To steal a phrase from meme culture, which stole the phrase from Ferris Bueller: life comes at you fast.
After being crowned in Chicago after hitting the 52-yard winner against the Broncos back in Week 2, Eddy Piñero's victory lap included an endless stream of media requests, more than one new nickname, and a bunch of free Snickers. Things were good back then; the Bears had just gotten their first win of the season and last summer's kicker circus all of a sudden looked (slightly more) justifiable.
As the cliché goes, the NFL only cares about what you've done for it lately. Six weeks and three losses later, Piñeiro – not unlike his head coach – is getting his first real taste of that. After pushing the would-be game-winner too far left on Sunday, he's now dealing with his first brush with Chicago's kicker neurosis.
"Everybody is motivated," he said on Tuesday. "I mean, we want to win – obviously nobody likes losing. And it sucks for me obviously, because the game was on the line and I lost it for our team. I take full responsibility for it."
Piñeiro reluctantly admitted that he prefers to kick from the center of the field, as opposed to either hashmark. (Which seems like common sense?) The Bears were lined up on the left hash for the 41-yard attempt, and the ball got caught in some of Soldier's infamous winds.
"It’s unpredictable," he said. "It’s tough. Kickers don’t miss there for no reason. I see why now."
"I’m a professional kicker. I’ve got to adjust to it. That’s what I get paid to do, and I’ve just got to make kicks."
Piñeiro also said that he just didn't hit the ball well on his first miss of the day, from 33. After the game he went home, spent some time with his family, then re-watched the kick more than once.
"I'm going to look at it as many times as I can and then after that, that's it, I'm not going to see that kick anymore.
"... It's out of my head already. I can't wait to go out tomorrow and kick in practice."
In the past the Bears have talked at length about how contagious Piñeiro's optimism is, and this week they're clearly trying to return the favor. Everyone who chatted with media during Tuesday afternoon's open locker room session was asked about their faith in Piñeiro, and Charles Leno's answer probably sums up their message best.
"That's our kicker, no question about it," he said. "He's our guy, and I don't give a damn what anybody says."