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The defensive core—Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman—is aging, and that's before we all know the full extent of Brian Urlacher's injury, for now a sprained knee ligament sustained in that final game. The offensive line remains in tatters, and Matt Forte's contract remains an issue—whether or not the Bears play hardball by designating him a franchise player. This was a team that, like the White Sox, was built this year to squeeze one more season out of its mid-2000s glory (not quite as glorious for the Bears, who lost in the 2007 Super Bowl after the Sox had won the 2005 World Series), and like the Sox, the Bears fell short of the playoffs. Well, at least the Bears finished .500, unlike the Sox, even if that only conjured thoughts of the Rolling Stones' disdainful "Respectable." Or, as Emile Zola writes at the end of The Belly of Paris: "Respectable people ... what bastards!"