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America vs. The World

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bear Down! Football might have something to say after all...

Mandasaurus apologizes for being off with her blogging. She promises to bring a Lovie Smith degree of committment to America vs. The World during the coming months. She also wants learn to run defense like Brian Urlacher. Go Bears!

The Chicago Bears are going to the Super Bowl. Awesome!

I'll be watching the big game hardcore - jumping, swearing, yelling, cheering all in my Desmond Clark jersey like a badass. That's how I am.

But, hey, my love for the Bears is mighty. When the Bears win my heart sings. I actually sing, too. And I feel an enormous sense of pride. Here's why.

My dad and my brother are super Bears fans. My brother used to fill notebooks up with football plays drawn out in pencil. I used to fetch beers (quite possibly PBRs) for my dad and his best friend during Bears games. Once my dad's best friend threw my entire bucket of crayons when the Bears made a bad play. That's a lot of crayons.

I'm proud of the Bears, and Colts (I guess), for hiring excellent coaches. Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are both calm, focused, football masterminds. Sure, Mike Ditka is smooth as gravy but I think it takes a bigger, maybe better coach to keep cool when your team is down.

Lovie Smith is also a good man because he's involved in the American Diabetes Association. And he wears hats. I love men in hats.

Lovie Smith is also, alongside his friend (and former boss) Tony Dungy, the first black man to bring a team to the Super Bowl as the head coach. But that's not as important to me as the fact that Lovie Smith knows that a little does a lot.

"There is a look you can give them," Smith said. "Once you are upset, I think guys know. And if they don't know, you tell them. I just don't think you have to yell and scream to tell them. They are real men. They understand."

How many people know that?

And Lovie, wisely, expects everyone to be the way he is: clear, to the point and respectful. The press (and certain irritating fans) regularly harass Dear Coach Lovie about sending in back-up for quarterback Rex Grossman.

"I'm just wondering if Peyton Manning will be asked that question. Probably not," Smith said. "Rex Grossman should not be asked that question. I shouldn't be asked that question. Rex is our quarterback. I should not have to continue to go over that. I am not planning pulling Brian Urlacher or Olin Kreutz either."

That's right.

I'm excited because this will be a real game. It will be a match between two great teams. And on the field men will play, fighting for a win, respect and a ring.

I'm not a sports writer and I'm really just learning about the subtleties and beauty of football as I watch this (the first season where I live near a bar with the games on and people who will explain stuff to me) season's end. But I see that, like many sporting events, these games mean more than what a scoreboard says. They means something to cities, to people, to children, to families, to men.

"I think would like for us to treat people a certain way," Smith said. "We try to treat our players a certain way. I think it just starts with that. As much as anything, I would like for guys to just see that on a day-to-day basis, to have trust, faith and love each other, and you never know where you might end up. You might end up here at the Super Bowl."

Maybe this is the first, or the last, or the 31st Super Bowl that's like this. I don't know. But I'll watch, spunky as the day is long, cheering for something. I'll cheer for traditions like the GHS on each Bears' jersey and the brilliant 'C' on each helmet. I'll cheer for new things like a serene, powerful coach who uses calm words to send big messages. I'll cheer for first downs, touchdowns and a win for my Chicago Bears.

Mostly I can't stop cheering for Lovie and his men.

Go Bears.
Jeff Goldstein is a wanker.