Fast Forward to January 23, 2011.
Chris Berman, on ESPN: "Good evening, football fans all around the country.
Nothing could have prepared the sports world today for this unimaginable NFC Championship
game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Tommy, how did this happen?
Tommy Jackson: "Right you are
Chris. All season long, we were prepared
to have one of the favored teams like the Falcons, the Super Bowl Champs
Saints, the Cowboys or certainly the NY Giants, in this position. Yet, here we are in the middle of January, on
the brink of the Super Bowl, in this frigid tundra along Lake
Michigan, with a wind chill factor of - 5 below zero. I suspect the fans are only hoping for the
fog to roll in.
Chris Berman: That was quite a
playoff game, Tommy, as all Bears fans recall.
The Norris Division, the Black and
Blue Division, which I've always had a sweet spot in my heart for, will
entertain us again today, in what has become the NFL's longest, fiercest
rivalry. Get ready for what some thought
could never happen this year. Hold on to
your hats, and whatever else you've got to keep you warm!
Tommy Jackson: And the winner goes to
weather that is much more conducive to our fans, and our sponsors, which is
featuring a mesmerizing half-time show
with no wardrobe malfunction. Who is
favored here today, Chris? At this
point, I see a lot of green and yellow in the stands, since many cheeseheads
simply drove down from Green Bay,
and purchased thousands of tickets through the usual unsavory channels. And may
I add, both teams are used to playing with these types of conditions.
Chris Berman: Well, Tommy, these
teams were 1- 1 during the season, with only one score separating the winner
and loser. But I'd have to say, as
usual, turnovers and the play of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, will determine
this outcome. While Bear fans are hoping
for a home field advantage here, we've said all along to their faithful, for
the last two weeks, when we saw that this match up could actually happen: Be Careful What you Wish For."
Rewind to January 14, 2011
"Wouldn't it be great to have the
Packers come into Soldier Field and play for a trip to the Super Bowl!"
Hey Folks! Back to some reality
please. Are you nuts? Are you out of your f....ng mind? All I want to see is Aaron Rodgers done,
over, & gone from this year's playoffs.
I care NOT to see any more yellow and green flying around my flat screen
TV. I want the Falcons to simply take
them out, period.
Too many bad memories, too many bad feelings, too many depressing weeks have
gone by in my life, seeing the Packers beat our Bears, no matter how close the
This is encoded in my memory: Packers
need to lose, period.
So don't talk to me about the reality of playing in Soldier Field instead of
in the Atlanta Dome. I know what logic
is, but at this point in my life, emotions rule over logic when it comes to the
Packers and the Bears, period. And frankly, the Bears came a few seconds away from beating the Falcons when we last visited them.
And by the way, folks! Stay in the
present please! We have a game to play
on Sunday vs. Pete Carroll and his mature, well- tuned QB. Make no assumptions about the outcome. Are your memories too far gone about that Carolina playoff game,
with Smith running for multiple catches and TDs?
Well, this South Side Sports Chick is in the present, hearing Chris Berman's
most famous phrase: "And that's why they
play the games." And that's why my
brothers gave my family their 4 season's playoff tickets for Sunday's game. Cause they know their little sister and her
family have lived 2,000 miles away all these years, and are ready to bring a
Bears' win home. We'll do that with our
defense and running game.
Which is what my father, Zozzy, and I lived for, and why I am careful to wish for a good night's sleep this Sunday night, brought to us by : a Bears win and a Packer's loss. Neurological encoding rules the day, and our
passions. And I love it. And you should too.