CHICAGO – It was the perfect day in so many ways.
For one, it was an unseasonably warm and sunny December afternoon at Soldier Field that made it more than tolerable for the sold out crowd on hand. They watched their Bears hold off a potential rally by the rival Packers and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers, preserving a 24-17 victory.
That triumph, the Bears’ tenth of the season, gave the Bears their first NFC North championship since the 2010 season.
Some players celebrated by picking up their hats and shirts being passed out by team personnel, running towards the stands to celebrate with fans that stuck with them through a half-decade of lean years.
Charles Leno Jr. had the most unique and permanent way to celebrate after the game.
The offensive tackle went to midfield where he met up with his girlfriend Jennifer Roth. When she got close, Leno pulled out a ring, got on one knee, and proposed on the spot.
“It’s been a long time coming and what a perfect moment to do it,” said Leno of the proposal.
Naturally, she said yes.
The moment was caught on the Soldier Field video board along with the team’s social media team, garnering some cheers from those on the field and in the crowd who noticed what was going on.
“She was surprised. She was shaking, she was crying. Right now, I guarantee she is bawling,” said Leno of Roth. “That’s all I wanted to do.”
Head coach Matt Nagy said he didn’t see it, but the man who Leno protects did, and Mitchell Trubisky had nothing but good wishes for the fifth-year tackle who went seventh-round pick in 2014 to a full-time starter in 2016.
After drafting Trubisky, the Bears locked down Leno to protect his blindside with a four-year $38 million contract extension.
“I’m very happy for Charles, I mean all, he planned it on pretty well and luckily everyone did their job today so that could go right and very excited for him and his fiance’,” said Trubisky of Leno. “So congrats.”
Safe to say that offensive tackle would appreciate that on an afternoon to remember at Soldier Field.
“It’s easily up there as one of the best days of my life,” said Leno. “Easily.”