LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: London Bridge and the River Thames on March 8, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Bucs flew across the pond on Tuesday to make it to the UK ahead of their Sunday match agaist the Bears.
But Bears are not heading to London for their game at Wembley Stadium until Friday. They decided to practice in Chicago.
This is just the latest baffling decision from Bears brass. Jerry Angelo not giving Matt Forte a contract extension is one problem. Not giving the team every chance they can to win on Sunday is indefensible.
Anyone who has done the flight to London can explain how jarring the trip can be. It would be one thing if the Bears were headed over for a sight-seeing trip, or even a pre-season game when they needn't be tip top.
But this team is headed over in a pivotal game that will have an impact on the Bears' post-season chances. How will they play if they are still fighting the effects of jetlag at kickoff on Sunday?
The Bears aren't the only athletes to ever need to deal with time difference. The UFC regularly holds events around the world, and asks its fighters to fly from the U.S. to Dubai, Munich, Sydney, London, and Tokyo. Those fighters are expected to perform at their best no matter the time zone, so they have mastered the art of getting rid of jet lag.
Their rule of thumb is to give one day to every time zone they cross, meaning that the Bears, who will cross through five time zones on their way to England, should have left on Tuesday. That gives them enough time to work through jet lag and get used to the time difference. Olympic athletes who routinely travel around the world follow the same rule.
Why wouldn't the Bears consult with other athletes and coaches on how to handle the extensive travel? They've known about this game for months, which includes a locked out offseason. If the Bears look sluggish on Sunday while the Bucs are well-rested, there is no question on who to blame.