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Updated: July 5, 2014 6:43AM
The big boys are back, and just in time.
Chicagoans suffering from post-hockey depression — those who finally learned what last change means and had defibrillators implanted after the Blackhawks-Kings Game 5, and then, bip, it’s all gone — well, this is for you.
The Bears were on the field behind Halas Hall, and what a blessed sight to see!
Of course, it’s only an OTA, and rookies and free agents are so numerous that there are doubles of numbers 25, 35, 36, 52, 53, 60 and so on, right up to No. 99, defensive end Lamarr Houston.
Nobody had or — as far as I know — has ever had a jersey number of 100 or more, but new man Jared Allen sparkled in No. 69. He had that number with the Minnesota Vikings, and he got it with the Bears after defensive tackle Henry Melton went his wayward way.
Allen, by the way, is a gregarious sort, so cheers to that! Plus, he looks almost skinny at 6-6, 270 pounds. That’s because there are guys out there such as guard Kyle Long and center Roberto Garza, 6-6, 313 and 6-2, 310, respectively, who don’t look fat at all. Simply huge.
Which is football, baby. Which is why even a Bears OTA is a good thing.
Oh, I should mention there was a total hold-me-back, trash-talking fight between a few members of the first-team offense and defense during these helmeted but non-pad drills. And our new buddies Allen and Houston, plus right tackle Jordan Mills and tight end Martellus ‘‘Black Unicorn’’ Bennett, were involved.
What’s that we say? Tempers are gonna flare. Yep.
‘‘We’re just so competitive and passionate about the game, so sometimes things will get heated out there,’’ said good old No. 99, Houston himself. ‘‘It’s nothing personal. You know, Marty is a good guy, a good friend of mine. And I was joking with him after this. So everything’s all good.’’
Marty. Hmm. Never heard the Unicorn called that.
But it is all good. Why should the defense like the offense? And vice versa?
During the Bears’ Super Bowl championship year — about which I’m sure you’ve heard enough — let me just note that coach Mike Ditka, the offensive overseer, finally went to defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan and told him to tell his guys to calm down and quit fighting his offense every day.
‘‘We’re playing another team, not each other!’’ da Coach said.
Well, this is a dangerous, damaging sport, one that athletes had better think about long and hard before playing, but it’s Chicago’s sport.
It’s what we love. Always.
And right now, thoughts about the Bears and their pursuit of a 2015 Super Bowl berth are what can save us from thinking about a Stanley Cup lost, Derrick Rose’s knee, an up-and-down White Sox team, a Cubs franchise about which we will say no more.
The colors alone on this beautiful day were uplifting. There was the emerald Lake Forest grass drifting off to the emerald woods at the borders, edges where deer often appear in the early morning or near dusk, just to sample the lawn. There was the sky that was light blue.
There were the players in bright orange and deep blue, and the Walter Payton dome to the right, a dull silver against the sky, like a giant hog pen or a doorway to another dimension.
‘‘It’s beautiful,’’ rookie quarterback David Fales said as he headed in, having stayed with a few other newcomers, such as wide receiver Josh Morgan and quarterback Jerrod Johnson, to get in a few more throws, a few more reads, a few more catches.
The Bears seemed to have patched up a terrible defense. The offense has tools everywhere, a solid line and the peaking leader of it all, veteran quarterback Jay Cutler.
And how did rising head coach Marc Trestman feel about the practice, about the fight?
‘‘He basically said, ‘You’re just wasting time when you could be getting better,’ ’’ said Mills, who was involved in the scrum.
Perfect analysis, coach.
Lead us all onward. We need it.