I know what you're thinking. ChiFan's got a hard-on for Morrissey and his "negative attitude." While I don't agree with his views, I thought his article today was a little off-base:
The team has been enjoying the payback that comes with pulling off a major upset. I'm sorry, did I say "upset?" Very bad word. The Bears beat Indianapolis 29-13 Sunday night and afterward took intense pleasure in reminding media members how wrong they had been for doubting the squad from Chicago. And there were lots of us doubters, not just locally but nationally.
I hadn't realized my prediction of a 21-6 Colts victory was such a motivating factor. I didn't realize I would be a real component in the outcome. It makes me feel warm all over, and I'm not even wearing my shoulder pads.
So what I'm about to say almost pains me, knowing what I know now of the Bears' feelings about my role in the victory:
I didn't put a whole lot of thought into the pick.
I've always found it humorous that coaches and players use the media for motivation. We're the best you can do? The other team isn't motivation enough? The chance to make the playoffs doesn't put fuel in your tank? The fact that your job is on the line virtually every week doesn't get you fired up?
Little-known secret: When it comes to predictions, we're no more "expert" than the guy on the street. Shhhhhh. Don't tell our bosses. Next thing you know, they'll have civilians blogging picks.
There is one puzzling aspect to all of this. Coaches and players remind us media people over and over again that we have no earthly idea what we're talking about when it comes to football. If that's the case, then why do our predictions serve to motivate them? The rallying cry thus would seem to be, "The nerve of these brain-dead morons picking against us!"
The Bears play Carolina on the road Sunday, and frankly, I'm paralyzed with indecision. They looked so good in the victory over the Colts. If rookie Matt Forte runs as well this week as he did last, Kyle Orton won't have to be great or even very good. And if the 2008 defense looks more like the 2006 defense than the 2007 model, there's every reason to believe the Bears can come away with a victory.
But if I pick the Bears to win, am I really "on board?" I'm not helping their war effort, am I?
So I'm saying Panthers 21-20.
Clip and save, Lovie.
The following is my own opinion:
I'm not stupid enough to think that Morrissey actually read or reads Windy City Gridiron. I'm also not gullable enough to think that even if he did read WCG, he would take shots at what I wrote and the readers of WCG who commented on what I wrote.
Anyways, onto the crux of the matter:
I really don't think that Morrissey's article in and of itself motivated the Bears. If we think about it, who in the media gave the Bears a shot? Not many at all. Hell, I told my parents on Sunday afternoon that we'd need to play perfect football to win, and we'd need the Colts to screw up continuously. I still didn't think they would. It doesn't make me any less of a die-hard Bears fan.
Second, this is directed to Rick: Lovie needs every single motivating ploy he can get his hands on. At least throughout the preseason, he gave the defense a pass for last year's performance. After week one, some of us will stand up and say "Well, Lovie was right." We still have a lot of weeks left, so I don't want to say that Lovie was indeed right at this time. And, some of us (myself included) make fun of "LovieSpeak." I've never been in the Bears locker room, but I can't see Lovie being much more of a talker in there than he is to the media.