Either time messes with your mind on days like this, or your mind messes with time.
If somebody wanted to bet that 7:30 PM was actually going to arrive tonight, I’d think seriously about wagering against it.
I love this feeling. I hate this feeling.
Often, we find ourselves fluffing worthless NFL matchups, grasping for threads of significance in the desultory slog of the season. Every Bears game matters, of course, but this is one to savor.
Undefeated Packers visit undefeated Bears. Let’s tick off the storylines:
— A teetering Bear management regime threw around free-agent stimulus money, hired a mad OC as a closed-eyes-and-crossed-fingers last choice, and has started 2-0. A distrusted head coach rows on against the current of public sentiment.
— Uncertainty about the Bears’ actual quality could be largely resolved based on their performance, if not the outcome.
— One team comes away with a 3-0 start, a divisional advantage, and playoff probability per history.
— Two of the NFL’s most talented young quarterbacks match skills.
— An offensive line lauded for its resourcefulness under duress faces a telegenic Tasmanian Devil of a pass-rusher.
— Fat, stupid Packer fans and their ugly, hirsute womenfolk are hated by fat, stupid Bear fans and their own hideous she-creatures.
There are more, but I am required to stop to keep Jon Gruden safe. As I write this, the excitable broadcaster is naked in his hotel room, applying war paint. Three DVRs are running slo-mo coaches’ film, and a live timpanist is keeping an ominous, Straussian beat in the back near the mini-bar. Doctors warn that Gruden’s football ardor could cause his face to melt during the pregame 3-shot (after the opening montage, sweeping establishment-shot of Soldier Field and the requisite split-screen of the two QBs warming up).
The greenish sponge of sod by the lake hosts the biggest early-season game we have experienced in some time. We’ll help the time go by faster as best we can between 1 and 6 today.
I’ve had too much coffee already, I actually spent time last night readying my chicken wings, twice-baked potato fixings and cheap Argentine wine, and now I’m thinking about stopping by Jon Gruden’s hotel room.
Keep in mind, we could be totally miserable by 7:45 or so. This is fun.