CHICAGO - This past January the first Super Bowl participated in by a team from the Windy City was celebrated as one of the greatest events in Chicago sports history.
On January 26, 1986, the Bears not only defeated the Patriots by 36 points but destroyed them in a way that only added to legend of the iconic NFL champions. That's why many pay tribute to the date on Social Media or hold reunions for the players that made the victory happen at the Superdome in New Orleans.
That's not the case for the Bears' second appearance in the Super Bowl. February 4, 2007 doesn't roll of the tongue of quite like the date 21 years earlier.
Dreams of ending the franchise's 21-year championship drought drowned in the steady rain that fell at Dolphin Stadium. An opening kickoff touchdown return by Devin Hester sent the pro-Bears crowd in Miami Gardens to a fever pitch but it was mostly downhill from there.
The Colts outscored the Bears 23-3 in the final 40 minutes of the game to win 29-17. "Tropical Depression" is what the Chicago Tribune headline read the next day and that's continued for nearly a decade as the Bears haven't return to the big game since.
In the disappointment, however, was a memorable fifteen minutes that came between the second and the third quarter. Fans hoping for a Vince Lombardi Trophy podium filled with orange and blue after the game instead got a stage painted in purple during halftime.
For the first time in his celebrated music career, Prince would perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show. It's an honor bestowed upon the most talented and iconic musicians of the past and present, but he would face a challenge like no other has before or since.
Funny that the artist known for his song "Purple Rain" would become the first to perform the show in the rain.
Never had the big game faced such adverse weather conditions as steady showers drenched the fans, soaked the players, and slicked the field. While that was a problem for the Colts and the Bears, it figured to be even more of an issue for Prince.
According to this video posted by NFL.com, the precipitation presented a number of quandaries for the singer and others taking part in the show. From a number of electrical guitars to the slick surface of the stage, there was a reason to worry that the show might not go off as planned in front of 74,512 fans in the stadium and millions at home.
Yet Prince, a vibrant, creative and confident performer, was unfazed.
Per the NFL video above, production designer Bruce Rodgers said when a co-producer informed the singer about the potential issues, he asked "Can you make it rain harder?"
Indeed the performance went off without a hitch. No wardrobe malfunctions or problems with the instruments or dancers, instead Prince delivered 12 minutes music with a number of his hits like "Let's Go Crazy" and "Baby, I'm a Star" along with other pieces like "We Will Rock You" and "All Around The Watchtower."
Fittingly, he finished with "Purple Rain" in the driving rain.
It's those images which are being shared today after the Prince was found dead in his recording studio at the age of 57 outside of Minneapolis.
For Chicago sports fans, it was he who the fans remember reigning in the rain after their team failed to do so before and after his performance.