Gameday: Wildcard Playoff Edition
What a strange season it has been for the Chicago Bears. The season started about as well as it could, with a division leading 5-1. Then came the 6 game losing streak where the Bears looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL. A lesser team would have folded and called it a season after that. But not this team. This team showed heart and finished the season going 3-1 to make the playoffs.
Now, the Bears have are in a position to do something that I would not have believed 5 weeks ago, an opportunity to win a playoff game. The so-called "experts" think this team is going to roll over and die in this game. The Saints are favored by 11 points. Keep in mind, this is the same Saints team the Bears took to overtime with Nick Foles at QB just two months ago, in the midst of their 6 game losing streak. Not only do oddsmakers believe the Bears will lose, so does the braintrust at ESPN:
Have these people not been paying attention? Every time the Bears have been backed into a corner, they have found a way to fight on.
-Down 10 to Detroit in week 1 with 4 minutes left? Came back and won.
-Down 16 to Atlanta in week 3 with 6 minutes left? Came back and won.
-Losing 6 straight games and falling to 9th place in the NFC in week 13? Went 3-1 to finish the season.
-Losing a must win game against a hated rival in week 17? Still made the playoffs.
It might not always be fun, or even healthy to watch this team, but there is no doubt that this team leads the league in heart. So you know what? THANK YOU to the oddsmakers for favoring the Saints by so much. You are providing motivation to the Bears and giving me some money once I cash this bet. Also, FUCK ESPN. You think I'm going to let Rex Ryan and Sam Ponder bring me down today by taking the Saints? No way. I am glad they are taking the Saints, I can't wait for them to be wrong.
The Bears will beat the Saints today. Then guess what happens next week? Bears vs Packers at Lambeau for a chance to advance to the NFC Championship. I want another shot at the Packers anyway.
So, to all my fellow Bears fans, I am calling on you today. Don your lucky Bears gameday clothes. Do all of your game day rituals. Prepare your gameday meals. Fly your Bears flags. Today, we are fighting along with the boys in navy and orange. Making the playoffs is not the ultimate goal. We know it, and they know it. We are exactly where we wanted to be at the beginning of the season. Now, it's the start of a new season, and to borrow a phrase from Jake Taylor in the movie Major League, "I guess there's only one thing left to do. Win the whole. Fucking. Thing".