As game day approaches for the Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks Divisional Playoff (Sunday, noon CST), the excitement is beginning to build, at least in some quarters. The eternally mild Lovie Smith and his equally impassive quarterback Jay Cutler are displaying their typical cool exteriors. And why not? Seattle head coach Pete Carroll seems almost giddy, and Rex Ryan of the New York Jets wakes up in the morning spouting sound bites, and that works for them. It's their style.
But there's certainly nothing wrong with maintaining a poker face. Keeping an even keel, flying under the radar?The Chicago Bears are giving you nothing extra. No bulletin board material, just game film.
Besides, if they win on Sunday, to advance to the NFC Championship game, the national media is going to descend on Halas Hall, like Mongolians attacking the Great wall of China so let them enjoy the peace and quiet, while they can.
Opening The Lines Of Communication: Earlier in the week, we reported on a column from a Minnesota sportswriter, speculating on the Vikings interest in pursuing Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck in the off-season. If nothing else, that column helped solidify Matt's bond with Pete Carroll. When asked, Carroll insisted that the Seahawks want the veteran passer back for another season. And Hasselbeck has said in no uncertain terms, that it's his wish to retire a Seahawk.
And it's safe to assume that doesn't mean he wants to retire on the playing field underneath a Bears defensive player, the way Brett Favre did, under Corey Wootton.
Injury Report: The Bears reported that everyone practiced Wednesday. Receiver Earl Bennett, who missed the last game of the regular season with an ankle injury, was active.
For the Seahawks, linebacker Lofa Tatupu is still recovering from a concussion. He was not scheduled to practice yesterday, but the Seahawks remain hopeful he'll be available for Sunday.