They are who we thought they were

December 11, 2007

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It's been a long, frustrating season for Chicago Bears fans like myself. After their exciting run to the Super Bowl last year, which ended in a loss, the "Super Bowl loser hangover" seems to have played out in full force, and the Bears will not make the playoffs this season. The quarterback situation is a mess, as expected, with no less than three changes at starter since September.

Kyle Orton, that mediocre guy who managed to not lose games while the defense was winning them two years ago, will start next Monday in a game played, in the Bears' case, primarily for pride ... against a Minnesota team who will likely shred the Bears' porous defense with the likes of Adrian Peterson and/or Chester Taylor.

Devin Hester has been great to watch again this year, but Hester's heroics are useless when they come in a game where Eli Manning has three Grossman-like turnovers and yet is still able to engineer a winning touchdown drive against a battered defense which is apparently incapable of stepping up when they are needed most. Meanwhile, the effete Bears offense goes three-and-out so many times, until said Eli Manning comeback drive is simply a matter of time.

Don't even get me started on the Washington game.

So what does this mean for next year? Grossman, Griese, Orton — none appears to be the answer. Draft a quarterback? Good luck with that. The Bears are famous for wasting draft picks rather than coming up with the possible next franchise quarterback. Then again, so is half the NFL.

This year, like every year, everyone is watching the New England Patriots, who have a good chance of going 16-0. Tom Brady, let it be said, is a great quarterback. Despite the fact that he's a total tool who can somehow get away with arrogance coming across as nice-guy modesty (it's false modesty at its most obvious), he's exciting to watch. I was rooting against that unlikely final drive on the Dec. 3 Monday night game where the Patriots had chance after chance to win in a game they absolutely should've lost. Baltimore snatched defeat from the jaws of victory — with that craziness of the timeout and the holding call negating two defensive stops on fourth-and-ballgame. Wow. If this isn't a message that the Patriots should go 16-0, I don't know what is. Although I will continue to root against it.

Monday Night Goofball Color Commentator Tony Kornheiser said it best that night when he called the situation "tragic inevitability." You give Tom Brady that many chances to stay alive and he is all but guaranteed to finish you. They are who we thought they were. Just like the insanity of that Chicago/Arizona game last year on Monday night.

People are also watching with a sort of horrified fascination to see if Miami will go 0-16. I'm hoping the Patriots will lose at least one game, but I'm hoping it won't come at the hands of Miami, as unlikely as that is. You never want to see a team go 0-16, right? Wrong. I do. I'm rooting for Miami to go 0-16 (a perfect season!) as much as I'm rooting for New England to go 15-1 or 14-2. Why, you ask? Because I'm an asshole, that's why.

That, and I'm sick of hearing about the 1972 Miami Dolphins and their champagne toasts every year when someone goes 10-0 or 12-0 or 13-0 and then finally loses a game. It would be a poetic-justice situation of epic proportions if the one New England loss came at the hands of Miami on Dec. 23, but that's not the poetic justice I want. I want the poetic justice of the Dolphins having been the only team to win an entire season AND lose an entire season. Maybe then the 1972 Dolphins will shut up and quit with the champagne tradition. (Probably not, though.)

And, for the love of God, can we get an NFC team that can actually win the Super Bowl? I'm sick of hearing about the AFC and their unending dominance year after year. Hint: This year does not appear to be the year for that. Not with Tom Brady doing his thing. And God forbid I have to root for the Cowboys or the Packers in the Super Bowl. Which would go against my Bears allegiances.

I guess you have to look for something else to root for when your team is having the kind of season that brings out the cynic in you.

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5 comments on this post

    I can relate to the idea of rooting for a team to lose every game. During my sophomore year of high school, our football team lost the last 7 games of the season. The next season, the team lost every game (0-9). The following season, they lost the first 2 games, and they were poised to set some kind of record for losses, assuming they lost the next game. But somehow they won the game that would have set the record. I was disappointed. And then in college, our own Fighting Illini went 2-9 in 1996 and 0-11 in 1997. Again, I found myself rooting against them near the end of the '97 season. Somehow, it's easier to swallow a horrible season if it's really, really bad vs. just mediocre. The frustration isn't there in the same way. There's no "they should have won", because they're terrible. It's not exactly the same sentiment that you're describing, but it reminded me of these feelings nevertheless.

    Oh, yes, how well I remember that '97 season when Illinois went 0-11. Almost included it in the post above. And you're right: I too was rooting for losses by the end. 0-11: a perfect season! And, now, after a 2-10 season last year, the Illini (9-3) are going to the Rose Bowl. Talk about a turnaround. At least I'll have someone to root for in January.

    I was really, really pulling for the Steelers on Sunday. As a Seahawks fan, that pained me, but it was worth it to see a team that actually had a chance to beat the Pats. We all know how that turned out. At this point, my only hope is that some 3rd string loser with no future in the NFL decides to make a name for himself by blatantly and illegally taking out Tom Brady's knees with extreme prejudice in the next three games. I don't get it, they'll do it to Carson Palmer, who seems like a nice enough sort. Kurt Warner looks like he needs to be taken out behind the woodshed and shot at the end of every game, but no one will do it to that asshat Brady? Come on guys, don't bring me down. Oh, and screw the Dolphins. I hope they go 0-16 next year, too.

    You want pain and misery? Try being a Nebraska Cornhusker fan, especially this year. You want to talk about brutal! But we fired that lame brain Coach Callahan and brought in Bo Pelini. So, starting next fall, like Little Richard says in the Geico commercials, "Whoo! Look out! Look out!"

    try other sports- bkabetsall and volleyball. tim howard played volleyball. my old college coach was a NAIA All American player when he was in college and he played goal keeping and bkabetsall.

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