If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that every year myself and a group of buddies pick a Bears road game as our annual Bears trip. The trip has been going on for 18 years and I’m proudly on my 17th consecutive trip. I have to say that this season was one of the biggest and most successful trips of all, on and off the field.
Jay Cutler makes his return to Nashville as the Bears arrive at their team hotel.
It started when we found out that the Bears were staying in our hotel. On Saturday afternoon, the lobby started to fill with Bears fans and chants of “Let’s go Bears” filled the lobby. Players exited the bus and made their way through the lobby. Most wore their Beats and just nodded as they worked their way up the escalator to pick up the room keys. Later in the night, players and coaches made their way about town. Fans stopped players on the streets, wishing them well.
My personal highlight had to be meeting general manager Phil Emery. As we prepared to head out for our tailgating on Sunday morning, my buddy spotted Emery with bags in hand, heading for the elevators. We hustled up to be sure we got to ride down with him. As the elevators were running especially slowly on Sunday morning, it turns out we got to chat with him for several minutes.
He actually saw us in our Bears gear and engaged us in conversation. I admit, I muted my inner meatball, which wanted to tell him to draft an offensive lineman next season and instead I congratulated him and thanked him for a great season so far. He was very pleasant and chatted us up when he could have just kept his head down and focused on the business of his day.
THE GAME’s tailgate party about 9AM is already filled with Bears fans.
As we passed the team bus, we walked towards LP Field and to the tailgate party sponsored by their local ESPN radio station, 102.5 THE GAME. We were shocked to find this Titans tailgate party was FILLED with Bears fans. It was a harbinger of things to come.
We headed for the stadium, where my group of 24 guys started our Bears fan “tunnel”, which never seemed to end. Usually when we do this, it will go for a few minutes and the home fans and lack of Bears fans cause it to dissolve. In this case, it wouldn’t end and kept going and going until we ended it to head up to our seats. Here’s what a random person posted on YouTube of our tunnel:
After the game, we headed out to celebrate the win. As we soaked in Nashville’s last few beers and the afternoon and evening games, my friends’ iPhones turned into iBricks as their batteries died while I provided updates on our fantasy football scores thanks to the endless life of my Motorola RAZR M and the Verizon Wireless 4G Network. After we returned to the hotel, I was able to write up my game post using my Mobile Hotspot, saving myself the $14 fee the hotel was charging for use of their wifi.
We’ve discussed the amazing game a few different times, so I won’t get into the details in this post. I will repeat that it was a sight like none I’ve ever seen inside the stadium, between the white lines and at the visiting city in general. Thanks to the city of Nashville and their southern hospitality for a great trip. And now to start planning for Bears Trip 2013!
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Fans program and have been provided with a wireless device and five months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.