Dear Chicago Bears organization:
I will never hate you.
Having said that, if you don’t make being your fan an enjoyable experience, I will find something else to do with my leisure time. Right now, being your fan is NOT an enjoyable experience, not only because the team is struggling for wins, but also because we are watching you waste a year of an elite defense we will never get back.
Frustration can turn either into anger or apathy. I don’t want to be a part of either one of these things.
Even though I am not from Chicago, have never lived in Chicago, I’ve been a Bears fan since I was very young, basically all of my life. Over that period of time, we’ve had a lot of ups and we’ve had a lot of downs.
In the 50+ years I have been a fan, we haven’t had a top quarterback for more than a year or so at a time, and you can count the “top QB’s” list on one finger: Jim McMahon... and he wasn’t THAT good.
We’ve been good.
We’ve been bad.
We’ve been the best team to ever win a Super Bowl.
We’ve been 3-13. Recently.
All of this I’ve taken in stride. Yes, 3-13 was a dreadful year, but we had very little talent. Yes, the mid-2000’s were good years because we had a great defense. 1980’s good. 1990’s bad. 2000’s good. 2010’s bad until last year.
All though that time, there were joys and there were frustrations.
Now? There’s hatred.
This leads me to wonder why. What’s different? Why all the serious anger, people throwing absolute fits of rage over a 3-3 under-performing NFL team?
Here’s my theory, Chicago Bears. I think the following is why your fans are so angry right now. Don’t worry, this isn’t just a “complaint’s list” I will offer solutions at the end.
- Like always, you seem to have missed yet again on a quarterback... Fans watching what guys picked after Mitch are doing are going to be frustrated when they are tearing the league apart while Mitch misses 10-yard wide open receivers.
- We don’t really care why. Footwork, lack of pocket presence, reads, whatever. Don’t care. Fans care about getting the job done. The guy we have isn’t getting the job done, and we went all-in on ONE guy (more on that in a bit).
- 2019 has been the year of over-promise, under-deliver. Both of those things are on the team.
- We have no “out” at quarterback, we went all-in on one unproven guy. Going all-in on one guy is a very, very bad plan because, if nothing else, injuries happen. You have left yourselves no out if Mitch didn’t work out. As we can all see, this is a very bad idea.
- On the defensive side of things, it’s much better but the D is spending too much time on the field. Key injuries happen, but we also have some strange regression going on with Roquan Smith and even a couple of the other guys. We don’t know what is going on there, it’s really odd though and we are waiting to see what, if anything, the team is going to do about it.
- The fan base is far more angry that I can ever remember it being... I mean, people are PISSED. Is this amount of ANGER reasonable? No, it’s not. We live in a time where forces in society are using “manufactured anger” to influence opinion, so what we are seeing is... in part... blowback from that. People are angry about everything right now.
- It doesn’t matter whether it’s reasonable or not, it’s something you have to deal with, and it’s something that we who blog about your team have to deal with.
How about some solutions then?
Here’s my list of things you should do, today, to start to address the above problems.
- Bears management, take a good, HARD look at where you are at right now and... from where we stand... determine if a Super Bowl appearance is realistic. Be honest.
- If you determine it IS realistic, find a way to bring in a veteran QB along the lines of a Tyrod Taylor or similar... somebody who can play... because Chase Daniel isn’t the answer if Mitch continues to struggle.
- If you determine it isn’t realistic, then be sellers at the trade deadline for some of your older players. I’m thinking guys like Cordarrelle Patterson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, etc. We won’t get much for them, but any draft pick helps. If you are getting down on Anthony Miller and/or Tarik Cohen they might bring a bit more.
- If we are in the “Super Bowl Isn’t Realistic” mode then get guys like Riley Ridley and Alex Bars out there and get them experience. If we are not going to be able to make a run, Ridley, Bars, Rashaad Coward, Javon Wims need to be out there.
- Fire Mark Helfrich, hire Brad Childress and turn play calling over to Brad. Today.
- Figure out how the Bears OL can run block, then run the dad-gum ball.
- Understand that “I need to do better” isn’t a good enough answer for fans. It really isn’t.
- It is imperative to bring in a quarterback in 2020 who can run a basic offense. It doesn’t have to be a top-5 guy, but it does need to be a guy who can make throws without turning the ball over a lot. If Mitch is here next year, open competition. I would pick up Mitch’s fifth year because that has value if you trade him, and it’s only guaranteed against injury, you can still cancel it after 2020 at no cost.
I don’t hate you, I never will
I don’t have it in me to hate a football team. To be frank, I’m just not into hate and if you annoy me enough I will just do something else with my time.
Chicago Bears: Right now, you are annoying. Right now, it’s not fun to be a Bears fan.
Win if you can, but if you can’t please stop being annoying and lose in a way that helps build a strong future.