Somewhere, George Halas is smiling.
In preparation for their game against North division rival Minnesota last Sunday, Chicago coach Lovie Smith employed a tactic right outta Papa Bear’s playbook.
One of the founding fathers of the NFL, Halas, like many of his coaching colleagues, was known to use every trick in the book to give his teams an advantage, even if that meant a slip & slid playing field.
Won by the hometown Bears 27-13, Sundays contest was less a display of football skill & strategy and more of a frustrating attempt at simple play-execution, at least for the visiting Norsemen.
While the cleat-conscious Bears seemed unaffected by the slippery turf, the Vikes were falling-down as if banana peels had been strewn across Soldier Field. All three of Brett Favre’s interceptions (one tipped) had no chance for completion as every receiver was on his keister before the ball arrived.
And don’t expect cries of foul-play (Turfgate?) from the Vikings who saw their playoff chances slip further from their tenuous grasp with every spill. Players and coaches know all too well this type of chicanery is just part of the gamesmanship of NFL football.
ESPN’s Merril Hoge spotted the trouble in his Monday morning analysis and rightly assumed the Bears’ footwear was well-suited to the greasy grass.
But what goes around, comes around. They’re predicting rain in Miami for the Bears’ Thursday night NFLN match-up against the Dolphins who know a thing or two about wet playing conditions.
The Staleys do have some advantages: they face a team in a serious quarterback quandary and will be taking Sun Life field with the best shoes in the business.
Mr. Halas will be smiling again come Thursday night if the Bears could only use those cleats to work an imposing run game and pass rush. Old-time football, Chicago style.
Keys to Sport
About the Author
Written by Steven Keys
A native of the old Northwest Territory (IL), my wife and I have lived in four Midwestern states and Arizona. Today we live in Duluth, Georgia. I have a history / legal background.