Former Bears & Loyalty Lines as a Chicago Football Fan

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By Soxman

As the Bears record drops to 3-2, with tough divisional match-ups still on the horizon, I couldn’t help but notice how well former Chicago Bears players are doing these days.  Yes I said FORMER players.  What’s even more shocking is that fans’ desire for these player’s exits from Chicago came almost as fast as the gusts of the windy city could push them out of town.

At this point in the season, would we take them back?  Let’s examine and see where your loyalties lie.

Out:  Kyle Orton

In: Jay Cutler

Orton has a 100.1 QB rating on the season, has thrown for 1465 yards and only one interception in six games.  His team is 6-0.

Cutler has an 86.9 QB rating and has already thrown 7 interceptions on the season.  We know “his team’s” record.

Out: Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones

In: Matt Forte

Benson has become the third leading rusher in the NFL (594 yards) and has found the end zone 4 times.  Yes.  I’m talking about the same Cedric Benson who I was critical of since he was anointed the “face of the Bears” two years ago and left Chicago with mace in his eyes and the label of another RB bust. Thomas Jones, who the Bears pretty much gave away after he rushed them to the Super Bowl, has racked up over 1100 yards every year since he’s left Chicago and has already rushed for 481 yards and six TDs this season.

It would be an understatement to say nicknames like “Sweetness II” and “the answer” once being bantered about Matt Forte have been put on hold as the Bears’ running game is now a defined as “a problem.”  Forte has rushed for just 294 yards and scored one touchdown. Is it not inevitable that as Bears fans we are so quick to rush to judgment?  Especially when the year 1985 is our only recollection of super bowl glory?  matt-forte-inside

I still remember when Rex Grossman returned from one of his many injuries to supplant Orton as the Bears starting QB in 2004.  How many Chicago Papers said how great it was to “finally have a real QB in Chicago?”   Remember how quickly that changed when Grossman posted a 66.4 QB rating in 8 games in 2007?   Last weekend, I noticed a Grossman jersey being used as a hand towel at a local Chicago restaurant.

It goes without saying that if the Bears were 5-0, we would care less about former players, or that Matt Forte is currently one of the lowest ranked RBs in the NFL.  But, we are here instead.  So instead we voice our frustration and fantasize about a backfield with the 2009 Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones, or spew hatred at Kyle Orton because he “found himself” in Denver. A special lady in my life recently opened my ears to the possibility of appreciating country music.  Something that I never thought possible.  So as a Bears fan I can say with 100% assurance that it is possible to find something good out of something perceived to be bad.  Ironically, a song by Little Texas entitled “What Might Have Been” just randomly started playing on I-tunes  as I type this article.

The refrain is interesting: “Try not to think about what might have been.  That was then, and we have taken different roads, we can’t look back again, no use giving in, there’s no way to know, what might have been.”

So I guess you can say that in the spirit of divine intervention, I will not begin to theorize or debate how Forte would fare in New York, or how Benson would perform with the 2009 Bears offensive line blocking for him. But in the spirit of irony, I’ll also reveal that I’m wearing my Chicago Bears Kyle Orton jersey as I type this article and strangely find myself thinking that the 2009 Broncos have all the fixings for Sportsbank readers to love:bearspractice1

-New England Patriot ties
-Chicago Bears castaways
-Underdogs predicted by everyone to be in a re-building year
-The Sportsbank colors or Bears colors.
-The “Monsters of the Mountains” defense.  Catchy isn’t it?  (patent pending by Soxman)

And both cities have fair weather…conditions… albeit fans. Now we only need to come up with a sappy white man’s rap to rival the 85 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle and we truly might be on to something here. For diehard fans who love the Bears no matter what, remember, a trade is not measured in one season alone. Jay Cutler is 5th in the NFL in interceptions.  Only Mark Sanchez, Jake Delhome, Kerry Collins, and Carson Palmer have thrown more picks.  Three of those four players may lose their starting gig before the season is over.  Roast accordingly and swim in the cess pool of negativity that only the Chicago media, or perhaps more aptly the Bears PR (“Police Resistance”) staff can generate.

Where do your loyalties and thoughts lie?  Think about it while I consider accepting a Jay Cutler and Matt Forte for Kyle Orton and Cedric Benson swap in one of my fantasy leagues.   After all, there are loyalties.  Especially when it comes to winning games.

Possible NFC North Reality Shows

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By the TSB Staff

Since the NFC North in 2009 seems to be the ultimate reality series in professional sports right now. I asked my staff to  analogize the players and coaches in the division with some of the tv show “characters” currently dotting the reality show landscape.

JAKE MCCORMICK

This is an easy one. Despite my vocal criticisms of VH1 and their mind-numbing switch from “Behind the Music” type programming to mindless trapclap like “Brooke Knows Best” marathons, I must admit I watch a lot of their reality dating shows. I love the creatures that come out of their holes in the ground to proclaim their love for aging rock/rap stars. But the best analogy I can give involves the Vikings, Brett Favre, and Daisy of Love.

Daisy is (obviously) looking for love, but was shunned from her “true love” Bret Michaels in “Rock of Love 2,” and finished second to a mature girl with less baggage and much more potential. She didn’t get along with everyone on the show, and was very shady when talking about her living situations (she lived with her “ex” boyfriend). She was the Brett Favre to Bret Michaels (or Ted Thompson’s) Aaron Rodgers (Winner Ambre Lake).

Fast forward to the fourth episode of “Daisy of Love.” She has really taken a liking to a guy named London, who is a flashy rock star-type, but is also a big flake and whines for no apparent reason other than he isn’t getting his way. As a result, he leaves before elimination, leaving Daisy bawling in her room and unable to give out her Rock Star chains. This obviously upsets the house, since none of the other guys liked London because he was a cocky but waffling douche to her. As the show goes on, we get hints that Daisy is still hurt by London’s premature departure, and her chemistry isn’t as strong with the other guys. So, with four guys remaining in the competition, Daisy’s sidekick Riki reaches out to London and persuades him to come back and resolve the issues between him and Daisy.

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Obviously the rest of the guys hate his guts, and he knows it all too well. But he gradually makes it to the finale episode, and when faced with a decision between Flex, a guy that is much better for her and different than her usual drama-loving boyfriends, and London, who is like every other immature guy she has dated, Daisy says the following: “I need Flex, but I want London.” Thus, she chooses the guy everyone loved to hate, and they all learn to live with it even though everyone involved with the show (including Riki) thinks she made a mistake. I’ll leave you to fill in who is who between the Vikings organization, Favre, and the players. This analogy makes too much sense to me.
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SOXMAN

Cheaters staring Brett Favre.

When Green Packer Packer fans suspect their long-time boyfriend is cheating on them with another team, our cameras are there when the confrontation takes place.  Will Brett score with another team?  Don’t miss another great season on the NFC.

Flavor of Lovie.

Lovie Smith is in search of a wide receiver for his bachelor quarterback.  Will Lovie’s idea of ball romance agree with Jay’s desire to command an offense?  The balls will fly and players will run all season long in the most offensive show to come out of Chicago in years.

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.

Starring Aaron Rogers who teaches people it’s ok to be second despite the speedy deliveries of passes to Greg Jennings.  In the end, you will go to the land of make believe to see what life would have been like if Brett Favre was never born.

The Girls Next Door.

Starring the Detroit Lions offensive line.  Only Mathew Stafford will not be pillow fighting cuties.  He’ll be participating in the “Amazing Race,” trying to escape linemen out for his head.cedricbensonjersye

PAUL M. BANKS

“Elimidate” starring Brian Urlacher

He’s a man known to reap the “strange” out there in the Chicago nightlife; on a level even more intense than Kyle Farnsworth or Mark Grace. Everyone has an Urlacher story. Some even have a paternity suit.

“The Shark Tank” starring Matthew Stafford

ABC’s Sunday night series is probably the only reality series I actually like these days, but this show isn’t about aspiring entrepreneurs pitching panels of venture capitalists, it’s Stafford being put into open water surrounded by blood and chum (his 0-16 Lions teammates) as the sharks, opposing defenses circle around.

“Blind Date” starring Brett Favre

I always loved the little drawings, graphics and thought bubbles that comprise each episode of this series. My dream job is to be the person who gets to write the funny observations and insults of those who participate on this game show. Actually my dream job is any job where I get to rip on people. But what if John Madden who has the biggest man-crush in the history on man-crushes on Favre, also came out of retirement just to cover a few games featuring the man who complete him? He’d no doubt manipulate the telecast to draw hearts and write amorous sayings all over the screen, and somehow the show ends with Madden and Favre in a hot tub…ugh….

Chicago Bears Preseason Locale Shifts

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By Paul M. Banks

When the Bears shift location of their preseason practices and scrimmages, you truly know that autumn is near. On Thursday, the Bears broke Training Camp in Bourbonnais, and packed their bags for heading north to Halas Hall. It’s there, in the posh suburb of Lake Forest where the Bears will finish up the second half of their 2009 NFL preseason. The immediate focus will be on prepping for the preseason home opener versus the New York Giants on Saturday night.

This practice game will feature three Bears stars: Matt Forte, Tommie Harris, and Greg Olsen, who did not play in the preseason opener. “We want them to have a good series before they come out. Our history has been, for the most part, that in the second game the guys will play into the second quarter,” Lovie Smith told the media following the final practice session at Camp Bourbonnais.

The final session downstate featured a cutesy switcharoo. Many players switched jerseys with each other. Watching quarterback Jay Cutler dropping back and throwing passes while wearing Brian Urlacher’s number was a unique, if not bizarre experience. Usually #6 Cutler wearing Urlacher’s #54 was a great show of solidarity, and should make people forget what ex-teammate and current Minnesota Vikings receiver Bobby Wade claims Urlacher allegedly said about Cutler.

Lovie spoke about Cutler and Urlacher bonding through jersey sharing. “They kind of look alike, big stature, but that’s a tradition with our players right now, a lot of energy in camp. There’s nothing like the last day of training camp…I can still tell who Devin Hester is, some of the little skill guys even in a lineman number, you can still feel good about who he is,” Lovie said of the chicanery and tomfoolery.

So far this preseason has been industry standard. You’ve seen…

1. The multitude of really dumb fans reading too much into preseason games (i.e. idiots who now think the Cutler deal was a waste just because he looked terrible during the glorified practice in Buffalo last week).
2. Desperate sportswriters hyping up anything at all in order to manufacture something to talk about out of a non-story (Cutler’s Saturday night comments about Devin Hester were still being discussed on sports talk radio today.)

3. Position battles that might not sort themselves out until when games actually have significance. (Other than Hester, who’s going to play Wide Receiver?)

Expect more of all three between now and when the season kicks off in northern Wisconsin September 13th.