It was a cold afternoon at Soldier Field on Sunday. Not brutal, but cold nonetheless. The November sun did what it could to provide a hint of warmth, but long johns, two down jackets, a wool hat and fiberfill gloves did a better job.
Michael and I knew we wanted to take in a game this weekend, and using weather as our guide, going to the Bears-Lions game Sunday made a far better choice than the Northwestern football game in Evanston on Saturday, when rain and snow emptied the stands long before the Wildcats finished their 39-0 decimation of the visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Michael found tickets for pretty good seats on Ticketmaster, I worked Spot Hero for some decent parking just a mile walk from the field and bundled up for a polar expedition we took in the game, my first pro game in about ten years. As we all know, the Bears, unlike the NU 'Cats, were losers, but it was a close and exciting game, coming down to the last few seconds. Some observations from the 30-yard line:
- There were no unlicensed vendors outside the stadium selling knock-off Bears gear. The McCaskey family must have quite a bit of clout with the Mayor, the Park District, and the Police Department.
- Maybe they could use some of that clout to improve the pedestrian route to get from the north end of the stadium to past the Museum Campus. The crush wasn't as bad as after the U2 concert last July, but who needs hairpin turns for 60,000 fans?
- The Bears sideline looked a little flat. Maybe they need a picker-upper like the Northwestern Strength Coach Alex Spanos, whose tee-shirted escapades on the NU sideline in the rain showed about three times as much effort as the Minnesota defense.
- Grilled Vienna Hot Dogs, nice touch. Men's Rooms without urinals, odd touch.
- The injury to Leonard Floyd was a chiller. The parade of Bears walking over to give him words of encouragement or a high five as he was carted off the field conveyed a lot of warmth.
- The sprinkling of Lions fans in the stands had a good time and didn't seem to be hassled, at least in my section. I have seen far worse treatment of visiting fans at college events where the true fanatics live.
- With the game being played in "Bear Weather," why did I pack a blanket, and then leave it in the trunk of the car?
- During the first 50 minutes of the game, the Bear fan behind me issued more F-Bombs then the casts of "The Wolf of Wallstreet" and "Casino" combined. They were directed at the Bears, the Lions, the coaching staffs and the refs. I have never sat near a more passionate fan. So what did he have to say during the crucial last five minutes of the game? I don't know, he left. I guess he wanted to beat traffic.
- Promo tee shirts getting flung into the crowd don't fare any better in the wind than a last ditch field goal effort.
- The Bears will be better. But it will be a few more years before they end a season with more wins than my NU Wildcats. Unless Cat's Coach Pat Fitzgerald decides to move a few miles south. And takes Alex Spanos with him!
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