No no, it was '88.
Well then you're the only one who knows that, because I was the one who said "the Fog Bowl." Because that was a reference for Chicago fans. I have a buddy of mine who's a Philadelphia Eagle fan, and he's the craziest fan I've ever met. We actually did an episode on "According to Jim" based on him. When the Eagles are on defense, he's standing on the left side of the couch. When the Eagles are on offense, he's sitting on the right side of the couch. Special teams, he puts a leg up in the air. He's crazy. Nobody can be at home while he watches. He's the most intense, crazy guy.
So every time I see him, I go, "God, I can't see right now." "What's the matter?" "There's this fog – " "Oh stop it, Belushi!" [Laughs.] So I'm always teasing my Philly buddies about the Fog Bowl.
Your character's son, Payton, there are a few occasions where people say, "What's the worst that could happen?" and then he starts imagining all these horrible scenarios. In your head at the time, what was the worst that could happen if the Bears hired a former CFL coach to be their coach?
I actually thought it was really a smart choice. I read about his record immediately, and I thought "Wow, that's a really well-thought and surprising choice." The CFL is football, man. They're playing football. And also, he coached in the NFL. I like his demeanor. I like his tone. I like the way he thinks.
Listen, I loved Lovie. But he had nine years, and sometimes everybody needs to make a change. I did "According to Jim" for eight years, and you know, I couldn't get any more out of it. I was ready to move [on]. You know? [Lovie's tenure] was a great run, and I loved it. He took us to a Super Bowl.
Tell me about what lifting the Stanley Cup was like as a Chicago sports fan.
Well, to be honest with you, the photo is literally 15 inches from me. I'm staring at it right now. It's kind of an out-of-body experience, you know? You grow up watching them. I used to go to the games with [my brother] John. In'91-'92 I was the celebrity captain, and that's when we went to Pittsburgh and got shut out. And I know the Wirtz family very well, and I wasn't around in 2010 to see the last game.
I happened to be in Boston, and I knew they were going to win that night. And to be down there, an odd, quiet stadium [laughs] … I got to take my son. I got to talk to all of the players. I got to talk to Rocky [Wirtz]. And this little guy was holding the Cup over his head, and [Bill Smith] was there, the photographer. And I said, "Can you get a shot of me touching the Cup?" And he goes, "Pick it up." "No, no, no." And he goes, "Go ahead, just grab it."
So the guy in front of me was like dropping it, and as soon as he was dropping it I picked it up, I put it in the air, and I went [nuts] "Take the picture!" [Laughs.] I got in a little trouble for it, but I don't care. I mean, a once in a lifetime thing. This photograph will be 15 inches from me every day.
It's interesting that you said you got into a little bit of trouble with that. What did you think about that reaction from Chicago? Or to people who are like, "Why is Jim Belushi always repping the Chicago fan voice?"
Well, I hear that question differently. I hear the question as, "Why can't I be on the ice?" "Why can't I be holding the Cup?" "Why can't I get on the field?" I hear bitterness and jealousy. [Laughs.] I don't know. I mean, I'm just—I'm there.
Do you feel that that's unfair?
Oh, it's fine. I don't care. With the Internet now, everybody has a voice. Listen, it's true in news, it's true in newspapers, it's true on news stations, it's true on the Internet: people that are the meanest get printed. You know? There's haters out there. And I just give them love, hope they find something to settle their souls. I have, and I'm loving my life and I let people be.
And one of the reasons I like this movie so much is that it's a really good-feeling movie. It puts out good energy, good messages.
So what are the pros and cons of being a famous sports fan?
There's a lot of pros to it. I get great seats at sporting events. I get invited to all types of sporting things. I get to meet celebrities. To me, athletes are celebrities. I got a football signed by the entire 1985 Chicago Bears, got Michael Jordan on a basketball, and of course I have the great Marty McNeeley. He did the late night news on WGN years ago.
The only cons are—well, I'll give you an example. When I was the celebrity captain for the Blackhawks, in Pittsburgh [in 1992] in the first game [of the Stanley Cup Final], I was holding up a little board that said "Pass the Cup." The cameras were on me, there were interviews with me and stuff. And we got shut out, right? So I kind of made a little racket in Pittsburgh, because I was a celebrity captain at that time, and we swept Detroit, and we came in and got slaughtered. I had a bit of a voice so Pittsburgh kind of knew me, because they had me on news stations saying, "Pass the Cup!"
Cut to six years later, I'm jogging in California, a car slows down and is going a little faster than me. Rolls the window down. And he goes, "Pass the Cup ... to Pittsburgh!" [Laughs.] He never forgot me! So it's a little hard sometimes when you walk by Green Bay fans when you've lost, and they know you're a Bears fan, you know? [laughs.] It's all in good fun.
Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack.
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