CHICAGO — My kind of town, Chicago is, my kind of town. When you are born and raised in a great city, go away to college and later move to Minneapolis, and go home on a business trip as I did last weekend, you want to make an impression.
As a child growing up there I loved it, though at times I also hated it, sometimes dodging bullets while at the park playing sports. Three times I had a chance to win the Chicago Public League Championship as a football star at Fenger High.
Some of your memories kind of haunt you, like losing my dad my mom and brother. The Cubs broke my heart in 1969 — they were my team. The team’s collapse losing to the New York Mets that year really hurt — the pain, the pain.
The 1985 Super Bowl Champion Bears, the Bulls Michael Jordan, and the six NBA titles and three NHL Stanley Cups by the Blackhawks all stand out. And my favorite: The 2005 World Series Championship, Chicago’s first baseball championship by the White Sox in 100 years, was priceless. I have always wanted, however, to stick it to the Chicago Bears organization for not drafting me out of college.
On Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals, through my son, helped me get a little payback — Cardinals 48, Bears 23. On a busy sports weekend when NASCAR started the Chase, the Cubs home at Wrigley Field, to the first-place St. Louis Cardinals. The PGA Tour Fed EX Cup playoffs also were in town, where red-hot Jason Day won by six shots.
Never in the 96-year history of the NFL had the Bears allowed an opponent so many points at home. Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. had eight catches for 112 yards and three touchdowns. This happened on the same field, Soldier Field, where I once enjoyed success and failure in high school during the playoffs.
The Cardinals are now 2-0 and getting better, and the Bears look as if they are in deep trouble, losing at home the second week in a row. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw four touchdown passes and now has thrown seven in two weeks. In his last 17 starts, Palmer has led the Cardinals to 15 wins.
The Cardinals scored on the game’s opening kickoff. Rookie David Johnson set a Cardinals record with a 108-yard kick return. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler started hot, completing his first eight passes before throwing a 26-yard interception for a touchdown to Tony Jefferson. The Cardinals went on to bury the Bears and are now one of eight teams at 2-0.
The Bears and Cardinals once, a long time ago, shared the same city. The Cardinals moved on to St. Louis in the early 1960s and later moved to Arizona.
What a spectacular weekend. The weather was great. And what a victory — the big payback.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.