It may not quite be Bagentmania yet, but Tyson Bagent’s sparkling turn in his first NFL start on Sunday represented welcome fun for a Bears fan base unused to the concept.
The undrafted rookie out of Division II Shepherd University of West Virginia — hardly a heralded cradle of star quarterbacks — not only capably led the Bears offense, he flourished in what ended up being a lively victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The networks lapped it up. And, judging from some intermittent check-ins on local sports talk radio, more than a few Bears fans are now getting carried away with visions of the next Tom Brady.
That’s OK. That’s fun too.
Sports so often provides broader life lessons useful to those of us not gifted with sprinter speed or rocket arms. So it was with Bagent, who after the game spoke of how hard he’d worked to get to this level and how he’d prepared himself to succeed when he got there.
Boiled down, it all came out to lots of hard work, confidence and his love of what he does.
Some will no doubt roll their eyes at those sorts of old-fashioned virtues. Thomas Edison famously described “genius” as 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Maybe Edison’s percentages are overstated, but those words from another era still resonate.
The day that Bagent surely never will forget offered a stirring reminder that such achievements are possible even for those of us who aren’t straight out of central casting.
Lucky are those who’ve discovered what they love to do. Admirable are those who then just go for it.
We don’t know if Tyson Bagent’s Cinderella story has staying power. At the very least, he’s showing the NFL he belongs in the league, whether with the Bears or elsewhere. That in and of itself is fun.
Big-league fun, much deserved by the long suffering.