The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I have been neglecting my duties to the Metblog community, and for that I humbly apologize. My every waking moment for the last month or so was occupied by the critically acclaimed Bloody Bess: A Tale of Piracy and Revenge, which has now closed — and not a moment too soon. Why? Because it is almost that time of the year again. What time, you ask?

Football time.

Now before I get all gushy about the Bears, did you guys know we have a women’s tackle football team here? And did you know that they are awesome? The Chicago Force play the Dallas Diamonds for the Independent Women’s Football League Championship tomorrow night at the Holmgren Athletic Complex at North Park University. Tickets are only fifteen bucks, but as it is the championship game, they will sell out fast.

And of course, the Bears are back in training camp, and the preseason is but a few scant weeks away. The drama this year (like every year) centers on the quarterback position, with Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton competing for the top spot. In this fan’s opinion, you’ve got six in one, half dozen in the other. With Rex you get flashes of brilliance marred by periods of extreme crappitude, while in Kyle you get a fairly consistent meh. Grossman claims to have had the most productive off-season of his career, but time will tell if it pays off. For my money I would stick with Rex as the starter simply for that chance that something amazing might happen. But realistically, it is time for the Bears to look elsewhere.

The other excitement of training camp is always Who Is Holding Out for a Better Contract? This year Brian Urlacher played it classy by showing up for all the scheduled workouts even while his contract was still being negotiated. First-round pick Chris Williams came to terms just in time for training camp, which is always good news. The only hold-out was kick-return genius and mediocre wide receiver Devin Hester, who thinks that his eleven returns for touchdowns in the last two years warrant a raise of some kind (hint: It does). Some have suggested that Hester may be more valuable on the trading block, but I’d hate to lose a guy who, behind Urlacher, has practically become the face of the Bears over the past two seasons. His poor performance at wide receiver is due mostly to his lack of experience (Hester played defense in college), and if he can achieve even a fraction of the magic he’s shown on special teams he will be a force to be reckoned with on offense.

The first game of preseason is Thursday, August 7, against Kansas City. I cannot wait.

Oh, yeah . . . The Cubs and Sox are both still in first place, and I hear we have a couple of hockey teams and a soccer club around here somewhere too.

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