The Chicago Bears are good. They might be really good. And it’s okay to believe that.
“It was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.”
This is kind of how it feels like Chicago Bears fans are treating this season. We sit on the precipice of the biggest game the Bears have had since probably 2011. They’ve been flexed to national TV twice in the past two weeks. They are one of the stories of the NFL. They have a chance to grab the NFC North by the throat.
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And yet everyone is stepping out very guardedly, like Indiana Jones and his “Leap of Faith.” (You’ll have to excuse my mixed movie references) Most Bears fans seem to fear the fall.
So instead of exalting in a 6-3 record, we get massive complaints about the kicker, Cody Parkey. Or we’re still doing the referendum on Mitchell Trubisky, even though he was just named NFC Offensive Player Of The Week, and he’s on pace for the first 4,000-yard passing season in Bears history. He’s also on pace to be the first Bears quarterback to throw for 30 touchdowns. Ever.
Or there’s the fear of another face-plant on national TV. We’re used to that around here. Week 1 comes rushing to mind, blaring battle horns and pounding drums to make it clear what happens when the Bears are on centerstage. Nightmares of Lambeau nights past aren’t far behind.
I’m here to tell you to buy in.
Chicago may have its issues. In fact, they have a ton of them. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel a little more special when the Bears are good. It’s just about the only thing that unites the whole city. And Sunday night is the official marker of what can be.
Remember when you used to watch other teams like the Saints or Packers and you see all their receivers running free like Homer through the “Land of Chocolate” and you wondered, “Why don’t the Bears ever do that?” Well they do now! Be it Trey Burton or Taylor Gabriel or Anthony Miller or Allen Robinson, Matt Nagy is always scheming one of them through the alarms and into the safe to ransack whatever they want.
The Bears have the biggest defensive star in the league. I don’t want to hear anything else. Khalil Mack transforms the whole team and is knocking over opposing tackles like prime Andre The Giant. They’re second in the league in takeaways, and they are five ahead of the team in third. This is a defense that can show you your beating heart before you die.
This is the most exciting time to be a fan. It honestly doesn’t get better. This is the candy. This is when a young team is coming up, didn’t have expectations, and crashes the party of the league’s aristocracy and starts shoveling all the appetizers into its mouth by the handful and drinking too much. The proletariat has stormed the castle.
This is the ’15 Cubs. The ’09 Hawks. The ’20 White Sox. Starting next year, there will be goals and dreams of championships and anything short of that will be a disappointment.
This is the free roll. This is seeing how far and fast the car can go with no consequences. The crashes come later.
It’s time to leave the Bears angst behind. It’s time to get funky. It starts on Sunday night. The nation is going to learn what we already know.