Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Noisy Bear Fans Not Alone When It Comes to Boorish Behavior in Chicago!

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler now knows what those of us who have been going to sports events and concerts in Chicago have known for a long time.  Chicago audiences are there to see and be seen, not to watch the game!

I had to laugh during Sunday's Bears game against the Colts when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was forced to call time-out in the Red Zone because the fans in the north end zone at Soldier Field wouldn't shut up.  Cutler wanted to change the play at the line of scrimmage, and his teammates couldn't hear him because of the noisy fans screaming their heads off.

Cutler now knows what many of us have known for a long time.  Bears fans (and Chicago fans in general) are mostly at the games to see and be seen.  They really aren't there to watch football.  In fact most of these newer Bears fans could care less about the games.  Going to a Bears game for these North Shore yuppies consists of four hours of tailgating, smuggling some exoctic liquor into the stadium, and being in their cars and gone before the fourth quarter is half over.

It didn't used to be that way!

You still hear national sports commentators talk about how knowledgeable Chicago Bears football fans are.  That was once true, but it's not the case any longer.  A knowledgeable Bears fan would never scream and yell when the Bears are on offense in the Red Zone.  A knowledgeable Bears fan would shut up and wait until the team scores, then let loose.

When the Bears moved into the new Soldier Field in 2003, the organization jacked up ticket prices and made season ticket holders buy expensive seat licenses before they were even allowed to buy their season tickets.  Old time Bears season ticket holders left the team in droves.

Make way for the North Shore yuppies, ladies and gentlemen!

When the yuppies came in with all their money, they made going to a Bears game an exercise in showing off.  "Here I am!  I'm dressed in my brand new designer Bears gear.  I'm good and lubricated too!  I'm ready to watch some football.  No, wait a minute.  I don't know anything about football.  I just want to be seen and get myself sloshed. Then I can drive back to Winnetka and get ready to go to the office in the morning and tell everyone I was at the game.  Oooooh!  What will my co-workers think of me?"

God help us!

And these idiots have been calling up Chicago sports-talk radio stations all week defending themselves from Cutler's complaint:  "If I buy my ticket, I can cheer whenever I want!" they say on The Score and on WMVP.


I've quit going to games and concerts in Chicago because of this crap.  When the wife and I went to a Simon and Garfunkel concert at the United Center a few years back, I was able to get prime seats on the side with a great eye-level view of the stage.  It was perfect--until these  four thirty-something jerks in front of us commenced to talking to each other about their jobs and then talked on their cell phones during the entire concert.

Artie Garfunkel sang, "When you're down and out./ When your're on the street . . ." and all I heard was.  "That was something that Jay-Bird screwed that account up and had to eat the results."


Then when the daughter and I followed Bruce Springsteen's Devils and Dust and Seeger Sessions tours around the Midwest in 2005 and 2006, I discovered that audiences in Madison, St. Louis, Des Moines, and Milwaukee did not scream out song titles or call out "Bruuuuuuuuuce" between songs like the idiots in Chicago did.  Just before Springsteen took the stage at each concert, Allison Krause's "Down to the River to Pray" would play.  In Chicago a woman behind me excitedly asked her friend, "Is that Celine Dion singing?"  My daughter and I rolled in the aisle laughing.  Celine Dion?  She sunk with the Titanic, honey!

But maybe the worst place to watch a game in Chicago is Wrigley Field.  The place is crawling with North Shore 20 and 30 something junior yuppies talking and walking round the ballpark throughout the entire game.  And none of their talk is about baseball.  I tried to keep score (I know, I'm a relic!) at my last Cubs game, and I made it to the bottom of the second inning before I gave up.  The people around me were distracting me with their inane talk to the point of insanity.

So now I only go to electric concerts in Chicago.  Paul McCartney was so loud at Wrigley Field that the yuppies could have talked about their jobs all night and I wouldn't have heard them.  I was grooving to Paul singing "The Night Before" and "Paperback Writer" (I still can't believe he did "The Night Before"!).

So I hope that the fans at Soldier Field will be silent the next time Jay Cutler leads the Bears offensive inside the 20 yard line.  But I sure ain't betting on it!