We here on the shores of Lake Michigan have been eating it from our neighbors to the north, the Green Bay Packers, for 25 years or so. When it goes on that long, you really stop dreaming of revenge or the tables ever turning your way, and certainly of things evening out. But there’s always a faint ember or two. You can’t ever let go of the hope that you will live long enough (and there are plenty of Bears fans who haven’t. You know what our diet is.) that either Brett Favre and/or Aaron Rodgers would have to watch a reversal of fortunes. Just in one season, maybe only one game. Especially now as Rodgers’s mind turns to dirt and his legs to cardboard in his old age, that he would have to know that it would be different after he’s gone. If only once, it was the tiniest hold to reach for. We had been reduced to just wanting one moment. And much like we did with Rodgers for way too fucking long, whiffed again.
We didn’t get it with Favre, though we did get the pleasure of bouncing his head off a frozen turf like a basketball to end his career (and off to much worse things than football!). It was little solace, but something. It only got worse with Rodgers, as his hand on our forehead as we wildly swung our far too short arms became a national story and then a joke. There was always a fucking Sunday night game, and there was always a fucking SNF-produced cartoon about his 439-2 record against us or whatever it was, and there was always another goddamn cartoon about the cavalcade of shitheads and fuckwits we tossed out at QB against him. Every. Fucking. Season. You all complained, we all agreed, and yet it happened every fall.
Off to the Big Apple
And now he’ll toddle off to New York too, just like the last jackass. He may be even more toast than Favre was, though you can bet he’ll put up a couple of good games in September that will have the national media drowning in their own essence. We can be sure when it goes to shit in December, which it probably will — Rodgers will be 40 and these are the Jets, for fuck’s sake — it won’t be Rodgers’s fault. Maybe that’s why he’s so desperate to play for the Jets, because he knows whatever happens he’ll either be the only one in history to un-Jets the Jets, or it’ll be JETS.
But we won’t get our moment. We now have to wear the whole thing, the decade and a half of eating shit. He won’t have to witness the changing of the guard, which it will be now. You may think we’re all just Charlie Brown running up to the Lucy-held football again, but we’ll kick that damn thing at the end of a Justin Fields MVP season. Some years down the road Cris Collinsworth will be putting that grating laugh and smile over another cartoon about how Fields has been running over the Packers for years. It’s coming.
But Rodgers won’t be there to see it. He gets away clean. It’s the last middle finger to us, that he just gets to walk away from the table. Couldn’t even give us one morsel. A last indignity. Something our friends in green and gold will lord over us forever.
We usually have gotten one last kick, even though we’ve been a pretty shoddy sports town for a while. Brent Seabrook sent the Red Wings to the Eastern Conference so they could keep their horseshit playoff streak wheezing for a couple more years on the way to a second Cup. Kyle Schwarber punted the Cardinals into orbit in their only playoff meeting ever.
But the Bears are our center, applicable to everyone here, and Rodgers sat on it forever. And now he gets to leave without turning around, without hearing our cries. We’ll have to find our salvation elsewhere. It will always sting, just a little bit.
Right in the yambag
And now your nightly pills-shot from the Memphis Grizzlies, brought to you by @RickRudeSells:
Dirty hit by Cale Makar
Don’t worry, the NHL has decided to keep up, on a night that otherwise contained some great hockey. Cale Makar’s favorite player growing up was Dale Hunter, apparently.
Just kidding, Makar was like 10 years from being born when Hunter did this to Pierre Turgeon. Somehow, the refs downgraded this from a major and an ejection to a minor penalty after review. Even if Makar’s story was he couldn’t hear the whistle, the puck is nowhere near them and hasn’t been for some time. Hitting a player nowhere near the puck can’t be anything other than an attempt to injure, and also the most dangerous time in hockey to get hit because there’s no way to prepare for it.
Makar should get a suspension, which will make things just tricky enough to get worrisome for the Avalanche, who dropped this one in OT to see the series tied at 2.
World-class Mikko Rantanen goal
We can balance by gawking at this goal from Mikko Rantanen, which can’t be described as anything other than world-class:
What a catch by Wander Franco
Speaking of which, Wander Franco:
Rays are really taking the piss these days, especially at home. Apparently not using gloves is a way to make it more of a challenge. Didn’t work. They won their 14th straight at The Trop.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate.