This is going to be short because Thursday night’s opener was one of the worst football games I’ve ever watched and it doesn’t deserve an extended recap.
Sunday in Denver becomes becomes pretty close to a must win for the 2019 Chicago Bears. And it is definitively a must perform for the offense.
Nobody wants to wish hours away. We only get so many over the course of a life. But today is the kind of day where an overwhelming majority of Bears fans would pay $20 to hit a button right now and make it 5 minutes before kickoff – just enough time to grab a beer and a quick piss. Sadly, that button doesn’t exist. It is one of many buttons I’d like to invent, including a button to get your home from long trips abroad in 30 seconds.
Here are some ways for you to pass the time between now and then.
It’s still warm out everywhere so even if you don’t enjoy the game, go and play golf. Why?
It’ll kill at a minimum four hours on the course. And figure an hour getting there and ready, hour getting home and showered, and you’ve got a solid six-hour kill. What else is killing six hours?
(Trick for new golfers: don’t keep score. Just swing the club and hit the shots and enjoy yourself. If you hit 2 or 3 good ones, it’ll make the experience worth it.)
You’re probably reading this early in the morning, at your desk.
Your work email is right there but you don’t want to click the icon because you know once you do, the day will be a 700-foot shit tsunami and you’re the only one with a boat.
But what if you commit, right now, to taking tomorrow off. Think about it. Either the Bears will win and you’ll be unable to sleep until 3 AM or the Bears will lose and…you’ll be unable to sleep until 3 AM. You’ll be in no condition to work tomorrow. So double time it today.
Don’t procrastinate on anything. Make a solid to do list and check em off at a pace previously unforeseen in your cubicle. Something can wait until Monday? Do it today. Something you can pass off to Asshole Jim in Accounts Payable, do it yourself. This way when you call in tomorrow, you can tell the boss that you were prepared for the day missed and got way ahead on everything. You can turn not showing up to work into a positive.
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.
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.
Do yourself a favor.
Don’t read any Bears content today.
Enjoy the day, the sunshine, the cold beverage, the warm hot dog (or grilled chicken if you’re in the middle of an intense weight lifting / weight loss regiment).
Today is Labor Day. Many worked hard so you wouldn’t have to.
The heavy lifting on DBB starts tomorrow.
There were facts. There were hopes. Now there are predictions. Well, one.
No reason to bury the lede. I’m predicting the 2019 Chicago Bears to go to the Super Bowl, face the Kansas City Chiefs, and beat them. For the first time in the history of this blog, I believe the Bears are going to win a championship. Hell, for the first time since I’m four years old, I believe the Bears are going win a championship. I’m not hedging. I’m not putting up qualifiers. I’m saying it in bold letters:
Do any other predictions really matter?
Enjoy Labor Day Weekend! We get to the real stuff next week.
Yesterday, just the facts, ma’am. Today, the hopes. Our season preview continues by looking at six things – that if they happen – the Bears have a chance to be the best team in the league.
Hope 1. Mitch Trubisky will improve.
4,000 yards. 30+ touchdowns. 10-15 interceptions max. If Trubisky hits those numbers, he’s on the road to being one of the best in the game.
Hope 2. David Montgomery will be a very good running back.
The core of the Bears offense is their center and guards. Daniels, Whitehair and Long are angry, tough men. Montgomery is a big back that is hell to bring down. If the rookie is as advertised, the Bears could have the game’s best closer.
Hope 3. Eddy Pineiro will solidify the kicker position.
Here’s what the Bears fan wants: a kicker they don’t worry about from 43 yards. You wanna miss a few 52 yarders? Fine. You wanna be 75% from 45-50? Fine. But just be iron clad from inside 45. Be a steady, reliable figure for the organization. And stay the fuck off morning television.
Hope 4. The Bears will get production from the tight end position.
Trey Burton disappointed in 2018 and then mysteriously no-showed the playoff game. Adam Shaheen is all gravy, no meat. Ben Braunecker is nothing special but he’ll certainly find himself playing meaningful snaps this season. The Bears have a lot of toys (Tarik Cohen, Cordarrelle Patterson) to move the football but they still need the tight end spot to produce.
Hope 5. Allen Robinson will stay healthy.
Robinson has shown flashes of being an elite wide receiver but he has 56 catches total over the last two seasons due to health reasons alone. If the Bears want their passing attack to be explosive, Robinson needs to be on the field.
Today is the beginning of a three-part season preview, broken into specific categories: Facts, Hopes and Predictions.
After Marc Trestman’s first season in Chicago, fans became irrationally optimistic.
No, the team didn’t have a winning record. No, they didn’t make the postseason. No, they couldn’t play a lick of defense. But the offense was fun to watch and Bears fans didn’t know how to handle that. So they jumped right to, “This team is winning it all in 2014!”
This space fought that optimism from day one. Teams don’t win Super Bowls with terrible defenses and the coach/quarterback relationship looked combustible to any objective observer.
What followed was the most embarrassing season in the history of the franchise. The Kromer Campaign.
This year the optimism is warranted. The Chicago Bears are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And there are three facts to support that contention.
Fact 1. The Bears have the best defense in the league.
Does it require any more explanation? This Bears defense is frighteningly talented and Pace/Nagy added Chuck Pagano – one of the more aggressive defensive play callers in the sport – to lead them. If this group is ranked outside the top five in any of the important categories it’s because they have suffered several debilitating injuries. If the Bears find themselves with home field advantage in the postseason, this defense would make them overwhelming favorites to make it to Miami.
I did a mini pub crawl in my neighborhood of SunnyWood, Queens on Saturday. (SunnyWood is how I combine the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside.) It started at 2 PM and involved three blonde ladies, many Irish gents and a few too many Montauk Summer Ales. By 8 o’clock I was face down in a drool-soaked pillow, dreaming I was at a dinner party with the original Broadway cast of Jesus Christ Superstar.
I woke up hazily in the middle of the night to a phone with 13 texts. That’s too many. “Somebody died,” I thought. The texts read like an old school news wire.
Whoa!! On the bottom line. Luck is retiring!
(And so on.)
Nobody will ever confuse me with someone who loves the NFL Draft and all the bullshit that now accompanies it. Millions upon millions of dollars piled into a weekend of guessing. But Andrew Luck looked to me, coming out of Stanford, to be the surest thing in my lifetime. He was big. He was tough. He was smart. He had a brilliant arm. He came from a solid football lineage. There simply wasn’t a flaw in the game or character. When he ended up in Indianapolis, I penciled them into the postseason yearly for the next decade plus.
Then he started getting hit.
From day one.
Luck was sacked 41 times in his rookie season behind a terrible offensive line that intellectually over-matched GM Ryan Grigson refused to fix. After that 41-sack campaign, the Colts went with a front five the following season as bad as any in the league. Why? Because they knew Luck would still get them to 10+ wins. And he did.