Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feeling The Love

The Bears bandwagon is about to be really crowded.

Under the leadership of Phil Emery, the arrow is pointing straight up for the Bears and the national media is due to take notice. Considering the off-season that the Bears just had their way with, I think they're going to become the popular pick this year. You know, that team that that all of the analysts start hyping up as a team that "may surprise you." Like when the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha (and Vince Young) and everyone picked them for the Super Bowl. Even when they lost four of their first five games, the national coverage never slowed down. They still had the media believing that they would turn it around. The coverage that the Bears are going to end up getting this season is going to be something comparable.

While there's not going to be a lot of analysts taking the Bears as their Super Bowl favorites, the Bears have enough going for them that would deserve to stay on the national radar. They have a defense that's been known for carrying them them for as long as we can remember. They have a QB who finally won over the nation's heart last season even before he tore his thumb apart. They also have a top 10 RB coming back from surgery who wants to cash in on this bizarre trend of teams overpaying at the RB position. They have new blood in the front office that came in and immediately made their mark without hesitation.

When you factor all of these different elements in, it seems as if the timing is right for the Bears to be the "it" team. But I think the most important factor in all of this is their potential to have an explosive offense. With the addition of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears finally have playmakers at the WR position. Defenses just won't be able to key in on Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all at the same time. The NFL has shifted to an offense-based league, and this is the first time the Bears are bringing a qualified offense to the table.

This has been the missing link. They've had the great defense. They've had the great special teams. It's always been the offense who hasn't carried their weight, and now that they've begun to address that part of the roster, the national media will be ready to start claiming them.

The Bears have been scheduled for thirteen prime time games in the past three seasons and are slotted for another five in 2012. They've had plenty of national exposure over the past three season, but they haven't had very much support from NFL experts in that time. Throughout the 2010 season, while they marched to the NFC Championship game, the Bears were always billed as lucky rather than deserving of their success. While the Bears continued to rack up wins, nobody seemed to believe in them.
This is going to be the year when that all changes. With what has quickly become an impressive arsenal of offensive weapons, the Bears are finally going to have an offense that we can believe in... an offense whose primary function is to score points, rather than to give the defense a breath... an offense that's going to make the highlight shows and demand national attention.

I love hearing national analysts say positive things about the teams I like. I'm so used to them not believing in the Bears -- not believing in the Bulls -- and I'm ready to hear them acknowledge that they finally do. I'm ready for them to stop calling the Bears "lucky" and start calling them "legitimate." This is going to be the year when the Bears are finally likable throughout the country and non-fans start wanting the Bears to win. It's going to be a fun season and the national love is going to start soon... right around the time training camp gets here. Can't wait.

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