Que Sarah, Sarah

Monday, March 24, 2008

Flashback to Super Bowl XLI - Part 1...the good stuff...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

http://www.thesportsbank.net/sarahsb.html

(Due to its length, this story will be split up into several pieces. Keep checking back for more of the BEST contest responses!)

Less than 5 minutes after the Bears defeated the Saints in last year's NFC Championship, I had already booked my flight to Miami for the Super Bowl. I had nowhere to stay and no ticket, but my friends and I had all vowed to find a way to get to the big game. Unfortunately, in the ensuing week, all my friends bailed. Some cited monetary reasons, others claimed they couldn't miss work, and a few more wanted to stay in (or go back home to) Chicago for the game instead. Tickets were going for at least $4,000 apiece and every hotel I checked was booked up. So there I was, a week and a half from showtime and, if I didn't act fast, I'd be alone in Miami, watching the game at a bar with strangers.

So, I got creative. At 11pm two Thursdays before the game, I placed an ad on Ebay "selling" myself as a date to the Super Bowl. I posted a picture of myself in a Bears cheerleading costume I'd made for Halloween the year before and warned any potential bidders that I was NOT an escort and I DIDN'T want money, I was simply trying to find a way to get to the game. Having worked in PR for several years, I figured I might get the attention of a radio station holding a contest or maybe charm someone into offering up a seat in their company box.

The next morning, I woke up to over 800 emails. To make a long story short: it worked. The story got picked up by newspapers, blogs, radio stations and TV shows. Less than 48 hours after my initial Ebay posting, I got a call from the PR people for Axe male grooming products. They wanted to give me 4 tickets to the game—three for me and two girlfriends and one for a lucky contest winner. I had less than a week to hold an online contest and pick one guy from across the nation to come to the game and party with us in Miami.

Needless to say, the reactions to my scheme and the responses to my contest were extreme. Some praised my ingenuity and PR-savvy, others labeled me an attention-seeking whore. In honor of the fast-approaching 2008 Super Bowl, I thought I'd share pieces of some* of the BEST emails I received from potential Super Bowl suitors…

*To protect those who may not want to be seen, I included only written submissions, but some people sent in great videos and pictures!!

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My first memory was as a two year-old staring at a television screen full of football players singing a song I couldn't understand and asking my father, "who are those guys?"

"A bunch of assholes called the Bears," my Giants-fan Dad said.

"I like them," the little kid said. The little kid never grew up and has
loved them ever since.

Today is Sunday the 28th and I had to wake up and be a human being. It isn't possible, I know, but I don't have a choice. At the end of this week they're going to play the Super Bowl. This time, THEY includes the Chicago Bears. My Chicago Bears.

I've changed a lot in my life and experienced quite a bit in a short amount of time. I've learned things don't always go your way. Sometimes parents don't stay married. Sometimes girlfriends don't stay faithful. Sometimes dream jobs can't find funding. Sometimes a harmless Tuesday morning in September can change your neighborhood and life forever. But to paraphrase James Earl Jones in FIELD OF DREAMS, "The one constant through all the years has been...the Chicago Bears." No matter what was happening in my life, the Bears were going to play football and I was going to watch them do it. They have marked the time like road signs along the New Jersey Turnpike. The jerseys I've worn don't just say 45, 9, 87, 97, 54. They remind me of where I've been and what I used to be.

For three hours a week, these Bears have been my life. Looking back the defeats have meant as much to me as the victories. Without them, without Wannstedt, without Philly and Carolina...this all wouldn't feel so damn good. I've had great friends at great times in my life. I've had plays open to applause and close without anyone seeming to notice. I've had moments in life I've felt were perfect.

But I've always known that perfect to me is different than everyone else. Perfect is the poorly named Lombardi Trophy in 54's hand at the end of the last game of the season. That is perfect. To see it live would be indescribable.

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I couldn't think of anything creative...oh wait, yeah
I could. Here's a song for you, sung to the tune of
Billy Joel's Piano Man:

Super Bears

It's just about noon on a Sunday
They're ready to start up a game
There's an old man sittin' next to me
I just wish it was Sarah Spain

He says "Son can you tell me what's goin' on?"
I'm not really sure what he means
The ball goes to Devin
and he makes it seven
That's just the norm with this team

Win us the 'Bowl you Super Bears
Win us the 'Bowl tonight
We're all in the mood for a champion again
And you've got us feelin' alright

Now Sarah and pals are some friends o' mine
She gets me to the game for free
She's quick with a sneer
Or to kick back a beer
And I just join in happily

She says "Tim, I believe that the Bears are winning"
And a smile comes to her face
"I'm sure that they'll win the whole thing again
And maybe you'll get to first base!"

Win us the 'Bowl you Super Bears
Win us the 'Bowl tonight
We're all in the mood for a champion again
And you've got us feelin' alright

It's a pretty good crowd: it's the Superbowl
With Sarah and friends I just smile
I know it's not me
They came here to see
To forget about life for awhile

The announcer sounds like a Bears fan
Myself, I smell faintly of AXE
Some Colts fans are here
It's Chicago they fear
Our guys are givin' the max

Win us the 'Bowl you Super Bears
Win us the 'Bowl tonight
We're all in the mood for a champion again
And you've got us feelin' alright

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This conversation was taking place when the Bears were all but out of the game against the Cardinals:

My friend Dan: Dude, they're totally gonna lose
Me: No way man, they've got time left. You've just gotta believe.
Dan: Believe my ass! I'm going to bed.
Me: That's weak. Where's the faith??
Dan: So what do you believe in that makes you so sure they are gonna win?............

I believe in playing the Super Bowl out in the cold and the elements, that Astro-turf should be outlawed and that tailgating should be allowed at ALL football games from Peewee to the Super Bowl.

I believe that Walter Payton is and was the best running back of all time, the Cubs will win the World Series before I die and that Steve Bartman was not to blame for their meltdown (eamus catuli) and he is probably living off of taxpayers money somewhere in Florida.

I believe in spontaneity and the unknown, the small of a woman's back, being Irish on St. Patrick's Day and attending the parade on the South Side both while drinking as much beer as possible to get spring started off on the right foot.

I believe in the Bulls decision to acquire Ben Wallace in the off season, and that God was looking down on Chicago the day we drafted Michael Jordan.

I believe in Lovie for staying with Rex the whole season, loyalty in general, and opening presents Christmas morning not Christmas Eve.

I believe in the sweet spot, the Sears Tower, ivy covered outfield walls, and enjoying North Ave. beach as much as possible in the summer.

I believe Denny Green may be psychic by " crowning our asses" so early in the season, in Robbie Gould, and the old Soldier Field before the spaceship landed.

I believe in Old Style beer, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnatti's, and Chicago style hot-dogs from the wiener circle at 3 am.

I believe that Tank Johnson is the man, that Jet Vodka Lounge really isn't that cool, and that Thomas Jones is a better running back than CB.

I believe in the underdog, that Cinderellas were meant to dance after midnight, man-to-man defense, and taking the stairs instead of the escalator and giving my girlfriend long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

I believe in calling my friend Bryon from high school asking that I can crash at his place near South Beach in exchange for a dinner on me so that I might go to the Super Bowl with three fun girls who hopefully love the Bears as much as I do.

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