As the Chester Taylor situation plays out to his inevitable exit from the team (fingers crossed) after one historically abysmal season, lets look back at some of the not-so-great moments in Bears' history. Hit Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, (Select) Start to enter.
The Bears' management team has had a rough offseason, from the Taylor non-cut, the draft day trade that wasn't, the last minute cancellation of Family Fest due to an unfit practice field, and spending $250,000 on a three week rental of Vernon Gholston but losing its veteran offensive line leader over $500,000. Historically, we've had our fair share of poor draft and free agency decisions, like most teams, so I won't rehash those roster moves. However, our organizational hiccups rate anywhere from the inexcusable to the ludicrous, depending on how angry they make you. So, without further adieu, some lowlights in Bears' history.
Soldier Field Grass Debate
The fact that the condition of the grass at Soldier Field has become a weekly topic during the regular season amongst Bears' opponents and their fans shows just how out of control the situation has become. Outside of wondering if the Vikings' dome is inflated yet, we generally don't question the condition of opponents' stadium conditions (we have bigger fish to fry, like the Williams vs. Knox debate or if Major Wright has found his jockstrap yet). The Family Fest cancellation was disappointing for everyone, and only further illuminates the issue over Soldier Field's "field."
Dave McGinnis hiring announcement
"We'd like to welcome... wait, he didn't accept yet? Oh, nevermind." The quintessential Bears' management foul-up which makes the Taylor situation look like a non-issue. In 1999, the Bears interviewed Dave McGinnis, who had described the Chicago head coaching job as his dream after serving time on the Bears' staffs of Dave Wannstedt and Da Coach. While McGinnis mulled over the Bears contract offer, the Bears scheduled a press conference to announce his hiring as Head Coach. McGinnis balked, Jauron was hired, and Mike McCaskey was replaced as Team President by Ted Phillips.
The Check Mark that Wasn't
In 2002, a minor clerical error caused the Bears to lose a player they wanted to keep (albeit one with a now nondescript career). D'Wayne Bates was a former third round pick by the Bears and a restricted free agent that glorious offseason when Nelly let us know what to do when it got "Hot in Herre" (yes, that's how he spelled it). The Vikings, setting the precedent for poaching our receiving corp in future years (Berrian, Aromaskadoosh) offered Bates a contract; the Bears matched the offer, realized Bates was a better teacher than a receiver, and rescinded it. However, since Chicago failed to check the "compensation" box on his paperwork, Bates left for greener pastures without any compensation heading back to Chicago (other than letting Bates leave).
The Thomas Jones trade
This one was vilified at the time for the Bears, and over time the fervor has quieted down over the trade, but its still amazing that all the Bears got for a starting caliber running back (who was coming off of 2 straight 1,200 plus yard seasons and a playoff run of 301 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a 5.5 ypc average over three games) was a swap of second-round picks. Granted, the trade moved us from the end of round two to the 37th overall selection, practically a whole round improvement, but I'm still shocked we didn't get an additional pick out of a re-energized Thomas Jones.
The Honey Bears curse
Yes, the Bears did once long ago have scantily clad women troll the sidelines using synchronized gestures and chants to propel our team to high levels of performance. They were called the Honey Bears, and they performed their services for our team from 1977 til... wait for it... 1985 (cue mock horrified faces NOW!). Sweet Virginia didn't want such "women of low morals" anywhere near her beloved Bears, and refused to renew the Honey Bears contract with the team. Since then? No championships. Seems like a simple case of "If and then" for us to win another championship, don't it, folks?
Feel free to add any other lowlights from the past that strike your fancy in the comments section.