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Bearly Relevant: Week Four, the quarterback we’ve never had

by Ricky O'Donnell on September 26, 2008 at 12:01AM

--Sox post coming once I get out of work.--

Kyle Orton isn’t the reason the Bears have blown two consecutive fourth quarter leads. The second half he played against the Bucs last week may even have been the best of his career. But as I mentioned on Monday, while Orton may not be the reason the Bears lost, he’s part of the reason they didn’t win.

I also said on Monday that the Bears cannot possibly head into next season with Orton at quarterback. Of course it’s way too early to begin thinking about next year already- something I’m prone to do with all my favorite teams, which I blame 100% on my years of simulating seasons in Madden- especially when you consider how close they are to actually being 3-0. But we can already tell how things are going to play out with Orton before they ever happen. You can argue that he’s slightly better or slightly worse, but Orton is pretty much identical to every Bears quarterback the last 15 years. The only things that separates him from Shane Matthews are his neck beard and drinking problem.

Over the entirety of my lifetime, the Bears have had only one quarterback who broke the mold: Rex Grossman. As you may remember, Grossman took the Bears to the Super Bowl. But I think it’s clear to everyone now that the constant rollercoaster ride of highs and lows the team experienced with Grossman just wasn’t worth it. Yeah, he could do things that no other Bears quarterback ever could do, but he also failed in doing the things all of them could do.

That brings us to Donavon McNabb, who leads the undefeated once defeated Eagles into Solider Field this week.

The 1999 NFL Draft was the first one I ever knew backwards and forwards. At the time, even though I was all of 11 years old, I loved McNabb and desperately hoped he would become a Bear. I never saw McNabb play a game at Syracuse in college, but after years of watching Erik Kramer, Steve Walsh, and Dave Krieg, I just knew McNabb was different. He was cool.

You can make the argument that Grossman and Orton are both cool, albeit for very different reasons. Grossman’s coolness comes from his Sex Cannon mantra, the ability to give a team life or suck it all away from them in one play. Orton is cool because his drinking problem and poorly grown facial hair makes him seem like one of us. I always say that I could imagine Jim Thome being my next door neighbor. I guess that would make Orton your friend’s older brother, a guy everyone admires for his partying ability but still shakes there head at because he’s getting a too old to continue his ways.

But McNabb is cool in a totally different way, a kind of cool the Bears have never had. He’s has a strong arm but is still accurate, he’s mobile, he’s funny, and he’s a star. Do you think you’ll ever see an offensive player on the Bears endorse anything? Perhaps our best hope is Hester promoting Derek Zoolander’s Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good
Anytime I see McNabb play, I only experience one emotion: jealousy. He was raised on our streets, he played in our high school fields. He should have been a Bear. But being a Bears quarterback means you are everything McNabb isn’t.

What makes it worse is that I feel like the Philli people have still never appreciated him. It’s probably because he doesn’t look like Sal Fasano.

Yeah, McNabb isn’t perfect, and his failures (hurling all over the field during the Super Bowl, constant injuries) are probably just as memorable as his triumphs. Still, he represents everything Bears quarterbacks have never been. I feel like he should have been ours.

The spread

Off the board

Around the Web

Big Daddy Drew: “   .”

King: "I don't like the fact that Philly's two most important players feel like they just got hit by a truck. Looks like Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook will play, but at what percentage of goodness? The Bears are better than 1-2-you can point to about six plays in the Tampa Bay and Carolina losses, and if they make any two of them, they're 3-0-and they'll show up in all their brutishness Sunday night, ready to play a desperate game."

SI FanNation Sez…

Eagles, 84%

ESPN’s experts agree...

Take the Eagles

Key to the game: the health of McNabb and Westbrook

I’m going to pick against the Bears this week, but I’m not doing it confidently. Even at 1-2, I maintain this Bears team is solidly just above average, maybe even a little better. The Eagles are good, no doubt, as we saw during Week One, it doesn’t matter how talented you are if your talent isn’t healthy.  

Matchup Bears should win

Matt Forte vs. Stewart Bradley

Matchup Bears should lose

Brandon Lloyd vs. Asante Samuel

Sweet 90’s alt rock song that may or may not remind you of Bryan Cox

Green Day (featuring Godzilla)- Brain Stew

The Bears win if

Injuries hamper McNabb and Westbrook the same way they hampered Peyton Manning in Week One.

The Bears lose if

McNabb and Westbrook are healthy, and the defense can’t force three-and-outs

Mock my previous predictions

Bearly Relevant: read them all

In the end

Eagles 17, Bears 13

Get your picks in for the Pick Em’ league!

Brian has a preview of the game from the Eagles point of view. It includes a few jabs at the White Sox so make sure you mind him that the Celtics are going to do naughty, naughty things to the 6ers this year. While you're there, add that the Red Sox are the best run franchise in sports, and that the Yanks got owned by the D-Rays this year despite New York having a higher payroll by like $400 million. All the while, Brian remains.....depressed. Someone buy that asshole a wig.

9 Comments | Leave a comment

I just got home, too tired for rage. White Sox post tomorrow.

Laughed out loud three separate times:
- but after years of watching Erik Kramer, Steve Walsh, and Dave Krieg, I just knew McNabb was different. He was cool.
- Perhaps our best hope is Hester promoting Derek Zoolander’s Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good
- But being a Bears quarterback means you are everything McNabb isn’t.

You really bring your fastball on Fridays.

As for Sox-Twins. I mean, wow. What can you say? We'll see what a day does to your rage/opinion.

I also like the implied racism of Philly fans.

Eh, I don't think it's racism that keeps McNabb from getting more of a pass in Philly. The City never turned on Randall Cunningham ... or Rodney Peete (that's a joke). Honestly, no one gets a pass in Philly, never has.

With McNabb, I think it's more frustration than anything. This Eagles team was on the cusp for 4 straight seasons, then the injuries happened, and just kept on happening.

I think it's frustration, and the fact that the window is closing for this group of Eagles, not racism that leads to Iggles fans jumping off the McNabb bandwagon, myself included. They'd root for a pink guy if it meant getting a championship.

They even booed Santa remember!?!

You're right. Santa IS white. Damn.

AND...Sal Fasano looks a bit like one of Santa's helpers. Look at those ears and that hair! I would have called him an Elf, but I'm not sure how PC that term is these days!

Well see, I read your post on Wednesday and was like 'Shit, he's owning me my site!". So I tried to step it up a bit.

I'll get going on that sox post in an hour or so, but yeah, my rage has subsided a bit.

Thank you for posting this great blog. The subject is intriguing to me. I hope you post more about it soon. It gave me good deeper insight.

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