As I sit here preparing for the Super Bowl today I spent some time reflecting on how I got to where I am today. When I was born my parents lived in Rensselaer Indiana which happened to be where the Chicago Bears held their spring training every year. There was a little pizza place in town where my parents and their other teacher friends use to hang out. During spring training this was also a favorite hang out for some of the Bears. My mom and dad always tell the stories of me being bounced on the knee of players like O'Bradovich, Butkus, Piccolo and Ditka. How could I be anything other then a Bears fan.
I spent most of my life as a huge Bear fan as most people in Indiana were at that time. I have spent many a game inside the confines of Soldier Field watching our beloved Bears. Win or lose it was a great game especially those years when the Central Division was known as "The Black and Blue Division".
There will always be the 1985 Bears and all the regular guys that made up that football team. From Jimmy Mac, Richard Dent, Danny Hampton, William Perry and everyone's favorite Bear Walter Payton. Most of us can still remember the shock when the news broke that "Sweetness" was no longer with us.
So as you read this you may have come to the conclusion that I am decked out in Blue and Orange today but I am not. I will always have a special place in my heart for the Chicago Bears but I will not be in their corner today. Why you ask?
Will my love for the Bears stopped the day my Bears fired Da Coach. Mike Ditka was and is one of my hero's in life and in sports and was exactly the kind of coach the Bears needed. Not to dwell on the fact I was livid after the firing. And decided soon after to become a Saints fan when Iron Mike found his way to New Orleans even though Nash was born in Chicago. But also at that time my family moved back from a stint in Chicago back to our home here in Indiana. My wife Jan took me to the Colts and Saints game at the RCA Dome to see Coach Ditka lead the saints. Inside the Dome that day I made the decision it was time to move my loyalty to my home town team. And I became a true blue Colts Fan. Year after year of late we have felt the disappointment of not make it to the big show but today we are there. I think it was only two weeks into the season when I made a comment at the office one day that my worst nightmare may come true this year if the Colts play the Bears in the Super Bowl. Well here we are and just a few hours away from the big game. It will be a great game in Miami today and I really think I will be happy no matter what happens in the game today.
I think there is a bit of pride no matter what happens today knowing that one of the gentlemen in sports Tony Dungy is in the Super Bowl playing against his buddy Lovie Smith. These two men have proven that it's the really the make up of your character not the color of your skin that determines your destiny and I am very proud that I get to enjoy both these men's teams in the game today. We need more Tony's and Lovie's in this world today. And I believe that up above us today the man that truly brought us this beloved Game George "Papa Bear" Halas is proud to that Lovie Smith one of the first African American coaches brought HIS team to the Super Bowl.
As for me I am wearing Colts gear from head to tow ready to root for my team but deep down inside I will be proud no matter who wins or loses today.