Saturday January 5th – 12:19 PM
I love the Drake Hotel. It’s old. It’s beautiful. The Coq D’or is my favorite hotel bar in the world. (Go there just to have the Bookbinder soup.) When I come through those doors on Walton Street, I feel like I’m stepping into the history of Chicago. It doesn’t have the amenities of a newer hotel. But it has character. A ton of it.
This morning I decided to order breakfast to the room. Two eggs, over easy. Home fries well done. Bacon. English muffin. Orange juice. Pot of coffee. Room service at a good hotel is one of life’s delights, especially for someone who has spent years crafting an existence centered around the avoidance of pants.
I rented a movie. I hadn’t seen Can You Ever Forgive Me. $20 too steep? Probably, for a movie that I’ll be able to rent for $6 in a week or two. But I’ve been dying to see it. (You too should see it. It’s brilliant. And Melissa McCarthy gives the performance of the year.)
I did all this because Noah isn’t getting to town until the afternoon and I can’t be trusted to wander the streets and not end up in a saloon. With the great football coming later, I didn’t want to be asleep at 6:30 pm. (It would not be the first time.)
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I decided Monday’s column (what you’re currently reading) won’t be the standard bullet-point recap of Sunday’s game with the Eagles. I’ll be in the building and I find it hard to get the full context of a game in that environment. Plus, I’ll inevitably miss stuff waiting to take a piss. And with a playoff game, there will be so much coverage for you to wade through. Why not create something different?
Instead I’m going to write a little now. Write a little more tomorrow morning. Then write something Sunday night/Monday morning. Walk you, the reader, through this experience. Emotionally, mostly. And right now my emotions are steady. I’m confident. Here’s why:
- The Bears are the better team. They’re just better at almost every single element of the game, outside of the kicker position.
- The Bears are a dominant defense with a dominant home field advantage. Those almost always hold up in the postseason.
- I’m expecting an insane crowd. Unlike most games I’ve attended in Chicago, the town is not covered with Bears gear. The hotel lobby and elevators aren’t laden with fans here to see the team. Partly because the tickets are expensive, I’m sure, but mostly I think it’s because people plan trips around those Bears games during the season and they would only have had a week to prep for this. This is going to be a local crowd.
- Nick Foles has never thrived in an environment like he’ll face tomorrow.
Let’s see how I feel in the morning. But right now, I expect great things from the Bears.
Sunday January 6th – 8:16 AM
Alright, I’m nervous. Some weird omens yesterday I didn’t care for.
First, I met the folks from this Channel 10 News Philly story at the Billy Goat while having a few Old Styles with Rick Pearson. And the guy casually predicted 27-14 Eagles. I didn’t even think that prediction was possible.
Second, I had a perfect gambling Saturday. That never happens over wildcard weekend. The chances of it continuing today seem unlikely so here’s hoping the Ravens blow my tickets up by blowing out the Chargers.
This is a game the Bears need to win. They NEED to win it. It’s not about validation. That’s the wrong word. Nothing that happens today can invalidate this wonderful season. They need to win it because they’re home and better. And right now Sean McVay is hoping, praying it won’t be the Bears defense coming to Los Angeles next week.
So yea, I’m nervous. You are too.
Sunday January 6th – 9:28 PM