I don't apologize for it either. Lovie Smith spends a lot of time discussing the fourth phase of the Chicago Bears. The fans. The city of Chicago and those of us that love this organization around the country. The fourth phase was brilliant from the start of this embarrassing Bears performance. They seemed to relish the conditions. They stood and cheered on third downs, attempting to rattle Tom Brady. Unfortunately for Lovie Smith, the fourth phase was the only phase that attended today's football game.
So after the half, I left. Not because my body was cold. Not because I had somewhere else to be. Not because I had work the next morning. I left - along with most of the rest of the stadium - as an act of defiance. If fans who do nothing but love a team can brave the elements for the shear joy of cheering, the team could at least throw them the bone of playing hard. Of showing up. Of making all four quarters meaningful. Some people stay for every minute no matter what. I don't. I need effort to applaud.
They did not provide that. I don't know why. There were thrills and cheers around Soldier Field around 3:00 CST. People were celebrating. It had nothing to do with the Bears. It was the end of the Lions v. Packers game - an outcome that means the Bears can almost clinch a playoff berth with a win in Minnesota next week. The Patriots routed the Bears today and clinched theirs. The Patriots had the better coaches. The Patriots had the better players. The Bill Belichick Patriots were the Bill Belichick Patriots. The Lovie Smith Bears were the Dave Wannstedt Bears.
So I left after the ugly, worthless first drive of the second half for the Bears. This Bears team is going to end up in the postseason. The postseason where the spotlight is always bright. I hope they learn to handle those moments better. They have a month.