Amid all the hoopla of an impressive Bears victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, I’d like to take a moment to recognize a fallen brother in Beardom, Chris Pettry of suburban Lake Villa, Illinois. He went down in Jacksonville but never made it to the Bears game as he was fatally stabbed early Sunday morning just a block from the team hotel where he happened to be staying.
Pettry had left on a flight from Milwaukee Friday to attend the Bears game in Jacksonville and was excited to be making the trip with his best friend, according to his cousin, Quincy Asbury Jr.
Pettry was an avid Bears fan who was too busy working at his construction and remodeling company and helping raise his three children to find time to go to games in Chicago, Asbury said. Pettry’s stepfather recently died and Asbury last saw his-first cousin at the man’s wake.
“He was such a huge Bears fan. . .He never got to go to the Bears game, he never got to enjoy it,” said Asbury, who can’t understand how anyone would want to hurt him. “He was always the guy that made you laugh.”
The attack occurred around 12:30 a.m. Sunday at Fionn MacCool’s Irish Restaurant & Pub, an upscale restaurant about a block from the hotel where Pettry was staying — the same hotel where the Bears team was also staying.
I didn’t know William Christopher Pettry, but I imagine he was a Bears fan a lot like me and many of you. He was passionate about the Bears and wanted to go on a little trip to get away for a few days and cheer on his favorite team on the road. That all came to a crashing halt because of some sort of a misunderstanding and seemingly the wrong place at the wrong time:
Matthew Hinson, 27, “became jealous, enraged, whatever you want to call it and approached our victim,” Jacksonville County Police Lt. Rob Schoonover told a news conference. “He calmly and basically coldbloodedly cut the victim’s throat and calmly walked out of the restaurant.”
This particular story hits close to home for me. As a husband and proud father of two young children I’m mortified to think about the senseless and pointless nature of this crime. As an avid Bears fan who has been traveling to an annual Bears away game, this serves as a sobering reminder. Myself and my group of 25-ish friends are heading to Nashville in four weeks and I’ll hug my kids a little tighter and kiss my wife a second longer before I walk out the door, because you never know what could happen.
Keep Chris’s wife and three kids in your prayers.