Bernstein: Enjoy The Moment

By Dan Bernstein–

This may be it – the best day of this bizarre, 2010 Bears’ season.

Two regular-season games remain, and there will be at least one playoff game. While Super Bowl dreams can warm hearts in these cold weeks, the reality is that all but one team will finish on a downer.

So you should go out of your way to soak this up before confronting what remains, especially when you consider all aspects of last night’s delicious, complete football feast.

The Bears have won their division. In a week of build-up as strange as ever has been for an otherwise standard divisional game, it was easy to lose sight of the actual significance of the outcome. Packers lost, Bears won, pass out the hats and t-shirts. (But remember the rule: the only time you can wear “Division Champion” swag and not look like a loser is before the team loses in the playoffs or after it wins the Super Bowl. Any time outside of those parameters is verboten)

Jay Cutler looked like a stud QB in a nationally-televised night game. Three touchdowns, a 106.6 passer efficiency rating, and deft footwork in a slippery pocket had the excitable broadcasting clowns slobbering their giddy, staccato superlatives over someone other than the opposing counterpart. You’ll notice that today, at least, will be free of the criticism of Cutler’s leadership, since that perceived trait is a proxy for on-field performance, as projected and argued by clods.

Mike Martz called a nice mix of runs and passes, and broke free of the post-off-week constraints with the play of the game — a gutsy, vintage call on 1st and 30 that resulted in a gorgeous bomb to a streaking Johnny Knox. The offensive line, even, appeared competent.

An emotional Devin Hester understood and felt the significance of his record-breaking punt return score. Even we hardened Bears observers can be moved when our own, real-life Forrest Gump says something like this after the game: “Just coming out of college, coaches told me I wasn’t going to be anything but a kickoff and punt returner, but I’m here today to say I am a kickoff and punt returner, but at the same time, I’m the best to ever do it.”

Yes, you are.

And, perhaps best of all, the Favre-Monster may finally have been slain. A clean, hard tackle by Corey Wootton left Favre satisfyingly still on the frozen turf, like a walleye pulled through the ice and placed next to the hole. After this one last, astonishingly melodramatic camera-grab, he walked off the field in a woozy fog and may ultimately shamble back to his swamp for good.

It’s a good day, and there may be nothing better this year to top it. Appreciate it.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Chet's Inflated Ego


  • Chris in Scottsdale

    Oh, I will enjoy it. Truly.

    Anyone else look at that Devin Hester arms spread pose and think “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???”

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      Merry Christmas Chris…and thanks for all your great posts over the past few years.
      Are you flying into Rockford or staying in Scottsdale this Christmas?

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Thanks for the kind words Chet- and right back at you, as well as everyone else!

        I’m doing the “Neil Page” bit on Christmas Eve morning. One beautiful thing about living out here is that Allegiant Air flies direct from Mesa to Rockford, and my parents live 5 minutes from the airport. From 4-gate airport to 4-gate airport. No Sky Harbor, no O’Hare, no fuss, no muss… though I’m strongly considering NYE in the city, which I haven’t done in ages. The most fun I ever had on New Year’s when in IL was at Hi-Tops back in ’99…

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    The Favre/walleye line was great, Dan-O.
    That was a sight to behold.

    Yet, what is taking the Commish so long….he is usually a rapid-fire hanging judge.

  • White Owl

    I’m enjoying the moment, but also looking forward to some more hard hitting from the likes of Chris Harris, whose stop of Toby Gerhart set the tone for the rest of the game. Let’s not forget the hard running of Matt Forte-who is really coming into his own. Is this indicative of an improving O line?

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      To give credit where credit is due…the O-Line did a good job last night.

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    I never thought I would say this in 2010 but NFC North Champs…. Bears?! What a dominating preformance, but after 14 weeks I still don’t know what to expect week to week. But never the less let’s just take it, Divison Champs!!

  • Bring Back Kyle Orton

    Another lucky win against a depleted team. The Bears are going to get destroyed in the playoffs.

    • the hole in Adolfo Soriano's gold glove

      Looks like we may face the survivor of a Packers-Saints opening rounder. With our special teams explosiveness and a defense capable of big plays on turnovers, THEY gotta be sweating it out too@! Just think how dangerous we’d be with an average O-line!!

  • Denver Smeghead

    So, after that first drive by the Vikings last night, I just about shut the game off. Gruden and Jaws were more than happy to dirty their knees, only it wasn’t at Favre’s teat that they were suckling. Thankfully the Bears put Favre out of his and our misery… hopefully for the last time. When it comes to Favre, you just can’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth. “I’m done, I’m done”. No, Favre, you’re full of shat.

    And so much for the Bears not concentrating enough on the game, eh? If the myth of Bear weather is dead (did last night revive it?), so is the myth that you can’t complain about the field conditions and then actually play the game. Just because the Bears beat the living daylights out of the Vikings doesn’t mean playing at the Goofers stadium was still the right choice, either – Major Wright at one point slid several yards into one of ESPN’s camera stands, and that could’ve been a serious injury. The hard ground might’ve contributed to Favre receiving what appears to have been a concussion as well, although his head was getting slammed pretty good regardless.

    I’m still concerned over the fact that the Bears can look so good last night in ‘Bear weather’, but just a week ago look so bad in the same conditions.

    And was it just me, or did the refs seem rather quick on the whistle last night when it came to sacks of the Vikings QBs? A couple of times it sounded like they blew the whistle as soon as the Bears got a hand on the quarterback, as if they were trying to directly prevent what happened to Favre anyways – somebody’s head getting treated like a basketball.

    Wright will get fined for that helmet-to-helmet, and with the way the NFL is these days, Wootten might get fined too for daring to complete the tackle on Favre.

    Also: catching up on Friday’s stuff. I don’t care how much “good advice” the folks at Notre Dame are getting. Unless they start actually listening and following that advice, anybody in charge should be chained to the ground while the whole place should be cratered. The Pope can join them. Eh, let’s go for the big enchilada: throw Favre in there, too.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      agreed, and especially agreed as to Friday’s stuff.

      • Denver Smeghead

        Yeah, Spaulding, I recall #91 was having a fit – it was #93 that hit Cutler, but they called the wrong number on the roughing penalty.

      • SPAULDING!

        There was a wrong call, when Cutler got sandwiched between a guy slipping behind him, and getting the call. The other player (93, who deserved the second 15 yarder) was making a clean play. A close one in real time again, but a review should show just bad luck (probably due to the conditions. I don’t think 91 wanted to sandwich him).

  • Chum

    The only thing that would have made that Favre hit better is if the refs would’ve let the play go with the fumble.

  • BearsFanInHoustonTx

    We all had some doubt from time to time, especially losing games we should have won. However, I will enjoy this and take it one game at a time right now. I am not going to make premature plans for Dallas just yet…to much still at stake ahead.

  • Terry Boers


  • General Soreness

    I was watching the post game interviews and someone asked Cutler what nuggets of wisdom Favre was imparting to him after the game and he said that he didn’t know what he was sauing and that Favre must still be a little concussed. Priceless.

    • BearsFanInHoustonTx

      gave him tips on how not to get caught sexting…LOL


    Kudos to everyone on the offense.
    I hope the team gets Devon Hester something really nice for Christmas. “you bow to no one, Frodo.”
    Joe Webb will get a look in a trainingcamp.

    Gotta kick my keester out of the house.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • Panda

    Terry Boers is an idiot question Cutler and his work habits.

    Cutler spends more time with his teammates and in the film room as any other QB.

    • AT3374

      Terry does have a point IF Cutler is not putting the time in . Last night really was not a good indicator of this since Minne is REAL BAD and will be so for years to come . That championship window closed loudly last night for the Vikes .

      Cutler is fine , he just needs to win the Big Game ( SB ) to quite his critics a bit

  • Painful Sports Hernia

    Have you ever had that dream where it feels like you’re running in quicksand, and then you wake up and realize you’re Chester Taylor?

    • abe gibron's inevitable return

      My dream has me being chased in quicksand by seven-foot tall, 400-lb. monsters … I must be Garrett Wolfe.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    For those that enjoy sadistic screen grabs… Favre… Done…

    To be honest, it’s almost sad… almost.

  • AT3374

    Expect farve to get the Jordan treatment when it comes to this “ruling” . The Commish will allow Farve to exit quitely like Stern did when Jordan was being investigated for gambling . Yes these are two different situations , but the results will be the same .

    great game , only one really bad call . that one on wright was horrible . Both players making a play for the ball on a slippery surface , and they throw a flag ?

    • AT3374

      And yes I know his father died also , and that had a good deal to do with the “retirement” also

  • BearsFanInHoustonTx

    Did you all catch the glimps of the fan on the field…what if he had a gun? I mean…why was he allowed to get on the field that easy?

  • mad as hell fan....

    Nothing to be mad about today. Great blog today bernsie. Favre goes down and the Bears win the division when most had them picked for 3rd or 4th in the North. They were the first to clinch a division this season, that is sweet. Still work to do for he Bears, that first round bye is essential for them to make a deep run in the playoffs.


    Before I get to my thought on Devin Hester, memo to Brett Favre: RETIRE ALREADY! What the hell was that guy even doing on the damn field last night? Other than the opening TD to Percy Harvin, here’s hoping Corey Wootton’s hit that knocked Brett’s old butt out of the game knocked something into his thick skull that he’s all washed up and finished. If he doesn’t play Sunday night when his Vikings visit Philadelphia on “Sunday Night Football”, I won’t be surprised.

    As for Devin, I thought he made a pair of game-changing plays last night on special teams, with the kickoff return that resulted in one of 4 Robbie Gould field goals, but the play of the game to me was his 64 yard punt return for TD that made it 27-7 at that stage of the 3rd quarter. It remains to be seen if Hester’s continuing excitement on special teams will ultimately result in a trip to Canton. That was quite a debate on “The Dan Patrick Show” today. Dan and a couple of his guests didn’t think Canton was in the cards for Hester, but his staff seems to think that, even though Devin the wide receiver isn’t nearly the Hall-of-Famer as he appears to be on punt & kickoff returns.

  • Typical Lovie/Jay Hater

    Yeah, but, but, but, but, but…. They lost to the Patriots!
    This division title and upcoming home playoff game mean nothing! We all know just how bad this team really is! They’re lucky not to be 2-12! The loss to the Patriots proves it!

    How can anybody be happy today?

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      GREAT post!!!

  • JB

    How about we let Cleveland keep their win vs. the Patriots. I’ll take a division title. Thank you.

  • outsidej

    Bernsy. Nice channeling of Dale Bowman there. Love it.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    I really hope that B&B will celebrate Hester’s record today without making fun of him.
    It bothers me when they make fun of Devin…he had such a tragic childhood and I know we won’t be running into him at a Mensa meeting any time soon, but he’s a good guy who works hard to play his best. If the HOF will admit players based just on return skills, he’s in.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    FYI, just posted the Sports Illustrated NBA POwer Rankings.
    They rate the Celtics as #1, Mavs #2, Heat at 5 and The Bulls at 9.

  • Terry Boers

    I have an erection

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