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Bears Brightside Vol. 2: Behold the Multi-Headed Genius

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Bear Maulings.jpgI didn't watch Michael Phelps capture his eighth (it was eight, right?) gold medal last night. If I had, I would have missed the epic and inconsequential back-and-forth battle that was the Bears/Seahawks preseason tussle.

It. Was. Awesome.

Let me be the first to reiterate, it's going to be a great season, folks. Plenty of good things are happening in and around Halas Hall these days.

Now granted, the Bears didn't win. Sure, they're 0-2 in the preseason. Admittedly, the Seahawks were a superior team on paper: They outrushed the Bears 241-51, had more first downs (26-10) and held the advantage in time of of possession (39:31-23:57). And yes ... the potentially serious injury to tight end Desmond Clark's knee would be a blow to an already-ailing offense. And the fact that neither Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton showed any characteristic that could ever be misinterpreted as leadership could be cause for concern to Chicago's most pessimistic, doom-and-gloom fans.
Even the Bears own PR megaphone is admitting 'concern' when it comes to the team's chances on paper. But show me a piece of paper with half the moxie this Bears team possesses. Show me a piece of paper who can run an effective post-corner route. Heck, show me a piece of paper who could effectively read a 4-3 cover 2 base defense.

And last I checked, the preseason only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

So here are a few things I saw during the most entertaining exhibition football game Fox aired last night that give me more hope than a giggling gaggle of Obama volunteers:

1. During a sideline interview with Lou Canellis (whose name sounds confusingly similar to 'Lou Pinella' every time it's said on TV) the Bears' stalwart middle linebacker Brian Urlacher informed the viewing audience that this year's defense is better -- better -- than the defense that carried the team to the Super Bowl a couple years ago. BETTER! We've got Mike Brown healthy. We've got Urlacher's reconstructed body feeling better than it has in years. AND ... wait for it ... the bears had three monster interceptions -- one of which manifested into a touchdown. And if we've learned anything during Urlacher's tenure, it's that when Urlacher speaks in more than grunts and cliches, it's time to listen.

2. Outside of Devin Hester's kick return ability it would seem that the Bears haven't had a truly dominant, bona fide superstar on offense since Sweetness. This would be concern for some, but I think we have something better -- by-committees. As my colleague Mike Mulligan writes in today's column, "You've heard of running back-by-committee. But the Bears seem to be breaking new ground with their offensive line-by-committee and wide receiver-by-committee and the ever-popular quarterback-by-committee."

Some may say this is not the path to gridiron enlightenment. However, I'm pretty certain that author and interesting fact purveyor Malcolm Gladwell would probably disagree. When he spoke of genius at the 2007 New Yorker convention (Watch the video here), Gladwell cites the methods of a pair of 'geniuses' who achieve their genius status by very different means. Watch the video if you're interested in a much more intelligent explanation, but it boils down to this: The more qualified people you use to solve a particular problem, the more efficient the solution. By that rationale, by-committee football should work. And, in this author's estimation, already is.

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on August 17, 2008 6:39 AM.

Michael Phelps a good thing, perhaps the best of all things was the previous entry in this blog.

Sports owners throwing their money behind John McCain is the next entry in this blog.

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