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And I drag Lynn to a Bears vs. Packers game…

Ok it was dry for the walk over but rained during the game. Still, a poncho kept us dry and we were bundled up.

The game: The Packers won 23-16, though thanks to a botched snap/hold on a late field goal attempt, the Bears got the ball back with 1 minute to go and had a shot to tie it.

A key moment came in the 2’nd quarter (2:30 into the video; score was 10-3 Packers) when the Bears receiver made an excellent run after catch and dived for the end zone. He was ruled out at the 2 (first and goal at the 2) but the Bears challenged the call, claiming that he hit the pylon with the ball before going out of bounds.

Call was reviewed..and showed that he lost control of the ball just prior to hitting the pylon. Hence the ball went out of bounds in the endzone..”touchback” and the Packers ball at the 20 versus the Bears having it at the 2.

Overall, the Packers got just enough offense with their backup quaterback and a receiver running as running back. And they sacked the Bears quarterback several times.

An action shot via the Bears Instagram account:

kickoff. Yes, there were empty seats.

We were about where the arrow is: 2n’d row of the upper deck (442, row 2). GREAT seats..the best I’ve had in Soldier Field so far. This shot was retweeted by EmptySeatsGalore on Twitter. Shot by @RobDemovsky:

Some action.

More action

Some shots of the stands…it was rainy.

Yes, there were some unsold seats up in the upper corner of the upper deck:

Lynn and I in our ponchos.

Lynn and I before going in..it wasn’t raining as yet.

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November 14, 2017 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL | | 1 Comment

Bears Trip

Ok, I did get to see a Monday night game between the Bears and the Vikings. The game was fun (but Soldier field’s concourses are way too narrow and there aren’t enough bathrooms; it is insanely crowded during halftime)

The Vikings won 20-17, based mostly on a field goal off of a strip sack, and off of an interception with just over 2 minutes to go. Otherwise, it was a slugfest with both teams getting 2 touchdowns apiece in the second half. The Bears had the two coolest plays of the night, but overall, the mistakes made the difference.

The Bears got a few yards off of their opening possession and then the teams traded punts several times, with the Vikings losing the field position battle. An end zone sack gave the Bears a 2-0 lead, and it stayed that way until the strip sack set up the Vikings for a field goal and a 3-2 halftime lead (seriously)

The Vikings scored on their opening drive in the second half (and had a funny end zone celebration; they played “duck, duck, goose”) and then the Bears scored on a beautiful fake punt. The Vikings scored again (58 yard run) but the Bears retaliated in the 4’th quarter (tipped pass) and hit a very cool 2-point conversion (handoff-lateral). And it remained even until the last second interception (which I worried out loud about prior to it happening).

Trivia: I saw the Bears rookie quaterback play last year when North Carolina visited Illinois, and I saw the Vikings quarterback play when he was with the Rams (and yes, he got hurt all the time then too). He got hurt this game, going down on a play where a lineman was pushed into him.

Via the Bears Instagram page.

Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd (94) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) for a safety during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Game selfie with Barbara.

From our seats (section 225)

October 12, 2017 Posted by | football, NFL | | Leave a comment

And I drag Mat to the Bears vs. 49’ers game

How does a math professor afford “Media Deck” seats in Soldier field? Well, having an outdoor December game between 2-9 and 1-10 teams helps.

As far as the seats: row 1. Loved that. Now the bathroom at the end (section 244) is too small..and the concourse is crowded. So, next time I’d go to the middle sections to get to the bathroom. Other than that: excellent.

Now the game: the Bears won 26-6, though the first half didn’t look so promising. The 49’ers controlled play…but only managed two field goals. One came on a drive. The other was set up by a partially blocked punt which was returned to the Bear 4 yard line. But the returner though he had scored and …in celebrating what he thought was a touchdown, did a snow angel in the endzone. That resulted in a 15 yard penalty which ..lead to a field goal.

So with just over 2 minutes left in the half, the Bears had the ball at their own 20. They tried two running plays with limited success..and the 49’ers called time out, hoping to get the ball back.

So the Bears completed a pass for the first down..and which point momentum shifted. The Bears found that their backup quarterback COULD pass in this weather and he started to hit passes. That moved the Bears sharply to the 12 yard line, and a pass interference penalty put the ball at the 49’er 1 with just over 30 seconds to go. The Bears ran it in and took a 7-6 lead at the half.

The Bears dominated the second half, mixing running and passing. The drove for 2 touchdowns and established a 21-6 lead going into the 4’th quarter.

A nice field goal pushed it to 24-6; and then a good punt pinned the 49’ers deep (at their own 2), and a quarterback sack for a safety pushed the final margin to 26-6.

So, the Bears won 3 games this season, and I was there for 2 of those victories! In fact, I’ve yet to witness the opposing team score a touchdown on the Bears.

I never got that cold; in fact, during the game, I never had to put on my extra coat.

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The Media Deck concourse has heat lamps overhead. If you sit in rows 11-12, these might keep you a little bit warm.

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The Bears take the field.

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Early action.

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Field goal 49’ers.

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Bears in scoring position in the third quarter.

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Touchdown Bears!

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The cold fans braving the elements.

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The red arrow marks where we are.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL | | 1 Comment

Chicago Bears vs. Lions trip

Well, the trip to Chicago was more uneventful that I had anticipated. We went up the night before just to enjoy some relaxation.

The hotel (Hyatt and McCormick Place) was really about 1 mile away from the stadium, and most of the walk was along bike path type surfaces.

We took this before Barbara saw our seats…

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Here she was contemplating “acrimonious divorce”.

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But hey, there was a great view.

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The crowd was somewhat late arriving, but it did fill up pretty well.

As far as the game itself: The Bears did control action during the first half but really had only 7 points to show for it. The Bears defense shut down the Lions effectively, allowing only one 50 yard field goal and coming up with an “almost pick 6” at the end to stop a Lion drive (busted route).

Second half: the Lions opened up with drive that took almost 8 minutes of the 3’rd quarter. They got first and goal at the 5 and ran it to inside the 1. But…the Bears goal line defense made two key run stops, stopping them for no gain and then a 2 yard loss.

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So the Lions had to kick a field goal and it was 7-6. Then the Bears hit a 64 yard pass to set up a short touchdown pass; it was now 14-6.

Another drive set up a field goal to make it 17-6, and the Bears came up with another interception inside of 4 minutes to go. Bears running made the Lions use up time outs.

But the Lions hit a big 80 yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:50 to play and followed it with a 2 point conversion, but the Lions had no time outs left. The Bears recovered the onside kick and went into “victory formation” to seal their first win of the year.

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Highlights:

October 4, 2016 Posted by | football, NFL, travel | | 1 Comment

The nicest butt and favorite NFL team…

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There is a saying that I found on the internet. To paraphrase: “there are a lot of nice butts to look at. But the nicest one is the one that you get to touch”.
I am a bit that way with NFL teams too. My favorite team is the one I get to watch. The Rams have announced that they have applied to relocate to Los Angeles (as has San Diego and Oakland). Now I don’t know what will happen (will the league allow it, or will a new team come in…like say Jacksonville?) but it sure appears as if I’ll have no St. Louis team to watch in the Jones Dome next year:

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Oh well…NFL is a business, period. It will be time to follow someone else. The Colts are 48 minutes further away. The Bears: roughly the same distance as St. Louis, but there is more traffic in that direction (bigger city). And, I tend to make later season games (October and beyond) due to my fall marathon and my spouse doesn’t do cold weather games outdoors.

So…
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Of course, some of these games might be solo as an NFL game from where I live is a 7-7 time commitment …though perhaps…depending on if one of my friends is in town at this time…or

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Ah, it is a long way off and who knows what will happen.

Time for basketball season. 🙂

January 5, 2016 Posted by | big butts, Friends, NFL | , , , | Leave a comment