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Even though I write frequently about the NFL and the Chicago Bears, I have (believe it or not) never been to a regular season NFL game. Living in Las Vegas, seeing an NFL game always required a road trip. My dad and I went to a few preseason games in Pheonix and San Diego when I was younger (I once saw Joe Montana play the first quarter of a preseason game with the Chiefs), but my dad is a public school teacher, the start of the NFL regular season always coincides with the start of the school year, and so road trips were impractical. So we had never been to a regular season game.

Until now.

I was public and outspoken about my misgivings regarding the financing of the Raiders' stadium in Las Vegas, and I vowed not to support the team. The Raiders were already getting unnecessary corporate welfare from the city of Las Vegas, so I wasn't going to be subsidizing them further with money from my pockets if proceeds from ticket sales weren't going back to the city of Las Vegas. In my opinion, a publicly-financed stadium should put proceeds from ticket sales into the city coffers, and I don't approve of any publicly-funded stadium that doesn't. Mark Davis is a multi-millionaire, and the Raiders are a multi-billion dollar entity; Davis and the Raiders should be able to pay to build their own damn stadium without handouts from taxpayers.

The situation with funding the stadium changed since, and I've softened my position on supporting the team and seeing events at the stadium. One exception that I always had was that I would be willing to shell out for a game if / when the Bears come to town. So I check the schedule when it's released in the spring to see if there's a home game against the Bears.

Sure enough, this year, there was a Bears game on the schedule, and it just happened to be on my birthday, no less!

I saw my first regular season NFL game. The Bears came to Vegas to play the Raiders on my birthday.
The Raiders have a mandatory vaccination policy for attendees, but I still masked-up as an added precaution.

Lucky for me, I have a co-worker with season tickets, and he was kind enough to sell me his tickets at a price that saved me a lot of money, while still allowing him to profit a bit from the sale. I basically paid him the same cost for a nosebleed seat, but got a ticket in the front row of the middle balcony. It was a nice, equitable exchange.

And the Bears followed through for me by playing a good game and coming out with a victory. It wasn't exactly a pretty one though. The Raiders' receivers couldn't catch a cold for the first two and a half quarters, and both of the Bears' first half touchdown drives were assisted by several roughing the passer penalties.

After the draft, I was hoping that by the time week 5 rolled around, Justin Fields would be the starter, and I would get to see him play live. Sure enough, he is the starter, thanks in part to an Andy Dalton injury in week 3. His play hasn't been great so far. Pass blocking has been a problem for the Bears, and it almost killed Justin Fields in his first start against the Browns. Pass blocking was shaky again today, and Fields took a few hits in the first half, and even had to leave the game for a few plays with a mild leg injury.

Being up by two scores in the second half allowed the Bears to run the ball while their defense did the heavy lifting of keeping the Raiders out of the end zone, so Fields didn't have much of an opportunity to light up the stat sheet. It was a bit of a disappointment that I didn't get to see a more explosive and exciting game from Fields, but the important thing is that he came out the other end with a win, and with all of his limbs still intact.

Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert moved the ball just enough for the Bears to hold the lead.

With the Bears having all this exciting talent on offense, but still looking anemic, I wonder if the Nagy coaching staff will survive this season. Even if the Bears manage to eke out a winning season or a wildcard playoff birth, I am not confident that Nagy is the right coach to continue leading this team or developing Justin Fields. I haven't liked his play-calling in the past year or two, and was very pleased when the Bears gave play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

That being said, the Bears won for me today on my birthday, they have a winning record on the season now, and they are only 1 game behind the Packers, with an important home game against those Packers next weekend. If the Bears win that game, they'll be in the drivers' seat of the NFC North. I won't hold my breath for that though.

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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