By Shawn Muller–
The late Harold Coffin, a humor columnist for the Associated Press, once said, “envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” I mean no disrespect to Mr. Coffin, but when it comes to the New England Patriots, it’s hard not to be envious.
There is no middle ground when discussing New England. You either love them or hate them. If you hate them be honest with yourself:
You wish your team could be them.
The Patriots are quickly becoming the New York Yankees of the National Football League. No matter who takes the field for Bill Belichick, you always expect his Pats to be right there at the end battling it out for the NFL championship.
Just look at what New England has accomplished since Belichick took over for Pete Carroll as the head coach in 2000: The Patriots have an overall record of 122-50 (good for 2nd overall behind the Colts). The team has won 7 AFC East Championships in the last nine seasons, 4 AFC Conference Championships, and 3 Super Bowl Titles. The numbers don’t lie…that is the model of consistency.
I am sorry Mr. Coffin, but I can’t help but to count all of the Patriots accomplishments since “The Hoody” took over on the sidelines and comparing them to the Bears accomplishments in the same time frame and be anything other than envious.
Now don’t get me wrong. Many fans of opposing teams should be envious of the history of the Chicago Bears. After all, the Bears 9 NFL Championships trail only the Green Bay Packers total of 12 for the most all time. The problem is, however, that Chicago has managed to win just 2 NFL titles since the Truman Administration left the Oval Office back in 1953.
This Sunday at Soldier Field, fans of the NFL get to see an original league super power in the Chicago Bears take the field against the “new school“ bully known as the New England Patriots. Both teams are fighting for a divisional championship. Both teams are jockeying for playoff positioning. Both teams have something to prove.
Chicago wants to prove that their current five-game winning streak is not merely a product of beating up on inferior competition. The combined record of those teams is an abysmal 23-37. People are curious to see how the Bears will fare against a team with a pulse. Lovie’s boys have only beaten 4 teams with a winning record (Green Bay, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Miami) to reach their impressive 9-3 overall mark. Beating the Patriots on Sunday will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the “Monsters of the Midway” are a legit threat to win the Super Bowl and not just a paper-tiger. A Chicago win also keeps them in the hunt for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
The Patriots want to prove to the league that they are indeed the class of the NFL once again. There is no better way to prove this than beating the NFC North leading Bears in the always hostile Soldier Field. A New England win on Sunday all but assures the team it’s 8th AFC East title this decade. A victory over the Bears also keeps the Patriots atop the entire AFC at 11-2 and one step closer to locking up home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. Remaining at home throughout the playoffs makes reaching their 5th Super Bowl appearance this decade a much easier task.
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.”
Bears fans may not be envious of the Patriots. Patriots fans may not be envious of the Bears.
One thing is for sure though: league-wide envy will descend upon Chicago this Sunday as the city will transform into the epicenter of the NFL. 12 combined NFL Championships will do that to a person…
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in Chicago for 7 years. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and just recently received his certificate in radio broadcasting in October of 2010. Sports have always been a passion of Shawn’s. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, “Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.