I've taken a day and a half to reflect on Sunday's performance and ponder the future of the Chicago Bears. I've never been one to hide the fact that the Bears, these Bears, my Bears are the most consistently important element in my emotional life outside of my writing. That's just a fact. The performance of 53 guys for three hours and change each Sunday, 53 guys I've never met, can change the way I feel about the sun, moon and women I'm dating. They can make me want to lose weight and start therapy. They can also make me want to hole up in the corner of Miladys and Bass after Bass complain about the government and the lack of adventurous theatre producers.
Today is a Tuesday and I feel like it's Christmas morning. I woke up on the couch I'm soon to reside on full-time and before I could yawn or wonder what shit in my mouth while I slept, I hit POWER and wished a good morning to Mike and Mike on ESPNnews. Why? Per chance to spy a lady - the lady being one of the million NFL analysts on ESPN discussing the first place Chicago Bears. I've never been one to seek approval - though it's always welcome - but to hear Jaws or TJ or even Salisbury say, "Yes I think the Bears are going to win the NFC North" is the parental equivalent of "Dad, I love you." It fills me with a chocolate goodness that doesn't come from anywhere else in my life. When someone tells me, "I really enjoyed your play" all I hear is "They're just saying that" or "I need to follow it with something better." It's never just "Thanks, that's great."
You see, the thing is, being a sports fan is the most unselfish thing and individual can be (possibly outside of parenthood). It has nothing to do with me. It's simply love. Unconditional love. The death of Wellington Mara made me think that Jerry Seinfeld's idea that we all just root for laundry is rather foolish. The teams mean something to people. I've had my hearbroken by 41-0 Tampa Bay games and Autry Denson fumbles in the playoffs. I've been disappointed by Cade, Curtis and Rashaan.
So why was I borderline in tears following a win in Week 8? I wasn't sure then but a little reflection can answer questions. Beer helps, of course. But the truth is this: the Bears have been the only consistent in my life to this point. My parents split, the Bears were there. I lost my dream job, the Bears were there. The city came down around me, Mike Brown picked off a couple passes in overtime. Some people have God and faith. Some people have a tight, compassionate family. I'm sorry. I have the Chicago Bears. That's why Sunday mattered to me.
I once heard a parent (not my own) tell me that when her child fails, she feels like it's her failure. Not because she created the beast but because he's apart of her. He means more to her than she means to herself. It's Tuesday and I'm in the middle of writing a new play, a new musical and a kid's show. All I want to be doing is sitting in the third seat from the left at Josie's at 4:05 Sunday watching the Bears and the Saints in Baton Rouge.
They're the love of my life. Because win or lose, they're always going to be there.
But I'd rather them win.
#2 Max said . . .
Sunday was the first time I felt more emotional after a win they did I after a loss. It really felt like a turning point in my Bears fandom. There was just so much leading up to the game, such a belief that they should win. And, to be honest, it was kind of inspiring to watch a bunch of guys who you expect to turn over and die in bad situations to respond to that shitty call the way they did. They marched back out on the field and shut down the (albeit shitty) Lions offense. There's definitely a lot of irrationality to fandom, but the consistency is completely rational. Plus, it's just nice to have something to really hope for every week. There aren't all that many things in life that you can be deeply rooted in, yet have no control over. It's a fun feeling . . . at times.
November 1, 2005
November 1, 2005
Here at DaBearsBlog, you are free to kill us or the Bears as you so wish. You are not free, however, to be an asshole. So if you spew racism or ill-meaning foul language (cursing about football is just fine) or anything of that ilk, your comments ain't gonna last long, jerk.