(Picture courtesy of Megan S, SHYG-ite who was at the game)
I apologize for the common theme of the past few posts, but I'll be honest...I'm excited the Bears are in the Super Bowl. Here are some facts that we Bears fans need to be aware of. First, the bad news. There have been 7 different NFC champs in the last 7 years. Secondly, the Bears' schedule next year is unreal. We play San Diego, Kansas City, Denver, New York (Giants), Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Orleans, and Dallas, along with our conference plus Oakland. That's 7 playoff teams. We will likely win our division with a 9-7 record, but will not likely have any home games in the playoffs. Translation: we should enjoy this year because it might be another 20 years before we get back.
The good news: our defense is very good. Our running game is very good. Our quarterback is a winner, though sometimes erratic. The Colts also have a good team, but in my heart of hearts, I think a great defense with a strong offense will beat a great offense with a questionable defense. They also are terrible at kick returns, and we happen to have the best returner in the league. I don't think Hester will necessarily run one back, but he'll be a factor in giving us good field position. My prediction: Bears 24, Colts 16. (Of course we might also win 74-0, besting the biggest shutout margin in NFL history, a record currently held by none other than...Da Bears. But I'll stick with 24-16).
Here's the funny thing, though. I feel like the only way I'll be really grumpy after the game is if they pull an Ohio State and just get embarrassed. I know it's supposed to be "win or nothing" and all that, but I just feel like it's been an incredible season, and I could think of a lot of things worse than losing to Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, and especially Tony Dungy, after all he's been through. I would prefer to win, of course. And it would be sweet vindication for Rex Grossman and a Bears team that has been called "the worst 13-3 team ever." But a win would feel like a bonus to me, not like failure.
It is amazing that two coaches with such similar styles and philsophies would make it to the Super Bowl in the same year, the historic nature of their accomplishments relative to their ethnicities aside. Those guys are my heroes. There's a decent article on that you can check out.
Here's a funny article from Brian L about a woman who induced labor two days early so her husband wouldn't have to miss the game. The subject line of Brian's e-mail to me: "what a woman." I concur.
Also a great Onion article about how the Bears win has helped our devastated city get over its own "recent tragedy." Thanks for the article, Heather R, and Bob: the Onion was reading your mind.
Finally, all Bears fans need their own version of Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing a stirring version of "Bear Down, Chicago Bears," the fight song that was written in 1941 and still played at Bears home games after every score (even a safety!) I love that the Bears have a fight song. More pictures and thoughts next week... and I promise to also blog about things other than the Bears soon.