Exchanging texts with my brother Saturday night following the Seahawks’ 41-36 upset victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Saints, he mentioned how his rooting interests have changed for Sunday’s NFC Wild Card matchup between the Eagles and Packers. He said he’d be wearing his green and gold colors and insisted that part of me should quietly be rooting for the Pack.
No, in fact, all of me is loudly rooting against them.
Similarly, Mike Mulligan wrote an article in the Sun-Times this morning about the Bears having the opportunity to face “the worst playoff team in NFL history.” He opened his article with:
“Welcome to the upside-down world of the NFL playoffs, where even the most ardent of Bears fans will be cheering for the Green Bay Packers today.”
I’m sorry, but no. I consider myself more than an “ardent” fan of the Bears and I have not the slightest desire for the Packers to defeat the Eagles.
Why? Because I have a feeling the Packers could beat the Falcons next week, and frankly, I don’t think the Bears will beat the Packers again this season. What that amounts to is a Bears-Packers conference championship game with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl. And the Bears losing to the Packers in that type of a game is too much for me to bear, pardon the pun.
Sure, if the Bears were to triumph over the Packers in the NFC conference title game, that would rank up there with the most fondest of Chicago sports memories. But I don’t even want to risk it. I would rather the Bears finish 6-10 and miss the playoffs than lose to the Packers in the conference championship as our cheesehead neighbors to the north parade into the Super Bowl.
I’m well aware of the difficulty of defeating a team twice in one season, as the Bears would have to do if they face the Eagles in next week’s divisional round contest.
But to me, there’s no difference in losing in the divisional round versus losing in the conference round. If you don’t win the Super Bowl, you’re all runners-up to the champ, anyway.
With that said, bring on the mighty Eagles led by the dog-killing American hero. I could stomach losing to them in Round 2 more than I could tolerate losing to the Packers in Round 3.