Friday, February 16, 2007

Typical. For The Cubs, Anyway

This sort of baseball injury is absolutely hilarious. Only a Cub could do this sort of thing (or let it leak out, anyway).

I will return next week with some thoughts about the movie The Queen and how people understand and interact with history.

For weekend fun, try these fascinating philosophy games. They are a great (and smart) way to make those hours veritably whiz by.

Well, I must be pot roast needs attention. Yes, it's O.K. to drool.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Human, All Too Human

That is the title of a book by Friedrich Nietzsche which oddly describes what the Bears were proved to be last Sunday.

They are only men, faced with a daunting task that they were not prepared to face. Grossman, badgered by the press and woefully patchy, fell (literally, a few times). Cedric Benson, one of the central prongs in our offensive attack was injured early. Our defense, bedraggled by punishingly long drives by the Colts were ragged and tired by the end of the game, not able to force the Colts into mistake.

We were just not up to the challenge. Indianapolis brough their "A" game; we brought cocksurety based on what turned out to be a rather rickety foundation.

As for me, I guess it was all for the best. A World Series Championship for my favorite baseball team followed not even two years later by a Super Bowl for my favorite football team might have upset an understanding that I have with my "sports fan" persona.

For, you see, I have been a Chicago sports fan (excluding the Cubs) for my entire life. I grew up in Chicagoland, worked and went to school in the city and am really tied to the place emotionally in a sense of rootedness, so that for me, Chicago is a "place" and not just a "space."

I learned a lot about life from Chicago sports. I learned that, most of the time, despite your good feelings and devotion, the world will break your heart. I also learned that disappointment is an emotion that can lead, with time, into a certain cavalier, devil-may-care attitude. Hey, I figure, we will probably lose it all, but let's have fun doing it. I am also acutely aware of how no amount of pleading to the god of your choice can change the outcome of such contests; they are measures of skill faced with luck, nothing more.

Yet, I and I suspect many, react emotionally to these matricies of skill and luck, performed by others for the enjoyment and entertainment of all. Why is this? I suspect that it comes from the need to believe in something, to have simple, blind faith in a proposition or a cause. We live in a time and place that suffers from a certain world-weariness, a lack of fascination with the world in general. Most people are interested in escaping the world than encountering it.

Sports give us a reason, well, not to be like this for a while. It allows us to put our faith in the skill and the Fates and let the conflict play out, trying to be amused and gain pleasure in the meantime. For that, I am eternally greatful to sports and to teams that win only occasionally.

I would hate to suffer the hubris of fans of more sucessful (historically, anyway) sporting endeavors. They take pleasure and satisfaction as a given; I, however, take it as something to reach for and sometimes get but mostly not.

To close, am I glad about what happened last Sunday? Of course not.

Would I take back my support if I could? Not on your life.

Go Bears.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Certain Team From A Certain Town...

...that begins with a "c" ends with an "o" and has "hicag" in the middle.

I expect that you figured I would only be silent about this for so long...consider the silence broken, my friend.

Oh, and by the way, go here for all you Superfans memories, my friend.

What to say about the Bears in a Super Bowl? Did I think it was possible at the beginning of the year? Sure, I always do (when you grow up a Chicago sports fan, hope always springs eternal). When did I think we were for real? Not sure, but Arizona on Monday night, and our performance therein, really showed me what we were made of. The rest of the season, well, apart from the little hiccups against New England and Green Bay (a fluke), could not have been better.

What will it take to win this game? I am no expert (nor am I completely without knowledge), so I will say that a combo of the running games of Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson with a solid Grossman performance and back-up from the D will serve us in good stead. People who are worried about Grossman should read here what Rick Telander had to say. Problems? While people say a lot of nice things about Peyton Manning, and some of them may be true, he will have to contend with some blistering resistance...and there is one more thing...

The Peyton Manning Playoff Choke Factor.

Aside from the main event, this naturally is the reward for years of loyal support on the part of Bears fans, myself included. To see your guys finally in the big show is nothing short of kickass. When I think back on the lean years (Ditka's final years, Dave Wannstead and the eerily emotionless Dick Jauron), all the embarassing seasons while another Midwestern football team seemed so dominant. All those Sundays wondering when the hurting would ever stop.

Well, the time is now.

Oh, and to all the people who doubted us and just hated us for who we are, well, where are your gods now?

As predictions go, and I always hate making these, even nuns say that we are going to win.


Well, that's about all I have to say apart from...


P.S. For great, totally biased Bears coverage, go here, to WBBM, the radio home of the 2006 NFC Champion Chicago Bears (sounds great, don't it?)