Vets get surprise Bears-Packers tickets

January 21, 2011 8:28:57 PM PST
Tickets to the game Sunday are a hot item -- it is only the second time in the 89-year rivalry that the Bears and Packers have met in the playoffs.

Several veterans, however, learned Friday that they have a ticket to the game courtesy of a donor and Gov. Pat Quinn.

During his three tours of duty for the U.S. Marines in Iraq and Kuwait, Sgt. Dave Jelinek says he did his best to follow the Chicago sports scene.

He has received numerous commendations for his service including a Purple Heart after being injured when a grenade exploded during a raid.

Through it all, he remained a huge Bears fan. He was trying to pull together enough money to buy a ticket to the game Sunday.

"I was exhausting all options to get in the stadium somehow. I know those tickets cost a pretty penny, but I was trying my hardest," Jelinek said. "I might have been that guy who would have spent the $500 for the nose bleed seat but it would be worth it."

Jelinek got a call Friday morning, however, from Gov. Quinn's office offering him a ticket, and lunch with the governor before the game. The tickets were donated by a season ticket holder.

"I'd love to meet him and thank him because this is an experience I'll remember for the rest of my life," Jelinek said.

Some fans that are not going to the game plan on watching it from home, like Justin Butler, who recently recorded a tribute song to Bears player Devin Hester.

After recording the song, titled "Hest is the Best," and posting the video on YouTube, Butler was thrilled to see Hester post it on his Twitter page, encouraging fans to take a look. Butler is hoping the song catches on and that Hester has a big game on Sunday.

"I'm hoping that it will, one, inspire Chicago, and give Devin some more motivation to run the ball back heavy," Butler said.

Butler says the song is available on iTunes. They recorded the song at a studio in Humboldt Park, and shot the video at a bar in Lakeview.

Butler is in the process of producing his first album, and he's hoping the Devin Hester song might help him to get a recording contract.