I used to eagerly await the release of the offseason pro football preseason magazines from the likes of Athlon, Sporting News and Lindy’s. Even as recently as five years ago, they still provided much more detail on the coming season than anything else one could find. But in the 21st century era of the Internet, these mags are quickly becoming irrelevant. (Example, references to Curtis Benson/Cedric Enis as the Bears’ starting running back in each of the publications).
But I still get them for my archive. And this last weekend I picked up the Sporting News and Athlon.
Of course, no matter how hard I try not to, I always jump right to their predictions pages. I was pleasantly surprised to read this sidebar in Sporting News Pro Football ’08:
“Bear-ly noticeable: Looking for a surprise team this NFL season? Show Chicago some Lovie”. I would attach a link here to the story, but of course if Sporting News gave the article from the magazine away for free, you wouldn’t buy the magazine. Basically, they predict that the Bears have every chance to bounce back and make the playoffs. We will see.
However encouraging this is, of course Sporting News predicts that Green Bay will again reach the NFC Championship game. The championship game two years in a row, led by Aaron Rodgers with a suspect interior offensive line and rapidly aging corners? Dubious.
Athlon takes the safer and predictable route, picking the Bears to finish third in the division behind Green Bay and Minnesota, respectively.
Of course, every publication will be wrong about most everything as usual. None of them predicted a New York Giant title last year, I guarantee that.