My Life as a Chicago Bears Fan
by, 11-06-2010 at 02:40 AM (1801 Views)
I have only been a Chicago Bears fan now for about five years, four years if you count my closely keeping up with them. It seems to me that unless you have been through some really dark periods in your life, you can't appreciate what a sports team means to you. That can be stated in my case with the Bears. Let me tell you about my relationship and love affair with the franchise.
I began to "keep my eyes and ears open" to the Bears in 2005 when they made their run to a division title. I knew that the team had its struggles with the offense, but I also was aware that it had a great defense, much like this team has (only better), and that it probably was only a year away from breaking out and becoming a real force to be reckoned with in the NFL. Luckily, this was proven correct, for in the Summer of 2006, I suffered my third nervous breakdown in over a four-year span. I needed something to latch on to in the worst way, and what better timing would the Bears have of becoming a championship contender than to do so at a time I was most in need? Dad told me about knowing DE Doug Atkins as a kid growing up in Knoxville, TN, (I live in the suburb of Knoxville called Powell), and I grew even more interested in the team. I didn't have NFL Sunday Ticket, but I clearly remember watching NBC's Football Night in America on the opening Sunday night game of the year and hearing about the Bears shutting out the Packers, 26-0. That caught my attention; for I believe it was Cris Collinsworth who made the comment, "If the Bears can somehow manage to score more than 21 points a game, they will be contenders again with their defense." Using sheer logical deduction, I knew that, come hell or high water, the Bears had what it took to score that amount, and that their defense was back atop of the NFL.
The first game I watch during the season was also a Sunday Night Football match up, against the Seattle Seahawks. The Bears skewered them, 37-6, as I can recall very vividly a beautiful Rex Grossman bomb to Bernard Berrian in the end zone. I knew i was in love with the team then. They had captured my imagination, and the next morning, as I was unemployed due to losing my job when I became sick as well as not in school because of my health, I started hunting for "Bear Down, Chicago Bears." I must have listened to that song untold numbers of times over a period of weeks.
Perhaps the defining moment for me was the game at Arizona. Somehow, with the offense not clicking and Rex Grossman just being, well, GROSS, MAN, the combination of the offense and the defense produced all the scoring necessary to lead the Bears to an improbable 24-23 victory.
Another high point for me was the game at the Meadowlands against the Giants. The Bears get down 10-0 to the big blue bullies before Rex Grossman showed that he wasn't completely inept all the time. Before I know it, a 108 yard Devin Hester kick return for a touchdown put the icing on the cake in a 38-20 Bears victory. I was in absolute hog heaven, and no, not of the Washington Redskins variety.
Some low points during the regular season were the losses to Miami, New England, and the rematch with the Packers. By those games, injuries as well as inconsistencies by Rex Grossman began taking their toll. But then, just like my Bipolar Disorder tends to do, the rollercoaster continue with its wild ups and downs. The game against Minnesota was thrilling as it was won in traditional Monsters of the Midway fashion: special teams and a hard core defense. It was also the game where Tommie Harris injured his knee and was lost for the season, thus having a dramatic effect on the Bears defense. Their run defense was affected adversely, nearly costing Chicago game against St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Detroit while losing in the process to Green Bay. Thus, the Bears stumbled and hobbled into the playoffs.
For Christmas in 2006, I asked my family to buy me a brand new official Brian Urlacher jersey. We got a sweet deal on my size 56 off of E-bay, paying only about $50 because of its large size. I was officially ready for the playoffs.
I watched every single postseason game the Bears played with great fervor. The rematch with Seattle made me nervous before hand because I knew that they would be out for blood against us, especially now that the Bears were sans three All-Pro defenders (Mike Brown, Tommie Frazier, and Nathan Vasher), yet somehow pulled it out in OT. Then there was the beautiful NFC Championship Game, where Grossman, not at his best but definitely not at his worst either, guided the Bears to a 39-14 thanks to over 200 rushing yards put up on the legs of Thomas Jones (who we should NEVER have let go) and Cedric Benson. The defense was masterful at keeping the best offense in the NFC out of the end zone, and silenced any doubt as to which team deserved to go to Miami for Super Bowl XLI.
However, my season would end in heartbreak because of Rex Grossman's fumbling, stumbling, and throwing two interceptions, one of which was returned by Bob Sanders for a touchdown that put the Colts out in front to stay; it ended in a 29-17 Colts victory. The game got off to a fast start, with Devin Hester returning the opening kick off for a touchdown, the first time that had ever happened in the history of the Super Bowl. Manning looked shaky all game, but managed to, well, "manage" the offense just enough to guide his team to victory, along with help from Rex Grossman. (Should someone have investigated Grossman for collusion with our various opponents?)
That, in a nutshell, is the story of how I became a lover of Chicago Bears football. It's a bit mushy, I know, but if you really believe that the world of sports can make a difference in the lives of people, my story is a sticking testament to that account. I will never again align myself with another NFL franchise, as I was once a Cowboys fan during the Jimmy Johnson era of the early-to-mid 1990s. The reason I lost interest in the Cowboys was because I wasn't mature enough to remain a part of their fan base despite all the hard times they have incurred since their last championship. I wanted instant gratification, wins, championships, and when I wasn't getting that anymore, I bolted. However, I have since grown up enough to see that loyalty to one's team goes deeper than simply wins and losses; it's a matter of blood. The Bears are now coursing deep through my veins, and I look forward to every Sunday that they are on. Even though they have struggled since the '06 Super Bowl season, I will always find time periodically to pop in the DVD set of The History of the Chicago Bears and watch the 1985 championship season in review. Recently, I have suffered through a severe depression, and sometimes that's the only thing that will make me "un-sad". They really are therapeutic, even for crazy folks like me!0 BEAR DOWN!, 0 High Fives, 0 Like, 0 Dislikes, 0 Fap, 0 Facepalm