Do you love getting together with friends and foes alike to watch the Beloved Bears? Doesn’t it make the games that much more exciting when you share the experience with other fans? Nothing beats a Devin Hester kick return when you’re jumping and screaming with a bunch of crazed fans.
I guess I take it for granted when I can walk down the street to any bar and feel that sense of Bears community, since I live in Chicago. What if you’re a transplanted Chicagoan or a Bears fan living outside of Chicago? What can you do?
I was recently contacted by Ann FitzGibbons of Meetup.com to tell me about Chicago Bears Meetups popping up all around the country and even abroad. What is Meetup? It’s quite simple:
Meetup.com is a company whose mission is to help the world’s people self-organize into local groups. Currently there are 6.5 million members that are meeting face-to-face about 22,640 different topics. There are 65,873 Meetup Groups around the world which is more than there are Starbucks and McDonald’s locations combined.
Bears Meetups are second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers with 33 groups in 29 cities around the US and even one in Europe. To find a local meetup near you, follow this link.
Doug Dean, who heads up the Bears Upstairs Meetup group in Atlanta was kind enough to share his Meetup experience.
"Our Bears meetup group is new this year, but it was mainly started because there was no Bears fan club in Atlanta. Now I know that there are a lot of Bears fans in a lot of cities. Well I am a transplant to Atlanta and I had some friends who were transplants as well, and we have been watching the Bears for quite some time, and have met some fans along the way, but with no organization.Well last year, my local watering hole told us we could have their upstairs loft to watch all of our games. That’s all we needed to hear, and since we have been filling up the loft. This year I started the meetup and have had great success. My goal is not only to fill up the loft with Bears fans, but the entire bar. In fact the GM would love nothing more than Bears fans to take the bar over every Sunday. I think we will accomplish that goal this year."
Since the Bears are heading down to Atlanta this year to face the upstart Falcons, I asked about plans for the game. Not surprisingly, Doug is on top of it:
"The Falcons game is in the planning stages. So far it looks like it will be an entire weekend event. I have already been contacted by a fan club in central Florida which will be traveling up for the game. One of our members is on a BBQ competition team so he will have the smoker setup for a tailgate pretty much the entire day.All of this would not be possible without the help of the Meetup staff. It was very easy to setup the website and I have had a tremendous amount of responses."
A weekend event featuring a competitive BBQ team? That’s great. I’m on a competitive tailgating team! Hey Doug, save a couple of brats for me! Sounds like a great weekend!
So if you’re living “behind enemy lines” and are looking for fellow Bears fans, go find a Meetup near you. And if there isn’t one yet, in your area, get off your butt and organize one!
Wherever you are…
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