There are times when superior football teams play down to their opponents’ levels, such as Ohio State letting Illinois hang around on Saturday. The Bears performance yesterday against the Dolphins, however, qualified as an unmitigated disaster where we just got pummeled. (Kudos to TK for predicting both the Illini thriller and a Bears letdown on Friday. You can see in the comment section that I was a doubter at the time, but now I’m in awe of his Karnak-like prognasticative abilities.) Rex Grossman is showing that he’s either throwing for a 130 QB rating or a 30 with nothing in between. The Bears offensive line was shredded by Jason Taylor and company, which just shouldn’t happen when a five-time Pro Bowler is your anchor at center. Devin Hester, for all of his electricity on kickoff and punt returns, continues to have a nasty habit of starting to run before the ball is in his hands. The vaunted Bears defense looked hapless against Ronnie Brown and Joey Freaking Harrington out of all people. I just didn’t understand what was happening.
Not only that, long bomb threat Bernard Berrian is going to be out for 2 to 4 weeks with a rib injury, which means that the Bears’ vertical passing game might end up looking like what we had yesterday for the next month – as in non-existant. Even potentially worse, Brian Urlacher is going in for an MRI today after getting his foot rolled up near the end of Sunday’s game, so who knows what we’re going to do if he’s out for an extended period of time when Mike Brown is already on the shelf. It’s hard to say that the Bears are going to tank when they still have a 7-1 record (as Mike Downey seems to believe), but getting demolished by a straight-up piece of shit Dolphins team at Soldier Field just before two straight games at Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place against the Giants and Jets and then another road game at Foxboro versus the continuously dangerous Patriots isn’t the way to inspire confidence with your hyper-analytic fan base.
At the end of the day, Rex needs to figure out at some point that if he’s feeling that his timing is off, he needs to simmer down and not chuck the ball thirty yards downfield into the hands of the opposing defense. I don’t agree with Rick Morrissey’s sentiment today in the Chicago Tribune that Rex should have been yanked for Brian Griese when it was evident that the younger quarterback was going to struggle all day (similar rumblings were made at a lower level in the wake of the Arizona “They Were Who We Thought They Were” game but subsided when the Bears put up 41 points in the first half against San Francisco last week). Switching out the starting QB is not the same as taking out your starting pitcher for a reliever in baseball – the ramifications from a QB change have a much greater long-term impact than just one game. If you live or have lived in Chicago, you know that the coverage of the Bears during the week can be all-consuming when they are in last place, much less contending for a berth in the Super Bowl, so a potential QB controversy ought to be the last thing anyone wants here. The Bears, so far, have won a lot more than they have lost with Rex and his gunner’s mentality at the helm, so it would be foolish to jump off the badnwagon so quickly. That being said, until Grossman can calm down on those days when everything’s not there for him, the Bears are going to be at a severe risk of losing more games to inferior teams.
Enough of the Bears rant… here are today’s links:
1) Illini Give Gritty Effort vs. Ohio State (Mark Tupper Weblog) – As mentioned before, one of my football teams gave a great effort in a losing cause this past weekend, but it wasn’t the Bears. (Okay, I’ll seriously stop with the Bears rant.)
2) Top 50 Basketball Player Finds DePaul (Chicago Tribune) – In other news, one of my alma maters is going to sign great college basketball recruiting class this week, but it won’t be Illinois. (The Eric Gordon-to-Indiana rant, however, will continue for the foreseeable future. If you thought T.O. returning to Philly was ugly, just wait until the Hoosiers visit Champaign on January 23rd.)
3) Kenny G Blows Away All Musical Golfers (Yahoo! News) – I enjoyed Alice Cooper’s comment that golf is “The Crack of Sports”.
4) When Being a Fake Rock Star Is Better Than the Reality (Wall Street Journal) – Speaking of musicians, real rock stars seem to love Guitar Hero.
5) Einstein, Hawking… Manning? (Minneapolis Red Sox) – I agree with Minneapolis Red Sox here – there’s no real reason why I should dislike Peyton Manning and Colts, yet they always seem to rub me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because I grew up on smash-mouth Bears and Big Ten football and cannot stand it when the national media slobs the knob of sexy offensive teams that can’t play a lick of defense. As a result, I get a perverse joy out of watching those types of teams get demolished in the playoffs.
6) I Am a Fairy (Chronically Insane) – Parental advice on how to tell your kids that everything that they’ve known and loved has been a sham.
7) Assessing Bob Barker (Slate) – The price is wrong, bitch!
8) ‘Wedgie’ Gets Principal 6-Day Suspension (San Francisco Chronicle) – The principal was sent to the principal’s office!
As the late Richard J. Daley would say, vote early and vote often tomorrow.
(Images from Chicago Tribune and Rolling Stone)