Grilled in Tradition

Although the nostalgia of Soldier Field will be missing this season, Bears fans from across the country will get a chance to see the beloved at the University of Illinois.

Just as in "Bear Down", the 2002 Bears will really be "the pride and joy of Illinois." A new breed of blue and orange followers from southern Illinois will have a chance to see the Bears up close and personal, but to fully appreciate the experience, the fans need to go "the whole nine yards", or maybe even one more for a fresh set of downs.

For all the first time game goers taking advantage of the downstate location, I suggest tailgating as a must. The tailgating at Bears games is a spectacle all its own. People from all over pull up in their fully decked out RV, throw on the Bears logo apron, and start up the grill.

These diehards light up the "Smokey Joe Grills" and throw on an assortment of specialty meats just for Bears games. Chicken, burgers, bratwurst, and sausage are usually the key foods during this time.

Over an hour before the game starts, the parking lot is getting busy, smoke from the grills fills the air and those of legal drinking age may indulge in alcoholic beverages. As game time nears, the parking lot reaches capacity; the crowd outside begins to get loud and excited for the game. This is the perfect atmosphere, for any Bears fan.

Though this season won't be the same as most, and fans will not be able to admire Soldier Field from a lakefront view, there still football and food.

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