Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This is this week's comment from the DVOA's for the Chargers: "That's about as bad as their quarterback can play, and they won the game convincingly. Super Bowl, here we come."

This is a comment about the Bears from a few weeks ago: "Here's my opinion on the Chicago quarterback controversy: Brian Griese is going to be much more consistent than Rex Grossman. But just as the lows won't be as low, the highs won't be as high. The Bears have almost no chance of winning the Super Bowl if Evil Rex shows up during the playoffs, but their deep passing game becomes useless with Griese under center. To win it all, the Bears need to figure out how to get the Good Rex every week."

Fuck. You. Football. Sportswriters. Everywhere. The only reason that everyone is raving about how awesome San Diego is that they can when even when their new great quarterback sucks it up like a giant black hole is that there isn't there isn't a big media frenzy about whether or not Rivers's backup (who is who, exactly? exactly.) should be starting in his place. Well, maybe that and LaDanian Tomlinson. But, anyway, because the Chicago sportswriters are fucking d-bags and think the only way to cover a team is to act at all times like it is falling apart unless it's blowing away all of its opponents by thirty points, because that, they write all this useless shit about how Grossman needs to be benched because he had some bad games, which then makes it so the Bears coaches have to address that bullshit in press conferences so then national writers and tv folks use those as their cues to talk about it like its actually an issue, which of course then managed to visibly eat away at Grossman's confidence until he almost literally shit his pants on the field against Minnesota, so then instead of people talking about how incredible the Bears defense and special teams are and that they have a solid enough running game now that they actually have a fucking offense for the first time since like 1993, all anyone says is that they probably can't win the Super Bowl with Rex as their quarterback because he's not a great quarterback. Bullshit.

It is probably true that the only team with a similar shot at winning the Super Bowl this year as the Bears is the San Diego. And both teams are in that position because the entire teams are really good so it just doesn't matter all that much if the quarterback has an off day. Any part of either team can win a game for the team.

I don't know why, but I've never been so pissed off about sports coverage as I am this week. I haven't read any article, anywhere, talking about how now that the Bears have given themselves home field through the playoffs they've done everything they could've done up to this point to give them a good shot through to the super bowl. It would not matter if they'd won every single game that they've won by two hundred points and if they'd not given up a single yard in any of those games. Their defense has been dominating most of the time that it has needed to be, and even when it wasn't dominating it has been one of the top three defenses in the league. Their special teams has actually won a few games for them, which is probably more than any other team in the league could hope for. And their offense has even chipped in a few times. All of that adds up, quite reasonably, to the best record in the league.

Yes. The Bears can be beaten. But why is it that being a beatable team means, for the Bears, that they are actually terrible and don't deserve to have their record, whereas other teams are allowed to be beatable and destined for the Super Bowl at the same time? AAAUUUGGGHHH!!! Why are sportswriters all so goddamn worthless!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Every single one of the Tribune's and the Sun-Times' columnists write today that the Bears need to cut/fire/nix/git rid of Tank Johnson. Aside from the fact that sportswriters tend to relish every opportunity to take the "moral high ground" and condemn the players they write about, I don't quite understand why they're all so uppity about the Tank thing. Yes, he had a bunch of guns that he failed to procure a license for, although the licenses that he didn't have are licenses that aren't even required by most states. They weren't purchases illegally or anything; it's just that Illinois has this extra gun-licensing thing and he didn't get that license. If he lived in Utah, people would by getting ready to storm the police station if they tried to charge a guy for gun possession--except that he's black, so, who knows... His only other crime was having a pot-smoking friend and owning some pitbulls... I mean, yeah, all of it might seem kind of stupid if you're an educated urbane white guy, but none of it is actually illegal, or even, really, in violation of any moral standards, either. I mean, Ricky Manning Jr. actually helped his friends beat up a guy, and there was nothing like this journalistic outcry for his head.

It seems weirdest to me that the fact that Johnson's friend got killed is being written about as clinching proof that the Bears need to get rid of him, even though the police have gone out of their way to state that it appears Johnson had nothing to do with the shooting. I suppose it probably just makes them feel better to write about how Johnson is a terrible person as they reflect on the fact that they themselves aren't friends with any black felons and they don't go to those types of clubs... I mean, just look at this garbage:

"The team employs nutritionists, masseuses, security guards and all sorts of other personnel intended to meet their players' every need. They could use more baby-sitters.

They need to consider restricting the independence of players who lose the benefit of the doubt the way Johnson did after he was arrested twice before Thursday's incident. Johnson evidently is not as equipped to handle adulthood as many of his teammates. It's one thing to tell him to just grow up. It's another to show him how.

The shooting death early Saturday morning of Posey, who described himself as Johnson's bodyguard, sadly reinforced how concerned the Bears need to be about the company Johnson keeps."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm still pulling for SF to win their division. And with their convincing victory over Seattle, it could still happen! Now all SF has to do is beat Arizona, which shouldn't be a problem, and then beat Denver, which would be a little tougher, but Denver won't be playing for anything since they'll likely be out of wild card contention at that point (cross fingers!). Also, Seattle has to lose to San Diego, who'll be playing to clinch home-field in the playoffs, and then they have to lose to Tampa... That last one is probably the most unlikely, and I'd really hate to see Seattle win their division because they beat a shitty team like Tampa... but, then again, they are playing at Tampa, and that's a pretty long trip to make, and I wouldn't put it past Seattle to lose to pretty much anyone... I don't know why I want this to happen so badly, but, for some reason, I just hate Seattle this year...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Um... so Tank had a bunch of guns that he didn't properly obtain a permit for, and he kept some of them loaded and without proper safety things, etc., and possibly was shooting them in his backyard. So, um, he's kinda dumb and he loves guns, and apparently is too stupid to bother buying the guns by legal means, or to file the proper paperwork or whatever. But, um, why is the Chicago press acting like this is the hugest deal ever, but they were pretty silent about Ricky Manning Jr. actually beating up a guy for no reason? And also, people on the message boards seem angrier about this than they did about Manning. Um. What?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This is from the FO forums, about the possibility of putting Hester in on offense as well: "They should just replace their entire offense with their kick/punt return unit whenever Evil Rex shows up. The long snapper could just hike the ball deep to Hester on each play! Think about it! He would even get three chances." The funniest thing about it is that it almost seems like an actually good idea...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In the middle of the Dallas NO game it has just occured to me that there really isn't a team in the NFC that is capable of beating the bears. NO is crushing Dallas because the NO offence is pretty good and the Dallas defence isn't great. These are the two other best teams but their both good because of offence. The great thing about the Bears is that their defence is simply amazing. No one can put up more than 20 points on them and if they have to they can score 21 with help from Hester. The AFC is a little more tricky because New England and Baltimore have very good defences, not as good as the Bears but close enough that Chicago might need a competent offence, at least one that can stay on the field and punt, to beat them. The NFC is a complete lock though, the Bears are already in the Super Bowl. The only question will be if Rex can settle down and get them there or if Griese will have to do it.
I have a good feeling about Grossman as well. The thing I don't like is that we have no idea how practice has looked for Grossman the last month. It would be nice to know if he's struggling all the time or only on game days. It sounds to me, based upon last week's interviews that he spent all week struggling before the Minnesota game. I think this because no one really sounded like they were too surprised with his performance. It was as if they knew that he had been feeling pressure and simply wasn't playing like he had been and it sounded like he was really questioning what was going on, why he sucked. Turner said after the first practice this week that Grossman had had a very loose and good practice so hopefully that has continued. My prediction is that the day off watching early-season film combined with last weekend's total collapse will have Rex playing without pressure. I think that he'll feel like he just needs to play and if he's good he'll do well if not he simply isn't good enough to finish out the season.

Either way this season has been amazing, but most of the actual games have been weirdly boring because I absolutely believe that the Bears will be in the superbowl and it's almost like the games don't matter because I already know the result. All year it's been like the games are on delay and the score already flashed on the bottom of screen.

As if out of an attempt to hold my prediction bravado in check, last night I had a dream that Grossman went out against the Rams, threw two passes for two touchdowns, and after the second one he was hit by a lineman and ended up lying on the ground with with both of his knees bent completely backwards. And then Griese went on to dominate the Rams for the rest of the game. So... I guess now we get to find out whether my intuition or my dreams have the greater predictive power!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Not for any reason other than that I have a "feeling" about it, I'm going to go ahead and call Monday's game to be a huge rebound game for Grossman. Mainly because, there's not really any way a quarterback could have a worse game than he had last week, so he's got to have realized he's basically hit bottom, and also that he's just really not actually that bad, so he doesn't really have anything to lose. I'm imagining him throwing an interception on the first drive of the game because of some weird fluke, and then suddenly it will click again. The last three quarters of the game will look like the first halves of the games against the Bills and the 49ers. That's what I see happening.

It's funny, because there's no way that anything could possibly convince me that that won't happen until the game actually happens. It's one of those weird things where I just feel like it's an objective fact, even though I have no really good reason to believe that it's true. Exactly like the belief I've had since they lost to the Panthers in the playoffs last year that they are going to win the Super Bowl this year.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Bears have a two game lead over the entire NFC and if Dallas beats NO sunday they have the tie breaker over any team that is two games behind allowing them to loose two games without dropping in the standings. Rex Grossman is the quarterback unless he has three turnovers that are definitely his fault in the first half of any game until they loose or, more likely, clinch homefield in the NFC. Lovie knows that this defence and special teams are the best in the leauge and can probably win any of their remaining regardless of the offence. Lovie has the luxury of allowing Rex at least two more games to prove he can still play. If Rex sucks the move to Griese will be made for the final two games of the season ensuring homefield in the NFC or just allowing Griese to work the rust off.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Possibly the most worthwhile thing Aaron Schatz has ever said about the Bears? "I'm sure he's a nice fellow, but is it possibly time to question Wade Wilson's qualifications as a quarterback coach? In three years in Chicago, he's had bad middle-aged quarterbacks (Jonathan Quinn), bad young quarterbacks (Craig Krenzel, Kyle Orton), and imploding young quarterbacks (Rex Grossman). He was also quarterbacks coach in Dallas from 2000-2002, where he mentored (so to say) Ryan Leaf, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, and Chad Hutchinson."

For Not Benching Grossman

While the Chicago sports media is busy calling for Lovie's head because he keeps stating that "Rex is our quarterback" with little elaboration, I can't help but wonder if they're really all so nearsighted as to not have noticed that Lovie isn't exactly interested in discussing every nuance of his decision-making process with the press. Frankly, I doubt that the reason Lovie is standing behind his quarterback is that he has failed to notice how shitty he's been. It's probably more along the lines of "he needs to play through this slump" type of a thing. And, I guess, I can sort of understand that. Personally, I would've benched Grossman at halftime in the last game. He was just so obviously messed up in the head that you could quite literally see his self-doubt affecting the way the ball flew out of his hands. He did not once set himself in the pocket and throw the ball. In fact, it even got to the point that he tripped over his own legs dropping back to hand the ball off. But I would have benched him out of pity for him and not because I thought it would be better for the team. From the very beginning of the game, it was pretty obvious that the Bears defense was going to be able to handle anything that the Vikings did, and really it wasn't going to be necessary for Grossman to do anything for the Bears to win. And, looking beyond that, judging by the rate at which the team has been able to win over the past two seasons without an offense, there's not really any reason to expect that they won't make the playoffs, no matter what Grossman does. Which basically means that the Bears have to really figure out what they have in Grossman. We already no what we have in Griese: a pretty competent quarterback who plays at a steady average level, one who could in all likelihood manage the offense Turner gave to Orton last season with the same level of aptitude. That offense will manage not to lose games for the Bears, and if they switched to Griese now, they'd go into the playoffs knowing that they can't rely on the offense to ever win the game for them, so they just have to hope that the Defense and special teams would manage to pull out wins. Frankly, I like their chances even given that possibility to at least make it to the NFC championship game, where, worst-case scenario, they'd face Romo and the Cowboys, a team that I'm pretty sure they could handle as well. The thing is, with Grossman, we have seen that he has the potential to be pretty damn good and run a pretty spectacular offense. At this point, it is obvious that the only thing holding Grossman back is himself. So, really, I think you kind of have to let him try to play through it. If he hasn't managed to pull himself out of it in the next two games, then I think you have to pretty much pull the plug on the guy for good. He's just not able to handle the pressure of the league, at this point. Maybe give him some intense sessions with a sports psychologist over the off-season, try to bring in a legitimate long-term option to compete with him for the starting spot next season and then see what happens. But, if you bench Grossman now, you still won't know what you have with him. Is he capable of becoming the great quarterback he obviously has the talent to become? Grossman has been an unknown quantity for the Bears for the last several seasons, and there's not really any reason to continue having him on as an unknown quantity. Give him every last chance in the world to correct himself, and if he doesn't, he's done.

Or something like that. I think Lovie has a much more complicated idea for what's going on than what he expresses to the media, and I think he's done enough in the past that it's probably okay to trust that he'll make a good decision when it comes time for the decision to be made. But, really, there's just no reason for that decision to be made immediately.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ugh. Why is the Chicago sports media so terrible? After a week of articles following the loss to the Pats in which they seemed to be talking about an underperforming team that was blowing its shot at the playoffs, Rick Morrissey actually has the nerve to write his article for the Tribune about how the Bears need to lighten up because they're acting pretty grumpy for a 9-2 team. And of course, there was David Haugh's weekly article about how Benson is such a terrible distraction to the team and his big mouth is dragging them down. I think Haugh must be jealous of all the articles that people get to right about TO, or all the articles the Mpls journalists got to write about Randy Moss, and has just decided that he's going act as if there is such a person on the Bears, and that person is Benson. Seriously, though, why would you decide, during your first season as the beat writer for a franchise in one of the biggest markets in the country, to make your mark by singling out a player and trying to blow him up into the Villain on the team? It either has to be personal, like Benson said some asshole thing directly to Haugh, or else Haugh is just lazy and decided that it's a lot easier to just pick a guy to rag on and run with it than it is to actually write up some meaningful analysis of the team. Frankly, the Tribune owes it to the Bears fans who read their paper to fire Haugh at the end of the season and to try to find an actually good sports journalist to be their Bears beat writer.