The Bears must be the best 5-9 team there is. Maybe the best team destined to have a losing record, period.
You have to assume as much when you look over the Pro Bowl selections.
With four players named to the Feb. 10 all-star game in Honolulu, the Bears have four more players headed to the game than the Jacksonville Jaguars, who enter today with a 10-4 record. They have more more players headed to the game than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who at 9-5 have already clinched the NFC South and a playoff berth. They have four more players than the New Orleans Saints, whose wild-card hopes remain very much alive entering play today with a 7-7 record. They have four more players than the Detroit Lions, who are stumbling at 6-8 but count two victories over the Bears this season.
Here’s another one for you: the Bears’ four players headed to the Pro Bowl match the four that are being sent by the Green Bay Packers, who are 12-2.
Go figure. Returner Devin Hester, linebacker Lance Briggs, special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo and defensive tackle Tommie Harris aren’t the only four Bears’ players to receive recognition. They also have three alternates with center Olin Kreutz named a first alternate. Kicker Robbie Gould is a second alternate and special teamer Israel Idonije, despite not being on the fan ballot, is a third alternate.
That’s seven players who have been recognized in all. Green Bay has three first alternates and seven other alternates. It’s surprising the Bears would choose not to promote the accomplishment of Idonije, who was obviously received tremendous support from players and coaches throughout the league in the selection process.
At any rate, there you have it ... with a 5-9 record the Bears have four Pro Bowlers and three alternates.
If they win out, they can match victories with honored players.