Friday, January 21, 2011

Reliving Past Glories (in faded photographs): Bears Helmet on House, 1985; Bar Mitzvah Boy, 1981

As one might imagine, there's a lot of excitement around Chicago leading into Sunday's Bears game against the Packers in the NFC Championship. I can't deny being amused at some of the silly Packers jokes being posted on Facebook, but while I am very much looking forward to the game and cheering the Bears onto the Super Bowl, I can't honestly say that my fervor is quite the same as it was in 1985-86 or even 2006-07.

Maybe it's the residual effect of having predicted the Bears would go 4-12, but I've never quite believed in the greatness of this season's team. I hope they keep proving me wrong and would like nothing more than for them to beat the Packers, but that's about as much vitriol I can work up for the denizens of Green Bay. I've never been big on hatred, particularly when it comes to sports.

But, as I'd expected, like in their Super Bowl chases of '85-'86 and '06-'07, the city is supporting the Bears by putting oversized helmets on the lions outside the Art Institute of Chicago. I haven't been downtown to see it, but I also imagine the Picasso in Daley Plaza is adorned (as it was during the Blackhawks' run) and some buildings say, "GO BEARS" with office lighting patterns.

But I still fondly recall the above Skokie house (not mine) which was adorned with an oversized Bears helmet during the 1985-86 campaign. My friend Jeff went to take a picture of it for the high school newspaper, and as Sports Editor I tagged along and snapped one of my own. I have no idea what happened to the helmet and haven't seen anything quite like it since. But as the sign says...

Go Bears!


Besides the Bears game, it's a big weekend in my family because my oldest nephew, Jacob, will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday. I've been invited to do an "aliyah" (a blessing before and after the Torah is read) and look forward to hearing Jacob recite his "Haftorah." A celebration with family and adult friends will follow the service and in the evening, Jacob's friends will party with him, and I'll stick around for that as well.

In looking for the Bears' helmet-on-the-house photo in some boxes at my Mom's house, I came across some photos from my Bar Mitzvah on October 24, 1981 (no photos are allowed during the service). Yes, that's me from nearly 30 years ago. Sure, make whatever requisite jokes about me trying to fit into the suit, but I wouldn't be surprised--if it still existed--that it would fit Jacob. Sometimes the past revisits us in strange and funny ways.

No comments: