By Laurence Holmes-
(WSCR) You want to know how powerful the NFL is? Yesterday, before I left for the studio, I was watching the Cubs handle Colorado. During the commercials my “sports A.D.D.” took over and I started flipping channels. Figuring that I could get the latest info on the lockout, I stopped at the NFL Network. And there it was: Jets vs Bears at Soldier Field: December 26th, 2010. There it is… football nirvana on a Monday afternoon.
The NFL Network does an amazing job of consdensing games. They give you the important moments, the best drives, big plays and they insert postgame audio into the broadcast. You get all of that in 90-minutes.
If you remember, that game was in the middle of an important four-game stretch: Patriots, Vikings, Jets and Packers. The Bears went 2-2. This game was a ton of fun with a bunch of big plays. Jay Cutler had his most impressive game of the regular season. He threw for three touchdowns, including a 40-yard bomb to Johnny Knox after the Jets botched a fake punk. Cutler ran for another score and showed why the Bears had so much faith in him. Matt Forte had 168 all purpose yards and a touchdown. Knox finished with two touchdowns and 90 yards. The Bears scored 21 points in the third quarter. The defense held on in the fourth and the Bears walked off Solider Field victorious, 38-34.
My point in bringing this is up is that I’ve already seen this game… three times! Once in person because I was covering it and then twice more at home the following week. I usually review each game twice via DVR for my weekly Bears hits with Boers & Bernstein and Danny Mac looking for nuggets. Yet, here I was watching it for a fourth time, having a great time enjoying an entertaining game.
This wasn’t the Superbowl. It wasn’t a playoff game. It wasn’t even a division rival. It was just a regular season game from seven months ago. That’s why the NFL is king. It’s captivating. The combination of speed and power drops our jaws and leaves us mesmerized. Even on a lazy summer day, an NFL game picks you up and holds your interest.
With the NFL’s labor unrest still looming large, our collective football clocks need to be reset. For the most part, NFL fans have turned a deaf ear to the negotiations and for good reason; at this point it doesn’t affect the fans, but that time is coming. Training camp for the Bears is supposed to start three weeks from Friday. While the owners and players seem to be close, they aren’t close enough that you should start planning your day-trips down to Bourbonnais. If a deal doesn’t get done, the hurt will start to set in for fans of the most successful sports league on the planet.
Tick, tick, tick… I love being able to watch old football games, but I’d really like to watch some new ones.