Could 2010 Be The Year of the SPORTS PHILOSOPHER Trifecta??? by Brad Eastland

November 21, 2010
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      When I was growing up, and then all through my adulthood, I basically stuck with one favorite team in each of the three major professional team sports.

      That’s the way it should be.   These “fans” who jump on a new front-running bandwagon every other year just to be able to feel good or say they backed a winner give me a pain in the prostate.   What the heck good is being a fan if you desert your favorite team in its hour of need?   Anyway, I hate front-runners.

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

      This column is penned in the hope that I might influence or inspire you so that you—especially you young people—don’t become front runners.   In sports or in anything else.

      For me it has always been the Lakers in basketball, the Giants in baseball, and the Bears in football.  (In football I did pursue an illicit, adulterous affair during my misspent youth, with the Oakland Raiders in the 70s, seduced by the ample charms of Ken Stabler and Dave Casper, but that ménage à trois ended when Al Davis traded them both to Houston.   I have not cheated on the Bears since.)

      Anyway, I figure that’s the point of being a fan.   You stick with the same team year after year, through thick and thin, win or lose.   You never want to be okay with losing, like in baseball the way that after a century of losing Cubs fans have made losing acceptable, almost preferable, sort of a secular, masochistic religion.   That’s just plain wrong.   You hope your team wins.   You yearn for it, beg for it, even pray for it.   But if (and when) your team loses you stick with ‘em.   Period.

      I have plenty of experience backing losing teams, so I know what I’m talking about.

      Then this year something curious happened.

      First the Lakers won the NBA title.   It was even better than usual because it was at the expense of the Celtics.   But the Lakers have won more than their share of NBA titles so at the time I didn’t give it a second thought.

      But then, just a few weeks ago, my San Francisco Giants—who as recently as July were floundering in 4th place in the National League West—suddenly stormed through September, won the pennant, and then captured their 1st World Series in half a century.   God, how I never get tired of saying that or typing that….

      And it got me to thinking.

      I’m two-thirds of the way there.

      Two of my three teams have won it all in 2010.   Could this be my year to sweep all three???

      Don’t laugh.   I know the Chicago Bears are a longshot to win the Super Bowl.   But be honest, are there any, and I mean ANY people reading this column right now, who thought the San Francisco Giants were going to win the World Series?   No!   Including me!   Even now, almost a month later, it still seems like just a wonderful dream….like dreaming you’re sleeping with Raquel Welch, but then you wake up and she’s lying right there beside you.   And I mean Raquel circa 1965, not the 70-year-old one.   Wearing that little deerskin bikini from “One Million Years B.C.” and everything.   (I’m assuming that as of now I’m the 1st writer in history to ever compare the Giants to Raquel Welch, right?)

      So then why can’t the Bears win the Super Bowl, and make 2010 the year of the Sports Philosopher Trifecta?

      That’s sort of a rhetorical question.   There are so many reasons why the Bears can’t win the Super Bowl that if all of you responded to that question by posting a reply to this column it might cripple the website.   I know all the reasons anyway, no need to remind me.

      But did anyone think the Rams of 1999 could win it all.   Or the Patriots of 2001?   Did anyone on earth—going into the 2008 season—think the Arizona Cardinals could make it all the way to the Super Bowl?   The Cardinals have a 90-year history of losing, despair, and genuine patheticness that is rivaled in American team sports by only the Cubs themselves.   And who amongst us thought the New Orleans Saints would ever sit atop the football world?

      The Bears are on the improve.  They are 7 and 3.   They have the best special teams in football.   They have one of the best defenses in football.   They have a corps of some of the most talented backs and receivers in football.   And they have one of the five most talented (albeit one of the dumbest and most thoroughly pig-headed) quarterbacks in the league.   All they need is for their much-improved offensive line to get a little better, and they just might make a run for it.   The Bears made it to the Super Bowl in 2006 with Rex Grossman at quarterback, maybe the worst quarterback ever to “take” his team to the Big Game.   As dumb as he is, Jay Cutler is ten times the QB Rex ever was.   If the Cardinals or the Saints can catch lightning in a bottle, so can my Bears.   This is the NFL.   Anything can happen.   Perhaps 2010 really is—as least when it comes to sports salvation—the year of the Sports Philosopher.

      But if the Bears blow it and don’t even make the playoffs rest assured I’ll be right back there in front of the T.V. in 2011, rooting them on.   No matter how much they suck.   And that’s the point.    

meet….The Sports Philosopher!image0023

Brad Eastland is an author, historian, film buff, undiscovered fictioneer, and lover of the Lakers, Giants, and Bears—in no particular order.   Brad’s other recent columns for LaVerneOnline can be found in Sports under ‘The Sports Philosopher’ and also in Viewpoint under ‘Brad Eastland’s View’.    Brad has also written 4 novels and over 20 short-stories.    Samples of his best fiction work can be discovered by clicking the comically underappreciated links below:






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