Lincicome: No matter where the Bears go, they're never far from the heart
Reminded that I have gone on record insisting the Bears will never move to Arlington Park, will never build a stadium on the property and that it will make no difference even if they did, I stand by all of it.
There's many a slip between cup and lip, or some such thing, that thing being a purchase agreement, otherwise known in the real estate business as "Don't cash the check until I inspect for mold."
Having signed a couple of those myself, I always continued looking and always got my deposit back.
No matter. Let's agree that this is serious enough to forget who is playing quarterback for the Bears this weekend. (Strange that the most accomplished of three choices -- Nick Foles, once Super Bowl MVP -- is the perpetual and healthy afterthought.)
Say the Bears do leave the city. They are no longer Chicago. Whoever can do it must insist on that. Two New York teams may play in New Jersey and still be New York; that is their business and their madness and welcome to it. Besides, who can tell the difference, or would even want to?
There may be no copyright on the name "Chicago," unless you count the band, the musical or the college and maybe they should weigh in on any counterfeit bunch using their name. You couldn't open a storefront school in Downers Grove and call it the University of Chicago.
At the least, the Bears should have to be the Chicagoland Bears, and there may be a copyright on that as well.
Think of all the TV shows called Chicago Something Or Other. Fire, cops, doctors, lawyers, all Chicago and filmed in Chicago. There is no Des Plaines PD nor Vernon Hills Fire, not that there isn't a need for them.
Here is precedent. The Los Angeles Angels, the baseball team, were first known as the California Angels and then the Anaheim Angels, and then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Why not the Illinois Bears or the Chicago Bears of Arlington Heights?
Yet, clearly, the Bears have become semi-serious about abandoning Soldier Field for ... well, we shall see what for, though we do know why.
The Bears want to be landlords, not renters, be the hustlers, not the hustled. They want a place to call home; you know, like San Francisco in Santa Clara or Dallas in Arlington or Boston in Foxboro. And, this is only a guess, someone else to pay for it.
Thinking ahead, let us imagine the last game played by the Bears in the city of Chicago.
How to kiss them off ... er, say goodbye. Here's hoping Elton John may be available to adapt "Candle in the Wind" at halftime of the final. We all know the words. "Goodbye Chicago's Rose ..." and if we don't we can just hum along until we get to the important part ... "burned out long before your legend ever did."
Each fan could be given a little candle, short enough to burn out just as Elton gets to the last note. Anyone who needs a souvenir of the occasion would always have a burn scar between thumb and forefinger. Elton would, I imagine, have no problem wearing Bears colors. As a matter of fact, all he wears are Bears colors.
The Lou Gehrig scenario, with echo, would work. Today, day, day, Soldier Field, ield, ield, considers itself the luckiest stadium, ium, ium, on the face of the earth, rth, rth. It has gotten rid of those ungrateful, self-absorbed dipwads and their heirs.
Or we may be able to adapt the Douglas McArthur Farewell, played in character by Mike Ditka. Old stadiums never die, they just become home to soccer.
I think of a story about the old movie cowboy, Gene Autry, who was asked what he wanted done with Champion, the Wonder Horse, after Champ had died. Autry pondered the question. He was told that his great rival, Roy Rogers, had Trigger stuffed.
Autry considered how fitting such a gesture would be for the film companion that had helped make him rich enough to buy most of Orange County, as well as the aforementioned Angels baseball team. Autry inquired about the cost of such a tribute. He was told it would run into several thousands of dollars. Autry didn't hesitate.
"Just bury the S.O.B.," Autry said.
That's another option, of course, but I'm afraid wherever they go, whatever they're called, they'll always be Chicago's Bears to us. They are counting on it.