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2010 Bears Fan's Best Friend: Even Steven

Is it just me, or has the start of this 2010 campaign for the Bears been just... well... ho-hum? Nothing to see here, move along, keep it moving, stay behind the yellow tape please – Business as usual.

We haven't gotten too high and haven't gotten too low. We've seen early injuries, but nothing too serious. Of course there's bad play, but also some good play – Everything balances out, no reason to get emotional, no reason for real concern, simply: Even Steven.


Did the Jay Cutler trade ruin our enthusiasm?
Maybe the non-exciting start has something to do with all of the activity that has taken place in and around the Chicago sports landscape.

The Blackhawks are the Stanley Cup Champions, the Bulls were in the playoffs and added a nice piece (Carlos Boozer) in free agency, the White Sox are doing quite well in route to a possible playoff appearance, and the Cubs are... well... the Cubs.

The NBA provided the national sports drama this spring and early summer with a better than expected NBA Finals and a free agency frenzy that has never before been seen . The drama was good enough to possibly dull our senses for the upcoming NFL season.

The Chicago Bulls started the summer as the favorites for LeBron James and his “talents,” but things didn't work out that way. Conversely, the Bears secured the biggest prize in NFL free agency (Julius Peppers), but that still didn't seem to pump up the Bears' fan base like last year's trade for Jay Cutler did.

This team had plenty of optimism in the summer of '09 because we had a shiny new QB and were the talk of the league... now, we have a shiny new DE who doesn't bring the same sorta cachet that Mr. Cutler brought.

That excitement for Cutler seriously waned after we all watched him lead the league with 26 interceptions and the Bears finish with a 7-9 record.

So what's really causing this lack of excitement for the 2010 Bears? Is it a post Tiger/Stanley Cup/LeBron lag? Do we really just feel stupid for our 2009 Cutler hype and don't want to put ourselves in that vulnerable position again? Is it because we haven't had a 1st (or 2nd) round pick to gush over in two off-seasons? Are we afraid that this season is gonna be a nightmare? Are we afraid that it will be a surprising success? Maybe our enthusiasm reflects the results we've gotten over the past few seasons (7-9, 9-7, 7-9) which is nothing to get excited about.

I would image the answer includes a little bit of everything.

Most of the main stars of this team are on the other side of their prime. A good portion of the draft picks (made by GM Jerry Angelo) since the 2006 Super Bowl campaign have been released or gross underachievers. The skill position guys are young and have potential, but are mostly unproven and untested. The greatest chance of excitement is probably a Devin Hester kick return, but those electrifying runs have been nonexistent since his move to receiver.

On a brighter note, Brian Urlacher is returning after missing all but one game last season. Also, Chris Harris returns to the team via an off-season trade with the Carolina Panthers. Tommie Harris has managed to stay healthy and practicing full-time, and young guys like Zack Bowman and Matt Forte are looking great in camp so far.

Surprisingly good play from a few young players could net a Wildcard berth or better. Surprisingly bad play from a couple top vets could mean doom and gloom Could be a 6-10 season or looking forward to a playoff push guided by a 10+ win team. Either way wouldn't surprise me or anyone else who follows this team.

Celebrated fanfare normally only ends one of two ways: Big disappointment or expectations met. The middle let's the highs stay high and doesn't let the lows get too low. This Even Steven thing could be good for Bears!

Who am I kidding? The middle sucks! I'd give anything to be the Jets or Cowboys right now! I'd settle for being the Vikings right now. Their biggest headache is massaging a diva's ego; the Bears' headaches start with not knowing what their offensive line looks like.. ugh! At least knowing that you are going to be horrible (like the Rams) would allow good conversation about the future, especially if your number one pick was a QB with loads of potential. The middle of the road doesn't really allow us to do even that.


Frankie O
Even Steven just got me again! That last paragraph tells it all. It seems like I was really emotional and had some sort of revelation but seconds after typing the last word I was right back to Even Steven mode reading tweets about how great the wide receiver and secondary battles have been in Bears camp.

I (like many others I suspect) am trapped. I can't get high enough for it to matter, and can't get discouraged enough with all of the positives I am hearing and seeing. Until we see how this thing plays out, we won't get too high or too low... a very boring fan existence. Ho-hum, middle of the road, keep it moving, nothing to see here.

“Oh look, Frank Omiyale just allowed another sack in practice, wait... Mark Anderson is the one who got the sack!”

See what I mean? Even Steven.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say this but for me it is true, my lack of excitement is I look to the franchise to the North and they look clearly better than us. In fact I look to the North and I even see two better teams which sucks bad. Cutler has a lot of people I know really guarded with their excitement this year as well.