Final Words on the NFC Championship

The time has (almost) come.  When I received my playoff tickets on Christmas Eve, I looked at the NFC Championship ticket and laughed.  So many unlikely things would have to happen for the Bears to host this game.  And here we are.

I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach like I’m having surgery Sunday and on Monday I’ll know whether life will never be the same, or I’ll be cured of a disease and live happily ever after.  Hope I can sleep tonight.

FOREWORD:  I can’t believe what I’m seeing on my own blog.  Please understand that the advertisements that appear here are placed by Google and I have very little control over them.  I have been noticing today that I’m seeing “Buy your Green Bay Packer NFC Champion Super Bowl 45 Gear Here” ads on this very page.  Fully 24 hours before the game even kicks off.  Wow, that takes the cake–it’s not only Ryan Grant and Donald Driver that are guaranteeing a Packers victory before the teams enter the stadium.

Will be headed before 7 a.m. to tailgate before the most historic and indeed the biggest, most important Chicago Bears game I have witnessed in 32 years.   I say this even over the 1985 playoff games I also attended, simply because those games weren’t against a rival, and I truly felt no threat from the Giants or Rams that year.

And I remember Jimmy the Greek picking the Rams over the Bears in 1985.  I certainly remember every one of the Fox television pregamers picking the Saints in 2006-every one.  We all know that not many in America give the Bears a chance in hell against Green Bay tomorrow.  I can’t find any picks on ESPN, but I already see stories such as “Rodgers can dominate Bears defense”, and “Cutler will be in dire straits with poor performance.”  And I guarantee all of you that will be watching the pregame on television, if Fox has 6 personalities on the pregame show, you’re going to see 6 G’s under their names for their picks.

This is all fine with me.  The pressure is on the Packers.  If the Bears lose, they just did what was expected of them by everyone in the world other than them, their coaches, staffers and fans.  I certainly hope they’re taking offense to all of this.

I’ve been criticized at times for sounding defeatist.  I don’t think I do, because I’m simply stating the fact that NO ONE knows how this game will turn out.  Anyone that claims now that they know their team will win is crazy.  It’s going to come down to how each team’s coaching staff decides to attack the other team and how the players execute-simple as that.  Whichever team plays better tomorrow in the game of their lives will win.

If I will be able to take anything out of this on Monday, it will be that I did no trash-talking leading up to this game, and I’m going to be a good sport about it whether my team wins or loses.  I’ve already had a dozen ludicrious, vile and even threatening comments here from obviously the lowest common denominator of Packer fans.  I don’t know why they waste their time as with one click I delete the comments, and will continue to do so.  On the other hand any intelligent comments will stay.  I’m glad to say that win or lose, I’ll be taking the high road.

I know and have friends that are Packer fans, and I enjoy talking to them about the rivalry.  Too bad there seem to be so many that can do nothing but trash talk even before the game starts.

Should the Bears lose, it will sting for a while, for sure.  Because I think the Bears are going to win, because they can win this game, despite what everyone in the world is saying.  But it’s up to them to find it within themselves to win.  Win or lose, it won’t be that I or WE beat Packers fans or vise versa.  The better team is going to defeat the other team; the fans are just along for the ride.

One thing I do know, as much as I want the Bears to win this game more than any other game I’ve ever witnessed, I know the players want to win it more.  And if they don’t come out victorious, this will hurt them a hell of a lot more than it will hurt me.

Many of the Bears players were in this position in 2007, following the Super Bowl loss.  They know how it feels to miss greatness by just THAT much.  They know that they’re older and they may never have this chance again.

So many other years I lamented the Bears barely missing the opportunity to get to the Super Bowl (1988 comes to mind), and wondered for so long what might have been.  But again, I know the players and coaches have much, much more on the line than I do.

Read some more of my thoughts on the game in my buddy Joe Hosey’s publication www.shorewood-il.patch.com.

Let’s Go Bears.

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