As the long, hot summer drags on, we here at the Triangle figured we’d provide a steady stream of NFL goodness as a reminder of the light at the end of the baseball-lined tunnel.
Unless you and everyone else in your office really hate Mondays, I’d suggest popping in some headphones for this one. Drowning Pool soundtrack and all, I’ve watched this video about 513 times since NFL free agency opened up, and that number is only going to ramp up during the next two months. Because for a certain segment of the population (read: every past, present, and future Chicago Bears fan), this eight-minute clip is our Citizen Kane.
When the Bears traded for Jay Cutler back in 2009, I proceeded to do two things: (1) Call my father (and have him predictably dampen my excitement as much as possible), and (2) have the type of night out that nearly made me miss an early-morning flight the next day.
When Cutler came to Chicago, he was viewed as nothing short of a savior. Forget Jim McMahon. Cutler was the best Bears quarterback since Sid Luckman. And he would be the one to change everything.
Since Cutler showed up, “love/hate” is really the only way to describe the fan base’s relationship with him. He followed up his much-maligned, 26-interception first season with a trip to the 2010 NFC championship game — a game in which he was condemned for missing the second half with what was later determined to be a torn MCL. Last year, Cutler guided the Bears to a 7-3 record, and then missed the final six games of the season with a broken thumb.
Cutler showed plenty of flashes during those first three years, and the growing consensus among fans was that all he needed was a bit of help at wide receiver. Enter Phil Emery. On the first day of NFL free agency, the new Bears general manager struck a deal with Miami to bring Cutler favorite Brandon Marshall to Chicago in exchange for two third-round picks.
I should make this clear: The only position where the Bears’ laughable track record even approaches the one it has at quarterback is wide receiver. There’s been one 100-catch season in the franchise’s 93-year history. Marshall has had three in six years. In their last season together in Denver, no quarterback targeted a receiver more than Cutler did Marshall. The result was 104 catches for 1,265 yards. Cutler hasn’t been shy in the past about mentioning an interest in reuniting, and now it’s a reality.
Which brings me to the video. Again, there’s some Drowning Pool, and the whole thing is eight minutes long, but for my purposes, there’s not much of a need to get past the first minute. The first play would probably be among the five best plays ever made by a Bears wide receiver. The ball is snapped, Marshall sits down about 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, and then proceeds to break three tackles and outrun every Seahawks defender en route to a 70-yard touchdown.
Let me reiterate this — save for kick returns, these types of plays have never been a part of my world. And if that first one isn’t enough, go ahead and fast forward to :44, where in one play, Marshall does about five things a 6-foot-4, 230-pound man simply shouldn’t be able to do. Now, excuse me while I go watch this for the next five hours.