We are the champions!... But no one will care tomorrow.
It’s over. Another season of football is done.

Just a mere three months ago, I was ridin’ high. The Bears were 7-1, and I was certain that this was our year. Well, it didn’t happen. We got smacked by the Texans. Humiliated by the 49ers. Whipped by the Seahawks. And beaten by the Packers. That always stings.

So even though we were first in our division for the entire first half of the season, we didn’t even make it to the playoffs. My hopes were dashed, and Bears fans everywhere were forced to wait yet another year to bring back the Lombardi to Chicago. Even our go-to wellspring that is the ’85 Bears was somewhat tempered when Ditka suffered a stroke in November. All in all, it was a rough year for the Monsters of the Midway. Maybe we could use a Canadian to get us back on track.

And even though Lovie’s firing was a holiday highlight, I had to endure a month more of faking my enthusiasm for the playoffs. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I had plenty of reasons to be excited for the playoffs. Namely, to see the Packers get eliminated from them.

Here’s the deal. The Packers have the Bears to thank for winning the Super Bowl two years ago. It’s a dubious honor to be sure, but it’s true. Last game of the season. The Bears already had a bye, so it was what many would call a garbage game. Except that it’s never a worthless win over the Packers. Every victory counts, and according to trusty Wikipedia, we still hold a series win record of 92 to 88 over our rivals to the north. It would be 93 to 87 had we not lost the game that let Green Bay get a wild card into the playoffs, show us up at the NFC Championship, and swipe the Halas Trophy from us at Soldier Field. Of course, Green Bay did not repay the favor and beat Minnesota in their last game of the season this year so that we too could have our chance at Super Bowl victory.

So it felt oh so good when Green Bay finally succumbed to the 49ers last month. And though Harbaugh’s a complete loon, the fact that the Packers got beat by Jim and company felt like a small victory for Chicago fans, too. (Harbaugh played quarterback for the Bears in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.)

It counts.

Anyway, with the Packers out of Super Bowl contention, I really didn’t have a horse in the race anymore. (My horse was whoever was playing the Packers.) The Falcons are boring. Plus, they’ve pretty much perfected the art of choking in the playoffs. I have family on the east coast who are New England fans, but I want to see New England in the playoffs as much as I want to see another installment of The Fast and the Furious. Then there are the Ravens, who I don’t know much about, except that Ray Lewis is sketch and John Harbaugh is big brother to Jim. Hmm… Okay. That made it interesting. Once the 49ers made it to the AFC Championship, my picks were set. The only thing that was going to make this Super Bowl any fun was seeing an all-Harbaugh fight to the finish.

Despite the fact that I got my wish, it’s always a little sad to watch the Super Bowl when your team’s not in it. Yeah, it’s a great excuse for one last bingefest before you finally make good on your resolution to lose weight, but still… It’s not the same. I can still remember that sweet, sweet first quarter during Super Bowl XLI when the Bears were leading the Colts 14-6. The rest of the game is a little blurry.

And that’s my only consolation. Though the Ravens beat the 49ers just four days ago, you’d have to scour the news outlets to find a single article about it anymore. I’m sure all the Baltimore fans are still raiding their local Targets for as much Ravens gear as they can get their hands on, but their incessant craving for hats and T-shirts and commemorative DVDs will soon pass as well. Because sports fans are fickle. Season after season, we celebrate and commiserate with our teams’ victories and losses. We argue over bad flags and questionable catches. We writhe in pain with our favorite players when they suffer a concussion or ACL tear. For four months – five if you count preseason and six if you’re lucky enough to make the playoffs – we rise and fall and live and breathe with our teams.

And once that Lombardi Trophy is hoisted high once more… We put on Netflix and pass out from the 5000 calories we ate. ‘Merica!

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to “No Time For Losers”

I only have one thing to say,

Victor Blaer
February 7th, 2013

Hells yeah! 🙂

February 8th, 2013