Bears Ignore Detractors
By Todd McClamroch in News on Jan 22, 2007 5:40PM
Despite having their great record all season long, the Chicago Bears have been the NFL's version of Rodney Dangerfield, enduring a huge lack of respect from just about everyone except die-hard fans. But the Bears appeared to use that lack of respect as a motivational tool throughout the playoffs. Coming into Sunday's game, not one of ESPN's eight analysts picked the Bears, not one. The lone pledge of support came from an unbiased computer scoring system called AccuScore. AccuScore proved to be wiser than the analysts as the Bears are on their way to Miami.
AccuScore performs over 10,000 simulations of each game to determine how each team would perform in different situations. The simulations actually go down to the individual player's play level and the result of these redundant simulations is a forecasted winning percentage and player statistics. During the regular season, the AccuScore tool scored a 61.7% accuracy rating, a few percentage points better than ESPN's eight analysts. During the post-season the computer model again beat the analysts, on average scoring a 60% accuracy rating. The tool, however, has been 100% accurate in picking the Bears in both their games. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the Bears can now add AccuScore to the Super Bowl naysayers, as early predictions have it siding with the Colts. According to ESPN's Super Bowl analysis page, the AccuScore engine is still running simulations for the Super Bowl. Chicagoist found an AccuScore summary for the Super Bowl on RGXLife.com that picks the Colts 60% of the time over the Bears. Additionally, the Colts are being picked as 7 point favorites for the Super Bowl.
After Sunday's game, Coach Lovie Smith talked about how the team worked together to push the critics out of their minds, "We went into the game with the best record in the National Football League. We really didn't get a lot of respect. Not many people gave us a chance to win the football game, but our guys didn't buy into that. They bought into each other."
Smith continued explaining they don't expect to win respect after beating the Saints and realize that it will require winning the Super Bowl to win respect from the analysts, "Our plan is, if you can win it all, then you get respect. You don't get any respect until then ... But as far as we're concerned, we get our respect once we're able to hold up that ultimate trophy."