What's the Bears' record? Don't worry, Lovie has you covered

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What's the Bears' record? Don't worry, Lovie has you covered

In case anyone was forgetting, during the span of about 11 minutes of time at the podium on Wednesday, coach Lovie Smith saw fit to mention that the Bears are 8-5. Not that anyone asked what the record was, but

The sense here is that Smith likely has mentioned that as many or more times to his players and coaches. Hes not mentioning that theyve lost four of their last five games. Hes not mentioning that the Bears need to win some or all of their final three games to reach the postseason. Hes not reminding his team that its lost to the Green Bay Packers five straight times.

MORE: Bears need to break Packers' 'hex' over Cutler

The public, or at least a large portion of it, doesnt need to be convinced that the Bears are 8-5. As for the Bears themselves, however

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall came in for his weeklyWednesday chat with the media carrying a Christmas twig, nicely decorated and with a recording of jazz legend Vince Guaraldis A Charlie Brown Christmas playing.

READ: Brandon Marshall on GB: "This is personal."

Marshall, like Smith, was sending a message to more than those in the Halas Hall press room. It isnt the media who need to believe that the Bears are an 8-5 football team.

Well, yeah, metaphorically, our season looks like this tree right now where were standing, Marshall began. Barren. Ugly.

But theres still hope. As a kid, it doesnt matter how your Christmas tree looks. Youre still waiting for Christmas Day. You have hopes and dreams that Santas going to bring you those things you ask for. Its always a possibility.

Where we stand today, our goal is to win the NFC championship, beat the Green Bay Packers, win the Super Bowl. All of that still can be under this Christmas tree. Whenever youre down, youve got to try to create some type of balance, so this is a perfect little thing for me to keep me going.

In that direction as well:

The normal NFL players week begins in earnest with a full practice on Wednesday. This is anything but a normal week for the Bears, however.

With injuries taking down members of every position group, Smith changed to a second practice session in sweats rather than a practice in some form of uniform.

We have a lot of guys banged up today, and just felt like we could get more work done, meetings, Smith said. Just felt like another day to heal up would benefit us more than trying to go out there and having guys double up on a lot of things.

But the Bears need to heal more than just physical bruises.

The locker room in Minnesota, after a fourth loss in five games, was somber in ways indicative of more than just the after effects of one loss. More like a fourth in five games.

MORE: Barring meltdown, franchise history says Lovie stays

Thats why I think we need to relax a little bit, said offensive coordinator Mike Tice. I dont know why guysIm hoping its not me putting stress on them. I try to keep it loose and have fun.

But at a certain point, we have to look at every reason why guys arent relaxing and making those plays, because they make them in practice. Practices have been sound and sharp, and no balls on the ground in practice.

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez packs a punch with ITL

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez packs a punch with ITL

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez has come a long way since CSN last talked to him.

Jimenez joins the ITL panel as the reigning boxing champion of Chicago. He talks with the guys about the win, his backstory, and more.

Listen above to learn more about Mr. "Hollywood."

How Tim Anderson's new glasses could benefit him at the plate

How Tim Anderson's new glasses could benefit him at the plate

Though he only has worn them for one game, Tim Anderson had been preparing to break in his new glasses for several weeks.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday evening that Anderson recently purchased new corrective lenses after he asked for additional testing beyond what teams normally offer. Though he’d recently worn the glasses around the clubhouse and in batting practice, Anderson didn’t break them in until Monday night. The second-year shortstop homered for the first time in nearly a month Monday and finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the club’s loss to the New York Yankees.

If the glasses help Anderson’s vision at the plate, the White Sox are all for it. Anderson entered Tuesday’s game hitting .253/.278/.377 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 285 plate appearances.

“The ball can travel anywhere from Shields' 69 miles per hour curveball to Chapman's 100 miles per hour fastball,” Renteria said. “It's very important to be able to see the baseball. It's obviously a split-second decision. It's very dangerous to be in there and not be able to see the ball. If that helps him, if that's a part of continuing to move forward, I hope that's part of what helps clear him up.”

[VIVID SEATS: Buy you White Sox tickets here]

Anderson said after Monday’s game he plans to wear the lenses the rest of the season, though he didn’t think the glasses make a huge difference. Still, the fact he homered after going 96 plate appearances in between round-trippers didn’t escape third baseman Todd Frazier, who made a joke suggesting Anderson downplayed the significance. Anderson said he’s spent several days recently adjusting to the glasses in preparation for the game and wears them at bat and in the field.

“I’ve been using them in BP,” Anderson said. “Trying to get used to them.”

Renteria said players get their vision checked every spring. Anderson’s request for additional screening isn’t out of the ordinary, Renteria said.

“Timmy just told us he wanted to get his eyes checked, so he did,” Renteria said. “Obviously, he's wearing the glasses that he wears now. He's trying to get comfortable with them. He'd had them for at least 2 1/2 weeks, 3 weeks. But he's kind of been hesitant to put them on. I know (Todd Steverson) spoke to him. He's going to use them, feel comfortable with them, start using them in the workouts and BP.”