By: Alex Patt
It’s Championship Sunday, 2020. While I love watching the NFL Playoffs as much as any sports fan, I often think about how I rarely see the Bears be a part of postseason fun. It has been a decade since the Bears have even won a playoff game and since then have only made the playoffs twice.
To put things in perspective, I am 26 years old. In my entire life the Bears have made the playoffs seven times. Those seasons include: 1994, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2018, 2020. In that span they have won a total of four playoff games. Two of those four wins came in 2006 when they made it to the Super Bowl.
Since I was born in May 1994, the Bears have won 204 regular season games. That is over 27 NFL seasons. Take the average of wins/seasons, that is roughly 7.5 wins a year in my lifetime. Only six times in that span have they won double-digit games in a season.
The fact of the matter is that the Bears have been mired in mediocrity for nearly 30 years. One of the NFL’s founding fathers and once proud franchise’s has pretty much become a massive national joke. Even when they accidentally have a good season it has ended in heartache.
Sounds like the pre-2016 Chicago Cubs right? The way I see it the Bears were crowned the new “Lovable Losers” who eternally “Wait til next year!” when the Cubs won the World Series on November 2nd, 2016.
Longest title drought in the city? Check. Making the playoffs two or three times a decade at best? Check. Losing playoff games in gut-wrenching fashion? Check. Become a national joke? Check. Having fans question loyalty after everything goes bad yet again? Check.
Being loyal to this team has not been easy. The number of times I say to myself, “You know…I really should just find a new NFL team to root for”, should really speak volumes. The number of Sunday afternoons in Fall/Winter spent getting angry over a team that repeatedly falls short is way too high to count.
I cannot even describe to you the devastation I felt when Cody Parkey’s kick against the Eagles went off the upright, off the crossbar, and twirled onto the Soldier Field grass. Back in 2010-2011 I was a junior in high school and I could not focus at all on school work the day after the Bears lost to their hated rival Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game.
Speaking of Green Bay, you know what really angers me the most? Losing to Aaron effing Rodgers every single year. No disrespect to the man, he is one of the best to ever play and his talent is one everyone should respect. But MAN do I hate seeing that big grin on his face every year when he owns the Bears. Just thinking about it pisses me off. I wonder if that is how so many people felt about Chicago during Michael Jordan’s reign…either way I still hate it.
So why don’t I just say, “Screw it, I am done.”? I easily could have just quit that after the dog crap season-ending presser held by chairman George McCaskey and president Ted Phillips. Look, I do not need to go into detail about the current state of the Bears. We all know it and I am tried of talking about it.
Yet, I am still a Bears fan…and I do not think I will ever have the strength to walk away. Despite the constant pain they bring I still live and die with the team every game they play. I wear my Matt Forte jersey and Bears hat on snowy Sunday afternoons. My trashcan has a Bears logo on it (insert joke here) and I have a Bears bumper sticker on my car. The biggest reason I stick with the Bears? Family.
This football team runs in my family. My grandpa is a life-long Bears fan who was a season ticket holder back when they played at Wrigley Field. He witnessed and filmed the 1963 team win it all against the Giants in the NFL Title game. My dad is also a big Bears fan and he loves talking about the Super Bowl victory in 1985. I remember my dad bringing me to a Bears preseason game in 2009 and loving the experience. Turning my back on the Bears feels like I dropping part of my family identity. One thing I can proudly say about the Patt Family is they are loyal to their teams through thick and thin.
So every time you hear me say, “I am so done with this f*cking loser-ass team!”, I am really not. I will be back year after year. Until next year when the pain starts all over again.