The central crux of being a sports fan, particularly of a historically bad franchise, is to hold out hope that one day we can be there to see our team win it all. The Cubs history-smashing title this past November was one for the ages, and is a shining example of what bad teams want to have in their lives, if only once.
For many Bears fans, they don’t have to look back too far to remember seeing this team at the top of the mountain. Granted, January of 1986 was over three decades ago now and the 2006/7 Super Bowl XLI was something we don’t talk about, but compared to franchises like the Browns, Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals, the Bears have had it relatively easy.
It’s hard to discuss that with a straight face considering that the Falcons are just coming off of a successful season (that admittedly ended in soul-crushing fashion), the Arizona Cardinals are now among the league’s top tier teams, and even the damn Browns, while still a reeking garbage fire, have a drunken bevy of draft picks and are slowly trending somewhat upwards.
Meanwhile the Bears are attempting to sell their upward trend of being one of the league’s youngest, more exciting squads to watch, and it’s a bit hard to swallow right now.
If the Bears come out in 2017 and go 6-10 or worse (which is likely at the time of this writing), does anyone believe the McCaskeys and Ted Phillips will stay the course, keeping Ryan Pace and John Fox around? Does firing Fox unman Pace?
Some members of the coaching staff certainly aren’t willing to risk that right now. Curtis Johnson, one of the more heralded and league-wide respected assistant coaches, has left town to return to New Orleans. Running backs coach Stan Drayton latched onto a great opportunity to coach for the University of Texas. Outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt turned down the Bears to go coach for the Seahawks. Special teams assistant coach Richard Hightower may be poached by the San Francisco 49ers once Kyle Shanahan gets out of Atlanta.
Hell, Vic Fangio was even almost poached to return to the 49ers, who may be an even larger nuclear meltdown than the Bears, and Fangio not only will return to the Bears but will coach the linebackers. Alrighty then.
By all accounts, John Fox is treading on thin ice. The narrative out of Halas Hall for all of the coming year will be spun in a positive way, regardless of if the actual surroundings are in ashes.
Clip of the 2017 season incoming:
Not excited yet? Free agency is upon us, and the Bears are poised to have a boatload of cap space to sign quality free agen- what? What’s that you say?
Worst NFL free-agent pool ever? Oh. Wonderful.
Well, either way, sometimes you have to let the market play itself out, and surely a lot of players would love to come play in Chicago, and – what? Come again?
@DeSmithNFLPA will tell free agents not to sign with the Bears if the new Illinois workers’ comp act strips injury health care. – Chris Emma of 670 The Score
So they’ve got that going for them, too. Just fantastic.
If that’s not lousy enough, the Bears are picking 3rd in a draft class that has a quarterback class featuring one, maybe two guys that are worthy of being drafted in the first round, much less with the 3rd overall pick. In a year where the Bears need to come out of this draft with the quarterback of the future, they sure picked a horrible year to get stuck in this position. Surely Pace will have to do some sort of bizarre chaos math to validate a guy like Watson, Kizer, or Trubisky as being above any of the excellent defensive talents available in the top 10 of this draft class.
We have no idea how it will play out right now, but the last week has not been good for cultivating optimism about the coming year. Maybe I just need to take a nap.
Wait a minute – they’re raising ticket prices?!
Ugh. I’m going to bed.