Granted, I had 16 solid years in Chicago as a youth and pull for all things Chicago except the Cubs or Chicago native Isaiah Thomas...so I can't call myself a "casual fan". What I can do is give you some overwhelming evidence as to why you should pull for not only the Bears on Sunday...but for the city of Chicago.
10. Real city vs. Fake City. Anyone ever been to Indianapolis? Me neither. On top of that, the Colts aren't even Indianapolis'...they're Baltimore's. Root for a real city that has a team that's their's. Plus, the Bears have a team song...and I love professional teams with songs.
9. The Owners. Look at the background on Jim Irsay from the Colts. He was GM when he was 24 because his Dad bought the Baltimore Colts. So you're going to root for the male version of Paris Hilton??? Plus, this guy had a legal battle with his stepmom, he's a drug addict, and his Dad is from CHICAGO!!! Or, you can root for Virginia Halas McCaskey aka "Mama Bear", Daughter of "Papa Bear" George Halas. Did you see when Virginia was wheeled out to the field during the NFC Title Game? I haven't teared up like that since Juan Uribe dove into the crowd for the 2nd out of Game 4 in 2006. Her family is the face of the franchise and you can't buy tradition like that.
8. The Food. Polish Sausage, Italian Beef, Deep Dish Pizza, and a popcorn joint where people stand in line for 2 hours just to get a couple of bags of poped corn (don't believe me? Well, I did it Christmas 2006). Anyone who's ever had an authentic Chicago deep dish would be willing to tell you that it's so good. How good is it? It's so good, that they'll root for the city's football team that the pizza derives from. I couldn't tell you what an Indianapolis delicacy is...but I'm willing to wager it's got a cottage cheese base. Gyyyosh.
7. The Fans. We all know about the Superfans. I always wondered what the average American who has never been to Chicago thought about that skit. Think it's a little overdone? Well, yes, maybe a little. But these guys exist. Any non-believers should've come to my next family reunion. When you go to Soldiers Field you'll probably never see a more jolly bunch of "oversized" adults in team jerseys and parkas bearing (pun intended) the Chicago logo at one time (Lambeau might be the only exception). Who are these Colts fans? A bunch of pansies who are still trying to get over the depressing news of Al Unser Jr's DUI and get to sit in a Dome every Sunday? Where's the fun in that? P ull for the fans of Chicago. They are you. They are me. They are we. They are America.
6. Sports Significance. As you heard in the "Superfans" skit, the Bulls are "a pleasant diversion to Da Bears" which was the truth even during the 90s when the Bulls created a dynasty. The rankings of sports importance in Chicago goes like so:
- Cubs (F'ers. But it's true. Funny how that happens when a team is owned by the newspaper)
I have to imagine the rankings in Indy go like this:
- Indy Car Racing
- NBA - gotta pull for those Pacers
- NBA (this one is actually the National Ballet Assocation. HUGE in Indy...Go Twinkletoes!)
- Colts (or as Indy fans call them..."who?")
Root for a city that lives and dies by the Bears. UGA fans like me should sympathize for Chicago Bears fans who've been waiting for a title since 1985. I know I know, Indy has never won a Championship...but do they even care? It's like NBA fans pulling for the Hawks to win it all because Atlanta has never seen a basketball championship. WE COULD CARE LESS...same goes for the Colts "fans". Next time the Hoosiers are in the Finals, pull for them (as we all did in 2002 because that's Indy's real love), but leave the NFL to a team and city that actually cares.
5. Underdogs. J-Mass had a point about this in his blog but it isn't valid. Sure the Bears say they've been underdogs all year, which I admit isn't true, but the fact remains that all experts were picking the Saints last week and those same analysts are picking the Colts this week. If you're a fan that is watching a game with no allegiance, don't you always pull for the underdog? Who wasn't pulling for George Mason last year during the NCAA tournament? I'm not saying the Bears are George Mason, but the fact remains that it's much more fun to pull for the dog. Indy winning by 6 would be like kissing your Great Aunt Gladys.
4. The Aftermath. I've been trying to find a youtube link to the 1986 parade in Chicago to celebrate the Bears Superbowl, but I couldn't. Believe me when I say it was mayhem. There would be another Superbowl parade in Chicago should the Bears win, but that's not the most exciting part. What I'm really stoked about would be the inevitable re-make of The Superbowl Shuffle with this year's team...and hopefully the lyrics would be just as tacky. Can you imagine this?
I’m Tank Johnson and what do you know?
I tackle running backs and I’m still on parole.
Chicago Bears are the best and we’re taking over nations.
If you want to be my bodyguard, I’m still accepting applications.
Please tell me you wouldn't want to see this team make fools out of themselves just like the 1985 Bears did. You know what would be the result of a Colts Superbowl...more Peyton Manning commercials. This has been my best argument for the Bears yet.
3. The Legacy. How UGA fans or any SEC fan that didn't go to Tennessee is rooting for Peyton is beyond me. That guy is the highest paid player in the NFL and has more endorsements than Viagra. People probably think of Manning as the poster boy of the SEC...and why? He won 1 SEC title and 0 (zero) National Titles...yet if you ask who's the Greatest QB of SEC history Peyton Manning's name will always be at the top of the list. Huh? What about David Green? Doesn't he hold more records than Peyton? Didn't he win just as many SEC titles as Peyton did? This always kills me that David Green is probably #20 on everyone's list for SEC elite QBs and it fuels my hatred even more. I hope Peyton goes down as a poor man's Dan Marino. Go Bears!
2. The Result. I bet if the Bears win, it'll be a huge boost for Obama to grab that Democratic nomination. Does that statement have any merit? Absolutely not...I'm just trying to convince J-Mac with this one because every vote/fan in the Bears corner will help.
1. We've covered the fans, we've covered the cities, we've covered the significance, and we've covered the nostalgia. What's left to cover but to talk about? Me. Root for the Bears because you want your old pal Pasqua to have a "2006-like White Sox moment" again. It was one of the top 5 moments in my life when Uribe threw it over to Konerko for the final out. Granted, I'm a bigger fan of the White Sox than the Bears but if the Bears are able to pull it out on Sunday my family and I will all slide in another Top 10 moment together. Chicago's an odd town. You have two HUGE sports in Chicago...baseball and football. The top 5 moment I just referenced was probably one of the 10 worst sports moments in the lives of some of my Cub-fan friends and relatives. Football is the sport where every Chicagoan comes together and cheers as one. Sure, basketball is a nice option too...but football is Chicago's real love and the Bears encompass everything about that city. So, c'mon...I don't ask for much. In the words of the Superfans...