Welcome to 2009

It was December 29th 2002. 

I sat on a bar stool at the Boathouse in Belmar, New Jersey with a cold bottle of Coors Light in one hand and my head in the other.  Over the course of the evening I had become the first fan in the history of the establishment to apologize to patrons.  Not for my drunken behavior, mind you, but for my quarterback.  Henry Burris had started for the 4-11 Chicago Bears that night against the Tampa Bay Bucs and worked his ass off to get the team to 4-12.  Scrambling like a mental patient, four interceptions...etc.  It was the saddest day I'd ever had as a Bears fan.  Not because of the significance of the loss (there was none) but because I was embarrassed to love a club that started a guy this terrible at a position this important.  Embarrassed to love the team I'd spent most of my life sneaking into shady Jersey sports bars to watch play.

In ten days, at that stadium in the city over there, those same Chicago Bears will place under center one of the best quarterbacks in the sport.  Argue against that statement if you'd like but I don't want to hear it.  Why?  Because Bears fans are ten days away from a season wherein they will never - not once in sixteen weeks - be out-manned at the quarterback spot.  To most of us, that means the world.  To some of us, that is the world.

So with the next game played by the Chicago Bears being a real game, I'm taking a moment to ponder what has been and what may be.  To remember the interceptions, fumbled snaps and unnecessary sacks while relishing the possibly-hoisted Lombardi trophies, prospective MVP awards and Prime Cutler steakhouses.  This season will be different, no matter what the final result, because of #6.  Because of Jay Cutler.  Every one of us will remember this season because this season will be his first.

And I, for one, can't wait.  Lace em up, kids.  It's Packer Week. 

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  • First?!?

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    I'm pretty stoked too. It will be an interesting year, I think.
    The window for many of the vets I've come to love over the years (Olin, Brian, Dez) is closing, and it would be good to win one *this year*. Bear down!

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Winning this year will depend on how long the offense can maintain their drives to keep the defense off the field and somewhat rested.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Great post Jeff. I didn't think about Henry Burris after reading that - I thought about the incredible amount of energy we expended arguing incessantly and with great passion about Rex Grossman vs. Kyle Orton vs. Brian Griese - arguments that brought out the worst ugly in us - and cost us some longtime posters (PO'd r.i.p.). And now we have to look back and just laugh at ourselves, don't we? I understand, we're passionate fans who have to play with the cards we're dealt - but we got into fight-to
    -the-death matches over which was better, the 2 of clubs or 2 of diamonds or 3 of hearts.

    Gentlemen, may I introduce you to...

    The Ace of Spades

    FEELS GOOD, DON'T IT????????

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Lemmy is our quarterback?

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    No disgrace with Emory Morehead, Ghost. HE served the Bears well.

    More laughs from Dick Jauronstadt and the Buffalo Bills. Apparently "The Turk" just visited "Turk" and the Bills have fired offensive coordinator, Turk Schonert.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/bills/2009-09-04-schonert-fired_N.htm

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Wait. Since when did Jauron start firing offensive coordinators? We begged for him to can Shoop for three fucking years?

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Now to other things... Kevin Jones is brittle. I'm sorry to say that he is apparently not going to be any kind of long term backup answer. And I agree with Shady that Adrian Peterson is okay to go into the season with as backup - he'll benefit from this better run-blocking line and The Ace of Spades just as Forte will, and he's Superman when it comes to durability. I don't think the Bears will go to the waiver wire, but I actually think they should. I look at the Cowboys with their embarrassment of riches of Barber, Felix Jones and Choice (not that I'd take any of those over Double Deuce), and I think how great could we be with a significantly better than average backup. But you can't have everything.

    Can't wait to see Jackass on the Sat afternoon replay, didn't even know they were playing last night. From your descriptions, I hope he gets to work himself into a prominent role.

    Still hope Rideau gets a shot.

    Nice quote from Lance - asked fill in the blank - "Packers..."

    He said the only response possible

    "SUCK!"

    From everything I hear about the Packers this year, that one's gonna be a barnburner of an opening game!

    CAN'T WAIT!!!

    BEAR DOWN AMERICA!!!

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    HELLLL YEAHHHHH!!! BEAR DOWN!!!!

    Oh and Coors Light = Miller Lite = Bud Light....all fermented rice water. Treat yourself to a local craft brew!

  • In reply to Perno:

    Or a non-local craft brew, for that matter

  • In reply to Perno:

    We should instead change it to:

    Kevin Jones has just bought a new condo in the new Dusty Dvoracek row home development. This complex has been on sale for 4 years but continually has construction issues and looks like it won't live up to the beauty of the architectural plans.

  • In reply to Perno:

    Dvoracek should be nicknamed "The Spire". Essentially, a hole we threw money in that never developed.

    Anyone else concerned about the field after the U2 show, they will have a whole week to get it ready for the home opener (which I just found out I am going to, and am very excited about that)...but concerts usually tear up the grass pretty bad...

  • In reply to Dmband:

    maybe they can just paint the dirt green like in the 90's

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Poor, poor Bobby Wade...prick.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/09/04/bobby-wade-takes-a-pay-cut-to-keep-job/

  • In reply to Dmband:

    http://www.bearshistory.com/lore/chicagobearsquarterbacks.aspx

    "That's awl I have to say about tha-at."

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I'm flexible, Johnny, but I think DUSTY DVORACEK DRIVE has a nice ring to it, no?

    Ghost, you could have saved some letters on that Jersey and just gone with HILL. 87 was HARLON HILL's #.

    Excellent reference, AfroCelt. Roy Taylor's site is absolutely outstanding! Alas, it only goes back to when Taylor was 8 years old and it doesn't convey the QB angst that fans of my age had to suffer through the likes of Larry "One FANTASTIC game" Rakestraw, Virgil "Chickenbleep" Carter, Bobby "I shoulda been a linebacker or tight end" Douglass and Gary "Another Florida State QB bust" Huff.

    Tank McNamara is still taking shots at Narcissus:

    http://www.uclick.com/client/spi/tm/2009/09/04/index.html

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Hey Jeff. The Boathouse in Belmar NJ? Yo baby, that's right down the street from where I live. We got to hook up now that we can proudly wear our jersey's (mine's Butkus of course)and go nuts over DA Bears. I've been a diehard Bears fan(In NJ no less) since I was 10 years old 1966.Dick Butkus is a god to me. No linebacker ever layed WOOD on ballplayers like Richard Marvin Butkus did, period. Cutler has changed my approach to fall Sunday's forever. Now I too can forget the likes of Bobby Douglas(I forgot play.. Run)Jon Quinn, Moses Moreno. Awful! Cutler Steakhouses are going to be huge! Bear Down. Crush GB.

  • In reply to tkfay:

    Butkus remains the epitome of linebacker awesomeness. No one else can touch him.

  • In reply to tkfay:

    Bears have come a long way since Cade McNown was our "hope" in 1999.

    Or the dynamic trio of Jonathon Quinn, Craig Krenzel, and Chad Hutchinson (and that was just 2004).

  • In reply to tkfay:

    I think my all time favorite was Rick Mirer. They gave a 1st Round pick for that guy and he threw no touchdowns and six interceptions in 6 or 7 games.

  • In reply to tkfay:

    Flyer, I'll be down there for a game in September, I believe. As for old posters, they'll be back when the season starts. PO'd I reached out too, not sure where that'll end up.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    He gave the site a lot of character...I didn't always agree with him, but appreciate that he never minced his words when it came to his Bears opinions. I hope he reconsiders.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    best Madden cover pic ever....

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/madden%2010%20cutler/Ghettoshark08/Madden%20NFL%2010/Chicago%20Bears/JayCutler360.png

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Thats a great point Jeff. There has to be more to this story, most likely involving TO.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    love this article good work, btw Henry Burris is still playing football, but in the Canadien league, did u know the only NFL team he actually played for was the Bears in 2002. what a shame. I wish Hanie got a shot last season, he looks like he could be something in this league, but might not ever get a shot.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I think Hanie will get a shot, without question, and this is the best place for him. He can sit behind a very good player, with a similar style of game, and learn. He'll get tons and tons of reps in preseason (and hopefully mop-up, late season stuff). At best, he becomes the Bears Frank Reich...or Steve Fuller...at worst, Jim Sorgi.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Wow. Dan Buenning is gone. Lance Louis to make the team? Crazy.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    The debate is over. Rideau is going to be waived. So is Rod Hood. Odd. He must have really stunk it up the two day he was there.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I'm following on DaBearsBlog Beat Tweets!!! It's working!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Rideau is a slightly stronger slightly taller, but less fast Aromashadu. He reminds me of an "AAAA" baseball player; he's borderline dominant against second teamers, but can't do squat against the first teams.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    McClove, Malast, Rivera gone.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    "..but when the smoke had cleared away the mighty HOOD was gone".

    Is Cutler REALLY the Madden cover boy? Beacuse that thing has a history of "injury curse" written all over it!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    rideau gone

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    check out my latest memory article http://www.bearsbacker.com/2009/09/2001-chicago-bears-remember-this/

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Don't know how i feel about Rideau being cut with Davis making the team. We really are putting this all on Jay's shoulders aren't we?

    Davis is the Mike Green of the offense. If it weren't for the Bears he wouldn't even be in the league yet we will cut guys or won't bring in FA's that could help Jay and the offense be better.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I'm still pissed at Lovie for K.Jones but i'm still excited for the season.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    So are the starting corners Bowman and Vasher? Is Bowman still hurt? Are we going to bring in any other corners now that Hood is gone?
    I already texted my wife and told her that if Trumaine McBride is playing in a significant amount of situations this year i will immediately black out at the beginning of every game. He is the Rashied Davis of the defense who is the Mike Green of the offense...and yaddah yaddah yaddah...Kevin Bacon.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I'm having bad flashbacks reading some of these comments. Moreno, Burris, Quinn... these guys were supposed to be the under-the-radar saviors--as opposed to the "obvious" potential in McNown, Mirer, Grossman... (though I was against that Mirer trade from the moment I caught wind of it)

    Though I still think Grossman could've been good, had the Bears gotten a competent coach to develop him. I believe that had the Packers picked Grossman (like they were intending to), he would've turned out at least as good as Rodgers has.

    One thing that bugs me when people say, "The Bears haven't had a QB since [McMahon or Luckman, take your pick]" is that they completely forget about Kramer, who did a great job throwing to... Bueller? Really, he had jack for targets, but did really well. And he was an under-the-radar guy who only got noticed because of how well he did against the Bears.

    Mike Green... jeez, I'm glad that guy is gone. Chop off Green's legs and graft 'em onto Mike Brown, and then you've got a safety. Brown is a great player and a terrific presence on the field, but I swear, his tibias and fibulas are held together with the same stuff they use to keep the turf looking so good at Soldier Field.

    I don't know why McBride gets a roster spot. Give that spot to Rideau, and convert Davis back to DB. The only time I want to see Rashied Davis on the field this year is ST. And even then, he'd better be the Ace, because he's approaching Bobby Wade levels of suckitude.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I thought about Harlon Hill. I really did. But I had to go with an '85 Bear. I hope you can understand, Al.

  • In reply to Perno:

    Some of us old posters are still here.... I just dont post as much because i'm annoyed by having to reset my password as much...

    ....anyway, well said Jeff. Now it truely is Packer week....

    KJ going down is a disapointment. Have u guys seen Hard Knocks? The Bengals are having to choose from 5 guys. They are only keeping three. So between DD Dorsey, Brian Leonard, and Bernard Scott, 2 of them will be free agents tomorrow....

    ....Cincinatti is one of many teams with that kind of depth at RB. I like our version of AP, and Garrett, but i think we can find our depth elsewhere if KJ is really hurt.

    In the mean time, maybe this gives us a chance to keep one of our bubble boys we weren't %100 on...

  • In reply to Perno:

    My all time favorite former bears QB moment has to be Jonathan "concrete shoes" Quinn. After a game, and I dont recall which one, Quinn was walking off the field and a fan in the stands literally was standing up and flicking him off, and the Sun Times put in on thier back page unedited. Awesome.

  • In reply to Perno:

    Amen. If Jay Cutler takes us to a Super Bowl (or four) and wins it, two things will happen. The Luckman Curse will officially be broken and I will buy my very first Bears QB jersey and hang it proudly next to Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Mike Singletary, and Emory Moorehead (it used to be a Muhsin Muhammad jersey my wife bought for me, so I tore "Muhammad" off and replaced it with Moorehead).

    I'm excited about Packer Week. We only get two of them a year, unfortunately. And last year we blew one of them. Recently the Bears are always on their A-Game in Primetime. I think we can whip the piss colored pants off these arrogant Vince worshipping maniacs. Bear down!

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Phil, not all old posters are gone. I still read everything Jeff has to write, and everything anybody else in the world writes on Da Bears. I still draft 3 Bears players on my fantasy team despite its often harmful effect on my chance of cashing. So I'd guess PO'd is still around too. I cant wait for the 13th. Bear Down.

    PS. Jeff, I had bedbugs in my NYC apt about 2 mos ago. What a nightmare that is. Hope you are over them.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    I dunno...if you saw the way Jones rolled his ankle last night, I'd say most guys would have sprained an ankle. He does have a history of injuries though, so the 'brittle' argument is probably true to a degree. However, if runs hard the way he did last night when he comes back, he will be a valuable back up if he stays on the field. Let's just hope he doesn't try to leap for an extra half yard near the sideline anytime soon...put your shoulder down and fight for it, but don't throw yourself in the aire like that, you are begging guys to take a hit.

    Someone please tell me why Soldier Field continues to have terrible turf? It seems like every year, it just sucks. I don't get it.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    I've held off posting through the pre-season as a kind of collective holding of my breath through possible injuries and bad karma. The injury to KJ is a blow, but a glancing one at that. If Kevin Payne is ok, then we've come through the first 4 fake games ahead of the curve. Great post Jeff, I too am looking at this year as a kind of re-birth of my beloved Bears and savoring everything this season could hold for us. One thought, would picking up a Warrick Dunn make sense for us? As far as the 53 goes, I've said since the draft(look it up if you want) that Johnny Knox could be special, because he's not only blessed with amazing speed and quickness, but he's a workout machine that is always looking to improve. He'll be the best piece of this draft class hands down. I'll be spending Sunday's down here in Dallas at my local Bear's Friendly watering hole watching our boys shock the world. BEAR DOWN!!!

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    BearDown1982 - it's funny to me that the Bears turf is this bad. I was in a grade school championship game at Soldiers Field in 1992 and get this...the field was so bad that parts were actually dirt that had been painted green to make it look like grass on TV. As an 8th grader my teammates and i had a fun time mocking the grounds crew as they repainted the lines on the field before the game. it was brutal!!! and awesome at the same time because it was soldiers field. Bears in the Playoffs hands down this year. Bring on GreenBay.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Sad to say, Kevin Jones has apparently taken up residence on "Mike Brown Boulevard", 2 houses down from recently released, Dusty Dvoracek. Don't see that Dallas has to think about cutting any one of their excellent 3-headed monster of Barber, F.Jones or Choice.

    Warrick Dunn? Hmmm, not a totally outrageous idea, I think.

    Jeff, you had to dig pretty deep into the pile of bad Bear QBs for Hall-Of-Shamer, Henry Burris. Wasn't he another CFL refugee that was going to be "next Jeff Garcia"?

    Here's one for you. How about the immortal Moses Moreno? If a guy named MOSES can't lead you out of the wilderness you KNOW you're deep doo-doo.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    I'm think we should officially retire the phrase "Mike Brown Blvd."

    Mike was actually productive and didn't miss a single game for 4 consecutive seasons. Dusty could get through 1 fucking season in 4 years and Kevin Jones may have played 12 games in a row at most in his whole career without getting hurt. Don't compare these shadows to MB.

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