Several weeks ago, it might have been laughable to suggest that the Bears and Arizona Cardinals are two teams in pretty much the same mess. It is not the least bit funny now.
Both have lost five of their last six. The Cardinals have lost nine of their last 10 but they have had a victory more recently (last Sunday over Detroit) than the Bears, who have not won since Nov. 25. They were both 4-1 at one point.
The Cardinals have a miserable situation at quarterback where sixth-round rookie Ryan Lindley has yet to throw a touchdown pass in four starts and against six interceptions. The Bears have a situation at quarterback as well, where Jay Cutler has thrown more interceptions (three) than touchdown passes (two) in the last two games with the NFC North and playoffs at stake. In the six-game swoon, Cutler has thrown five touchdown passes vs. six interceptions.
It has been anything but all Cutler. Receivers also have dropped more TD passes than theyve caught and the offenses only two rushing touchdowns over the last six games came in that Nov. 25 win over Minnesota.
The point here is that Bears are every bit capable of losing the Arizona game with their offense, perhaps the summary irony of 2012 for a team that traded for a franchise wide receiver, drafted one in the second round and kept every key offensive piece in place.
This is how the Arizona game (and Bears record) looked to CSNChicago.com at what seems now like a very long time ago:
At Arizona Cardinals (8-8) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.
Analysis: Arizona reached .500 in 2011 but has done little in the offseason to get better and is converting to a 3-4. On offense neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton is enough to beat this Bears defense.
Result: W (11-4)
The good news for the Bears that Lindley is not enough to beat this Bears defense, either.
Bears 14 Cardinals 10
As one of the cooler presidents ever, President Obama knows cool when he sees it.
The president talked about numerous members of the Cubs during the team's visit to the White House on Monday, but he only offered the "cool" label to manager Joe Maddon, who most folks can agree is probably the coolest person to ever manage the Cubs.
"Let's face it, there are not a lot of coaches or managers who are as cool as this guy. Look how he looks right now," Obama said, pointing out Maddon's non-traditional suit. "That's cool."
The president also praised Maddon's unique style, with his themed road trips and visits from zoo animals, as well as his on-field prowess, throwing in a joke about something the skipper couldn't control during the World Series.
"He's got a lot tricks to motivate. But he's also a master of tactics and knows how to make the right move at the right time: when to pinch hit, when to pinch run, when to make it rain in Game 7 of the World Series. It was masterful."
Maybe President Obama really does admire Maddon's style. Or maybe he's just extending his bromance with Vice President Biden to other famous Joes.
Check out the video above for more from the president.
Unlike her husband, Michelle Obama hasn't made a big deal out of her baseball fandom over the past eight years.
But as President Obama mentioned while he honored the World Series champion Cubs on Monday at the White House, it turns out the First Lady is a pretty big Cubs fan and watching the Cubs win the World Series meant an awful lot to her.
"It is no secret that there's a certain South Side team that has my loyalty," the president said. "So I can't claim that I have the same visceral joy of some in this White House. But FLOTUS is a lifelong Cubs fan, and I will tell you ... in the eight years that I've been here, we've hosted at least 50 teams. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it. Michelle has never come to a single event celebrating a champion until today. She came and shook hands and met with every one of these members of the Cubs organization and told a story about what it meant for her to be able to see them win. She remembers coming home from school, and her dad would be watching a Cubs game, and the bond and the family, the meaning that the Cubs had for her in terms of connecting with her father and why it meant so much to her. And I almost choked up listening to it. And it spoke, I think, to how people feel about this organization and that it's been passed on generation after generation. It's more than just sports."
And one ex-Cub even got a special invite to the White House so the First Lady could meet her all-time favorite player. That was former pitcher Jose Cardenal, once famous for his large afro. According to President Obama, his wife used to try and wear her hat over her afro just like Cardenal did.
So while President Obama was presented with a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field, perhaps it's Michelle who will get more use out of it.
Check out more from the president in the video above.