For reasons unbeknownst to me but abundantly clear to Roger Goodell, Commissioner of All Things Football, the Chicago Bears took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today at Wembly Stadium in London. It was a sold-out game. Roger Goodell didn't ask me what I thought about NFL teams playing American-style football in a country that has no professional American-style (or even Canadian-style) football teams of its own. Roger Goodell asks me nothing. It's like he doesn't even know me, like we've never met. This is mostly because he doesn't know me and we've never met. I am sure if we met, Roger and me, that he would instantly take a disliking to me and flee, refusing to listen to my very good ideas and solid opinions. My ideas are these: Why waste football franchise money on travel to the UK, possibly including getting new passports for those who don't have them (approximately $120 each without the rush fee or the fees for hiring a passport and visa service) and might not otherwise need or want them? Why allow revenues -- food and beverage, souvenirs, parking, local transportation -- that might go to local governments and businesses, to instead go to foreign ones? Why risk jet lag that can make for tired players who might then play less than optimally? What is the big deal about playing American football in London?
Let's go back to last week's game where everyone played great! The offensive line stopped multiple sacks, Jay played like a real quarterback, the defensive line was masterful and did them some sacking of Mr. Donovan McNabb. Lady Football, in far flung elsewhere-in-the-state, sent me a text message at about halftime and we spent the second half exchanging texts about the game. Once Prince Football, now age 1, finally got to sleep Lady Football was able to concentrate on the game and shared her thoughts with me. All hail Lady Football! Chicago Bears whomp the Minnesota Vikings, 39-10.
So now we go to this London game where, except for a mere bobble at the end, the Bears played great and beat the Bucs on foreign soil with a solid enough score of 24-18. Jet lag wasn't an issue for our home team. Go Bears!
After the game, I heard a radio interview with Brian Urlacher. He was very complimentary of Matt Forte, calling him the greatest player in pro football today. He said Forte could run the ball, catch the ball, and that he was also very humble. The interviewer asked Urlacher if he thought playing regularly in London was a good idea and he paused and said, "I don't know," and went on to say that they love soccer there, not football. He handled the question very diplomatically. They had taken the Bears on a tour of London the day before and they asked Urlacher what impressed him most. "Harrods." Yes, the giant department store was what impressed him most. I don't know what was on the tour (I am thinking at least a driveby of the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Marble Arch), but Urlacher appears to like him some retail therapy. He went on to say Harrods was "as big as a mall." With that little tidbit of info, I am betting some solid holidaytime trolling of local suburban malls would let one come upon a certain large man buying gifts and, perhaps, a new shirt for himself. Should that happen, I promise to keep a civil tongue in my head and perhaps score an autograph.
Next week = Bye week. I will opine as always, y'all.
Before every game, Chicago Bears defensive tackle (and Detroit native) Anthony Adams does a dance to get his teammates pumped up for the game. Called the "fat man dance," he recently sent a tweet telling fans to come to the Bean in Millennium Park and the one who did the best version of the fat man dance would win a pair of tickets to an upcoming Bears game. Fans showed up to meet Adams, who judged the contest himself. Most other Bears players, please note: he met with his fans. The footage I saw showed a very happy man interacting with very happy fans.
I found the Adams version of the dance on You Tube: