Sunday, February 04, 2007

I must admit that there is something very unpleasant about having to eat my words. I don't enjoy the taste. The Bears let me down and the Colts were better than I thought. And I had to do it, why I don't know, but I ripped Bob Sanders to shreds the other day, and damned if the Bears didn't make him look like he was the evolutionary hybrid of the great defensive backs of the past that I sarcastically made him out to be. Good thing I didn't throw Night Train Lane in the mix, otherwise Sanders would likely have scored three TDs on his own.

But I promised my own version of the Paper Lace song The Night Chicago Died. I know I've promised them for a while now, but now I guess it's finally time to deliver. I must warn you, it's not very good and certainly uninspired. But you have to bear with me. Like Marvin the Paranoid Android, I'm feeling very depressed right now. So here goes:

Lovie was a coach on the north side of Chicago,
Went down to FLA, had a bad, bad day
In the rain on a Sunday night, in the southeast's crown jewel
The team from Chicago choked, and I looked like a fool
The night Chicago died.
When a man named Peyton Manning tried to make the trophy his own
And he called his fake audibles and some coverages were blown

I heard my neighbor curse and storm and swear the night Chicago died
Brother what a game it really wasn't, in fact it really sucked.
I heard my neighbor curse and storm and swear the night Chicago died
Brother what a game it really wasn't, in fact it really sucked.
God help us.

The crowd of Colts fans did roar as Rex kept falling down
And the Bears came very close to competing for the crown
Until the went 25 minutes of 3 and outs
All in all, not one of their better bouts

I heard my neighbor curse and storm and swear the night Chicago died
Brother what a game it really wasn't, in fact it really sucked.
I heard my neighbor curse and storm and swear the night Chicago died
Brother what a game it really wasn't, in fact it really sucked.
God help us.

Then there was no sound at all, since I shot my TV set
So I didn't have to see the accolades Peyton'd get
Now Junior Simple heads to Disney World, and how it does reek
And I'm not going to watch ESPN for at least a week.

The night Chicago died.

I know it's not great. Meter isn't exactly my strong suit as a poet. In point of fact, poetry isn't my strong suit as a poet. But I said I do it, and now it's done. If it kills my readership before it even gets off the ground, so be it. But the depressing end to an otherwise good season has me wondering what to do about next year.

Just so you know, I didn't shoot my television. How could I, when it gives so much and asks so little? I just threw it in there because Elvis, according to legend, used to shoot his TVs when Robert Goulet came on screen. Seeing Goulet in the Emerald Nuts commercial and loathing Peyton Manning as much as I do, the connection fell into place.

In the process of contributing to the construction of the Bears bandwagon and rebuilding it after the near disaster in Arizona and honest to goodness disasters at home against Miami and Green Bay and on the road in New England, I have become emotionally invested in the Bears. But the loser of the Super Bowl had not made the playoffs since the Titans in 2000 until Seattle did this season. And even the Seahawks submitted a lackluster performance in a very weak division this season.

Questions remain for the Bears; actually they hang over the team like the sword of Damocles. Among the big ones: Will Rex Grossman actually develop any measure of consistency? Are his health concerns behind him? How badly hurt is Cedric Benson? If he comes back healthy, how long can he coexist with Thomas Jones? How long can the team afford two high-priced tailbacks without losing players like Desmond Clark or Bernard Berrian? Will Charles Tillman be a Bear next season? Will the defense stay as healthy, or will there be another Tommy Harris injury and some other key player as well? Will Devin Hester play more defense and less special teams? Will they lose coaches in the offseason?

Based on the defensive performance, or lack thereof, tonight, I am more hopeful of Ron Rivera staying on for at least one more year. If he's not going to be a head coach, I think one more year of a great defense in Chicago will be better for him than a lateral move to Dallas or another team. I don't see Lovie leaving, either. That would be too dumb for words on the part of Bears' management. I like him as a coach. He has a quiet strength and consistency about him, his persona radiates confidence. I don't want to see him go.

I'm not sure what effect the talk about Smith and Rivera as candidates in Dallas had on the team's preparation. But I don't think it helped. And that's part of the larger problem that is the Super Bowl now. It's not just a game anymore, it's a cultural event. It's a monstrosity. And it's too bad. It's hard now, just to watch the game. Now you need to see the ads so you can talk about them, blog about them and rate them until someone like me who just wants to watch the game for its own sake loses his temper and smashes a chair over your head. For the record, I abhor violence if I can get caught in the act or it happens to me.

And then, every channel but the network carrying the game has to glom onto the game's popularity and try to come up with an alternative lineup to catch the non-fan. For instance, TBS ran a My Boys marathon, and no one called for an investigation into that crime against humanity (or at least good taste). Animal Planet ran a Puppy Bowl, which was footage of a set built to look kind of like a football field while puppies frolicked about. It was heartwarming, or it would have been if I had been lobotomized recently or if I didn't believe WC Fields was right on the money when he said anyone who hates kids and dogs can't be all bad.

But today wasn't all bad. A friend told me about Michael Vick's alter ego "Ron Mexico." I know I'm late to the party on this one, Deadspin and the Smoking Gun reported it a long time ago. I guess I live under a rock, but I figured I'd throw it out there because I laughed like hell when I read the story. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It's a must read.

I guess I'm not really surprised that Michael Vick has VD. It happens. Sometimes people think they're bulletproof. What really surprises me is his almighty poor choice of an alter ego. Ron Mexico? Why not Ron Smith? Ron Mexico is a really half-assed choice. There is no subtlety there. Ron Mexico sticks out like a sore thumb. An alter ego should help you blend. It's not as though any reasonable person would look at Ron Mexico and ask "Are you related to Dave Mexico from Memphis?" Might as well print out business cards that say Michael Vick, I have herpes.

But there is this site that delights in the Michael Vick/Ron Mexico saga. It's a riot. I wasted a few minutes on the name generator. The Cincinnati Kid's Ron Mexico name is Franc Ecuador. It's a nice touch, Franc with a C instead of a K. Makes it sound more exotic.

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