The Fashionista Girl: Greg Olsen ‘Shakes the Lake’

Greg Olsen is my hero (and by hero, I mean super hot Scandinavian god of male perfection).  The thing is that this Bear is more than a top-notch tight end with a handsome, blue-eyed face.  During my coverage of his Shake the Lake Music Festival fundraiser last week, I was also able to observe that he’s a courteous leader, grounded family man, and righteous sports dude loved by other sports dudes.

The Olsen family, as taken with my budget point and shoot.  Papa Olsen is looking at me!

Although I haven’t been to many of events hosted by professional athletes… well okay, so this was my first, I have to believe that Olsen hosted a particularly intimate event at which fans got actual access to him while supporting cancer research.


Olsen said that he wanted the fundraiser to be an easygoing good time where fans of football and country music would feel comfortable and support a great cause.  I certainly learned a thing or two about him, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the realities of 2D weight gain.

Shake the Lake proceeds went to Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation (“RFR”) for cancer awareness and research.  The Chicago Bear chose this cause in honor of his mother, a breast cancer survivor.  Although Olsen was the main draw of the event, he had no qualms about directing the dirty details of setting up the party, introducing his mother, or sharing the spotlight with other notables.

Olsen has never been shy to thank his parents for all that they sacrificed for him and his brother. When I asked his mom what it was like raising three athletic sons, she said that there was always something going on.  “We bought so many clothes for Greg, he just kept growing so fast!”

Either by luck or by circumstance, Olsen was raised in a pretty ideal setting for an aspiring football player.  His dad Chris was a high school football coach, and his mom also a physical education teacher and football fan.  While speaking about his choice of charity, Olsen said that supporting cancer research was a way to honor his mom and everything she’s done for him and their family.

Pretty in pink, Sue Olsen reveals that she was a football girl even before she married a high school football coach and sent her son Greg into the pros.
A number of other athletes and celebrities joined Olsen in support of the cause, including Bears teammate Jay Cutler.  J Cut made a typical quick pass through the press line in an atypical sweater cardigan, which I’ve always adored on men, especially of the very masculine variety.  It lends some softness to such a fellow while demonstrating additional confidence from being able to pull it off.

Cutler and Olsen have an adorable supportive relationship, on and off the field.  Olsen is not only one of the QB’s fave receivers.  The duo are frequently seen together on the town and at each other’s charity events – Olsen’s for cancer research, and Cutler’s for kids with diabetes.  Having type 1 diabetes, Cutler’s cause is a natural extension of his own experience.  Some speculate that Cutler’s infamous standoffishness may be symptomatic of the diabetes.  I really have no place weighing in on that diagnosis; I’m the Fashionista Girl, not the Doctor Girl.  But if the diabetes is related to his skittishness, notorious tantrums, and puffiness, then you have my sympathies Mr. Cutler.  Blood sugar can be real fickle pain in the butt.

Bears QB J Cut stopped by sporting a pleasantly unconventional sweater cardigan over his RFR tee.

Which brings me to another point – on-camera weight gain.  Both Olsen and Cutler are obviously in great shape, but photos just don’t do them justice.  Even compared to professional photo spreads of Olsen, I can assure you that he’s far better-looking.  These guys just have a tougher time within the realm of clothing options and translating on camera as a result of their required size.  Consider that when taking a look at the other notables at the event.

Other People Who Showed Up

Katrina Campins, star of The Apprentice, Season 1, glided in looking super skinny even on camera and wearing a white poncho.  Know why?  Because she’s SUPER SKINNY!

Blackhawks 2 Days Before Stanley Cup Finals??  Ballers!

Hockey players are perhaps best known for their thuggian play-action style.  You don’t get a lot of primadonna chatter in the NHL circuit.  When most of the Chicago Blackhawks’ starting line appeared to support RFR just a couple days before the Stanley Cup Finals, they managed to demonstrate both heart and balls simultaneously.  What have you got, Philly?!!

A pack of Blackhawks came out full strength to support RFR.  Kudos to the players for really good individual and overall wardrobe selection.  Note that busy patterns on any football player would not be a good idea.

(L to R)
Brent Seabrook – Looking a little like present day Screech from Saved By the Bell.

Dustin Byfuglien – Implementing the hip-minimizing hand cover.  Way to own your image DB!

Adam Burish – Not the best photo of Burish, but definitely winner of most dramatic mullet.

Patrick Kane – Grabbing his junk.

John Madden – Winner of best outfit, pop-country division.

Greg Olsen – Bigger, longer, and more tan.

Kris Versteeg – Demonstrating mastery of the quarter-tucked shirt.

Andrew Ladd – Cutest face hidden beneath facial hair.

Troy Brouwer – Quietly confident two days before scoring two goals to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. 

Bearing a striking resemblance to Jared Allen’s 2009 coif, complete with side grafiks and poofy back, Kane opted to grow a mullet rather than the standard playoff beard.  Want your own lucky mane? Kane gets his done at Chicago’s Club 316 Barber Spa (

Kris Versteeg confirms that even at NHL level, there is no way to prevent hockey stank from permeating your gear.  “The best you can do is keep it off you with good base layers.”

Considering it was Olsen’s mission to provide an incredible yet accessible experience for ticketholders while raising money for cancer research, Shake the Lake was a definitive success.  For the second year in a row, the event raised approximately $50,000 while also providing fans with an inside look into the Bears TE.  In sum, Shake the Lake was probably the best first experience I could have had covering an event for TFG.  And after all what girl wouldn’t want a first time with Greg Olsen?

For more coverage on Shake the Lake check out these links:

Chicago Now

Me: In Focus Magazine

Chicago 3 Media 

Mouthpiece Sports