unconscious with sepsis and put on two IV antibiotics. He was later diagnosed with pneumonia, Wednesday's release said.

"He needs to see himself enshrined in the Hall of Fame," his wife Misty said in a statement at the time of the hospitalization. "Please pray for him to get through this."

According to the press release issued Wednesday, McMichael's three-year battle with ALS has continued to worsen. "The beloved Super Bowl XX Champion is battling ALS which has progressed to the point of leaving McMichael paralyzed from the neck down, unable to speak, breathe or eat on his own," the release said. "The hope of being inducted into the Hall of Fame has sustained Steve throughout his three year fight against the debilitating and cruel disease," the release added.

Are any other Chicago Bears in the running for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

After Devin Hester missed out on his chance to enter the Hall of Fame this year, star defensive tackle Steve McMichael and longtime owner Virginia McCaskey were both named as semifinalists to be inducted next year as part of the senior, coach/contributor categories.

But in July, the team announced only one was left standing.

McMichael, known to many as Mongo, was selected as one of 12 Senior semifinalists.

The other senior semifinalists were Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Roger Craig, Randy Gradishar, Joe Jacoby, Albert Lewis, Eddie Meador, Art Powell, Sterling Sharpe, Otis Taylor and Al Wistert.

McMichael played 13 of his 15 seasons for the Bears and was a key cog in the 1985 Super Bowl champion defense. He was a two-time First-Team All-Pro, two-time Second-Team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler. McMichael led the defense with 11.5 sacks in 1988, beating out both Richard Dent and Dan Hampton. His 92.5 career sacks with the Bears rank second in franchise history, behind only Dent’s 124.5 sacks.

McCaskey was named among 29 initial semifinalists in the Coach/Contributor category, but the team added that she was not selected to move on in the process.

McCaskey is often considered the matriarch of the NFL, as the daughter of George Halas who founded both the Bears and the league over 100 years ago. When Halas died in 1983, McCaskey became the principal owner of the team. She is the longest tenured owner in the league, yet she’s left the responsibilities of running the team to her family. Regardless of her hands-off approach, Virginia remains the face of the Halas-McCaskey family, and is venerated as an owner of the NFL’s charter franchise. She turned 100 years old earlier this year.

The senior and coach/contributor committees for the Hall of Fame were put in place to ensure players whose careers ended at least 25 years ago, coaches who have been out of the game for at least five years, and others who have left an impact on the game continue to be considered for Canton. Just like the modern-era ballots, the list of semi-finalists will be reduced to a list of finalists. Then those finalists need to receive at least 80% of a vote to be elected.

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