Houston, we have a ‘thank you’


Subject: A Letter of Gratitude 


To: Our dearest Houston Texans 


From: Owen Hadzima (Da Bears Diehard!) 


On a cold, January 8, 2023, day, I took a seat inside the Carpentersville restaurant “Randall Roadhouse,” ready to dive into some great food and watch the Bears. 

Notice how I didn’t say “cheer on” our beloved Bears. That is purposeful wording from yours truly. 

The Chicago Bears were one loss away from acquiring the NFL Draft’s first overall pick, sporting a 3-13 record. The Windy City, however, needed some help from our friends down in Houston (you guys). 

Y’all tied the Colts in week one of the season and went 3-12 for the next fifteen weeks, leading up to a battle with (ironically) the Colts of Indianapolis (who came in with a 4-12-1 record). 

With all the context you now know, me cheering for the Bears to WIN was blasphemous. 

Everything started off according to plan for Chicago. Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings connected with WR Adam Thielen for a touchdown four minutes, forty-eight seconds into their battle in Chicago, and grabbed a 16-6 lead after a quarter. 

I was against the Bears the WHOLE time. Minnesota eventually took a 23-13 lead into the fourth quarter, and finished off a 29-13 win to end 2022 with a record of 13-4. 

No sweat in the first half of the “number one pick equation.” The second half is when it became stressful. 

17-7 was the score in your favor after one half in Indy (as you know), but in typical Houston fashion, you started to falter (like you did throughout the entire 2022 season). 

The Colts slowly cut into your lead, as after three y’all held a slim 24-21 advantage (following back-and-forth scores throughout the third). 

Indianapolis then pinched all Bears fans in the arm when the Colts took their first lead over y’all, 28-24, early in the final frame. 

An even harder pinch was given when Chase McLaughlin nailed a 54 yard field goal to extend his team’s lead to seven, at 31-24. 

This was with three minutes, thirty-three seconds to go in the game. 

The hopes of the Bears securing the first overall pick all rested on your offense, which ranked second-to-last overall. 


Not looking too bright for Chicago. 

Until Lovie Smith, coach of your team in this fateful game before he was *expectedly* fired hours later, gave his former team in the Bears one more gift. 

You guys marched down the field and eventually were faced with an improbable fourth down and 12. 

I was keeping track of this final drive on my phone as I was heading back home, and I thought, when that fourth down popped up, “Yep, it’s over.” 

Until it wasn’t. Sideline route to Brandin Cooks. Complete. First down. 

An even longer fourth down became reality (fourth and twenty), later on. 

Again, I saw that it was coming up, and my mind said “It’s over.” 

Once again, my mind was wrong. 

Davis Mills, QB for your team, found tight end Jordan Akins in the end-zone on that aforementioned fourth down, narrowing Houston’s deficit to a single point. 

The Mills-Akins combo struck again on a two-point conversion attempt, as you took a 32-31 lead over Indy with 58 seconds left. 

Your defense held in that final minute, and the Chicago Bears, as a result, earned the number one overall pick. 

This whole sequence of events was one that Bears fans and Bears executives will never forget, as it gave Chicago the leverage it had. 

Without y’all, the Bears wouldn’t be setting themselves up for immense future success by trading down (once already), in this year’s draft. 

Without y’all, the Bears would have to scramble (and give up future assets), to move up. 

And, without y’all, the Bears wouldn’t have been able to steal four valuable draft picks from the Carolina Panthers as WELL AS their WR1 in D.J. Moore. 

I just want to thank you guys for doing what you did in week 18, so we could experience this time in our franchise’s history (a positive, success-molding one). 


**PS: I don’t mean to be a heckler here, but a simple dropped pass out of the three I mentioned would’ve secured the first overall pick for you guys. You will have to pay the consequences when Bryce Young goes off the board before you pick. **