Bears are on their own vs. Cowboys Ditka says overcoming 49ers' loss up to players

December 28, 1991|By Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- No attempts will be made at artificial resuscitation of the Chicago Bears' confidence this week.

If the Bears are to revive and survive in tomorrow's wild-card playoff game against Dallas at Soldier Field, they will have to kick-start themselves with a solid performance.

Coach Mike Ditka, renowned for his skills as a motivator, claims he won't play on the wounded-dog emotions of his players after Monday night's humiliating, 52-14 loss to San Francisco.

"I don't like to think that way," Ditka said Thursday before practice at Soldier Field. "Actually, we're Bears, not dogs. On occasion we've looked like dogs, but we're Bears.

"Emotion has nothing to do with it. All that stuff about how tough you are and how much you're ready for the game, that's a bunch of junk. The only thing that counts is how you play."

According to that line of thinking, the players must be duly blamed for Monday night's debacle.

"The best thing you can do about a game like the 49ers game is try to concentrate on your memory lapses -- you try to forget it," said Ditka, whose team had the NFC Central crown slip from its grasp with the loss. "I don't think we thought we were getting too good. We just got our butts beat, that's all. That game doesn't matter."

The players also are trying to sever the link between the 49ers game and the playoffs.

"If you had a bad date, you try to get yourself a better date next time," said defensive end Richard Dent.

"We lost some games early in the year, like to Buffalo, and we bounced back to win some games," said running back Neal Anderson. "It would be foolish to quit because of that one game [against San Francisco]. It's going to happen in football or any other sport. You're going to get spanked."

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