2000 was one of the more forgettable seasons in Bears history. They lost their first five games. They went into the bye 1-7. They scored more than 16 points only twice in those games.
But this game was memorable to me for a few reasons.
- This was the first fall of my collegiate life and I watched this game at the ESPN Zone in Times Square. (Which, as far as theme restaurants go, was the best in NYC.) I had been watching Bears games, until that point, alone, in tiny sports bars in New Jersey, with illegal satellites picking up Chicago sports. Now the Bears were in front of me on a massive screen and there were Bears fans EVERYWHERE around me.
- It was impossible to watch this game and not think the Bears had a quarterback. Cade McNown was electric. Big arm. Accurate. And he used his legs to keep drives going and put points on the board. His final stat line 27-41, 290, 2 TDs, 0 INTs. Passer rating of 102.7. Two months later he was inactive. Four months later his career was over.
- It is still amazing to remember what Randy Moss did to the Bears consistently before the arrival of Charles Tillman. It’s item 1A when it comes to the Tillman Hall of Fame argument. (Item 1 is the punch.)