Tonight the Chicago Bears play the Minnesota Vikings at home for the chance to have a better record than … the Oakland Raiders!
True fact. The Raiders have won 5 games, including away games at Denver and Pittsburgh, and home wins over Cincinnati and Philly . The Bears did beat Pittsburgh, but got drilled by the Bengals and dominated by the Eagles.
This year has been, I think, the biggest train-wreck we’ve seen here on a football field since Northwestern infamously lost all those games in a row in the early 80s.
There were expectations going into this year. Hopelessly incorrect ones, but expectations none-the-less. We’d been deluded into believing that the basic structure of a winning team was in place, and all we needed was an upgrade at QB and it would all fall into place: division titles, playoff success, maybe even a ring.
HA! What were we smoking?
Because this team is just not good by any measure. Most of the players are old, slow, inexperienced, and/or clueless. Not all, but most. These bad players are coached by an almost uniformly bad staff. The player personnel front office people hired all of them, so, what can you say about them except “they are bad too”? And the ownership entrusted the ship to this laughingstock, so they must not know what they’re doing, either.
There is talk of firing head coach Lovie Smith. While he so richly deserves it, that won’t fix problems with evaluating, drafting, and signing talent. So go ahead and fire GM Jerry Angelo, too, just for the idiotic sin of failing to address the offensive line in any meaningful way for seven consecutive drafts. Fine with me. But that doesn’t fix problems with ownership and front-office clowns that decided hiring him was a good idea.
Organizations that win usually do so in part because they not only have good players, but good coaches, GMs, and owners, too. It isn’t just a coincidence that all that comes together. And even though the Bears have a long history of being cheap, Papa Bear George Halas managed to have some good teams anyway, didn’t he? Then the old man died in 1983, and his Yale-MBA-football-illiterate grandson Michael McCaskey became the primary decision-maker. This has worked out, pretty much, just as one might expect. The one Super Bowl they did win in 1985 was due to the excellent player evaluation talents of GM Jim Finks, and the coaching genius of the Mike ditka/Buddy Ryan two-headed monster.
Just for comparison, let’s review Don Pierson’s position-by-position list of What went wrong for Chicago Bears in 2009? On offense alone, seven positions underperformed: QB, HB, TE, WR, LT, LG, RT. On defense, six more underperformed. So overall, 13 of the 22 were woefully inadequate.
So, here we are. This teams stinks, and can’t rebuild an offensive and defensive line in one off-season, not to mention the required upgrades at receiver, linebacker, fullback, and safety. And even if it was possible to do that in one off-season, they still couldn’t do it, because they suck at evaluating players, remember? Because the McCaskey family only hires people who suck at evaluating players.
But the Bears will probably just do the easy thing and lay all blame at the feet of Lovie Smith, hire some new guy, and tell us it will all be different now. Sure it will.
I’m just glad the Blackhawks are back, so I don’t have to pretend to care about this awful football team right now. Because they suck grapefruits through a garden hose.