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Bears fans know flip side of more wins
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/30/2010 12:00 AM | Updated: 9/30/2010 9:34 AM

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Notwithstanding a 3-0 start, the dilemma remains excruciating for Bears fans.

Many came into the campaign hoping for a 3-13 disaster that would bring complete regime change to Halas Hall.

But now it seems only a matter of time before Ted Phillips stands up in front of the media and hands out the "I Told You So" news release, complete with contract extensions for everyone in Lake Forest and price hikes for season-ticket holders.

We've seen it before, and for the love of Bob Parsons and all that's holy, we're doomed to see it again.

So what's a Bears fan to do?

You're torn between wanting to enjoy the 3-0 start and being disgusted with management, but there's a couple of things to remember.

First, you shouldn't let them get in the way of your Sunday fun. Diversion is just too hard to come by these days for you to let them ruin it.

Let's also remember the Bears haven't exactly set the NFL on fire so far, but some years these things don't even out and the NFC is so bad that it might go on all season.

Furthermore, a glance ahead at their next five games shows more good news for the beloved.

They travel to New Jersey on Sunday night to face the Giants, who beat the Panthers (0-3) in the opener but have since been destroyed by the Colts (2-1) and pounded by Tennessee (2-1).

Next is a game in Carolina with the Panthers, who have been outscored 71-32 in 3 defeats.

After that, it's the only game in the next five that looks marginally difficult, as Seattle come to Chicago. The Seahawks have beaten the terrible Niners (0-3) and confused Chargers (1-2), while losing to the pretty solid Broncos (1-2), who played the Colts tough Sunday.

Then, it's a home game with the Redskins, who defeated Dallas in Week 1 but have since lost to Houston (2-1) and the woeful Rams (1-2).

And finally the Bears are off to Toronto to face the winless Bills, who are operating at an 87-47 deficit in their 3 losses.

If the Bears win three of those five, they'll be 6-2 by the time they play their next division game on Nov. 14 at home against Minnesota (1-2).

The Vikes look dreadful after three games, having narrowly defeated the Lions Sunday for their only victory and might be 3-5 by the time they meet the Bears.

But with luck on the Bears' side thus far, it's reasonable to think they can win four of five leading up to the Vikings game and might be 7-1 and still atop the NFC by the time Minnesota arrives here in mid-November to start the second half.

From there it gets much tougher, but by then the Bears might have built themselves a nice cushion.

Of course, this is the NFL where on any given Sunday, Monday or Thursday, any team can beat another because there's little separating the mediocre from the truly rotten.

Nevertheless, if the Bears can keep Jay Cutler out of the hospital, it seems inevitable that in the next month or two we're going to be hearing Phillips, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith crowing about how smart they are and how stupid everyone else is for ever doubting them.

They'll forget the franchise has won two playoff games since 1994 -- both in 2007 -- and that it would have been zero if not for Lance Briggs blowing up three short-yardage plays against an injury-ravaged Seattle team.

Still, with only four playoff appearances the last 18 years, enjoyable NFL season seasons are hard to come by in these parts, and if it takes an uncapped year with desperation hires and reckless spending not to mention a handful of luck to give you a product worth watching, so be it.

This all reminds me of the scene near the end of "No Country for Old Men," when Ellis says to Sheriff Bell, "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

Stuck as you are in the middle, unable to prevent what's coming, enjoy the victories, even it means extensions for all your favorites at Halas Hall.

Seems being a Bears fan means being doomed to that eternal, and infernal, contradiction.

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.