Enough. I’ve had all I care to hear of the negative waves flowing around Chicago Bears fandom. ENOUGH!
I get it. You were disappointed. You thought Super Bowl, you got nuttin. You wanted Butkus, you got bupkis.
Done and done.
ALWAYS WITH THE NEGATIVE WAVES, MORIARTY!
One of my favorite flicks from my youth has always been the Clint Eastwood film “Kelly’s Heroes”. Filmed in the 1960’s and released in 1970, the film features an all-star cast including the absolutely hilarious “Oddball” character played by Donald Sutherland. For you young folks out there, that’s Kiefer’s dad.
The Oddball character and all the people around him have absolutely, positively no business being in a 1944 setting (they are very much 1960’s hippie characters) and the whole idea of a hippie tank platoon in 1944 is... well... just silly. Still, it’s good movie fun and Oddball sets the tone not only for the humor of the movie but also my entire life.
One of Sutherland’s crew members always focuses on the negative, to which our fearless hippie responds “Always with the negative waves!”. Here are some scenes from the film to make the point more clear.
What does this have to do with Chicago Bearsdom in 2020?
As I’m sure you know, in my role as Denmaster I get to read, watch and listen to a lot... and I do mean a LOT... of Chicago Bears articles, podcasts and video. I would venture to say that I may, in fact, be more exposed to every Chicago Bears bit of news than just about anybody else on the planet. I know of nobody else that checks over 40 news sources daily for Chicago Bears information.
My point? I have a fairly complete feel for what people in Bearsdom are thinking right now.
It’s not pretty.
It’s also, in a large sense, an irrational overreaction to previous disappointments.
BUT KEN, IT’S BAD! IT’S REALLY BAD!
Always with the negative waves, Bearsdom, always with the negative waves!
It’s not that bad. Right now, it’s not that good, but it’s not that bad.
We’ve had “that bad” in Bearsdom recently. Marc Trestman / Phil Emery’s last year was “that bad”. Wanny was “that bad”. 1969 was “worse than that bad” (and yes, I remember it, I was a Bears fan even back then). 1975 was just slightly less brutal.
We didn’t go 1-15 last year. We really didn’t
HEADS ARE EXPLODING!
I know out there in Bearsdom people are reading this and wanting to scream at me and blast me with their negative waves.
I get that. But here’s the thing.
It really isn’t. Last year was absolutely, positively disappointing. It was a huge letdown. No question about it.
But I remember 1969, 1975, 1998 with Dave Wannstedt and 1999 with Dick Jauron. We all remember Marc Trestman’s 2014.
That was bad.
FIVE POSITIVE WAVES FOR YOU
Here are five positive things for you to hang your hat on going into this season, and there’s a lot more positive things you can add to this list if you just stop and think about it.
- This Bears defense, barring injury or COVID, may be the best overall defense since 1985. Yes, Eddie Goldman opted out but we have a lot of depth at that position and there’s no reason to worry about that interior. The Khalil Mack / Robert Quinn / Akiem Hicks trio in combination with fast interior linebackers and ball-hawking DB’s is a show worth the price of admission all by it’s self. We may never see another Chicago Bears defense as good as this one in our lifetimes (because it’s really, really good).
- We were 8-8 with some really iffy quarterback play last year, and I just don’t see (again, barring injury or COVID) how it would be worse. We have a good option to turn to if Mitchell Trubisky struggles again in Nick Foles. Foles has ripped off a ton of wins in a row. Foles has lead a team (not just been on a team, but lead) to the Super Bowl. Foles was the Super Bowl MVP putting in one of the greatest performances in the history of the game. That, my friends, is a step up from Chase Daniel.
- We have reason to believe that the offensive line will be better this year. Germain Ifedi is an upgrade at right guard and both Cody Whitehair and James Daniels are playing in the positions they are used to, none of that switching around nonsense they tried and failed at last year.
- Setting aside the personnel for a moment, one thing that has flown entirely under the radar except in this excellent analysis by our own Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter is the of our base 3-4 defense into a 4-2-5 base scheme (CLICKY)... and this is the second year of that change, meaning the concepts are no longer new to the players so it should be much more fluid and have much less confusion.
- Last, and probably the most important, there is a full order of magnitude upgrade in the tight ends room in an offense that is entirely built around the tight end. Jimmy Graham may not be in his prime, but he’s light years better than a limping, heartless Trey Burton. Cole Kmet shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same paragraph as Adam Shaheen, and Demetrius Harris is a big pick-up for the blocking tight end which should help the run game.
Every year I give my bold prediction of the Bears record for the season. It’s always the same, 19-0. It always will be. Are my expectations unrealistic? Absolutely.
Here’s the reason, and I invite you good people to consider it... expectations are a mental trap that can do nothing but cause you grief.
The play of the 2019 Chicago Bears was not what people were mad about, Bearsdom was mad because their own unfulfilled expectations were not met. For some people, that caused stress and anger. In some cases, it spawned an absolutely ridiculous amount of stress and anger.
My suggestion? Don’t have realistic expectations... in fact, don’t have ANY expectations.
If our expectations as fans do absolutely, positively nothing but cause is to be angry when they are not met, then it’s it a bit silly to keep having them?
Me? I don’t. Whatever happens is what happens. We win? Good. We lose? Bad.
Either way, I’m staying positive and not giving in to the negative waves.