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Bears didn't sound any better than they looked

  • Bears running back Michael Bush was stopped on fourth-and-goal on a critical drive in the second half. It was just one of many Bears disappointments against St. Louis on Sunday.
Bears running back Michael Bush was stopped on fourth-and-goal on a critical… (Scott Strazzante / Chicago…)
November 24, 2013|By Jack M Silverstein | For RedEye

Are any other Bears fans out there feeling worn down by the weekly onslaught of digital activity during Sunday football? I can't be the only one. In the past few years I've started watching games with my computer open, checking scores and stats despite being retired from fantasy football since 2007.

Then last year—and this is the part that grew addictive—I added Twitter.

Now, instead of dealing with just the cacophonous chaos of an NFL broadcast, I interact with a bajillion other voices and opinions. This includes my own of course, and with every tweet comes 10-15 minutes of checking my replies, anxiously awaiting a retweet or response.

Sometimes this leads to good conversation. Sometimes it leads only to masturbatory socializing. But it ALWAYS removes me from the moment and, like Fight Club, turns my viewing experience into a copy of a copy of a copy.

This week, I went old school. My girlfriend and I listened to the game on the radio with the TV on mute. That gave me the mobility needed to make us brunch, scrambling eggs and cooking bacon with the voices of Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer filling the kitchen. Even after eating we kept the radio on, barely checking the TV and dimming the volume on commercials.

I also stayed off Twitter and had only one football-related phone conversation.

During a game like this, the manic reactions of twitter and television surely would have been unpleasant. The Bears spotted St. Louis 14 points, suffered their first 20-point loss since the Kaepernick Game a year ago and were chewed up on the ground to the tune of 258 yards and three touchdowns.

By virtue of a fluky Detroit loss and an even flukier Packers-Vikings tie, they remain (sorta) tied for first place. But the Lions still hold the tiebreaker, the defense is still ailing and Jay Cutler is still on the shelf.

I'm sure I'll return to Twitter next week, and likely to television too. That said, if seeing is believing, then on days like this, just listening is good enough.

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack

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