The Bulls dominated the '90s and I appreciate that. I feel bad I took for granted the greatest player to have ever played the game, but in my defense I was too young to appreciate the Bulls the way I do now. I didn't "get" the Bulls until the second-"first" championship. The one where the Bulls won on Father's Day and Michael Jordan ran to the locker room and cried. That was a special moment. So there's the Bulls thing right there. I wasn't able/allowed to appreciate the White Sox winning the World Series in 2005. I'm a die-hard, Cubbie blue 'til I die Cubs fan and there's no way around that. However I did acknowledge that what they did for the city and certain White Sox fans (you know the ones that aren't stealing Camaros) was really nice.
The 2003 Cubs were the last hope for my happiness. That's kind of sad to say, but it's true. I haven't been this psyched up for a game since Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Yes, I understand there was a Game 7, but most of you don't know that I spent most of the day in bed sick (thanks to the Cubs....seriously) and watching the game in my basement under several blankets.
Enough of that, now on to The Big Game. Super Bowl week has been like a teen movie for one Peyton Manning. He sheds the loser/geek/nerd tag (AKA the monkey off the back) by beating The Hoodie and Tom Brady. Since then, it's been a Manning suckfest led by Eastern Seaboard Programming Network and like in the teen movies of the '80s Manning went for loser-to-really hot in the matter of moments. No one expects the Bears to win, except the great state of Illinois as evidenced by this ESPN SportsNation poll. I'm still trying to figure out how the Bears are an underdog in this game. They won 13 regular season games (more than the Colts), they are the highest seeded team left here in the playoffs (#1 seed vs. Colts #3 seed) and as much as the Colts are riding the momentum of beating their nemesis the New England Patriots (34-31), the Bears are coming off of a 39-14 thrashing of America's Team Part Deux the (favored) New Orleans Saints. I'm looking for the Bears to provide a not-so-happy ending for Manning. Oh yeah, and Rex Grossman has a higher passer rating in the playoffs than Manning does, ha!
Thanks to weather.com, I've got a relatively positive weather note. The chances are high that it could be 70 and raining outside which of course would probably benefit the Bears, seeing as they just played a game last week where it was 30 and snowing like the Dickens; so at least we've got that going for us.
THE BEARS WIN IF/BEACAUSE:
- The defense has spent countless hours reviewing tapes of the New England Patriots beatdowns of the Colts. Hopefully LBs studied Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Rosie Colvin's "How to punch Peyton Manning in the face without getting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty" tape and the DBs studied Ty Law and Rodney Harrison's "You've got 5 yards to turn Marvin Harrison into your little bitch/chuck 'em at the line" videos as well.
- Manning's career record against Florida versus Grossman's career in Florida. Before Manning couldn't beat the Patriots, he couldn't beat the University of Florida and Manning doesn't have fond memories of this state now does he? As for Sexy Rexy, he thrived in the state of Florida almost winning a Heisman Trophy that was somehow awarded to Nebraska QB Eric Crouch. So technically, the trophy does belong to Grossman.
- Dear Rex:
Please think happy thoughts during the game. Think of all those touchdowns you threw at Florida. Remember the happy times with the "Ol' Ball Coach" Steve Spurrier. Remember all those hot Florida chicks you banged in Gainsville all those years. Remember, they don't call you Sexy Rexy for nothing. Think happy thoughts.
Bears Fans Everywhere
- The key elements as directly quoted by Chicago great Doug Buffone: "Run the ball! (drum roll on desk) Stop the run! (repeat drum roll) Pressure the quarterback! (final drum roll) Those are the keys to winning football games people, plain and simple. Establish the run inside with Cedric Benson and outside Thomas Jones. Stop the two-headed attack of Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes. Do everything you can (short of sicking your pitbulls and taking your weapons of mass destruction on the field...I'm talking to you Tank Johnson) and make Peyton Manning's life a living hell. You want more fundamentals? Solid tackling, none of that arm tackle bullshit, hit 'em hard. Hold on to the ball, no fumbling...we've gotta win the turnover battle...I want three turnovers (at the least!) Play every play as it is your last.
- Embrace the under dog role. Not much more I could add here.
- THE WILD CARD PT. II: Tank Johnson. The Bears are a team of motivated men, from the top with GM Jerry Angelo through Lovie Smith's coaching staff all the way down to the 53rd man on the roster. Tank Johnson is arguably the most motivated man on the Bears. For the last few months he's taken shit from everyone about his legal troubles and deservedly so because, well, he's got himself in a lot of trouble by hanging out with a lot of bad people. Tank's starting in the Super Bowl while Tommie Harris is out with that extreme hammy pull so this is his time to shine. If I'm Tank, I treat every member of the Colts as if they were the one who killed my best friend in that night club and punish them with severe hits (hopefully they won't draw any penalties for "illegal weaponry on the field on #99 on the defense. fifteen yard penalty, first down.")