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It’s true: Bears are right where every team wants to be

This You Gotta See: Bears-Rams on a packed NFL Sunday; Novak Djokovic’s shot at history; Alabama’s biggest hurdle.

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams
It’s time to fill this joint — first for a Bears game, later for a Super Bowl.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Not to be all high-and-mighty about our local NFL heroes, but let’s tell it like it is: Every team in the league would kill to be exactly where the Bears are.

In a manner of speaking.

Give us a break, we’re stretching here.

But the NFL regular season is upon us, and the Bears already have made it to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Californa. In Week 1, that’s where the underdog Bears will take on the stacked Rams. Five months from now, on Feb. 13, that’s where Super Bowl 56 will be played.

Maybe the Bears will get to play there twice? Maybe not.

Either way, we get four day games Sunday — one of only two times that’ll happen this season, Week 18 being the other — and then the Bears and Rams in prime time. Speaking of which, it’s the first of four prime-time assignments for the Bears, the others coming in Weeks 9 (at Pittsburgh), 14 (at Green Bay) and 15 (vs. Minnesota).

Is Justin Fields starting yet? If he isn’t by the time Week 9 rolls around, Bears fans will be up in arms. Unless the rookie quarterback is standing and watching because veteran Andy Dalton is — gasp — winning games. But we can cross that bridge when it collapses.

Until then, enjoy the games. They won’t all be as good as the one Thursday — Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 29 — but we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning. SoFi, so good.

Here’s what’s happening:

SUN 12

Vikings at Bengals (noon, Fox-32)

Cincy rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase notes that NFL balls are harder to catch than college balls because they don’t have as many visible markings on them. That’s a twist on the age-old complaint about balls being harder to catch when they’re thrown by Bengals.

2021 US Open - Day 12
Djokovic is going where no man has gone before.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

U.S. Open men’s singles final (3 p.m., ESPN)

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has a chance against Daniil Medvedev to (a) complete a calendar-year Grand Slam and (b) win his 21st major title, passing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most in men’s tennis history. Other than that, this is no big deal.

Browns at Chiefs (3:25 p.m., Ch. 2)

Baker Mayfield vs. Patrick Mahomes? Loser has to go an entire week without filming a commercial.

Packers at Saints (3:25 p.m., Fox-32)

This supposedly is the beginning of the end for Aaron Rodgers, who many expect will walk away from Green Bay after the season. That would be such a shame.

Bears at Rams (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5)

You have to stay positive, people. Worst case, the Bears get blown out in prime on the way to a double-digit-loss sea … oh, never mind.

MON 13

Ravens at Raiders (7:15 p.m., Ch. 7, ESPN)

At least Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden can take comfort in knowing that no matter how poorly it goes for him on the field, it can’t be any worse than his stint in the MNF booth.

TUE 14

30 for 30: Once Upon a Time in Queens, Part 1 (7 p.m., ESPN)

A two-night, two-part documentary tells the story of the 1986 Mets, who played hard, partied harder and were as beloved outside New York as rats at a picnic.

Angels at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Time for the Sox to get their first look at young lefty Packy Naughton, who was born in 1996 but — with that name? — clearly should be at least a century older.

WED 15

Cubs at Phillies (6:05 p.m., Marquee)

The Phils are barely clinging to life in the wild-card hunt and — poor sons of guns — haven’t even met the business end of Frank Schwindel’s bat yet.

THU 16

Angels at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

After this comes an 11-game road trip, and you know what that means — next time you see the Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, they’ll be division champions.

Giants at Washington Football Team (7:20 p.m., NFL)

Hey, look, the NFC East is so bad, anybody could win it again.

FRI 17

Aces at Sky (7 p.m., NBA TV, The U)

For the third time in four games, the Sky tangle with the best of the West. If that won’t toughen them up for the playoffs, nothing will.

Maryland at Illinois (8 p.m., FS1)

No matter how disappointing losses to UTSA and Virginia were, a “W” here and the Illini are 2-0 in the Big Ten. You’re dang right they’ll take it.

SUN 18

Nebraska at Oklahoma (11 a.m., Fox-32)

The youngsters out there won’t believe this used to be the best rivalry of ’em all, but go ahead and tell them anyway.

Purdue at Notre Dame (1:30 p.m., Ch. 5)

These schools played each other 69 years in a row but then — poof — not since 2014. How nice to renew acquaintances.

Alabama at Florida (2:30 p.m., Ch. 2)

If the Crimson Tide are going to lose a game, this is it, folks. Look, we can dream.

Cubs at Brewers (6:15 p.m., Fox-32)

Brewers fans better hope the bulk of the broadcast isn’t focused on the runaway division leaders. Otherwise, what will they have left to whine about?