Last week's monumental loss to the NY Giants gave Jay Cutler such a smack that this week he was sidelined to get over the concussion. We won't discuss the overly-large orange t-shirt he was wearing on the sidelines today at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte that made me wonder if he were still concussed, or if he perhaps owns no mirror, or if he just doesn't give a sartorial crap. Yeah, whatever. I thought Messrs. Collins and Haney did a fine job of it, although one of the statistics I heard by the commentators is that Jay Cutler, he of the 9-time sacking last week, is ranked third among all quarterbacks in the league and Mr. Collins is way down on the list. How is that possible? I will be summarily drubbed with "well, you admit to not knowing anything, so you obviously don't know" but come on, he was sacked nine times and has yet to impress (me, that is) as being anything special. Okay, okay, I modify -- he works with a verifiable offensive line and we don't have to count on Robbie Gould to save each and every game as we did when Rex Grossman was the first-string QB.
On to the show -- we won. We held the Panthers -- whom the commentators kept saying was a young team and that was why they sucked so hard -- to two field goals. Matt Forte had a great game, running for 122 yards and two touchdown carries. Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, and Charles Tillman all had interceptions, the it's-mine-now play. Robbie Gould kicked two field goals, the second of which was a career-long 53 yards.
The Bears win 23-6.
The Chicago Marathon men's division was won today by Olympic-champion and last year's winner, Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya, who beat out Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede in the last 800 yards of the course. Not wanting to miss a minute of CBS Sunday Morning, I tuned into the TV coverage of the Marathon in time to see a terrific footrace between these two elite runners. When Sammy Wanjiru had passed Kedebe for the last time and was well ahead, Sammy Wanjiru did something wonderful: Sammy Wanjiru smiled. Had I tuned in earlier, I one (me) would have been reminded of the spectacle of paint drying. The women's race was also run by last year's champion, Liliya Shobukhova of Russia. This marks the first time there have been back-to-back winners in both categories at the Chicago Marathon, which started in 1977. I missed Ms. Shobukhova crossing the finish line because I was blabbing on the phone to my friend who actually watched most of the race but had to leave before the finish. I snapped the TV back on to advise of Ms. Shobukhova's victory, that the top spots in the race were won by superfit, supersleek Ethiopians, Kenyans, and one American, and that the women seem to run in bikinis and while the men wear baggy tanks and shorts and what the heck is that about? Yes, it was a warm day for a long run, but the humidity was low and the sun was shining and the leaves were turning and those of us who didn't run enjoyed one of the last great weather days of the year without once claiming it was too hot.
Last night was the Blackhawks season opener at the United Center. The Stanley Cup won't be back until we win it again and they really mean it this time. The banner for the win was raised to the rafters. Everyone showed off their Stanley-Cup-victory ring including team ambassadors Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito. It is one garish piece of jewelry. It almost looks like something overblown you'd buy on late-night TV. It is so over the top you could probably wear it on the CTA and no one would bother you because it just doesn't look real. The Detroit Red Wings won the game but the season for hockey (and for basketball) goes on so long that there are many opportunities to make up for it. So many opportunities that I probably won't make mention of it for some time.
This year the Blackhawks brought great joy to Chicago and I am still enjoying thoughts of that high. I celebrate with this haiku:
Raised to the rafters!
A banner celebrates the
Stanley Cup success.