Hit Me With Your Best Shot
By David Wilson
Walking into an environment that is not favorable to you, requires one to have a mindset. The Bears know this. They understand that they are going to step onto a field surrounded by a mouldy green crowd screaming at the top of their lungs. Knowing this can help you formulate a plan. How to take back the narrative? Hit them in the mouth. Let them know you are not buying into their story, you have a script of your own.
7th-grade ball and the coach's name was Al. We practiced everything during the week. But he and the others coaches sat us down just before game time. He said, "when they line up for that kickoff, if you set your minds to hitting someone with all you have, they will remember." He was telling us to set the tone. Yes, I agree, that stuff works in 7th grade. You learn as you get older, it takes that kind of effort on the first play to be continued throughout the whole game.
It has been a dismal twenty years or so. Many of you have been subjected to belligerent Packer fans that live vicariously through their football team. It's not easy to turn on the radio or a podcast to listen to the Bear expert tell you how much better the Packer team is than the one you hope for. We keep hoping for that one punch believing that will be enough.
This is the team that will not only punch you on the first play, but Eddie Jackson is biding his time to go off on Jimmy Graham. Akiem Hicks is just hoping you, double team, him like you did last year because he knows, there are some dogs on the edge getting ready to unleash their fury. If you decide to double team Mack, this will be Akiem's dream. Last year "the Dream," had 8.5 sacks and most of the time he was being schemed against, with the offence giving him most of their attention. You will not do that this year, without a price being paid.
Walk softly and carry a big stick? How about, get off the line and use that club of your's Mr Leonard Floyd. It may be a disadvantage playing with broken bones in your hands. It will be hard to win those hand fights against the tackles of Green Bay. I'm kind of glad, your skill is being fast. The cast may keep you from hand fighting, but you can bring it with your legs. Get around that edge and push Rogers into the waiting arms of Hicks, Mack or Goldman. For the last few years, Eddie Goldman has done all the dirty work, maybe this Sunday night, he gets to clean some clocks.
Yes, Chicago is walking into a hostile environment. But when you are bad to the bone, it doesn't matter about the chatter, what makes the difference is what you believe about yourself. This team has been loose and relaxed during the whole summer camp. It is almost like they knew they were going to be playing with something to prove. In newsprint, You will see everyone picking the Packers to win. Even the Chicago media guys will line up against this team. But when it is all said and done, you can walk away saying, "I knew it, I knew they were going to win."
People have been disrespecting the Bears for too long. Let's be honest, the league disrespected Jordan Howard by not voting him as a top 100 player. Carlos Hyde made it into the top 100 but no Jordan Howard. Howard can walk softly because he has a lot of anger to unleash. So walk into the cheesy head stadium Jordan, and set the tone. Make everyone regret that you did not make it. Hit them in the mouth with a 125-yard game and 50 yards in receptions. No better way to answer the disrespect by proving what you can do before a national audience. I guarantee you, Howard will play like a top 10 player this Sunday night.
A broadcaster asked George Foreman, when did he know he was beaten while facing Muhammad Ali, Foreman said, "when I hit him as hard as I could and he looked up at me and grinned and said, 'is that all you got."
Come Sunday night, it is not going to matter how loud the stadium is at the beginning of the game. What will be noticeable is how quiet the end of the game is. But turn the camera over to Chicago, there will be the rightful noise. That noise will be the fat lady singing, to the tune of "Bear down Chicago Bear." Why? Because the Bears set the tone and was not moved by the environment. Monday morning will be your turn to brag.