Wednesday, September 30, 2009
As you can see from the number of fingers Kyle's holding up in celebration on his right hand (the one chucking it's way to a 90.2 rating, however inflated by Brandon Stokely that may be), Start Kyle Orton is officially two years old today. If you choose to look it up, September 30th, 2007 was the first ever start for Brian Griese as a Chicago Bear. There were many reasons I was against Brian Griese from the beginning. I found him erratic and mistake prone as a Bronco, and I felt his weak arm and constant, unnecessary checkdowns were hardly an improvement over Rex Grossman. Hell, as far as I was concerned they were hardly an improvement over Chris Chandler.
In Kyle Orton, the Bears had a guy with solid potential, one who had gotten a great deal of experience as a rookie, and had a chance to sit and learn his second year. He had a stronger arm and better mobility than Griese, and his facial hair was second to none. I had finally been convinced of the rationality that Rex Grossman was no longer going to pan out. I had a brief hope, later in the year, when Rex got back in and played effectively, that maybe he could be the guy, but throughout my hope was that the Bears would at least settle on Orton, and not Griese, as the right alternative. During the last three games of the 2007 season, Kyle was given his chance, and went 2-1, making him the only one of the three starters that year to have a winning record (Griese was 3-3, Rex was 2-5). Before the 2008 season, Kyle won the job at starting quarterback, and he gave us hope during the first half that he was finally the answer. Then came his ankle injury and a second half slump that contributed to the Bears missing the playoffs. The year left us with a sick feeling in our stomachs.
I needn't really recount what has transpired since the April trade that took our hero away from us. Those people expecting us to put our love of the Neckbearded One above our love of the team (and thus preventing us from realizing that Jay Cutler is much, much better) were disappointed. But even though Jay Cutler is now our quarterback, Kyle Orton remains as important to us as ever. He's a friend, a companion, a spiritual guide if you will. He encourages us to be merry and drink to our heart's content, but to avoid mistakes and never push things too far, be it by trying to down the entire bottle or attempting to complete a pass downfield. He teaches us that patience is a virtue, even when the two guys taking the job you desperately want are a midget who spends most of his time pissing on himself and an old guy who seems to forget that 3rd and 5 means you should throw the ball at least five yards if you'd like to pick up a first down. Most of all, he teaches us love. For football, for life, and for whiskey.
So in conclusion, it's been a fun two years full of rants, raves, and a roller coaster ride with the career of our patron saint. We promise to keep it coming, and hope you'll all keep reading. Here's to two more years, at least.