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Is Justin Fields the Most Important Chicago Athlete Since Michael Jordan?

By Stephen Douglas
A Chicago Bears fan holding the first Justin Fields jersey.
A Chicago Bears fan holding the first Justin Fields jersey. / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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The Chicago Bears traded up to take Justin Fields with the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This is not the most important thing to happen in the history of Chicago sports, but you'd be forgiven if you thought it seemed that way.

It is basically the biggest thing to happen in Chicago since the Cubs won the World Series. The city probably hasn't been as excited for a player to come to town since Michael Jordan retired from baseball. Basically, it seems like the sun has come out from behind the clouds in Chicago for the first time in decades.

Grown men wept.

They looked at each other the way that the Bears look at Justin Fields.

They were delirious.

They felt alive.

They allowed themselves to smile.

They cheered. Unanimously. Because the Bears had done it. They had moved up in a draft and picked a guy fans wanted. A guy that might have gone No. 1 in a different timeline. A guy that many think can be the steal of the draft.

This doesn't change 2017. They still took Mitch Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes (and Deshaun Watson), but if Fields is the guy they think he can be, it will help. If he fulfills his potential in Chicago. If he makes the Chicago Bears one of the top teams in the NFL for the next decade, well, maybe they won't care about 2017 anymore. No wonder everyone is so excited.

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