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NFL Fever - Catch It! Whatever That Means
Seemingly each NFL season brings at least one instance of a Detroit Lion receiver involved in a play that forces us to study, question, ignore or amend the NFL rulebook on the fly.
This year, the Lions have provided the world a couple flavors of end zone weirdness, and Week 6's occurrence may have cost the Bears a shot at . . . nothing.
I don't think this team would be vying for a wild-card spot even if they were 3-3 right now. But still, WTF guys. We were enjoying that positive uptick.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the other play I'm referring to, watch Seattle's K.J. Wright just go ahead and slap a ball out of the back of the Seahawks' end zone.
As an NFL fan, I imagine that watching the above clip elicited roughly the same reaction from you as the one when you first encountered Rob Wilson awkwardly gyrating next to a Kia Sorrento prize package, or saw Bill Clinton cleverly trying to articulate/muddy the meaning of the word "is."
"Uh, the defense can just hit a fumbled ball out of bounds and gain possession? And did a former president get blown by a bird of prey in the Oval Office? You're saying that one of Barker's Beauties is named 'Rob?' What are we talking about??? Why is this happening??? Should I even give a damn about any of this???"
To which I reply: correct. That is the correct reaction.
And for the kids in the audience, google "pimpin-est nineties prez" and after you're done being confused about what passed for news during a good economy, have a good laugh at more timely memes like this.
Unfortunately, the result of the game proved that the Bears are, in fact, still not a great team.
The Lions aren't necessarily as bad as their record indicates, but the Bears spent most of their day on Detroit's side of the field.
And when you spend half your time on the business side of midfield, you gotsta put that cigar to good use. At least that's what my boy Slick Willie tells me.
So to recap, the Bears are better than we initially thought.
Good enough to at times impress, but waaaaaay bad enough to disappoint at the drop (or not drop?) of a hat.
Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog - A Mysteriously Unemployed Bullfrog
What the heck happened to The Plan? Are we not stockpiling sixth-round picks anymore?
Deemed by head coach John Fox as "what . . . is best for the football team," veteran defensive lineman and consistent contributor Jeremiah "Presumably Because Jeremiah Sounds Wholesome To Judges Presiding Over DUI Cases" Ratliff was cut by the Bears after a reportedly "heated" exchange with general manager Ryan Pace.
Most assume that the conflict must have been a harrowing experience for Pace, mostly because he can be described as a less handsome version of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in early cancer remission and that the police had to be summoned to Halas Hall to ensure peace was kept after Ratliff returned for another bite at the apple.
Word is that it was this return trip to the practice facility that ultimately cost the defender his job.
But rumor has it that the law had no need to visit Lake Forest that day, as the lanky GM used his reputation as a striker to ambush Ratliff with an improved ground game that was developed between bouts. Thanks to the element of surprise, Pace dispatched the 6-foot-4 Ratliff with a vicious arm bar only 45 seconds into the first round.
Full disclosure, I've been watching nothing but The Ultimate Fighter with the Bears on bye and, for all I know, Ratliff was fired because Virginia McCaskey walked in on him watching YouTube clip reel of the cheesiest quotes from Showgirls, which can definitely be an actionable offense within the Bears organization.
For example, if McCaskey had seen Ratliff watching this.
He would definitely get shit-canned.
This was definitely one of the more unusual roster moves in recent Bears history, but it was hardly the strangest cut to be found in the NFL. Not even the strangest this season.
- Tim Tebow, QB: Seemingly a lock to make the Eagles roster as the third-string quarterback, Tebow was cut after the near the end of the preseason when he was found in the Philadelphia locker room brutally wringing blood from a live chicken into an onyx goblet.
- Leon Washington, RB/KR: After successful stops in New York and Seattle, the former standout kick returner failed to make the Patriots' 53-man roster. It is rumored that New England head coach Bill Belichick got one look at Washington's rookie card and wanted no part of a player who makes obscene gestures in public, opting instead to uphold New England's proud tradition of investing in high-character players like LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
- Devon Still, DT: In a 2014 story that captured the hearts of millions, Still was cut but quickly re-signed to the Bengals practice squad when the team learned that his young daughter was battling cancer. Unfortunately, misinformed Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther cut Still earlier this season because he became convinced that cancer was a blood-borne disease spread by Russian vampires. "No commie Dracula gonna be spreadin' evil in my town," Guenther was quoted as saying shortly after receiving Still's playbook.
Kool Aid (3 of 5 Glasses Of Sauvignon Blanc)
I'll be watching this one with a certain level of cool indifference, thus sipping a beverage that reflects my mood.
Oh, who am I kidding. My doctor said if I don't slow down on the whiskey I'll die. Still not totally convinced, so wine it is. Like marriage, not dying of alcoholism is about compromise.
I am, however, very interested in how the Bears respond to their loss against the Lions. The offense put up over 30 points and we're all walking away from that game feeling like they couldn't finish the job.
Demoralizing, you say?
Remember last season when they gave up like 173 points in two weeks?
Yeah, last week was no big deal. I'm feeling more curious than anything.
For the first time in over a year, Chicago will have to figure out a way to contain Adrian Peterson as well as the NFL did.
So all the Bears have to do is prove that Peterson administered a type of discipline that is still widely considered standard punishment for rambunctious young males* and move onto game-planning for Jerick McKinnon.
Thus far, Peterson's been unable to shake off the rust and has been limited to a pace of 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Maybe I shouldn't overthink it. The guy's in the twilight of his career and barely warrants a concern.
The Vikings are 4-2, but their schedule has been pretty weak to this point and one of those losses came to the 49ers - a team that has a quarterback whom fairly reputable websites openly mock in game recap headlines. In other words, I don't think the Vikings are all that good.
The Bears will continue to compete under their newly upgraded coaching regime and, at home, win.
Thus fueling almost no rampant speculation that they can make a playoff run.
Bears 27, Vikings 23
* And for those of you appalled by that assessment, you've clearly never lived with a male, raised a male, or dated a male between the ages of three and 26.
About The Author
Carl Mohrbacher no longer has a Cubs playoff beard. Much as he loves to terrorize both Cubs opponents and his daughter with his face, that beard has sadly become inaccurate. That said, it's a long offseason and he's still got a few tricks up his sleeve in the "daughter embarrassment" department.
Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.
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