I usually talk the real football on Copia, because it's my favorite sport, but I also like the other football, and I just finished watching one of the most amazing NFL games I've ever seen. The much-hyped Chicago Bears versus the much-maligned Arizona Cardinals. I really like the Bears, even though I have more ties to Green Bay Packer country (I did spend a year working in Chicago and a couple in Peoria). I like them because of the character they show on defense even though they haven't had a useful offense since their SuperBowl glory days in the mid-80s. No one embodies that character like Brian Urlacher. I remember a few years ago seeing an interview with Ray Lewis, another great defender, preparing to play Chicago. Lewis probably knew his Baltimore Ravens would cream the Bears, who were really struggling then, but he still pointed at Urlacher on the scouting video and said "There goes a future hall-of-famer. Stay strong, baby".
That's the sort of respect Urlacher earns with plays such as his stripping, out of nowhere, of Edgerrin James, a pro-bowl running back, when it seemed his team had no hope of beating the Cardinals, up by two scores. His teammate picked up the fumble and ran it in for one score, and after the Chicago defense went right back on the field to force a three-and-out, their special teams made up the other score with an electrifying punt return by Devin Hester. I was jumping up and down as if Arsenal had scored on Man U. Arizona had gone into half-time ahead of the Bears 20-0, and their defense and offense both looked rampant. The Bears' defense seemed to wait until almost the fourth quarter before showing up for the game, and it's just astonishing that one quarter is all they needed to completely reverse the field on the Cardinals for the win. It's hard to say a team that's capable of doing that is not a SuperBowl favorite this year. It's a well-dusted analysts saying in World Football: the greatest teams are those who find ways to win when they're playing poorly. That applies to any sport, as the Bears proved again today.
I will say that one thing Dick Butkus has over his prodigious successors us that his name is a lot easier to chant than "Singletary" or "Urlacher".