Bears: So respectable, so what? | Bleader

Bears: So respectable, so what?


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The Bears achieved a modicum of respectability with their season-ending victory over the Vikings Sunday in Minneapolis. They halted a five-game skid by winning for the first time since quarterback Jay Cutler went out with an injury, finishing even with the league at 8-8. Even though this was clearly a playoff team with Cutler—who rehabilitated his reputation and career in guiding the Bears to a 7-3 record before breaking his thumb while making a tackle on an interception return—the immediate future does not look bright with or without his full recovery.

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!"

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