Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Look, I hate the Vikings. But I kind of like to hate the Vikings, and so I also have this weird kind of love for them. Which is why I'm a little bit pissed off to learn this morning that they are having a hard time selling out their playoff game. This is their first divisional title in eight years, and even if it weren't that something of a milestone, it's the fucking playoffs! Sure, your coach is kind of a dumb-ass and he's hitched his wagon once again to the floundering Tarvaris Jackson, but your team is in the playoffs! Selling tickets for that game should not be a problem. Maybe Vikings fans really don't deserve to keep their franchise...

Monday, December 22, 2008

There's kind of two levels of being a football fan. On the one hand, you want your team to play well. You want them to be getting better. You want them to play solid games in which they beat their opponents for entire games. You want them to dominate.

But on another, more sublime level, that doesn't really matter. I know the Bears didn't play all that well tonight, and I spent most of the game really depressed and angry about what I was seeing. But in the end, it was all worth it. No amount of solid play could've felt better than watching the Packers final kick get blocked. Frankly, almost nothing in the world feels better than moments like that.

This is a Bears team with a lot of flaws, and they're pretty much the same flaws they've had for the past several years. It's a little bit frustrating. But, at the same time, what happened tonight (just as I heard Alex Brown saying in a postgame radio interview) maybe even topped the Arizona game in 2006 in terms of pure excitement, in the end.

It is irrational, stressful, and sometimes totally devastating--but when Alex Brown gets his hand on a chip shot field goal to send the game into overtime, when I find myself jumping into the air and screaming (in public!) at the ball's broken careen, when the most improbable shoestring of hope I let myself foolishly cling to pays off, when the coin toss bounces off of Urlacher's head and Orton and then Forte each make the exactly one play they really need to make, when Robbie Gould comes out and calmly continues to live up to his name's symbolic standard--Praise Payton I fucking love being a Bears fan!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weep On, Blonde Minnesotans

Today was a good football day for our team. And I'm going to continue to thoroughly enjoy the feeling of having seen the Vikes look inept and clueless until it's time to go to bed.

But when I wake up, that's going to be in the past. Tomorrow, we have to beat the Packers. I don't even remember much of our last game against the Packers--and I don't care to. Tomorrow I expect my team to come out and play their best game of the season. I don't just want a win (I mean, I'd settle for that, but), I want there to be no doubt at the end of the game that the Bears belong at the top of the NFC North. I want a game that I want to remember.

For now, though, this is just beauty:


Magic hasn't worked before, but it's bound to work some time. In preparation for the Vikings/Falcons game today, I've put this photo up as a kind of fetish to ward off a Vikings victory. This photo was taken (there's a StarTribune story about it) after the Vikings loss to the Falcons in the NFC Championship game in 1999. That was the year (the 1998) season the Vikings went 15-1. It was horrible--but in the end, that loss almost made it worth it. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to football at the time--the Bears were awful and the Vikings went frickin' 15-1 bleurgh--but I do remember the night before the game I had a dream that the Vikings lost by a field goal. Sure enough, it came down to Gary Anderson missing one, which sent the game into overtime and ultimately led to one of my favorite all-time Vikings choke-jobs. I seem to remember jumping up and down on the couch when they lost, but I'm not sure if that could be accurate--I was seventeen at the time, a senior in high school, surely I was too big to be jumping up and down and the couch... Regardless, that was how I felt.

Interestingly, the Vikings last three games this season are all against the teams who defeated them in my three favorite moments of Vikings failure. Last week, the new version of the Arizona Cardinals failed to live up to the standard of the 2003 Vikings, who scored two touchdowns after the two-minute-warning to send the Vikings home without an appearance in the playoffs. That was sweet. This week, it's the Falcons, who, as mentioned above, ended the run of the 15-1 Vikings team, the team that set all sorts of offensive (pun intended) records. Next week, it's the Giants, who, in 2001, hosted a favored Vikings team for the NFC Championship and absolutely obliterated them.

As of this moment, I'm still feeling good about the chances for a Vikings collapse. It's really the least they deserve for that fucking goddamn horn-call they play all the time...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good News

Vikings to go with Jackson at starting qb. I know he had a good game against Atlanta, and had an alright game the week before. But, c'mon. With two of the toughest games on their schedule coming up, Childress has made his decision. He will not be going with the QB who, tho certainly not an example of awesomeness, did open up the Vikes offense enough that they're in the position they're in. Instead he'll be going with his pet project, who has never yet come close to succeeding on the professional level before the last two weeks, when he "led" the team to victories over the worst team in the history of the NFL and a thoroughly uninspired Arizona Cardinals team. This is why I feel, as a Bears fan and a Vikings hater, as long as Childress is the coach, there's always hope the Vikes could pull off another splendid choke job. This is a decision based on nothing but what Childress sees as a chance to restore his reputation. Everyone knows he's an idiot for investing so much time in Tarvaris Jackson, but he will not give it up. Seriously, I hope the Vikings blow these last two games, and even more I hope the major reason is because of Childress's egotistically stubborn insistence on going with Jackson. I don't get to go home for Christmas, so I'm asking Christmas for this one Christmas present. Please please!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I'm far from ready to look towards 2009, but there is the possibility that come Monday that is exactly what will be happening. Though this is distressing, there is at least one very bright piece of news today.
Albert Haynesworth will be an unrestricted free agent starting 2-27-2009. It's not likely that the Bears will have the most pull in the league, and he's already on one of the best teams, but I have to imagine the prospect of playing for Lovie Smith in a 4-3 next to Tommie Harris and with Lance Briggs isn't totally dismissible.
The Bears will have at least 17.5 million available at the start of free agency and I assume much of that could be used to form a pretty enticing offer. Unfortunately this would probably eliminate the Bears chances of getting Anquan Boldin, but I'd take the best D in the league over a balanced team.
The Bears still clearly need to rethink their offense or at least their wide-outs, but anything like what B. Lloyd was offering before his injury would be good enough to be top 20. And 91 and 92 would immediately take over as the Monsters of the NFL.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Smith's Defense

There've been various rumors floating around over the past few weeks that Lovie has been getting himself much more involved in the defense lately. I found this snippet from Biggs' article telling:

Babich was solely responsible for the position, but coach Lovie Smith is very involved now, too. Manning goes to Smith's office, where he gets one-on-one film sessions with the man who learned the Tampa-2 in Tampa. They meet before walk-throughs every day.

''Mainly, I am with coach Smith,'' Manning said. ''He's just like a regular coach when it's just me and him. We're there for a good hour, and we get it down.''

It could just be that Lovie knows how important the nickel position is to the defense and felt he needed to do something about how, earlier in the season, practically every time there was a big play given up by the defense you could see Manning was obviously out of position.

But I have thought the defense has started to look a little better over the past few weeks, and that and the other little hints all see to point to Smith having decided to take a much more active role in that capacity. What that means about Babich's future remains to be seen, but it's hard to imagine that even with Lovie's tremendous loyalty he would want to keep a defensive coordinator whose responsibilities he feels he has to take over.

And Smith's seemingly increased role in the defensive coaching certainly bodes well going into a game against a team whose offensive strength plays so strongly to our earlier-season defensive weakness. That is, if we can keep up our dominant run defense, and our passing defense improves to slightly above average, we could be set for this game.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jared Allen. Great guy.

"When I first got hit I thought it was done," Allen told KFAN's morning show. "It didn't feel too well. After the pain subsided then the anger took over. All I could think of was, 'I'm not going to let them cart me off this field.' I have a rule [that] I'm going to have to be dead before you cart me off that field. Then I got up and I was so mad, I figured if my season is over that dude's season is over as well. I'm taking him with me. Luckily it worked out all right, and I was able to come back and play."

I admit, I'd feel a little differently if it were a member of the Bears saying this. But whatever. Jared Allen should get fined for saying something like this. Hell, he should maybe even be suspended. He just admitted he went at a guy with the intention of ending that guy's season! How is that possibly an okay thing?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is there still hope? (I don't know)

Once again, the Bears came out and looked, for the most part, like the better version of themselves. Turner pretty much shut down the offense for the second half, maddeningly, for no good reason. But the defense kept Jacksonville out of the entire game, and for most of the game looked pretty dominant. And before Turner decided that he'd rather be napping than calling the game, the offense looked effective. So, hurray.

And then the Vikings barely managed to beat the Lions. Stupid Lions. Stupid, stupid Vikings. Of course, they lost Frerotte to a back injury. They lost Allen to a knee injury. They still might lose the Williamses to their suspension this week. Which means, best case scenario:

Over three games in which the Bears play first New Orleans at home on Thursday, then GB (who's lost three in a row and is done for the season) at home on a Monday night, followed by a trip down to Houston (who will be done for the season by then as well), while the Vikings have to travel to Arizona (who, with their great passing offense, will be fighting to still be in the race for a first-round bye), then host Atlanta (w/their strong passing offense, who will still be hoping to make first place in their division), and finally host the Giants, (who, with Eli Manning apparently deciding to live up to his namesake and with the type of defense that makes me jealous, have been the best team in the league for much of the season, but with their loss today and with Burress gone and with Jacobs getting hurt, might possibly be playing for home-field advantage going into the playoffs, but at least showed last year they're not the type of team who will shut it down going into the playoffs), the Bears have to win two more games than the Vikings--either we have to go 3-0 and the Vikings lose two of those games, or we could possibly still even make it if we win two games and the Vikes lose all three. And, frankly, I think either of those possibilities are quite likely. I mean, they certainly could happen. And if there ever was a team you needed to count on to choke, that team is the Vikings.

So, here's hoping. Choke, you suckers.


I have to admit, at this point I've pretty much lost all my faith in this team. I'm on my way out to watch the Jacksonville game, and I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Frankly, I don't really expect that I'm going to be watching a Bears victory today. I think the Bears should be able to win, but it's been a long time since I've seen the team I think the Bears should be. The team the Bears actually are has gone 2-3 over the last five games, with both of those victories coming over two of the absolute worst teams in the league. Two of the losses have been against the Vikings and the Packers, and in both games they got absolutely creamed. There's nothing about the team I've seen over the last five weeks that makes me expect very much. Depressing.

So I feel like I pretty much don't care about the game today, for the first time all year. Which is a pretty lame feeling. The Bears could win today, I think--I mean it's pretty likely they'll win today. And in all likelihood they'll still be effectively two games behind the Vikings with only three games to go. I normally try to be optimistic, because I think it makes being a fan more fun, but I just don't have the energy to put that optimism up for this team anymore. I'm still hoping for another epic collapse by the Vikings to put my team into the playoffs. But unless the Bears actually manage to finally turn their season around in the final four games, unless they go 4-0 and actually look good doing it, I don't see any reason to feel like they deserve to make it to the playoffs.

But, then, who am I kidding. There's still a chance we could get the NFC North title! And I fucking want that. C'mon, you slags! Show us what you got!

Friday, December 05, 2008

fucking bullshit

The federal judge delaying the suspensions today is ridiculous. The language of the bargaining agreement is very clear and the players took a supplement that was neither listed as ok or not ok due to lack of regulation, thus taking said supplement is an unnecessary personal risk and deserves to be punished. The stay of suspension is clearly just a move to help the Vikings make the playoffs and not lose a bunch of money. Its fucking stupid!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Nothing is sitting well about last night.

Because of last night, I hate the Vikings more than I ever have. It's hard to really hate Adrian Peterson, because I just really appreciate good running backs, but now he's on my shit list. I can never be happy about anything he does ever again. In fact, I hope he never has a good game for the rest of his career (fat chance... but still... one can hope). Much easier to hate is Jared Allen and his dumb-ass calf-roping celebration. St. Clair has done a good job all year--except against Jared Allen. Which is all the argument you would ever need for not even considering him to start the position next year. Chris Williams better be everything he's advertised to be--and he better fucking shut Jared Allen down. I never want to see that stupid calf-roping celebration again. I hope Allen sprains his arm doing it some day...

Beyond all that. Getting burned by Berrian is just about the most pathetic thing to have happened all season. He is just not that good of a receiver, and karma should be punishing the Vikings for paying too much that skinny fucker. Why wasn't Tillman shoving Berrian around at the line all night? That's all you have to do and he becomes completely worthless. Ugh.

Anyway, I know that our chances to make the playoffs are not completely shot yet, but, at this point, we certainly don't deserve to make it to the playoffs, but if the Williams guys get suspended (which they fucking better--if they don't, the league is just making an exception for them because of recognizing how important they are to the Vikings; but the rules, even if they're dumb, are explicit; Metcalf got suspended for the same reason for four games) and if we can just take care of business against some mediocre teams (hardly a foregone conclusion given how we've played all season), well, there's a still a pretty darn good chance of us making the playoffs over the Vikings--which, at this point, is all I really want. Yeah, we'll get creamed in the playoffs by whatever legit team we play, but I don't care; I just want us to go to the playoffs over the Vikings. Because I hate the Vikings. And they don't deserve to go to the playoffs ever.

I've already started thinking about what the team needs to do to get better for next season. But I don't wanna be thinking about that yet. There'll be plenty of time for that in about five or six weeks...