I started watching Bears games sometime around 1999-2000. I was six or seven years old and quickly becoming obsessed with the team. Jerry Azuhma was the first player that I considered to be my favorite. He was a cornerback who wore #23. His big appeal to me was being pretty good at kick returns. I still believe it is the most exciting play in football. There’s nothing like watching someone break a punt for a TD. So you can just imagine my excitement in 2006 when a different CB with the same number joined the team and rewrote the entire game around returning kicks.
Seeing Devin Hester return the opening kick of the Super Bowl for 92 yards and a TD was the most amazing sports moment of my life. I get the chills just thinking about it. Everyone in the greater Chicago Area knew for a fact that he was going to do it… and then he did it. It was a beautiful moment that is still in the top three moments of my entire life. I HIGHLY recommend watching the following video to relieve the raw emotion that Chicago felt when he returned that kick…
Today, I am still a diehard fan of the Bears but I’m worried some of the magic is gone. I’m worried that I don’t care as much as I used to. When I was a younger, there’s nothing I looked forward to more than going over to my grandparents and watching the game with Grandpa. It was the highlight of my week and the only thing I thought about. Now, I still watch every single game but not with the same intensity. The losses don’t destroy me and the buzz after a win fades off much quicker. The honeymoon phase has lifted and now it’s just plain boring old love instead of lust.
Maybe it’s because grandpa’s gone. Maybe’s it’s because being an adult has dulled me. Maybe it’s because the Bears suck. No matter what the reason is, I understand why people are saying that the NFL is dying and it’s very sad to me. I can’t imagine what would be worse: Never seeing the Bears win a Super Bowl, or seeing them win but not really caring.
I’m going to try and think this one out. Discover why the magic is fading. If I find an answer, I’ll post a follow up article to this. Until then, I selfishly hope the Bears hurry up and win themselves a Super Bowl while I still care.