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A NOT-SO-QUICK THOUGHT
When I was a kid in New Jersey, I couldn’t watch Bears football. Until I was about 12 years old, outside of the occasional national television appearance, my experience of Bears football was:
- ESPN’s Primetime highlights – still the most important sports program of my lifetime.
- Scoreboard ticker at the bottom of Giants and Jets games. I used to run in from other rooms when the little jingle would play announcing a scoreboard update and pray the Bears had done SOMETHING. (They rarely did.)
- Actual league scoreboard at Giants Stadium, where my family had Jets season tickets. I used to have the entirety of section 324 cheering the Bears updates often more loudly than the Jets game in front of them.
This didn’t change until I was 12 and a bar called Jersey Sports Cafe (now closed) opened in East Rutherford. They had a satellite (one of the big ones) bringing in the Chicago feed and now I could sit on a bar stool (illegally) and watch the Bears PLAY FOOTBALL. I didn’t go every week but I went enough.
This is why I cherish the sixteen games we’re guaranteed each season. Because I didn’t have them until I went to college. This is why the night before Bears football begins has always felt like Christmas Eve. I’m wandering down the carpeted staircase in my feety pajamas and there’s a big old box under the tree. What’s in there? What am I going to get to play with for the next few months?
It won’t be the same this season. At least not this Sunday. The 2015 Chicago Bears have to earn back the excitement of people like me. They have to display on the field they are worthy of the passion many have displayed in good times and bad over their lifetimes. They can do that this week, against the Packers, at Soldier Field? How?
Be in the game. With five minutes left, be in it. That’s all I ask. If the Bears achieve that, a week from now I’m in.
PRESSURE UP FRONT
The Packers will miss Jordy Nelson. They just may not miss him this week. If the Bears front seven, and yes all seven will need to be involved, don’t harass Aaron Rodgers he will rip their secondary apart and throw for upwards of 400 yards. Many have reported defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s success against the Packers quarterback but that success came when Fangio was armed with one of the most talented defensive rosters in the league in San Francisco. He doesn’t have that here.
Here’s my stat. Anything less than four sacks and the Bears lose by two touchdowns.
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