By Tim Baffoe–
(CBS) You have to admit that it seems quite conspiratorial for the NFL to release its schedule on 4/20, known by future harder drug users as “Weed Day.” The Shield hasn’t budged on its players’ desire to smoke reefer to help with the crippling pain football makes billions of dollars annually on. Instead, the league suspends them when they do, pushing them toward synthetic marijuana that makes players go to a police station in nothing but sweatpants and ask to be arrested — oh, wait, the NFL banned that last year too — or take good ol’ all-American safe opioids.
The release of the schedule is on Weed Day is typical Roger Goodell taunting that doesn’t get any 15-yard penalty. Like pretending he hates gambling but demands accurate injury reports (for… ethical reasons?) and lets a team move to Las Vegas.
But we can ignore all that like we do everything about football’s immoralities and hypocrisies because FOOTBALL. Specifically Bears football. Can you feel the Mike Glennon-injected excitement, people?
Let’s “score some runs” indeed. Football runs.
And I foresee plenty of them in 2017 after looking over the Bears’ schedule for three minutes. Now, it’s my job as a respected media personality to tamp down my fan heart for my writer’s brain, which is why realistically I have the Bears season going thusly:
Disappointing as that may be to some diehards, I’m often wrong about these sorts of things. Therefore, I’ve tried to figure out how the Bears can go undefeated in the regular season. Last year, I got screwed by a lot of stuff out of my control, like injuries to everyone and everything else being bad. But I see this team being far more stable. So here’s the breakdown.
Week 1: Sept. 10 vs. Falcons
This is the easiest pick of them all. The Falcons blew a 3-1 leads to the Chicago Cubs of football and will still be shell-shocked from being a trivia question forever.
Week 2: Sept. 17 at Buccaneers
If HBO’s Hard Knocks wants to actually be interesting this year, it will explore the rape investigation against Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston while he was at Florida St. That could then shake what seems to be an ego that still goes unchecked today. Also, it’s the Mike Glennon revenge game.
Week 3: Sept. 24 vs. Steelers
Different week, different quarterback who has been accused of sexually assaulting women. Not much is holding Ben Roethlisberger’s body together at this stage, and one could blind-side sack could end him. I also hope this makes him block me on Twitter.
Out of curiosity, I went to his Twitter account after typing that, and I’m already blocked.
Week 4: Sept. 28 at Packers
Aaron Rodgers’ heart is in pain. Like tweeting Jack Handey Deep Thoughts pain.
Week 5: Oct. 9 vs. Vikings
Remember when Teddy Bridgewater’s leg died? And then the Vikings traded a first-round pick for Sam Bradford that might have been used to replace Bridgewater if his leg doesn’t resurrect?
Week 6: Oct. 15 at Ravens
John Fox has a 4-1 career regular-season record against the Ravens. Stats like that always matter.
Week 7: Oct. 22 vs. Panthers
It’s the John Fox revenge game. Yeah, he hasn’t coached there since 2010, but he seems like a guy who holds grudges.
Week 8: Oct. 29 at Saints
The Saints play where the 1985 Bears won the Super Bowl. Do the math.
Week 9: Bye
This wouldn’t be a bad time to schedule an exhibition game and charge idiots full concession prices.
Week 10: Nov. 12 vs. Packers
Rodgers will be dating another Yoko Ono by this time. Also, Martellus Bennett will have said something in the media that’s righteously political but controversial and divides the locker room.
Week 11: Nov. 19 vs. Lions
The Lions’ biggest offseason move has been new uniforms, which got the team website its most page views ever. That’s very #LOINS.
Week 12: Nov. 26 at Eagles
Alshon Jeffries will go for 150 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears win by 1, my frent.
Week 13: Dec. 3 vs. 49ers
The 49ers actually made John Lynch their general manager. No, seriously. And the 49ers were so dysfunctional organizationally beforehand that it’s hard to even say this isn’t an improvement. Anyway, the 49ers suck.
Week 14: Dec. 10 at Bengals
The Bears will be the team that finally gets Marvin Lewis fired from the Bengals. He’s been coaching in Cincinnati since 2003. And he has never won a playoff game. The Bears winning by three touchdowns to a team that’s probably 4-9 at this time probably seals it.
Week 15: Dec. 16 at Lions
This is the game where you get all the TV shots of Lions fans in their new jerseys and ennui and a pondering that maybe things were better when the team was struggling to win any games instead of being a 9-ish-win team of no import. Pain is better than no feeling at all.
Week 16: Dec. 24 vs. Browns
Quite possibly a Super Bowl preview.
Week 17: Dec. 31 at Vikings
The issue with this game is the Bears resting starters after sewing up a playoff bye. The equalizer here is that Case Keenum will probably be the Vikings quarterback at this point due to Bridgewater and Bradford getting rat lungworm or something.
Is all this likely? Of course not. Did I smoke pot while writing this? Never. I drank like any serious columnist. Is 16-0 for the Bears possible? Anything is in the NFL.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.