The fact that a rookie quarterback named Tyson Bagent led the Chicago Bears on Sunday to their first win at Soldier Field in 13 months is an interesting news break for many of those who keep an eye on the weekly headlines in the NFL.
But drawing the attention of a lot of RV industry people – including some 60 of Bagent’s family members and friends on the sidelines – is the fact that the undrafted free agent out of Shepherdstown, W.Va., has direct ties to Airstream Inc. Vice President of Sales Justin Humphreys, his uncle, and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Vice President of Membership & Research Bill Baker, his great-uncle.
Bagent, a 23-year-old graduate of Division II’s Shepherd University playing in place of injured starter Justin Fields, led a 30-12 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders to become the first Bears quarterback to win his first career start since 2004.
“It’s coming from nowhere for everybody else,” Humphreys told RVB this morning. “But for the family, this has been brewing for some time. You know, he got the starting position in high school as a sophomore on varsity, which is very rare, a 15-year-old kid slinging it for a varsity team and threw a lot – played for three years in high school, won two state titles. He played all four years in college and broke an all-time school record in his first game – 518 yards.
“So we were always amazed that he didn’t get more looks from Division I, but he just always dominated in the opportunities that he got, which was fun to watch.”
Suffice to say that it was a huge moment for the Humphreys family, all of whom draw their lineage to the late Dave Humphreys, a long-time RVIA president who passed away in May of 2022. In fact, Bagent presented the eulogy at Dave Humphreys’ funeral.
“What a great weekend in Chicago capped off with my nephew getting his first start in the NFL as the Chicago Bears starting QB today!,” Humphreys said Sunday after the game on Facebook. “Our family is so proud of his incredible work to get here. Although he is new to the scene in the NFL, we have had a front row seat watching him climb this mountain for many years. As Vince Lombardi said, ‘The man on top of a mountain didn’t fall there.’ To see things come together today with a great win shared by over 60 friends and family attendance was amazing! Keep climbing Tys!”
For his part, Baker, who was among the large contingent of friends and family at the game this past weekend, and said it was “very, very special.”
“It was one of the best family experiences I’ve ever had,” Baker said. “Everybody is just so proud of him and what he’s been able to accomplish. It’s the culmination of his childhood dream and to see him succeed like he has is just very, very special. It’s something we’re gong to remember for a very long time.”
Baker said he and the rest of the friends and family were receiving texts throughout the game, as the television coverage would often cut to the group any time Bagent enjoyed some success on the field.
Apparently Humphreys, Baker and the rest of the group were on TV a lot.
“My niece texted me one time and said we’ve been on TV so much, we’re the Taylor Swifts of West Virginia,” Baker said, adding that the only thing that could have made the day any better is if Bagent’s grandfather, Dave Humphreys, had also been there to witness the moment.
“He was Tyson’s biggest fan,” Baker said.