CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Marion Barber #24 of the Chicago Bears shakes off a tackle attempt by Jon McGraw #47 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Bears are out of it. I said it, I stand by it. Get used to it. We've seen nothing from Hanie that says he can win games and lead a competent offense and it's a damn shame because he is wasting some great defensive efforts and leading to many fans having flashbacks to 2004, 2005 and all the other years we'd had weak offenses. Now, as my lovely girlfriend and part-time WCG contributor, Ashley, will tell you, I am pretty superstitious about the Bears and Bears games. Follow me below the fold and I'll explore the bad karma the 2011 Bears had coming into this season and how we should have seen the letdown coming.My game day rituals are not quite as hardcore about some people, but I prefer to shave on Sundays, I like to wear the same jersey, and I like to wash it after losses (Ashley doesn't let me get into this one as much anymore, haha) but the main thing I do is knock on wood. In fact while I'm watching a game I am almost constantly knocking furiously on the wood around me. Anything an announcer says that could jinx the Bears I knock on the end table, coffee table or anything else. "Robbie Gould has made all 12 of his attempts from under 40 yards" *knocking on wood* "The Bears have scored on all of their redzone trips this season" *knocks on wood* "Cutler hasn't thrown a redzone interception since..." *KNOCKS FURIOUSLY ON WOOD*. You get it. So I have some rather peculiar tendencies, as I am sure a lot of you do too.
What's it got to do with the 2011 Bears and their two-game losing streak? The off season was shortened due to the lockout, so it was already going to be a weird summer, so that happened, then training camp for the Bears came. What a weird camp it was, the annual Family Night at Solider Field was canceled because the Chicago Park District forgot to water the grass, which seems weird because that would seem like an important part of maintaining landscape. Then the Olivet Nazarene power outage moved a practice to a high school field. Not exactly a shining moments for the Bears or ONU. Now, all of this has largely been forgotten as the season moved on, the team went back to Halas Hall and then winning ways came our way.
Football players are superstitious too. Many follow practice and game day rituals as strictly as fans do. These sort of headaches may not have played a whole role into our recent struggles but maybe some bad karma slipped into the mix.
Perhaps the largest piece of bad karma the Bears have comes from last year. Last year, the Bears avoided having any significant, serious injuries. The law of averages would tell you that couldn't keep up. Early in the year we overcame now-insignificant injuries to Carimi and Chris Harris. But unlike the Packers last year, who overcame seemingly significant injuries to everyone except the most important player on their team in route to a Super Bowl, the Bears now have had an injury to not only their leader at the most important position in the modern NFL, but also to their second-most important offensive player. Plus we aren't really getting help from the back up.
It sucks though because it seems like last year was bad enough when we avoided injuries all year and then in the most important game we lost Cutler. It seemed like that was karma or the law of averages coming back to us, but then for it to happen this year too? Down the stretch like this? It just doesn't seem fair.
I don't expect the Bears to win on Sunday. Traveling west to play a good defense with a quarterback who hasn't shown much with a second string running back doesn't give me much hope. But I'll still be rooting for them and I'll be knocking on wood the whole time.