In case you haven't noticed, the Chicago Bears are not a very good football team. And when a person's favorite team doesn't do well, they usually aren't as excited to represent said team in public.
That was made clear recently on ESPN's NFL Twitter page. They released a map which revealed the top-selling NFL jersey in each state. According to the map, the best-selling jersey in Illinois is not one of a Bears player. In fact, it's the jersey of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that is the top seller in the Land of Lincoln.
Beast Mode is taking over the west coast. pic.twitter.com/V5xsRA1Im1— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 19, 2017
Granted, the Bears really don’t have any established, marketable stars at the moment. Jordan Howard and Leonard Floyd aren't household names yet. Mitch Trubisky is still only a rookie. Players like Pernell McPhee and Akiem Hicks have gone under the radar. Kyle Long - arguably the Bears' most popular player - is one of the best guards in the league, but he's an offensive lineman. Not many people buy jerseys for offensive linemen.
Nevertheless, it’s quite disappointing to see the map’s results, considering that Chicago has been viewed as a football city for much of the Bears' existence.
This pattern has fallen upon several other states that have losing teams. Out of each team that has a player listed on the map, the worst record was 7-9. Ohio’s top jersey was also Brady, despite the fact that the state has two NFL teams in it. Florida has three teams (two who both finished above .500), but yet Brady was the top selling jersey there, as well.
It’s safe to say that there likely won’t be a Bear atop Illinois’ jersey-selling list until the team starts winning more games. We as fans can only hope that that day comes sooner rather than later.