I'm on a league dart team in the town where I live. We're called the Average Joes, and we're pretty darn good. We play 13 games every Tuesday night. We had high hopes going into this season: We wanted to finish in the top five at the end of the year. But alas, the league added a number of really good teams, and we stumbled out of the gates against a very good team. We lost the second week to another good team.
This Tuesday, the other team came roaring out of the gates and took four straight games. We were stunned. We're much too talented to be starting off like that against ANY team. But (and this is what I like about our team) we didn't get down on each other. We encouraged each other, kept our angst to ourselves, and kept plugging away. We got our first win in the fifth game, our second win in the sixth, and before the other team knew what hit them, we were winning 6-4. By that time the other team was unraveling. They started getting snarky with each other and began verbally expressing their frustration. That's when I knew we had them beaten. The final score at the end of the night was 9-4.
Last Tuesday night reminds me of the Bears. I am really impressed by the lack of verbal barbs that have been thrown by the Bears in the media. I haven't heard one defensive player come out and criticize the offense or the coaching staff. I haven't heard one offensive player saying they should be getting the ball more often. No one on the Bears has overtly bashed Rex Grossman or Brian Griese. No player on the Bears has questioned the play of the O-Line or harped on the drops by the receiving corps.
From Lovie Smith to Ron Turner to the individual players themselves, everyone on the Bears has accepted responsibility for the Bears' losses and simply said, "We need to perform better." The defense has accepted responsibility for the late game breakdowns, even though we all know they probably wouldn't have happened without all those turnovers on offense.
I've said before that my faith in the Bears has been shaken, but I'm not ready to give up on this season just yet. The Bears have shown a lot of class and cohesiveness through this awful start. I think that speaks volumes for the Bears organization from the front office, to the coaching staff, to the players themselves. This is a tightly knit organization. They've been in these situations before and still made the playoffs.
So, they're saying the right things and not saying the wrong things. It's not much, but it's a start. And with that kind of team-first mentality, I really believe they still have a chance to make the playoffs. I've heard it said that scoring on 3rd and goal is all about attitude. Well, I think teams sports in general are all about attitude. The Bears still have the right attitude, and they have the talent. They just need to keep plugging away and making improvements wherever they can. The next thing we know, we could look at the standings and the Bears could be 9-4. And it could all start with a win this weekend against the Packers. Weirder things have happened.