Sept. 5, 2016 – Saying good-bye to a beloved player

We’ve all had to do it. We’ve all had to say good-bye. We’ve all seen one of our “guys” get released or traded. We hear it all the time, football is a business. That doesn’t make it any easier when it happens.

Last night, seven days before the NFL season starts, the Chicago Bears released 11-year veteran, all 11 years with the Bears, kicker Robbie Gould. What? I know he struggled in pre-season and was making over $3m for the season but it’s Robbie!!! He’s the Bears all-time leading scorer! The oldest team in the NFL. The all-time leading scorer I said as well as their most accurate kicker. Wow! And we love Robbie! Fans love him and we trust Robbie! He wasn’t perfect but when he went on the field we were pretty sure we’d be hearing “Bear Down” play shortly after.

It’s seven days before the seasons starts! We went 1-3 in pre-season and for the most part looked horrible in the first three games and you release one of our mainstays? One of the very few players on the team we have all the confidence in the world in? Please tell me I’m dreaming. Please pinch me so I can wake up and see this was a horrible nightmare!

Robbie will get picked up by another team I’m sure. I hope he does. We did sign another kicker. One that is younger and cheaper and um, played in a dome last year. Please tell me he’ll be practicing during the week at Soldier Field as the wind can get pretty crazy and swirl around during those fall and winter games by the lake.

Goodbye Robbie. Hello Connor Barth. Hello 2016 NFL season. I’ll get over it. I’ll recover. It just won’t be easy or quick but I’ll get over it just like I have all the other cuts and trades.

Follow me on Twitter: @aFootballdiary

Aug. 14, 2016 – Get Off the Ledge – It’s Just Pre-season

I waited seven long months for football. Actually longer than that since my team didn’t make the playoffs and all you can give at the first pre-season game is 0. Yes, 0. Really? You lose 22-0. 0!!! You couldn’t even give me a field goal? And all you can give is 130 yards of total offense? UGH!!!! I waited how long for this?

Ok, it’s just the first pre-season game. I’ve taken a number of deep breaths and I’ve gotten off the ledge. I have told myself I will repeat over and over again, it’s just pre-season, it’s just pre-season. Because well, it is just the first game of pre-season football, and how much should I expect from my team? How much? I freaking expect them to come out as excited as I am about football being back and play like they care as much as I do! Is that too much to ask? Is it?

Maybe it is. Maybe I should just settle down and tell myself they are the professionals. The coaches know what they are doing. It will be ok. Simmer down, at least until the first game of the regular season. See how they play then. See if they come out pumped up with visions of an undefeated season and winning the Super Bowl. Just wait. Be patient. See how they are at the first game. Then you can make judgement.

We begin the season in Houston. Are they focused on ending the season in Houston? Site of Super Bowl LI? They sure better be cause I know I am.

Follow me on Twitter @aFootballdiary

Aug. 30, 2015 – Pre-season game 3 – Ugh!

The third game of the pre-season is supposed to take the temperature of the team and give an idea of how they will look during the regular season. The starters are expected to play into the 3rd quarter against the opponent’s starters. Like a real game. My beloved Bears had a horrible game. We had less than 200 yards in offense. We had several injuries when we’ve already had too many! Our starting wide receiver is 5th on the depth chart. Our starters have not scored a touchdown in the three pre-season games. What? I want to have hope for the season even if all the “experts” don’t give them any. Should I? What can I base it on? What stat can give me hope? Our QB hasn’t thrown an interception? Our field goal kicker is perfect? Is that enough?

Aug. 23, 2015 – Football, football, football

Book cover for BlogI’m so excited! What a great weekend! There was football Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and now today, Sunday! AND there will be football tomorrow night! It’s like I died and went to football heaven! I have to remind myself it’s pre-season. You’re not going to see many of the starters.

Why am I so excited? Is this normal? Do others get this excited about pre-season football games? Or is it just excited that there’s football? Is it because my football bank account is overdrawn, in the negative? There’s not been any deposits since February.

Watching and listening to the crowd I don’t think I’m the only one. The crowd is cheering like the game really means something. I guess if we admit it, in someways it just might.

Aug. 11, 2015: Two days and counting

Two days and counting. Football season begins! Ok so not officially football season, but it’s football and after waiting over seven months to see my team play I’m counting it. Pre-season is not only the team’s time to get everything in order, it’s my time too. It is my opportunity to get back in the groove and make sure I’m ready for when the the season officially starts, our first “regular” season game. For the most part, after 20 seasons of being a season ticket holder, I have it down. For some reason though, I like knowing I have a two “practice” games to make sure I’ve remembered my radio to listen to the game broadcast, seat cushion, all jewelry, rings, bracelets, watch, necklace. Actually I really can’t remember a time I’ve forgotten anything. I usually have everything in order. Hopefully after the game Thursday, I’ll feel that way about my team.