We all know that there is no way to make a pro-football game go much faster. A baseball game can be played lickety-split (or drag on interminably), but a professional football game is pretty much going to take three hours. Sometimes, they seemingly defy physics and go by in a joyful blur. This is how it was for me when I watched the Bears pound the stuffing out the Miami Dolphins last night.
The Bears played this past Sunday and had one practice, singular, uno, before this out-of-town game. Even with the tiny bit of time to rest and prepare, the Bears played shockingly good ball including Jay Cutler, who everyone (and one may be the right word) reading this blog knows I don't worship. Tyler Thigpen, the game-day QB for Miami, was sacked six times. (The Chads (Henne and Pennington), the main Miami QBs, are both out with injuries). I am all for sacking a quarterback as long as it's not a Bear getting stripped, knocked down, or whomped. My favorite moment was not one of the Robbie Gould field goals (three from which to choose) nor the Matt Forte touchdown. My fave was in the fourth quarter when Danieal Manning tackled Miami bitch (wide receiver, WHATEVER) Davone Bess. Bess leaped in the air and caught the ball thrown by Thigpen. While he was still in the air, he was tackled by Manning, a move categorized under "Wow, That Had to Hurt." The Bears beat the Dolphins 16-0 and have 10 days to prepare for their game against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on November 28.
The Bears-Dolphins game was brought to us on WGN-TV, good old Number 9, a local Chicago station whose morning news I really enjoy. We were not given the benefit of any WGN sportscasters and were instead had put up with NFL Broadcast TV guys including Joe Theisman. At the half, they regaled us with stats about Cutler and Thigpen but then added that the stats were deceptive because they didn't show how the game was actually progressing. Then why share them!?!?!?? Because they would run out of things to say, that's why, and the network would find someone more verbose. (I've said before how I feel: Statistics are fine after the game and in newspapers and for those unit-measuring contests guys seem to enjoy in bars or at work, but they are useless predictors of how any game is going to be played or even one that's in progress.)
I am hoping, hoping, dreaming that the Bears will get to play some January ball. That would be a nice 2011 gift for us all. I don't want to talk about past January as that would surely jinx the works.
National Opt Out Day. Please do not participate. While you're exercising your right to freedom of expression, the airline could very well be operating right on schedule and if you are not at the gate and on board in a timely manner, they will leave without you. "But," you will say at the gate and the agent will simply advise that one needs to allow extra time for checkin and security. Consider this as well: You may want to protest, but maybe the guy behind you has been away from home for three weeks and all he wants to do is hug his kids and hold his wife in his arms, or maybe a lady's mom is dying and if she gets there in time, she can say goodbye. A better suggestion is to write Janet Napolitano (the head of Homeland Security, y'all), your congressman, your senator, President Obama, the CEOs of your preferred air carriers, and even the mayor of the cities where you travel most. There might be a better way of screening -- think El-Al anywhere; think Incheon Airport in Seoul, S. Korea, where they give you slippers to wear while they are x-raying your shoes; think Dubai where your goods are x-rayed and you go through a metal detector when you enter the airport and again at the gate and if a pat-down is required, you and the screener step into a tent, out of view of passersby -- but until it's implemented, try to not be left behind and don't screw it up for someone else either.