Has everybody taken a deep breath since the Green Bay Barf Bag Debacle?
I have, though the oxygen didn’t come easily, squeezed as it was between clenched teeth and a heightened gag reflex.
Since the Bears threw off concentric rings of disgust and anger by losing 55-14 to the Packers at Lambeau Field, almost three days have gone by.
Time heals, they say. They might be wrong.
But time does give us the chance to put down our instinctive emotions (that means the club and torch) and analyze a problem rationally (that means calmly, yet near a flush toilet).
We have heard via radio, TV, Internet, office space and bedroom that everybody from coach Marc Trestman to kick returner Chris Williams should be fired.
We have heard that quarterback Jay Cutler should be benched (or fired), along with Jared Allen, Jordan Mills and anyone stained by association with the Bears’ secondary. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker should be fired, the roar goes, along with offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, and — aw, hell — while we’re at it, dump the entire coaching staff! Plus, get rid of general manager Phil Emery — the man who signed Cutler for a billion dollars forever, brought us first-round failure Shea McClellin and dud free agent Allen, while letting Julius Peppers go to Green Bay and become a star again, among other calamities.
And it’s way past time team president Ted Phillips went back to being an accountant or scrivener or whatever. And the McCaskey family must sell the team to modern-day football people.
Oh, and we’re never setting foot in Soldier Field until all the changes are made. And did we mention Halas Hall must be vaporized?
All that has been out there. Along with some really nasty stuff on Twitter and Instagram. In fact, the obscenities and threats sent to Trestman and his family are beyond objectionable to near-criminal and give ironic and scary meaning to the term ‘‘social’’ media.
Yet something is very wrong with the Bears. Everyone knows this.
The 106 points given up in the last two games need no embellishment. Nor does the impotence of a Cutler-led offense that has not scored more than 28 points in a game this season despite having — allegedly — everything needed for success.
Yet back when the Bears were 2-1, with a huge road win over the 49ers in that team’s first game at its new stadium, this did not look like a club in disarray. Even at 3-3, after a solid win in Atlanta against the Falcons, a game in which Cutler threw for 381 yards without an interception and Matt Forte ran for 80 yards, the Bears looked decent.
But three games have destroyed them, made them clueless as to whoever or whatever they might be: the two Packers losses, in which Green Bay scored 93 points, and the Patriots’ 51-23 abomination, in which the Bears looked like a blindfolded stooge team. The Pats and Pack could have scored more had they wanted.
Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers combined for 15 touchdown passes in the three games, and something shocking and sad was revealed about the Bears.
They have no leader. They have no brilliance. They have no heart.
These are simple questions with real answers, but the answers are interwoven to a form of complexity, much the way a tumor might not be a simple, ugly mass but a wispy, elusive thing with many tendrils.
This is what a team needs to win: talent, coaching, preparedness, intelligence, leadership, desire, chemistry.
All NFL teams have talent — the draft and salary cap take care of that. The coaching? It’s possible Trestman is a very bad coach. But nobody is this bad.
Are the Bears prepared? Obviously not. Are they smart, not IQ-wise but football-wise? Doesn’t seem so.
Leadership? None. Cutler is to leadership as a blank slate is to a book. Defensive leader Lance Briggs was out until 4 a.m. Saturday before the Packers game. Enough said.
Desire? That’s a function of leadership and the so-called chemistry that builds between everyone on a successful team, from top to bottom. Often desire spreads from several leaders at the top. Lesser players can pick it up, absorb it. Then the chemistry happens — the team becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
The hardest thing about the Green Bay slaughter was hearing Trestman say afterward he truly was baffled as to how it could have happened. His word was ‘‘confounded.’’
I stood there looking, wondering how he, the Bears’ coach, could feel like that.
And what I realize now is that the biggest deception of all — that this Bears organization only wants to win — has been foisted on him.