The Tribune finally got around Friday to acknowledging the effect Barry Zito's tragicomic contract will have on Carlos Zambrano's asking price. (Wait a minute--that means the World's Greatest Newspaper got scooped by A Hundred Next Years not once, but twice! That must make this the World's Greatest...well, something.)
I'm surprised the Trib expended the column inches on the non-story Cubs story, what with the fate of civilization resting on the outcome of Sunday's Bears/Seahawks game.
For some time, I've been thinking about a Cubs vs. Bears post, and since the Bears' season could end in less than 48 hours, I better get to it.
First of all, I ceased to be much of a football fan around the time every player started preening and strutting every time he did anything. Maybe because now I have a little more emotional distance from it, I can fully appreciate the insanity of Bears fans.
I don't mean the face-painting, team license plates, love-'em-through-thick-and-thin kind of insane. I mean the legally incompetent, lacking reason, psychiatric disorder kind of insane.
Within just a few weeks this season, Bear fans went from guessing who the Bears would humiliate in the Super Bowl to imagining how Lovie Smith would look to them after his teams had suffered back-to-back, one-game playoff exits.
As best I can tell from reading the papers and listening to the wackos who populate sportstalk radio, the town is fully prepared to watch Rex Grossman lead the Bears right into the off-season. The defense is now seen as being mortally wounded since the season-ending injuries to Mike Brown and Tommie Harris. And somewhere along the way--probably around 3:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon if the Bears lose--we'll be hearing that Smith, while a good coach, lacks the fire (read: Ditka qualities) to motivate a team in the highly charged, win-or-go-home atmosphere of the NFL playoffs. There will be more. In fact, there's no bus big enough to accommodate all the characters who will be thrown beneath it by the furious Bear fans.
Are Cub fans any different? I think so, in this regard:
When the Cubs are actually contenders, I believe Cub fans, despite all the disappointments of the past five generations, genuinely hope with all their hearts. There is little talk about who should be lined up for crucifixion until the failure is complete.
Bear fans, on the other hand, seem to be able to switch from buoyant confidence to blinding rage in less time than it takes a marginal quarterback throwing off his back foot to have an interception returned for a touchdown.
Maybe it's the nature of baseball vs. football.
Maybe it's how much more alcohol football fans put away during a game. I'm guessing we're about a day and a a half away from seeing Bear fans at their frothing-at-the-mouth worst.
Uneducated prediction: Seahawks, 27; Bears, 16.