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Marred by controversy, the week leading up to the game featured an inside source claiming that the Bears offensive woes were largely the fault of quarterback Jay Cutler and ended with a coach crying in public.
In between, Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer held a press conference.
Making the big news of Week 15 caddy intra-team sniping after a Thursday night loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
While Kromer categorically denied the use of the terms "buyer's remorse," or "salary cap albatross" or "cocksucker who's cost every offensive coordinator he's worked with a goddamn," the damage was done.
The most likely outcome from this scenario is that Kromer will be fired because he violated the unwritten (and oft unobserved) rule that coaches must keep their personal criticisms of players within the locker room, or forced deep into their subconscious through out of control drinking habits.
Given how ineffective the Bears talent-laden offense has been this season, it's easy to overlook Kromer's major contribution to the Emery/Trestman/Cutler era, which is the major improvements to the performance of the offensive line over the past two seasons, last Monday's seven sack performance notwithstanding.
[Editor's Note: Easy there big guy. You're dangerously close to committing an actual football observation to print.]
[Carl's Retort: Don't worry boss. I'm about to insert an embedded video of Homer assaulting the Krusty Burgler because my brain has no skill outside of free association.]
[Editor's Note: Phew.]
Take a deep pull from that ether rag and harken back to a time when Jay Cutler was being sacked every 0.78 dropbacks: the 2009-2012 seasons.
Since Kromer's arrival, things improved mightily and in 2013 the Bears would have been a playoff team on the strength of the offense, if not for a season-long bout with the defensive mumps and an untimely two game slump in weeks 16 and 17.
[Editor's Note: Waaaaaaaait a minute. You've been a Cutler apologist for almost six seasons now. You covered for him when the receiving talent was bad, the offensive scheme was convoluted or non-existent and the line was awful. By process of elimination, this now makes the mess Jay Cutler's fault.]
I sure did and I stand by those opinions and still say that Jay Cutler has all of the tools needed.
So here's what I'm recommending:
Keep Kromer and Cutler together for one more season, but sometime this week arrange a Fight Club-style bare-knuckle duel between them.
Remember every '80s movie where the two protagonists would get into a fist-fight in front of a crowd of co-workers and when someone tried to stop them, another dude would step in and say something like "Let 'em go Stevenson, they gotta work it out!"?
Shortly before press time, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Jay Cutler has in fact been benched, so with Jimmy Clausen in at quarterback this Sunday, there's really no reason for either Cutler or Kromer to avoid some healthy, physical and much needed discourse.
I don't really care who wins, just do me a favor and post it on YouTube before the end of the season.
And yes, I still believe Jay Cutler has the ability to perform at the level of a top 10 quarterback.
At some point, he's going to have to prove me right.
The Execution Will Be Televised
While the Bears were technically eliminated from playoff contention last week, Monday night's game was the real dagger in the heart of the 2014 season.
Anybody else feel like this?
This is the part of the relationship where you thought the last big argument was the end of it, but somehow the following encounter was entirely worse.
Vases were hurled, manhood was critiqued, mother-in-law's recipes were insulted and a couple of days worth of clothes was tossed into a suitcase.
You try to slam the sliding door to the porch and the accidentally shatter the glass and even though you hadn't meant to go out that harsh, you still raise a middle finger over your shoulder in response to the barrage of curse streaming out of your former domicile.
That's the way you want it baby? Then that's the way you gets it.
A week goes by and you come back to pick up your suits and Playstation 3. Well lookie who's a fan of the mailman.
And aren't those your track pants?
Thought we'd pretty much gotten all of the insults out of the way but I guess you should have called ahead before you came back to your home.
If that was Monday, what in the hell is Sunday supposed to be?
I'll be watching this weekend, because . . . well, I guess for the same reason that I visit the "Plumper Pass" section of Red Tube every now and again. I have deeply rooted self-esteem issues*.
Go Fightin' Clausens!
But since there's absolutely no reason for you to watch the game this weekend, I thought you might appreciate some alternative viewing options.
- Telemundo, Noon: Domingo Torta Incorporado. Join Luz, Lourdes and Anna Maria Consuela Lupe Lopez-Weinstein de Guadalupe for an educational but fun-filled look into the world of mass-producing 3,400 calorie per serving Mexican sandwiches. On this week's episode ("El Iingrediente Secreto Es Tripa" S04/Ep12), the gang discovers what makes Goya's trademark Torta De Sol so yummy and you'll never guess whose wallpaper the Virgin Mary appeared in this time.
- HBO, 1 p.m.: VICE. Correspondent Thomas Morton takes us deep into the seedy underbelly of the emerging aggro-polka scene inside Chicago's Ukrainian Village. Featuring the first face-to-face meeting between feuding accordion legend brothers Diabolical Dickey (Richard Lederhosen) and Fistin' Johnny (Johnathan Lederhosen) in over 10 years, Morton learns that blood does run thicker than water . . . and is harder to clean off the dance floor (Parental Discretion Advised).
- The Food Network, 2 p.m.: Good Eats. Responding to a groundswell of public demand including a massive letter-writing campaign and a petition signed by over 25,000 viewers, the Food Network has agreed to air, for one afternoon only, the episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown details the various approaches to marinating and seasoning Italian people.
- The Lifetime Movie Network, 3 p.m.: Seduced By Seduction: A Mother's Quest. Tracey Gold stars in an original movie inspired by true events. Wanting to provide a stable, safe environment for her 13-year-old son, a woman agrees to marry a man with enough money to make her car payments - but soon she discovers that $275 a month is not enough to keep an old flame out of her heart . . . or pants.
- Spike, 4 p.m.: Ink Masters Season Finale Rebroadcast. In front of a live audience of millions, Dave Navarro's outfit answers the question, can a 45-year-old man pull off straight-ironed hair while wearing a black kimono?
Kool Aid (1 of 5 - Whiskey, Lots Of Whiskey)
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson
Though wiser men than me have advised against it, I'm telling you that you're going to have to alter yourself badly to truly enjoy this game, so whether you're braving a trip through Bat Country or not, I strongly recommend you get any remaining Chanukah obligations out of the way, any last-minute Christmas shopping completed and leave your formal Kwanzaa dashiki at the dry cleaners 'til Monday, because one way or another you're probably going to throw up on Sunday afternoon if you watch this game.
Might as well be wreathed in smoke and pulling straight from a bottle of Single Barrel while dancing around your sweet new bachelor pad with a Capital Cities record blasting.
Oh yeah, I just looked at schedule again and realized that the Bears are playing the Lions.
They're going to lose.
Jimmy Clausen is no Jay Cutler and, yes, it can get worse.
Turnovers lead directly to points; the offense is exactly what you'd expect without a number one quarterback or receiver.
Detroit 34, Bears 10
* Speaking of self-esteem issues and adult videos, I'm old enough that the smut that I smuggled back to my adolescent lair is now categorized as "classic." Last weekend I watched 12 minutes of Catalina Five-O: Sixty-Nine and got legitimately nostalgic.
Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.