Bears fans ready for Sunday's big game

January 14, 2011 3:02:28 PM PST
Bears fans are getting ready for the big game at Soldier Field on Sunday.

The game starts at noon, and the Bears are a big favorite over Seattle. This is the first time the Bears have made it to the playoffs in the last four seasons.

Kick off is just under 48 hours from now but already there are fans partying, restaurants catering and groundskeepers praying, all with the hopes that what they're doing helps the Bears beat the Seahawks Sunday, propelling them to the NFC championship game, maybe against the Packers.

Tim Shanley and friends are roving Chicago's streets in Da Bus, raising spirits for a Bears win Sunday.

"It's passion. Passion for food, passion for throwing parties and tailgating is the perfect deal. Go for it. Doing something like this, having the bus and all the peoople out there, it's a tradition, tailgating," Shanley said.

Even though he now lives in Austin, Texas, this Bridgeport native and tailgate warrior -- apparently the smoked roast beef is to die for -- says that any lack of buzz for the Bears playoff run is giving way.

"Everybody knows how exciting this is and after this weekend with this possible win, we could just elevate ourselves to this whole other level of euphoria," Shanley said.

It's much the same at the Loop's Tilted Kilt where a packed house for lunch is savoring returning for Sunday. The cold weather forecast is good for business.

"Were going to have attractive specials for the day so you're not going to spend a fortune but with 42 T.V.'s, every seat is a good seat," said Tilted Kilt's Dennis Sotos. "You'll be able to watch the game and have a little more fun than just being at home."

As for the stadium, management wanted to showcase a much maligned field that sports heated tubing 8 inches under the surface to keep this grass growing. In fact, they are actually cut the grass Friday.

"It's our primary concern with the field, that there's good footing, that it's a great game, that people get a chance to see it and we don't want the field to be an issue," said Tim LeFevour, general manager at Soldier Field.

The Bears say 22 men approaching 300 pounds beating on one another tears up this turf unlike anything a gardener would encounter. The man who fixes it all again, however, says he's up to the task.

"We've had weather-related games. Usually it's weather that's the challenging part," said John Nolan, Soldier Field's head groundskeeper. "We've had quick turnaround with concerts and football and having to sod stuff. We always get it done."

There are still tickets available for Sunday's game from ticket brokers and on Craigslist, and some can apparently be purchased for almost face value.