Que Sarah, Sarah

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What A Difference A Year Makes



Sunday, October 1, 2006 –
-The Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 8-5, but with the worst record in the National League, their season is over.
-The Chicago Bears drub the Seattle Seahawks 37-6 to move to 4-0 on the season.


Sunday, September 30, 2007 –
-The Chicago Cubs lose to the Cincinnati Reds 8-4, but after clinching the National League Central Division two days earlier, their season is far from over.
-The Chicago Bears lose 37-27 to the Detroit Lions after giving up an NFL record 34 points in the 4th quarter. The Bears drop to 1-3.


Last year, Chicagoans healed their baseball woes with football wins. Early October, rousing choruses of “Bear Down” were almost loud enough to drown out cries of “Wait ‘til next year.” The second coming of the Monsters of the Midway afforded even the most heartbroken of Cubs fans a happy release. This October, while the Wrigley faithful have something to cheer about, Bears fans are left wondering what happened. This October, Chicagoans are taking solace in…the Cubs?

Cubs spring training 2007. After Cubs management spends roughly 300 million dollars to completely re-vamp the team, Chicagoans are drooling over what looks like a dream line-up. The boys of summer start out slow, but after the All-Star break the team goes on a tear, catching up to hated neighbors, the Milwaukee Brewers. Come October, all that pre-season hype turns out to be more than just hype. The Cubs are the NL Central Champions, and they’ll have the pleasure of being a part of Dane Cook’s irritating “There’s Only One October” promos.

Bears Training Camp 2007. After making it to the Big Show and falling just short, the theme for this year’s team is “Unfinished Business.” Reports out of Bourbonnais speak of Rex Grossman’s improved fundamentals and greater confidence. Berrian, Muhammad, Benson and Olsen are touted as the leaders of an offense that make even our defense stand up and take notice. And speaking of the defense, the return of Tommie Harris and the signing of Archuleta and Walker mean another year of domination, right? And how about that Devin Hester…

Well…at least they got that part right.

Sunday’s loss to the Lions was a whole new low for the Bears. Brian Griese was not the savior we all hoped he’d be and the 'Monsters of the Midway' that used to keep us in games, gave this one away. To be fair, the Bears team that stepped on the field Sunday was not the same team that Grossman led to the Super Bowl last year. Griese took over an offense hurting for Thomas Jones, and was backed by a battered and patchy defense that bore little resemblance to last year’s super-crew. It was heartening to see the Bears put up almost 30 points, but that’s hardly something to cheer about considering they gave Detroit almost 40. Griese should get another chance, but next week he should remember why he got the nod: to manage the game. If we want someone to throw caution (and the long ball) to the wind, we’ve got Grossman. Griese’s job is to play it safe, something the leader of next week’s opponent has learned to do on his way to a 4-0 start. The original NFC North gunslinger, Brett Favre, is gonna laugh his way to a shutout next week if Griese doesn’t settle down and lead with patience.

As for the Bears D, ripping them for Sunday’s let-up is as hard as ripping Trevor Hoffman, baseball’s all-time saves leader, for giving away Monday night’s playoff game against the Rockies. For two straight seasons Bears fans have depended on Urlacher and company to win games, even--as was the case against the Cardinals last season--games in which the offense doesn’t score ONE SINGLE POINT. So I’m giving the Bears D a break. Trying to judge their performance when Archuleta, Briggs, Peanut, Vasher, Dusty and Mike Brown all watched from the sidelines is about as useful as reviewing a White Stripes concert that Jack White sits out with laryngitis. We need our starters back. Period. You can’t do much worse than giving up 34 points in the 4th, so things have gotta pick up from here, right? Let’s hope so.

The football season isn’t nearly as long as baseball’s. At a quarter of the way through, the Bears are already at their “All-Star break.” Now is the time to turn it around, Cubs-style. Dropping to 1-4 while letting the Pack move to 5-0 would be disastrous. This Sunday, the Bears have to make a stand against the division leaders. Until then, I’ll be at the bar, Old Style in hand, humming to myself…Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go, Hey Chicago, Whattya say, Cubs are gonna win today...


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