They are who we thought they were
It’s been a long, frustrating season for Chicago Bears fans like myself. After their exciting run to the Super Bowl last year, which ended in a loss, the “Super Bowl loser hangover” seems to have played out in full force, and the Bears will not make the playoffs this season. The quarterback situation is a mess, as expected, with no less than three changes at starter since September.
Kyle Orton, that mediocre guy who managed to not lose games while the defense was winning them two years ago, will start next Monday in a game played, in the Bears’ case, primarily for pride … against a Minnesota team who will likely shred the Bears’ porous defense with the likes of Adrian Peterson and/or Chester Taylor.
Devin Hester has been great to watch again this year, but Hester’s heroics are useless when they come in a game where Eli Manning has three Grossman-like turnovers and yet is still able to engineer a winning touchdown drive against a battered defense which is apparently incapable of stepping up when they are needed most. Meanwhile, the effete Bears offense goes three-and-out so many times, until said Eli Manning comeback drive is simply a matter of time.
Don’t even get me started on the Washington game.
So what does this mean for next year? Grossman, Griese, Orton — none appears to be the answer. Draft a quarterback? Good luck with that. The Bears are famous for wasting draft picks rather than coming up with the possible next franchise quarterback. Then again, so is half the NFL.
This year, like every year, everyone is watching the New England Patriots, who have a good chance of going 16-0. Tom Brady, let it be said, is a great quarterback. Despite the fact that he’s a total tool who can somehow get away with arrogance coming across as nice-guy modesty (it’s false modesty at its most obvious), he’s exciting to watch. I was rooting against that unlikely final drive on the Dec. 3 Monday night game where the Patriots had chance after chance to win in a game they absolutely should’ve lost. Baltimore snatched defeat from the jaws of victory — with that craziness of the timeout and the holding call negating two defensive stops on fourth-and-ballgame. Wow. If this isn’t a message that the Patriots should go 16-0, I don’t know what is. Although I will continue to root against it.
Monday Night Goofball Color Commentator Tony Kornheiser said it best that night when he called the situation “tragic inevitability.” You give Tom Brady that many chances to stay alive and he is all but guaranteed to finish you. They are who we thought they were. Just like the insanity of that Chicago/Arizona game last year on Monday night.
People are also watching with a sort of horrified fascination to see if Miami will go 0-16. I’m hoping the Patriots will lose at least one game, but I’m hoping it won’t come at the hands of Miami, as unlikely as that is. You never want to see a team go 0-16, right? Wrong. I do. I’m rooting for Miami to go 0-16 (a perfect season!) as much as I’m rooting for New England to go 15-1 or 14-2. Why, you ask? Because I’m an asshole, that’s why.
That, and I’m sick of hearing about the 1972 Miami Dolphins and their champagne toasts every year when someone goes 10-0 or 12-0 or 13-0 and then finally loses a game. It would be a poetic-justice situation of epic proportions if the one New England loss came at the hands of Miami on Dec. 23, but that’s not the poetic justice I want. I want the poetic justice of the Dolphins having been the only team to win an entire season AND lose an entire season. Maybe then the 1972 Dolphins will shut up and quit with the champagne tradition. (Probably not, though.)
And, for the love of God, can we get an NFC team that can actually win the Super Bowl? I’m sick of hearing about the AFC and their unending dominance year after year. Hint: This year does not appear to be the year for that. Not with Tom Brady doing his thing. And God forbid I have to root for the Cowboys or the Packers in the Super Bowl. Which would go against my Bears allegiances.
I guess you have to look for something else to root for when your team is having the kind of season that brings out the cynic in you.