On the John: Sacked, slimed, and feeling fine

On the John

Sacked, slimed, and feeling fine

Originally completed October 11, 2010

Things got better for Todd Collins this week, but not really. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

We apologise again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

— Monty Python and the Holy Grail

******

I had every intention of producing my usual Bears column following last week’s sacking at the hands of those filthy New York Giants. Unfortunately my protection schemes broke down, and I found myself regularly face-planted on the floor next to my desk as Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora glared high above me…

Ho ho. It’s easy to make jokes once your team is back in the win column. Yesterday’s breezy knockabout of the winless Carolina Panthers does not erase the horrid memories of Jay Cutler’s brain banging inside his skull, but at least it lets us Bears fans and them Bears players move on to more pleasing thoughts and pressing matters.

There’s nothing fun about watching your team get slapped around on national television. After the Giants game ended late last Monday, I found myself walking east on Irving Park over to Ashland, passing a small diner on my way to a cab. Inside the diner, patrons with URLACHER 54 and CUTLER 6 on their backs were watching Bears “highlights” on ESPN. I caught eyes with the gentleman behind the counter; I looked at him, and then up at the screen, and then he looked at the screen, and then he looked at me, and then we smiled hopelessly and shook our heads. Have you ever witnessed a beat down quite so thorough and disgusting? we communicated.

When I found a cab, the driver was even more direct. “Here’s what Lovie should do,” he began before I’d told him my destination. “After each game, he should take a bit of time to clear his belongings into a large duffle bag. Then, when the season is over, all he has to do is zip the bag, and bam! He’s packed.”

Talk this week won’t be quite as positive as last week’s was negative, but at least we’ve survived The Todd Collins Era and emerged with another win. Yes, regardless of Jay Cutler’s status next week against Seattle, it is safe to say that Mr. Collins’ stint as Chicago Bears Starting Quarterback is officially over. He was not battered near as viciously as Cutler, but his compulsion to entrust the football with the other team means he has, presumably, fallen below Caleb Hanie on the depth chart. It will take both Cutler and Hanie getting knocked from their cleats for Collins to see another professional snap in Chicago, and even if those two signal-callers are decapitated, the Bears would be better off running the single wing with Forte, Taylor, Hester, and Knox.

Anything would be better than trusting a make-shift offensive line to protect a former NFL quarterback, especially in light of Matt Forte’s brilliant opening quarter. The first eight minutes of yesterday’s game saw the third-year back explode for 101 yards on four carries with two touchdowns. When Chester Taylor plunged toward the endzone with under three minutes to play in the quarter, it looked as if the Bears were primed for an epic pasting.

But Taylor’s TD never happened, and two plays later, the old man Collins deposited the football into the waiting mitts of Carolina’s Ed Johnson. It was the first of two interceptions Collins threw to the defensive line, a nice balance with the more traditional picks he threw to the secondary…

That interception came from the Carolina one-yard line. It was the ninth time this season that the Bears have run an offensive play from inside the opponent’s one. They have failed to score a touchdown on ALL NINE PLAYS, a fact that chicagobears.com blogger Larry Mayer suggested must be “some sort of NFL record.”

Indeed. Not much makes sense about these 2010 Chicago Bears. Forte running for 100 yards and two scores in the first quarter proved just as surprising as the Giants sacking Cutler seven times in the second quarter. Both are ridiculous stats, and both feature the same offensive line, so you figure it out.

The Bears have much to figure out if they are going to be in the playoffs for the first time since Super Bowl Rex. The gag is that between now and December 5th, the team plays only two clubs currently with winning records. That means they could continue throwing picks and changing lineups and still start 7-1 before their showdown with Favre and Moss.

Did I forget to mention that Randy Moss is back in Minnesota, and now teamed with Brett friggin’ Favre? My mistake. Sure, one could joke that “This ain’t 1998,” but why? The Gunslinger and The Freak are a more natural duo than Dana Barrett and Louis Tulley, and just as volatile. I’ve secretly pined for their pairing since the early 2000s – I am a lover of sports chaos (on other teams), as was, I suspect, Peter Venkman, which is why he was so intent on getting the keymaster and gatekeeper together. So what if it nearly led to Gozer the Gozerian taking up permanent residence in This World? The fireworks set off by this unnaturally natural partnership were worth the risk…

But that is well in the future, with three games and a bye week yet to go. Life in th’NATIONAL Football League is unstable and uncertain; we hardly know who our quarterback will be next week, much less on November 14th. Moss could be on his third team of the season by November 14th… Favre could be retired… Cutler could be on IR… Collins could be unemployed… Hanie could be a star… Lovie’s duffle could be half way to filled. That’s why we have to enjoy 23-6 for the week we’ve got it. In this league, you never know.

Copyright 2010, jm silverstein

COME BACK THE DAY AFTER EVERY 2010 BEARS GAME for a new column from Jack M Silverstein, right here at readjack.com

WEEK 1: Once a Bears fan…

WEEK 2: 2-0 and beyond the infinite

WEEK 3: On Monday — a story in two parts (PART II)

WEEK 4: Column canceled due to vicarious concussion

More Bears material from readjack.com

***COMING THIS FALL***

The sports fan book in print!

WHY WE ROOT: Mad obsessions of a Chicago Sports Fan

Look for it from Keylog Books

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