For today’s Chicago Bears 30-Day Challenge topic we’re once again running through the answers roundtable style.
Today’s question was a two-parter as we wanted to know everybody’s favorite place to watch Bears games, but we also asked the WCG staff to share with us any game day rituals or superstitions they may have.
After you check out what we have to say, be sure to let us all know your favorite game day place and any rituals or superstitions you may have.
Jeff Berckes: Ideally, I’m just watching Bears games by myself in my house. I tend to swear a lot (in good times and in bad), I’ve been known to pace during critical moments while mumbling to myself, and I generally like to have the volume low to minimize Joe Buck’s voice in my life. Not sure I need to expose anyone to all that nervous energy. My ritual... I do like to wear a Bears jersey and treat myself to a glass-bottled coke during the game.
Jeff can be heard as co-host of our Bears Over Beers podcast, he and Sam co-author a weekly gambling column, he’s WCG’s fantasy football guru (he also writes about fantasy at the QB List), and he’s on Twitter at @gridironborn.
Will Robinson II: As comfortable, and convenient, as watching from home is, it’s hard to beat the visceral experience of a stadium filled with thousands of screaming fans. Emotions ebbing and flowing with the course of the game, everyone cheering for a common goal. That said, my favorite place to watch is a compromise between the two: a nice, Bears friendly sports bar. It’s more comfortable and convenient than the stadium, has better (and cheaper) beer and food, and you get the TV angle advantage of watching at home, while still having some of that communal fan experience that makes stadium trips so special. It’s the best of both worlds.
In terms of a ritual, I don’t really have one. At least not to the extent I did when I was playing (god help you if you interrupted my pre-game deuce or me listening to Dragula after warmups!). These days, I just get some food together around 11:30, grab a beer, and settle in. I do usually have some form of Bears gear on or around me though (shirt, hat, koozie etc), for what it’s worth.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: It honestly depends on 1) the game itself and its significance and 2) what time of day it is. If it’s a typical noon kick off game, I’ll typically dwell in my man cave with my German Shepherd and a few beers. In Pensacola there is a place called “Play” where it’s legit a Bears-themed bar on gameday. I’ve contemplated going since most COVID restrictions are gone at this point (and since I’m fully vaccinated, too.) If it’s a night-time game, then it’s 50/50 going out into town with the friends and crew. I’m also planning on attending at least one home game at Soldier Field this season.
ECD, found on Twitter @EDuerrwaechter, has been our resident Optimist Prime since the days when he was simply an active member of our community. His optimism may have waned slightly, but the 2021 NFL Draft has him back as his usual positive self.
Ken Mitchell: Day games? I don’t watch them live. Really.
I simply cannot stand watching NFL football games real-time, the experience drives me nuts. I don’t want to spend 3-4 hours of my life watching 35 minutes worth of football action.
So what do I do? I listen to the game on the radio (actually on NFL Game Pass which carries Jeff Joniak’s call) while I’m out riding my bicycle, or taking photos, or doing the other interesting things one can do on a Sunday afternoon instead of being glued to a TV.
I watch the condensed game on Game Pass later that night.
Night games? I’m stuck at home (since I have to do the Den afterwards, night games stick me at home) so I generally am stuck watching them. I hate night games.
Ken has been our Denmeister for years, he’s our top roundtable idea-man, and he’s on Twitter at @WCGBearsDenDude.
Jack Salo: I follow my nose, so wherever the aroma of delicious food leads me is my favorite place to watch a game.
I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious. I wear the same jersey the Bears are wearing, home away or alternate.
Jack, on the Twitter @JackRSalo, is Ken’s Den backup, and his Saturday Spotlight is a fun in-season way to learn about different Chicago players.
Patti Curl: My game day ritual is to eschew the joys of the communal fan experience to sit at home surrounded by multiple monitors, two DVRs, and a library of football text books while I drink strong coffee and tirelessly pour my soul into the postgame write-ups you all appreciate so much.
You are welcome.
Dr. Curl can be found at Twitter @OpinionBear, and like she said, her always fun postgame column (the fastest in the world btw) can bring a smile to readers even if the Bears don’t come away with the W.
Sam Householder: I am usually in the Bears Cave with Ashley and our daughter — watching games is a bit different with a toddler — but it’s fun and I can still follow the action close enough for me. But last season I couldn’t quite celebrate as loudly when it was naptime. I think I’ve finally broken myself from all of my gameday tics, I used to knock on wood every time I said or thought something that could be a jinx (“Gotta get a first down here,” “Come on, no interceptions” etc.).
Alex Obringer: My Bears game rituals start with watching FOX NFL Sunday. For the game I watch only with my brother and my dad because they’ll get as loud as me. Throughout the game my dad complains how every penalty is the coaches fault and not the players, while my brother and I just ignore him.
The only superstition I have is that I will wear a different jersey each game until they win. Then the next week I will wear the exact same jersey again just hoping that the specific jersey I was wearing was the reason that the Bears won.
Alex is WCG’s first ever summer intern and he’s on Twitter @alex_obringer.
Josh Sunderbruch: My favorite place to watch a game is on the couch in our living room. Boring but practical. We do have two things that might be considered rituals. The first is that I always make popcorn of some kind (butter and salt, honey and red pepper, etc) for us to sit down and eat. The second is that when I get nervous about the game I go to the sink and wash dishes during commercial breaks.
Josh isn’t on Twitter and that’s all I can tell you about WCG’s mystery man.
Robert Schmitz: My favorite place to watch the Bears honestly depends on the game’s importance — for standard noon games I prefer being at my house on my own because I don’t feel like I can focus properly with other people around. Since I usually tweet along with the game, my couch lets me focus and tweet easiest.
For big games though I usually travel to my Dad’s house so I can watch with him. He’s who got me into football in the first place, so I love being able to celebrate our team (win, lose, or tie) along side him. It’s great fun all around... until Parkey misses that kick and we end up consoling each other.
Robert hosts the Bear With Me podcast (it’s also our postgame show), he’s one-third of the Rule of 3 podcast, and his YouTube channel, Run Pass Opinion, is always cooking up something fun and educational. He’s on Twitter @robertkschmitz.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Going to games is more hassle than it’s worth, and I’m generally too frugal to bother with all that spending. My favorite place to watch Bears games is at home and alone. I don’t talk much during games, but I do Tweet (@wiltfongjr), and since no one in my family is much more than a casual sports fan, I’m usually free to yell and jump around at my leisure.
I live right over the north of the Illinois border, so if there’s ever an instance where the Bears aren’t on my TV then I’ll go to Buffalo Wild Wings and sit in their uncomfortable chairs for three hours. I can’t wait for the NFL to allow a pay by the game Sunday Ticket.
I never wear any Bears gear when I’m watching at home, but I will throw on a hat if I watch a game elsewhere. In 2018 I was drinking a Zima before each of their last 4 regular season wins, but I ran out before the wildcard game. Am I partly to blame for the double-doink?
Lester is fortunate to have a talented team of content creators at Windy City Gridiron and on our podcast channel that all regularly make WCG shine.
Now it’s your turn.
Where is your favorite place to watch the Bears, and do you have a ritual or superstition?