It is not unusual to be disappointed in Chicago at the end of an NFL season. For that matter, you are most likely disappointed if it is an MLB (Cubs or White Sox) or NBA (Bulls post Jordan) season, too.
For each disappointing finish, people blame many things, some are legit, some are not. The Cubs are cursed. The Bulls are too young and inexperienced. The Bears' offense is terrible. For the most part these are true, though I myself never blame a curse for the Cubs' downfalls.
Instead, when I look at these teams, one word comes to mind.
I know you are nodding your head in agreement. Whether it was the Cubs in 2003 against the Florida Marlins. The Bulls underachieving in the 2007-2008 season. Or there is the Super Bowl between the Bears and Colts.
You remember, Hester ran back the opening kick and the Bears held a 14-6 lead after a single quarter. They then were outscored 21-3 in the final three quarters.
This is what happens in Chicago. I have witnessed many things in sports and in my lifetime, only the Bulls teams in the mid '90s are worth mentioning.
I feel the tides may be turning though.
See, the Bears playoff hopes were almost nil going into this weeks games. They needed the Cowboys, Eagles, Buccaneers, and Vikings to all lose. With their opponents being the Ravens, Redskins, Chargers, and Falcons, this didn't seem likely at all.
The Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings had all been looking dynamic of late.
While the match-up for the Cowboys seemed to be a good one, many felt that the Cowboys were near locks to win the game. Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain thought different.
The Eagles had looked dominant during their three game win streak since McNabb was benched, sort of. The Redskins had lost five of six since starting 6-2. The Eagles were suppose to win this game, yet didn't because of a McNabb fumble.
Then the Buccaneers were favored at home, because the Chargers were 2-5 on the road, while the Bucs were 6-0 at home. Not only 6-0, but they beat Atlanta, Green Bay, Carolina, and New Orleans in those six games. They now find themselves 6-1 at home.
Last but not least, the Vikings were also at home where they were 5-1. Their only loss came at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. The Falcons were a little more formidable than the the Chargers, because they came in 3-4 on the road. With a playoff berth at stake, the Falcons moved their road record to .500.
So, going into the weekend, a win by the Vikings seemed to be able to seal Chicago's fate, let alone one of the three wild card teams getting a win. Yet, somehow the odds in Chicago got better.
Now, "ALL" Chicago needs help with is a Tampa Bay loss to the Oakland Raiders and a Cowboys loss to the Eagles. If this happens, then the Bears hold their playoff lives in their own hands.
This all starts tonight when they face off with the Green Bay Packers. If the Bears win, they move into a tie at the top of the division and the wild card. The thing making it most difficult is the Bears win none of the tie breakers.
So, it is sad, but if the Bears win out, beating the Packers and the Houston Texans, they could finish tied with the Vikings for first in the division, yet lose. They could also be tied with three teams at the top of the wild card, the Falcons, Cowboys, and Buccaneers. Somehow, the Bears would lose all three of those tie-breakers too.
But, after a crazy weekend which reminded me of an Umbrella Corp conspiracy , I myself am not giving up. Even though the Bears are like the walking dead, zombies if you will, it would be nice to be on the side that isn't disappointed after a collapse for once.
We deserve it. Maybe this time the football Gods will smile upon our helpless souls.