A little known fact about Wham's "Last Christmas" is that it's actually a song about Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
The person Chicago once gave it's heart to and who gave it away was head coach John Fox, a figure of former stability now standing on his last week as head coach. And of course, the countless ghosts of failed quarterback past. This year, to save themselves from tears, the Bears are giving it to Trubisky because he might finally be that someone special. None of their past pitfalls matter if he's truly the one.
A dominating win over the Browns where the Bears merely had to show up isn't the story here. Nor is it the storybook white Christmas. It's about the beginning of a fresh tradition at Halas Hall.
A tradition where Trubisky - the face of the franchise - plays efficiently with no turnovers and playmaking on his feet in quintessential "Bear Weather". Where he can still succeed with a running game that amassed only 97 yards and averaged just over a paltry three yards a carry (while sometimes taking matters into his own hands). Where the quarterback begins to pen his own successful tale of a downtrodden franchise while it rids itself of all of it's dead weight, not Fox alone. Where, with one more week, a joyous era of Bears football can finally officially be reborn.
Joshua Bellamy, who incited Trubisky to celebrate with snow angels with him on his third quarter touchdown run, sees that light of the holiday.
Mitchell Trubisky, Kendall Wright, Dontrelle Inman, Joshua Bellamy snow angels pic.twitter.com/Voyh3cW0bq— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) December 24, 2017
"He played with poise. He played great - he always plays like that. When you just let him take the wheel, when you let him do his thing," said Bellamy. "He’s a playmaker, he’s an athlete, you can see what he can do with his legs, he can run the ball, he can throw the ball. He’s a great quarterback, he’ll be real good.”
In that light, Chicago hasn't been naughty this year, but they've been rewarded as such as though as they have been. From the early Glennon-Trubisky drama to overall close defeats to the Falcons, Vikings, Saints, Lions, and 49ers, fortune hasn't been on the Bears' side. Sure, they won their second consecutive unofficial AFC North title on Sunday - a mark Fox now shares with his predecessor Marc Trestman - but they're still 0-5 in the NFC North. No one's printing any caps, shirts, or swag because they haven't won their North since 2010: the last time they made the postseason.
Someone's been a Grinch at Halas Hall for most of the past half decade, that's for sure. In a twist of fate, it's been the Bears, continually shooting themselves in the foot at any sign of progress seemingly happy to wallow in their own lack of happiness.
That's why while they'll never be totally truthful about it, the Bears assuredly needed this win against the Browns. One last home win this year (and likely overall) was necessary for morale. There's futility and then there's Cleveland, in that order. A loss would've done more than derail the already wrecked Fox era. It would've prevented the Grinch's heart, meaning the collective Bears' heart, from growing the hopeful three sizes to contention everyone hopes for in the coming years.
And they accomplished that thanks to the calming hand of Trubisky, the present under the tree the Bears are hoping for once they won't need a gift receipt for. All of the family drama, missed flights in holiday traffic, and overcooked Christmas ham goes by the wayside because he's the one uniting factor to give this organization the semblance of hope it's been waiting for. Amidst yet another difficult season on the lakefront, the results haven't truly mattered because 2017 was always going to be about him, his development, his progress, and nothing else.
Accomplishments like taking over the team record for rookie passing yards may mean nothing at face value for Trubisky because of the inherent meaninglessness of all Bears passing marks. There's not enough context to truly recognize and celebrate a benchmark such as this with the understood ineptitude the Bears have previously dragged out at the position.
When taken from a more grandiose perspective, it's the first footnote about a young quarterback looking to rewrite history. That with luck down the line, Trubisky will own most Bears' franchise passing records and not essentially by default. That it'll be because he's taking this team to high stratospheres every season all while orchestrating a masterful offense. That he'll be making the Bears a reason to celebrate every holiday, acting as 12 presents on 12 days of Christmas all on his own.
As the Bears have been waiting to turn the page on their sustained inefficacy for quite some time, Trubisky will assuredly be the catalyst. He's going to have to be the Christmas miracle to steer this operation in the direction one can be truly proud of.
That's the long term in plan in focus as they clean house soon and begin anew: to see brighter days ahead for the NFL's vaunted charter franchise with Trubisky at the reins.
For now, the Ohio-raised Trubisky was emblematic of the kid running downstairs Christmas morning to excitedly open his own presents. With a somehow calm demeanor instead.
"To play in the snow on Christmas Eve against your hometown team, it’s kind of a dream come true. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed every moment," said Trubisky. "Those are the moments you look forward to.”
Bah humbug to the same old. Know that with 2018 on the horizon, the Bears too can open up their heart and change their ways thanks to timely lessons from Christmas and Trubisky. For once, let there be light at Halas Hall.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron, and contributor to The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.