Street Smart Chicago

Bear Barren: Scoping out the Bears at Adam Archuleta’s birthday party

Essays & Commentary, River North, Sports Add comments

It certainly feels like a typical night at Y Bar on Ontario—young, clean-shaven twentysomethings gyrate their asses, throw napkins into the air, dance around gleaming bottles of Grey Goose. The partiers flirt aimlessly, armed with every kind of drink the bar has to offer, most of them unaware that the club is concealing a secret, and there’s only one clue: orange and navy-blue balloons filled with helium stacked across the ceiling. Little do the clubbers know that they are minutes away from being in the midst of a surprise 30th birthday party (one that was well publicized online) for the Chicago Bears’ strong safety, Adam Archuleta, organized by his Playboy Playmate girlfriend Jennifer Walcott.

“Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” the Pussycat Dolls inquire from above, the blistering bass beat visibly influencing the candle flames that sit on each table. It’s a question that seems all the more appropriate with the imminent arrival of Archuleta and his Hefner-approved girlfriend. First, however, one would expect an appearance from a few of your currently 5-6, former NFC-champion Chicago Bears. Here comes Bernard Berrian, looking suave, trendy, sporting a gigantic silver watch (only forty-two hours till his game-tying touchdown catch against the Broncos). And there’s one of the Ayanbadejo brothers, either Brendon or Obafemi. Past that, there’s a guy who slightly resembles Cedric Benson, but would he even be invited?

There are burly, muscular and unmistakably upper-class figures throughout the bar that surely must be football players, but even diehard fans would have trouble recognizing them. Dim lighting, cigar smoke and drunken ignorance obscure most football faces into anonymity, not to mention the fact that ninety-five percent of their high-profile careers are spent underneath a helmet.

Halfway through the evening, Archuleta and Walcott arrive, the former sporting a simple black jacket and a cocky grin, the latter barely even showing that she’s twenty weeks pregnant. It’s the big moment, and Archuleta’s friends and teammates let out a totally lame and anti-climatic “Wooooo!”

A couple of unsuspecting guys clutching Coronas try to peek in to the group’s exclusive area and ask, “So, where’s Urlacher? Where’s all the Bears?” Surprise.  (Andy Seifert)

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