This may come off as a little bit holier than thou, but for the love of Ditka would everyone think twice about the player they would be willing to accept onto our Bears wholeheartedly? In the last couple of weeks I've seen people practically beg for us to sign Plaxico Burress to a contract, even though his legal issues still haven't be resolved. Something to keep in mind here is that not only did he unquestionably break the law, but he was also a complete malcontent before the issue as well racking up team fines like the Raiders rack up players with good 40 times, and bad contracts.
Next up on this little pain train of bad ideas and comments of questionable character are some of the more recent calls to bring Brandon Marshall here. Are you serious? Not to mention when someone actually brought up his repeated violence against women it was shrugged off. Yeah, we could use another top flight WR. I'd rather not have our go to wide receiver beating up women even if he was the next Jerry Rice.
Even right now we have Afalava battling for a spot on the team or practice squad after having apparently ran a car into a building while under the influence and then fleeing the scene. Granted, this didn't happen yesterday and I firmly believe people can learn from their mistakes. However, waiving it off like it's nothing really bothers me because it's seriously becoming an issue with fans at large, and I never really thought it would come home to roost in the Midway.
We had Briggs flipping his Lambo and fleeing the scene possibly intoxicated, we had Benson's first legitimate DUI arrest, and we had all the various charges against Tank that led to his release despite decent play. This is a team that while sometimes having a mean streak were not lawless miscreants like the Raiders. I'm all for having the rough and tumble type around, and if anyone wants to drink and have fun that's their own perogative. It's when you start racking up issues with law enforcement over these matters that it becomes our business and the team's business.
I'm not saying we shouldn't give any player the benefit of the doubt, we should do so simply because players are people just like you and me. It's also pretty much the nature of the fan to give your own players more leeway than the other guys. This is a major reason why we need to be less welcoming to the malcontents of the league. Do we really want to become the next Raiders, adherents to the whole just win at any cost philosophy? Even worse, do we want to end up like the Bengals who have become so eroded by off the field issues that their battle isn't even on the field any more, it's at the press conference?
This isn't coming out against players that are characters and cause stirs like TO, or Ocho Cinco, or even really ugly ones like Shockey. Why? That's a matter of taste. Some people don't like that kind of player, and some don't mind them as long as they back up their mouths on the field. However, bringing in people that have actual legal issues, or absolutely abhorant behavior like fathering kids all over the place as much as possible without any kind of regard to the mother or the child, or beating women, or to bring it a lot closer to the point players that have shown a lack of taste, and a lack of respect for themselves, the team, and the game do not belong in a Bears jersey.
Yes, we all want to have a Bears team on the field with great talent. However, we should also want to have a Bears team on the field with great character as well. Where do you fall on the choice?