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Something That Has to be Said

Greg Gabriel didn’t agree with the drama going around Bears Twitter yesterday.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The first thing I want/have to say is I honestly appreciate and respect fans. We don't have professional sports or even high-level college sports without those fans.

Yesterday, there was a trend on Twitter that I believe began with the Barstool Sports or Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports about comments made by Bears quarterback Justin Fields following the Bears' loss at Green Bay Sunday night. Before I even get into what Fields said, it must be pointed out that between the Barstool Sports Twitter account and Portnoy's account, there are 6.8 million followers, so if they want to get something to trend, be it negative or positive, they very easily can just by the way they present material. The purpose of many of their tweets is to get a reaction from followers, and they do an excellent job doing that.

The video clip of Fields was made when he addressed and took questions from the media shortly after the Bears/Packers game. Fields, who is just 23 years old, was obviously distraught by the loss (as most high-level and competitive athletes are). He gave short but honest answers, but the quote that set off the Twitter storm is this "….It hurts more in the locker room than it does for Bears fans because, I mean because at the end of the day, they aren't putting in any work. I see the guys in the locker room and how much work they put in…"

The whole purpose of showing that short 11-second video clip was to get a reaction from fans with the hopes that it would create a negative reaction. It worked, as many fans got upset when seeing the video.

When Portnoy Tweeted the video clip, he added to the Tweet, "Former Ohio State QB, current Bears QB says Chicago fans don't care about football." That statement by itself is absurd and not true. It was strictly Portnoy's OPINION To Get A Negative Response from fans. The reality is it probably wasn't even his opinion but rather a ploy to enrage fans to get a negative result. Negativity sells on social media!

I grew up a "fan," as I bought my first season tickets to Buffalo Bills games when I was 15 years old in 1966. I remained a Bills season ticket holder until 1984, when I began working for the New York Giants. I was an avid Bills fan, and so I do know and understand how fans react after wins and losses.

I also played football at a high level until I was 30 years old in 1981. Following playing, I began working and being involved in professional sports for the last 40 years. So, I am very comfortable in saying I know the difference in reactions that both players and fans have following either a win or a loss.

Being I was incapacitated most of Sunday and yesterday due to a family issue, I did not find out about the Fields quote and the negative reaction to it until around 5:30 yesterday afternoon. The first thing I saw on Twitter was the following tweet written by some jerk who uses the Twitter handle "MikeyBets (Chicago's Left ArmPit)." Just by looking at his handle, we know he's a loud-mouth jerk as he's afraid to use his real name.

Mikey writes when posting the Fields video "The fu-k!? The loss hurts Bears fans just as much as players. Players come and go, Fans are here forever. We put in the work watching a crumb bum franchise that has given us NOTHING in 37 years. We buy your jerseys, we put the butts in the stands. You're on thin ice pal".

I had to laugh when I read this as Mikey is clueless. First Mikey, it's a fan's CHOICE to be a fan. Second, it's a fan's CHOICE to buy tickets, jerseys etc. and third, he doesn't know Bears history very well. 37 years? The Bears went to the Playoffs several times in the first decade of the 2000s, including a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season. That's "NOTHING"? Ok Mikey, if you say so.

My background tells me that people like "Mikey" don't know what they are talking about. Yes, losses are bad for fans. They get upset and, more often than not, overreact to what went on during a game. They do have a right to act in any way they prefer, as that is part of being a fan. As bad as a loss can hurt for a fan, I can guarantee that the same loss hurts a player 1000 times more. A player doesn't get over a loss in a couple of hours; it's sometimes days.

Professional athletes and high-level college athletes despise losing. They are extremely competitive people who only want to win. A poor performance in a loss can cost a player his job. What fan is going to lose his job over his favorite team losing?

I have been in team facilities following both wins and losses. The mood of the entire building sucks after a loss and remains that way for days. Players, coaches, and front office employees take losing hard. The ONLY thing on their mind on the days following a loss is how to correct that loss and turn it into a win the next game. There is NEVER a lack of effort by anyone involved with the team on the field. Remember, it's their livelihood.

In short, this entire "uproar" is ridiculous. Do people actually expect the Chicago Bears to win every game? I have said several times in the last couple of months that this Bears team is going to be much better than the National media expects. I fully expect this team to win at least eight games which is about five more wins that many of the "expert" analysts think they will win. No, they will not challenge for a Playoff spot. The Bears are at the beginning of a rebuild, and as such, there will be ups and downs. The important thing is that the team develops the solid core of young talent into consistent winners.

The front office and coaching staff are doing things the right way. Enjoy the growth instead of overacting to a loss.