They say you never forget your first, but when it comes to Roquan Smith’s first ever pick-six, it wasn’t top of mind as he gave the ball to a lucky fan in the stands.
Smith admitted he would’ve liked the ball as a keepsake, but took pride in making someone’s day by gifting them a souvenir. After all, it was the fans’ first regular-season game back at Soldier Field.
And, in a story of all’s well that ends well, Smith got his wish and a Bears fan gets the memory of a lifetime:
The ball has been returned! Thank you @RoquanSmith1 @ChicagoBears for making another memorable moment. Thank you @leilarahimi @AdamHoge and #Twitter for getting the word out. All Love #Bears https://t.co/xI26RdN9tU pic.twitter.com/ERrlCmajWU
— Courtney Fong (@courtfong) September 21, 2021
I’ve never been in a position to trade what might be priceless to an athlete for something that could be of value to me. But I think it’s awesome that both sides got something pretty dang cool out of this deal.
But more than that, I’m happy that we — as a Bears fandom — get to share a story like this one. Stuff like this is what we were missing last year while fans were unable to attend games due to policies during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We obviously think about crowd noise as a factor that was missing last year. But there is nothing like genuine player-fan interaction to serve as a reminder of how much we were missing with butts not being in stadium seats last year.
Here’s to more Bears players having historic firsts and sharing them with the fans.