Southwest Side Bears fans feeling confident after win
By Hannah Kohut Correspondent September 9, 2012 8:00PM
Fans celebrate while watching the Chicago Bears' home opener game at Dingers sports bar on Western Avenue in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood Sunday, September 9, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 11, 2012 6:24AM
As the Bears were posting a 20-point win over the Indianapolis Colts, the bars along Western Avenue in Chicago’s Beverly community were packed with die-hard fans eager to see what the rest of the season holds.
Dinger’s Sports Bar, 10638 Western Ave., was alive and well with Bears fans celebrating a victory, even before the clock ran down in the fourth quarter. But one question lingered: How ’bout them Bears?
Bart Barcewicz, 26, of Hickory Hills, said he started off nervous, but said the team pulled it off.
“They started off on a sag,” Barcewicz said. “Brandon Marshall is doing good; a great addition.”
Jim Kirby, of Beverly, said he wasn’t too sure about coach Lovie Smith putting in Brian Urlacher, who is battling a knee injury.
“I really wish they saved (him) until Thursday,” Kirby said. “But I’m real positive — and ‘Go 49ers.’”
Kirby was referring to the Packers vs. 49ers game that kicked off right after the Bears game. The Bears take on the NFC North division rival Packers in Lambeau Field on Thursday night, and a Packers loss is good news to Bears fans.
“I’m feeling confident about Thursday,” said Callie Jenner, 24, of the Morgan Park community. “But I think Urlacher needed to play today (and not be saved for Thursday).
Ron Kleinhaus, of Evergreen Park, said he was ready to see what’s next.
“If they play like this on Thursday, it looks good,” Kleinhaus said.
Jim Coleman, 53, of Beverly, said despite the dominating win, he was hesitant to predict a championship season.
“We played well, but we played the Colts,” Coleman said. “Don’t get too excited. But this was a good game.”
Tad Vassios, 56, of Beverly, felt so confident during Sunday’s game, he called some friends in Las Vegas and had them place a bet for him.
“One hundred dollars for a Bears Super Bowl. I just called it in,” Vassios said. “I think it’s a good bet.”
Just up the street at Keegan’s Pub, 10618 Western Ave., the mood was a bit more relaxed, but the fans were optimistic, nonetheless.
“Today was a pretty good notion,” said South Side resident Candice Nance, 23. “Brandon Marshall was amazing.”
“Call me crazy, but the offense is phenomenal,” said Nick Burke, 22, of Beverly. “This is the year of the Super Bowl. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall — what a combo.”
Burke did agree with others that Urlacher should have sat out the game.
“Save him for the right time,” Burke said. “The Colts are full of rookies this year.”
Keith St. Aubin, 24, of Beverly, said he does feel confident about Thursday night’s match-up in Green Bay, although it will be a tough game.
“Lambeau is not good for us,” St. Aubin said. “But Urlacher did look good. Our secondary was awesome. I’ve never seen the Bears offense like this.”
Sean O’Brien, of Beverly, agrees with St. Aubin.
“I’ve never seen this offense before,” O’Brien said. “We definitely dominated after the first part of the game.”
The general consensus on the South Side of Western Avenue was pretty clear: the Bears were dominating, but there is still a lot of season left to go. All eyes now are on Thursday.