by Dan Bernstein–
The interminable lead-up to a Super Bowl is one thing. At such a comically outsized event, there is enough collateral silliness to pass the time beyond just football.
There’s the parade of dilapidated NFL has-beens telling you why the tumescent drug from their giant pharmaceutical company is better than the next, the B-list actors wanting to tell 25-54-year-old men all about their upcoming terrible movie, the local boxer from the host city who needs three handlers to feed him soup, pop-culture temp-celebs you think might interest you for a couple minutes, and unemployed coaches barely hiding their resentment and sadness as they smile too widely and chuckle too readily during uncomfortable interviews with sports-radio idiots.
In the two-week lag before an NFC divisional playoff, though, not so much.
Instead, we get all the material game discussion taken care of in the three days following the Seahawks win, and follow up by talking to a couple Seattle writers and broadcasters. Next news cycle sees a national dilettante setting the local agenda with press-conference grandstanding.
Fill that special section, boys! Advertising first, content second! Bears, Bears Bears! Make sure that in-segment read is done before the 4:00 hour! We’re talkin’ Bears!
Got it. Yes. Bears.
What injured players will be ready to gut it out on Sunday, and…what? There are no injured players? Oh.
The coach! Yes, the coach, whose oratorical brilliance captivates with every chance, engaging the fandom with insight and…um…hm.
How about the inscrutable Jay Cutler? There’s no way we could possibly have had our fill of the single most boring significant athlete in Chicago since Ryne Sandberg and Harold Baines were battling for that position. Let’s find out what makes him tick, publish weird pictures of him licking his face, and run video of him on the podium habitually scratching his back.
Want more Jay? How about glassy-eyed teammates giving rote answers to pat questions about him, and then whispering misgivings about him off the record? That’s always fun.
And we’ll find a few ex-quarterbacks with an average passer-efficiency rating of “Suck” to lecture about mechanics and leadership.
We could draw pointless comparisons between this year’s team and Bears’ playoff teams past, providing a string of undesired answers to wholly-unasked questions. In print, we can have this accompanied by preposterous, byzantine spiro-graphics! Yes!
And we would find ourselves in violation of some unwritten local statute if we did not invoke the 1985 team, somewhere, somehow. The ghosts of title past must be allowed to rattle their chains in celebration (or grumbling bitterness) as they haunt the proceedings.
I’m not complaining. Really.
Well, maybe a little, but there are few things I enjoy more than Bears football, and especially these meaningful playoff games. I’m mindful of how lucky I am to talk and write about it for a living in my hometown.
I just really miss Bears football.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.
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