Okay, so I'm going to start this thing as logically and unoptimistically as possible. The Bears, led by King Kyle and the New Monsters, open their season like this:
Now, other than the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins (and maybe the Browns), can you name a single team that can't say all four of these games are winnable? It's unlikely, especially with a defense as poised for greatness as da' Bears. We're going to know a lot about this season after these four games.
4-0 ("Oh my god, we may actually be a very good team.")
3-1 ("We should be in this thing right down to the wire.")
2-2 ("This is going to be an uphill climb but Orton is developing.")
1-3 ("This is going to be a long year.")
Now let's be perfectly honest. The Bears END the season at Pittsburgh, home Atlanta, at the Pack and the Vikings (By the way, shit on the schedule makers for not making Minnesota come to Chicago in the winter.) If the Bears want to be at 9 wins and in the playoffs this season, they're going to need 7 or 8 wins coming into this final four.
Now does 4-0 or 3-1 sound imperative? You bet your ass it does.
I said it, there.
Yesterday was Sunday. I spent the entire day in my house, watching television. Jason Giambi had 7 RBIs. Maurice Clarett was cut. Marat Safin pulled out of the US Open. Brad Faxon almost shot a 59 at the Buick. Danica Patrick lost again. Some Hawaiian kid has validated the rest of his life with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 7th of the final game of the Little League World Series.
Yesterday wad the first day of the future of the Chicago Bears.
It started with Kyle Orton being named the team's starting quarterback. It ended with Cedric Benson signing a five-year contract. The quarterback. The running back. The future. With a defense ready to put the Chicago Bears on the playoff landscape, the offense may finally be on a timeline for success. No, I don't expect the Bears to be down 31-28 to the Colts in the beginning of February, but I expect that the Chicago Bears will start the 2006 season with the clear expectations of beginning division champions. I expect the Chicago Bears to start the 2007 season with the clear expectations of challenging for a Super Bowl title.
Why do I expect this? Because I'm a fan, one of the biggest...and I saw something in Kyle Orton in a preseason game the other night that I've never quite seen before from a Chicago Bears quarterback. He made everyone around him better. He's got thirteen days to prepare for the season opener at Washington. He's got his career to bring us a world chapionship. Just remember, Kyle...you've got Cedric right behind you. And behind both of you will be me and the thousands like myself who cherish Bears touchdowns like nothing else in sports.
What a day.
Jerry Angelo: Hi, Is this Cedric?
Cedric Benson: Hey Jerry.
Jerry Angelo: So...Cedric...camp?
Cedric Benson: Nah.
Jerry Angelo: You sure?
Cedric Benson: Not my thing.
Jerry Angelo: Really?
Cedric Benson: Yeah, you know...
Woman's Voice: Cedric, I don't like that.
Cedric Benson: Sorry, baby.
Jerry Angelo: Cedric?
Cedric Benson: Yes, Jerry.
Jerry Angelo: Are you having sex with a woman right now?
Cedric Benson: Yes Jerry, I am.
Jerry Angelo: Okay.
Cedric Benson: Like I was saying...
Jerry Angelo: You know we made a very fair offer.
Cedric Benson: Fair, Jerry? Was it fair when you enslaved my people 200 years ago?
Jerry Angelo: Is this about slavery?
Cedric Benson: Isn't everything, Jerry? Isn't everything?
The holdout continues.