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The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Winning Ugly

Blue: I'm not as funny as my co-author of this column.

I'm not as witty.

Come to think of it, I'm not even as tall as he is.

But, week after week I'm correct on my calls more often than he is.

If you were to take his predictions as the basis of your calls to Uncle Rocko (for entertainment purposes only, including gambling), you'd be going to Carl for some witty excuses to tell the wife why the toy pile under the Christmas tree or Chanukah bush is looking a little thin this year.

This isn't to say that this year's version of the Chicago Bears is something beautiful to look upon in marvel, but it's better than a leg lamp as your main holiday decoration, which Mr. Mohrbacher proudly displays in his front window.

Staying in the holiday motif, let's just say that last week's game versus the Miami Dolphins was a great gift from the gods of football.

Rarely do you have the opportunity to fine-tune your defense and work out the kinks in the offense during a live scrimmage on national TV like the Bears had in pitching a 16-0 shutout in Miami.

Unless you're one of those rare defense enthusiasts that gets excited watching a third-string quarterback like Tyler Thigpen look like the never-ran that he truly is, you realize that you have to win games such as this because you only play 16, and it's going to take 10 to get into the playoffs.

The defense did hold the Dolphins running attack of oft-injured (Ronnie Brown) and oft-stoned (Ricky Williams) to 11 yards on 6 carries. And Brandon Marshall looked like a man too scared of his own shadow to catch the ball.

Wait, why am I rattling off statistics when the only thing that matters is that the Dolphins scored ZERO!?

I can rant and rave about how Jay Cutler and his offense is getting better and making fewer mistakes, but the haters will hate and the Bears (hopefully) will keep winning their special brand of ugly football. The run game wasn't dominating and the wide receivers didn't put up eye-popping numbers, but we put up 16 points. They put up ZERO. We win.

Dan McNeil of The Score can wish the Bears to lose as many games as it takes to get a new regime in place and Carl can use 80s references and obscure band member names all he wants to tell us why these Bears are crap, but in the end we're 7-3 and sitting atop the NFC North. So shut up, get to drinking some Blue Kool-Aid and get on board with this team.

Eagles at Bears
This one is a put up or shut-up game. This one will show the world that these Bears are for real. The defense comes to play, holds Michael Vick and his many weapons to a modest fire versus the explosion we've seen in weeks' past. The Bears' reformed and reworked offensive line has its third straight game with the same lineup and gives Jay Cutler the time to pick the Eagles defense apart. This won't be pretty, as no games to this point have been pretty, but in the end our Bears prevail.

Bears 30-23.

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Orange: The NFL is one of the most successful businesses on Earth because it knows how to package its product. It performs a daily clinic in branding fit for a master level course in marketing. Built on a thunderous soundtrack, heroic cinematography and archetypical military themes, the NFL takes a game that averages about five seconds of action for every 40 seconds of down time and presents it so effectively, we sometimes overlook the blatant misogyny 17 seconds into this interview with Deacon Jones.

Occasionally, even the best marketers are short on ideas and participate in bandwagon riding. In its endless chase for a buck, the NFL occasionally falls into the trap of serving up a cultural flavor of the month, as evidenced by this commercial featuring the musical stylings of Joe Esposito. In this case, the NFL is catering to the contemporary trend of ironically incorporating kitschy 80s music into contemporary montages.

Isn't it hilarious that we all used to pay money for this?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha . . .

DRAGOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Is this quote ever out of context?*

However, revisiting the past to re-implement the things that made something successful isn't always a bad idea.

On the other hand, you could also say that the Bears' coaching staff, like their NFL marketing brethren, are capable of succumbing to a cacophony of citywide peer pressure.

Motivations for an improved game plan aside, Thursday's 16-0 victory is in large part credited to the fact that the Dolphins injury report read like the tags section of WebMD and by the end of the first half approximately 65% of the talent on the Miami roster was in street clothes. Matt Millen noting that the Dolphins were "out of linemen" in the third quarter wasn't exactly a harbinger of victory.

Have you ever heard the words "star left tackle," "labrum" and "win" in the same sentence? Didn't think so.

To the Bears' credit, they learned something from their early season woes. It seems when playing a bad team and in possession of a really good defense, less is more on the offensive side of the ball.

It would have been nice of the coaching staff to figure that out against Washington, but other than millions of fans, who's counting.

Thanks to another terrible performance by the 3-7 Minnesota Vikings, the 7-3 Bears are in the midst of a two-horse race in the NFC North. So let's pull on our blue chaps with orange piping, spur this pony up to 88 miles an hour and ride towards the future as we predict the notable headlines along the way to a successful first-round out.

HEE-YA!

- Turns out Kristin Cavallari has been making Jay Cutler where lingerie under his uniform to help his throwing mechanics and it's working.**

- Despite Lovie's attempts to put him in a position to break the all-time return record, Devin Hester will not run back another punt or kickoff for a touchdown in 2010. He will, however, return two missed field goals, a fumble and needlessly intercept the overtime coin toss in a wild Week 14 game against the Patriots.

- Early in the game against the Jets, Mike Martz remembers that thing he meant to do in Week 3 and calls a play in which Devin Aromashodu is the first read, resulting in a 58-yard touchdown reception. Aromashodu closes out the last two games of the season with 28 catches for 476 yards and 4 TDs.

- Julius Peppers continues to rack up impressive plays that don't show up in the box score by roundhouse kicking a live fumble directly to D.J. Moore, who gains 35 additional yards on the turnover. The Players' Association will use this highlight to attempt a transplant of the "set" stat from volleyball to football.

- While totally unrelated to the outcome of the game, Rod Marinelli provides some desperately needed comic relief by taking one in the pleats during a 45-10 loss to the Lions.

- Pisa Tinoisamoa discovers that an anagram hidden within his own name is the key to unmasking the prophetic hero who can finally bring peace to the denizens of Redwall.***

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Next up are the "Iggles."

Eagles at Bears
Mike Vick.

Eagles 30-23.

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* A: No. Try it at your next quarterly review or nephew's bar mitzvah. See?
** Rent Bull Durham if this does not make sense to you.
*** First reader to top that obscure literary reference wins a new pocket protector.

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Andrew Golden brings you the Blue half of this report every week; Carl Mohrbacher brings you the Orange. They welcome your comments.

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