Having grown up in Suburban Chicago, I grew up following the Bears. Admittidly, I’m not a football fan, I’m a racing fan, but I do support Chicago fans. I also like to go to autograph signings and get things signed.
Yes I know that these items are not “vintage” per se, but they does have an interesting history behind it. In 2004, I went to Woodfield Mall outside of Chicago with some friends, and I bought a Brian Urlacher jersey for $45. Back then, that was what new NFL jerseys cost. I know, I can’t believe it anymore either. I then noticed that in the center court there was a table with a line, and I realized that Jim Miller was signing autographs at a free signing. So I took my jersey and got it signed by Jim Miller. That was the start of a journey.
Later that year, The Great Indoors opened in Deerfield Illinois, and Brian Urlacher was going to do a free signing, and the first 500 people would get one autograph. After standing in a snowstorm for an hour, I got inside, got to meet the Maytag Repairman, had a free cup of coffee, and then was one of the first 500 and got my autograph!
I was doing more signings than I currently do now, so I got more signautres and shows and signings, but things really kicked into overdrive in 2005 when the Chicago Bears had the 20th Anniversary of their Super Bowl XX victory, and there were dozens, and I mean DOZENS of signings. In total, this jersey has 25 signatures, including Urlacher, Jim Miller, Jim McMahon, and William Perry,
If I had the chance, I would take other items to me with signings. This Bears helmet for example has a number of signautres including William Perry, and Dan Hampton. I like the look of the helmet with no facemask, it has a more vintage look.
By far, the most unususal item in my Bears collection is this XFL football. The XFL was a football league founded by Vince McMahon in 2001, and folded after one season. I took this full size regulation football with me to a number of signings, and every Bear who signed it said the exact same thing to me, word for word “This is the first XFL ball I’ve ever signed.” It’s a unique item, and one of my favorite items in my autograph collection.