Note: You can still vote for the MVB on the post below. Winner to be announced next week.
Don Banks says they are going to be the least regarded 14-2 team in league history. Their defense stinks. They barely beat Tampa and Detroit. The Cowboys are better. The Saints are better. The Eagles are better. I try not to pay attention.
But Shakespeare said it best in Macbeth: "Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious. Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man." My problem, my eternal problem is that I love the Chicago Bears. Dawn to dusk - in sun and shadow. I take the things people say about them to heart the way one takes criticism of friends and family to heart. And I'm sick to my stomach.
Win this conference. Dominate this conference. Blow out Brett Favre Sunday night and walk throuh the tatters of mediocrity. Get to Miami. And for the two weeks before that game, we'll sing your praises on North State and West Broadway. In Wrigleyville and Nashville. Just...win.
It is Friday and I'm working on a new play and nothing's common and I got ESPN on the TV. The frustration is building heading into a 2007 that can be historic for all of us. I believe in this team more than any Bears team in a very, very long time. But I go back to Shakespeare.
"Nothing will come from nothing."
As we come to the end of a truly amazing Chicago Bears regular season, it is time for the readers of DaBearsBlog to help us select this season's MVP. Make the case for your choice in the comments. Choices include...
DEVIN HESTER, KICK RETURNER
He scored 38 touchdowns, which is some kind of record. He won a game (Arizona), iced two others (New York, Minnesota) and kick started the entire season in Lambeau. Not only has he been a brilliant return man but he's covered half the field at corner the last three weeks, enabling both Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman to get healthy for the playoffs. And he does fun kicks before he scores.
REX GROSSMAN, QUARTERBACK
I think you guys know I really like football. This fucker gets boo'd off the field in the preseason and wins player of the month for September. Gets boo'd off the field in November and hasn't thrown an interception since. Sometimes people forget the pure nausea that men like Jonathan Quinn evoked. He's had some terrible games but he's had many, many more terrific ones.
OLIN KREUTZ, CENTER
Is there anybody better in the game? The Bears haven't been brilliant on the offensive line this year, sometimes struggling on the perimeter. But the core of their offense has been the center and guards and Olin has not only come to be the heart and soul of the team - but of the city as well. Don't agree? Tell your jaw that when he's shattering it at a firing range.
BRIAN URLACHER, MIDDLE LINEBACKER
He is going to be the most overrated player in the Hall of Fame.
I've got about six other guys I'm considering so don't be afraid to go off. We'll give it a couple days...
Every analyst has a theory on how best to conduct your football team at the end of the season. Boomer says play em, Marino says don't...etc. With the Packers coming to Chicago Sunday night and unbelievably playing for an 8-8 season and a possible playoff berth, the Bears suddenly have a decision to make. Do they go all-out and risk injury to end the Pack's season and maybe Favre's career on a found-your-wife-with-another-dude downer?
The answer is...OF COURSE. These are the Packers. For ten years they've stomped on us while #4 basically set passing records in Soldier Field. Now we return the favor. Sunday night we'll do it with our newly invented, Tim Ryan-coined "Screw around" scheme. I call it the Gabe Reid Principle. What does the GRP entail, you ask?
Lots and lots of Gabe Reid. Gabe Reid in the flat. Gabe Reid over the middle. Gabe Reid down the sideline. I want A.J. Hawk to wake up at 4:24 Monday morning in a pool of his own sweat - struggling to let out the two words haunting his dreams. "Gabe Reid, Gabe Reid" The defense has its own GRP - its called BEDtime (Blitz Every Down). Sunday Ron Turner let the genie out of the bottle and the genie was wearing #82. I've got my three wishes ready.
More Gabe Reid. More Gabe Reid. More Gabe Reid.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...a 13th Bears victory.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...2 more Mark Anderson sacks and a 13th Bears victory.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...3 terrific running backs, 2 more Mark Anderson sacks and a 13th Bears victory. (Adrian Peterson is also a hitter on special teams)
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...4 times the amount of Gabe Reid I ever want to see, 3 terrific running backs, 2 more Mark Anderson sacks and a 13th Bears victory. (Seriously, when did Gabe Reid become the focus?)
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...5 Gould Rings! 4 times the amount of Gabe Reid I ever want to see, 3 terrific running backs, 2 more Mark Anderson sacks and a 13th Bears victory.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...6 solid minutes of Brian Griese (looked good), 5 Gould Rings! 4 times the amount of Gabe Reid I ever want to see, 3 terrific running backs, 2 more Mark Anderson sacks and a 13th Bears victory.
On the seventh day of...okay, this getting fucking old...quick. Great game from Mark Anderson. Great game from Robbie Gould. And I know the blitzing EVERY SINGLE PLAY was incredibly unsuccessful but damn it was entertaining.
From all of us at DaBearsBlog, happy holidays to those who've made our first year on this here smart box a success. Hopefully we'll get the hang of this whole thing soon enough.
In the meantime, enjoy doing what I do every single time I walk into a bar wearing my Bears hat...defending Rex Grossman. And if you're playing for your Fantasy life on Sunday - good luck.
Brad Biggs has an interesting column I've sorta been waiting for about the team's economic outlook for the immediate future. Read it because he doesn't plagarize me at all...for a fucking change. I'll make this bold proclamation: the next four months are the most important four months in the history of this franchise.
That's right. There's an arms races beginning in the National Football League. The Cold War Redux. So kneel down under your desk because I can hear the sirens. The San Diego Chargers are young on both sides of the ball and they're going to be good for a long, long time. So are we. But the decisions of the next four months will be the difference between perennial trips to the NFC Championship game and a trip down Same Old Bears Boulevard.
You don't think so? January - like it or not - will be about #8. Sexy Rexy doesn't have a contact in 2008 and if he doesn't win a game in January he may not have one with the Chicago Bears. How he performs at home the second weekend in January will most likely determine the future of the most maligned position in professional football: Bears quarterback.
In the off-season, the Bears must lock up Lance Briggs for the long term. The Franchise tag is an option but this is the type of linebacking corps that doesn't come around every day. Lock em up and lock em in. With contracts expiring at the end of the 07 season, Jerry & company can then turn their attention to Peanut and The Interceptor - two talented and still very young corners that have shown a penchant for the big play and can only get better in Lovie's scheme.
Don't forget about Lovie. Newspapers in the Arizona desert have called for the Bidwells to make a play. Rumors in Dallas have him as the successor to Bill Parcells. Hell, he could commute from Big Sandy. When Lovie came here, he inherited a defense that had devalued the sack and the turnover, that relied too heavily on the brilliance of their middle backer and crumbled when he was unable to take the field. If he wins a game in January, he's coaching here for a long time.
And they must get younger on the offensive line before the start of 2007, most likely using the draft and possibly using Thomas Jones as trade bait. This team will be on Cedric Benson's back a year from now and Jones may able to help Jerry acquire a solid second round pick in an offensive line heavy April.
The future is a big, shiny new Buick. Jerry's got the keys. Don't take anything for granted. They certainly aren't in San Diego.
First, congrats on the new gig. You don't work far from me so if you ever wanna grab a drink at Jimmy's Corner on 44th - look me up. Unfortunately I'm writing today because the Pro Bowl is legendarily stupid. It is Jessica Simpson stupid. You have a plum opportunity staring you in the face and sometimes it takes a person like me to point these things out.
This having fans vote thing isn't working. Neither are the players and coaches. Deangelo Hall? John Lynch over Kerry Rhodes? Enough. Fans don't know enough and the players and coaches don't have the time to seriously evaluate every position on the football field.
Here's what you do, jackass. You form a committee of ten smart football people. No beat writers or local columnists. No ESPN talking heads, with one exception (see below). Here's an example list: Peter King, Len Pasquarelli, Dr. Z, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Clark Judge, Gil Brandt, Ron Jaworski (nobody breakds down tape better), Don Banks & Pat Kirwan. Now follow me...here's where it gets fun.
1. At the end of the season, you pay them a little bit of money to watch a ton of tape and make their selections.
2. You put them in a conference room together and have them debate out each position in the same way they do for the Hall of Fame.
3. You turn on the NFL Network cameras and put the whole thing on television during the week between the Championship Games and the Super Bowl.
What you would create is simply the most fascinating sports television show of all time. Football people debating football. Every football geek in the world would be glued to the television. You can accompany the debate with highlight packages for each player. When Peter King talks about Asante Samuel, you show clips of the Bears game. When Dr. Z argues against Roy Williams at safety, you show clips of touchdown passes sailing over his head.
There's my idea, Rog. Get the fucking thing done.
My good friend Gene Wojciechowski writes for Page 3 at ESPN which is like one step up from being the head writer of DaBearsBlog. Gene doesn't like the Bears...at all. Some quotes:
"If you have to struggle to beat the Cardinals and the Bucs on opposite ends of your regular season, you've got a major problem"
"Too much Bears' indifference, arrogance and self-importance"
"There is a lot to like about these Bears, but more to dislike"
He's right. There is a ton to dislike about the Bears. Let me list a bunch of those things now:
1. Their quarterback makes mistakes and then has the shocking, dribble-down-your-leg audacity to take responsibility for them. Not only that, but he'll then go out despite a chorus of boo's and play well. Prick.
2. Gene says they're not the '85 Bears. He's right. They should stop playing now. Because, you know, if you're not the greatest single season team in the Super Bowl era, you can't beat Tony Romo.
3. Tank Johnson is a bad guy. And he's not playing, right? Why does Gene or Jay Mariotti or anyone else care how the Bears treat Tank Johnson off the field? That's not your job. That's their job. You don't have to see Tank make tackles anymore so don't worry about it. Call me crazy but I'm not one to throw people out in the trash.
4. Gene calls them uncharismatic which is code for "they don't give me a lot to write about." They don't spit on people. They don't date Jessica Simpson. They just win a lot of football games and lately they've played with a lot less urgency - which they can do because they won a lot of football games.
5. Lovie Smith is boring. Hey Gene...who is the most boring coach in the NFL? Yeah. Him. Three Super Bowls in five years. I'll take that.
The truth of the matter is there isn't much to write about on Page 3. Every time ESPN tries to canonize a team in the NFC, it blows up right in their face. The Giants were demolished at home by the Bears. The Cowboys tanked to New Orleans. New Orleans tanked to Washington. The truth of the matter is that from the first snap of the first game of 2006, the Bears have been the best team in the conference. But they don't have the celebrity owner and coach. They didn't get hit with a hurricane. They're not perfect but neither are the beloved San Diego Chargers - who looked alarmingly beatable Sunday night.
I'll take my chances with these Bears and this coach. I like em a whole lot. Even if Page 3 doesn't.
I watched a football game in a bar yesterday. I was sitting with a sasquatch and riding a unicorn while I plucked the leaves off my four-leaf clover collection. The football game was supposed to be played between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Bucs. The football game was supposed to be a battle of which-quarterback-can-make-the-fewest-mistakes.
Instead there was Tim Rattay and Rex Grossman replaying the Thrilla in Manilla, going blow-for-blow as Rattay eradicated what looked like a surefire blowout. Tim Rattay you say?? Tim fucking Rattay. Hell, I was almost rooting for him. The Bears are injured at safety, I know, but I'm not sure lining up without them is answer. Ron Rivera took the blame after the game and he should have. With a big lead, the Bears went blitz happy and paid the big play price. 31-31? These two teams? The over/under was like 6.
But man...how about that Rex Grossman? Every time we throw him into an early retirement, he responds. We boo'd him in the preseason and he won NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. We call for Brian Griese and Grossman rallies off back-to-back 100+ quarterback ratings. What we are seeing is what the calmest among us have said all along...a young guy learning on the job.
Chalk that one up to the Chicago Bears offense. When this defense is healthy (no more Hester at corner please), they'll be fine. If the offense can score like this and prove they can win football games, they'll get a chance to win a pretty big one in February.
The NFC comes through Chicago
This is just until the offical wrap up, but seriously, we were crusing and Tampa Bay almost caught us sleeping. Our Secondary looked very vulnerable. Rex looked sexy. So did Des. Rashieds a beast. And Devin Hester will not be receiving Da Blog Game Ball this week.
This Tank Johnson stuff is fucking weird. He has his house raided. The police find an arsenal. His bodyguard - Willie Posey - is arrested. They celebrate all this by hanging out in River North and party harder than I've ever partied. They party so hard one of them gets the shit shot of him.
Jay Mariotti says Tank Johnson has to go right now. He's probably right...but doesn't Jay see where this ends? Doesn't everyone see where this ends? It ends with a pop up in the bottom right corner of ESPN News that says TANK JOHNSON FOUND DEAD. Call me a bleeding heart - and I've been guilty of it in the past - but I don't think THAT'S the standard the Bears want to set.
I'd send a different message. I wouldn't cut Tank Johnson at all. I'd internally suspend him for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. I'd suspend him and in the press conference announcement I'd say that Tank Johnson is still a member of the Chicago Bears family. We won't condone his behavior and allow him to disgrace the colors on the football field but at the same time we refuse to turn our backs on him. There's a standard worth setting.
I never quite know where I stand on fantasy football. I play it. I like playing it. But part of me thinks it is single-handedly responsible for the gradual decline of all football fans. This comes after my brother said on Thanksgiving, "Larry Johnson isn't having that good a season." My brother is a big-time sports fan. Larry Johnson is not only leading the league in rushing but he carried a below-average Kansas City offense led by Damon Huard on his back. I could make the argument that Larry Johnson has more value to Kansas City than Tomlinson has to San Diego. What he doesn't have? As many fantasy points...
I don't like baseball very much anymore because I don't like baseball fans and all their purity bullshit. But that being said, baseball IS a game of numbers. Only in a game of numbers would A-Rod be considered a decent athlete. Baseball is Maris' 61 (don't argue with me on this), Dimaggio's 56, Teddy's .406 and Aaron's 755. The records - the statistics - matter to the fans and THAT'S why they get all loopy over steroids. Baseball fans believe steroids tarnished their beloved record book. Shawne Merriman is the best young player in all of football. This year he was suspended for steroids and NO ONE CARED. Why?
Because football has never been about numbers. I know Dan Marino has all those passing records but I don't know what a single one of those records is. I know he never won a title and that means more to me. The most cherished record in the league belongs not to a Dolphin but to the Dolphins...the '72 Dolphins...and their perfect season. It's cool that the average football fan now knows who the Cowboys tight end is but sad when they believe he's having an awful season when he's forced to block for Drew Bledsoe. The quantity of knowledge is expanding but the quality of knowledge is not. You want to test a fantasy football player's knowledge of the game? Ask them to name offensive linemen.
What numbers do I know in Bears history? 73-0 in 1940. 14-10 in 1963. 46-10 in January of 1986. This is not a game about numbers other than the pair they put up in bulbs. The ones that decide who wins and who loses. Fantasy football is driving the car down a different road and I just wanna go back home.
Tank and his "bodyguard" Willie Posey (his roommate that was busted with 2 and a half ounces of pot and a gun) went to a club last night and around 1 a.m. Posey was fatally shot. Tank is being viewed as a witness. This is after Tank apologized to his family and teammates earlier for being arrested. And after Jerry Angelo chewed him out.
670 "The Score" has people already betting on Tank being gone once the off season arrives, if he makes it that far.
I like Tank despite his stupidity and i would like to see him return but something tells me i might be in the minority here
Don't think for a second this doesn't leave a gaping hole at the defensive tackle spot for the Chicago Bears. This is a total fucking disgrace and I have no problem with never seeing #99 in a Bears uniform again. I know this sounds harsh but I'm tired of this shit all over the league and I'd love for the Bears to set an example.
I don't know the details or if he's going to ACTUALLY miss games but if Ron Rivera is truly ready to be a head coach, he's going to be tested in the coming weeks.
It is all over ESPN right now. I don't know what the fuck is in there but probably a bushel of dead prostitutes and a Everest-size mountain of the devil's dandruff.
Fucking Bears. Ian Scott and Fonsy Boone, you're on the clock.
The last three games of the regular season are going to be a little difficult to get jazzed up about. Three bad teams, a coaching staff more concerned with getting healthy and a quarterback playing NOT to lose his job. If you're in fantasy playoffs (as I am) you'll find your concentration Sunday drifting from the Grossman/Rattay showdown pretty easily.
Here's a couple things I'd like to see Sunday.
1. Mark Bradley. Not for nothing but the guy has one catch in three games since his Meadowlands coming out party. Get the ball to the guy out in the flat and let him make a play.
2. Robbie & Brad. They both played their worst game of the season Monday night. This missing field goal and shitty punt thing can stop right there.
3. Balanced Rushing. I love the way Ron and Lovie are using these guys and it's going to pay extreme dividends in the postseason. Neither guy is going to be worn down come January 13th or 14th. And Adrian Peterson earned that touchdown this year on special teams.
4. Smart Rex. No mistakes Sunday because Tampa Bay is the kind of team that can only beat you if they score on defense. Throw a misguided out route and Ronde Barber is taking it the other way.
5. Vasher and Hot Toddy On the Bench. If they're not 100% - sit them. Let them get healthy.
The Bears are not losing Sunday. No shot.
He was bouncing, you might say. Bouncing like a kid at the top of the stairs on Christmas eve. Hoping, praying that he'd find what he wanted under the big green tree. Rex Grossman was tired of Jay Mariotti eulogizing his just begun life as Chicago Bears general. He was anxious to make that play. The one that would harness the talking horses at ESPN and silence the boos. The one that would send the sideline into a chorus of a now deserved battle cry, "That's our quarterback!" And on a first quarter, third and seven from his own twenty-three yard line - Rex made that play. He ran straight down the field for twenty-two yards and gained a lot more than a first down.
Rex didn't play a perfect game last night. He didn't even play a great game. But he played the kind of smart, controlled football that will be enough to usher this team through the postseason. He never killed them and when the opportunity presented itself - he made two of his finest throws of the season. Both for touchdowns.
Rex didn't play a perfect game last night. He played a tough game. The world had decreed he was no longer fit to be quarterback for the Chicago Bears. No one let Rex in on the decision. #8 looked like #9 last night and no Bears fan can say that big, bright, shiny smile on his face didn't make you think he'd turned the corner.
That's the last corner on the track. Welcome to the home stretch and Rex Grossman's Chicago Bears. Looking like #9 is one thing. Finishing like him makes you immortal.
Addendum: Over last night...don't fuck up Sunday, Rex.
''It looks like the gates of heaven just opening up for me,'' said Heaven Devin.
Put Alfonso Soriano in #23 because its foolproof in the city of Chicago. I wrote it a week ago and I'll say it again now: Devin Hester is the most exciting Bears player since Walter Payton.
And last night...for the first time this season...I thought about the Super Bowl. Devin gets his second straight Blog Game Ball.
Need some help over the top from the safeties...way too many fifteen yard throws wide open.
More Cedric Benson....more...Cedric...Benson!!!!!!!!!
Nice job so far, Rex. Still too many errant throws under pressure. Clean it up.
This should keep me busy and kill a half hour. I won't write anything else today until the District writes his victory column tonight.
Can people stop killing the Jets for losing yesterday? The Jets stink. Lisa Olson grilling them in today's Daily News is completely moronic. Yesterday should be looked at as further proof to the kind of miracle Mangini has worked this year. That team stinks. Kerry Rhodes, Jon Vilma, some rookies and crap.
Mitch Albom is a damn good sportswriter. But when he's not writing about sports, like his latest column, he makes me wanna beat infants.
Good to see Woody Paige back where he belongs. On the page and off my television. The Denver Broncos' season is over.
I'm not into killing the Houston Texans but no sports franchise had a single worse day this year than they had yesterday. Richard "I'd be awesome if I went by Dick" Justice nailed it in the Chronicle. First line sums it up: "At this point, the best thing for you to do is turn off the television when there's an NFL game on." I almost feel bad for Mario Williams.
Joey Harrington is having a nice season and I've got to admit I'm pretty happy for him.
Gil LeBreton pens the eulogy to the Romo can do no wrong era in the Star Telegram. You know who else was brilliant through five games? Rex Grossman.
Jason Whitlock considers the Chiefs loss is enough to blow up the whole fucking thing. Is he nuts? How long do you give a group of players to win a title?
I read articles like this one about Jeff Garcia and I'm sad...because it's correct.
See ya'll back here at 11-2.
I am trying to be a productive human being today and it just ain't getting done. I'd really like one of those solid, meaningless fourth quarter games. 30-9. Something like that. So when I come to my office tomorrow morning I don't have to deal with my fucking elevator guy telling me he's not sure if he'd rather have his quarterback (Eli) or mine.
Bear the fuck down.
Just wondering if I missed some Bears games this season because apparently Al & John don't involve them in the Best Team in the Conference conversation.
Today was a great day for our Bears. Why?
1. Panthers lost and the possibility of Steve Smith in Soldier Field is becoming very, very remote.
2. Tonight was the kind of blowout that sends reporters right to you-know-who's locker. Implosion time!
Bears need to make a statement tomorrow night. Play hard and play fast. Win this one by twenty.
Addendum: I knew someone would write the "tonight is a mandate" column and sure enough Jay Mariotti did.
Addendum #2: Terrific article about Lovie Smith by a fellow named Michael Corcoran for a paper I've honestly never heard of called the American-Statesman. Nice piece.
My good friend David Haugh breaks in the Tribune today that Brian Griese has been receiving snaps with the first team all week and the Bears are prepared to make a change as early as halftime Monday night in St. Louis.
With Tommie's season in danger and a quarterback change possible, Monday night just became a very interesting ballgame for the Chicago Bears.
We're not going to have Tommie Harris on the field for the Chicago Bears again this season. When Larry Mayer reports it on Da Site, you know it ain't hypothesis anymore. People can criticize Tommie's lack of production all they want but losing that double team puts another body on 54 and leads directly more and more rushing yards. The guys up front - Tank, Fonsy, Ian, Israel - need to hold their gaps and make plays.
ESPN reported the Bears have inquired about Tony Parrish, who was just cut by San Francisco. Could be a good signing if only to plug a body in the secondary while Nathan Vasher and Todd Johnson recover.
Anyway...welcome to the NFL. The next four weeks have just become more than just a chance to analyze the guy chucking it around.
Everyone has their ideas on how to fix a passing game that began at the tip of Pike's Peak and has fallen faster than Alan Rickman out that window at the end of DIE HARD. I'm going to weigh in and brace yourself - my solutions are so fucking radical than in the 50s I would have been blacklisted.
RUN THE BALL MORE
On the worst drive of the game for the Bears this past Sunday, they ran four straight times for 29 yards and then threw on 2nd and 4. Why? Don't leave the run until the defense makes you leave the run, especially early in the ballgame. The Bears have been effective on the ground early. Then they throw it - show the opposition they CAN'T throw it - and face 8 and 9 man fronts the rest of the game.
KILL THE LORD OF THE FLY
On that 2nd and 4, Ronny T had Bernard Berrian run a fly down the right sideline. Moron point of the day: If Berrian doesn't run that fly, Rex can't throw that fly. If you lay out a spread of chicken, salad and human torso - which do you think Jeffrey Dahmer is going to eat? Sometimes you have to eliminate the options.
TRUST YOUR RECEIVERS
Rex's first completion of the day Sunday was a quick out to Bernard Berrian for 10 yards. They never went to it again. Why not? The baseball idiom for a struggling pitcher is throw strikes and let your defense do the work. The football equivalent: get your quarterback easy completions and let the playmakers make plays. Mark Bradley set the Meadowlands ablaze. Since...he has 1 catch for 15 yards.
THE DES DISPENSER
There has to be a correlation between Rex's early season success and Des Clark's early season push for the Pro Bowl. Struggling quarterbacks use the tight end as a security blanket and Rex Grossman is the definition of a struggling quarterback.
The following is a special guest column from our friend paytonrules.
Rex Orton was born prematurely to parents who were quite stunned to have had him in the first place. Bob and Kathy Orton had decided never to have children, and in order to achieve that goal Kathy was on the pill, Bob wore two condoms, and he always pulled out before he was finished. The condoms broke, the pills were actually Smarties and Bob got stuck.
Bob and Kathy were terrified for their sonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s safety, and raised him as cautiously as humanly possible. When Bob taught the young Rex to shave the first time he told him not to shave the neck area, since it was sensitive and prone to cuts. Rex lost an ear. Rex was kept most nights in a protective bubble that was hidden underground beneath 20 tons of cement and guarded by nuclear landmines. During his sleep he was castrated by vicious wolverines. Neuticles allowed him to live a normal life.
Rex had other problems, such as often finding himself drunk in a bar with floozies. He would take the girl, and when the moment would arrive heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d only Ã¢â‚¬Å“drive the point homeÃ¢â‚¬? 55% of the time. The rest of the incidents often led to him screwing the wrong woman, sometimes women he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even see in the room.
Eventually Rex met a girl, and fell in love. He got to one knee, and he proposed, holding out a beautiful diamond ring. The girl loved him and thrust out her finger, spooking Rex and causing him to run into the bushes 13 steps behind him then throw the ring as far as he could. It was never found.
After high school Rex had the opportunity to start with a brand new company called Google, but he went to war in Iraq instead. Rex was a natural leader, with great intangibles, and quickly rose to the rank of general. There he led his troops to victory after victory, against minute troop fortifications. He even defeated the great Iraqi General Favre when his opponent was distracted by alcohol and painkillers. For the first time in his sheltered life Rex Orton felt cocky, and he led his troops of 120 against the Iraqi Republican guard numbering thousands. They were all slaughtered. This is the sad story of Rex Orton.
In my heart of hearts, I think you know about our little website. Probably learned about it when you googled "Rex is an asshole" or something like that. I'm writing to you today because I just finished reading Jay Mariotti's best column in years and wanted you to hear directly from us. The fans. The ones who fill the seats. The ones who buy the shirts just because your name is on the back.
I know the boo's suck. I know you'd rather not hear them. But you have to understand where we're coming from. We've been through shit head after shit head taking snap after snap and we've had enough. We want you to be the answer...the guy...the future. We want you to lead this team into the playoffs and help them with their first title in 21 years. We want this so badly that every mental mistake and poor throw rips at our guts. It physically hurts. It sends us to Mirer and McNown...to Burris on Sunday night and Quinn on Thanksgiving.
We don't want you to be Brett Favre. We hate Brett Favre. He's the fucking Anti-Christ. I'm okay with you taking shots down the field but not at the expense of first downs. Completing deep balls won't earn our respect and silence our mouths. Not turning the ball over will. Not putting the league's best defense in a hole will.
Start Monday night, Rex. Start Monday night by being smart with the football. Be invisible. Remember your performance during the Jets game? Neither does anyone else. It might have been your savviest performance in the last two months. You never made the mistake. It's on you now. Because whether they say it out loud or not, Jerry and Lovie will not allow you to start a playoff game if you continue to flounder down the stretch. Start Monday night and do what Favre has always failed to do: play smart indoors.
I'm going to be into this game. I'm going to put every thing I've got behind you. But if you shit the bed, I'm not going to have the energy to wash the sheets. The kitchen's closing at the Last Chance Diner and I just ordered the #8. But buddy...the #14 is starting to look pretty damn good.
No Rex in this post or any other post until something changes. Smarten up, Grossman. Play better. By the way, Lovie saying "We're 10-2 with Rex as our quarterback" is like my little league manager saying "We've won a lot of games even though Jeff's ERA is somewhere in the 30s."
The Bears call him HE GONE. We call him Devin Hester and he's the most exciting player on this or any other team around. He's got 35 returns for 497 yards and 4 touchdowns (including the field goal return). Let's look at his four touchdowns:
Up 19-0 at Lambeau, Devin rubbed it in with a beautiful 84 yard punt return.
The Desert Miracle was complete when Devin returned a punt 83 yards with under 3 minutes to go.
The Giants were already in too deep when He Gone drowned them with a field goal return to ice the game.
With the offense incapable of moving a piano, the DH put the team on his shoulders and the Bears on the board.
He took over the kick returns from Rash this week and made an immediate impact, increasing the kick return average by more than five yards. He's my rookie of the year. He may also be Jerry Angelo's finest and gutsiest draft pick. Ladies and gentlemen, the second BLOG GAME BALL is presented to #23 Devin Hester.
When Devin Hester catches the ball, what follows is the most thrilling few moments a Bears player has provided since #34 hung em up. With Viking punter Chris Kluwe struggling to get any lift on his punts, Brad Maynard put on a kicking display. Rushing yards, schmushing yards - this defense was on the field for 40 minutes yesterday. In those 40 minutes, they allowed 13 points. In those 40 minutes, they scored 9 points. Do the math: that's 1 point allowed every ten minutes they were on the field.
It is about Rex Grossman now. There is no other conversation. I made up my mind on the first play of the second quarter that I've had enough. They started the drive on their own 19 and gained 29 yards on 4 carries. Now facing a 2nd and 4 from basically midfield, Grossman dropped to pass. With two checkdowns wide open - including the Des Dispenser for an easy first down - Grossman chose to heave a disgraceful 40 yard bomb down the right sideline directly into the arms of his old friend Antonie Winfield. That was it for me.
I'm not closing the book on Rex Grossman's future but I certainly don't want to see any more of his present. With a defense that's created 39 turnovers (ten more than anyone else) and a special teams unit capable of taking over a game, it is time to turn the offense over to a player who'll be smart with the football. Keep forcing the defense to play 40 minutes a game and there'll be others joining Tommie Harris and Mike Brown on crutches.
Last year Lovie made the change from Orton to Grossman to create a spark - and create points. Now the change must be made to create consistency. The Bears don't need a gunslinger at quarterback. They need a lawman. They need someone to keep control and maintain order. I mean, Jesus Christ...they need someone to hit the tight end for a first down.
Sorry for the late post. The early game turned into a seven-hour pissup that ended with me doing the old college trick of ordering a pizza and promptly passing out.
Rex was godawful and I will refrain from making any further intercessions on his behalf. That's all I care to say about that. A much brighter spot was Cedric Benson. As much as I appreciate what TJ has done for the Bears, I think we have to trade him while we can still get something for him -- an offensive lineman maybe?
It's interesting to note that the Trib and the Sun-Times had widely diverging opinions on who was responsible for the Vikings' big rushing output. These report cards are always pretty frivolous, but I can't see how the Tribune would give the line an A-. After Tommie left, the interior became noticeably more pliable, while all three linebackers came up with big plays. Can anyone explain why the defense can be counted on to give up one 40-yard run every game? I don't get it. I thought the secondary was very good, but it's a little worrisome to see Chris Harris leading the team with 13 tackles.
In all, a fantastic day for the whole defense. Whereas Rex needed no help to look terrible, the Vikings' poor quarterbacking was mostly the result of solid play by the Bears defense. (People at the bar were only half-jokingly wondering whether the number 7 who came in was Randall Cunningham.) Ron Rivera also deserves credit for throwing Jeff a bone and calling some very timely blitzes.
It's too bad to see Rashied Davis go from arena league success story to special teams pariah. On the positive side for the special teams, I can't add any superlatives to the synchronized adulation of Devin Hester, but I will say that Brad Maynard is one badass punter, despite Rex's best efforts to steal his job.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Vikings ass kicking, as I enjoy every Vikings ass kicking. And yet, while the Bears were almost thoroughly dominant, the one area in which they weren't will be all people care to talk about this week. I can't say that I blame them, but it is unfortunate. Other than the Bears aerial ineptitude, everything was pretty reliable, including Darren Sharper being an asshat and the Vikings still sucking hard.
Your 2006 NFC North Division Champion Chicago Bears.
We have a lot to talk about. And at least four weeks to talk about it.
Tomorrow the game is being televised nationally on FOX, so I'll be on my couch watching and trying to get over what is either a minor case of pneumonia or what Edmund has in Long Day's Journey Into Night. I'll be in my own private insane asylum - bouncing off the walls like Ophelia after her father is stabbed by Hamlet. (This is the Theatre Addition of DaBearsBlog).
Anyway, I'll be posting at the end of each quarter or whenever I get pissed off. Come join me if you're home.
It's Friday and I'm feeling good. Real good. Because I'm pretty certain we'll be celebrating our second straight division championship under Lovie Smith on Sunday. I'm sorry but I just can't take for granted the Dick & Dave Eras of Ineptitude. Let's hope Lovie walks off the field Sunday and Jerry Angelo hands him the keys to the kingdom.
And just when I pontificate on my beloved team, Cedric Benson goes and runs his mouth again. You want to know why Cedric is talking? Because Thomas Jones has quietly put himself just 55 yards shy of a thousand and is knocking on the door of the NFC Pro Bowl squad. I called for Cedric to be the starting back and What's New Pussycat shoved that up my ass. Cedric, in two years, the town will be yours. Relax.
But we'll leave two years for two years from now. Sunday is about 2006 and another division title. I don't think the Bears are going to be afraid to run the ball on what has been a terrific rush defense, especially with Pat Williams out for the game. I think Rex rebounds but hope Ronny finds ways to o get the ball in the hands of Mark Bradley. Bradley's greatest asset is his ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands on the perimeter. Establishing that early could open up the middle of the field for Moose and the Des Dispenser.
Bears 23. Vikings 9.
And wherever you are. Whatever you're doing. Whoever you're with. Sing.