There is nobody else in the NFL like Virginia McCaskey. She is the oldest owner in the league. One of the few who was alive when the Chicago Bears were still known as the Staleys. She grew up watching this franchise morph from barnstormer to one of the most lucrative sports organizations in the world. Some might think she is a seasoned and educated businesswoman at this point.
Such is not and has never really been the case. While McCaskey has fulfilled her responsibilities as an owner when required, the fact is she is and always has been a fan first. Few people feel more emotion when the Bears win or lose than she does. Fans have never truly understood that about her. How much she cares about the team.
It’s not just because she’s trying to uphold the legacy her father George Halas left behind. It is because she loves the game of football and gave her heart to the Bears long, long ago. Perhaps nothing illustrates how seriously she takes this than a tremendous story about her reaction when Packers owners wished her luck during the teams’ second meeting in 2018.
Virginia McCaskey is never in a cordial mood with Green Bay
Everybody remembers the setup. If the Bears beat Green Bay last December, they clinch their first NFC North title since 2010. If the Packers win, they keep their playoff hopes alive. Green Bay hadn’t lost at Soldier Field since Chicago had last won the division, so this was a big game with a lot of emotions involved.
McCaskey revealed just how much to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
An hour before kickoff of their rivalry game in December, McCaskey and son Pat made their weekly visit to say hello to opposing brass in their luxury box. With a win against the Packers, the Bears would be guaranteed their first playoff berth in eight years — a period that spanned three general managers and four coaches.
“The Packers people were very gracious,” she said. “They said if they’re not in it, they’ll be rooting for us.
“I’m standing there thinking, ‘They’re nicer than I am.’ ”
Old rivalries don’t die. Neither do the emotions.
Now that is an owner Bears fans should be proud of. There is nothing that shows dedication to this team more than hatred of the Packers. That a 96-year old Christian woman would openly admit her hostility like that? It is a reminder why Chicago should be more appreciative of who she is and what she represents.