How many Bears jerseys do you need to own? Which ones are mandatory? Do you need your own personal copy of Brian's Song? Must you cry when the Bears lose a heartbreaker? Have you ever? When? Is it really mandatory to hate the Packers to be a "true" Bears fan? How many games a year do you need to attend in person to qualify? How many December and January games, or is it okay to be a "fair-weather" fan--literally? Is attendance at meaningless exhibition games the true litmus test of a real Bears fan? Must you be a "homer" always drunk on the Kool Aid or do they also serve who "constructively"--or not-- critique management, players, the stadium and the playing field? How many years of long-suffering is necessary to mature into a "true" Bears fan? Or is it okay to be a Joan or Johnny come lately? Is it really necessary to have saved copies of every Bears game in the last ten years? Do you really have to grow a beard when the playoffs start until the Bears lose? How many hours, days, weeks of mock drafting before the draft is necessary to be a "true" Bears fan? Or is a "just trust Jerry" or "Phil" or "Mike McCaskey" approach all that is required? Must you convert your spouse into being a Bears fan or into tolerating your "fandom" antics in preparation for or during Bears games? What are they?
Here's my story and "proof" that I'm a true Bears fan.
I grew up in upstate NY and was a NY Giants fan as a boy in the day of Frank Gifford, Alex Webster, Conerly, Tittle Samnie Huff, Roosie Grier, Pat Summerall, etc. Yes, I'm dating myself. And I was NOT a happy camper when the Bears beat the Giants 14-10 in the 1963 Championship game.
Eventually, however, I migrated to Chicago in the fall of 1967 to attend Loyola, met and married a Southside Irish gal from Little Flower and was "persuaded" into becoming a Bears fan at risk of being beaten up by her four brothers.
So what makes me a TRUE Bears fan is that I have foresworn my early childhood allegiance to the Giants and CHOSEN to become a Bears fan rather than being "born" to the status; that I always make my wife leave church early on Sundays--which she hates-- to make sure I see the kickoff; that I wear a Bears tie to work whenever the Bears are in the playoffs and for however long they are still in it; that I spend ridiculous hours mock-draftng the Bears draft before it happens and cringe when they blow their picks; that I cry when I see Brian's Song; and that I care enough about being a Bears fan to offer a fanpost like this!