Sunday, February 4, 2007
Our Bears, Our Super Bowl.
Last night as I was waiting tables, dreaming about the Super Bowl I would be watching today, a regular couple came in and sat down in my station. I don't have the contempt for these regulars that I might for others. They are always cheerful, polite and generous. She has a Long Island, Diet Coke back, while he has a Chardonnay. My busser, Oscar, arrives at the table first to fill water, as I approach them, Oscar, mentions that her father played for the Bears. Cool, I'll ask her about it.
"Evening folks, good to see you. Oscar tells me your father played for the Bears?"
Her husband speaks up first, his male pride swelling as he points to his chest, on his sweater is the team picture above, "This is him here, number 20."
"He played on the 1932 Championship team," I ask.
She speaks up now, "Yes."
"That's not the 73-0 game against the Redskins, was it?"
"No, but he was on that team. He played from '29 to '36."
Now, I'm a bit of a sports historian, thinking this is very cool, I say so, "Cool. What was his name?"
"So, he played with Red Grange?"
"Yes, and Bronco Nagurski."
"Wow. Was Halas the coach?"
"Yes, he's there in the picture," her husband adds, pointing to a young Halas on the left of his sweater. "90 bucks a game they got paid."
"The Bear Down fight song is about the team your dad played on."
"Well, I gotta say this is very cool, you forget the history sometimes, but your dad helped build the NFL. Sorry for the cliche, but in your case, it's true."
She begins to open up to the subject, "Thanks. I have all of his medical paperwork, all his jerseys and uniforms."
"Has the city, or team ever asked for any of it? For display or anything?"
"No, the Bears records building burned down awhile ago, so I'm glad I still had it myself."
I've spent to much time at the table now, the restaurant is busy. "We'll, I'll say thank you to you, and your dad for the game tomorrow, and this round is on me."
They say thank you, and the rest of the meal is pretty uneventful.
I have no monumental insight gleaned from this conversation. I just thought, and I think I mentioned this, that it was pretty cool.
So today, I'm gonna go watch the game, have fun, enjoy myself and raise my glass to Zuck Carlson.
One of the first Bears to Bear Down, and thrill the nation with the "T" formation.