This weekend, I will be making my way down the skyway to northwest Indiana where one of my lovely cohorts (Mr. Russell) is hosting a Bears game party. This party has been months in the making. Throngs of alumni from that magical university at the tip of Illinois will be showing up to relive days gone by...it shall be quite the time.
Unfortunately, this time of revelry was nearly thwarted by the ill decision from an out-of-towner. My wife's uncle is arriving for the Notre Dame/Michigan State battle on Saturday, and has decided to visit my father in law for a family gathering on Sunday.
One problem...the Bears play the Saints at noon in a much anticipated game. Months of planning by various friends is about to go down the drain due to an unlikely visit from somebody who is demanding a noontime brunch. Needless to say, he is the visitor...not the host. Everybody must change the schedules.
I have been waived of my duties by my wife and her family. My obligations towards my friends hath been given the green light, and thus, a crisis has been averted.
However, this whole issue has prompted me to give a brief speech on scheduling things during football season. So, here it goes:
There are 365 days during the year. The Bears only play 16 regular season games. Each game takes three hours long. That's 48 total hours out of 8,760 during a year. It should not be a problem for anybody to schedule anything within the available 8,712 hours.
Cubs and Sox games are negotiable. I can even DVR playoff games for the Bulls and Hawks...I can start watching them two hours after tip off and turn off my phone.
However...the Bears are a non-negotiable. The 16 games allotted to an NFL team shall not be infringed upon under any circumstances. You don't like football? Tough balls. Grab a Bears magnet schedule, post it on your fridge, and understand that you are going to be second billing for anything you schedule while the Bears play. Deal with it.
I have created a top 10 warning list for all non-football fans. Please adhere during the months of September-January. Thank You.
10. Check Thursdays
It's bound to happen. The Bears won't play a Thursday night game for two years and then, boom! Nobody should be surprised. If you had a game night planned with your neighbors or some other function, please cancel immediately. The Bears don't play a Thursday night game this year...count your blessings.
9. Family holidays need better scheduling
The Bears haven't played in a Thanksgiving game since 2004, however, this doesn't mean the Bears don't play on holidays. This season, the Bears play the Packers on Christmas night. Nobody has Christmas dinner at 7 p.m. Going to a family function? Have it at 4, while people are awake, open presents at 6, and give a solid hour for one of the grandkids to injure themselves with one of their new toys. This gives ample time for everybody.
8. Out of towners dictating schedules
Oh, no you di'i'nt! This was my situation, above. You're a guest, my friend. And if that means your Patriots-loving ass has to sit through three hours of Chicago Bears football, then so be it. You like Antiques Roadshow? Kiss my rear. It's my house, my rules, and if you don't like it, go back home.
7. Church Functions
I understand. It's Sunday...You're all already there because you were just at the church service. Why not have the bake sale or Christmas Bazaar after church? It's easy for everybody! Hold on, kiddos. It ain't easy for some people...like us.
You'll notice that most Catholic churches have earlier start times than Protestant services. The reason being, is that most Protestant factions were anti-football, even in the north, during the early portions of collegiate football. The heavy immigrant ruled cities of Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia started churning out football players from Irish, Italian, Polish, and other Slavic enclaves. Within the northern cities, professional football started to gain support, and by the 50's had surpassed collegiate football in the north.
In the south, where Baptist and Methodists ruled, professional football hadn't arrived. Saturday was the king day for celebrating football (or your local SEC school). Sunday was a day of rest. Therefore, it wasn't a big deal in most Protestant-derived denominations to start services at 11 a.m. What else was there to do on a Sunday? Certainly not watch that violent football game with those hard-drinking immigrant thieves who have no morals and want to play a game on a Sunday of all days!
There's a reason why most Catholic churches in Chicago have start times of 7:30 or 8:00 a.m....it' s not because people like to wake up early. If mass ends at 9, you can have your bake sale from 9-11...and you'll still get home in time for the Bears game. If you go to any Catholic church in Boston, New York, Philly, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, or Milwaukee...this is the case.
So, if you have a church that keeps on pushing these festivals during fall...find a new church. Or just become Catholic, we're out by 9.
6. No kids sports league should have games on Sundays
This isn't just a football season thing. The family construct in our world is being slowly destroyed by people who have no respect for family time. Can't we all just have Sunday as a day of rest? Any park district that schedules activities on a Sunday should be ashamed of itself...sorry...I'm old school, I guess.
5. Household Chores
Dear family members. Do not come to me on a Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and tell me what I didn't do yesterday...you might've wanted to do that...I don't know...YESTERDAY! The chances I will immediately leave my chair and do what you say aren't small; they're non-existent. We need to work together on Saturday to make sure nothing becomes an issue on Sunday.
4. Matinee shows on Sundays
I understand. Getting tickets at Steppenwolf or the Goodman can be tough. However, there's a reason why those great tickets you found for that Sunday show were available. Most people aren't going...because they're watching football. Please think before buying.
3. Boy Scouts or Church Groups, Beware!
If you're running a boy scout troop or a church group, just make sure you pick a night other than Mondays to meet...it'll just make things messy.
2. Children's Birthdays
There are always a couple parents of your child's friends that couldn't give two damns about sports. My thoughts? Don't expect me to be there. I'm a horrible, horrible person...but maybe you should've thought about this.
1. Weekend Sales
The sale at the local appliance store is on Saturday and Sunday. We, as a family, need to make sure that these things are being taken care of on Saturdays. To walk up at 3 p.m. on Sunday and demand that we go to the store is unacceptable.
Phew. That felt nice. To the picks.
Wow. Last week was horrible. Jack was even worse. He threw his bottle at the TV screen when he realized Florida Atlantic wasn't going to stop the Michigan State train...by the way, Michigan State is something like 17-0 when I pick against them....plus, Jack's picks should show early Saturday.
Last Week: 2-4
NFL: 1-2 COLLEGE: 1-2
Last Week: 1-5
NFL: 0-3 COLLEGE: 1-2
Wisconsin (-17) at Northern Illinois
NIU is technically playing a home game at Soldier Field, however, there will be more Badger red in attendance. NIU will keep the game close, but Bielema, who is known for keeping the guns-a-blazin' even with his team up big, will pull UW away. I've got Wisconsin close at 20-13 after three quarters...then ending with a 34-13 win.
Miami (OH) at Minnesota (-4 1/2)
Coach has a seizure on the sideline, toughs it out, returns to field for the following Saturday...I'd feel uncomfortable going against Jerry 'The Miracle Worker' Kill. You will hear me talk about Jerry Kill 90,000 times this year. The man single handedly turned around one of the worst Division I programs at Southern Illinois and turned them into an FCS power. I can't tell you how bad the football program was...it was a joke. Never bet against Jerry. Minnesota 27, Miami 13
Northwestern (-6) at Army
Anybody else think this line looks weird? Persa is awaiting medical clearance to play. Northwestern is clearly the better team, with or without Persa. Most lines like this mean 'stay the f away'...but I have to take it.
Green Bay (-10) at Carolina
Huh? Are people that amazed by Cam Newton's performance? It's amazing that Pittsburgh can get a 14 point favorite listing after not showing up against Baltimore, while the Packers offense can do no wrong and only get 10...I think this is all Cam Newton bringing this line down. Expect the real Cam Newton to show up. Green Bay 34, Carolina 13
Kansas City at Detroit (-8)
It's been awhile where the Lions have been comfortably favored by more than a touchdown. The Lions are that good, and I think in their home opener it's going to show. Detroit 32, Kansas City 14
San Diego at New England (Over 53 1/2)
Did anybody see Tom Brady against Miami? Yikes! I expect the Chargers to be able to throw on the Pats' newly constructed secondary. New England 31, San Diego 27
Filed under: Uncategorized