How My Grandpa Made Me a Bears Fan

Joe WillettSenior Writer IMay 29, 2009

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04:  Kick returner Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears returns the opening kickoff 92-yards for a touchdown past a diving Adam Vinatieri #4 of the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Colts won 29-17. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears are more than a team, they are a tradition unlike any other.  They have one of the best teams of all time (see 1985) and they have built an aura around their defense matched by few other teams.

However, until a few years ago, the Bears have been just a casual enjoyment for me.  That was, until my grandfather brought me into his world.

In 2005, my grandpa and uncle went in on season tickets together.  Luckily for me, the Rex Grossman went down with an injury and my uncle didn't want to watch a team that he thought would lose a majority of the games.

That season began to open my eyes to the great sport of football as well as the tradition of the Chicago Bears.

Going to games gave me an entirely new experience to watching games with my friends on TV.  It gave me new chills to stand and cheer with other die-hard fans, and although the seats weren't great, the experience was priceless.

The biggest game I attended that season was a Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons.  The temperature was in the negatives and Rex Grossman made his first appearance back after injury.  The atmosphere was amazing as the Bears crushed the Falcons with high energy in an important game.

Then, more fortune happened for me the next season, when my uncle moved to Michigan, leaving my grandpa with an extra ticket to most games, which meant that I was able to attend a lot of games in the 2006-07 season.

Luckily for me, that was the magical season where the Bears went to the Super Bowl.  I was able to attend a lot of big games that season, including the pivotal Sunday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks early in the season.

I attended more games throughout the season, but the best games to attend were the playoff games, of which I was able to attend each one thanks to the Bears winning home-field advantage due to a 13-3 record.

The climax of the season for me was the NFC Championship game, me and my grandpa walked from our usual parking spot on Wabash and walked past the Chicago Hilton to a vast array of New Orleans Saints fans.

Although the Saints were showing their colors outside of the stadium, the Bears fans were the ones who made the noise once you got inside.

The game was outstanding, as the Bears put together a show on offense and defense to move on to the Super Bowl.

Although they lost the Super Bowl, that team will always have a special place in my heart, and it was all thanks to my grandfather.

Thanks to him, I have found a love for football, and I may have even found my career.

I'm Joe W.