That last post was pretty depressing, so I'm going to do a quick post about something that I'm really enjoying right now -- my mighty Chicago Bears! (That clanking sound you just heard is the metal "sports baffles" slamming down over my wife's ears. Argotnaut and I have a shared vision, which is a 1930s black-and-white cartoon of a cow and a pig dancing and playing fiddles to "Turkey In the Straw" -- this cartoon plays in her mind whenever I talk to her about sports and in my mind whenever she talks to me about technical linguistic jargon.)
Anyway, I've been a Bears fan since about 1979. Before that, I was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan purely due to their wild success in the 1970s. Being a free safety myself, I idolized Mel Blount, the Steelers defensive back who is now in the Hall of Fame. During that time, the Bears pretty much sucked dryer lint, despite having a running back you might have heard of: Walter Payton.
When I went to college at Northern Illinois University in 1980, I began to follow the Bears exclusively because all my dorm mates were from Chicago and were rabid Bears fans (and also because the Steelers, as was inevitable, finally dried up and blew away like the hair on Terry Bradshaw's head).
Much has transpired since those fateful days in 1980 when I embraced the Bears. Mostly the Bears have sucked. And when they haven't sucked, they've lost in the first round of the playoffs, thus breaking your heart while sucking. But they did enjoy one unforgettable season in 1985, culminating in winning the Super Bowl in January 1986. This begat much chest-thumping and, of course, a cultural phenomenon that I personally despise: "Da Bears" made popular by the "Superfans" sketches on Saturday Night Live.
The whole "Da Bears" thing to me seems disrespectful, like boiling down the uplifting story of the movie "Rocky" to the catchphrases "Yo, Adrian" and "Hey, I ain't no bum!" If you see someone walking down the street wearing Bears paraphernalia (which might become more common as the Bears are good this year and the fair-weather fans are crawling out of their slimy holes), do not shout "Da Bears!" We true long-suffering Bears fans will smile and wave but inside we will want to slap you upside the head. Acceptable forms of cliched solidarity include "How 'bout those Bears!" or "Bears, baby!" And if you're not in solidarity, just ignore the Bears gear, which is hard I know because it's navy blue and orange and invariably ugly, unless the Bears fan him/her self is cute.
Currently the Bears are undefeated (5-0) and look to remain that way through at least the first eight games of the season. Thus, they have been bringing much joy into my currently annoying life, and for that, I thank them. Bear down, Chicago Bears!