Freshman Biology at Bowen High School, taught Suzie Fox and I that wounded animals either seek refuge to die, or fight back. Not only have our Chicago Bears played as if they were dying a slow death, of late, but their lack of leadership and offensive play have looked as bad as the Rickets family letting Ryne go to Philly.
Animals have an intense survival mechanism. Especially when cornered, with enough life in them, they become desperate, defensive, and at times, quite aggressive. Any resemblance to our Chicago Bears this week?
The media has been none to friendly, both locally and nationally, to our down and out offense. They've been shot at, buried 6 ft. under, thrown under the bus, and wounded badly, even by us fans (this one included, I confess). Not only did the Vegas Bookies count them out, but everyone had Favre, Chilly, & Zigi kissing and making up after their come-from-behind win v. Arizona. All is good, Mr. Wrangler man. Just do your thing and all the boys will keep playin' for you, & only you (can't be playing for Chilly, cause he is a home grown Chicago guy).
The Vikings and Favre were reading to sail the North Sea in their traditional "Dragon Ships," right into Soldier Field, and perform another expected conquest, ending with a dagger in the heart.
But our Bears were only down, not out; scraped egos, but not unconscious. We were determined; we had fight; we were licking our wounds, but not going into hibernation. We were desperate, hungry to keep battling, aiming to fight the battle against our Napoleon. This was going to be OUR Waterloo, not theirs. The pundits were writing their Sunday night columns before the 3rd quarter. Well, we Bears made them work overtime, as we pounded Favre in regulation time.
By 4pm, Sunday, the Bears were struttin' again. Devin did his thing, with a new haircut to go in place with a new identity, as kick return king. The offensive line was 'BAAAACK", giving Cutler time to set and throw to 10 receivers in the game. Even Aromashadu got in the mix - something that Martz needs to look at more closely. The D did their usual, with 4 interceptions, methodically and rapidly, holding Peterson to 51 yards on 17 attempts, and forcing Favre to scramble in the elements.
My only regret was that the schedule had Favre coming to town in early November, instead of the end of December, where he just loves playing v. Urlacher in the Soldier Field elements. Our frozen tundra is the best place for QB's like these.
In the end, the special teams, sensible play calling, best record on 3rd downs all season (57%), and simply achieving what we expected: not "over - achieving", but just doing it right, all won out. Being determined and fighting back allowed our role players, Kellen Davis and Rasheed Davis, to show the football Gods that we are alive and well, thank you.
At his postgame interview, Favre looked like the wounded warrior on his last leg. 'I'm glad I came back." Right. Just look at his face and demeanor. It was as if he was writing his own epithet somewhere in those responses. Maybe if he had shown up earlier to training camp, instead of shooting Wrangler commercials, he would have had enough reps with all his receivers, instead of blaming Bernard for being out with an injury. You're done Brett. It's only your ego that keeps Tavaris on the bench, along with Chilly's anxiety and Zigi's pocketbook.
Take responsibility Buddy, Your gun-slinger mentality finally get to you? The Bears showed up in every phase of the game. This is what happens when you play away from your comfy dome, out in the elements. Can't handle the heat, the cold, the wind, or opposing fans? That's what REAL football is about - OUTSIDE games. Next up are your Packers. I'm smiling with glee, as much as Jason Garrett and Michael Vick are. Sweet, real sweet.
As for our Bears: As much as you played beyond what was expected last Sunday, get ready for Miami. Remember the last time you visited this coveted city IN 2006? This South Side Sports Chick is telling the coaching staff: WE'LL NEVER FORGET! Can Lovie actually allow his memory to reflect on sitting Thomas Jones, while letting Grossman pass away, in the rain, no less? That's as bad as Shanahan, trusting this same guy to do a 2 minute drill with success. Right. These two coaches have more in common than I thought.
The Dolphins are wounded animals right now - and fight back they will. Look in the mirror, guys, cause they are where you were just 5 days ago. You can't assume Tyler Thigpen won't be doing hundreds of reps this week to Brandon Marshall, or that JaMarcus Russell will be handing off. Our old buddy Al Harris will shore up their defense, so be ready for Tony's defense. Florida fans will be loud, since football is king of the hill in this red state. Even LeBron and Co. aren't providing their fans with anything to cheer about.
So my recommendation? Keep up with that mentality of the wounded warrior. Show Anita Bryant that her oranges can be frozen out on any night of the season. Let's get our Chicago snowbirds out there to cheer you on. Fly down for an early weekend retreat. Open those condos a month early - show your spirit with your orange and blue.
As for me Thursday night? Bummer - MAJOR Bummer. I teach Mental Health Treatment to my graduate students Thursday nights from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm. And we're covering Psychotic Disorders this week. Trust me, I'll become delusional if the Bears win. I'll hope to have auditory hallucinations as my kids text every score to my cell phone throughout the lecture. Last year at this time, our usual 15 minute coffee break coincided with Cutler being intercepted in the end zone v. the 49ers at the end of the game. I had a quick dissociative experience, while my Sacramento State students cheered in the hallways (away from this professor's view).
So I'll always remember Suzie Fox's notes - and recall how Ms. Biagini lectured us on every animal's will to fight back and live, under some of the most profound circumstances. And that's how I see Ryno this week. He's off to Lehigh Valley in Allentown, PA, where my husband grew up. Good for Ryno. Sooner or later, he'll be back at the Friendly Confines, only in a red and white uniform, to do the Cubbies in. Sweet. Real Sweet.