Perusing Minnesota newspapers out of sheer curiosity for outsiders’ opinions about this week’s Bears-Vikings game, I came across a predictable, yet interesting article.
From startribune.com, former Bears wide receiver Bobby Wade said he expects new Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian to receive a negative reaction from Bears fans when Minnesota visits Chicago this Sunday.
“Bernard no doubt is going to get a lot of boos,” Wade said. “I’m going to be laughing.”
And surely, Wade is right. It’s only natural to boo a former player who chooses to follow the money out of town. Only the likes of former legends such as Brett Favre, Joe Montana, and Michael Jordan can play for other teams and not receive negative treatment upon their return. Each of these players’ departures were circumstantial and not monetarily driven.
But what Wade doesn’t understand is that Berrian will get booed mostly because of the color of his jersey, whereas the majority of boos for Wade stemmed from his marginal talent as a football player. And I’m being generous by using the word marginal; bad might be more appropriate.
When you muff three punts in one game and fumble several other times throughout the season, you’d be a little naïve to expect a warm reception. As a member of the Bears, Wade put the ball on the ground more than the officiating crew.
It’s important for Wade to understand this because he needs to realize that while he’s “laughing” at the Bears fans booing Berrian this week, there’s at least some level of respect behind those boos. When Wade’s getting booed, it’s basically the fans saying, “thanks for stealing our money; please do this league a favor and retire.”