The dream is over for Robbie Gould-loving Bears fans

A four-year deal with the 49ers will give him $10.5 million in guaranteed money in the first two years, ending the hopes of many a Bears fan that the kicker and his former team would reunite. That would explain all the black clothing around town Monday.

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Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers

49ers kicker Robbie Gould celebrates after kicking a game-winning field goal in overtime against the Seahawks last season.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Years from now, your standard rabid Bears fan will remember what he was doing the moment he heard the bad news that kicker Robbie Gould had agreed to a new contract with the 49ers. The story broke at 7:15 a.m. Monday, so our man was probably in a Bears-themed onesie and washing down an Italian beef with a beer.

The four-year deal will give Gould $10.5 million in guaranteed money in the first two years, ending the dream of many a Bears fan that he and his former team would reunite. That would explain all the black clothing around town Monday.

Since the Bears pushed him aside before the 2016 season, Gould has loomed larger and larger in the imagination of the Bears’ faithful. In the fullest expression of their belief, he can walk on water to the 35-yard line and nail a game-winner without making a ripple.

We arrived at this point because of the merging of two truths: 1) Gould went on to kick well for two teams, including the 49ers. 2) Not only was Cody Parkey a disaster for the Bears last season, but the competition to replace him has turned into a clown show.

It’s not easy putting on a helmet over a halo, but Bears fans are convinced Gould does it daily. That’s what made Monday so hard, so final and, despite the sunny skies, so dark and stormy.

The entire exercise couldn’t have gone any worse for Bears general manager Ryan Pace, who is the architect of the disarray at the kicker spot.

But a bit of context is in order, even if it might earn me a few steel-tipped boots to the shin. Before he was cut, Gould had missed two extra points in a preseason game. And he was due to make $3 million in 2016 and his competition for the job, Connor Barth, $885,000.

Lost in the uproar about what has become of the Bears’ kicking game is that Gould understood the move at the time it was made.

‘‘I’m not upset about it at all,’’ he said the day he was cut. ‘‘It’s performance-based, and I know they have a lot of very difficult decisions to make. I always tried to make those decisions hard for them.’’

Gould went on to be very good for the Giants and excellent for the 49ers. The Bears went on a wild-goose chase to find a good kicker, and it doesn’t look as though the chase is close to being over. So you can understand why a sobbing Bears fan would latch on to Gould’s right ankle and refuse to let go.

After Parkey missed a 43-yard field goal that would have won a wild-card playoff game last season and after he appeared on NBC’s ‘‘Today’’ show several days later to talk about the double-doink debacle, his future with the Bears was doomed.

Since cutting him in March, the Bears have brought in more than a dozen kickers for auditions. The low point was a rookie minicamp in May, in which eight kickers descended on Halas Hall for a competition. The Bears concocted all sorts of pressure situations for the kickers, including punishing the team with conditioning drills when a field-goal attempt failed. For a while, they had a kicker named Chris Blewitt on the roster, which served as the metaphor for the kicking situation.

And through it all stood Gould, wherever he was, clad in shining armor. He was a very good kicker on his own, but the idea of him was much greater than anything he could do on a football field. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations in 2019, he was the answer to the Bears’ most vexing problem, fans were sure.

And there were tantalizing developments along the way. Gould stated publicly that he wanted out of San Francisco. And he soon would be moving into a home that he and his wife had built in the suburbs here. If a city could get weak in the knees over a kicker, well, Chicago needed to grab something for support.

There were a couple of problems with all the lust. The 49ers had put the franchise tag on Gould. And no matter what happened, Parkey still would be a $4.06 million salary-cap hit for the Bears this season. They weren’t in a great position to pursue Gould, even if they wanted to — and they didn’t want to, given the amount of money he was going to command.

All of it means that, with training camp less than two weeks away, the competition for the Bears’ kicking job is between Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry, neither of whom has kicked in what commonly is known as ‘‘a regular-season game.’’

It seems cruel to remind Bears fans of that on such a dark day.

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