Meet the Round Lake Beach man who claims to be the biggest Bears fan
Is this Round Lake Beach man the biggest Bears fan?
With 148 Bears players' signatures tattooed on his body, a basement filled with team paraphernalia and a Camaro dedicated to Walter Payton, Glenn Timmermann of Round Lake Beach isn't shy about calling himself the biggest Bears fan.
Timmermann's front yard features a mannequin dressed in Green Bay Packer pants buried upside-down with a plastic dog peeing on it. There's a cement "C" in the lawn.
Walking into his basement is like entering a Bears museum with items he's collected since he was 10 years old. Every inch of the walls and floor is covered with posters, hats, keychains, board games and other trinkets.
Two of Timmermann's favorite items are a pack of gum with a Bears logo that he's had since 1970 and his 2009 award for Volunteer of the Year from the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation.
He even has a seat from the old Soldier Field with "Punky QB" Jim McMahon's signature on it. That was sent to him anonymously.
The tattooed signatures started in 2006. That's when Timmermann met former player Otis Wilson in a tavern and had him sign his back, then had that signature tattooed. Since then, 148 players have signed him -- coach Mike Ditka signed the back of Timmermann's head -- and those signatures also have been tattooed.
"I'm starting to run out of room," he admitted. "I figured I'm stopping at 150, so I went out and bought me a Camaro and I've probably got a good 40 autographs on that already."
He reserves the inside dashboard for players from the 1985 Super Bowl team.
Timmermann has dedicated his 2011 black Camaro -- named "Sweetness" -- to Payton, his favorite player. Payton died in 1999.
"Back in the '70s and '80s, all we really had was Walter. We didn't have a great team, but we got to sit down every Sunday and watch him get that 100 yards," he said. "Walter has been gone almost 15 years now and we still don't have a statue of him. My thought was I have a mobile statue of Walter."
Timmermann isn't a Bears season-ticket holder but scoffs at those who question whether he's the team's biggest backer.
"Being rich don't mean you're the biggest Bears fan," said the 46-year-old Timmermann, who manages a packaging plant. He said he pursues his Bears passion "for the fun of it."
Timmerman said he lives week to week on his paycheck, and he sometimes gives up going out to a bar or buying cigarettes so he can afford to buy "that odd item" to add to his collection.
"I possibly could have had season tickets, but I prefer to have my car and drive that around every day as opposed to going to a game," Timmermann said.