It finally happened. It was the greatest moment in Chicago sports since the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Grown men cried. Strangers hugged in the streets. It felt like we were waiting for this moment forever.
The Bears made a game-winning field goal! We never thought we’d see it again, but they did it. Now they’re headed to the Super Bowl.
Okay, so I’m overreacting a little bit. But what’s the point of being a Bears fan if you don’t overreact?
Since The Phoenix comes out on Wednesdays, I can’t do “Overreaction Monday,” so here’s my first installment of “Bears Overreaction Wednesday.”
After an embarrassing Week 1 loss to That Team Up North (I don’t really have to say their name, do I?), the Bears had a must-win game ahead of them against former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos.
The Bears’ offense was lackluster again, but when Denver made it a 14-13 game in the final minute, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky — who, by the way, I still support 100 percent despite his rough outings — helped lead the final drive into field-goal range. Trubisky and the Bears, with the help of the bogus new roughing the passer rules, marched down the field before he connected with wide receiver Allen Robinson with one second left.
He called timeout, and out came Eddy Pineiro. Pineiro became a local legend this off-season as head coach Matt Nagy worked to replace ill-fated kicker Cody Parkey after he hit the upright and the crossbar — more commonly known as the “Double Doink” — on a potential game-winning field goal and cost the Bears a playoff victory in January.
Throughout the offseason, the big question remained, “Who’s going to be the kicker?” At one point, Nagy brought in as many as eight (!!) different kickers for the spot before ultimately going with Pineiro Aug. 18. Fans and media members alike weren’t convinced he’d be the starter this season.
After nailing a 53-yarder against Denver in Week 2, “Eddy Money” is probably here to stay.
The Bears celebrated as if Parkey made that January field goal because that’s how important it’s been for the team — and fans, like myself — to put the “Double Doink” behind them. The kicker question is (hopefully) answered.
But what does this mean for the Bears? Can we crown them Super Bowl champions yet? Can we just give Pineiro the MVP award now before he inevitably wins it in February?
Maybe not that far. But the point is this Bears team can finally get over the kicking problem and focus on winning games — and maybe getting the offense firing on all cylinders. The defense is Super Bowl-caliber, and the special teams are now set with Pineiro at kicker. The pressure’s now on Trubisky to make it happen behind center.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still one of the few fans still riding the Trubisky bandwagon. He’s got skills and once he puts all the pieces together, we could be watching something special on the lakefront. Sure, he’s had a rough start to the year, but it’s only been two games. There’s a lot of football left, and he has to make up for time lost after not playing in the preseason.
In the meantime, I’ll be huddled around my TV Sept. 23 when the B ears take on the Washington Redskins preparing to overreact some more. It’s weird being excited for Bears football again after years of sitting in the basement of the NFC North division standings.
This is going to be a fun season.