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THE WINDY CITY WEEKLY: NO ROOM FOR A LETDOWN IN MOTOWN, DUNN DEAL, REMEMBERING RON
Posted By Kevin Scholla On Dec 5 2010 @ 1:43 am In Chicago | No Comments
The Bears are for real. Many of the doubters became deafeningly quiet after last week’s big win over the high octane Eagles at Soldier Field. Others, however, are still not sold. Former Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer scoffed at the idea of Chicago doing well in the postseason. When asked if the Bears were the team to beat in the NFC, Dilfer chuckled and then explained why he thought the Bears will not do much of anything come the playoffs, if they even make it at all. If you want to say the Bears are not the best team in the conference, that’s fine. If you want to argue that the Saints or Falcons or another club may be better suited for January football, that fine too. But to snicker as if the Bears are an amalgamation of the Clippers and Pirates is wrong and really kind of weird. Dilfer was a big supporter of Chicago’s Super Bowl run in 2006 when many had doubts. That team also relied heavily on defense and Devin. Why he has a problem with this group must go deeper.
Big time teams follow up huge wins over tough opponents at home with victories on the road over lesser foes. The Bears will try to do just that today. The plan is to have the same focus they had for much of the game against Philadelphia for all of the game in Detroit. Right now, Lovie Smith’s club controls their destiny. A loss in Detroit would basically throw the spirited effort over Philly down the tubes. In many ways a solid performance today could be just as impressive as last week. It’s not hard to focus for a top team like the Eagles. Getting pumped and remaining completely focused through the week when your upcoming opponent is the Lions is a bit more difficult. A big win today will solidify the Bears standings in the NFC even more and show they are a true contender whether Trent Dilfer knows it or not.
Jay Cutler did not turn the ball over once last week and look what happened. The Bears beat a top club largely thanks to Cutler’s four touchdown passes. Chciago was also able to run the football and thanks to Hester control field position all day. If Cutler can continue to protect the football, the Bears become a much better squad than they were just a few short weeks ago.
The biggest key to winning today is to remember you’re playing the Lions and that’s who you need to worry about. The Bears can not look ahead to New England as tempting as that may be.
While the Bears are in Michigan, Chicago is snow covered. Save some of that weather for when the Bears are home and can use it to their advantage.
Drew Stanton, Detroit’s number three signal caller will start today. The last time the Bears faced a third string quarterback on the road things went quite well. A 16-0 blanking of the Dolphins in Miami last month.
It was refreshing to see that the Bears weren’t in the business of helping up any of the Eagles during last week’s tilt. In a day and age when players from opposing teams basically engage in a kissing contest after every game and are often quite cozy during games as well, I enjoyed the old school approach by Chicago’s defense. Let’s see if they’re just as surly with the Lions.
Here we go again. Oregon and Auburn won so that means Texas Christian is not allowed to play for the national title even though they are undefeated. If these teams are not able to compete for a championship then stop calling them division one. Every pro sport decides things on the field. Every other college sport, even division two and three football decides it on the field. Not this garbage tough. This is just figure skating with helmets. Judges decide. The only problem is we don’t have Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly around to break the system’s legs.
After a 4-3 circus trip, the Bulls followed up their 7-game swing with two clunkers. A blowout loss at home to Orlando and another setback in Boston, a game the Celtics controlled throughout. That put Carlos Boozer at 0-2. The off-season big fish finally returned to the line-up Wednesday night. Saturday, Bulls fans quickly forgot about any negatives after a thrilling win over Houston. Derrick Rose tied the game with a buzzer beating three-pointer to force overtime. Chicago went on to win by three.
After being benched for three games, all three ending in Blackhawks wins, goalie Marty Turco returned to the net Friday. Turco lost to the Canucks but he didn’t get any help from his friends. The Hawks failed to score and Vancouver skated away with a 3-0 decision.
Dunn Deal. The White Sox are looking to be a playoff team in 2011 and possibly have a deep October run. The Pale Hose signing of slugger Adam Dunn and re-signing of A.J. Pierzynski shows the commitment Kenny Williams and company have to returning to the postseason. Dunn will be especially dangerous if he has Paul Konerko in the line-up with him. The Sox are reportedly very serious about making a run at keeping Konerko, despite the Orioles recent push to acquire the power hitting all-star.
Cubs icon Ron Santo is gone. The Chicago sports community is in mourning following the death of the former player, broadcaster, and number one Cubbies fan. Some are now pushing harder than ever for a place in the Hall of Fame for old number 10. A worthy pursuit. For now though, just remember the man. If you’re a Cubs fan there are countless on-field memories to look back on fondly. From his dazzling play at third base that led to several Gold Gloves to his timely hitting when the North Siders needed it most. Cub lovers also remember Ron for his colorful relationship with Leo the Lip, his broadcasting, and his love for the city of Chicago. If you root for the Sox or another team, there’s still plenty to remember and really marvel at. This man fought disease for years. He lost his legs. He suffered in pain. He did it all with a smile. He covered his team. That was his therapy. Ron Santo was a true baseball man and more importantly a real guy. He will be missed. Say hello to Leo, Ron. Make amends with that black cat from Shea. Catch-up with Harry Carey. It’s a very sad time in Chicago, but only because Ron made so many, so happy, for so long.
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