Not all fans are “bottom line” individuals or ‘front runners’ who will drop their support for an athlete as soon as their production declines. I have a lot of respect for the man that goes beyond what he has put up on the scoreboard.
I was lucky enough to watch Brandon Marshall go to work in his first season with the Bears. We sat under the lights in Bourbonnais as he matched up vs Charles Tillman. It was an epic mano y mano. The kind of challenge usually reserved for Sunday’s. We got to witness it, for free, on a summer night away from the bright lights of Chicago. It was magnificent. Two world class athletes going at one another as hard as they could. Tillman, would gently move aside anyone who tried to line up in front of the All-Pro receiver. Marshall didn’t make every catch, but he made some impossible ones. His body control was impressive. As a long time Bears fan, this was something that we had never really seen before. Marcus Robinson showed flashes of it back in 1999-2000. Marty Booker had great hands. No one did it as consistently or as effortlessly as Brandon.
He gave us three good years. He fought like a warrior to stay on the field, only leaving for a punctured lung. He took a lot of criticism for promoting his illness and speaking up when the team was not doing good. I don’t know him personally. I have been around a few teammates I couldn’t stand, but you put that aside on gameday. I would imagine professional athletes would be able to do so as well. Apparently not, as today Brandon Marshall, one of the Bears top performers over the last three seasons, has been traded to the New York Jets (pending a physical) for a 5th round draft pick.
I wish you well Brandon, I know you probably will never see this article. I hope that doesn’t stop the well wishes from being received. You were everything the Bears could ask for, as a man and as a member of the football club. You had a lot of fans here, and I’m willing to bet that they will be pulling for you as your journey continues. Thank you.