Widescreen: Three comeback stories to inspire sad Bears fans
Even though we all saw it happen for real last Sunday, Cody Parkey's blocked, double-doinked field goal in the closing moments of the Bears-Eagles NFC Wild Card playoff game still feels like something out of a movie.
"You can't make this up," Parkey said after the game, as reported by The Washington Post.
Our Barry Rozner quoted cornerback Prince Amukamara as saying "it just feels surreal."
But many fans would call it completely predictable that the Bears' surprisingly dominant season would come down to one errant kick by Parkey, who hit the uprights four times(!) in a November game against Detroit and once in the season-ending win over Minnesota.
We can also predict what comes next -- the inspiring comeback story!
Here are three very different comeback stories that fans (and Mr. Parkey) can look to for comfort this offseason:
"Major League" (1989) follows a ragtag band of "has-beens and never-wases" assembled by the Cleveland Indians' new owner (Margaret Whitton) for the sole purpose of driving the team into the ground so she can relocate to a more glamorous city. The plan works at first, but veteran catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) and former California Penal League pitcher Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) turn the team around in this R-rated comedy favorite. (Streaming for Showtime subscribers, available for digital rental/purchase)
"Apollo 13" (1995) isn't a sports movie, but one of the all-time great portrayals of American resiliency. After an explosion aboard their spacecraft, steely-eyed missile men led by now-local hero Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) have to scale back their life-support systems to give their capsule enough power to get home. Ron Howard directed parts of the film on sets built inside a diving jet that simulates weightlessness, and James Horner's beautiful score makes our emotions take flight. (Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime, available for digital rental/purchase)
In "The Revenant" (2015), mountain man Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is mauled by a bear in graphic detail and left for dead in the frozen wilderness. After some self-surgery, some hallucinations, and a night spent in an unconventional sleeping bag, Hugh finally comes to a reckoning with his rival (Tom Hardy) -- and wins Leo his first Oscar. Now that's a comeback. (Streaming for FX subscribers, available for digital rental/purchase)
• Sean Stangland is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanStanglandDH.