First Lady of the NFL

Recently the Bears had a 100 year weekend celebration. It was great! They had sessions all day Saturday, combining alum from past decades, back to the 1960’s, along with current players. It was fun to watch the new generation players as the guys from the 80’s and earlier told their stories and how they hit. It’s such a different game now!

The highlight though to me of the weekend was Sunday’s session with two Chicago writers, George McCaskey, Chairman of the Board, and Virginia McCaskey, owner and in my opinion, the First Lady of the NFL. She is so classy, and more importantly, so normal! She is 96 years young and amazing! She goes to all the home and away games and many of the extra events. There is no air about her and one would never know she is the owner of one of the premier NFL franchises in the league. She is sharp as ever and has her thoughts on the team and what needs to be done to win!

I’m so glad she’s with my team!

What are your thoughts? How does she compare to your team’s owner?

Virginia McCaskey

Thanksgiving is Gameday

Thanksgiving is a day for taking time to give thanks for the blessings in one’s life. No matter what is going on, you do have blessings. I’m thankful for my faith, family, and friends. Today I’m blessed to be spending Thanksgiving with my “extended” family, my beloved Chicago Bears. They are one of six teams “blessed” to play today and be in the “spotlight.” 

Please bless me with a victory!



Back up and running!

I should give myself a BIG penalty flag for delay of game for not posting in 11 months. I’ve regrouped and am believing I’m back on track with a new perspective! My goal is to blog several times a week. Stay tuned for more! You can follow me on Twitter @aFootballdiary as I’ll be tweeting with each new post.

July 4, 2017 – NFL’s 100th Anniversary Potential Kick-off Game

In 2019, the National Football League (NFL) will celebrate its 100th anniversary. It was recently announced to kick-off the celebration of the momentous occasion, they potentially will open the season where else but in, China. What? China? Seriously? The NFL, National Football League, wants to have the opening game of its 100th season in China? This has to a serious overlook on the writer of this announcement. Shouldn’t that be the season will open in Chicago? Was Chicago misspelled initially and auto-spell thought it was to be China and the author missed it? The NFL cannot be serious.

The birthplace of the NFL is designated as Canton, Ohio, which is why the Hall of Fame is located there. There is however, no team that plays in Canton. Most of the original teams have come and gone, except for two, the Chicago Bears and the now Arizona Cardinals. Originally the Bears were the Decatur Staleys for the first two years and the Cardinals were the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals moved from Chicago to St. Louis and are now in Arizona. The Bears, since 1921, have played in Chicago. The Green Bay Packers, not an original team, but joined in 1921.

So why on earth would the NFL grossly insult their original franchise teams and fans and not have one of them kick-off the season. The NFL’s viewership numbers are down. The number of fans attending games is decreasing. There was a great line in the movie “Remember the Titans” which was “Attitude reflects Leadership.”  This is your answer.

By even announcing the game could be in China and by continuing to add games to be played outside the United States, the NFL (not the IFL-International Football League) is telling their fans, the ones that buy tickets, concessions, clothing, memorabilia, and watch on television, the ones that created a revenue for you of between $13B and $14B in 2016, yes, that’s billion, with a B, you don’t care about them. The fans who have made you the King of all Sports don’t mean anything.

You tell your fans, I think so much of you I’m going to move your games to London, Mexico, and now China. You have also told your fans, it doesn’t matter how devoted you are to your team, Super Bowl tickets are going to be so pricey, most fans can’t afford to go. There are many other examples that could be mentioned. So, by not watching and not going to games, the fans are saying, you don’t care, we don’t care. There are plenty of other things we can spend our time and money on.

So please Mr. Goodell, and the National Football League, please reconsider where you want to have the kick-off of the 100th season to be played. Tell us you do care! Otherwise, fans unite and let your voice be heard. Comment on this, email the NFL, contact your team. Let’s do something!

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Dec. 11, 2016 – Cleats for a Cause

Last Sunday was Cleats for a Cause Sunday. The NFL allowed players to design their shoes to represent a cause they are passionate about. Super kudos to the NFL! It was an idea 18 months in the making between players and the NFL. You got it right! This was a super fabulous idea and I personally love it! What a great way to bring awareness to so many great cause and raise money. Some players auctioned their shoes after the game.

In this day of NFL players being suspended for illegal drug use, domestic violence charges, drunken driving, and illegal hits, it was 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 for the good and to help others.

I hope this becomes an annual event. NFL and players, please continue this wonderful idea. I encourage everyone to read about all the great stories about the various Cleats for a Cause. If you can, choose one or several and do what you can to support the charity.

Oct. 1, 2016 – Is it ever ok to root for your team to lose?

As week four approaches, and my team is 0-3, with too many injuries to count, I ponder is it ever ok for you to root for your team to lose? If so, at what point? At what point does one say there is no chance of us going to the playoffs. I want to win but I question if getting a higher draft pick would be a better option in the long run? Does that make you less of a fan? When do you take your heart out of the situation and listen to your head?

I go into every season believing the Bears will go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl. Those dreams usually are quickly shattered. Every week in my football pool I still pick them to win every week. Every week. No matter what their record is I pick them to win. Is that too much fandom? If I pick them to lose is that being a bad fan or is it being a smart player who just wants to win them self.

Growing up and living in the Chicago area where the Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908, I know what it’s like to lose. Though the Cubs could break that curse this year. (Full disclosure – I’m more of a White Sox fan but don’t hate the Cubs as I’m not a huge baseball fan.) The Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cup championships in the last seven years. Is this playing a factor in my feelings towards my beloved Bears?

Maybe week four is too early to throw in the towel and give up hope. We still have 13 games to play. Who knows what could happen? I mean that’s why they play the game isn’t it? They could turn it around right? Oh geez, there goes my heart talking again.

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Sept. 24, 2016 – The Day Before Game Three

It’s the day before game three. How are you feeling about your season so far? I’m feeling pretty crappy and with very little hope. I try to stay positive, I mean we’ve only played two games. The problem is, we’ve looked really bad in more than half of each game. The bigger problem is we have more injured players than healthy. Ok so that’s not quite the case but it sure feels like it. Last Monday night it was one player after another. Why are so many players getting injured? Why? Why? Why? Is it due to the lack of true game like practice? But that’s another blog. Stay tuned.

If your team is 2-0 you so far are feeling pretty good. If you’re like me and your team is 0-2 you’re not too excited. Again, I try really hard to stay positive and if the games were close I’d be ok. Not so much. They looked terrible and now key players are out. I won’t give up yet but statistics for a team to go 0-3 and make the playoffs are like slim to none. I mean only five teams have made it since 1970 that have started 0-3. It’s tough to feel your season is over by week three. I know there are worse things in the world but when you wait six months and your hopes and dreams are dashed in three weeks it’s heartbreaking. Especially for the fans that spend their hard earned money going to games home and away. It’s a choice yes but it’s also a passion, it’s an escape. It’s football for crying out loud and some of us just love it. Is it too much to ask to just give us a little hope for a little more than three weeks?

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Aug. 14, 2016 – Get Off the Ledge – It’s Just Pre-season

I waited seven long months for football. Actually longer than that since my team didn’t make the playoffs and all you can give at the first pre-season game is 0. Yes, 0. Really? You lose 22-0. 0!!! You couldn’t even give me a field goal? And all you can give is 130 yards of total offense? UGH!!!! I waited how long for this?

Ok, it’s just the first pre-season game. I’ve taken a number of deep breaths and I’ve gotten off the ledge. I have told myself I will repeat over and over again, it’s just pre-season, it’s just pre-season. Because well, it is just the first game of pre-season football, and how much should I expect from my team? How much? I freaking expect them to come out as excited as I am about football being back and play like they care as much as I do! Is that too much to ask? Is it?

Maybe it is. Maybe I should just settle down and tell myself they are the professionals. The coaches know what they are doing. It will be ok. Simmer down, at least until the first game of the regular season. See how they play then. See if they come out pumped up with visions of an undefeated season and winning the Super Bowl. Just wait. Be patient. See how they are at the first game. Then you can make judgement.

We begin the season in Houston. Are they focused on ending the season in Houston? Site of Super Bowl LI? They sure better be cause I know I am.

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July 30, 2016 – It’s Official – Football Season is Here!

It’s here! It’s here! Finally! Football season is here! Well, technically the season doesn’t start for a few weeks if you consider it starting with the pre-season games. For me, once I see the boys on the field in uniform, pads or no pads, it means football is here! Today was that day!

Ventured down to Bourbonnais, or “Bearbonnais” as it is called for a few weeks in July and August, for today’s practice at training camp. After waiting in line for several hours, on purpose to be first in line to get in and get good seats, football officially began. There they were, pads and all. I was in heaven and it was painted blue and orange. The energy and enthusiasm on the field was echoed off the field and into the stands. As at all training camps, there is hope, there is belief, there are dreams of heading to Houston (site of the Super Bowl) in February in every fan’s mind. For a brief moment, or perhaps until that first injury, that first loss, there is no facing reality, just the belief my team will be the first to go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl! A true fan, at this point of the season, must listen to their heart, not their head that says, hey, they were 6-10 last year, they didn’t make huge changes during the off season, how much improvement will there be? Have we really gotten better than our division opponents?

I’m going to leave those thoughts until the season begins and the reality of the team is revealed on the field. Until then, I will live in that fantasy world of hope and victory, cheering every catch and every interception with joy and triumph. I won’t let the fact that it’s the offense against the defense and every catch means the defense missed a chance at an intersection and every interception means the offense messed up.

No, I’m giving myself a few weeks to just live with the dream and vision of the Lombardi Trophy being hoisted by my team, of me dancing in the stands, and shouting “we just won the Super Bowl”! That is going to be my reality, at least until September anyway.

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July 29, 2016 – The Tail of Two Passions – Part Five

If I had to choose one of my passions to be my job what would I do? What what I choose? I’ve thought for a long time how fun and great it would be to work for the Bears. I mean I bleed orange and blue. In my house, two rooms and one of my bathrooms is nothing but Bears stuff. From September to February my life revolves around the Bears and NFL football. Most of my vacation days are taken due to football.

So what would I choose? Animals. I’d choose working to save the animals. Both passions give me joy but a different kind of joy. If I worked for the Bears would I still get to really watch the game? Would I get to enjoy the events? More than likely not. Then my passion could become simply my job.

Working with animals and my passion becomes my joy. It is being put into action. You see my passion for animals has a mission, a purpose. While working on the mission to save them all, I can still experience the joy and love they give.

That said, if anyone working for the Bears is reading this, I wouldn’t say no if you offered me a job. I’m sure we could figure something out.

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