As we head into another NFL Playoff weekend, a dark, gloomy cloud hangs over the Windy City, home of the loser Bears. As everyone knows, we didn't make it into the playoffs again - for six out of the last seven years we've been a no show. But who’s counting.
As a result My Sports Guy, a die-hard fan, has definitely been in a doom and gloom slump. This year it really hit him hard.
“Are you going to watch any of the playoffs, honey?” I gingerly asked him last weekend.
“What’s the point?” was his mumbled reply.
“Not even the Green Bay game? Maybe they will lose miserably and that would make you feel better, wouldn't it?” I attempted.
His eyes were glazed over and I knew what was coming next – the familiar “if only” rant:
“Damn it. We should have been in it. Then he verbally revisits a mental list of key screwed up plays made throughout the season that could have made a difference…IF ONLY….blah blah blah.
I am thinking, “Get over it already,” but instead I dutifully nod like a bobble-head doll in agreement.
Flashback to the Bears final game against the Packers:.
As it turns out – it is the culmination of the entire season - do or die – whatever team wins goes to the playoffs.
We are in California enjoying Christmas with family.
And as far as the game goes – not a problem – one would think. It’s a nationally televised game. Right?
Except for the fact that we are booked on a late afternoon flight back to Chicago and the network has now scheduled the game at 3PM Central time instead of 12 noon (10am California time).
“This is the most important game of the Entire Season and I might be on a bleeping plane for the 4th quarter,” he laments. I don’t believe this *#%@#$$%%*&^# My Sports Guy is livid.
Ewwwwww. Not good. (Remember the Blackhawk fan that I met and wrote about? He was on a delayed flight and missed the Stanley Cup victory game and it ruined his life?)
There is a group discussion and a grasping at straws about how if My Guy gets someone’s Direct TV code and buys the airline’s WiFi, we could see the game in the air. However, this plan seemed to have some loopholes that could offer no guarantees.
“We could change our flight, leave tomorrow?” He threw this out as a last resort.
“Seriously?” I questioned. “I have two words for you, honey. CHANGE FEES.” I said no more.
Resigned to the horror of it all, he is intensely focused on some pre-game NFL show, and the Talking Heads are breaking for a commercial…”And when we come back we’ll be taking a look at that crucial Bears-Packers game…,” they announce.
Just then, I glance at My Guy and realize he has – I kid you not – a raging bloody nose.
“I’ll get an ice pack. Put your head back,” I yell.
He doesn’t, of course. Too fixated on the TV. He jumps up and is within inches of the screen, blasts the volume and frantically blurts. “They’re going to talk about the Bears. Everybody quiet!”
So now, he is hanging on every word and prediction uttered by the Sports Soothsayers with a wad of bloody Kleenex stuffed up his nostril. I am googling "How to get blood stains out of a white carpet."
The ride to the airport is tense. Already into the 3rd quarter. Bears are winning. We get through security and he leaves me in the dust as he races to a bar next to our gate.
The Good News: We are able to see the fateful end of the fourth quarter before we board.
The Bad News: (of course) The Bears lose in the final seconds. The Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws a last minute touchdown bomb to take the lead. The game ends with Cutler throwing an interception.
Noooooooo. Noooooooo. The wail of the crowd of Bears fans huddled around the bar was ear piercing.
That was the end of the 2013 Bears and marked the beginning of Bears fans and my Sports Guy "Singing the Playoff Blues".
Interesting enough, post season, guess who is probably not singing the blues? That’s right – our now grinning (no longer pouting) quarterback, Jay Cutler, has signed a new contract for an outrageous $126 million over seven more years. Cha Ching.
No blues singing in the Cutler household. I envision Jay and his lovely bride Kristin (Cavallari) bouncing up and down on their king size bed covered with $100 bills (like in the movies after someone robs a bank) to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus.
Hey, it’s OK. As you know, I’ve been plotting to find a way to be Kristin’s BFF, and for all of us to be a fun foursome for some time now. Sadly, all of my friendly internet shout outs to the couple have been to no avail.
Now I have seven more years to work on it. It’s bound to happen.
So, Kristin, let’s go shopping. I’ll follow you around Neiman Marcus and help you carry your bags. Anytime. Call me.
And, Jay – you’re probably headed for a golf weekend at Pebble Beach. Why don’t you give My Guy a call. Take him with. He’s been pretty much down in the dumps lately. Playoff Blues.
You know how that is …or then again, maybe you don’t.
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