There will be column writing from me throughout the season, but I am going to relegate most of my work to these game previews. I’m incredibly proud of the consistently excellent work being produced under the Schmitz regime at DBB and I hope I’ll now be able add some of my own flavor to the mix.
Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?
Three Things the Bears MUST Do on Sunday
- Win the ground game.
- The Bears had one of the league’s best rushing attacks in 2022, while also fielding one of the league’s worst rush defenses. In their two meetings with the Packers last season, they were outgained on the ground 203-180 and 175-155. Matt LaFleur is going to do everything in his power to make Jordan Love’s debut easier and that will include a healthy dose of the run game, putting pressure on Chicago’s weakest unit, their DL. If the Bears can’t slow Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon down, it’s unlikely they’ll slow down the Packers writ large.
- Catch interceptions.
- Barring a few nice throws, Love has looked nervous this preseason, and that’s unlikely to change come the opener. When he gives the secondary opportunities, they must take advantage of them. For too many years we have watched the Bears drop easy interception after easy interception, often originating from the right hand of a Packers quarterback en route to the Hall of Fame.
- Get the fans excited early, and often.
- This is going to be a Soldier Field ready to celebrate the dawn of a new era and the Bears have to meet the moment. Mount some promising early drives. Get points from those drives. Show that the Chicago Bears are finally ready to join the ranks of modern offensive football. (If the team comes out and runs it unsuccessfully on first and second down to open the game…well…it would be about the most tone-deaf play calling one can recall.) Too often the Bears have sent the home crowd into a lethargic malaise. Big, exciting moments on offense change that.
September 11th on Screen
Paul Schrader argues, in his seminal essay on film noir, that the “genre” is unique to America, and specifically to a post-war period (mid 40s to late 50s) that found a generation of heroic men returning from war to an uncertain future, and unsure identity. But as we commemorate the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 on Monday, it is interesting to look at a series of films made in New York City in the years after those attacks as questioning not only what it means to be a man in a post-traumatic environment, but also what it means to be the city unfairly targeted as representative of a national political identity to which it often did not and does not ascribe.
There are four films I would recommend looking at in this regard.
25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
Unfaithful (Adrian Lyne, 2002)
Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy, 2007)
Before the Devil Know You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet, 2007)
As this is a topic for a broader research project of mine, I will not wallow in the weeds here. But these are four films that I consider four of the best of this century. If you’re interested in the aforementioned discussion, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.