I was born in Harvey, Illinois, but was raised and spent the first 18+ years of my life on the south side of Chicago. 86th and Champlain (Chatham) and 70th St (South Shore) to be exact. I love my city like you wouldn’t believe, and happen to think it’s the greatest city on the planet. (I’ve been to NYC and thought it was too crowded and dirty, and LA seemed too…LA for me) I’m a big city boy, but because of my Midwestern upbringing, I’d like to think humility is a bigger part of my personality than it would be if I grew up in the two cities/regions that I just mentioned. Chicago is called the “Second City”. I’ve heard that this is because it’s perceived as the country’s second-best city behind New York, and because it was rebuilt after an immense fire destroyed the “original” (thanks, Billie). Either way, I don’t care. I’ve never referred to Chicago as second in anything, and I won’t start, regardless of what historians may say. Some feel that Chicagoans have an inferiority complex because of that horrible label, and I agree, to an extent. I happen to think it has more to do with the Midwest’s image: boring, boring, and boring. I’m here to tell Chicagoans–actually, Bears fans–to stop whining about getting no respect.
Decades ago, sports were just that…sports. Now, because of laziness, YouTube, and ESPN, sports is viewed as entertainment. It’s about Ochocinco making an ass of himself by dancing (literally dancing) in the endzone after a score, Tiger Woods and his mistresses, and trash-talking between athletes and teams that is reported to us by reputable journalists. SportsCenter does almost as much to tell its viewers about Patriots WR Wes Welker shooting subtle jabs at Jets coach Rex Ryan as it does in previewing a matchup between two teams. SportsCenter is biting the style of TMZ because, in 2011, controversy sells more than substance.
Somehow, most Bears fans don’t get this. Young, old, male, female, diehard, bandwagoner; they’re oblivious to why the Bears don’t receive that much praise. I’ll help those of you who are dumbfounded: THE BEARS ARE BORING. Think about it. Do you think people like homers or no-hitters more? Shootouts or defensive struggles? Goals or shutouts? The Bears are as about as vanilla as it gets. The trade for Cutler slightly removed them from the “3 yards and a cloud of dust” era, but over the last half of the season, they’ve committed more to getting off of the bus running. Forte isn’t Chris Johnson, and at times, it’s hard to watch the Bears methodically move down the field. That strategy doesn’t exactly endear itself to praise from “analysts” and “experts”, even if it’s effective. Besides running the ball, this Bears D isn’t very exciting, either. The Cover 2 allows for many receptions, and when it comes to pass D, fans are excited by sacks and interceptions; two things the Bears aren’t at the top of the league in.
This Bears team isn’t the ’85 Bears team, people. This might be borderline blasphemous, but that ’85 team was…well…um…douchey. If the Jets made a CORNY ASS “RAP” VIDEO about going to the Super Bowl before the playoffs started, Bears and NFL fans would be calling them every name in the book. That ’85 Bears team milked their time in the spotlight like no other professional team in the history of sports. People around the country loved them because they were brash and “entertaining”. Fans weren’t too focused on their stout defense or superstar running back. They wanted to see a show. If the 2010 Bears were a movie, they’d be one of the most boring flicks you could think of. There’s nothing wrong with that, but again, sports is perceived as entertainment more than ever.
Cutler is bland, and so is Urlacher. Briggs isn’t quite as boring, but he’s not exactly exciting, except for his post-big play celebrations. Lovie Smith just might be the least interesting man in the world. The only exciting thing about this Bears team is Devin Hester, and he wows us and other NFL fans only a handful of times a season.
Basically, I’m telling all of you Bears fans who complain about the Bears not getting enough respect to just shut the hell up. It doesn’t bother me that the Bears aren’t America’s team. Not one bit. The Cowboys are America’s team, and they haven’t enjoyed the same success that the Bears have over the last decade. Bears fans should be happy that the Monsters of the Midway are one win away from the Super Bowl. Stop crying because Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth aren’t giving the Bears Lewinsky. There are only four NFL franchises left with a chance to win the Super Bowl this year, and the Bears are one of them. Just sit back, get drunk, and enjoy that the Bears are where they are.
P.S. I miss Karen and the Moondance Woman!!!
P.P.S. The only thing I like about the DMV is Rachel Jada Watford.