Bank on it: Bears have a lot riding on game

In a way, it’s hard not to laugh and actually to laugh.

In a season where everything that was looking up came down, the Minnesota Vikings don’t have their own stadium to play in. More snow tore another hole in the roof and the Metrobowl, already a long-time laughingstock of professional sports, looks like a muffin basket.

There’s an NFL game to be played, even if the Vikings deploy a rookie QB/WR in Joe Webb or somehow teach Patrick Ramsey enough plays (handoff left, handoff right, knee bump) to gain a first-down here and there.

The problem is, the Bears have a lot riding on the game at TCF Bank Stadium. Chicago should have its playoff destiny in its own hands come Monday night. The Packers play at red-hot New England Sunday night with the Patriots playing turnover-free football in their last five games, an NFL record for such a streak. With a win and Green Bay loss, the Bears will become somewhat the unlikely champs of the NFC North.

And you’d better believe the Bears do not want any injuries playing against a junior varsity quarterback on a slick college football field.

In Chicago, there’s grumblings about why such a meaningless game for Minnesota should be dictated where its played by the Vikings.

As David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes: “Everybody understood and applauded the relatively quick decision that the Metrodome’s Teflon roof couldn’t be repaired and would be unsafe. The Vikings want Adrian Peterson running through gaping holes, not under them. But if a major city can’t keep an NFL stadium sound enough to house eight regular-season Sundays a year, does it deserve to be able to decide where its team plays after its building breaks?”

Ouch.

The fact of the matter is the Vikings, much like their real ancestors, are a now a nomadic team. Trying to salvage something, like a game in their own state, is a worthwhile cause. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt this game becomes the highlight of the season.

We felt for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ripped off parts of the Superdome roof, a roof that was built to handle windspeeds up to 200 mph. And now, the roof over our heads has been ripped to shreds, by nothing more than a good Minnesota snow.

Unfortunately, years ago when there was talk of a Gophers-Vikings stadium, somebody should’ve listened.

About the game

The Bears have won 3 of the last 5 meetings against the Vikings. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has averaged 112 yards rushing in the past seven games against the Bears. The Vikings and Bears come into the game being outscored by a combined score of 57-10 last week. The Bears last won the NFC North in 2005 and 2006, the latter when they advanced to the Super Bowl, losing to Indianapolis 29-17.

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