Commenter Clarence Swamptown will delight you with tales of QB controversies and outstate bars. As usual, the opinions here on the Chicago Bears do not necessarily reflect those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. Here we go. Clarence?


The blown call at the end of Sunday’s Lions-Bears game has been well chronicled.  I do not believe that the rule needs to be changed, I think the refs misread the rule and the incorrect call was made.  Regardless, I am worried that this may signal the beginning of another season where the Chicago Bears use sorcery, witchcraft, and well-timed kick returns to somehow reach a Faustian 13-3.  They did this in 2001, and again in 2006.  Jay Cutler has never won in the NFL.  He has never won in college.  Jay Cutler has not had a winning football season since he was in high school, almost 10 years ago.  But I am worried that he will follow in the footsteps of Jim Miller and Rex Grossman, leading the Bears to an unexplainable 13-3 while the Packers and Vikings battle it out for the next 16 weeks.  The Bears are lucky like this.  Somebody please explain to me why I should not be worried. 
*Outstate Bar of the Week:   I have received thousands1 of emails about what characteristics a bar must have to qualify for the OBotW.  It’s a good question and I don’t have a good answer.  If a bar has a web site, they are automatically suspicious.  If the bar has flat screen televisions and other things that make the place fun and enjoyable, it’s probably not for me.  What does the bar play on television? Do they play Blind Bachelor Date or some other goofy {redacted} like that?  It’s fine to watch that stuff at home, but it does not belong at a bar.  The Outstate Bar of the Week should play ridiculous soap operas and judge shows during the day; and sports, news, or sports news at night.  If they serve pizza, bar pizza must be cut into squares.  I don’t know why.  Can they make an Old Fashioned?  If not, they’re cut.  The overall question I ask myself is this:  Would my grandfather like the bar, or would he be uncomfortable and say, “Why did you take me here?  Are you some sort of {redacted} moron?  Oh, what, you’re going to cry now? Go ahead and cry, Mary.  You’re just like your dad.”.  If it passes the crusty-old-man test, then it probably qualifies as the OBotW.
This week’s Outstate Bar of the Week is The Blue Moon Saloon in Bemidji, MN.
What is the bar famous for?  They have cheap, strong drinks and their Thursday night All You Can Eat BBQ Rib special is terrific.
Can I watch the game there?  Yes.  They have an old boxy television in the corner by the “dance floor”. 
Can I watch the NASCAR race there?  Yes. 
Do they have a web site?  Holy {redacted}, they do
Are they on Twitter?  No.
Anything else I should know?  On most Saturday afternoons they host a series of “Mud-Runs”, which are exactly as they sound.  There is a big muddy hole next to the bar where you can destroy your truck or ATV, and everyone watches and cheers.  Guys are flying this way and that, screaming and getting dirty without any clear purpose or direction.  It’s like watching the Gophers play football, except drinking is allowed.   
1 Actually, just this one guy.
*Country & Western Song of the Week:  If I Were the Man You Wanted by Lyle Lovett.
Question: Who has started the most games at designated hitter for the Twins’ playoff teams during Ron Gardenhire’s tenure? 
Answer: Matthew LeCroy, 8 games.  Other starters have included David Ortiz, Lew Ford, Jason Tyner, Jason Kubel, Shannon Stewart, Phil Nevin (Phil Nevin?  {Redacted}.  That’s {redacted} horrible.), Brendan Harris, and Jose Morales. 
Aside from Ortiz, Kubel, and possibly Stewart, there are a number of forgettable names on that list.  They are especially forgettable when your opponents have had starting designated hitters like Hideki Matsui, Frank Thomas, and Jason Giambi.  If the Twins reach the postseason, Jim Thome will provide Gardenhire with a legitimate, professional DH.  In recent years the Twins’ playoff designated hitters have flopped and flailed like Mick Fleetwood on Tusk.    Jim Thome may prove to be the biggest difference between Gardy’s previous teams and this year’s team.   I just love Jim Thome so {redacted} much.
Your thoughts on the Bears, bar characteristics, Phil Nevin, and Mick Fleetwood are welcome in the comments below.