Bears Family (Fright) Fest

Family Fest or Fright Fest?

Halloween definitely came early for the Bears.

In a trick-or-treat game the Bears played, it was the fans who were definitely tricked Friday night. They came to Soldier Field thinking they were going to see their beloved Bears practice along the Lakefront during the Bears annual “Family Fest.”

Instead, fans were given ticket refunds and free food/non-alcoholic beverages because team officials cancelled practice after it was determined the playing surface was ”unsafe” to play on, just hours before the scheduled start.

Family Fest and fireworks continued as scheduled without the players, who were shipped back to Bourbonnais to conduct practice.

This isn’t the first time the topic of field surface has come up in recent years. Every year the Bears continually have problems with Soldier Field’s natural grass and each time the team dismisses the notion because the team feels it gives the Bears an edge.

Edge? Even their own players in the past – Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler – have complained about the field surface, let alone just about every other team in the NFL that’s played in Chicago.

It might be time to say goodbye to the natural grass and let the Park District sod Grant Park, which they’re ultimately doing after this weekend since Lollapalooza is taking care of that.

Just think of all the families who made the time and effort to come down to the Lakefront on may be one of the better days of the summer. They dealt with the Chicago gridlock, let alone all the rockers at Lolla and were told no Bears player would sign autographs or practice for the allotted time they were supposed to.

Chris Harris hit Twitter first about it and mentioned they might have to win the Super Bowl to make up for it.

Harris might be right.

It’s only been bad for the Bears, whose last loss came from rival Green Bay in the NFC championship, the biggest Bears game to date. Add that to Cutler’s knee and relationship problems and the player movement in the past week, the timing of this doesn’t really push fans in the right direction. Super Bowl might have be the answer to make up for this one. For right now, it just aimlessly ranks up with Dave McGinnis.

And I’m not quite sure you can replace the Dave McGinnis screw up.  But if the natural grass isn’t removed by the beginning of the season and it parts like the Red Sea during the Bears home opener, I can’t wait when they have to move a Monday Night Football game to Northwestern’s Ryan Field. Or Lane Tech.

Look, you can piss the fans off all you want during the games. You can sit out during the biggest game in possibly franchise history. But when you take away their practice time because your field isn’t in shape, every fan has a right to take a shot at the team. This is unacceptable for an NFL team, let alone a big market NFL team.

How does an NFL football team allow its grounds crew to “miscalculate?” as Soldier Field general manager Tim LeFevour told the media. Even the Cubs solved their field mystery years ago. Even high school teams have better surfaces.

Seams of sod reportedly came apart, creating gaps on the field all because the grounds crew didn’t apply the proper amount of water on the field. It rained for most of July, right?

If fan night was Thursday, the Bears would’ve practice. The field would have been fine for play then, according to LeFevour.

This is the just first headache of many for Bears fans this season. Already the team has made some questionable signings in free agency, among the releases and trades I do not want to get into.

The  Bears keep proving they’re a terribly run organization and for all the troubles it puts the fans through it’s why the team hasn’t won since the ’85 team. Upper management should not be rewarded.

Hopefully some of the fans used those tickets to get into Lollapalooza.

Last I heard, everyone was high on the grass over there…


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