Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The 2010 Chicago Bears - Like the 2010 SF Giants?
The title pretty much gives away the entire post, but let's look at this anyway. The 2010 San Francisco Giants went through ups and downs during the regular season. Their pitching (which is a form of defense in baseball) was never questioned (except during August), but their offense did not impress most fans or media critics. They were always considered dangerous if they got in the playoffs, but at no point did anyone expect them to go all that deep in the playoffs. I would guess that 50-60% of "experts" selected the Braves to beat the Giants in the first round. A solid 90% picked the Phillies to beat the Gigantes in the NLCS. Once they got into the World Series, I would guess that 70% of "experts" picked against them. (I don't have actual stats on this one, but if you disagree, let me know.)
The Chicago Bears have lived a similar story. They too play close games for almost no reason at all. Check out their games against the Buffalo Bills and the senseless 17-14 loss to the Redskins earlier in the year. Fans and media have had a hard time really giving the Bears respect throughout the year, much like the Giants. Watch this, the following saying works with either team:
"The ______ are a decent team. Their (pitching/defense) is great, but they lack the offensive consistency to win it all."
Oh really? Remember when people said that about the SF Giants? Then they waltzed right into the World Series and snatched the Championship Trophy away from the Rangers like Ron Washington snatching a crack rock away from his lost at birth twin, Tyrone Biggums.
The Chicago Bears are now being put in that exact same position. They have an opportunity to go to a Super Bowl and all they have to do is beat future Hall Of Famer/Ruler of the Universe, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Bears are not the flashiest team. Their defense is stout and their offense is sporadic. When it is on, it is fantastic to watch. When it is not, they would have a hard time scoring points on a high school team where G$ is the extra point kicker. But anything is possible in sports. That's why we love sports- and it's also why sports destroys us from time to time. The unexpected keeps us coming back for more.
I doubt the SF Giants win was fully appreciated around the country, but I saw how much enjoyment the Northern California community got out of the World Series Championship. I want that same feeling as a Chicago Bears fan. I want to see Brian Urlacher cement himself into a full blown Chicago Bears legend. I want to see Jay Cutler stick it to his critics and then raise thousands of dollars for diabetes care on the sly. I want to see these things just like Giants fans wanted to see Aubrey Huff wave his red thong around at the victory parade (unsure if they really wanted to see that- but they did and probably enjoyed it by default.)
I'm not guaranteeing victory. I could see this game against the Packers going any which way, but I know I'm enjoying the anticipation and I'm hoping that the Bears get the job done and earn the respect that people have been unwilling to give them- just like the SF Giants did.