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If Justin Fields becomes a star

A meditation on the man wearing No. 1.

Windy City Gridiron’s T.J. Starman

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears finally, thankfully, mercifully have an answer at quarterback.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, you can set that jersey with the list of failed quarterback names going off the edge of the hem, ablaze. Well, you probably shouldn’t, for safety reasons. Also, you probably spent some money on it. You probably shouldn’t burn your money. That might also be illegal somewhere. Check your bylaws. But you could burn it in your mind, theoretically, if you wanted to. Metaphorical statements are powerful and meaningful, too.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, then the Bears will be a championship contender for years based on his ability alone. That’s what talismans are supposed to do.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears will have gone, at least, an entire decade without thinking about quarterback play, and they won’t have to worry about offensive signal-callers until sometime into the 2030s. Fields, nor I, even know if we’re going to be on this Earth in the next 10-15 years, so that’s something.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears have staying power. Real staying power, mind you, one that can last with the big boys.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, double-digit wins every season are the expectation, the bare minimum. Seriously.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, a quality Bears season is a common occurrence. A nonchalant shrug of the shoulders. It’s not a pleasant surprise built on luck and a few good bounces once or twice every decade before eventually petering out.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears might as well reserve a ticket to meaningful football and mid-January for the rest of his career. Playoff tickets could be locked in, wholly verifiable, in September and October if allowed.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, a start to a season at or around .500 won’t spell out immediate doom. In fact, due knowledge will say that the universe, and Fields, will correct itself playoff time.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, some bumbling team out of Green Bay, Minnesota, or Detroit, with a quality defense but no quarterback, will have an inflated sense of importance in the rare moments Fields and the Bears stumble. Enjoy it while it lasts.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, other fans will bitch and whine about why their quarterback, normally not up to snuff or worth talking about, isn’t getting enough attention in comparison to Fields. “Oh, if What’s His Face was Fields when he threw this ball, SportsCenter would’ve never stopped drooling!”

If Justin Fields becomes a star, opposing NFC North fans will revel in the one or two upset victories their team gets over his Bears every 3-4 years, before losing five straight again. Haha, suck it Fields!

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the entire fantasy football industry will be irrevocably pissed when he doesn’t account for 35 points, only 30, but still wins.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, which higher football power does the greater Northeastern corridor of Illinois have to thank? Grange? Thorpe? Lambeau? Lombardi? Landry? Noll? Shula? Parcells? Walsh? Reid? Belichick? Which titan of titans was responsible? Show yourselves, anonymous hero(es).

If Justin Fields becomes a star, every former glaring flaw of the Bears’ roster is much less of a concern or something that must be addressed immediately.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears should still probably address those needs ASAP because it would be asinine malpractice.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, okay, why has it taken five years for him to get a competent blindside protector finally?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, hello, it’d be helpful if he had more than two reliable receivers. They just barely lost in last January because no one could get open, remember?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, I look forward to him actively hating the Bears and demanding a trade in 10 years and using his power after they neglected to give him adequate support.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, I look forward to his “will he, or won’t he?” questions becoming an annual saga toward the end of his career.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he’ll force the Bears to trade for an over-the-hill receiver he really likes, potentially costing them a chance at another upgrade, because he can.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, do the Bears somehow give him two blank checks, for fear of never having a player like him again? I don’t think that means more money, but you gotta pull out all the stops.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, ESPN will fly one of its “reporters” to the ranch in his home state of Georgia that he owns later on in life, to see where he stands on continuing to play in the NFL.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he may or may not have one or tearful interviews on national television about hanging his cleats up, before coming back the next season anyway.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he takes on endorsements like selling water that (somehow) cures concussions. What a miracle.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he might get his own branded cologne, simply titled Fields: a fragrance. It smells like a mix of field turf and pigskin.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he will be the first Bears quarterback that pundits and fans of opponents will discuss as an exciting inevitability you can never entirely account for.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, other fans will photoshop their team’s jerseys onto a photograph of him, forever envious and wanting of what they can’t have. Yeah, sure, that dude you drafted in the middle first-round who can’t read the field, he’ll work out, I bet.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, that kind of pining will be most satisfying coming from Green Bay, Detroit, and Minnesota. Sour grapes are the tastiest.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, his exploits will often take priority in local news broadcasts, over things outside of sports that might be important to the world. But hey, Bearsssss, am I right?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he gets a key to the city that is actually a key to the city, not a decorative-purposed toy. It’s more like a key fob, though, rather than any brass or copper composition. You can put those on a bracelet.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, does local Chicago sports radio ever discuss any other sports again? Do they know how?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, does local Chicago sports media finally fill the airwaves with people who didn’t last play in the NFL in the 1980s?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the memory of 1985 begins to fade a little more gracefully into respected obscurity, rather than an example of what the Bears can’t possibly live up to every off-season.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, perhaps they stop making documentaries about the 1985 Bears, because there was previously nothing to sell about the modern team.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, his Bears do have a documentary or two made about one of their championship seasons.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, hopefully that documentary is never in the “Missing Rings” realm, if you catch my drift.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he will never be discussed as the soft, fragile underbelly waiting to be exposed on an otherwise sound team. At least, he won’t be until he’s old, long in the tooth, and washed up.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, no, they can’t simply jettison a legend because he can’t throw more than 10 yards anymore. He’s Justin Fields. That would be disrespectful, ugh. Remember the Super Bowls! Harumph.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the question in every game he plays will be more about when and how he’s about to do something incredible and jaw-dropping, not when and how he’s about to implode and self-combust with no resistance from the opposing defense.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears will hold onto him for his tangible ability to elevate as the face of the franchise, not simply because he was a high draft pick, and they can’t, no, they can’t give up on him just yet. It’s too soon! Quarterback development is not linear, idiots!

If Justin Fields becomes a star, there will be no conversations in his third or fourth or sixth or eighth season about why he hasn’t figured “it” out, why he hasn’t blossomed but still will, why this year, finally, will be different, haters be damned. You’ll see!

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the haters and trolls, of which there are many, won’t focus on his ineptitude as he wilts under pressure. They’ll focus on why he only has five playoff wins under his belt, not seven or eight, and why he only has one Super Bowl ring, not three.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, every coach who collaborates with him, hell, who shares the same sideline with him, will have impeccable job security, whether they deserve it or not. (Ahem)

If Justin Fields becomes a star, who are you kidding: His coach is a genius! Look at how good Fields is, thanks to him, somehow!

If Justin Fields becomes a star who his coach is almost doesn’t matter as much as their presence isn’t an active constraint on his talent, personality, and place as, without a doubt, the most important and influential person in the Bears organization.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, every offensive coordinator or play-caller that manages not to have a down year when they were the one speaking in his in-game, in-helmet headset will be a popular head coaching candidate the ensuing off-season.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, every personnel man or front office executive who happens to be employed while he’s launching bombs downfield will also become untouchable, whether they deserve it or not. They happened to have a corner office with a lavish mahogany desk and random frames with pictures of football on the wall when he was a star, after all. (Ahem)

If Justin Fields becomes a star, it’s Justin Fields.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, Justin Fields.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, Justin FIELDS

If Justin Fields becomes a star, JUSTIN FIELDS.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, no good defense or historic lockdown performance, or uncommon All-Pro season will ever be wasted so long as he’s taking offensive snaps. You can be sure no Hall of Fame pass rusher or linebacker will ever go ringless again. He’s on the case.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, a classic or good Bears defense is more complementary of Fields and his offense, as it should be in modern football, rather than the team's primary strength. Welcome to 2021.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, it’s 2021. Shut up about the defense not shutting out every team it plays for a minute. The quarterback comes first.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears do not need an impenetrable lockdown defense. They only need a defense capable of getting stops more often than not. Oh, the times, they are changing. This is arena ball, remember?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he will be the first Bears quarterback to have his play and highlights revered and remembered in color, rather than grainy black and white film.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he will be the first Bears quarterback to have his play and highlights revered and remembered in high-quality, high-definition, with ready access to a video cache on YouTube.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, his best plays and games won’t come from found footage from a game in 2006 filmed on someone’s Motorola Razr from the 300 section at Soldier Field.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he will be the first Bears quarterback for most anyone with a pulse featured in nationally televised promotions.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, he will be the first Bears quarterback for most anyone with a pulse worth talking about at holiday dinners and family gatherings.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, yes, Uncle Andrew, he’s really good, you don't know what you’re talking about.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, sure, I’ll have another drink. Don’t stop pouring until I say, It’s the holidays.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, yeah, Merry Christmas to you, too, Uncle Andrew. Go Bears?

If Justin Fields becomes a star, his face with a wry smile or mean mug will be featured in a national game while juxtaposed against Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady/Patrick Mahomes/Russell Wilson, not simply Best Defensive Player.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the forward pass is no longer a magic vex that somehow eludes the Bears. It’s possible to throw the oblong ball designed to be thrown downfield, downfield, contrary to Chicago belief. And he’s responsible.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, The Curse is lifted.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, what curse you ask? Look, it’s better to pretend a bumbling organization that went through like 40 quarterbacks before they finally got a good one had a curse placed on them, rather than say it was an outright failure. This is how we process in a healthy way.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, I

If Justin Fields becomes a star, might

If Justin Fields becomes a star, not

If Justin Fields becomes a star, go

If Justin Fields becomes a star, insane

If Justin Fields becomes a star, Chicago can stop chasing the dragon. The dragon wears navy and orange now.

If Justin Fields becomes a star, the Bears finally, mercifully, thankfully, have an answer at quarterback.