Bear with Us
A perfect, early fall Minneapolis evening is wasted in this plastic palace. Outside, the Loverboy was cranking, the Webers were alit and the purple jerseys were everywhere. There were a few bold souls wandering around the streets brave enough to don the Urlacher shirt. After last week's embarrassment, Bears fans have no shame.

Inside is another story. Holy tympanic membrane. It's hang-a-giant-flag-from-third-balcony-of-Chicago-Stadium--during-the-national-anthem-loud in this joint. And this is just pre-game. I'm afraid to hear what goes on when the Vikings march down the field on the Bears' defense. Of course the incessant album rock/hip hop hits soundtrack doesn't help.

Welcome all, to Week 2 Bear with Us from the road, up North. The town is in a tizzy after their heroes ventured across the border last week and handed the Packers a rare loss at Lambeau. The Goooophers are in the Top 25 since...well, I have no clue.

The Bears try to avoid further humiliation, this time on national TV. I know this is on national TV because there was Joe Theisman chumming it up midfield during pre-game warm-ups. Where's Lawrence Taylor when you need him?

Football shortly...after the introductions, of course...

A couple of Bears fans right in front of the pressbox, one in the ubiquitous Urlacher jersey and the other in an Anthony Thomas No. 35, stood up toasting the Bears during introductions. Let's see how long this keeps up.

Huge hand for right guard and former Vike Corbin Lacina making his return to the dome. Tears.

In possibly the most unfootball-like sequence ever witnessed by these eyes,the Vikings hit the field out of an incredibly un-fierce looking inflatable Viking ship trailing behind a mascot on a Harley and a cheerleader on a snowmobile. That can't be good for the snowmobile. Even the cheerleaders up here know how to handle an Arctic Cat.

First quarter

The Vikings win the toss and we immediately go to a TV timeout. ... John Avery returns the kick 34 yards to the Bears' 44. Daunte Culpepper heaves one long on the first play to a wide-open Kelly Campbell, who has to wait for the under-thrown ball before catching it and falling out of bounds around the 2. Had that ball been on target it's 6-zip. Bears challenging. Replay shows he got both feet in. A place that plays the Stones "Start Me Up" before kickoffs, of course, is going to play the J. Geils Band "Freeze Frame" during replay challenges. Lame. Correction: Ball at the 5. Moe Williams runs once for 4 and then punches it into the end zone on the Vikes' third play from scrimmage. This is actually worse than last week, folks. PAT good.

Vikings 7, Bears 0

Once the all-male flag corps gets off the turf, we'll have another kickoff.

Ahmad Merritt makes a nice return all the way to the Vikings' 43. Marty Booker in motion, Kordell Stewart fakes a handoff to Booker and then gives it to Thomas for a 3-yard gain. And then Thomas takes it again and gets in the open field making a number of guys miss. Great run for 34 yards. Needless to say the guy in the Thomas jersey in front of me loved it. Stewart takes a draw up the middle for no gain. Ball on the Vikes' 20. Thomas dives into the pile for a yard, bringing up third and 9. Left tackle Mike Gandy jumps before the snap and it's now third and 14. The play clock gets dangerously low and the Bears burn a timeout. Stewart horribly underthrows Booker and Paul Edinger comes on to attempt a 42-yard field goal. it's good.

Vikings 7, Bears 3

Earplugs would've been the call of the night. My ears haven't rung this loud since than the summer I spent on tour with the Scorpions back in the early '80s.

Avery, the former Chicago Enforcer, takes the kick 20-something yards. Culpepper then hits a receiver and Canadian great Onterrio Smith runs for 15. Moe Williams runs up the middle for 9 yards and the Vikings are moving quite easily. Culpepper steps up in the pocket and sees nothing but green turf in front of him. He runs for 8 yards before R.W. McQuarters makes the tackle. Ball on the 24. Smith then runs for 9 behind tight end Jim Kleinsasser. Randy Moss makes his first appearance of the evening, catching a short pass from Culpepper and picking up the first down. First-and-goal from the 7. Culpepper pumps once and is hit from behind by Phillip Daniels. Culpepper fumbles, Bryan Knight tries to pick it up and run and Urlacher finally falls on it. Bears ball.

The guy in the Thomas jersey is pumped, to say the least. His friend turned around and yelled something to the effect, "You guys better write about that!" Sir, please watch the game.

Thomas runs for a few and then Stewart finds Booker for 8 yards and a first down at the 32. Thomas for a few more before Stewart rambles for a few. Third and 8. Stewart throws it behind David Terrell and Brad Maynard comes on to punt. Bobby Gray and Charles Tillman combine on the tackle at the 20.

Sign seen upon entering stadium: "The Minnesota Vikings football club bans guns in these premises." Probably a good thing judging by the looks of all the Ted Kaczynski survivalist types milling outside the press box.