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SportsMonday: Bears Not The Cubs

Can't I just write about the Cubs this week?

I mean, despite the tough loss yesterday, the local baseball team that was the inspiration for the name of the local football team (I still wish Mr. Halas had stuck with "Staleys," but that name was awfully connected to Decatur), has more than a few things going for it. The Bears on the other hand? Zip, zilch, zero, donut.

For one thing, I'm pretty sure all the Cubs understand the rules, as opposed to, say, the Bears cornerbacks.

Guys, if you fail to turn around and make a play on the ball, if you grab a receiver's arm or hand or just run into him before the ball gets there, that will be a pass interference penalty. At the very least, stop with the theatrical whining about obvious flags. And guys, that is a call the refs want to make. They want big pass interference penalties to pump up the offenses and it sure worked well during your pathetic performance against the Cardinals.

Hey, Kyle Fuller in particular, this is your second year in the league. You seem to have a few skills. But what the hell is your major malfunction late in man-to-man coverage? It should be obvious to you from viewing film week after week that your basic technique is decent until the end, when you have been too chicken to turn toward the ball and make a play and/or too undisciplined to wait until the ball comes down before bringing your arm crashing down to try to strip the ball away from the receiver.

The only upside here? John Fox saw exactly what we saw. Fuller, who took a seat on the bench in the fourth quarter (actually, I think he was standing on the sideline but "took a seat on the bench" is a more evocative put-down), won't be playing anymore just because he was a first-round pick last year.

Of course, he'll probably still be playing anyway because the Bears staff has to be worried about back-up cornerback Terrance Mitchell being killed by an opposing wide receiver after he was obliterated by Larry Fitzgerald's stiff-arm late in Sunday's game. Coaches, you may have to save that young man from himself.

The (new) Cubs don't make critical mistakes at critical times time after time after time after time after time, sorry. And they don't compound those mistakes with awkward efforts at remediation that result in crushing injury. The only thing worse than Jay Cutler's pulled hammy on Sunday was the realization that without him, the Bears were really going to get killed.

What a fun football season this is. Already!

The Cubs take care of the basics. The Bears, well, need we say more than a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown? I'm sorry, I forgot to say "game-opening kickoff return." It takes a special kind of incompetence to not only fail to bury a dim-witted returner inside the 20 after he brings out a kickoff from just inside the back line of the end zone but to also give up a touchdown! Insert your own infuriated interjection here.

Just when the Cubs have needed it this year, one of their leading players has come up with a big play and his teammates have backed him up well enough to ensure pivotal victory after pivotal victory.

The Bears defense did manage one really big play on Sunday. Jared Allen, ladies and gentlemen! Unfortunately his teammates on offense then completely failed to do their part. When the Bears settled for a field goal to trail by eight at halftime instead of getting a touchdown to make it a four-point deficit, they took a sure-to-be-defeated mindset into intermission.

Finally, we are extremely excited about watching the Cubs in October. That one just speaks for itself, doesn't it?

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

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