It was a beautiful Saturday night for the Bears home pre-season opener against the 49ers. The weather was just great and the fans seemed pretty excited for the new season to start after last years' Super Bowl season (I am conveniently forgetting about what happened AT the Super Bowl). We had a laid-back tailgate of hamburgers and hot dogs on a friends' grill - since Dan wasn't there we didn't have the feast that he usually prepares.
After having a few cold ones the initial highlight of the game is the enterprising bum du-jour who hangs out by the dumpster where the Bears demand that you throw out what's left of your last beer rather than sipping it while you walk from the South lot to the stadium. People were handing him their half drunk last beers which he seemed to be accumulating in a sack (I think that this was an ineffective strategy relative to the McDonald's drink tray used by last years' bums in this post). I said hello to him and he answered with a "baaaahhh" croak kind of like a goat. It was the meaningful interaction that I anticipated.
Beyond watching for the bum tactics the next way to entertain yourself is the "obscure jersey contest". This contest involves looking for fans wearing, well, the most distant and strange Bear jerseys. These two guys made the perfect photo - an Erik Kramer jersey from the 80's (the pretty good QB) and Curtis Conway from the early 90's. While these two players were decent for the Bears I don't know where these relatively young guys found the jerseys... maybe an estate sale or something?
We sat in some different seats this game. A friend of mine had North end zone seats and the view on the field was quite good, better than the way-up-top seats that Dan and I usually sit in to avoid paying the PSL. I never was a fan of end zone seats but these were pretty high up and a little off center which gave a solid view of the game, as you can see in the movie below.
As far as the game itself, the first half was a lot of fun. The Bears offense was on the field most of the time in the first half and they seemed to almost be toying with the 49ers, who are rebuilding and are getting better. Sure, Rex miffed a snap and then threw an interception for a TD (and almost threw another interception that would have been returned for a TD, too) but in general the offense did pretty well and the defense just gave up one TD and that was when the 49ers got the ball deep in our territory and we almost held them on 3rd down (the guy fell into the endzone instead of backwards after being hit). Don't know what happened in the 2nd half but by then all the scrubs were in so I didn't really care.
While at the game I realized that the Bears' offense is periodic and cyclical like the Cicadas. They had a brief window under McMahon, then Kramer, and that brief 1st half of last year under Grossman. Other than that it is grind it out and hope for the best.