The Bears in the Super Bowl
I remember how excited the State of Wisconsin was when the Green Bay Packers went to the Super Bowl two years in a row in 1996 and 1997. Frankly, I was just as excited as the die-hard fans, even though I had a rooting interest in one of the team's long-time rivals.
I may have mentioned in past columns that I cheer for the Green Bay Packers when they are not playing the Chicago Bears. I grew up in the Chicago area and still root for my hometown team. I also became a Green Bay Packers fan in about 1990 when I realized that I was probably going to spend the rest of my life in the Chippewa Valley.
I am sure there are some Green Bay Packers' fans who are not pleased that the Chicago Bears will be performing in the Super Bowl in Miami,FL, next weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. On the other hand, I know many Packers' fans are cheering for the Bears, whether it be out of respect for tradition or because Chicago is closer to the Chippewa Valley than Indianapolis.
I am not a big fan of the State of Illinois anymore. I love downtown Chicago, I have many high school and college friends that still live in the "Land of Lincoln" and I enjoy reading The Chicago Tribune. Otherwise, I have no ties to the state except for the fact that my parents live in the lovely town of Galena,IL. I often feel that I am fortunate to have made the decision to move to West Central Wisconsin nearly 20 years ago on a whim. In other words, I would most likely be a full-time Packers' fan if it weren't for the fact that I grew up near Chicago. (I apologize to the fans of the Minnesota Vikings, but the Metrodome is no Lambeau Field).
I was a senior in college the last time my favorite professional football team played in the Super Bowl. Unlike 1986, this year's team from Chicago could use all the help they can get. Thanks to those of you who will support the divisional foe. And if you cannot bear the thought of Chicago playing in the Super Bowl (no pun intended) and wish to root against my team, I understand. Remember, though, if the Bears do win the Super Bowl next weekend, at least Packers' fans can say they beat the team this year that won the big game.