The 'Most Dangerous Team In The NFC Playoffs', the Green Bay Packers, beat the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night by five points. The Eagles' usually reliable kicker David Akers missed two field goals. One of DeSean Jackson's teammates fell on his ankle, taking him out for a significant amount of the game. Michael Vick rolled his ankle, escaping pressure.
If the Chicago Bears had played this game and won, the story would be 'The Bears Get Lucky, Survive Eagles'. Every ex-jock from the NFL Network to ESPN to Fox to NBC, to CBS. The Chicago dailies would express wonderment over the Bears' good fortune.
Heck, the Bears didn't play in this game, and Rick Morrissey STILL called them 'lucky'.
That's been the story of the Chicago Bears this season.
Why? Mostly because all those people who are calling them lucky today, were calling them 'terrible' in September. And they couldn't be wrong, could they? The Bears won, and they said the opponents were 'bad'. They kept winning and the opponents were 'overrated'. Finally, when the Bears started beating playoff caliber teams, they became 'lucky'.
And they were. Demonstrably wrong.
The Chicago Bears won more football games than anyone else in their division. They won more than the Green Bay Packers, who many of these same experts picked to go to the Super Bowl. They won more games than the Minnesota Vikings, another very popular pick among those in the know, earlier in the year.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Bears are fortunate, that's true. More fortunate than last year, when they lost two starting linebackers in the first game of the season. They're healthy, while most teams are banged-up. But you don't win eleven football games in the regular season, by some sort of leprechaun-based spiritual intervention.
To continue the theory that the Bears are 'lucky', these writers introduce the fact the Seattle Seahawks are coming to Chicago, on Sunday. The Seahawks are thought to be a gift from the gods to the Bears, as they have the worst record of any playoff team in history. I guess the Bears' luck transferred to both NFC games this weekend, because the Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints.
The logic gets even more tortured, because the Seahawks are the one opponent the Bears could have drawn who actually defeated them this year. But they took it to heart just the same, even going so far as suggesting that Bears fans were rooting for the Green Bay Packers. As if they would. As if they could.
Windy City Gridiron is the Chicago Bears fan community page for SB Nation. Were you cheering on the Packers, WCG?
Bears fans, actual Bears fans, don't root for Green Bay. And people with any sense at all, don't prefer to play teams that have beaten them (Seahawks), over teams they've beaten (Eagles).
The Chicago Bears don't seem to get any credit for what they've accomplished this season, and they don't get any love, either. No love from the cable sports broadcasters, no love from the print media.
Of course, Lovie Smith has always used the idea that his team gets no respect as a motivational tool. The more bad press, the more negative reports about them, the better they like it.
Lucky for them, they're getting all the motivation they need.