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Stoking the flames

Fans were excited enough about the Bears, but then baseball went flop

Originally Published: September 7, 2009
By Melissa Isaacson | ESPNChicago.com

You can smell it in the air. And if you can't, then maybe the pollen count is even higher than they say.

It is the smell of football season in Chicago, a pungent combination thick with hope and optimism and excitement and anxiety. Oh, the possibilities.

We just can't seem to help ourselves. Every year, we do it. And this year is a little easier than the rest with lofty expectations for the NFC North and high hopes for the Bears.

11-5? 12-4? An NFC championship berth? A Super ...

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