How we view our team is based on a lot of factors. You can get two very knowledgeable fans sitting together in a bar, and they will very likely end up having an argument over their shared favorite team and how they perceive them. Both love the same team, yet one will inevitably pull the (Navy and Orange) rainbow out of his third point of contact and attempt to beat down his companion with it's rosy glory, while the other will undoubtedly take that rainbow and shove it right back where it came from accompanied by a few disemboweling barbs. How can two fans, both of whom truly love their team, come to such a huge difference of opinion about said team? Let's venture on to the clearing at the end of the jump to discuss it, shall we?
We see it all the time on this very forum. Two impassioned Bears fans having it out over Greg Olsen being soft or Rex Grossman being a bust or Lovie Smith being a robot or any number of other subjects. One fan is bound and determine to defend anything Bear and the other is bound and determined to display his disgust about the same subject. And it often devolves into something akin to an emotional battle over who is more the fan, and more often than not, who is more (or less) intelligent.
It's ridiculous, really. But I would be completely dishonest if I didn't admit that I have been involved in more than one of these heated debates myself. I have been both the basher and the defender. I would hazard a guess that every one of you opinionated fanatics have been in the same boat. We tend to gravitate toward one extreme or the other, but I would bet the vast majority of us have been on both sides at one time or another.
So how does it come to this? That's really an easy answer. Passion begets passion. We have so much emotion wrapped up in loving our Bears that we are also more prone to anger and disgust at our Bears. When we watch Jerry Angelo draft a batch of pool jumpers, we get angry enough to forget that, when compared to his contemporaries, he actually has a pretty good track record. And when we watch Lovie Smith throw a dumb challenge flag or stoically watch as the Bears miss the playoffs three consecutive seasons we forget that he's got a pretty good overall record or that there aren't a whole lot of teams in the NFC that can say they've made the NFC Championship game in the last five years (three: The Bears, Saints and Packers).
So who's the better fan? Is it the guy who needs to defend the Bears no matter the circumstances? Or is the "realist" who cares more about the Bears doing what is right for the team than propping up poor decisions and performances? Who's more right? Is it the optimist who sees the Bears through rose-colored lenses? Or is it the "realist" who just sees red?
I'd say neither and both. The truth almost always lies in between the positions of these two gladiators. Angelo makes bad picks, but makes good picks, too. Smith is a robot who challenges some stupid calls and can't seems to build a develop team, but he's also captained the Bears two two conference title games in the last 5 years and to a Super Bowl. That's not exactly bad.
As fans we tend to see things in extremes when we look at our own team. We can accurately access other teams fairly easily (as long as we're not talking about the Packers or the Vikings) but accessing our own team is very difficult through those passionate blinders, whether they be Rosy or Red.