Being a Chicago Bears fan living in Wisconsin….

Leaving Illinois….and my love for cheese

August 1st, 2014 I became a resident of Madison Wisconsin. It was weird moving out of Illinois because I’ve spent much of my time on earth living in Rockford and Chicago. I fell in love with the city of Madison because the size of it was a happy medium between my two previous homes and the fact it’s a major sports town. Also you add the fact that people love beer and cheese here it was like god created a city specifically for me. A quick story about me to understand my love for cheese: I once got in trouble with my step mother because in the middle of the night I would sneak to the kitchen and steal Kraft singles out of my refrigerator and hide the wrappers under my mattress. Solid plan Bo. However when my step mother changed my bedsheets, probably 50 cheese wrappers spilled out onto the floor. Quite embarrassing Bo. 

A warm welcome….

I knew moving to a different state I’d meet a lot of different people with different views and ideas on things. Being the type of person I am, I welcome conversation from anyone because I love learning new things. I unfortunately didn’t take into account that moving 76.2 miles north would bring an infinite amount of hate towards everything Chicago sports. I live on the west side near the mall and my first weekend here I figured I’d go ahead and check out the new mall I would be frequenting. Being a fat kid at heart, I honestly was really interested in the foot court. I nonchalantly throw on a Chicago Bears pullover and walk out of the door. I’m now walking through the mall and the first few people I meet are wearing local Wisconsin Badgers gear and though I’m donning the Blue and Orange, acknowledge my presence with a wave and smile. “Wow! Madison has some really nice people!” I thought. Until this old lady with a walker shows up….

The crusty middle finger….

Ever inching closer towards the food court I can smell pizza, Chinese food and tacos. Anyone who knows me knows these are a few of my favorite things. I also know you just read that last sentence and thought of the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. Only thing separating me from delicious food is this old lady with a walker. In my time on earth I feel old people are generally nice humans. They don’t really have any more stress because well, they are old. This lady did not fall into that category. She looked stressed as if she was trying to run away from the Italian mafia chasing her for her social security money. Yet I’ve seen sloths with more agility and quickness than her. I could sense the devastation in her eyes as teenagers and booger eating 4 year olds passed her with ease. Then, she saw me. Getting closer, I noticed under her fur jacket was a faded Brett Favre jersey. She realized my attire and was instantly so appalled I might as well have had an image of Donald Trump stabbing a cat on my chest. She then pressed paused on her race against the grim reaper, locked eyes with me, and delivered the most blind sided middle finger in the history of middle fingers. Her crusty finger had the texture of a school bus seat and looked like a pruned finger that was submerged in water for many months. Either way I was so rattled I didn’t even get food that day and just went home…are all packer fans like this?

The sit-in…

It’s now Bear/Packer week the Chicago Bears are 2-1 at this point and are on a two game winning streak. The packers were 1-2 coming off a loss to the hapless Detroit Lions. I had a good feeling about the Bears winning their third in a row. I was ready for my first Bear/Packer game in Wisconsin. So I thought anyway. 

Just like most fall sundays I threw on my Bears jersey and headed to a bar to watch the game with friends. I walked in to the bar and was disgusted by all the green and yellow inside one building. My eyes were not ready for this. As I walked they started to notice what I was wearing and I felt everyone in the bar was watching me. I sat near the front of the bar and could just feel everyones eyes behind me full of judgement. I felt like I was apart of the Greensboro sit-ins of 1960 except the people here didn’t hate the color of my skin, but the color of the clothes I was wearing. I definitely felt like I didn’t belong. I was just hoping the Bears could escape with a win. 

Of course they didn’t….

The entire game I was waiting for the Bears to win the game so I could run out of the bar screaming “Bear Down” and laughing in the faces of the Green and Yellow faithful. But the Bears didn’t have my back like I had theirs. Though is was close for the first half, the game was never in doubt and I was bombarded with chants of “Go Pack Go” and grown men fangirling everytime Wisconsin’s lord and savior Aaron Rodgers completed the simplest of passes. 

After the game finished it was as if the state of Wisconsin turned off the switch and my fellow Wisconsinites became normal humans again. People ordering drinks near me at the bar rail offered their condolences for my horrid Bears team and even offered me a few shots. Being the low-level alchi that I am, I’ve never met a shot I didn’t like. Though it’s different watching games where you’re the only Bears fan within miles, at least the people are nice here. 

…….after all, at least I have the Cubs. #FlyTheW

– Bo

Twitter: @botilly