Bears know fans need something to cheer

Updated: October 2, 2003, 6:00 PM ET

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- With a wall of glass on the east side of the new Solider Field, the Chicago Bears knew their stadium was going to be disturbingly loud.

They just didn't realize they'd be the team being disturbed.

The first quarter hadn't even ended Monday night when the Bears heard their first boos from fans. And the fans weren't shy about expressing their displeasure throughout Chicago's 38-23 loss to Green Bay, which dropped the Bears to 0-3.

While cornerback R.W. McQuarters took issue with the boos after the game, most of the Bears say they understand the fans' frustration.

"You've got to give them something to cheer about," said quarterback Kordell Stewart, who knows a little something about rocky relationships with fans from his days in Pittsburgh. "They pay their money to come out and watch, and if we're out there stinking up the joint, cut loose. Hey, that's a part of a game."

Bears fans haven't seen a whole lot to their liking lately. Since winning the NFC Central in 2001, the Bears have gone 4-15. They've lost 15 of their last 17 games.

The Bears and their fans were hoping last year's dismal season was a casualty of the team having to be on the road for all 16 games. While Soldier Field was refurbished last year, the Bears played their "home" games in Champaign, 140 miles south of Chicago.

But they're still looking for their first win this year. And not even their open house bash Monday night, complete with fireworks and visits by old-time Bears greats, could energize them.

Chicago was down 17-0 after the first quarter, and 24-3 before halftime. Though the Bears cut Green Bay's lead to 24-16 on Anthony Thomas' 67-yard touchdown run early in the fourth, the Packers answered with two quick scores to put the game out of reach.

"I've always maintained the same position, the fans have a right to boo, and we certainly expect it when we don't give them much to cheer about," coach Dick Jauron said. "And the fact is that in the first half of that football game, we didn't give them much to cheer about. And we gave them a good deal to boo about. So we heard the boos."

"When we got it back to an eight-point game in the fourth quarter, they were good," Jauron said. "There was a lot of noise at the right time. It was the stadium we expect to play in."

Still, no team likes to get booed in its own house. After the game, McQuarters said fans needed to support the Bears no matter what their record.

While McQuarters didn't apologize Wednesday, he said he does understand how the fans feel.

"The frustration they feel, we feel the exact same frustration," he said. "We're all in this thing together. We're all one family. So when we lose, the fans lose."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index