Friday Bears Post: How the Grinch Stole the Playoffs

Some time back, when Jim Carrey was called on to embody a classic holiday anti-hero who only made sense as a drawing or a cartoon, it was proven once again that nothing is sacred, no tale of redemption and the triumph of the holiday spirit could live a life without bastardization.

As the final Sunday of the 2013 NFL season approaches, the Bears now find themselves pitted not only against their main rival but against one of football’s main attractions once again with a lot on the line — back on the main stage to ham it up once again, Carrey-like, is Aaron Rodgers and he’s more than willing to be the green-clad goon who ruins this holiday season for the residents of Whoville Chicago.

There’s not much more to be said about this game — both teams now have their designated leaders under center and each sports enough weapons to put fear in the hearts of the other team’s defense, both of which are pretty much rendered irrelevant due to injuries and each unit’s sub-par play this season (has there ever been a Bears-Packers matchup where the combined defenses were as toothless as these two will likely be?).

All that’s left is to see who will execute, who will actually play like their heart has grown three times its size, a suitable size for a team that actually wants to represent the disappointing NFC North among the titans of the West and South divisions.

With all this talk of Grinches, maybe I have it wrong, maybe Rodgers isn’t the potential villain turned hero — it may make more sense for it to be someone on the home sideline at Soldier Field Sunday. This is a team that’s done all it could in the second half of the season to break hearts, but you can’t set up any traditional tale of redemption and the triumph of the holiday spirit with anything but a little disappointment.

An 8-7 record isn’t the equivalent of throwing a whole town’s worth of Christmas presents off a mountain, but salvaging a playoff run, like the presents would be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… wait, now I’m mixing up my children’s tales…let’s move on.

Pro Bowl Roster Revealed

The 2014 Pro Bowl roster was released Friday night. Usually that sentence includes the word roster(s) but this is the first year of an “unconferenced” Pro Bowl featuring a pre-game draft the week of the game, today all we learned was who will be eligible for the draft based on the typical voting based on regular season exploits.

Obviously, the NFL is trying to make this game more exciting but they definitely kicked themselves in the foot as far as that is concerned by not making sure Alshon Jeffrey was in the game.

Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery

Before I go on, let me indeed congratulate the two Bears who did make it — Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, the only other players in Chicago who deserved placement. Not surprisingly, no Bears defenders made it, it was the first time that has happened in Pro Bowl voting since 2004, writes SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron blog.

Given Marshall and Forte’s already well-established Pro Bowl histories (Forte makes the game for the second time, Marshall his fifth) it makes all the sense in the world that they made it again, but Jeffrey shouldn’t have been excluded just because this was the first year he played at an all-pro level, because he certainly played at that level.

Unfortunately, it seems given the competition at the top of the wide receiver position league-wide that someone had to be squeezed out — remember, there was no screening out by conference this time around — although NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal writes that he’s more worthy than both Marshall and Denver’s Demaryius Thomas.

Thomas, in fact, is the only receiving selection from the most prolific single season passing attack in NFL history, so it was hard to see both Marshall and Jeffrey make it even if they were by far the best 1-2 wideout combo in the league.

Also there is the chance that an injury or some other freak event keeps a player out the game and Jeffrey would figure to be high on the replacement list. Otherwise, Air Jeffrey will just have to fly higher next season to get his just due and just like a jump ball in the end zone I wouldn’t put it past him.

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and Kyle Means @Wrk_Wrt

5 responses to “Friday Bears Post: How the Grinch Stole the Playoffs

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