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THE WINDY CITY WEEKLY: THE WOUNDED BEAR IS THE MOST DANGEROUS

Posted By Kevin Scholla On Oct 6 2010 @ 3:18 am In Chicago Bears | No Comments

The Bears season has gone from ‘Surprise! Surprise! Look who’s 3-0!’ to ‘I wonder if Jay Cutler knows where he is.’  I’m here with good news Bears fans.  Don’t panic.  Not yet.  Is the offensive line terrifying?  Yes.  We knew that entering the season.  Was the performance against the Giants Sunday night one of the most cringe-worthy games in Chicago football history?  Yes.  However, you do not win in Dallas one week and then come home and knock off Green Bay the next if you are a terrible club.  That just doesn’t happen.  As ugly as it was, the New York massacre may actually be a blessing for the Bears long-term this season.  The team has to adapt.  They have to run the ball.  Cutler has to release the ball quicker.  The line must block.  Martz must not let any ghosts of Ron Turner’s playbook creep into his head.  We learned all these lessons the hard way Sunday.  Hopefully this week against Carolina, the Bears get back on track.  Cutler has gone through the early week meetings thus far, indicating he will play against the Panthers.  He better.  If anyone saw the Todd Collins display this week, they know having Cutler under center is imperative.  The defense continues to look good with a rejuvenated Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs leading the way.  I think the Bears are a good club with room for improvement.  I expect Lovie Smith to make the necessary moves for a Navy and Orange victory this week.  Look for the team to come out with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove.  The Giants may have hit the Bears right where it hurts, wounding their quarterback and their pride.  Now it’s up to the Bears to use the thrashing as a springboard for success. 

The Bears cut Mark Anderson yesterday and brought in former New Orleans Saint,  Charles Grant.  Grant was last with the UFL’s  Omaha Nighthawks. Makes you wonder why Alex Brown was ever let go.  Could you imagine Brown with Julius Peppers?  Too bad. 

Cutler’s concussion and status got little play on the major sports networks so far this week, while Mike Vick’s bruised ribs have been covered like a presidential assassination.  Is it just me or are broadcasters, journalists, players, and fans going out of their way to praise Vick?  Yes he’s played fairly well since returning, but should this man be celebrated at such a fever pitch?  I also wonder if there’s an edict from the NFL or the networks to keep the gruesome dog fighting ring for which he went to prison for as quiet as possible.  Awkward phrases like when he was “away from football” or during the “time he missed” are repeated again and again.  It sounds like he was getting some housework done or attending a Tupperware convention.  Chuck Cecil has been vilified for flipping the bird at officials this past weekend.  While certainly a dopey move, does that really deserve more ire than the hanging, electrocuting, and drowning of  dogs?  I think not. 

What a stretch for Carlos Boozer.  After breaking a finger that will sideline the new Bull for about two months, word comes he is also getting a divorce.  Derrick Rose and company lost their preseason opener, but they won where it really counts, inking Gator Boy Noah to a long-term deal.  Kudos! 

The White Sox are gone and the Cubs are long dead but there is playoff baseball starting up today so for what it’s worth: 

Braves-Giants

I’d like to see Bobby Cox make a little run, but the Giants rotation is too strong. Atlanta stumbled and bumbled through the latter part of the season and only have a San Diego collapse to thank for their postseason appearance. Look for Lincecum and company to not only win this series, but the next one as well. SF in 4.

Reds-Phillies

Nobody except Aaron Boone saw this Reds run coming. It’d be a shame to see it end too quickly. Philadelphia has arguably the best arm in the game in Halladay, an experienced winning team, and the perfect manager. October usually features at least one upset though, so I’m going to ignore my head and go with my heart and take Cincy. Plus they do have Joey Votto. CIN in 5.

Twins-Yankees

Jim Thome is the most likable man in sports. Finally seeing him reach the pinnacle would be great. The Yankees starting pitching, other than CC is suddenly a huge question mark. But they are the Yankees. The core four of Jeter, Rivera, Pettite, and Posada should be able to have just enough left in the tank. Look for another case of Minnesota playing better than the White Sox and Tigers in the regular season but proving to be far less of a formidable October opponent than either of those two clubs would’ve been. NYY in 4.

Rangers-Rays

Tampa Bay is poised to run, run, run. It’s what got them here and it’s what they will live or die by. Texas was my preseason darling and they have the best club in Rangers history ready to pull off the upset. Joe Maddon is one of the top baseball men but I’m not sold on his rotation order in this one. Josh Hamilton’s health and production will be the difference. If he’s right the Rangers will be too.  TEX in 5. 

The Cubs plan to wait for the Yankees season to end and then gauge Joe Girardi’s interest in managing the club.  Not a good move.  While a Chicago native, former Cub, and seemingly nice guy, is he really that great of a manager?  He’s struggled with in-game moves in the AL with plenty of talent.  He just happens to have a stacked line-up.  Plus, I doubt he’d leave the Bronx just yet.  While he has said he’d like to manage at Wrigley one day, he’d be better served to win multiple titles in the Big Apple and then try to pull off the impossible in Chicago.  He’s still a young man.  No need to rush into a very tough situation.  I think the Cubs or any team in need of a skipper should target the best man available: Bobby Valentine. The fact that Bobby V isn’t even mentioned as a candidate for the Cubs job is another indication why this franchise hasn’t won since Teddy Roosevelt was in office.  In typical North Side fashion, they’ll probably just wait for Girardi to say no and then beg Ryne Sandburg to still take the job after letting him twist in the wind. 

The White Sox would be fools to part ways with Ozzie Guillen.  The man has won a title and made it back to the postseason during his tenure with the Pale Hose.  He is candid, smart, and entertaining.   The Mets, Marlins, and maybe even the Cubs would be poised to gobble him up if he parts ways with Kenny and Jerry.  Stay put Ozzie, stay put. 

The Hawks season starts Thursday in Colorado.  While I’m excited to see the team on ice again, didn’t they just win the Cup?  The preseason is completely unnecessary in a sport that regularly features success from 6, 7, and 8 seeds.  The regular season is the preseason in hockey.  Bottom line: The NHL season is too long.  A month should be shaved off of this thing.  Speaking of shaving, 19-year old Nick Leddy has made the final cut and will be a Hawk to start the season.  If he sticks around, I wonder if he can even grow a playoff beard come spring.

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