Why does it feel like we’re constantly waiting a month to play these games? It isn’t factual but it certainly feels that. If you haven’t had a chance to to listen to former Bears safety Cameron Worrell, do yourself a favor a check it out. He’s got some really interesting stuff to say. CLICK HERE to listen now.
REPLACEMENT REFS REPLACED
It is seemingly over but never to be forgotten. (I have been trying to make #Remember924 happen on Twitter but I seem to be failing.) I’ll put a bow on the replacement referee era by citing the best piece on the issue written in the country. It is from Sam Mellinger in the Kansas City Star:
This NFL referee lockout has raced past annoyance, blown past scandal, and has now become the cardinal sin that sports leagues previously reached only by cancelling the World Series or entire seasons:
They’re making fans feel stupid for being fans.
And that’s unforgiveable. We don’t ask much as sports fans, and good thing, because in most ways the game is rigged against us. The most passionate of us care more than we should and probably more than is financially responsible. But we do it because it feels good, because that’s what our fathers did, and that’s what our friends do and at some point it becomes more than just liking a team or sport and more about liking this part of our life we can’t imagine giving up.
And then a league that already prints money fights over the equivalent of chewing gum money and reminds us how silly we all are for caring this much about what is transparently a cold-hearted business.
Fans give so much to their sports. Time. Energy. Money. In return we ask to not be taken advantage of, not be embarrassed, not made to feel silly for the investment.
Laughter is our best way to cope, after all.
It’s just that here, it feels like the joke is on us. Shame on the NFL for letting it go this far.
So it ends. One of the lowest moments in the history of this great league.
INJURIES PILING UP IN THE BEARS BACKFIELD
Here are a bunch of Tweets from Vaughn McClure of the Tribune. (No, but really, Twitter is not keeping folks away from the newspaper sites. It’s really not.)
1. Evan Rodriguez sprained his MCL on the opening kickoff vs. Rams,tried to play through,then pulled himself out.
2. “I’m lucky it wasn’t a lot worse,” Rodriguez said of the knee injury. He hopes to be back for Jacksonville but wants to be smart about it.
3. Unsure bout Michael Bush’s practice status, but word is he has a shoulder injury (AC joint). Bush wouldn’t confirm it when I approached him.
What is the Bears backfield going to look like Monday night in Dallas? Matt Forte and Michael Bush each participated in practice Wednesday so here’s hoping the Bears are not relying on Bell/Allen to keep DeMarcus Ware from wrecking the game.
GOSSELIN: COWBOYS LACKING AT TIGHT END
Jason Witten has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL for a decade. He’s an old school tight end because he can throw a block as well as most starting guards in the league. But his game has noticeably slipped over these first three game and, unfortunately for the Cowboys, that has coincided with the emergence of Martellus Bennett in New Jersey. From arguably the best daily football writer in the country, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News:
What explains Martellus Bennett’s emergence in NY? A lucky couple of catches or do you think the coaching staff up there has gotten him to focus?
Gosselin: The Giants made a commitment to Bennett, something the Cowboys never did. The Giants also are a team that wants to run the ball and Bennett has few peers as a blocker at the tight end position. New York was the right fit, the right situation for Bennett. Shame on the Cowboys for never tapping into the talent Bennett now has on display in New York.
Witten has only three catches over three games and I’ve seen half a dozen drops on the highlights alone. Will he be able to find the space in the zone defense and reboot his 2012 campaign or will the Bears send another “it’s over” message to possible Hall of Famer Monday night.