Wisch: So, Are You Satisfied, Bears Fans?

By Dave Wischnowsky–

Say they don’t win another game.

Say the Bears lose to the Jets, lose to the Packers and lose in the first round of the NFC Playoffs.

(I’m not saying they will, mind you. Not at all.)

Would you still declare Chicago’s 2010 NFL season a success?

Or do you demand more?

On a snowy Monday night in Minneapolis when the only thing more ridiculous than the playing conditions was Devin Hester, the Bears were as good as they’ve been all year.

They shrugged off the cold. They shrugged off the concrete turf at TCF Bank Stadium. They shrugged off Drama King Brett Favre and his Minnesota Vikings.

And, by clinching the NFC North championship and securing a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, they officially shrugged off their doubters, too – a group that most certainly has included me.

Before the season, I predicted the Bears would go 7-9. And I thought that was being generous. I’m happy to say I was quite wrong.

Even if the Bears don’t win another game this season, finish 10-6 and head home after a first-round loss in the NFC playoffs, I don’t think there’s any way to call 2010 anything less than a success.

Not considering where the Bears came from.

In the preseason, this team looked like a mess. In October, when it was losing three of four games, it looked like a disaster. And in November, it still looked like an enigma.

Now, I still think the Bears are mysterious. And, I still think they’re lucky – it seems as if they’ve faced more third-string quarterbacks than first-string ones this season. But I also think they’re pretty good, too.

As long as it’s not facing Tom Brady and New England, the Bears’ defense is elite. The special teams are truly special. And the offense, despite last week’s snow job at Soldier Field, appears to have stabilized and can now actually be considered a plus rather than just a minus.

Thanks to the Bears, Brett Favre also now owns the longest and shortest starting streaks in NFL history.
(Hey, give Brett credit. You can’t say the guy just texted it in Monday night …)

After the win against the Vikings, ESPN’s talking heads were split on the fate of the Chicago Bears.

“I think they can win the whole thing,” Matt Millen said from the Monday Night Football postgame set. “I think they can go to Atlanta and beat Atlanta. I think they can go to Philadelphia and beat Philadelphia.”

“I don’t think they’re that consistent yet,” countered Steve Young.

Maybe Young is right. Or maybe Millen is. Great thing is, we’ll get to find out.

Just like a baseball fan wanting to see meaningful games in September, all you can really ask from your NFL team is that it provide you with meaningful games in December.

The Bears have done that. And now, after Monday night, we’re guaranteed of meaningful ones in January, too.
In my book, that’s a success for 2010.

No matter what happens from here on out.

How about you?

Do you agree with Dave? Post your comments below.

davewisch Wisch: So, Are You Satisfied, Bears Fans?

Dave Wischnowsky

If nothing else, Dave Wischnowsky is an Illinois boy. Raised in Bourbonnais, educated at the University of Illinois and bred on sports in the Land of Lincoln, he now resides on Chicago’s North Side, just blocks from Wrigley Field. Formerly a reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune, Dave currently writes a syndicated column, The Wisch List, which you can check out via his blog at http://www.wischlist.com.


    Yeah, I’m satisfied. I think they can win a playoff game, but I can see the Giants or the Eagles beating them again.
    For the most part (the Patriots game, the Packers before the Superbowl) the Bears try for four quarters. They do that again, and they’ll make for some great playoff games.

    By the way, BBCHS, Class of ’91

    • BIG JOE


  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    I agree with Spaulding!
    I think The Bears can win one playoff game but that’s it, one and done.
    Overall the season has far surpassed expectations.

  • Dave Wischnowsky

    Agreed, fellas. And, very cool, Spaulding! Go Boilers! (BBCHS Class of ’94)

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      fyi, Spaulding! is very much a lady (great Mom too).
      and a great wit.

      • Dave Wischnowsky

        Haha. Good to know! My bad! :)

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Merry Christmas to you Wisch, and to everone reading this blog.


    Chet’s I.E. you. are. ri-dic-u-ous! (I think Joniak also gave Hester a gratuitous ba-DOOSH!)
    Definitely had friends in the ’94 class. Always think of playing hockey at Brittany Lake (if it’s a lake, then Bourbonnais is Zurich, and I own a secret bank) this time of year.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Dave Wischnowsky

    Bourbonnais is JUST like Zurich. And Bradley is a lot like the Alps. You know, with the great skiing (well, sledding, actually) on Poop Hill and all.

    Merry Christmas to both of you, and everyone else reading this, too :)

  • Jeremy Carlson

    I would like to throw this out there…I am happily surprised with the Bears and their 10-4 record. However, I am not satisfied. It may just be me, but I don’t really feel satisfied unless we’re holding a trophy. Bears in 2005…not satisfied. U of I in 2005…not satisfied. Cubs in ’03…not satisfied. Bulls since Michael left…not satisfied. Hawks, yes please!

    So definitely happy at this point, but not at all satisfied!!!

  • Dave Wischnowsky

    Fair enough, Jeremy. And understood. I just think expecting a Super Bowl from this bunch might be asking too much. Could it happen? Sure, I suppose. But they’re far from favorites to even reach the Big Game, let alone win it.

  • Anthony Effin Will

    I said the Bears would be 8-8 before the year started. I still think they are one of the luckiest teams I have ever seen in my life.

  • Conway

    The idea that being number two, out of 32 teams, means your a failure I find absurd. Although I don’t think the Bears O-line is talented enough to bring them to the Super Bowl, they have surpassed most expectations. 5 and 0 in the division??!! Pretty impressive. And again, it is a cliche, but you can only beat the teams on your schedule. And they HAVE beaten some good teams.

  • JB

    To everyone who hyperventilated about the bad loss to the Patriots last week: How about we let Cleveland savor their win vs. the Pats? We Bears fans will just have to make do with a division title and home playoff game.

    To everyone still smugly declaring “luck” whenever the Bears win a game: How many people smugly declared just the same thing when the 2005 White Sox won the World Series? Or did you forget just how many fortunate bounces went that championship team’s way? Most of the time (unless you’re the 1985 Chicago Bears or 72-10 Chicago Bulls) you need breaks to go your way to win a title.

  • J-Dubya

    The Bears are first round losers in the playoffs. No doubt about it. There is no possible way that they will every get by the Saints if they face them.

    I think that they are the luckiest team in history.

  • J-Dubya

    I take that back. The ’72 Dolphins were the luckiest team in history. Weak schedule. Short season. Talented team. It all came together for them.

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      ’72 Phins were before my time (I was born in ’76), but those guys have gotten more mileage out of one season of football than anyone’s ever gotten out of anything.

      Anyone, I suppose, besides the ’85 Bears ;)

  • the hole in Adolfo Soriano's gold glove

    I won’t be satisfied until Angelo is not in the draft room come April cuz we’ll never go anywhere with this offensive line … presuming they don’t sneak into the super bowl. And take Jim Hendry with you, dammit!!

  • Shina Willson

    very informative and interesting blog.
    Thanks for sharing:-)

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