Sports
Sports

Save the hate--Bears won't take the bait

For all the adrenaline and testosterone crammed into an NFL season, football players can be awfully sedate.

If the Bears are at all anxious to face Detroit and quarterback nightmare Ndamukong Suh on Sunday, they don't show it.

Good luck getting players to admit this game is any more important than a ho-hum tilt against lowly Jacksonville, save for the all-important standings boost a victory would mean.

"There's not some, 'Oh yeah, we're playing Detroit this week; we hate Detroit,' " third-year safety Anthony Walters said. "That's not the mentality at all. The mentality is one game at a time, and the reality is if we beat them this week, we're two up [on the Lions in the NFC North]."

OK, you'd expect that from a player who hasn't seen as many on-field shoving matches as others. What about a 16-year veteran like Patrick Mannelly?

"I think anytime you play a division team it's a little more heated, just because you see them twice a year," he said. "Being with a team as long as I've been, I've played against some of those guys for a long time. I wouldn't call it fighting your brother, but it's just the familiarity of the rivalry maybe intensifies a little bit just because you're sick of seeing each other so much."

Fans with siblilngs can relate. So if the Bears-Green Bay rivalry is a "10," atop the scale, then Bears-Detroit is …

"… a 10," Walters said.

"To me … they're all the same," Mannelly said. "To win [against a division foe] is a little bit more than winning another game as far as playoff implications and things like that."

Uh, nice try, guys. You won't get ANY Bears fan to say Bears-Lions is bigger than Bears-Packers. Point taken, though—as a player, the Zen mindset has advantages.

Even so, you mean to say this rivalry isn't nasty in the least?

"No, I think the biggest thing is we're all competing, trying to win," defensive lineman Corey Wootton said.

Not even after Suh bashed Jay Cutler in the head, WWE-style, in 2010, or turned his shoulder into pudding last season?

"All divisional games are tough," return man Eric Weems said. "So it's gonna get a little chippy every now and then. We don't see it as escalating."

And if Suh were to swing an elbow at you, how you would react?

"Probably like a ninja," safety Craig Steltz said, striking his best Bruce Lee stance and simultaneously defusing potential bulletin-board material.

Yep. If taking the high road fails, that would do the trick.

Chris Sosa is RedEye's sports editor. @redeyesportschi

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Who's top dog: Week 4 results

    Who's top dog: Week 4 results

    Each week, RedEye's prognosticating pooch, Whizzer, goes toe to toe (paw to paw?) with Rob Cressy's miniature schnauzer, Callie, to see who picks NFL games more accurately.

  • The Chicago Bears and their salaries

    The Chicago Bears and their salaries

    Ranked from highest base-salary to the lowest, here's the salary info from OverTheCap.com for the Bears starters from the 2013-14 season.

  • Autoplaying videos: A pitiful and pathetic idea from the beginning

    Autoplaying videos: A pitiful and pathetic idea from the beginning

    I hate having the thought in my head that it took something as upsetting as Alison Parker and Adam Ward’s horrendous killings to finally showcase how pathetic the autoplay feature is on various media and social websites.

  • Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River is three acres of overgrown weeds and shrubs. It is referred to by some as a "ghost park" because it is hidden in plain sight.

  • Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    There's a fire starting in my heart and it's making me realize it's been kind of a while since Adele released an album. Her last full-length "21" dropped in 2011 and I barely remember that year it feels so long ago. But now, there's some good news to fill our recently Adele-less lives and it's...

  • Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

Comments
Loading
70°