How China Invented the NFL, or, the State of the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears Tennessee Titans
Bear down Terracotta Warriors!

Now that the NFL regular season is over, let’s look back on the Chicago Bears with a story:

Earlier this year, the generous staff here at MojoFiction decided that the best way to celebrate our son’s twelfth birthday was to take him out to his first NFL football game. Since we live in Chicagoland, we thought the best game to take him to would be in Denver, but that was a Sunday night game and he has school. So, we took him to Soldier Field to see the Bears take on the Tennessee Titans on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Fun Fact #1: Our son is a huge Titans fan. We don’t recall fathering any Titans fans and a paternity test is pending.

Fun Fact #2: It turns out the Bears accidentally attended the NHL draft last year instead of the NFL draft. So, while the team could easily defend field goals with a butterfly save, they couldn’t run on the turf very well in their skates. As a result, resale tickets were a cool $40 a pop. Coincidentally, parking was also $40, which, of course, is not a very fun fact. Welcome to Chicago!

Soldier Field is parked on the “Museum Campus” on Chicago’s lakefront and it turns out that the Field Museum had scheduled that Sunday as a free-admission day. The game started at noon, so we left early and walked into the museum a little after 9am (Central Standard Time, which, of course, is the best standard time. In your face New York!).

We wanted to see the new exhibit on China’s Terra Cotta Warriors because we wanted to instruct our son the true history of the NFL and the development of modern gridiron sports.

See, Chinese emperors were experts in military philosophy, as noted by the formations of the Terracotta Warriors which, when discovered in 1974, were found in an early variation on the Wildcat. Additionally, each of the thousands of individual, life-size figures in the discovery is unique and modeled after important soldiers of the time, such as General LaTraveon Chin, and Hwang Belichick. These famous names have been handed down over the generations to our current roster of NFL players.

According to our in-depth research that we’ll eventually do some time, the emperor Qin, in the year 2000 B.S.B (Before Super Bowl) studying under these generals, invented a military tactic called the Wishbone, which he used to decimate the Mongols, who only knew how to play Cover 2. The superior training of Emperor Chin’s soldiers can be seen in the sample figures at the museum, which are shown in ancient military poses, such as “Three-Technique” and “Trips Right.”

After teaching our son this valuable NFL history lesson, during which he rolled his eyes approximately 67 times, we walked over to Soldier Field. As you know, Soldier Field takes its name from the thousands of Chicago taxpayers who had to soldier on after former Mayor Daley gave their money to the Bears for a new stadium.

He's smiling because his team is playing the Bears...
He’s smiling because his team is playing the Bears…

Inside, we hiked up to the 33rd row in the seating bowl, and though we were supplied with oxygen tanks for the altitude, we were still surprised to run into God who looked at us and said, “How did you get up here?” To which we replied, “StubHub.”

Next, the Titans took the field against the Bears, who looked uncomfortable in their skates.

After the first quarter, it was a tight affair. And by tight, we mean our long underwear, which we should have tried on prior to buying and that sounds gross now that we say it out loud. Both teams had opportunity, but couldn’t muster much. The whole game the Bears kept dropping well-placed passes and the Titans were happy to catch them instead, conveniently running the other way with the ball despite the Bears asking them not to. The Bears defense actually held up until several athletic plays by the Titans had them up by two scores.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, we were bored and our son had a huge smile on his face because the Titans were sure to win.

But then, suddenly, Bears’ backup quarterback Barkley (probably Charles Barkley) came to life, slinging the ball downfield, even when they didn’t have possession. The Bears racked up 14 points and came within 6. “How about that?” we asked, as our son sweated nervously. For some reason, he refused to shout “Let’s go Bears!” with the rest of us.

But then the joyous moments that have summed up the Bears this year descended. Barkley took the Bears downfield in a classic 2-minute drill for the winning score. Except the Bears receivers dropped 3 passes, including a wide-open one in the end zone.

Titans win.

Decent defense, flashes of offensive might, even a successful on-side kick to start the second half, followed by dropped passes, end-zone interceptions, and poor execution at the all the wrong times. So close but so far.

That’s the Bears.

Good thing we have those Cubs World Series videos to keep us warm all winter.

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