In August, while the Bears were on the road for a preseason game against the Giants, linebacker Lance Briggs posted a picture of the New York skyline on Twitter with the tweet: "The big apple. Thank you football."
As people turn their focus to spending time with family and friends for Thanksgiving, RedEye asked him about other "thank you football" moments and what the Bears have meant to him.
I saw the picture of New York you posted on Twitter. What was your first "thank you football" moment?
I got a flight my first recruiting trip to Nebraska while I was in high school. I was looking at the ticket, first class, first time ever being in first class. I had to be up early for a 6 a.m. flight, but it was a sweet deal. It was a great trip. That, and seeing things like New York. I'm from California. So of the places that I would have gone if it wasn't for football, New York probably wasn't gonna be one of those places. But because of football I was able to see the Big Apple and go down and visit downtown and see some of the sights, and realize that I want to go back and keep visiting and stuff like that. So I'm thankful for what football have been able to give.
What about your favorite "thank you football" moment?
Being able to give back to my mom. I'll never be able to thank her enough. And football has allowed me to at least show her that I appreciate what she has done and meant to me all of my life.
Football has given you a lot. Has it taken anything away from you?
Time. Time with loved ones. It's part of the sacrifice. You know how it is. We play on a lot of Christmases. We entertain a lot of families throughout the holidays. So there are a lot of times that we don't get to spend with our families. There's a lot of time that I don't get to spend with my kids that I'd like to because I have to work. I have to be here, be there, be at appearances, opportunities to make money, or I'm always traveling, just a tight schedule, just the way it is. On the flip side, football has allowed me to always provide for my children and their futures.
Do you worry at all about concussions and potential brain damage—especially you being an art guy, you love comics and everything—is that on your mind?
No. No. I love playing football. I love it. I love everything about it. When I'm playing football, when I'm on that football field, I feel like I'm free.
In 2007, you were talking about possibly going to the Redskins. You've spent six more years here. What is it that you love about playing for the Bears?
Tradition. The passion. Whether you like what a Chicago fan might say or not, you know they're passionate about their sports. You know that it's not just bandwagon because the team is winning. They love everything that has to do with Chicago. No matter the season, no matter the year, no matter what's going on in life, sports are No. 1 here. That's amazing. I feel blessed to be able to experience that.
Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @readjack.
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