The Game Poem
Walk with me,
into that dark, dark corridor called Hope.
Believe with me,
though believing is a slippery slope.
Join me on this journey
to a place we never dared go.
Dream what I dream,
’tis impossible to know.
Trite, Boring Thoughts on Football
- Khalil Mack is going to get his pressure on Aaron Rodgers but it’s hard to believe the Packers will let one of the best defensive players in the game ruin the game. That means the Bears will have to generate pressure from elsewhere and they have plenty of options. Akeim Hicks and Roquan Smith up the gut. Leonard Floyd off the opposite edge. Buster Skrine from the slot. If Rodgers gets comfortable, he’ll dice up any defense. Chuck Pagano and the Bears can’t let that happen.
- The expectation is this will be a vastly-improved Packers defense. Maybe, maybe not. But the Bears have an element of surprise in Week One they haven’t had in years. How are they going to use David Montgomery? How will the Packers cover Cordarrelle Patterson and Tarik Cohen, if they’re on the field at the same time? What will change for Mitch Trubisky in year two of the system? One would imagine Mike Pettine’s approach will be “stop the run and make Trubisky beat us”. But has any Andy Reid disciple operated his offense that way?
- The last three Bears/Packers games at Soldier Field have been decided by one possession. (3 point loss, 7 point loss, 7 point win.) Both sides know this game is going to be close. The Bears lost a few stalwarts on their coverage units and have a question mark at kicker. If special teams determine the outcome Thursday night, the advantage swings to Green Bay.
The Three Best Opening Numbers in Musical History
There are many not making this list that will surprise people. “Tradition” is a masterful illustration of the Fiddler themes. “Fugue for Tinhorns” perfectly sets up Guys & Dolls stylistically. “Magic To Do” was a marvel in Bob Fosse’s original Pippin staging. But it’s my list. Fuck off.
(3) “It’s Your Wedding Day”, The Wedding Singer. I didn’t want to see this show. Then I sat through the opening number and thought, “Holy hell, this is going to be special.” I was wrong. The show sucked. But that is still one of the most wonderful openings I can remember sitting through.
(2) “Everybody’s Got the Right”, Assassins. It’s the one show of Stephen Sondheim’s that he feels is perfect. I agree. And the opening number is a sublimely funny, brilliantly constructed piece of theatre.
(1) “Downtown”, Little Shop of Horrors. A song that sets the tone for the piece, establishes the socio-economic context for the story and introduces the desires of our lead characters. Howard Ashman was a genius of the American musical.
My Year-Long Parlays for the NFL
Bet Number One: The 8-Team Division Winner
Patriots (-590), Steelers (+160), Jaguars (+220), Chiefs (-167), Eagles (-125), Bears (+180), Saints (-167) & Rams (-182)
Total Bet: $100 to win $19,467 (+19368)
Note: This is primarily an anti-Texans bet as the Jaguars carry the biggest odds. The other seven are my natural division picks.
Bet Number Two: Super Bowl Prediction
Chiefs (+375) & Bears (+900)
Total Bet: $100 to win $4,750 (+4650)
Note: I’ve been backing my Super Bowl prediction for years to no avail. Now, it’s legal!
Tweet of the Week
.@DwyaneWade getting down with Pat Riley on a yacht in Saint-Tropez.
Retirement life 🤣 pic.twitter.com/ZvEM9sJqrW
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 2, 2019
(I think I’ve watched that video 456 times. And I’m only halfway done with the experience.)
Match-Up of the Week
Mitch Trubisky vs. Expectations, Attention
The best thing for Trubisky in 2019 would have been to open with three or four games in the early afternoon Sunday window. That way he could have made any mistakes in relative anonymity and compiled a bunch of stats, as the short passing attack will give him a terrific completion % and a bunch of yards. (Most national writers attend a game in this window and only pay attention to what’s directly in front of them.)
Instead Trubisky will be on national television two of the first three weeks. Everything he does will be magnified. If he sucks Thursday night his detractors will run with it for months and months. It’s only Week One but there’s no way the young Bears quarterback won’t be feeling the moment. How will he respond?
Expect both offenses, due to limited work, to struggle early in the season. Thus I’m leaning on the better defense, at home. Chicago Bears 20, Green Bay Packers 13.