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Schedule Release

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Bears produce creative schedule release video

Bears receiver Darnell Mooney, quarterback Justin Fields and WWE superstar Seth Rollins
Bears receiver Darnell Mooney, quarterback Justin Fields and WWE superstar Seth Rollins

The Bears went Hollywood with their 2023 schedule release video.

The clever 2 minute, 25 second production features a slew of familiar faces as well as an homage to a popular TV show and an iconic Italian beef joint.

The video stars WWE superstar and avid Bears fan Seth Rollins; current players Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney, Khalil Herbert, Kyler Gordon, Braxton Jones, Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards and Jack Sanborn; and former Bears Charles Tillman and Anthony "Spice" Adams.

The video is a takeoff on the TV show "The Bear," an FX comedy-drama that premiered on Hulu last summer. It centers around a young chef who leaves a high-end restaurant in New York to return home to Chicago to run his family's Italian beef sandwich shop following the death of his brother.

The series is based on the Mr. Beef restaurant in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Some scenes from the TV show—as well as the Bears' schedule release video—were shot at the actual Mr. Beef location on Orleans Street. FX also filmed at a replica of the restaurant's kitchen it built in a studio on Chicago's West Side.

"The Bear" was created by Christopher Storer, who has visited Mr. Beef since he was a kid. In fact, he's been friends with current Mr. Beef owner Christopher Zucchero since high school. Longtime Mr. Beef owner Joseph Zucchero—Christopher's father—passed away March 1 at the age of 69.

The Bears' schedule release video is part of a recent trend that's been sweeping the NFL, with content and social media departments producing entertaining videos to announce their team's slate of games. The competition is fierce, with some media outlets ranking and grading the videos. The best ones go viral. 

This year's Bears schedule release video opens with Rollins taking orders. The WWE superstar is clearly annoyed—just like his counterparts on the show—especially when a Lions fan asks for ketchup on a hot dog, breaking a longstanding unwritten rule in Chicago. 

Rollins flew into the city exclusively to participate in the schedule release video. He enjoyed the experience, posing for photos and chatting with Adams, Edmunds, Edwards and Sanborn when the cameras weren't rolling. 

"It was a blast," Rollins said. "The setting was very Chicago. The cast, crew, the production was super easy and fun and I got to hang out with the Bears. As a lifelong fan, it's always cool to hang out with the players. I think we're kind of rock stars to each other a little bit. I'm like, 'I wish I could play for the Bears,' and I think they're like, 'Man, it would be so cool to get hit with a chair.' It was just fun being fans of each other and getting to know those guys."

Sanborn conceded that he had no previous acting experience, adding: "And I think it showed."

"The people who are used to it are much more natural," Sanborn said. "Like Seth, he's very good. He lives a whole different kind of lifestyle. He's definitely at the top of his profession, so it was awesome to hear what he had to say and learn about some of the experiences that he's gone through." 

Also appearing in the Bears schedule release video are standup comedian, writer and actor Dyon Brooks; NFL personality Annie Agar and Bears reporter Lauren Screeden. 

One highlight of the video is a kitchen scene featuring close friends and former teammates Adams and Tillman. At one point, Tillman smacks a tray of buns out of Adams' hands. Remarkably, one bun lands on Adams' shoulder and stays there, seemingly defying gravity.

"I don't know how it happened," said Adams, a social media star who has worked with Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Hart and the Rock, among others. "But I was trying my best not to laugh because I knew it was going to be a good shot. It's hard to try to keep a straight face when you're dealing with Peanut. But we got through it."

Check out what's on the Bears schedule this season with help from Chicago's own Mr. Beef.