I spent sone time off the grid on Saturday. And in doing so, I missed an online celebration for my favorite song, “International Players Anthem” by UGK featuring Outkast, which turned 13 over the weekend. My baby is a teenager. Time flies!
• Our day will come. That is what I continue to tell myself as a Bears fan as we enter the 35th season since the franchise won its only Super Bowl championship. Yesterday, NBC replayed Super Bowl XX. It wasn’t my first rodeo, because while I wasn’t alive to watch it live, my parents kept (and still have) a recorded copy on VHS. Also, it’s on YouTube now, which is far more convenient than dusting off the VCR and letting the tape roll.
• Let’s take some time and remember some highlights:
• Even though he was effectively bottled up by a defense seemingly obsessed to stop him, watching Walter Payton run was a treat. Power. Speed. Grace. It was poetry in motion, even on plays that didn’t go anywhere. The hesitation move where he drags his leg is art.
• That defense, tho …
• Richard Dent won Super Bowl MVP in what is acknowledged one of the best Super Bowl performances of all-time.
• It was bonkers watching that defense ball out yesterday. Killer pass-rush. Attacking linebackers who stormed to the ball carrier. Playmakers in the secondary. They really were the best of the best.
• But also, they would be soooooo penalized for how hard they hit guys if they played today.
• This moment was worthy of an “Oh my!” from Dick Enberg:
• Even still … Walter Payton should’ve been given the ball on 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard-line four times. Don’t get me wrong. Watching The Fridge score is fun and neat and all sorts of awesome. Had Twitter been around at the time, it would have been an all-time viral moment as it happened. But Payton scoring a touchdown would have been the perfect salute to a player whose contributions to the franchise and the game itself are notable. It’s the only missing piece in what is otherwise is the perfect story of the almost perfect season.
• I maintain the Bears would’ve beaten the Dolphins had they made it to the Super Bowl for a rematch. But it’s amazing to remember what that Dolphins offense did to the Bears defense on Monday Night Football earlier in the year. I’m often hesitant to do it, but I have to tip my cap to them for knocking off the Bears on that night. Without that loss, perhaps the Bears would have never reached the pinnacle, as it seems as if that bump in the road fueled what came after.
• My hope is that one day, we – as Bears fans – will have a moment like this to celebrate, write about, and re-live for the rest of time. Because, frankly, I’m getting tired of re-hashing the greatness of something I wasn’t alive to see.
• That image really captures the moment, doesn’t it?
• Phones, coffee makers, and electric toothbrushes are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
• Just before midnight eastern time on Sunday night, President Donald Trump tweeted about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s evolved opinion regarding player protests of systemic racism and police brutality. It’s the first test for the NFL commish to see if he truly stands behind what he said during Friday’s video or if it was just a blip. Also, the president’s tweet serves as a reminder that he doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the gestures are not protests of the flag. Maybe he can learn something from Drew Brees, whose thoughts on the matter appear to have evolved after hearing input from his teammates and contemporaries in the NFL.
• The three of the most respected members of the online community that writes about Bears football has spoken up with a message for team Chairman George McCaskey:
An Open Letter to the @ChicagoBears.
— Windy City Gridiron (@WCGridiron) June 8, 2020
• McCaskey’s first statement in the wake of George Floyd’s murder was a strong one. However, it is worth pointing out that McCaskey showed support for the league’s anthem rule and players’ social activism. McCaskey made it clear that he understood that protests during the anthem weren’t shows against the flag or military, correctly noting the players who were first to kneel during the anthem did so in an attempt to shine a light on what McCaskey called “legitimate issues — police misconduct and social inequality. At the time, I thought McCaskey’s words came across as down the middle as they come, seeing that he supported the league’s anthem policy, while also providing an avenue to support player causes, too. So with that in mind, I would also like to hear more from the chairman and his expanded thoughts on things moving forward.
• Adam Schefter’s conversation with Doc Rivers includes the message the Clippers’ head coach shared with the Bears, Colts, and Rams during Zoom chats: