Mundelein man wins photo shoot
Chad Vincent of Mundelein poses during a New York photo shoot. The Bannockburn teacher won a contest sponsored by Nike and the NFL, and won a trip to New York. | Photo submitted.
Name: Chad Vincent
Vocation/avocation: Physical education teacher
Words to live by: “My favorite part (of watching the NFL) is knowing that any time you watch a game, anybody could win. Anybody could step up.”
Updated: September 25, 2012 2:48PM
MUNDELEIN — It took awhile to loosen up, but eventually Chad Vincent found his stride. Sporting Nike’s latest Bears fashion, he turned his wide smile into a sophisticated, serious gaze.
He stood up; he knelt down; he folded and unfolded his arms. The camera loved him — when all was said and done, Vincent said his photographer must have taken almost 100 shots.
This was the Mundelein resident’s first-ever professional New York City photo shoot, and it certainly lived up to the hype. Vincent, a physical education teacher at Bannockburn School, was in New York repping his hometown after being chosen to participate in the Back To Football Photo Day Contest sponsored by Nike and the NFL. Thousands of fans submitted photos showcasing how they are bringing their own personal style to the game, and the winners were flown to New York City to star in a professional photo shoot.
Vincent, a lifelong Bears fan, was one of the most dedicated of the 32 contest winners, who represented the different NFL teams across the country.
“While we were on the trip, a few folks commented that Chicago was the most representative with the gear we wore throughout the trip,” Vincent said. “Everywhere we went we were wearing Bears stuff. The other participants were like, ‘Is all you own Bears gear?’ We went into it hoping people would recognize what loyal fans we are.”
Vincent’s not just a Bears guy — he’s dedicated to all Chicago sports.
He even named his son Jordan.
“When (Michael) Jordan was in his prime, that was my life,” Vincent said. “I used to go to Michael Jordan basketball camps. I was obsessed.”
Though he’s an avid Bulls fan, Vincent’s collection of Bears gear takes the cake. He estimates he has about 35 articles of Bears clothing, ranging from T-shirts to coats to jerseys.
As the Bears embark on their 2012-13 season, he’ll be proudly sporting his Jay Cutler jersey.
“I think Cutler is going to take the next step this year and be the elite quarterback people think he can be and should be,” Vincent said. “I think the first few weeks will tell the story regarding where the team as a whole could go. I’ll say we’ll be 12-4 regular season. And I’m always the optimist about post season — I think we’re headed for the Super Bowl.”
Vincent carries the same hometown pride he exhibited out on the East Coast with him each day. Even though Bears fans aren’t strangers to heartbreak, Vincent said the bad times don’t diminish the team’s greatness.
“You have legends who have been part of the team,” he said. “Bears football has a lot of tradition – Walter Payton, Dick Butkus. People who have been around awhile have looked up to these legends for a long time. There’s something about putting on that blue and orange that people have a lot of pride in.
“Even when times are rough, people can relate to the C on the helmet,” he continued. “We’re a tough city with tough players. The C speaks for itself.”