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Sometime in the afternoon Aug. 10, as Soldier Field sits quiet and ready to have its first exhibition game of a new season and a new era, Mitch Trubisky's phone will ding.
He knows it's coming. He has gotten the text from his dad dozens of times.
Just do what you do.
It might sound cliche or trite, but it sparks a fire. Football has connected Dave Trubisky and his son since Mitch was old enough to pick up a ball.
"All I have to do is do what I was born to do: Play this game and have fun," Mitch says. "Getting that text from him, it means I'm ready to go. As long as I give it my all, I know he's going to be proud of me, which is the best feeling in the world."
After all these years, as Dave celebrates Father's Day as a dad for the 23rd time, he isn't quite sure if Mitch needs those words of encouragement as much as he needs to offer them.
The ritual started when Mitch was on the junior varsity at Mentor High School in this town of about 46,000 people 25 miles northeast of Cleveland. Dave had coached his oldest son from age 7 through youth league but suddenly was more detached.
"Now I'm a parent in the bleachers; it was kind of tough," Dave recalled. "That was just my way of getting him ready for the game or trying to calm him down and just keep him straight."
The texts continued through Mitch's varsity career, which included a legendary run to the 2012 state semifinal in Ohio's biggest classification and culminated with him being named Mr. Football of the state.
They continued at North Carolina, where Mitch emerged last season as one of the top college quarterbacks in the country, compelling the Bears to trade up to draft him second overall.
By now, Dave's text message to his son is so ingrained in their pregame routine that it has become superstition. On the receiving end, Mitch has a great appreciation for how his father, as well as his mother, Jeanne, helped mold him into the star college player and amiable, loyal person who arrived at Halas Hall this spring.
"One of the most real, genuine things in this world is love for your family, your parents," Mitch says. "Especially my dad, if I just give my all, knowing that it makes him proud, it just makes me want to strive for that much more. Sharing these moments and that happiness together is really special."
Dave Trubisky gave Mitch his first football, a small aqua-colored Dolphins ball, before Mitch could catch it consistently. Dave, now 51, was an honorable mention all-state quarterback at nearby Perry High in the early 1980s. He had an affinity for the Dolphins because of quarterbacks Bob Griese and Dan Marino.
He and Mitch would play catch in the backyard. To this day, Mitch considers himself a visual learner. As his dad preached basics, such as gripping the laces to control the ball, he absorbed what he saw.
Dave prioritized completions over mechanics, hence Mitch's ability to make the "funny-body throws" with which Bears general manager Ryan Pace became enamored.
"I just wanted to duplicate everything he was doing to get the ball to me," Mitch said. "I see him still throw the football today, he's so smooth with it."
Thinking back, maybe Mitch really was born to do this. After all, the first moments of his life did involve an audible.
The play call on Aug. 20, 1994, was, in fact, for Dave and Jeanne's firstborn to be a girl. At least that's what their doctor repeatedly indicated despite their request not to know in advance.
Kayla Rose Trubisky was scrapped in favor of Mitchell David. And from the start, he was wired to play sports.
Dave, standing 6-foot-4, had decorated careers in football, basketball and tennis that earned him a spot in Perry High's athletic Hall of Fame.
Jeanne, 47, played basketball, softball and volleyball. She's quick to take credit for the nimble footwork that helps Mitch's throwing accuracy.
Dave coached Mitch's teams through middle school, mostly as an assistant. Mitch began as a running back because he was fast, then switched to quarterback after two years.
Back then, Dave didn't emphasize winning as much as he drilled into Mitch the importance of making good decisions based on the defense.
"If a kid was out of position," Dave recalled, "Mitch would go take him by the hips and move him to the right spot. I wanted him to be a leader and do things the right way. Because if you do that, your talent will take over."
Dave coached Mitch hard, not wanting to give him preferential treatment. Kade McClure, Mitch's longtime friend who the White Sox drafted Tuesday in the sixth round of the baseball draft, played on those youth teams. His father, Brian, a quarterback the Bills drafted late in 1986, was one of the coaches.
"Mr. T and my dad had no problem letting you know you messed up when you were 10 years old, making you run a lap," McClure said with a laugh.
For as intense as Mr. T was as a youth coach, though, maintaining a healthy level of support and oversight has come easily for him.
"It was never about him reliving his glory days," Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said. "He wasn't overbearing. He let coaches coach his kid and was never the kind to interfere. It comes from his good, laid-back nature."
In fact, it was Mitch who always dialed up the intensity of his training. He would badger his parents to get him to practice early or let him stay late for extra throwing.
"My dad was never pushing me past ridiculous limits," Mitch says. "He was always super supportive. Me doing extra work made him proud of me. That made me want it even more for him.
Dave did some of his best quarterbacking on the intramural fields at the University of Akron. He had his hands full with a certain receiver he met there on his coed team.
"She yelled at me because I was throwing the ball to big guys or another girl," Dave said, nodding toward Jeanne. "She's like, 'I can catch!' Like all receivers, she was always open."
"Always," Jeanne said.
They bantered on a restaurant patio as the sun set. Jeanne normally insists on cooking for visitors. But on a recent evening, the heat index hovered in the 80s and their house doesn't have air conditioning.
Not only does Jeanne love to cook, her commitment to it is a main thread in the Trubisky fabric.
As one of 10 children in her family growing up in nearby Kirtland, mealtime was how they stayed connected. She and Dave were determined to establish that in their home, which includes Mitch's younger siblings -- Mariah, Manning and Mason -- each two years apart.
Sports are the metronome that paces their daily lives. And amid all the practices and games is a powerful sense of togetherness. Mitch, for example, always shared a bedroom with at least one of his brothers. At the Trubisky house, there's a family atmosphere that has had a magnetic effect on more than a few kids in Mentor.
"We just really tried to put an emphasis on the little things we could control, like dinner and going to church on Sundays," Jeanne said. "It's important to us to sit down, see our kids and spend time with them."
At dinner, there are two main rules: Show up and leave your phone behind. The table is open to friends, teammates, extended family and even strangers. Jeanne's chicken paprikash is Mitch's favorite.
There's a premium on manners. Jeanne once informed one of Mitch's friends he wasn't welcome back because he was too impolite. The friend pleaded for a second chance and ultimately changed his ways.
"How you talk to your loved ones, it's always about being respectful," Mitch says. "There's a certain way you say things in certain situations, and that has helped me a lot in the real world."
Ryan Switzer savored that ability to relate at North Carolina as one of Mitch's teammates, roommates and closest friends. Switzer called Trubisky one of the most selfless people he ever has been around.
"Honestly, I wish I could be as good of a dude as Mitchell is," McClure said. "On and off the field, he's all about business and treating people the right way."
As Mitch sees it, he's just following his parents' example. Dave sets the standard for supporting one another, while Jeanne is the engine that makes the family go.
Dave is a control systems engineer at ABB, an industrial equipment and systems corporation at which he has worked for almost 23 years. What fostered his loyalty there? He likes the work he does and the people he does it with -- principles that helped Mitch decide not to transfer out of North Carolina when coaches made him the backup for two straight seasons.
When Mitch was growing up, Dave would come straight from work to whatever practices or games the kids had that day. Jeanne, a stay-at-home mom, made sure everyone got where they needed to be. The kids attended each other's games because support was paramount.
That became second nature to Mitch. On Thursday afternoon, after the Bears wrapped up their offseason program, he packed his Camry and made the traffic-snarled drive to Mentor to watch Manning play receiver in a senior all-star game Friday night.
When Mitch was home this spring, he wanted to visit Cedar Point amusement park. But when Mason balked because he doesn't like thrill rides, Mitch was OK with staying home.
"I wasn't going to leave one brother behind, and that's how it is with my friends," he said. "If we're going to do something, we're going to do it all together. No matter what you're doing, it's not the same if you're missing people."
Hours before the Bears shook up the draft when they selected Mitch, Jeanne dug in.
"You better hug and kiss me first," she said.
"Dad, is that cool with you?" Mitch asked.
"Listen to your mother," he said.
Fatherly advice to live by.
That is, in fact, how it went down. Then, within minutes, Dave had his first Bears hat. And in the seven weeks since, the casual Friday dress code at work has allowed him to roll out his new wardrobe steadily.
Golf shirts, a windbreaker, a sweatshirt and more golf shirts. Bears navy has pushed Carolina blue deeper into the closet.
"No one gets as genuinely excited for me as my dad," Mitch says. "He doesn't have to say he's pumped up. You can just see it in his eyes."
At dinner recently, Dave and Jeanne wondered aloud whether Mitch is driven more by a desire for them to be proud of him or an aversion to them being disappointed in him. They settled on the latter, asserting their pride as a given.
After all, the evidence is everywhere. The Bears gear. The collection of all their kids' trophies, pictures and memorabilia in their basement. Their custom-sewn Bears flag with "TRUBISKY" on it.
"Mitchell is very much a people pleaser," Jeanne said, echoing the scouting report Bears officials compiled on their new quarterback.
It's just part of the formula that has helped propel him to a grand opportunity in Chicago. Eventually, he will earn the chance to play and put it to work for the Bears.
Whenever that happens, Dave will be in the stands with Jeanne, as always, eager to watch his oldest son just do what he does.