Thursday thoughts (or at least what passes for thinking around here): Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers on Thursday night (Sept. 13) at Lambeau Field is the biggest game of the season for each team. Well, until bigger games occur — which happens as the number of games dwindles. OK, so it’s the most important NFL game of Thursday night. That much is clear.
* What also is clear is this: If the Bears (1-0) win, they will put the Packers’ record at 0-2. A Bears triumph would fuel early strains as that malady known as Super Bowl fever. Way too early for that among rational minds. But we’re talking some serious Bears and Packers backers, so rational thought quite often becomes an afterthought (if that much).
* If it’s any comfort heading into the contest, the Bears hold a 91-85-6 series advantage. If it’s any discomfort, the Packers have won six of the last eight games in the series. Bears coach Lovie Smith is 8-9 against the Packers and Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy 8-5 vs. the Bears. The teams last met on Dec. 25 with the Packers prevailing 35-21 as quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdowns.
Some other facts and figures courtesy of the NFL:
* Bears QB Jay Cutler has won six starts in row. He has won nine of his last 12 starts in the division. Including the postseason, when he has a 100+ quarterback rating, his teams are 24-0
* Bears running back Matt Forte has 4,313 rushing yards and 2,025 receiving yards to join Walter Payton and Neal Anderson as the only Bears with 4,000+ rushing & 2,000+ receiving yards.
* Receiver Brandon Marshall had nine catches for 119 yards in his Bears debut. Since 2007, he has 12 games with 10+ catches, second-most in the NFL.
* Meanwhile, back on the beaten path of baseball: The best thing about White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn missing his sixth consecutive game because of a strained oblique is it lessens the likelihood he will set a major-league record for strikeouts (he has 194 with Mark Reynolds holding the mark at 223 in 2009) and increases the likeihood he will be at full strength for the postseason. Of course, whether that means the Sox will be in the postseason is something that is straining more than a few Sox fans.
* Would Sox fans feel better if the team hadn’t rallied from a seven-run deficit Wednesday to lose to the Detroit Tigers 8-6. Or do four Sox runs in the eighth and one in the ninth offer encouragement going into Thursday’s game? We might check back tomorrow to see whether Detroit wins (in which case the Tigers and Sox would be tied atop the American League Central) or whether the Sox prevail (in which case Sox fans can exhale — at least temporarily).
* The Cubs, who have Thursday off after winning at Houston 5-1, beat a pitcher named Fernando Abad. your humble correspondent will resist the temptation to say the Cubs have a bad pitcher (or more) themselves.
* Comcast SportsNet Chicago said its Tuesday telecast of the Sox-Tigers game was its highest-rated Sox telecast in more than three years with more than 155,000 Chicago homes tunimg in. So that’s the reason the Sox don’t fill up U.S. Cellular Field? Probably not.
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If today is Thursday (and based on insider information obtained exclusively by the editorial staff at elliottharris.com that yesterday was Wednesday and tomorrow is expected to be Friday — provided that you are viewing this today), then it is time once again for the weekly edition of “Sports & Torts” with co-hosts David Spada and Elliott Harris at noon Chicago time on talkzone.com.
This week’s interview guests on the highly acclaimed program (well, it’s highly accalimed in the Spada and Harris households and even possibly elsewhere) are Miss Illinois 2012 Nancy To and former football standout Joe DeLamielleure.
Hall of Famer DeLamielleure has some strong words about how players from yesteryear are treated.
If you can’t tune in for the live show, it will be available later via podcast.
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