Anxiety Disorders, 101.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Chicago Bears’ game today, in its 17 – 14 loss to the Redskins,
most definitely represents a variety of anxiety disorders, for the
entire organization:  from the players and coaches to the pinheads up
in the booths.  My profession, by day, expects me to know what these
terms describe:   “panic attack”,” phobia”, “obsessive-compulsive”,
“acute stress”, “post-traumatic stress”, and finally “generalized
anxiety.” While one can make a case for all of them in this week’s
blog, we’ll keep it basic (something the Bears have somehow forgotten).

What, you ask, is basic here?  I recall my 8th grade boyfriend, Philip,
playing football in the park on 87th and Jeffrey.  He was the QB in
pick up games, and just shouted to his teammates, “it’s easy, guys,
just catch the ball and hold on to it.”  

And that’s why we fans could be having our own panic attacks right
now:  a feeling often associated with impending doom.  6 turnovers with
2 in the red zone.   Still scoreless in the 3rd quarter for the entire
season.   (What IS going on in the locker room during half-time?) Only
two 3rd down conversions.  Unable to win against the Redskin’s 2nd
worst passing defense in the NFL.   With a national election nearing, 
Obama now has  more reasons than the Bears’ season, to feel ones heart
racing, with Karl Rove’s fund-raising. 

A phobia produces significant anxiety provoked by exposure to a feared
situation, often leading to avoidance behavior.  Wow!  I could write my
2nd dissertation on this one, as could any of you.  How many sacks can
a QB take in one season without protection?  How many concussions? 
Cutler continuing to throwing off his back foot, and as Jiggetts said
“stepping in the bucket,” where he can’t be accurate with the pass.
Receivers not cutting back up the field when Cutler is scrambling from
the pocket, desperate to find anyone open. Go ahead, try it. Nothing to
fear, really.  At least the NFL helmets don’t  stoop to the low
standards of  youth helmet safety, set in 1980, by the National
Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (whose board
members also produce & sell the helmets to cash-strapped schools).
So Jay, you’re protected well enough.  Sleep tight.  Nothing to fear. 
Don’t need that Klonopin, Xanax, or Ativan any time soon. 

We’ll close out this chapter with Generalized Anxiety:  persistent,
excessive anxiety, difficulty concentrating,  and worry.  What, me
worry?  (My sister, Marcia, and I would save our baby-sitting money for
our Mad Magazines every month.)  If we can’t ever convert for one yard,
if we have any doubt as to whether or not it’s time to throw the red
challenge flag, if we can’t trust our guys to play “Football 101”
(thanks, Jim), if we can’t expect our coaching staff to stay with the
plays that get us down the field successfully, (quick slants with 2
-step drops, rushing off-tackle), if we can’t even sign a decent 2nd
string QB when the CFL probably has a few good pickings, if we can’t
even take advantage of the stupendous effort by our defense, then
yeah:  I’d say we left our rational pre-frontal cortex on the steps of
Halas Hall, blitzed by our emotional responses. 

However:  with all that we Bears fans have to look foward to, on our
precious Sunday afternoons, can any of us really tear ourselves away
from, at a minimum, setting our games to record with our HD TV’s with
TIVO at hand?  NO – not this southsidesportschick.  Never. Ever.  It’s
football on Sundays, period.  Mike Singletary, where are you? 

So, back to Philip in 8th grade. Our guys from Warren grammar school at
91st and Jeffrey kept it simple, and held on to the football when we
played Luella grammar school, from the Manor. Frankly, I was so
envious, of  not being out there with the boys, getting muddy and
dirty, just because “boys” weren’t supposed to “tackle” girls back
then.  But honestly, Philip and I figured out how to tackle each other
at Rainbow Beach on Saturday night.  Much better, really, with the
waves from Lake Michigan and WLS providing all the music we needed.  

Before I sign off for a long work week ahead,  this baseball fan can’t be kept quiet. 

Yankees are done!  The Phillies are done! (My husband, from Allentown,
still has Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton in his mind.) It’s fabulous
that an east coast team is not represented in the oldest post – season
classic sporting event.  (Too bad for Fox ratings. Rupert Murdoch can
afford a few million less $, wouldn’t you say?)  And the best moment
was seeing Swisher batting .091 in last series.  Pitching and defense
win championships, right?  

I can only hope (or pray, as the Texas fan base does) that the Giants
win their first-ever World Championship.  They have the White Sox to
thank, in part,  for that:  letting Juan Uribe & Aaron Rowand go,
and finally:  Matt Thornton’s loss in the All -Star game this year. 
While at the time, I was bummed out (Buehrle did us proud in 2005), all
things come to a good end:  The Giants have home field advantage. 
Cliff Lee v. Tim Lincecum.  Benjie Molina v. Buster Posie.  The
baseball Gods must love this match up – he only did it for us.  I’ve
been to San Francisco for Halloween, & I’ll just say here, that
it’s something the Supreme Court  would not care to know about.  But
you’ll see it in this year’s fall classic in SF:  Orange and Black on
every fan for every home game. It will, at a minimum, keep us
distracted during this Bears’ Bye week – before this football season
goes bye bye.

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