Monday, December 1, 2008

Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings - Minneapolis, MN

We went to the Bears vs. Vikings game last Sunday at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. I went to cheer on the Bears, Chao went to cheer for football as he doesn't have a favorite team. We parked about 6 blocks away and walked to the dome. It was a cold walk but worth it. We entered the dome and got in line for some food. While waiting in line, we noticed several clusters of Bears fans through the sea of people. It was hilarious because they would high five other Bears fans who were clearly strangers, and some were singing the Bears fight song. No, I didn't join in. You can ask Chao, I don't know the words when I try to sing it. At Soldier Field they are always up on the screen so I have not needed to memorize them before, but I guess I might need to now.

2 hot dogs, a brat, random chips, nachos, and 2 sodas later, we were in our seats chowing down. We were in the 4th row from the back in the uppermost deck of the dome. Even though we were up fairly high, we could see the field pretty well. We watched all of the pregame stuff including the Vikings entrance through an inflatable Viking ship which was funny to watch.

I won't talk much about the game because I am reviewing the experience of being at the game rather than revisiting the unpleasantness of losing. We had several Bears fans in our section and on the rare occasions when we did do something well, it was fun to be cheering alongside fellow fans. There were Bears fans in front of us, and I had my Bears sweatshirt on so I think they identified us both as Bears fans. One of the guys in the group turned around in excitement and prepared to high-five Chao, but Chao, not rooting for a specific team, and wearing a nondescript metal hoodie, and hating high-fives, glared at him to shoot down the upcoming display of camaraderie. On the couple of occasions the Bears did score, choruses of the Bears fight song could be heard throughout the dome. All sung by those who know the words of course. The Vikings had their fight song too, which included the word "skol." We didn't know what this meant so I hopped on my new Blackberry and read all about the fight song from Wikipedia. Skol is like a toast, and the song was written in 1961. We would have guessed 1891 though as it sounds VERY old.

A serious highlight of the game for us was one of the beer vendors in our section. He was the best game vendor of all time. He greeted fans with unique salutations such as, "Does anyone else need a beer besides me?" and "Who else is drinking tonight?" and our personal favorite, "Overpriced beer here!" He was also handing cards to random people purchasing beer. Chao said they were his business card so I don't know what that was all about, but I was intrigued.

There were several points during the game when Chao caught me in a state of confusion about something the cheerleaders were doing. There were some off on their own doing a different dance at times as if they were their own renegade cheerleading faction. One of their big dances between quarters was a girl-singer cover of Sharp Dressed Man originally by ZZ Top and the mascot had changed into a tux and danced with them. I couldn't figure out how this related to football, or getting the crowd excited. It just weirded me out.

Best overheard fan comment of the night was a guy singing, "Save a horse, ride a Bears fan." SOO pathetic yet it made me giggle.

Top 5:
1. Getting to cheer for the Bears when they aren't the home team is really fun.
2. Best beer vendor of all time.
3. Lots of other Bear fans.
4. Game hot dogs (Wrigley's are better though...)!
5. After the game the song, "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace played over the speakers and even though it was meant to rub in the loss, I love that song so I got to sing along as we left.

Bottom 5:
1. The Bears lost.
2. I couldn't hear what any of the penalties were for and was confused several times.
3. Every time the Vikings did something well, the "Vikings horn" sounds and that was annoying. I could understand if it went off after scoring, but even first downs would require the horn.
4. The large scoreboard would sometimes go away so random families and large groups could be thanked for coming in that space. I would look over there if I forgot what down it was and get super pissed off because we were all welcoming the fricking Jacobs Family which is NOT as important as knowing if it was the 2nd or 3rd down. Seriously! Send them a damn thank you card!
5. Hot dogs and brats come with a bag of chips and this is the only way they are offered. Unless you get the cheap hot dog which is half the size of the bun. Also, I had to drink out of a Vikings cup. Next time I will bring a Bears cup from home or a cover to hide the Vikings crap.

Chicago Bears


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