The Chicago Bears' game today, in its 17 - 14 loss to the Redskins, most definitely represents a variety of anxiety disorders, for the entire organization: from the players and coaches to the pinheads up in the booths. My profession, by day, expects me to know what these terms describe: "panic attack"," phobia", "obsessive-compulsive", "acute stress", "post-traumatic stress", and finally "generalized anxiety." While one can make a case for all of them in this week's blog, we'll keep it basic (something the Bears have somehow forgotten).
What, you ask, is basic here? I recall my 8th grade boyfriend, Philip, playing football in the park on 87th and Jeffrey. He was the QB in pick up games, and just shouted to his teammates, "it's easy, guys, just catch the ball and hold on to it."
And that's why we fans could be having our own panic attacks right now: a feeling often associated with impending doom. 6 turnovers with 2 in the red zone. Still scoreless in the 3rd quarter for the entire season. (What IS going on in the locker room during half-time?) Only two 3rd down conversions. Unable to win against the Redskin's 2nd worst passing defense in the NFL. With a national election nearing, Obama now has more reasons than the Bears' season, to feel ones heart racing, with Karl Rove's fund-raising.
A phobia produces significant anxiety provoked by exposure to a feared situation, often leading to avoidance behavior. Wow! I could write my 2nd dissertation on this one, as could any of you. How many sacks can a QB take in one season without protection? How many concussions? Cutler continuing to throwing off his back foot, and as Jiggetts said "stepping in the bucket," where he can't be accurate with the pass. Receivers not cutting back up the field when Cutler is scrambling from the pocket, desperate to find anyone open. Go ahead, try it. Nothing to fear, really. At least the NFL helmets don't stoop to the low standards of youth helmet safety, set in 1980, by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (whose board members also produce & sell the helmets to cash-strapped schools). So Jay, you're protected well enough. Sleep tight. Nothing to fear. Don't need that Klonopin, Xanax, or Ativan any time soon.
We'll close out this chapter with Generalized Anxiety: persistent, excessive anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and worry. What, me worry? (My sister, Marcia, and I would save our baby-sitting money for our Mad Magazines every month.) If we can't ever convert for one yard, if we have any doubt as to whether or not it's time to throw the red challenge flag, if we can't trust our guys to play "Football 101" (thanks, Jim), if we can't expect our coaching staff to stay with the plays that get us down the field successfully, (quick slants with 2 -step drops, rushing off-tackle), if we can't even sign a decent 2nd string QB when the CFL probably has a few good pickings, if we can't even take advantage of the stupendous effort by our defense, then yeah: I'd say we left our rational pre-frontal cortex on the steps of Halas Hall, blitzed by our emotional responses.
However: with all that we Bears fans have to look foward to, on our precious Sunday afternoons, can any of us really tear ourselves away from, at a minimum, setting our games to record with our HD TV's with TIVO at hand? NO - not this southsidesportschick. Never. Ever. It's football on Sundays, period. Mike Singletary, where are you?
So, back to Philip in 8th grade. Our guys from Warren grammar school at 91st and Jeffrey kept it simple, and held on to the football when we played Luella grammar school, from the Manor. Frankly, I was so envious, of not being out there with the boys, getting muddy and dirty, just because "boys" weren't supposed to "tackle" girls back then. But honestly, Philip and I figured out how to tackle each other at Rainbow Beach on Saturday night. Much better, really, with the waves from Lake Michigan and WLS providing all the music we needed.
Before I sign off for a long work week ahead, this baseball fan can't be kept quiet.
The Yankees are done! The Phillies are done! (My husband, from Allentown, still has Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton in his mind.) It's fabulous that an east coast team is not represented in the oldest post - season classic sporting event. (Too bad for Fox ratings. Rupert Murdoch can afford a few million less $, wouldn't you say?) And the best moment was seeing Swisher batting .091 in last series. Pitching and defense win championships, right?
I can only hope (or pray, as the Texas fan base does) that the Giants win their first-ever World Championship. They have the White Sox to thank, in part, for that: letting Juan Uribe & Aaron Rowand go, and finally: Matt Thornton's loss in the All -Star game this year. While at the time, I was bummed out (Buehrle did us proud in 2005), all things come to a good end: The Giants have home field advantage. Cliff Lee v. Tim Lincecum. Benjie Molina v. Buster Posie. The baseball Gods must love this match up - he only did it for us. I've been to San Francisco for Halloween, & I'll just say here, that it's something the Supreme Court would not care to know about. But you'll see it in this year's fall classic in SF: Orange and Black on every fan for every home game. It will, at a minimum, keep us distracted during this Bears' Bye week - before this football season goes bye bye.