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INSIDE THE GAME: One regret is enough for Bears, fans

Living as long as I have and being in the profession I am has afforded me an abundance of memories both good and bad, friendships I cherish and regret, and acquaintances that would surprise some, but maybe not others.

And in my time I’ve come to realize that I have some regrets. Don’t misunderstand, I’m truly happy, ecstatically happy, with my personal life, my friends and loves and my work just as they are, and I wouldn’t change anything that’s brought me to this point.

However, I can’t help but wonder just a smidge what my life now would be if I had made a different choice or two somewhere in my past.

Yes, life-changing opportunities are fleeting, here then gone in the blink of an eye, and we all learn to live with them. That’s what I hope for all the Chicago Bears, and especially
Cody Parkey.

My friends on Facebook already know my disdain for who I hope will soon be the ex-Bears kicker, and I hope I never see him in the colors of Da Beloved again.

Yes, the NFL said the kick was tipped, but please don’t whine to me about that. I’ve seen the video, and I can’t say that it was touched or even altered in any way, and neither can you. But I did see the direction the kick was going and it was going to be to the left, and who knows? Maybe that phantom touch kept it from being even farther wide left. We’ll never know.

Yes, Parkey made three field goals to outscore the rest of the team, but 75 percent on kicks really sucks, especially when the lone miss would have been the game-winner in the closing seconds of an organization's first playoff game in eight years.

Also, he has 11 missed kicks this season (eight FGs, 3 PATs), while the man he replaced, Robbie Gould, has made 82 of 85 field goals the last THREE YEARS! It’s Robbie who needs to be a Bear again, not Parkey. Eat the money, Ryan Pace, like you did Glennon’s, and move on.

Oh, and please, stop with the death threats. I want Parkey to lose his job, not his life. Threatening someone over something in a pro sports game is beyond stupid. Lighten up, people.

OK, with all of that said, I hope for  all of the Bears’ sakes — not for me, though I’d LOVE to see it — this past season was not a one-and-done shot at greatness, as it was for the most dominant team in NFL history, the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears.

Sure, the future looks bright, but you never know, because no NFL team is ever the same from one year to the next. The Bears will be or could be losing several players to free agency — G Bobby Massie, CB Bryce Callahan and S Adrian Amos would hurt, WRs Josh Bellamy and Kevin White and RB Benny Cunningham not so much — and there will be replacements along in good order. Most will have to be late-round draft finds, for lack of early-round picks traded for Kahlil Mack, or other teams' free agents. There’s more than $19 million in cap space available, so use it.

The real killer could be the loss of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who will be the head coach in Denver next season. He’s an old geezer like me, but he’s really good at what he does and the guys loved playing for him, and I’m not sure right now how his absence will affect the best defense in the league. We can only hope it remains as tough as it was the last six months.

So you get my drift, right? There’s plenty of blame to go around for the postseason failure — head coach Matt Nagy giving his best weapon, Tarik Cohen, just four touches, and on defense having just 10 men on the field for Philly’s first TD and allowing the second in the final minute. We know the offense needs work, and so does that top-shelf defense, but the core is there, and maybe like the 2015 Cubs who stubbed their toe and then won it all, the Bears will be even better next year.

Bottom line, they have to make the most of it, because chances like the one the Bears had this year don’t come along very often, and you can’t afford to kick them to the side, pun fully intended.

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