The Streak Ends

Last night I watched the Bears at Redskins game sitting on my couch. It was very strange. That probably sounds strange to many as most people watch football at home, on their couch. It was the first time I did that since week 15, 2007, which was December 17. The last two games of the season were at home so I was at those games as I have season tickets. Starting in 2008, I became good friends with Sandy, another crazy die-hard Bears fan, who happen to travel to away games. We had met for lunch in May. When she told me this I said, “Oh my gosh, I’d love to do that!” And the rest is history, until last night.

I went to 183 straight regular season and playoff games, home and away. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we had. I’ve gotten to see so many places and meet lots of wonderful people! The Bears took me to other countries to visit and watch games in London and Toronto. I’ve gone to every stadium (other than the new one in Atlanta, which will be next year). I feel so blessed!

But life changes and circumstances become different. I had to make the decision, it just wasn’t possible to do all the games this year. I went to Denver and plan on making our three division games.

Knowing the end of my streak was near, it made me focus on simplifying my life and what is really important. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t sad. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was there last night. That doesn’t mean I won’t start the streak again. It just means I’ve put some things in perspective.

It’s not the longest streak by any means. My friend Sandy is continuing to go and a good friend we’ve come to know , Paul, has been going to not only regular season but pre-season games since 2002. True fans by any definition.

All good things must come to an end only to allow us to start more good things.

What gets you through the off-season?

Training camp is still two months away. With no play-off hockey to tide me over until then, it’s starting to be a very long off-season. We had the draft party a month ago which helped but we had no first or second round pick.

Thank goodness the weekend after next is the Bears 100th Year Celebration weekend! It will be Friday night, ALL DAY Saturday, and Sunday morning of nothing but BEARS talk!!!

Many of the past Bears, including my all-time favorite player, Gary Fencik, as well as many of the current players, will be there. Looking so forward to all the seminars.

I’m excited for the season to start not only to celebrate 100 years of Bears football but to see if we can continue and improve upon last season’s 12-4 record.

What’s getting you through the off-season?

From rival to on your roster

It happens. Not often, but it happens. It’s free agency time and your team has just signed someone from the team you “hate” the most, your arch rival. Or, one of your team’s players does the unthinkable, signs with that arch rival. Is one better than the other? That could depend on who that player is perhaps.

If that player has been a nemesis for two games a year, is it easier to now cheer for that player cause well, at least they’re not going to beat you? Or, if it’s a player you like, good for your team, but for one reason or the other, he’s gone and now will be the opponent, is that worse?

For me, signing a rival will probably depend on the player and how they’ve played a factor in beating my team. Most players are in a sense “neutral” opponents. They’re your rival but no big deal. Then, there are those few that stand out and you just cringe at the mention of their name because of how they always seem to have that break-out game against you.

What are your thoughts?

Schedule – Anxious Anticipation

After the combines, the next big event is the release of the schedule for the upcoming season. I anxiously await it being released as I’m sure many other fans do. How many prime time games will we have? How many Thursday night games? When is our bye week? Any holiday games? So many variables! If you travel to games, it signifies the beginning of checking airfare, deciding to book or not to book. What hotels are in the area? Near the stadium? Need a car? How much vacation time will I need to use? Will this game be flexed? So much to think about! But as someone who travels to games, so much fun! I love it!

I looked at last year’s schedule, in particular the prime time games, and found some interesting scheduling. At least I thought it was interesting. Stay tuned to read what I found.

I got a game ball!

So excited! I got a game ball! Ok so not exactly. After Sunday night’s victory by the Chicago Bears, Head Coach Matt Nagy gave the game ball to THE FANS!!! Thank you Coach Nagy! The stadium was electric and on their feet (a little too much-see other blogs) screaming and yelling and causing False Starts and wreaking havoc with the Los Angeles Rams offense. Means a lot Coach that you acknowledged the fans for their support and their part in the Bears victory! 

Then on my phone I get notification to go to the Bears app FOR MY DIGITAL GAME BALL!!! Great move on the part of the Bears. Thank you! We could download a picture with it! GO BEARS!!!

My Cause, My Cleats Initiative

Love this initiative of the NFL! My Cause, My Cleats allows players to wear special shoes/cleats that represent a charity they are passionate about and then have the opportunity to auction their shoes to raise money for it. Originally it had been a one-week initiative in the past but has been expanded this year to span from Week 13 to the Thursday night game in Week 16. Each team has a designated home game to wear the cleats. 

This was a super fabulous idea and I personally love it! What a great way to bring awareness to so many great causes and raise money. 

In this day of NFL players being suspended for illegal drug use, domestic violence charges, drunken driving, and illegal hits, it is a great way to show players in a more positive light. There are good guys that care and want to use their talents and popularity to help others.

I’m excited this has become an annual event as it’s a wonderful idea. I encourage everyone to read about all the great stories about the various My Cause, My Cleats. If you can, choose one or several charities, and do what you can to help by simply making a donation for whatever you can. 

This one you totally got right NFL!