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Since my other column is titled, Over/Under, here are some Bears-related lines I should have devised before last week's games:
Detroit at Chicago:
Over/Under: 150 1/2. Number of Urlacher jerseys at the neighborhood Buffalo Wild Wings on Sunday.
Over/Under: 1/2. Number of guys in Roy Williams jerseys who believe they made the right wardrobe choice on Sunday.
Over/Under: 2 1/2. For the three offensive plays I will hear on the radio leaving me muttering "Lighten up, Francis" when Jeff Joniak calls the three massive three-yard runs by Thomas Jones.
Ah, yes, Buffalo Wild Wings. I found it necessary to leave my ivory tower of ineptitude on Sunday and personally take the Kool-Aid Nation's pulse. As noted, the place was filled with Bears fans. Unfortunately, I sat next to a Falcons fan in town on business, so I could not get any direct quotes. I did keep an ear open for stray gems like "Why is the ref signaling traveling?" and "Jerry Glanville is the best announcer in football." I know I'm hard on the Kool-Aid Nation, but these things were actually uttered by Packers fans in Madison back in the day the Packers were better than brutal, and Bears fans have never been known to be smarter than Packer backers.
Then again, it's easy to not say anything stupid when you jump to a 24-0 lead.
Now the Bears hold a 2-0 record. The Bears fans I know have reassessed the schedule. It's kind of like when you start dating a new person and you look ahead to all the holidays and other life events which once caused dread but now and instead happily feel a lighter heart and pocketbook. Since the Bears show promise, you now have to actually go into public, pound beers, buy a jersey, and purchase some of the those crappy Sun-Times mini-footballs. Sure you are happy, but remember: Even happiness comes with costs.
The NFC's best teams - Seattle and Carolina - figure out ways to win with lackluster play but also ways to lose with above average play. After two weeks, no NFC team has played better than the Bears or the Falcons. How do I know that Bears fans know it might be the start of something good? One guy I know started singing the Super Bowl Shuffle. With a win over the Vikings, expect to hear the question "What rhymes with Urlacher?"
Chicago at Minnesota, Sunday September 23, Noon
After two weeks, we now have the benefit of multiple performances to help in our evaluations. For instance:
The Vikings barely beat Carolina, who barely beat the Lions. The Bears took the Lions, drugged them, drove them to their mountain home, and well, you get the picture. Advantage: Bears
The Bears went on the road to Green Bay and slept-walked through the game, but I could not classify Green Bay as "hostile." Minnesota won at home, and when things are going well, the crowd becomes "hostile." Minnesota is not exactly singing the "Purple People Eaters" song, but they are also 2-0 - and against tougher teams. Moderate Advantage: Minnesota
In terms of talent, I characterize the Vikings OL as decent, but inconsistent. Not Green Bay sieve-like porous, but simply inconsistent. Then again, on a normal day, Minnesota's previous opponents (Carolina and Washington) do a good job of pressuring the QB, and the Vikings did win these games. The Bears usually can push straight ahead pretty well with their front four, which is especially important against Brad "The Statue" Johnson. On the flip side, Johnson does release the ball quickly, and I assume they will have some success moving the ball, especially if they test the secondary. Certainly, the Vikings are better equipped to test the secondary of the Bears than Green Bay or Detroit turned out to be. At the end of the day, I doubt the Vikings can overcome the Bears front four the whole game, though, especially when it counts. Advantage: Bears
The fact I'm picking the Bears when almost 92% of my picks have been wrong in two weeks. Infinite Advantage: Vikings
Pick: Chicago -3. Over 33 points.
Sugar in The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid: 90%
Recommended sugar in The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid: 70%
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