They go up.
Figured that line from Ghostbusters works well for how I feel right now. I feel lower than low, the only place for me to go is up right now.
Let me start by saying, I'm a very competitive person. I don't like to lose, not many of us do, but I really despise it, and haven't totally learned how to deal with it. I especially hate to lose when I think I should win...in many ways that's the worst feeling in the world. Yeah, I was the guy that would throw a controller, or just stop talking to someone after getting beat at a video game. And I've been known to throw a couple cheap shots in my day. I've mostly grown out of it, the ultra competitive streak giving way to a guy that just likes to have fun...but this weekend, it all came rushing back.
I spent all week talking about 5 games, talking certain of the outcomes, like I could see the future. The Ravens, Broncos and Redskins did their thing...I'm proud of those guys right now. But the Pats played flat...and even worse the damn Bears regressed to the Jauron era...ripping my heart from my chest, throwing it on the floor and stomping on it.
Did I mention that losing sucks? It's days like this that makes it hard to be a diehard fan of a team. I mean, I never thought the Bears would go undefeated...but Miami? Really? That's the team that gets us? And you sit there, watching it unfold...keeping hope alive, as long as you can. But every time your get a little excited your team craps al over you. You start thinking things like, "this is all my fault, if I wouldn't of talked all that trash." Or "maybe if I sit in that chair" or "what if I drink this beer" or "Honey, don't talk to me right now, you're making the Bears lose". It's scary, but every fan has weird thoughts like that when their team is playing miserable in front of them. It comes from our need to believe that we are in control of our world...when in reality; we have no control over the events that are occurring on the other side of our TV screen.
But it doesn't change the fact that losing sucks. And everyone has been there, and everyone hates it. It's why, when our team is on top, we talk all the trash we can...cause you know any moment you could be on the bottom of the heap looking up...and that's a lame spot to be. Even though the Bears are 7-1, I feel like I'm at the bottom of the heap...and that sucks right now. I'll get over it, I will. But right now, I can't stand to look at any news about the game, and I don't want to think about it. A few years ago, to get a lose like this out of my system, I would flip on Madden and beat the living hell out of some poor unsuspecting team. But when you have to watch a little toddler all day, you end of just being a grump...and that's not much fun at all.
Enough about losing, what about the games in question?
Well, I didn't get to see the Bears game at all...but I've seen the highlights, and I followed along everyway I can. Let me make a couple points about following your team from afar, when you can't see the game. There is nothing worse than watching the ticker in the corner of the screen, waiting for a score update....waiting, and waiting to see it come up...then seeing it, and having your team down...then seeing it again seconds later, and seeing that their down by even more. Also, if you're going to follow your team via a gamecast on the PC...don't use ESPN's...it sucks. Half the time it stops updating, the other half it lags so much that their regular scoreboard has more up to date info. And for awhile today, it was just blank...fantastic. CBS Sportsline is a lot better...not as pretty, but it keeps up with the game, and I've never had it go out on me.
Grossman confirmed the fears that I had starting with the Cards game. He can't play from behind. He doesn't have that QB cool that Montana had. No, Rex panics...and tries to win it all on one play. And that's not good. Rex, if I've learned anything from playing Madden and NCAA football for more hours than should be legal, it's you never try to come from behind by just chucking it long. Take what the defense gives you, take the shot when it's there, and just keep driving. Maybe, I should sit Rex down and play some Madden with him.
My hope is that this is a huge wake up cal for the Bears...and that they come out next week, and just stomp the Giants...that's my hope at least.
As for the Pats-Colts game...I have 2 points...
First, I guess we all over estimated how well the Pats were playing, after they destroyed the Vikes last week...who then promptly lost to the 49ers. But I will say, I think it was very telling that the Pats turned the ball over 6 times, and were still totally in the game until the final minute. I know this is going to sound like sour grapes, but I have this feeling that Belichick was using this as a jab...he's setting up the hook in the playoffs. I know, I know...it's a very big reach...but come see me in January and we can talk then.
Second, Manning showed me a little more than I've seen from him in the past. He actually stood in there against the rush...which has not always been his strength. He usually gets all flustered with a couple guys in his face, so it was interesting to see him make some great throws while getting crushed.
I'd like to take this time to clarify my stance on Manning and great QBs. I believe Peyton Manning is one of the best Passers to ever play the game. He makes some of the most beautiful throws I've ever seen, and he understands the passing game like no one else. He joins the likes of Dan Marino as the 2 greatest passers to ever play.
But as of right now, he's just a great passer. To me being a great Quarterback takes more than just having great stats, and the ability to make the great throws. Being a great QB means playing your best in big games, rising to the top when the team is at it's worst, making the play when it needs to be made, rallying the troops when all is lost...and winning it all. The QB is the most important position in sports. You're right it does take a team to win a championship, but it takes a leader to make a team. A great QB makes those around him better, and that's what wins championships.
Manning still has time, he could win one this year, or next. Hell, he could go the Elway route and win one later in his career...but until that time, I can't call him a great QB.
But as this weekend has proved, I could be wrong.
Where do these stairs go again?