The Champs of Chi-Town
This season, the NFL's Chicago Bears finished 13-3 and won their division, the NFC North. As a token of the division championship, starting offensive guard Ruben Brown purchased WWE Championships for the entire offensive line. Brown, along with many other Bears, is an avid WWE fan, and told WWE.com that the championship idea came partially from the offensive line's on-the-field dominance.
"The offensive line, we're all big WWE fans. (Starting center) Olin Kreutz started saying that if there was a championship for winning battles in the trenches, he'd be the champion. So we started making it up from there," Brown admitted. "Every time we would win a short yardage situation, we'd say ‘Olin's wearing the gold, the best center in the league is still the champ.' Now we all have the gold."
Brown has been watching WWE since he was young, but had a connection to WWE once he got into professional football.
"I went to college with (former WWE Superstar) Albert; we played football together (at the University of Pittsburgh) and became good friends, so I always used to come see WWE when he was wrestling," Brown admitted. "I got to know a lot of people, and now whenever WWE is in town, we show up."
While it would be understandable if Albert were his favorite Superstar, Brown told WWE.com that it's still the same one he's always had.
"Everybody loves Ric Flair, he's a throwback and we all grew up watching him," he revealed. "All the guys have a different favorite Superstar I'm sure, but we all watch as much as we can."
The "Nature Boy" himself will be in Chicago this weekend. Sunday afternoon, the Bears host the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game for the right to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLI.
"Ric did an announcement for us for the opening of the game," the veteran lineman said. "He did something with Space Mountain, which is his trademark and sort of our theme in the locker room. Space Mountain (in this case the Super Bowl) is the ultimate goal."
Should the Bears win Sunday, they will be NFC Champions and would be one win away from being the NFL Champions. Should that happen, Brown said that more gold could be in the Bears' future.
"The gift was given to the offensive line; they really liked it and we're hoping to purchase some more championships," Brown said with a laugh. "If we win it all, there will be some more in our future."
In 2004, Rasheed Wallace of the NBA's Detroit Pistons purchased replica World Heavyweight Championships for the entire team after they won the NBA Championship. The next season, on opening night, Wallace and the Pistons wore the gold onto the court as they were introduced.
Having seen that, would Brown and the Bears do the same next September if they win Super Bowl XLI?
"Absolutely...we hope we can do that!" he exclaimed.
In 1985, the Chicago Bears did the "Super Bowl Shuffle" en route to defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Two decades later, will a little "Nature Boy" strut and a ride aboard Space Mountain propel them to Super Bowl victory again?