The Super Bowl is going to be a drag for Bears fans.
Sure, you can enjoy the food, laugh at the commercials and over-the-top pre-game, and even get into the game action, but a nagging thought will sit in your head the whole time: "It could have been the Bears. I could be watching my team here. I could be living and dying with this game instead of just watching it."
But Bears fans are football fans, and they don't want to be among the small minority of Americans who don't watch the Super Bowl. We need to pick a side, and that is pick is obvious.
Should we cheer on the team who knocked Chicago out of the playoffs? The team who beat the Bears in the last game of the season? The team who Bears fans hated before the Super Bowl, before television contracts and before television? The team to the north who brings cheeseheads into our beloved Soldier Field? A team with Aaron Rodgers and his invincible arm, Clay Matthews and his bad hair and A.J. Hawk and his bad hair? A team with which we share a history that was rehashed several bajillionty times before the last playoff game?
Of course not. Bears fans can't cheer for the Packers. It's not in our DNA.
The Bears don't know the Steelers as well, considering the two franchises have only met 24 times in a 78-year span, and the Bears lead the series 17-7-1. They have players like Ben Roethlisberger who are trying to rehab their image, others like James Harrison and Hines Ward who are unapologetic in their hard hits, and even a few Chicagoans in Antwaan Randle El and Rashard Mendenhall.
For this weekend, Chicago, they are our team. Cheer for Troy Polamalu like you would for Julius Peppers. When Roethlisberger unleashes a bomb to Mike Wallace, hope for him like you would for Jay Cutler and Johnny Knox. It won't easy, and it may take some bourbon, but convince yourself that the navy and orange has morphed into black and gold.
A Packers loss wouldn't be quite as good as a Bears win, but it's a good start.