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Remember When Lovie Was Loved

Take a trip with me... To a time way back when Lovie Smith was loved. To a time when Bears fans could not believe Smith wasn't given a contract extension. To a time when rumors circulating about Lovie going to the Dallas Cowboys gave many fans cause for discontent. I remember it like it was yesterday... caller after caller calling Chicago sports radio wondering what the Bears would do if Lovie Smith actually left. "Pay the man!", they screamed. "He deserves an extension!", they argued. It was the tail end of the 2006 season when Bears fans started griping about how cheap the Bears were. Three years...

Just three short years ago Lovie Smith was the lowest paid head coach in the NFL due to make a paltry $1.45 million in his last year of his four year deal. Then about a month after the Bears loss to the Colts in the Super Bowl, Smith and Jerry Angelo both signed extensions. Lovie received an extension through 2011 and Angelo got him an extension all the way through 2013. I don't recall any grumbling from the fan base in regards to Angelo... I wonder why he got the bump too? Oh well, great job by Bears president Ted Phillips in getting it done.

I remember three years ago there was a little negotiating and posturing through the media as Smith's agent claimed all contract talks were stalled and after 2007 Lovie would walk. Many fans were aghast that the penny pinching McCaskey clan would let the best coach since Mike Ditka simply walk away. Most sports columnists in Chicago were all for Lovie and Angelo getting extensions, the national media were all for it, even the Bears blogs were on board with redoing Lovie's deal. Just three years ago...

Three years is like an eternity in NFL coaching circles.