Football fans party before Sunday's showdown

January 22, 2011 8:48:17 PM PST
There can only be one winner on Sunday, but on Saturday night, Bears and Packers fans are toasting their teams as if they've already won.

The Hyatt on East Wacker is Packer central.

"It's great. I feel like I'm back in Wisconsin," said Packers fan Kristin Kain. "I feel like I'm amongst friends, and go Pack go!"

Fans of the green and gold came for a Packer party complete with beer, encased meats, and of course, copious amounts of dairy consumption.

These fans even participated in a good-old fashioned cheese-eating contest.

"You know what, that made me a little sick to my stomach," said Packers Alan Buchner, who is from Wisconsin.

These fans smell a packer victory Sunday.

"This is the Super Bowl. Just win tomorrow, and next week we'll coast," said Packers fan Kay Joho.

There is also no shortage of Bears parties Saturday night.

At Mike Ditka's Restaurant in Gold Coast, "Da Coach" wasn't in the house but plenty of ticketholders were.

"Run the ball. We gotta run the ball. Martz, listen to me, we've got to run the ball 30 times. We've got to control the clock. We've got to keep the turnovers in our favor," said Bears fan Travis Wehenkel.

These two friends with split loyalties, paid $500 for their seats to Sunday's game.

"Some Bears fan sold me, a Packer fan, a ticket. So that's sacrilege," said Packers fan Kevin Oliver.

"He's a fool because he's a Packers fan. You got ripped off, man!" said Bears fan Chad Williams.

For Chris Tui'ana and his uncle Pesi, the Bears are a source of pride on many levels.

They're both from Samoa, a small island in the South Pacific which has produced some NFL stars including the Bears' Pisa Tinoisamoa, defensive tackle Matt Toeina and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.

That's one of the great things about Samoans, that they're strong, they're athletic, they're big people," said Bears fan Chris Tui'ana.