The NFL and Bridgestone made it possible for the past three years for fans to get inside the combine. There was only one problem that was noticed by Chicago Bears’ Owner George McCaskey last year: There were no Bears fans.
With the help of Bridgestone and George McCaskey, this year was opened up to four teams who all have partnerships with Bridgestone. The Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans all had fan representation, and they all can thank George McCaskey. He just doesn’t want to take the credit.
After the fans all found out about how McCaskey made this all possible with Bridgestone, I found out from the Chicago Bears representative that he didn’t want anyone to know. The only reason he brought it up last year was because if fans were allowed to come to the combine, he wanted the best fans in the world to be there to represent the NFL, who are the most important fans of the Chicago Bears. But honestly, I don’t think he wanted anyone to know he was responsible for Green Bay Packers fans to be in attendance.
A funny thing happened while I was talking to George, yes, we are on a first name basis. Well, I am at least. I don’t expect him to remember me. The Bridgestone representative began speaking and called McCaskey to come up to the mic to say something. On the way to the microphone, McCaskey had to pass by a table filled with the Green Bay Packers fans. He stopped briefly, pulled out a business card and handed it to one of the fans before making his way up to the microphone. The card read, “Dear Friend, There’s still time to save yourself. GO BEARS!” The Packers fan looked at the card and was a little confused. That was until the Bears representative walked up and explained that George McCaskey, the owner of the Chicago Bears, gave him that card.
McCaskey was talking to fans and taking pictures all night long. He met a nice couple, but there was only one problem. The girlfriend of the Bears fan was a Green Bay Packers fan. He pulled out another card and handed it to her and talked to her for a couple minutes explaining how she still has time to change. But until she does, he couldn’t be seen with a Packers fan, so he turned around for her photo, all in good fun.
After the reception, McCaskey got on the same bus as the Bears fans and sat and talked to them on the way back to the hotel. I was told one of the fans didn’t even know he was talking to George McCaskey; he thought he was just talking to another fan on the bus. And the truth is, he was talking to just another fan on the bus. This fan just happens to own the team that he is a fan of. George McCaskey is the biggest fan of the Chicago Bears who keeps showing the fans that he is just one of us.