Not only has this been the Bears' year, but almost everybody who has stood in their way seems to have been cursed.
The four teams that caused so much local consternation by whipping the Bears in the preseason didn't make the playoffs. The Giants, who humiliated the Bears on national television with nine first-half sacks of Jay Cutler, didn't make the playoffs either. The Seahawks, who beat the Bears at home in the regular season, were routed by the Bears in the playoffs. The Patriots, who embarrassed the Bears at home in December, lost their first playoff game.
The Redskins went 2-7 after beating the Bears to finish 6-10. Albert Haynesworth, who played his best game in years against the Bears and single-handedly embarrassed the Bears' offensive line, Jay Cutler and Lovie Smith with a spectacular stop of a quarterback sneak by Cutler that forced a fumble that would have been a Bears touchdown had Smith challenged it, was suspended for the final month of the season.
Perry Fewell, who turned down an opportunity to become the Bears' defensive coordinator in favor of the same job with the Giants, missed out on the playoffs when his defense allowed 38 and 45 points in back-to-back losses to the Eagles and Packers.
Jeremy Bates, who turned down an opportunity to interview for the Bears' offensive coordinator job and became the offensive coordinator with the Seahawks, was fired after his offense scored three points and had 111 total yards through three quarters in a 35-24 loss to the Bears in the NFC divisional playoffs.
Maybe that's why Packers coach Mike McCarthy bristled again when asked about quarterbacks coach Tom Clements on Thursday.
Of all the rejections the Bears faced in hiring coordinators in the offseason, McCarthy denying the Bears permission to interview Clements for the offensive coordinator position was the most egregious -- because he was denying one of his position coaches an opportunity for a promotion.
He was uncomfortable talking about it prior to the Bears-Packers game in September (''Let's talk about the game. I think the world of Tom Clements, but decisions are made for a reason,'' he said.) And he was no more thrilled when it came up again Thursday.
''I don't know why I have to answer something like that right now. We're preparing to play for the NFC championship,'' said McCarthy, apparently forgetting that he never wants to talk about it. ''I am pro-career advancement with my staff. When a request is made of anybody on our staff, there's conversations that take place. So Tom and I, in his particular situation, we talked about it, and a decision was made and we moved forward. I think Tom's very happy in Green Bay.''