CHICAGO - On Monday, most of the National Football League celebrated the end of a tumultuous lockout.
That's at least everybody except Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith.
Smith spent the day misusing two challenge flags that will hinder the Bears from any challenges in their first game.
"I saw an opportunity to reward my guys for their hard work on ending the lockout. I had a dream last night that featured a fumble that clearly came out before the knee went down...and I also saw a player fall a good two feet short of the first down line...I just couldn't help myself. Football season has begun...and I want me some challenge flag action!"
Smith was only 4 of 9 last season using the challenge flag. His career success rate is the worst in the NFL.
Former vice president of NFL officiating and current Fox analyst Mike Pereira couldn't believe Smith's challenge.
"I'm not sure he realizes that there aren't any games this week. NFL headquarters in New York City found two challenge flags outside of their office late Monday. Apparently, Lovie was standing there waiting for somebody to open the door so he could throw the flags in their face...I'm not sure we have a rule for that, but just to stop any future stupidity we had to flag him."
When asked if Smith regrets his decision to throw the flags, the head coach got defensive.
"Whenever you have an opportunity to change the game, you have to take that opportunity. I saw two plays during a dream, I felt the ruling was wrong, I wanted to let the NFL know where I stood...plus, you need to set the tone; game or not...and I did. I set the tone. Now pardon me, I have to go find a player with potential from Abilene Christian."
The Bears will report to training champ in Bourbonnais on Friday.
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