November 25, 2015

Broncos, Bears, Rams, Chargers, London, Fries, Never Forgetting


November 23, 2015

Broncos, Bears, Rams, Chargers, London, Fries, Never Forgetting

The Chicago Bears could have beaten the Denver Broncos on Sunday at frigid Soldier Field. Victory, a three-game win streak, a .500 record and a great storyline heading into the Thanksgiving night showdown against the Packers were all just a chilled breath away.

Instead, it was a 17-15 loss to those stubborn, Peyton-less Broncos and the Bears are 4-6 and feeling like cold turkey. And not the good kind that you get to pour hot gravy over. More like the kind that’s the only shard left after your uncle Maury inhales half the frickin’ bird while you’re still on your third pre-dinner Schlitz.

The Broncos didn’t have Peyton Manning at quarterback because he’s older than Sammy Baugh and creakier than a hardwood floor in a haunted house and it’s difficult to say whether this hurt the Broncos or helped them. Denver turned to the young and tall Brock Osweiler who played well and the Broncos’ defense played even better and those were the major storylines.

At least in Denver they are.

But here in the land of hot frustration and heavy disappointment, the narrative is that the Bears could have tied the game in the final minute but failed and did so in a question-raising fashion.

Jay Cutler had marched Chicago down the field and Jeremy Langford scored on a two-yard plunge to make it 17-15 with 24 seconds to play. Then on the two-point conversion the Bears gave it to Langford again and he scampered right between the tackles and hit a brick wall like a drunken crash test dummy.

Broncos 17, Bears 15.

Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase is catching heck for running it instead of rolling out Cutler. Doing so would have given the Bears two, three, four chances of getting into the endzone? Instead, it was Langford or nothing and the Bears got nothing and man, is it easy to second-guess when you’re not on the sidelines.

The Bears are also being questioned for going for it on fourth down earlier in the fourth quarter from Denver’s four-yard line when trailing 17-9, and failing. If the Monsters of the Maddening had kicked a field goal instead it would have been 17-12 and then Langford’s late score would have won it.

That’s football math for you and it’s the kind we fans always get an “A” in but it doesn’t always apply between the lines on Sunday.

What we’re trying to say is the Bears have a banged-up roster, (they played without Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery again) are still gelling under their new coaching staff and faced one of the most talented teams in the league – one that John Fox used to coach – and the contest came down to the final seconds. And the Bears committed no penalties. None.

So yes, we can always question the decisions, but we must also acknowledge that this Bears team plays with confidence and bravado. And discipline.

And those things don’t matter much if not guided by sound decisions but how happy would we run-loving, snow-eating, Bears fans have been if Langford had shouldered his way in?

The Bears lost and deserve to be second-guessed. But the season, while on life-support with the mortuary on speed dial, is not over yet. A win in Green Bay on Thanksgiving night will be better than watching Avalon, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving back-to-back-to-back while downing Schlitz, pumpkin pie and Cherry-Vanilla Coke while Maury snores on the couch.

Thanksgiving dreams.

Part of what makes the Bears’ loss to the Broncos so frustrating is that it comes on the heels of a very impressive 37-13 victory over the Rams in St. Louis. The Bears looked so good in that game many of us thought they were the offspring of George Clooney and Margot Robbie.

And that game was on the heels of a thrilling 22-19 comeback win over the Chargers, a game that we must tell you about how we saw it.

We didn’t.

It was Monday night and good luck had taken us to London. Because it was London and we were trying to feel like it was London we saw a play, a magnificent staging of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape, and it let out and we made a mad dash on the London Underground across town to a bar I was led to believe would be showing football, American football.

It wasn’t. And the kind chaps in the bar didn’t even seem to understand what we were asking.

Still, it was an American-themed BBQ joint so we bought some fries, got back on the train and rode through the pregnant London night back to our hotel. We ate our fries and dozed off, dreaming of the Beatles and the Bears. One was born right next door, the other was half a world away marching down the field, bearing down, breathing fire, and creating dreams.

London, and Paris before that, were great. But it’s good to be back in the land where football doesn’t mean soccer. No offense, but we like what we like. And we like it a lot. — TK

Vikings 23, Bears 20: Silent Running

November 1, 2015

Vikings 23, Bears 20: Purple Pain

The Chicago Bears are now 2-5 after Sunday’s last-second 23-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, the fourth straight game the Bears have gone down to the wire.

Going down to the wire is fun. Until, of course, you trip over it.

The Bears are 2-5 and could be 4-3 as their last two down-to-the-wire losses could have easily gone their way instead of the other way. But we must be honest and say the Bears could also easily be 0-7.

The only thing that doesn’t require two different honest perspectives is that the 2015 Bears are a lot like Matthew Modine’s character “Joker” in Full Metal Jacket. “Joker,” if you remember, was described as “silly and ignorant but he’s got guts and guts is enough.”

John Fox’s Bears have plenty of guts. But it’s not enough. And we’re not saying the Bears are silly or ignorant but we like our little Matthew Modine metaphor so allow us to stick with it. What the Bears don’t have, despite their deep bag of guts, is a deep enough roster to overcome yet more injuries to the offensive line, the backfield and the receiving corps.

How many teams do? Not many. And not this team, this year.

The Bears let this one get away and Fox faces questions about his play-calling and clock management, which is fair. But sometimes it all comes down to one play and when you’re banged up like the Bears are that play has to go your way and this time rookie running back Jeremy Langford dropped a certain first down pass in the final minute and the Vikings got the ball back, Blair Walsh booted the winner and I am three weeks behind on The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead is what the Bears were a lot the past few seasons. This year they’re more like Silent Running. They’re moving, they’re trying, they’re grasping and they’re not giving up.

But they’re alone and cold in space.

And PS….the Vikings are pretty good. –TK

On The Offensive

A look at NFL team statistics through six weeks of the season (all stats below are prior to Thursday night’s Seahawks’ victory over the 49ers, kicking off Week 7) provides a reminder that we are in the age of offense.

The top seven teams in the NFL in scoring offense, starting at the top, are the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers and New York Jets.

The Patriots are 5-0, the Cardinals are 4-2, the Falcons are 5-1, the Bengals are 6-0, the Packers are 6-0, the Panthers are 5-0 and the Jets are 4-1.

So, of the NFL’s five unbeaten teams, four are in the top six in scoring.

The league’s fifth unbeaten team, the Denver Broncos, is tied for 13th in scoring offense. But Denver is fourth best in scoring defense and second in total defense.

If Peyton Manning were having a better year the Broncos might not just be good, they would be frightening.

Among the team’s ten worst teams in terms of scoring offense, only the 3-2 Minnesota Vikings have a winning record.

A look at the league’s top rated quarterbacks, among those who have appeared in at least three games, (our apologies to Kellen Clemens and Landry Jones) gives us Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Tyrod Taylor, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and Josh McCown.

The top five – Brady, Dalton, Rodgers, Palmer and Roethlisberger – play for teams with current winning records. The bottom five do not. Though the Steelers are 2-1 and have a two-game winning streak without Roethlisberger.

So, is great quarterback play not as important as a balanced overall offense and a respectable defense? We’ll have to check back at year’s end if not sooner to make a decision.

Other Offensive Stuff:

Chicago Bears running Matt Forte leads the NFL in total rushing yards with 507 for an average of 84.5 per contest. The last player to lead the NFL in rushing and win a Super Bowl, or even reach a Super Bowl, was Denver’s Terrell Davis in 1998.

Forte’s Bears are 2-4. His starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, who has played much better this year than anyone outside of Lake Forest, Illinois will ever give him credit for, is still way, way down on the list of QBs, though, with a rating of 86.3.

Still, that puts Cutler ahead of Carolina’s Cam Newton and the Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick who appear playoff-bound.

Who was the last quarterback to lead the NFL in total passing yards for a season and win a Super Bowl?

His name is Mr. Never. No one has ever done it.

The last NFL QB to lead the league in passing yards and win a title in the same season was Johnny Unitas for the Baltimore Colts in 1959, before the Super Bowl era.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Have as much fun with them as you possibly can. — TK

Bears Lose And Get A Week to Wonder Why

Lions 37, Bears 34 (OT): The Blue Lions Laugh Last

If the Chicago Bears had beaten the previously winless Detroit Lions they would be heading into their bye week with a three-game winning streak, a 3-3 record and a whole lot of sunny thoughts.

Instead, a 37-34 overtime loss in Detroit puts the Monsters of the Melancholy at 2-4 and facing a playoff road steeper than Daniel Murphy’s future contract demands.

Without including division leaders, there are five NFC teams with better records than the 2-4 Bears and another, the Seahawks, with the same 2-4 record. And the Bears lose any tie-breaking scenarios with the Seahawks by virtue of having lost to them in Week 3.

Having already made several in-season trades, do the Bears now approach the November 3 trade deadline as sellers? Could running back Matt Forte, tight end Martellus Bennett or kicker Robbie Gould be getting ready to say goodbye? (Does anyone ever trade for kickers?)

Or do the beloved Bears look over their final ten games in which they will play four teams with current winning records – the Broncos, Packers (both unbeaten) and Vikings (twice) – and a bunch of strugglers and keep trying to improve and hope some dominoes in front of you sprain a few MCLs and fall down?

From our vantage point, these are more intriguing things to consider than the X’s and O’s of the loss to the Lions because while the game was high-scoring and went into overtime and was against two ancient rivals it really wasn’t that good of a contest.

Neither team played particularly well, there were 19 penalties, the Lions fumbled three times, losing two of them, there were questionable coaching moves on both sidelines and it took 13 and-a-half minutes into overtime before someone finally scored.

Ties don’t just make Duffy Daugherty cry.

Yes, the Bears did march down the field in the final moments of regulation to tie it at the gun and send it into the fifth quarter and that was darn fun at the moment, but so was that flower you sniffed just before stepping in raccoon poop.

What are the Bears planning during their week off? What does the rest of 2015 look like? A tunnel? A train? A Jared Goff primer? –TK

Bears 18, Chiefs 17: Just Bearly

As 37,182 runners struggled to the finish line at the Chicago Marathon, our beloved Bears were 500 miles away in Kansas City struggling to keep their season relevant.

Marathons are normally giddy at the beginning, ugly and insane in the middle and heartfelt and life-changing at the end. And this was sort of how it was for the Bears against the Chiefs.

OK, the beginning was not so hot as Kansas City sacked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the first quarter and Ramik Wilson pounced on it for a touchdown. So it was 7-0 in favor of the Chiefs and the Bears looked lost, felt desperate and no one in the land of Stram & Honey was going to help them.

This theme continued for most of the rest of the afternoon and the Bears found themselves trailing 17-3 at halftime and 17-6 with less than four minutes to play.

So, of course, they ended up winning.

Cutler, playing with fill-ins on the offensive line, backups at wide receiver, Rosary beads in his pocket and a song in his heart, orchestrated two late scoring drives which featured two amazing TD passes and, after Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos’ 5,000-yard field goal attempt at the final gun wobbled feebly to the ground like a chubby Irishman trying to keep up with a Kenyan Olympian, Chicago had an improbable 18-17 victory, a 2-3 record and a whole bunch of good vibrations.

We shall be honest about our situation. The Bears have played three good teams this year – the Packers, Cardinals and Seahawks (the Seahawks are good, right?) – and lost convincingly each time. And the Monsters of Sudden Merriment have played two bad teams – the Raiders and Chiefs – and won by a very short, pimply nose both times.

So, the Bears could easily be 0-5 and feeling worse than the guy who forgot the Gatorade at Mile 23. But they’ve gutted out two straight wins despite a bunch of injuries and, unlike last year, they never, ever show signs of giving up.

And it’s easier not to give up when you’re well coached, have a sound game plan and the Chiefs and Raiders are kind of stupid.

Now it’s on to Detroit to face the Lions who are 0-5 and need a victory worse than a dying mouse needs fresh cheese and a cigarette. The Bears are already believers. A win in Detroit makes them 3-3. It makes them contenders. — TK


Sweet Relief: Bears Beat Raiders

Bears 22, Raiders 20 – A Smelly Life Preserver

Robbie Gould’s 49-yard kick was good, the fans went wild, and the Chicago Bears topped the Oakland Raiders 22-20 at Soldier Field on Sunday, a victory that might not save Chicago’s season but at least temporarily kept it from getting downright silly.

Speaking of silly, Gould’s strong kick through Chicago’s obdurate winds provided the winning margin for the Bears but the silliness actually was not over and the game wasn’t over either. On the ensuing kickoff the Raiders played a serious game of hot potato and it worked as Oakland’s series of laterals and scrambles helped them matriculate the ball well into Bears’ territory before one last lateral finally went awry and the Bears smothered it, time had expired, and thank God it was over.

Those crazy laterals on desperate kickoff returns are some of the funnest things you ever see on a football field and why don’t we see them more often? Even if the Raiders hadn’t eventually coughed up the ball on that final mad dash they wouldn’t have scored as they were eventually – perhaps inevitably – flagged for an illegal forward pass which nearly always happens on such returns.

Here’s an idea: Why not allow teams to have one forward pass per game on a kickoff return?  Because you can’t do that, that’s now how football is played, you stupid-face. But, again, why not? Why not make it a little more exciting, a little more fun, a little more rugby-like (I know, rugby does not allow forward passes but you know what we’re trying to convey here) with more constant flow and action, angles and adventure? Why not?

Back to the concrete world, though, and we accept that the Bears probably won this game because the Raiders, previously known as the “resurgent Raiders,” are likely more ordinary than exciting. Oakland actually has, statistically, just about the worst defense in the league and the Bears still only managed 22 points.

But that’s 22 more than Chicago scored last week and quarterback Jay Cutler’s return was a big reason. Number-6 made a lot of crisp passes; completing 28 of 43 for 281 yards and two scores, but also tossed up a few regrettable ones, including a late interception that almost cost Grandma her bingo money.

The Bears also won the time of possession, ran more plays, had more yards rushing and did not lose the turnover battle. Funny how all those things can lead to a long kick hanging in the wind and falling in your favor.

The Bears are now 1-3 and head to Kansas City to play the Chiefs who are also 1-3 and have dropped three straight. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! The Bears will soon be 2-3, and then at the .500 mark by Halloween. Look out, kids. Momma’s got her Midway Mojo and Daddy’s not wakin’ up soon. –TK

Not Cool: Seahawks 26, Bears 0

September 27, 2015

Not Cool: Seahawks 26, Bears 0

The Chicago Bears lost to the Seahawks 26-0 in Seattle on Sunday in a game that made children cringe and statues weep.

But don’t accuse the Bears of not trying. They punched the opponent in the mouth all day long. The problem is, Russell Wilson’s crew just kept spitting out teeth and cackling.

The Bears came out with a spirited effort and, for once, an effective pass rush and for a while they went toe-to-toe with the two-time defending NFC champion Seabirds who were 0-2 coming into this game and thus were a nasty, angry, desperate bunch.

The Bears were also 0-2 and just as desperate and scrappy but on the Bears’ flight from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest their offense got lost somewhere over Kansas and simply could not keep up and the result was a pummeling that left the Bears at 0-3 for the first time since 2003.

2003? That was a couple of wars ago and before the iPhone, wasn’t it?

Let’s be fair to our Bears. They didn’t have starting quarterback Jay Cutler, starting wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and presumptive rookie starting wideout Kevin White all of whom were sidelined with injuries. (White, their top draft pick, has not played yet this season.)

Beating the Seadogs, especially in Seattle, would be tough even with the first string but with the gutsy yet ineffective Jimmy Clausen at QB and a roster that’s looking increasingly Canadian every week, a Herculean football task became a recurring Sisyphean offensive nightmare:

The Bears had the ball ten times and punted ten times. Such odd and depressing statistics are tough to measure but one report we’ve seen says no NFL team has ever done that -punted literally every time they got the ball – since at least 1980.

Sure, punts are better than turnovers but not when the other team pulls the old switcheroo and returns one of those punts 64 yards – damn you Richard Sherman!

Clausen completed nine passes on the day for 63 yards. That wasn’t a drive. That was the game.

The Bears finished with 146 total yards. Leonard Fournette piles up 146 yards walking to the bathroom.

Still, still, still, the Monsters of the Mad-lib almost kinda sorta had a chance, didn’t they? One possible fumbled punt by the Searats in the first half should have gone the Bears’ way but didn’t as the officials said it wasn’t a fumble when video showed it indeed was.

C’mon, fellas, a football doesn’t suddenly go in a different direction unless it either hits something, or smells cheese, right? The ball hit a Seattle player’s leg and the Bears recovered, but the powers-that-whistle didn’t see it that way.

Could this have been a big difference? Probably not. If the Bears had gotten the ball they would have been in great field position and probably would have kicked a field goal and trailed only 6-3 at halftime or maybe it would have been tied, 3-3 instead of the Bears trailing 6-0. And, we know we’re reaching a little bit, yes we are, because the way the Bears’ offense struggled in this one they were going to have a tough time finding the endzone with a blimp and a bag of magnets.

In any event, a 6-0 game at halftime quickly became 13-0 when the Seacheesers opened the second half with a 105-yard kickoff return by Tyler Lockett, marking the second straight game the Bears have surrendered a kickoff return TD. What does that mean when your special teams are struggling? It probably means your roster is thin.

It was 13-0 and felt like 183-0. By the end when it was only 26-0 it almost felt like a relief. The Bears were shutout for the first time since 2002 but at least they escaped alive, and man it hurts to have to write such silly things.

Before the season many of us said that the Bears could actually play decent football and yet still start 0-3 because the three foes who have vanquished them thus far – the Packers, Cardinals and Seamuskies – are all very good.

But the Bears have been outscored in those three games by a count of 105-46. That 59-point differential is by far the worst in the NFL and with Cutler hobbled (yes, we know Cutler is not Roger Staubach but he gives the Bears their best chance, he really does) Jeffery hurt, White out of sight and a coaching staff that still seems to be finding its legs, things don’t look to get better soon, even though the Raiders are on the way.

Oakland, after more than a decade of doldrums, is actually playing very well and will come to Soldier Field next weekend with a record of 2-1 and a belief that the playoffs are actually a place, not a myth.

The Bears, meanwhile, have now lost eight straight dating back to last year. They haven’t won since before Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving

No one in Bearland thought this was going to be a good year. All spring and summer we knew this was a building season, a season for head coach John Fox and General Manager Ryan Pace to assess the roster, create a system and then contend in 2016.

But the road from this year to respectability is a lot bumpier than we thought. And it sorta smells.

Hold your nose. Lower your shoulder. Be wary, but bold.

— TK

Cardinal Droppings

September 20, 2015

Cardinals 48, Bears 23: Cardinal Droppings

The Chicago Bears were assaulted physically, emotionally, religiously, ritually, openly, unabashedly, spiritually and repeatedly by the Arizona Cardinals at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon, resulting in a 48-23 score and widespread anger, doubt and sadness.

It began, as they say, in the beginning when Arizona’s David Johnson returned Robbie Gould’s opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown and thus the Bears trailed 7-0 before most of the Soldier Field crowd had even had their first stick of nicotine gum.

It wasn’t exactly all downhill from there as the Bears did manage to fight back with Jay Cutler hitting Josh Bellamy for an impressive 48-yard score late in the first quarter to tie the affair, 7-7.

But by halftime the angry birds led 28-20 with Carson Palmer having hit Larry Fitzgerald with the first of their eventual three TD connections on the afternoon and while this game at that point was certainly entertaining from a football point of view, it was also undeniably anxious from a Chicago point of view.

It really turned sour for the good guys late in the second quarter when Cutler was intercepted by the Cardinals’ Tony Jefferson who returned it for a score and Cutler got hurt, leaving the game.

How many teams in the history of football have ever won a game in which they gave up a special teams touchdown and a defensive score in the same half?

The answer in Chicago on Sunday was none ever, ever, Pinky.

Cutler was lost for the game with a bad hamstring and in came Jimmy Clausen and at this point there were serious conversations in the stands and in living rooms about why the Cardinals were the ones who left Chicago in 1960 and the Bears were the ones who stayed.

Arizona is good. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are like Yarbrough & Peoples in cleats. And the Cardinals’ defense hits hard and they’re well coached by Bruce Arians who would have been the Bears coach three years ago if the Bears had wanted him. Instead, as you know but just be patient because I have to tell you again, the Bears hired Marc Trestman and endured two unholy campaigns.

Now, though, the Bears have a good coach in John Fox who is going to get this thing turned around, isn’t he? Just not against good teams. Not just yet.

The Bears are 0-2 and at this point don’t look, feel or sound like they’re getting better anytime soon. And now they have a trip to Seattle where the 0-2 Seahawks are waiting for them with talent, anger and caffeine.

Old Chicagoans wish the Cardinals well. They will always have South Side blood and we would rather see them hoist a trophy than the Patriots, Packers or many other NFL selfie-takers.   But we’re a Bears town. And we want to Bear down. We want to believe. We want a better pass rush, secondary and cheerleaders.

It’s a sunny September. We want a lot.   — TK

September Starts Sadly, Badly, Madly

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Packers 31, Bears 23: New Season, Same Sadness

The Chicago Bears opened the 2015 season with a 31-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Chicago’s Soldier Field in a game that was either not as close as the final score indicated, closer than the final score indicated, or, like Goldilocks smoking a cigarette after the show, just about right.

No one expected the Bears to beat the Packers because that would be like expecting Urkel to win an Oscar. But the Bears, by virtue of not getting wiped off the face of the Earth like they often have against the green and gold marauders from up north, did achieve some measure of self-esteem by hanging in there and making some sober voters think they had a chance.

They did have a chance. The Bears actually led at halftime, 13-10 and were down only 24-16 with about six minutes left in the fourth and were putting together a good drive when…(no Grandma, I ain’t gonna use no cuss words! Just finish eating your chicken and we’ll leave in a minute)…Jay Cutler threw a pass that hit Packers linebacker Clay Matthews right between the Green and the Bay.

Soon after that it was 31-16 and the Bears didn’t give up but hey, neither did George McGovern.

That killer interception was Cutler’s only pick of the day but he completed just 18 of 36 passes. Granted, the Bears’ receiving corps is about as healthy as Greece’s economy and Cutler gave it his all, but I suddenly want to write about nicer things, like Elton John, puppies and ladies with small feet.

OK, back to life on Planet Chicago, which will get better. The Bears probably won’t win a lot this season but John Fox is a good coach and these things take time. So did The Deer Hunter.

Bears running back Matt Forte was great – 141 yards – but afterwards he went out of his way to criticize the Bears coaches. Last year’s coaches. Holding a grudge while carrying a football cannot be easy.

What’s very troubling in Bear Land is with this defeat the Bears’ lead over the Packers in their all-time series is now down to just one game, 93-92-6. A loss on Thanksgiving night in Green Bay and we’ll be tied.

We’ll be dead. We’ll be sad.

But maybe we’ll be 9-2.

Urkel can act. Bears can dream. — TK

Under The Lights

If you want a perfect snapshot of America go to a high school football game on a Friday night.
On this past Friday the setting was Niles, Illinois, just outside Chicago, where Notre Dame College Prep hosted Evanston and romped the visitors 48-21 under an unmarred late summer sky.
The beauty of high school football is the optimism, the excitement, the innocence, the potential and the myriad storylines:
Who will win?  Who will get to play?  When will my kid get to play?  Why isn’t my kid playing more?  Did that kid get hurt?  Isn’t that your history teacher?  Those cheerleaders are cute, no I’m not being weird, I’m just saying they’re cute.  How much did those new helmets cost?  Why are those two sitting together?  How come his father never comes to the games?  Where’s the party afterwards?  Is there a party?  Why isn’t my kid playing more he’s faster than that other kid?  Gosh, that kid is so fast he could play D-1…
It’s relentless fascination, speculation and jubilation.  Kids who go to class all day then practice and sweat and scream and cry just for a few moments of fun on a Friday night.
And, for most of them the dream, the fun and the violence all ends when their high school careers end.  How many high school kids will play college ball? How many college players reach the NFL?  How many of them will you even remember?
Notre Dame Prep football is also about Walking Tacos.  That’s a small bag of Fritos or Doritos opened up with chili and cheese dumped inside and you get a plastic fork and you’re smiling brighter than Jerry Jones after a facelift.  And they only cost $2.  And a Diet Pepsi is only $1.
And the price to get into the game is a whopping $5 and that includes the Freshman and Sophomore games, too, if you get there early enough.
$8 for a football triple-header, delicious food, a bubbly beverage and a snapshot of America: loud, violent, reverent of youth but also tradition, discipline and sex appeal, and the team with more money almost always wins.
The signs at every border, and every football game, should say “America: It needs a lot of work…but we’re having a lot of fun.”