Lovie Smith, if You Are Listening – Play Your Starters vs. the Packers

Dear Coach Lovie,

Remember that day 7 years ago when you were introduced as head coach of the greatest sports franchise in the galaxy? You made a bold proclamation that took many Bears fans by surprise when you stated that “our number one priority is to beat Green Bay.”

Well, Lovie, I’m proud to say you’ve accomplished that goal and then some. Your winning record against the Packers (8 wins, 5 losses) is 3 times as many wins as the combined total of the two knuckleheads who preceded you.

Mission accomplished there, Mr. Smith.

This Sunday represents the 181st chapter of Bears-Packers. As leader of the 2010 Bears, you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something no other coach in Bears history has done – knock the Packers out of the playoffs…on their home field…on the last game of the season.

With a first-round playoff bye already secured, some ‘experts,’ prognosticators and even a few die-hard Grabowskis think you should rest your starters – especially since there’s very little chance of securing the #1 seed in the NFC…and the home-field advantage that it brings.

I’m not one of those people.

I think you should use this pre-playoff primer to make a statement to the rest of the league, your team, your ownership, past Bears greats, Bear Nation and the state of Wisconsin that the 2010 Bears are for real.

So, please Coach, I’m asking you to play your starters the entire 60 minutes on Sunday. What good will come out of doing so? Let me count the reasons…

  1. An extra long layoff sucks. Do you really want your players having two weeks off from any real contact before playing a game that matters? Your QB is in the hottest groove of his career. Your offensive line is gelling at the right time. Your offensive passing game is based on timing. Don’t take extra time off to break this momentum.
  2. You have the healthiest team in the league. They’ve made it through 19 games (including the preseason) unscathed. What are the chances anything disastrous will happen this week? And in the rare event that one of your core players goes down, you have my word that you won’t hear or read a negative comment from your buds here at Bears Gab.
  3. You have the chance to make history. With a win Sunday, the record books would forever show how you completely, utterly dominated your division. You’d finish with 6-0 record against your fiercest rivals. That’s something that’s never been done in the 9-year history of the NFC North.
  4. You have the chance to knock your most hated rival out of the playoffs. Imagine the sight of 70,000 disgusted Cheeseheads making their way to the Lambeau exits while the scoreboard is illuminated with a final score in the Bears favor. As you leave the field, a small, but boisterous crowd of Bears fans cheers you off to the locker room. Can you see it, Coach?

The above reasons aside, there’s one other fairly significant reason to take care of business Sunday – do you really want to face these wounded, yet dangerous, cats again in the playoffs?

In the end, I know and respect the fact you’re a man of conviction. You’ll do what you believe is in the best interests of your team. While I may not agree with it (it wouldn’t be the first time, Coach), myself and the rest of the blue-and-orange army will stand proudly behind you during this improbable run to the Super Bowl.

But before that journey begins in earnest in a few weeks, go out there and beat those damn Packers.

Bear Down, Coach Lovie.



Bears Gab

P.S.—If the opportunity presents itself, would you please tell Clay Mathews to cut his hair

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