A Day Late . . .
Let's face it, Bears fans were getting a little full of themselves. My buddy, whom I shall call Hideki Matt Suey in accordance with Sports Writer Regulation 7.2 (The writer shall refer to all friends by goofy, invented nicknames), and I spent Monday trading e-mails about our excitement regarding watching Matt Leinert shed blood in high definition on Mr. Matt Suey's new plasma. Still, as we sat down to watch the game, I said that I had a really bad feeling about the game. "Yeah," he replied, "This team has crossed the threshold to full fledged arrogance."
And, it had. The Bears' players said all the right things, but you could see that they weren't as prepared, as focused, as they needed to be. The gap between the very best NFL team and the very worst NFL team is not that wide. Rex Grossman never adjusted to the Cardinals' approach of taking away the deep routes. Around the time of his third turnover I began contemplating what Grossman's trial would be like when it came out that he had taken money from gamblers. (These are the kinds of thoughts that only occur to a White Sox fan.)
Anyway, you all know what went down on the field. I left with the Bears down 23-10, having just turned the ball over again. As I left the building, Matt Suey leaned out a window and hollered, "Uh, you might want to come back up here." I returned to the replays of Brian Urlacher mugging Edge James (football is a cool sport because mugging is legal, despite the protestations of resident Seahawks fan, Scalia's Gavel).
A few minutes later, as Devin Hester walked into the endzone (did anyone think the punter with no freakin' face mask was going to make the game saving tackle?), I received 42 text messages in the space of 18 seconds. Most of them were virtually identical. "Ridiculous," said Mr. Koosed. "Wow," said Tank Purdy. Oddly, this was quite similar to the "professional" analysis on ESPN. "Unbelievable," said Joe Thees-man, right before Tony Kornheiser resumed his verbal fellatio of Matt Leinert.
There'll be plenty of time during the bye week to ask what this one game really tells us about the 2006 Chicago Bears. Everyone is saying that it should finally put to bed all of the comparisons to the 1985 Chicago Bears. First, why does everyone forget that the '85 Bears needed a miracle to beat a pretty crappy Vikings' team early in the year? Second, I care far more about comparisons to the 2006 Eagles and Chargers than to the 1985 Bears.
All of that is for later in the week though. For now, let's just look back with joy at remaining undefeated when we so clearly didn't deserve to. Football Outsiders hasn't finished the research yet, but the speculation is that no team has ever won a game in which it was so thoroughly outplayed. In fact, Mr. Koosed sent some follow up analysis this morning that I believe most proficiently breaks down what happened Monday night. "Ridiculous," he said.