The end of July is one of my favorite times of the year.
As football returns, the hopes of NFL teams everywhere are never higher than the beginning of Training Camp. Every team is destined to win the Super Bowl, going undefeated along the way. Even teams which have little chance of going .500 let alone win the Super Bowl (Vikings) are destined to be champions at the end of the season.
With the return of football comes one of my personal favorite sources of entertainment for the next six months: the return of the Chicago Bears, and the stories that surround them.
I know what you are saying. "You like to read about the Bears?" Allow me to explain.
As I sat down to enjoy my first cup of coffee, I did my usual routine of clicking on the Chicago Tribune's web page. Perusing the articles in the sports section, I came across this article by Bears beat reporter Brad Biggs which caught my attention. The article, a synopsis of the Bears' first practice in pads, contained one sentence which for me really stood out above the rest:
A crowd of more than 12,000 fans showed up and the biggest roars were for the vertical passing game, featuring Brandon Marshall
I read this sentence a few times, and started to think.
I wonder how many fans would show up for Packers practice if they did so inside Lambeau Field. After all, Nitschke Field holds a mere 1500 fans in the bleachers, while a few hundred to several thousand stand around the fences which surround the field. While there is no way to estimate, a good gauge could be the Packers Family Night. Despite falling attendance partially because of the inevitable inclement weather which seems to haunt this event every year, anywhere from 45,000 to 70,000 will pay money to sit and watch a scrimmage this Friday.
The interesting thing is you seldom hear about the attendance at Packers' practice aside from Family Night. Everyone knows it will be a packed house every day. Apparently it's a big deal for the Bears. Size must really matter for them.
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