The Chicago Bears held their annual Family Day at Soldier Field on Saturday. I thought, how better to cover this than to get a family actually attending Family Day to offer their perspective. Enter the Balduf Family from suburban Harwood Heights. I asked long time friend and family man Brett Balduf to provide a report of the action from the shores of Lake Michigan. He filed this report:
I went and saw the Bears practice at Family Day at Soldier Field. I must admit that I was nervous upon first entering Soldier Field due to some confusion of workers. I was lucky enough to get tickets from a friend who has season tickets in the 200 Club Level. When asking a worker where I had to go, he didn’t know. When I went to another section by the United Club and asked a worker there, he wasn’t sure either. My concern increased when no one knew where I could find condiments for my free hot dog. I thought, I hope the Bears know their roles and plays more than the Soldier Field workers know the stadium. I went up and ordered a cheeseburger and the worker told me that they weren’t serving everything on the menu. I understood and walked over to the next booth. I asked, “Are you serving everything on the menu?” The manager said yes. I asked for a sausage pizza to which I was told, “Oh, sorry, we are only serving cheese.” Fine, I thought, then said, “I’ll have a Chicken Ceasar Wrap.” I was then apologized to again, they weren’t serving that. So much for serving everything on the menu.
But the most important thing was the BEARS. They did introductions through the Bearhead. Of course, the loudest ovation was for the star of Camp Cutler. It was nice to see a real QB come into Soldier Field that didn’t have a Green helmet. Stretches, agility and specialized drills. Special teams, 7 on 7, full team scrimmage, and two-minute drill. There were some interesting things that stuck out to me. I may have been able to document more specifically if I didn’t have my 8 and 5 year old with me (and looking for Mustard), but here are some general observations and commentary:
- It’s amazing how forceful the Defensive Lineman slap, swim, and swat moves are
- Devin Hester has some pretty good hands
- Brandon Rideau lined up as the 3rd Wide Receiver with the starting offense – I have a feeling will see him there during the year
- I think people are underestimating the Bears receiving corps this year because they don’t have a big name.
- The Bears kick-off return team was in an interesting 4-2-1-2-1-1 formation…and it looked pretty damn good.
- I wish the Bears could play 7 on 7 all the time.
- The Bears offense is going to look a lot different this year. Jay Cutler spreads the ball around and throws to routes we are not accustomed to seeing. He does check down to short routes and running backs, but isn’t afraid to throw the 15 and out, seam, post, fly – and do it with accuracy.
- We are going to appreciate having Forte, Jones, and Wolfe running the ball this year. I predict they will all have their moment to shine.
- I wish they tackled in practice, but understand why they don’t.
- I don’t think I saw Robbie Gould miss once in the practice or warm-ups.
As your more than average casual fan, I enjoyed the practice and look forward to the Season.
Sounds to me like aside from some early condiment confusion, a good time was had by all. Hey Brett – it’s preseaon for the Soldier Field staff too. Cut ‘em some slack!
I hope to open up to some more fan posts like this throughout the season, so if you have an idea for a post or attend a game or team function and would like to submit a story, please e-mail me at [email protected] and I’ll see if we can squeeze it in to our wall-to-wall Bears coverage. Thanks again to Brett and the Balduf family for letting us see this event through their eyes.
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