In case you missed it: 2017 Chicago Bears Fan Fiction
“Vegas is still sleeping on the Bears.” Ryan Pace spoke out loud, as he often did alone in his office in order to stay in practice at perfecting the undertones of soft-spoken authority that went over so well with the media.
Pace continued to glance through the dossier of projected wins on his desk. “Lions at 8, Vikings at 10...” Pace shrugged and took a sip of his coffee. “Packers at...”
Ryan picked up his pre-release i-Phone XXL and dialed Wisconsin.
”You got ‘Kunst,” A gruff voice answered, coming across as both hard-spoken and lacking authority.
”Brian. It’s Ryan Pace here, Chicago Bears.”
”Yeah I know who you are.”
Pace paused as he heard a muffled shout through the line, “Alexa, google Bryan Pace.”
”Listen Brian, I’m looking at Vegas’ win projections here--”
”Well, I can stop you right there. Turns out if you work for an NFL team, you’re not allowed to bet on your own games. I checked.”
”You can’t bet in the traditional sense, Brian, but what if I told you there was another way.”
”Oh man, that would be great. My first plan was to just bet my salary on the Packers under and spend the rest of our salary cap on a Clay Matthews extension. I tell you that would be so much easier than trying to do this right. Did you know that there’s a limit to how many players you can have on your team? I don’t mean just on the field at one time, but on the team at all!”
”No, Brian. I’m saying what if there was another way we could bet on ourselves to win? Hear me out.”
”Vegas is expecting the Bears to have a bottom 10 win total, which would mean a top ten pick in next years draft. They also have the Packers among the top 5 highest win totals, so you’d likely be picking at the end of the first. Do you follow?”
”Of course I follow. The Packers are better than the Bears. You called to tell me that? My dog knows that.”
”No, Brian. I called to tell you that I will trade you the Bears’ 2019 first round pick, projected to be in the top 10, for the Packer’s 2019 first and second round picks. I tell you Brian, that’s a hell of a deal by the Jimmy Johnson trade chart.”
”That does sound like a good deal. Hold on.”
Distant voices projected through the crisp speakers of Pace’s elites-only cellular device:
”Alexa, are the Bears any good?”
”The Chicago Bears have won eight of thirty-two games in the last two years. They lost every matchup in the NFC north last season, including a game against your Packers’ sub-mediocre backup quarterback, Brett Hundley. According to Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, the Bears’ front office does not even understand how free agent tenders work.”
Gutekunst’s try-too-hard gruff voice came back to the phone loudly. “You’ve got a deal.”
A satisfied grin slowly grew on Pace’s boyishly-handsome face. He looked around the room to make sure he was alone.
”Matt? You there?”
As the silence confirmed that he was indeed alone, Pace began to spin in his luxurious leather chair.
”I’m fired up,” he said and smiled, like a child who just got away with sneaking a fruity treat. “I’m fired up!”
”I am fired up!” Pace spun his chair faster before quickly standing up and walking across the room to gaze out the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking Soldier Field’s unequivocally successful renovations.
”Siri XXL, play Girl on Fire, Front Office Remix”
Pace struck a powerful pose as a special version of closet-Bears-fan Alicia Keys’ soulful song boomed through the speakers. He reached his arm forward with his fingers spread wide, calmly and confidently raising his hand to the sky as he executed a perfect lip-synch routine.
This Bear is on fire. This GM is on firree. He’s walking on firrrree. Mister Pace is on fire.
Hey little girl is your daddy home
Did he go away and leave you all alone
I got a bad desire
Oh, oh, oh I’m on fire
Staley’s butter-smooth voice hung in the air like a captivating fog setting down upon an enthralled Lake View karaoke bar. Zippo lighters and cell phones swayed slowly from side to side. All conversation ceased whenever the Bear mascot took the stage. No drinks were purchased. The women’s bathroom line stood motionless, even after every stall emptied to see the source of this sweet sultry euphony for themselves; it was as if everyone’s kidneys, ureters, bladders, and urethras froze in unison to behold the glory before them.
Tell me now baby is he good to you
Can he do to you the things that I do
I can take you higher
Oh, oh, oh I’m on fire
I’m on fire
When Staley finished the Springsteen song, the bar resumed normal activity. Everyone but the most diehard Bears’ fans returned to their conversations, their wings, and their adult beverages as Mitch Trubisky and Matt Nagy took the stage to sing Starship’s multi-gold-certified classic Nothing’s gonna stop us now.
As the Bears’ player table focused on their new coach and franchise quarterback developing an unbreakable bond on the Karaoke stage, Akiem Hicks noticed a suspicious hand reach across the table and shake a powder into Ryan Winslow’s drink. Hicks recognized Pat O’Donnell as he pulled back his hand and placed a packet into his coat pocket. Hicks caught the letters “uberla” on the package as the incumbent punter put the packet away.
Interesting, Hicks thought. What’s O’Donnell up to and what is uberla? Los Angeles Uber?
Akiem became distracted as his Coach and QB harmonized “We can build this dream together” and he began imagining himself sacking Aaron Rodgers, smoshing down upon his smug face, Hick’s orange jersey the only thing Rodgers would see as he tries to gasp for air and chokes on a fat roll. Relax, little quarterback. Just succumb, let go, r e l a x.
And if this world runs out of lovers
We’ll still have each other
Trubisky pulled his mic back and leaned over to Nagy, “Hey coach, can we say maybe ‘brothers’ instead of ‘lovers’?”
”Nahh. I love you, man!” Nagy smiled wide as he slapped Trubisky on the back then held his shoulder with brotherly affection.
“It’s just. I’m already singing the female vocals. I don’t want the ladies here to get the wrong idea. I’m a heterosexual man who likes titties.”
Nagy laughed at his blossoming young quarterback, “you worry to much.”
I’m so glad I found you, I’m not gonna lose you...there was no more time to talk as Nagy burst into the second verse.
”Don’t touch me.”
Staley’s sharp ursine ears caught a concerning tone coming from the bar. He looked over to see a swarmy man leaning in towards a woman sitting alone at the bar, his hand was on the back of her stool and she was sitting at the far edge, turned defensively towards him with her hands up.
”Damn, girl. Calm down. I just touched your back.”
”You touched the small of my back. And your sweaty fingers were starting to creep their way down as soon as they got there. Walk away. I’m not interested”
”But I bought you a drink. You owe me a least a little something—”
The creepster started to reach towards the woman again before Staley shoved his massive furry frame between them.
”Hey buddy. Do you have a problem?” The predatory dirtbag asked Staley.
”Not if you walk out the door right now.” Staley shrugged, pointing his paw to the exit.
The mentally-flawed man wound up and swung a right hook in Staley’s direction. Instinctively, Staley caught his arm mid swing and quickly bit his hand off.
”AAHHHHHH. Oh my god what the f*#*(!? You bit my hand off! I didn’t sign up for this!!” The man looked towards the woman he’d been harassing with a hurt and confused expression, almost as if to blame her for what had happened.
”What did you expect? I’m a f@#%ing bear.” Staley replied.
”Oh my god. Oh my god! Oh my god! It’s bleeding!!!”
”Look on the bright said,” Staley said. “At least you’re left handed.”
”I’m not left handed!!”
”You are now,” Staley quipped, then turned to the woman as the loser pervo slumped handless out of the bar, leaving a trail of blood and regrets.
”Hi. I’m Staley,” the Bear mascot reached out his paw.
And if the world runs out of brLOVERS, we’ll still have each other. Matt Nagy’s voice drowned out Trubisky’s as they sang the chorus one more time. The brilliant coach put his arm around Trubisky and gave the fledging frachise savior a loving noogie, ruffling his well-groomed hair as they continued the song.
”I hope I didn’t intrude. It seemed like you could handle yourself there,” Staley continued.
“I’m Vanessa. And I know who you are.” Vanessa smiled. “You’re right. I could have handled myself, but it was going to be a hassle. I appreciate the help.” Vanessa gestured to the unwanted drink that the handless man had bought her. “Do you want this?”
“Aww, thanks. But I don’t drink while I’m singing.”
“Let me buy you some wings then?”
“I can’t say no to that,” Staley smiled and pulled up a stool.
Mitchell Trubisky had always been able to improvise under pressure, and he wasn’t about to let the several beautiful women he’d already noticed in the bar get the wrong idea about his relationship with his coach. When the last chorus came along he was prepared.
And we can build this dream together
Standing strong forever
Nothing’s gonna stop us now
And if this world runs out of (PLATONIC) lovers, Trubisky interjected in the background, harmonizing with Nagy as they finished the chorus, arms around each other’s backs, swaying in unison.
We’ll still have each other
Nothing’s gonna stop us, nothing’s gonna stop us now.
The bartender casual placed out candles across the bar. She spaced them evenly, but quite intentionally placed one so that its flicker would regularly reflect in the glint of Staley’s eyes as he smiled, talking and laughing with Vanessa as he munched down his wings.
Staley was impressed by her refreshing candor and her genuine interest in his work. She’d even remembered a moment he’d impressed her with an infinitely emotive slump when the Bears had lost on a missed field goal. She wasn’t like the usual girls who threw themselves at him because of his fame or his voice.
By the time the KJ announced Staley’s final song, Vanessa had touched his shoulder at least a dozen times. Enough that the scent of her Prada infusion d’Iris fragrance was infused into the fibers of his #00 Staley jersey.
”Don’t leave your fans waiting, Staley!” The KJ was shouting in his direction now.
Staley looked to Vanessa, “You’re probably going to love this.” He grinned and jogged towards the stage.
As soon as he turned around, Vanessa deftly snatched Staley’s last wing with a gloved hand, sealed it in a medical-grade specimen bag, and placed it in her purse.
These arms of minneee
The crowd stood frozen as Staley began Otis Redding’s soulful classic. He looked out over their captivated eyes. Vanessa was nowhere to be seen.
They are yearning
”You have the iPad?” Vanessa’s tone was direct and inpatient as she addressed a disheveled kid in the corner of a dark parking garage.
”Yeah. Of course. I’ve got everything. The jersey. The helmet...” the kid paused. He tried acting cool, his voice was shaking. “Do you like, have the umm money.”
Vanessa shoved a stack of bills into his hand and grabbed the iPad. She pulled a silicon paw from her purse and placed it over the camera.
Vanessa tapped her finger on the corner of the pad, for the first time betraying an underlying anxiety beneath her cool demeanor.
“Where do you want the rest of this stuff?”
“Ok... awesome.” The kid was taken aback. “Thanks, I guess.”
UNLIMITED SECURITY CLEARANCE GRANTED
The kid slowly gathered Roquan’s prized athletic gear. “I guess I’ll be leaving then...”
“No.” He froze. There was urgency and authority in Vanessa’s voice.
Vanessa was referring to the iPad but she continued staring at it intensely without any gesture suggesting she would give it up.
COPY COMPLETE... RESTARTING
Vanessa shoved the iPad into the kids chest. He almost dropped as she immediately walked away, dialing her phone.
The kid scurried out of the garage with his haul. He couldn’t hold the grin off his face as he thought about what a deal he’d gotten away with.
“Hello, Athens-Clarke county Sheriff’s department?” Vanessa began. “I know who has Roquan Smith’s stolen items.”