Well, Chicago is abuzz with excitement over yesterday's Bears victory over the Saints and ringing with anticipation for the Super Bowl match up against the Colts, and I have to admit that I'm getting rather caught up in all the hullabaloo. I'd be the first to admit that when it comes to professional sports, I'm a fairweather fan when I'm a fan at all (and that more often than not, watching sports on TV makes me sleepy), but even I found myself cheering and clapping along with friends yesterday as the Bears finally found their groove and punctuated their win over the Saints with play after thrilling play.
Though there's a lot I don't think I'll ever understand about people who are REALLY into pro sports (i.e. FDM informed me that he has only missed watching three Bears games in his entire life, and can name the date and reason for those 3 mournful occasions), I can and do appreciate the way a team can create a sense of affinity among people who likely otherwise wouldn't interact. (Remember the Titans, anyone?)
For example, a couple months ago I was at the post office and there was a man at the counter wearing orange and blue Chicago Bears Zubaz that were clearly from the early 90s. I admired his devotion to the team, lamented his fashion sense, and snapped a picture on my camera phone to authenticate the Zubaz-sighting. However, if I saw that man at the post office today, there's a good chance I might smile at the man, pump my fist in the air and shout "Go Bears!" before I knew what had gotten into me. Would he still be wearing horribly unfortunate pants? Yes. But now it's like we're all on the same team--the Bears players, the man in the Zubaz, the rest of Chicagoland, and me--eagerly anticipating the same outcome.
So, man in the Zubaz pants, I salute you. GO BEARS!