Sunday, December 25, 2005

WHERE IN THE WORLD DID 20 YEARS GO?

First of all Merry Christmas to everyone. It is about 130 in the morning on Christmas morning and I am killing time for a couple hours until I fulfill my regular Sunday morning duty of helping my mom with her ridiculous paper route. I was hoping I would get news that she quit that stupid thing for Christmas, no such luck. So because I am such a loving, caring son, I go help her on Sunday's when the papers weigh more than she does.

In our family we celebrate the traditional exchanging of gifts, for various reasons-the most of which family logistics, on Christmas Eve.

I really hate shopping period, especially Christmas shopping. For my mother and sister, it's the standard gift cards. Screw it I say, let them go get whatever they want and leave me out of it. For my 13 yeard old nephew, I usually go with cold hard cash. My 7 year old nephew is pretty easy, just pick out a few toys and be done with it, prefferably something that flies, explodes, or goes really fast. I am a really cool uncle because I found a few things that do all three at the same time. Then theres my dad...

My dad is pretty easy because anything that I think is pretty cool, he would think is pretty cool. He hasn't really picked up on my love for golf, but other than that were pretty much the same. I was surfing the Chicago Tribune web site a few weeks ago and they had an advertisement selling the entire 1985 Bears season on DVD. The cost was about 80$. I couldn't resist because as much as I know he would love that, I think I would enjoy watching those even more. Come on now I can't be the only guy guilty of doing something like that, you know giving someone a gift that you are hoping you might get the chance to enjoy as well.

The first thing I noticed was the packaging these DVD's were in. I was expecting a professional job with each DVD in it's own little box, instead there were all in there own little paper sleeve with a handwritten wk1, wk2, and so forth on each DVD. Also they were coming from some outfit out of New York, which was surprise.

It took me and dad about 5 minutes after we were all done opening the gifts to plop down in front of the TV and watch Da Bears. The first game we picked out was the game against Dallas. The first thing noticeable was the fact that Pat Summerall and John Madden looked so young, well 20 years younger I reckon. John Madden is the man in my opinion. For example in that game Pat Summerall was talking about Bears center Jay Hilgenberg, mentioning that Jay's brother Joel was a center with the Saints at the time, and their dad was also a center in the NFL, then Madden chymes in with a classic line in my opinion "they were the only kids in the neighborhood who played catch backwards." Or on a Payton carry where he was cut under by Bill Bates, who was in his third year in 1985 (didn't he just retire like a few weeks ago). On the replay Madden says " Payton was ready to deliver a load, and Bates got lower than the load to avoid being unloaded upon." What a trip.

The main thing I noticed about that game was how much the 1985 Bears looked like the 2005 Bears. The defense was incredible while the offense was, well they sucked. Granted the Bears didn't have McMahon this game and went with Steve Fuller. Late in the first quarter there was no score, and the Bears offense was yet to get a first down. Struggling against the likes of Randy White, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, and Jim Jeffcoat. Late in the first quarter Bears punter Maury Buford pinned the Cowboys on their own 2 yard line with a Brad Maynard like punt. On the first play the Cowboys tried to pass out of their own end zone and Dan Hampton batted the ball in the air like he thought he was Alex Brown or something. Richard Dent or Adewale Ogunleye caught the ball at the one and fell in the end zone for a defensive touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

After a Bears field goal, "LA" Mike Richardson intercepted a Danny White pass and ran it back for a touchdown. On that play Danny White was knocked out of the game with a concussion, on a crushing blow by number 55 Lance Briggs, or I guess it was number 55 Otis Wilson. The next series the Cowboys went with the great Survivor contestant Gary Hogeboom at QB. On his first pass attempt he was intercepted by Leslie Frazier. I guess that's why Hogebom had to resort to making money on Survivor to get by, because his quarterbacking ability left alot to be desired. The Bears got another touchdown with the help of a crushing block by the Fridge for a 24-0 lead at half.

Nowadays a concussion and you are done for a few weeks, but Danny White was pretty resilient starting the second half and he lasted almost 3 or 4 plays before Wilber Marshall knocked him out of the game again with another Urlacher type shot to the chops. Hogeboom comes back in the game and picks up where he left off by finding a wide open Gary Fencik. The Bears got down to the 1 yard line but had to settle for a field goal after being penalized 10 yards for the Fridge picking Payton up and trying to carry him in the end zone.

I was waxing nostalgic about this whole experience. Like seeing Ron Rivera playing special teams, or Jeff Fisher on the sidelines coaching the DB's. Mostly though for personal reasons, you see in 1984 the Bears played the Cowboys and lost and Madden and Summerall talked alot about that game from the year earlier. What's so big about that game, well the day the Bears played the Cowboys in 1984 was the day that my grandpa (my dads dad) passed away so we thought alot about him. Also from watching the game Walter Payton was clearly the most conditioned athlete on the field, as he probably was in every game he played in. To think that the most conditioned athlete on the field passed away so young was pretty shocking.

It was alot of fun watching that game. I was 10 years old in 1985 and today I am 30 years old, where in the world did 20 years go?