This is a tribute to not only my father but anyone who has impacted your life as it relates to the Chicago Bears and beyond.
When people ask me about my profession, I tell them I am a Paralegal. However, I have always considered myself a writer too. I have been writing for over 10 years now. The time has flown by and it seems like yesterday. I have held many hats for many sites and even self-published my own content that literally no one would ever see or read. Now I am grateful enough to be able to write about the team I hold near and dear to my heart — the Chicago Bears.
My day job as a Paralegal requires me to write as well. Whether it is writing legal briefs or my opinion on the Chicago Bears, I am truly a writer at heart. What do writers do? Simple. We write. We write when we are passionate about a topic. We write when we are sad to see a player like Kyle Long retire. We write just to share our ideas in hopes to reach others who may share in our ideologies or to better yet, open up people’s minds to new thoughts altogether.
Well, in this case, I am writing to share a story, but this goes way beyond the story. In fact, this story is very therapeutic for me specifically right now. My goal here is for one person in particular to read this story and if only he reads this, I will be ecstatic. If no one else reads this story, so be it. Unfortunately, I already know my target audience will not be reading this, at least not in the way I want him to read it. My target audience is my Dad.
As everyone has been mourning Kobe Bryant this past week, my family and I have been mourning the unexpected death of our father. A man who I have not always gotten along with. A man who in ways is a polar opposite of me. A man who has made his fair share of mistakes along the way.
None of this matters though. What matters is how I have my father to thank for many things. You see, he is the type of person who would drop anything to help out. If you needed something repaired, he would be there in a flash. If you wanted to talk, he would reach out and listen. These are the traits I am lucky enough to have inherited from him and I hope to instill in my children.
This is not all though. You see, this story would not make sense to be written for a blog site that specifically speaks about football and the Chicago Bears. If it were not for my Dad, I would not even have this outlet to write from. Who knows what team I would be rooting for these days.
In fact, I started out as a Miami Dolphins fan in my younger years. Dan Marino was my idol growing up. Had I known what I know now back then, I would have realized I idolized the wrong man. My idol should have been my Dad. The passion and loyalty he brought every season are why I am now the biggest Bears fan in our family. This was not true just five days ago.
I realized over the last few days, that I not only write because of the passion I have within but also because I wanted to make my Dad proud. I would send him links to my articles and he would share them with his friends. Since taking on my current role, he would just send the site link to anyone he knew. I have heard since his passing he talked about my writing to many people. He was clearly proud of me.
My hope in writing this was mostly to pay tribute to a man who I am going to miss every single day. A man who called or texted me nearly every day. A man who’s grandchildren adored him. A man who now, no longer walks this Earth, but will forever be in mine and my family’s hearts. The passing of Kobe Bryant was tragic and awful, but for someone like me who never knew him, his death means little to me in comparison to losing my rock, my guiding star, my father.
I would give anything to be able to go to another Chicago Bears game with my Dad. His grandsons are heartbroken to never share in that experience with him. Going this season will not be the same. In fact, it will never feel the same watching this team play again. However, I know that my Dad would want me to go. Some of our favorite memories have come from going to games. He would be disappointed if we did not carry on that tradition.
Do not worry. We will still root on this team every year, even when they are not competitive. Do not worry, we will still go to the games and sit in your seats and remember how much we miss you. Do not worry, I will keep doing what I can to make you proud. I thank you for helping shape me into the man I am today. I thank you for instilling the fire and passion in me needed to be a Chicago Bears fan.
I expect many families have similar stories about why they are Chicago Bears fans today. Maybe someone else guided you to wear blue and orange? Please share your stories in the comments. This tribute goes out to all of those who have helped mold us into the best fanbase of the NFL. Bear Down for eternity Dad.