Jonathan Hughes is a die hard New York Jets fan. On Sunday, as the Jets sprinted ahead of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, I sent him a text message.
Jeff: J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!
Jon: Best start in ten years. Both sides of ball.
I haven’t spoken to Jon since.
Now the Bears travel to the New Jersey swamplands, in the shadows of my hometown, smells that define my childhood, air pollution that will inevitably land me at Sloan Kettering.
Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
On with my friends in Des Moines, discussing what Sunday’s night victory means, what the Bears will face next and why Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson should not be playing football for the foreseeable future.
The Bears are 1-1 through two games. Exactly where everyone thought they’d be. But if they had achieved this record in the conventional manner – beating Buffalo at home and losing to San Fran on the road – the team would currently be shrouded in questions regarding their status as contenders. Instead they endured a media storm of criticism and responded by playing their most complete half of football in the Jay Cutler era. Now they are being showered with praise on the pages of the dailies and on radio airwaves. They should be 1-1 after two games, no question, but how they’ve reached that mark should inspire them through this difficult stretch of the 2014 schedule
I have often stated Charles “Peanut” Tillman is my favorite Chicago Bear of the modern era. And I can’t remember a more difficult-to-watch sequence in my football viewing than Tillman, tears pouring down his cheeks on a Santa Clara sideline, coming to the brutal realization a second consecutive season and perhaps career had been ended by a flukish injury.
If the Bears had a rinky dink opponent on the schedule for Sunday (though I’m not sure those exist in the NFL any longer) there would be little they could do in Week Two to erase the disappointment of Week One. But they don’t. Instead they are traveling to Santa Clara, where they haven’t beaten the 49ers since the invention of the forward pass. They are opening a new stadium, in prime time, in front of one of the league’s rowdiest fan bases. They are playing the most difficult game, at least contextually speaking, on their schedule.
And if they win, week one is forgotten. If they win, the season is reborn. Hell, even if they play a terrific game and lose the conversation changes from the End is Nigh refrain currently singly somewhat proudly from the pages of the Chicago dailies to Bring on the Jets and the 2014 campaign!
Just a spectacular, improbable victory for the Chicago Bears in San Francisco.