With just two more shopping days til Christmas (they play Washington on Saturday so they’re going to be a little busy most of Christmas Eve) and holiday cheer everywhere, might any of the Bears be more inclined to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” instead of more film on the Redskins?
Ideally they can multi-task well enough to do both. But football players have families, kids, relatives in town, presents to buy and all the rest, and they would not be the first dads/husbands/sons/friends to have events outside of work encroach on their concentration on the job.
Individual breakdowns notwithstanding, the Bears have maintained concentration well enough to play toe-to-toe with a succession of playoff-grade opponents (Green Bay, Detroit, Tennessee, New York Giants). Even as their season has disintegrated, they have not, and it is unlikely that the Christmas season will do what the disappointments of close losses could not.
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“It’s important to stay focused regardless, whether it’s Thanksgiving,” said coach John Fox. “Guys have tragedies in families; there’s all kinds of things that can take the focus away of your football team. I think the fact that we’re playing Christmas Eve day — Christmas is the next day — most people are going to be with their families.
“Just like playing at home, you’re with your family after the game. So I think these guys do the game for a lot of different reasons. Some of them are families, spending time with family. It’s a lot easier to see smiles after wins than losses.”
So the Bears won’t be swapping eggnog recipes or Toys ‘R Us sales tips in their huddles Saturday while Washington is waiting.
“They could be in their free time, I’m not sure,” Fox said, smiling. “But no, they’ve been pretty good all year long as far as focus.”