If you were among the 108.4 million fans who watched Super Bowl XLVII on TV and live in the Chicagoland area, you had to be discouraged.
Chances are you're a Bears fan, or maybe your team of choice is the Colts. It hurts to say it, but neither is in the same class as the champion Baltimore Ravens or runner-up San Francisco 49ers.
That doesn't bode well for the 2013 season.
The young Colts had 28 players making their playoff debut this season. The aging Bears fired nearly their entire coaching staff and still have holes to fill on both sides of the football.
New Bears coach Marc Trestman came heavily endorsed throughout pro football but is still a long ways from being John Harbaugh or Jim Harbaugh.
Then there's the matter of player personnel and at the moment, Chicago couldn't hold the overnight bags of either Super Bowl finalist.
Bears coaches know what ails their team, thus making draft day never more important than this one.
They're scheduled to have the 20th overall pick in Round 1.
Got your list ready?
They need a re-tooled offensive line that won't keep Trestman and his staff up nights, but will keep quarterback Jay Cutler in one piece.
They need another explosive wide receiver to stretch the field.
They need to give Brandon Marshall a rest.
They need to make a decision on middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who's been the face of this franchise forever it seems.
They need Devin Hester returning kicks, only kicks, and nothing but kicks.
They need Cutler to be more disciplined on the field, to listen to coaches without making jerk faces or walking away and — most importantly — consistently show he can be a franchise quarterback, thereby proving half the NFL wrong that believes he doesn't have it in him.
The 2013 schedule is no door prize.
Home sweet home? Hardly, not with Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Dallas, the Giants, Saints, Ravens and Bengals.
Waiting on the road are the Eagles, Redskins, Rams, Browns and Steelers.
And then there's the 18 Bears' unrestricted free agents featuring Zack Bowman, Geno Hayes, IsRael Idonije, Lance Lewis, Olindo Mare, Henry Melton, D.J. Moore, Nick Roach, Kelvin Hayden, Chris Spencer and Mr. Urlacher.
Already, the Ravens and 49ers are miles ahead of the Bears at QB, wide receiver, tight end, running back and overall quickness.
I'm talking BEEP! BEEP! quickness, the scary type that makes your neck snap.
Super Bowl XLVII thrilled and entertained, but it also showed the Bears were who we thought they were.
Average, at best.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org