In my family, football is more than a sport. In fact, it's a religion to us. The Chicago Bears are what we believe in.
My Dad was lucky enough to be able to see the 1985 Super Bowl team and enjoy that great season they had. To this date that is the Bears' only Super Bowl win.
I grew up as a young kid running around my house in a Neal Anderson Halloween jersey thinking I was making defenders miss left and right.
I moved on to playing football in my front yard thinking I was Cade McNown (bad, yes I know) or even sometimes Curtis Conway. I pretended by myself that I was the Bears and would win every game, even four Super Bowls in a row.
That carried over to pretending I was the A-Train, Anthony Thomas, during my middle school recess football career.
During pick up games at the park in high school, I remember trying to be like Bernard Berrian or Thomas Jones. Then on the defensive side of the ball, punishing people like Brian Urlacher.
My dad is as big a Bears fan as I am. He's the one who taught me to hate the Packers and to love the Bears; to respect the game, and the players, for making the games happen.
Every Sunday my dad, uncle, and I all meet up in what we like to call "The Bear Den." It's a place in my dad's house where die hard Bears fans come to watch their beloved Bears battle on Sundays.
We haven't missed a game together in almost four years. We are there every Sunday decked out in jerseys eating hot wings and sipping our choice of beverage.
Not everyone can come to The Bear Den. You must earn your way in. A vow is taken that you must make every effort possible to come on Sundays. No excuses of doing lawn work, or going shopping. It's for true fans only.
Why does this all matter? Well because I love the Chicago Bears. That's why it matters.
I bleed orange and blue. I shiver to the cold winds coming off of Lake Michigan on a cold Sunday during winter.
I would like to thank my Dad for bringing me up to be a fan of the NFL's greatest franchise. Without the Bears, I don't know what I would do.