A Bears fan growing up, Cousins ready for ‘special’ trip to Solidier Field

Published 7:52 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

By Chris Tomasson

Pioneer Press

Kirk Cousins was 13 years old when his family moved from the Chicago suburbs to Holland, Mich. He wondered if he would need to put aside his Bears gear and become a Detroit Lions fan.

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Cousins’ father knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“He said, ‘Kirk, you can take the boy out of Chicago, you can’t take Chicago out of the boy,’ “ Cousins said recently. “We stayed Chicago sports fans when we moved to Michigan.”

Cousins stopped being a Bears fan when he the Washington Redskins made him their fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft.

Now the Vikings’ quarterback Cousins, 30, will face the Bears on Sunday night in his third regular-season game at Soldier Field. He won his first two starts there with the Redskins, 24-21 in 2015 and 41-21 in 2016.

“Certainly, any time you get to go there, it’s a special place, a lot of history,” Cousins said Wednesday. “So I love the opportunity to play at Soldier Field.”

Cousins said he was “very much a Bears fan growing up” in the northwest suburb of Barrington. He got to know several notable former players.

His father, Don, a minister, led prayer sessions with the Bears and was close friends with hall of fame linebacker Mike Singletary and former Bears defensive back Leslie Frazier, Minnesota’s head coach from 2010-13. Hall of fame running back Walter Payton, who died in 1999, lived in Barrington and his children attended Cousins’ school.

When Cousins played for the pee-wee Barrington Bears in 1998 and 1999, his father coached the offense and Singletary coached the defense.

“There were a lot of connections to the Bears in the community,” Cousins said. “Obviously, the ‘85 Bears to this day are still talked about quite a bit, so that kind of lingered through the ‘90s as I was growing up and lot of those guys who played on those teams stayed around and were around the city and certainly had a large legacy.”