Three Questions with a Bears Fan, Episode V: “Through the Bookcase” with NoahBrier.com

| March 30th, 2020

I first met Noah Brier in the fall of 2000. And then a bunch of stuff happened in the 20 years since, including him starting this site to stop me from ranting and raving. He drunkenly proclaimed a bathroom was “through the bookcase” in London. We shared a Honeymoon Suite for the Oscars in Frankfurt (because he booked the wrong flight home). We were on a train that split in half in Poland, and ended up befriending the drunkest bowling alley proprietor in Eastern Europe. In Dublin we learned one of life’s great traveling lessons: never start with a finale.

He has a new company.

He has a blog.

He has a newsletter.

He has a Twitter feed that’s become very Coronavirus-specific these days.

DBB: December 2nd 2001. Bears/Lions. Your first experience as a Bears fan. (And one of the great sessions in the history of Ditka’s Restaurant.) I know I feel like I was born into this life but you made the conscious choice as an adult to join the Bears fan parade. Do you regret that decision? If not, what’s been the best part of being a born again Bears fan?

Noah: Well, I can’t say there aren’t moments where I think I should have just become a Giants or Pats fan (growing up in Connecticut both were reasonable options). They’ve put away a collective eight Super Bowls since 2001. But that just seems … boring? Also, compared to the Knicks, who are my only other serious rooting interest, the Bears are a model franchise. So do I regret it? No, not at all. I think the only way to be a sports fan is to believe that all the agony will only make the victory that much sweeter. Plus, I’ve collected some completely absurd memories on trips to Chicago over the last 20 years with you (watching the Bears get destroyed in a literal blizzard, the guy sitting behind us at the playoff game last year giving the worst commentary any person has ever given during a football game, and Joey Harrington—JOEY HARRINGTON!—beating us at Soldier Field in 2006) and there’s no way I would have more fun road-tripping to Foxboro. 

DBB: Our seats for the Cody Parkey game were basically at the exact spot of his double doink. We then went to Lou Malnati’s for dinner and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you that depressed. Where does that experience sit on your depression landscape?

Noah: Pretty bad. When the Bears lost the Super Bowl, I was in a pretty bad place the next day. I had let myself believe they were going to win and imagined how amazing the day after would be. After they lost, I found the hardest part was having to dial back all those things I imagined doing and feeling the day after the Bears were Super Bowl Champions. I would like to think that I learned something from that lesson, but that ending was completely deflating. Everyone was so happy and excited to be there (you had Bears underwear on outside your pants!). And that drive from Mitch at the end really felt like this was it, the Bears were finally going to be the ones to pull out a win like this. And then the kick happened. We were probably on the thirty and my memory of it is every sports movie cliche: time felt like it slowed down and the ball took forever. I remember thinking after the first bounce that it was still gonna make it. Walking out of that stadium with thousands of Bears fans’ heads down was tough. 

Then we ate a lot of pizza and it was delicious.

DBB: You have two daughters. Will you impose Bears fandom onto them, or let them make their own sports decisions, if any?

Noah: I will impose Bears fandom. My oldest can sing the opening verses of Bear Down, Chicago Bears (which are the only ones we ever sing at the bar anyway). Outside of that, I think I’ll let them find their own way. Putting the Knicks burden on them is a bridge too far.

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