BOURBONNAIS — Mitch Trubisky is only 23, but he is wise beyond his years. We know this because he revealed Thursday that he is done with social media.
That means he’s done reading about how mediocre he is as a quarterback, done listening to people say the Bears made a huge mistake by drafting him and done watching videos of cats playing the piano.
Feel free to say his skin has the approximate thickness of tissue. I think it shows he has a lot of brain tissue. Why anyone in his shoes would subject himself to the regular abuse found on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is a mystery. Possibly for the same reason people wear hair shirts and whip themselves.
There is absolutely nothing in it for Trubisky to read what anybody with a Twitter account and a six-pack of Bud has to say about him. If you’re looking for signs the kid is maturing as he heads into his second season in the league, this is a big one.
‘‘I’m going Zero Dark 10 on the social-media front,’’ he said as the Bears reported to training camp. ‘‘Me and [teammate] Kyle Long have kind of agreed to that. . . . Just block it out to be myself and realize I’ve got a great opportunity. I’m trying to put all my focus and energy into this game and what I’ve got to do. Whatever anybody else says on the outside, whether it be positive or negative or hype or just trying to tear me down, it really doesn’t matter to me.
‘‘I know who I am. I know what player I can be. And I know my role on this team.’’
If you’ve spent any time on Twitter or Facebook, then you understand what a soul-sucking experience it can be. You didn’t know you were the spawn of Satan until you posted the Smashing Pumpkins were overrated. You didn’t know your school sucked, your hair looked like a mudslide or you were seriously lacking in intelligence, quite possibly because you were dropped as a baby. But after suggesting in a tweet that Batman could beat up Superman, you found out all these things about yourself.
So Trubisky protecting himself from the negativity of social media? Good move, Mitch.
And, yes, it’s OK if he doesn’t read the newspaper, either, though I hate to think of him missing out on the Sun-Times’ baseball coverage.
He made his decision after reading comments from people he said didn’t know what they were talking about. That’s the eternal lament of NFL players, that no one outside the locker room possibly could understand their incredibly complex game. But if that’s what brought Trubisky to give up social media, fine. If you want your quarterback’s head to be free of nonsense — or outside noise, as they call it — keep him away from his iPhone.
‘‘People have got no idea,’’ he said of online critics. ‘‘They don’t know what they’re talking about. So I was like, ‘Why would you put that into my head?’ So just block it out and do what I’ve got to do. . . .
‘‘For me, it’s just eliminating distractions and putting my time and effort into what’s important.’’
For him to put on a social-media suit of armor is a very good thing. But the Bears also have an obligation to protect Trubisky, not just from pass rushers but from the stream of challenges most 23-year-olds are ill-equipped to handle.
Think about it: The entire thrust of the organization, its forward motion, is predicated on him. As he goes, the Bears go. When they took him with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, trading up to get the opportunity, they told the world they were putting everything on him.
Is there concern they’ve put too much on Trubisky, a guy who started only 13 games in college and 12 in his rookie season?
‘‘No, there’s not, because it’s such a valuable part of the puzzle,’’ Bears coach Matt Nagy said. ‘‘But that’s our job as coaches — to kind of corral that and make sure we take care of him in certain ways. We’re teachers on that field. We’re not yellers and screamers. That’s not how we teach that position. We coach them, and then we try to teach them on the ‘whys.’ . . .
‘‘Mitch can handle all of it. He’s a very mature kid for that age. We understand that. And he does not want us to pull back on him because of that. He wants us to load him up, see what he can handle, and that’s what we’ve done.’’
What Trubisky doesn’t want to handle is the outside stuff. A reporter asked him if he’s tired of being reminded of
the second-year improvements the Eagles’ Carson Wentz and the Rams’ Jared Goff made.
‘‘I’m tired of it all,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m tired of everything. I’m tired of all the doubts, all the comparisons. I don’t really pay attention to that. I’m tired of waiting. I’m just excited camp is here, and we’ll see what we can do for Year 2. So all of that stuff, I can’t control none of that. All I can do is control my attitude and my effort and go out there and play the game the way I know how.’’
Ignoring social media now to avoid years of psychotherapy later. Very wise.
Sun-Times sports columnists Rick Morrissey and Rick Telander are co-hosts of a new podcast called “The Two Ricks: Unfiltered.” Don’t miss their candid, amusing takes on everything from professional teams tanking to overzealous sports parents and more. Download and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts and Google Play, or via RSS feed.