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Sports Saturday

Polling Place: The Packers-Bears winner? And are you good with backing into the playoffs?

In hindsight, it might’ve been better to ask if the Bears should be too busy rearranging their sock drawers to show up for Sunday’s game.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers — aren’t we all tired of his unmercifulness by now?
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Bears fans expect victory Sunday in the regular-season finale at Soldier Field.

For the visiting Packers.

It’s sad but true, not to mention less surprising than a package delivered too late for Christmas during a pandemic. The 12-3 NFC North repeat champs are going for the No. 1 seed in the conference and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They’ve beaten the Bears (8-7) in 18 of the teams’ last 21 meetings, including the NFC title game a decade ago. And have we mentioned that Aaron Rodgers sonofagun? He’s 20-5 against his favorite tormentees.

In this week’s “Polling Place” — your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter — we asked respondents to pick Sunday’s winner. In hindsight, it might’ve been better to ask if the Bears should be too busy rearranging their sock drawers to show up for the game.

Oh, by the way: The Bears will get into the playoffs if they somehow win this thing. You can stop snickering now, because it’s just rude. But they also can get in — maybe — if they lose, and we asked about that, too. What’s the appetite out there for some good, old-fashioned backing into the postseason proceedings?

“No friggin’ way!” @joemitola commented. You see, our man Joe has standards. Alas, he shares them with very few of his fellow voters.

The final poll asked about the stories that will shape our sports scene in 2021. There’s what the Bears will do with their general manager, coach and quarterback positions. There’s what the Cubs will do with Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and others. There’s how high the White Sox might soar.

“Did you forget the other team in town, the Chicago Blackhawks?” @Siddhagpuri1 asked. “I believe they play hockey!”

Well, we suppose they do. Allegedly. Others might even profess something analogous about the Bulls. But anyway.

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: If the Bears beat the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field, they’re in the playoffs. So what’ll it be?

Upshot: Presumably, the Bears coming through in this clutch situation would necessitate quarterback Mitch Trubisky coming through in this clutch situation and also Rodgers failing to come through in this clutch situation. And that’s already starting to seem like a lot of fanciful ideas about coming through in this clutch situation, isn’t it? Ah, well. On, we dream.

Poll No. 2: If the Bears lose — but the Cardinals also lose, at the Rams — the Bears will squeeze in with the last seed in the NFC. Would you take that outcome right now if you could?

Upshot: There’s no surer sign that a fan base lacks confidence than that very same fan base shoving its collective hand in the air in support of a scenario that involves losing. Would these same people eagerly agree to roll into the garage at home with a flat tire as long as the pot roast waiting for them inside were tasty enough to be considered edible?

Poll No. 3: Which will be the biggest of these Chicago sports storylines in 2021?

Upshot: Let’s home in on the Sox, then. Manager Tony La Russa’s first go-round with Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and the rest will undoubtedly be fascinating. Although — just being honest here — we suspect something like a new No. 1 QB for the Bears would generate at least as much interest. Then again, what the heck do we know?