January 21, 2002
CHICAGO - In a display unprecedented in
the history of professional football, disappointed Chicago Bears fans reacting
to Saturday's 33-19 playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, viciously
attacked the team's lakefront stadium with everything from their bare hands,
to axes and bulldozers.
"We got rid of Wannstadt and that idiot
quarterback from California, what's-his-name," said long-time season ticket
holder Darryl Jones, 46, as he battered his former seats with an ax. "It
must be the f**king stadium."
As Bears officials and Chicago police watched
helplessly, frustrated fans rolled in bulldozers and other construction
equipment, and began to rip up turf still emblazoned with the "NFL Playoffs"
Members of the McCaskey family, the team's
owners, were believed to be hiding in a cave complex near Galena.
By early Sunday morning, 78-year-old Soldier
Field, where the Bears have played since 1971, had been reduced to a pile
of rubble. Still not satisfied, many fans came to the stadium parking lot
on Monday morning to pull stadium seats and other surviving fixtures apart
with their bare hands.
Long-time Bears booster Dolores Seretzski
of Berwyn took advantage of the Martin Luthur King holiday to teach daughter
Holly, 14, a valuable lesson. "This frigging stadium has disappointed me,
and my mother, and my grandmother too many times," said Mrs. Seretzski
as she wrenched a plastic seat back off its metal base before flinging
it into Lake Michigan. "It's too late for me, but at least I can make sure
it won't hurt my baby."