Talk about the positives, if you'd like. The offense finally committed to the running game, and the results were pleasant. Jamar Williams was all over the field, filling in admirably for Lance Briggs. Jay Cutler finished a game sans interception for the first time since the bye week. The Bears actually won.
I consider myself somewhat savvy - or aware, at least - when it comes to these things, but I have to admit: all this Tiger Woods business did surprise me a little bit.
You mean you were shocked that this immeasurably wealthy, ultra-competitive athlete - who's constantly flying solo on the road - would cheat on his wife!? How unfathomable!
Yes, it now sounds a bit foolish, I know. The writing was probably on the wall. But, I don't know, Tiger always seemed like one of the few who wouldn't travel down this path.
If you asked me last week to name five athletes who likely went on the road beef-less, my list probably would have looked like this: Jim Thome, Tim Duncan, Greg Maddux, Peyton Manning, and Tiger. Oh, and AC Green.
Here's how lopsided the ACC/Big Ten Challenge has been: before beginning this post, I dug through an online thesaurus for a solid five minutes to look for synonyms of the word "dominate". "Dominate" just seems like too common of a term for the type of annihilation were dealing with here. This was domination after three years, six years, nine years. But after 10 years? At this point in history, we're dealing with borderline oppression.
Or, to put it in terms you'll understand: the ACC is the Metrodome, the Big Ten is the White Sox. The ACC is the Circus Trip, the Big Ten is the Bulls. The ACC is Carlos Lee, the Big Ten is Cubs' pitching.
Perhaps even labeling this as oppression was too kind. For 10 years, the Big Ten tried and the Big Ten failed. For 10 years, they never really stood a chance against the mighty ACC.
It is because of all this that I have to use the entirety of my will power not to type the rest of this entry in all caps.
I feel like the 'Hawks have played more exciting regular season games in the first two months of this season than they have in the rest of the decade combined. Of course, I probably only feel this way because the team spent much of the decade as the Clippers of hockey, and I spent much of the decade not caring. Regardless, everything is all good now, and yesterday's 11-round shootout win over the rival Blue Jackets is just another highlight in an increasingly exciting season.
How do you know you're in the midst of a potentially historic season? For the second time this year, the 'Hawks have broke their record for "longest shootout in team history". And they've won both times. Boom.
Two weeks ago, before the Bulls embarked on this death march, Joakim Noah told the world that he didn't know what was "so circus" about his team's upcoming road trip. There is, of course, only one way to find out about these things. The hard way.
After falling to the Bucks in Milwaukee last night, our rebound-inhaling, cognac-loving center should have his answer. Here's what's so circus about it: after beating an overachieving Kings team to start this monster off on the right foot, the Bulls didn't win another game on their annual late November road trip. With the exception of yesterday's two point loss to the Bucks, they really never even come close. The other four losses were bloodbaths, defeats coming by - on average - over 19 points per game.
The most frustrating thing about the previous sentence is how unsurprising it is. The same thing happens to the Bulls every year. This isn't so much a road trip as it is a funeral procession. Which begs the question: at what point do we decide to tell the brothers Ringling to move their stupid circus to the All-State Arena?
I'm glad the Bears got to wait until Week 12 before getting pounded by the Vikings. It made this loss so much easier to handle. A Metrodome beat-down this thorough at the hands of Favre is normally enough to make me scream, break things, ect. Not anymore. At this point, the Bears have desensitized me to how awful they are.
Let's not sugarcoat it: this was textbook-defined domination. Minnesota toyed with the Bears. Coming into it, I thought the Bears maybe had a one percent chance of winning. That was probably optimistic. The Vikings owned the clock, converted seemingly every third down, and out-gained our guys by a cool 368 yards. Even worse, I can't shake the feeling that the Vikings only had to give about 70 percent effort to win by 26. These two teams should not be the same league. The Bears deserve to be relegated.
So yeah, the Bears suck. But you already knew that, and I've already written like 10 million words on how we got here. There's no need to rehash old arguments. Instead, let's talk about how villainous the '09 Vikings are. If you don't hate them already, you probably should.
This, my friends, is a turducken. For the uninformed, it's a chicken, shoved inside a duck, shoved inside a turkey. And it's delicious. I dare call it the Cadillac of meat.
A friend of mine recently received this precious concoction as a birthday gift from his parents. They shipped it all the way from Philadelphia to Wrigleyville. I believe he said it cost around $90. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance when he made it a few weeks ago, and it was absurd. I actually can't believe we pulled it off (it took over 10 hours to cook), but we did and it was awesome.
Turducken: it's like ambrosia. I am thankful I was there to eat it, because I'll probably never have it again.
What are you guys thankful for? I have some more thoughts, after the jump...
I really hope Jay Cutler hasn't blinded you with interceptions. Because, if your vision is still intact, perhaps you have noticed that our Blackhawks - you know, "the good team" - are rolling as of late. They've won seven in a row, they're second in the Western Conference in points, and they even sit atop a few power rankings. Things are going well, and it's about to get even better.
Tonight, the 'Hawks will debut their big off-season acquisition, forward Marian Hossa. He was signed to the richest contract in team history for one reason: to push a team that fell in the conference finals a year before over the hump and into the Stanley Cup.
Though I'm all about staying positive when it comes to the Bulls, sometimes you just have to tip your cap and call Greg Oden your daddy. Such is the case after last night's 122-98 beatdown via the Blazers at the Rose Garden.
We know Portland is a superior team, and they proved it. The Bulls got manhandled inside, Portland's star (Roy) shined brighter than our hometown boy, and the Blazers finished the job by pounding the Bulls into submission with a 32-18 run in the fourth quarter. It wasn't pretty.
This concludes the "they don't stand a chance in these games" portion of the Circus Trip for the Bulls. The stretch included games at Denver, LA , and Portland, and, true to form, the Bulls didn't really compete in any of the three. The Bulls' average margin of defeat was just over 19 points per game over this stretch, and the new-and-improved Gordon-less defense never held an opponent under 108 points. Bad times all around.
Ever since that fateful day in April, there have been plenty of words - and possibly even a little blood - spilled over Jay Cutler. It's been a roller coster ride the entire time. The highs have been euphoric, the lows have been devastating. Between is where we've argued senselessly.
Cutler has been painted as many things in this space, from hero to victim, savior to bum. But on this day, with 10 games in the books and six weeks left to play, it may be time to put down our swords and find some common ground. I think we're staring at a truth that isn't just inconvenient, it's ruinous: 2009 will not be the year Sid Luckman began to get erased from the Chicago record books. For at least this season, Jay Cutler is just like everyone who came before him. Jay Cutler is a below average NFL quarterback.
Hey "aughts", I'mma let you finish, but 2009 has to be one of the craziest years of all-time! Think of all the wacky stuff that has happened in the last 11 months. Vampires became our country's mythological creature of choice by a shockingly wide margin. Twitter took over the world seemingly overnight. Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus kissed and made up. Full Court Press lost not one but two editors. The Taco Bell dog died. And, oh yeah, let's not forget about whatever the hell happened during Michael Jackson's funeral.
This year has been wild. Insane, I tell you. The madness has even hit Chicago sports.
Never mind losing out on the Olympics, I'm more concerned about the damn-near-epic fall from grace that inflicted nearly all of our city's sports superstars. Alfonso Soriano put in, by far, the worst year of his career. Carlos Quentin went from a potential MVP candidate to a guy you expect to injure himself when he gets out of bed in the morning. Brian Urlacher missed an entire season with a wrist injury. Patrick Kane - tiny, innocent Patrick Kane - inexcusably beat up a Buffalo cab driver over 20 cents. Jay Cutler actually has some fans wishing for the return of Kyle Orton.
This brings us to the recent struggles of Derrick Rose.
If I see one "Yeah, but they played the Kings! Without Kevin Martin!" comment, I swear to Walter Payton that I won't approve it. I don't care if it comes against the Lakers or if it comes against a team as woeful as Sacramento: for the Bulls, any win on the infamous Circus Trip is a reason to celebrate.
So, before we get any further, let's all take a second to commemorate the Bulls' unthinkable 1-0 start on the Road Trip From Hell by doing the Brad Miller taunt.