O Happy Day!

As one of my favorite writers likes to say whenever his favorite team does well, “Life is magical and full of joy!”

Da Bears got the ’08 season off to a good start Sunday night, upsetting the Indianapolis Colts in stunning fashion. The star of the game (as you probably already know by now, as his picture was on the front page of every major publication in the city) was rookie running back Will Forte, who rushed for 123 yards. The last rookie running back to start the first game of a season for the Bears was Walter Payton in 1975. His stats for that game? Eight carries for zero yards.

The Bears defense was not the sluggish beast that lurched through the preseason. They caused and scored on turnover, stuffed Colts running back Joseph Addai in his own end zone for a safety and most importantly they managed to prevent Peyton Manning from finding any kind of rhythm. Granted, Manning spent the entire preseason recovering from knee surgery and was off his game before the opening kickoff. Still, it’s Peyton Manning.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Bears starter du jour Kyle Orton had a solid game, going 13-of-21 for 150 yards. More importantly, no turnovers. That was new and interesting.

Oddly enough, the only real screw-up came from, of all people, Devin Hester, who tried to get clever on the opening kickoff of the second half. He caught the ball deep in his own end zone, then stood casually for a few seconds, hoping the Colts would assume he was taking a touchback. They did not fall for it, but Hester decided to run for it anyway, making it only as far as the three-yard. The Colts got the ball back with good field position and responded with a touchdown.

Overall the Bears played a solid, no-frills, no-mistakes game. If they can maintain that this season should go much better than people feared.

Not that this affects us too much in Chicago, but Tom Brady’s season-ending injury is a huge loss for football fans everywhere. It will be a strange year without him.

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