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Nagy hopes Bears follow Nationals' blueprint


Bears coach Matt Nagy was inspired by the incredible path the Washington Nationals traversed to winning the World Series and hopes his players are too.

During a team meeting Thursday morning at Halas Hall, Nagy showed a power-point presentation of the Nationals' Game 7 win over the Astros Wednesday night, including interviews with exuberant Washington players and coaches.

The Nationals opened the season with a 19-31 record, the worst 50-game start by a World Series champion. They went 5-0 in elimination games in the postseason, rallying to win each one in dramatic fashion. To Nagy, the Nationals embodied the lessons he's trying to impart to Bears players about overcoming adversity and staying positive.

"How amazing is that; that people that stick together, people that get tighter through adversity, people that never quit, people that say, 'so what, now what,' but then they do it," Nagy said. "How do you not show that to your guys and let them pull from that? That's a really cool moment for them. That should be something that all of us can learn from in the sports world."

Nagy has shown Bears players other examples of perseverance and resiliency from the world of sports. One of the most recent was the University of Virginia men's basketball team that won the 2019 NCAA tournament one year after becoming the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16 seed.

Nagy hopes that seeing what the Nationals accomplished will motivate the Bears to rebound from their shaky 3-4 start this season.

"I don't know how they all took it," Nagy said. "I hope they took it the right way in the fact that it's never easy. There are so many teams that have had tough losses. Sometimes, it's not always over the course of 50 games like it was with the Nationals. That's a long time to start off going that route.

"Sometimes, it's just a big game or a tough loss. That's the one we were spinning off of. After [Wednesday night], you see that this thing is a marathon and you need to really be coming into your own by the end of the year. That's what's most important, is how are you playing?

"The other part of this, too, within that whole part of the deal with the record was [the Nationals] broke, like, world records with how many times they were down. I think last night was the fifth time they were down to come back and win. They did it five times. We showed the guys, 'Hey, they were losing 2-0. But when did they finish?' They finished in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning. That's when they did their damage and they won it because of that. It's always about how you finish."