The month of June is probably the only month the NFL allows us fans to catch our breath. Once the season ends in February, we have free agency in March. Mock draft season has a slow build all the way to the actual Draft which hits near the end of April and early May. Then we have to evaluate the draft and watch as teams fill their 90 man rosters for the beginning of off season activities. Mid July brings the opening of training camps around the NFL and the start of another season.
The only newsworthy thing going on in June for the Chicago Bears is a mandatory mini camp which takes place from June 16-18. While we'll have that mini camp covered here on Windy City Gridiron like we always do, we also wanted to try something a little different in June, a 30 Day Challenge.
I got this idea from one of our SB Nation sister sites, Cageside Seats, and it's a neat way for all of us to get to know each other better. We have a very active community, but hopefully this 30 day exercise will entice some the lurkers to jump in the comment section and share some stories.
Day 1: What is your earliest Chicago Bears memory?
I've told the story on how I became a Bears fan before on WCG, so some of you may be aware of this, but I need to tell it again in order to get to my answer on the first challenge.
Unlike many of you, I'm not a lifelong fan of the beloved. The first team I cheered for was the Dallas Cowboys. I know, I know, I was young, I didn't know any better. Luckily that only lasted about a year before I was forced to switch allegiances because my older cousin was a huge fan of "America's Team" too. Since he was a Cowboy fan, I decided to cheer for the next most popular team in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yes, I know, I was a bandwagon fan, but this was the heart of their Steel Curtain run and in the late 70s, Dallas fans hated the Steelers, so I jumped ship. Plus remember I was young, I didn't know any better.
I stuck with the Steelers for a little while until I realized the Chicago Bears were the local team and I could watch them every Sunday during football season. But what pushed me towards the beloved Bear was my step brother, who claimed that Chicago running back Walter Payton was way better than Pittsburgh's Franco Harris.
I argued at first -- remember I was still a Steeler fan -- but he claimed that Harris was soft and was always looking to get out of bounds, while Payton was always looking to punish the defense. I claimed there was no way Franco Harris, with his 4 Super Bowl rings, was worse than someone nicknamed Sweetness.
I argued for as long as a little kid can argue with a teenager, but I finally watched Walter Payton run the ball. My earliest Chicago Bears memory was sitting on the floor at my dads house, watching the best football player to ever lace 'em up.
I immediately rethought my stance on Franco Harris.
Then the more I saw of Payton and the Bears, the more I realized where my heart lies.
Now it's your turn: tell us your first Chicago Bears memory.