SI Vault
 
The NFL
Peter King
November 30, 1992
DA HIBERNATING BEARS
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 30, 1992

The Nfl

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Att.

Comp.

Pct.

Yards

TDs

Int.

Rating

1987-91 (Average)

AFC

6,868

3,839

.559

47,921

276

253

75.8

NFC

7,017

3,890

.554

48,633

291

271

75.0

1992

AFC

4,676

2,615

.559

31,278

173

191

71.9

NFC

4,591

2,721

.593

32,673

191

153

81.1

DA HIBERNATING BEARS

At one point in the Packers' decisive 17-3 victory over the Bears on Sunday, Chicago linebacker Mike Singletary watched as a Green Bay player got up after making a big gain and spun the ball on the turf. Then the Packer, whom Singletary refused to name, started talking some trash. "I stared at the guy like I couldn't believe he was doing this to us at Soldier Field," said a downcast Singletary. "And I started thinking back, right out there on the field, to '85, '86, '87, and what it was like around here. It used to be that teams would play us and their guys would be lucky to get up after our defense Rot through with them.

"I can remember our players foaming at the mouth, wanting to hit guys over and over again, hoping guys would come in their area so they could splatter them. I'd say to them, 'Please don't hit him like that again! Please!' And they'd just keep hitting."

And now?

"Now," Singletary, 34, said, shaking his head, "instead of having a bunch of guys flying to the ball, I go into the huddle and say, 'C'mon! C'mon! Let's go!' Then I look into their eyes, and I can see it. They're just not with me."

They certainly weren't with him on Sunday. When was the last time Green Bay was unquestionably the better team in a game against Chicago? Ten years ago?

Embattled Bear coach Mike Ditka lit a fat cigar in his office after the debacle, which dropped Chicago to 4-7 for the first time since 1983, and dispassionately discussed his future. He said he would be back to honor the last year of his contract, which runs through '93. "People can say what they want," said Ditka, "but I love my job, and I still love doing it, despite what's happened this year. I'm a big boy. I've been the fair-haired guy in this city for a long time. I can take the heat. But as far as this team goes, we have to have an identity again, and I'm not sure we have one right now. We've got to fight to get it back."

Singletary, who will retire after the season, believes the Bears can become their monstrous selves again, but, he says, "the guys have to talk about it, dream about it, work for it, want it." Referring to former defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, Singletary added, "We used to have a coach around here who'd say, 'If a puppy doesn't bite when he's a puppy, he's not going to all of a sudden start biting when he gets to be a dog."

STATS OF THE WEEK

•Tampa Bay's 29-14 loss to the Chargers dropped the Buccaneers' record in games that they've played in California to 1-14. The only win came in 1980, when Garo Yepremian's 30-yard field goal with 47 seconds to play beat the 49ers 24-23.

Continue Story
1 2