With the end of minicamp, Bears fans have more than a month to endure until training camp starts. Pre-season football doesn't start until Aug. 9. Though the players have plenty to focus on before they return to training camp, fans have work to do, too.
Schedule out-of-town trips: Take a look at the Bears schedule and our handy-dandy guide, and figure out how much vacation time you want to devote to the Bears. Put it on your calendar and start booking accommodations now.
Learn the players' names: There are plenty of new faces on the team. Beyond Brandon Marshall and Shea McClellin, can you name them? It's OK. You have time. Though it may be sunny and lovely outside, spend some time glued to your computer. Learn their names, faces and computers.
Work out your tailgating muscles: Do you think you can just show up at the Bears first pre-season game and have your tailgate in mid-season form? No! It takes hard work. Dedication. Practice your grilling technique. Time how long it takes to for you to set up your tailgate set-up, then work on lowering that time. Your work now will pay off once season starts.
Check your Bears wardrobe: This might be painful, but you can do it. Are there items in your Bears wardrobe that don't fit like you want them to? Maybe a shirt bearing the mustard stain of a really tasty Polish sausage? It's OK, but you can't hold onto it. Let it go. Wearing ugly, badly-fitting, stained clothes is what Packers fans do. We're above that.
If you follow these steps, you'll be in great shape by the time the team checks in at Bourbonnais.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!