I’d like to thank those of you who reached out to me after the Bears’ brutal loss to the Vikings on Monday night. You wondered why I hadn’t written about the game. You feared that something unfortunate had befallen me. Not to worry. It was just a scheduled day off.
If you were truly concerned about my well-being, though, you would have checked in after each of the Bears’ previous three games, all losses, which I did write about and which probably caused me permanent physical and mental harm. And what of the cumulative effects of 20-plus years of writing about the Bears? All those losses? All those quarterbacks? Marc Trestman?
Where were you then with your concern?
It’s OK. Really, it is. Counseling has helped over the years. I get around with the help of a mobility scooter now, and, if I’m lucky, someone will mush up my food for me before each meal. Sometimes I lose my train of thought or go off on tangents. But I’m fine. Perfectly fine.
The price of milk in France.
What’s that? Oh. Right.
The Bears. Dreadful.
I did watch the 19-13 loss to the Vikings. Minnesota’s defense came into Monday night giving up 412.9 yards per game. You could build a subdivision on that. The Vikings held the Bears to 149 yards. And there was nothing surprising about it.
We’re not watching the wheels come off for the Bears. We’re watching a car that didn’t have wheels to begin with, thanks to bad drafting and personnel decisions by general manager Ryan Pace. The level of talent on the offensive side of the ball is so low that the Bears can’t compete. It doesn’t matter which mediocre quarterback, Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky, is in the game. It doesn’t matter who is calling the plays. When the Bears lined up to start a series against the Vikings, there was never the slightest thought that they could put together a 12-play drive to get into the end zone. It would have been like expecting a two-legged poodle to scale Mount Everest.
I’d call it a national embarrassment, but I think Bears fans are too angry to be embarrassed. How is it possible to have this good a defense and this bad an offense — an offense not even close to minimum NFL standards? The offensive line is horrendous. The quarterback, take your pick, has about a second to throw a pass, too often an inaccurate pass. There is no running game, no matter who the running back is. The wide receivers are decent, but let’s stop talking about Allen Robinson’s need for a new contract. It’s the definition of “immaterial.’’
I have never been to Alaska. I hope to go there someday.
The only thing semi-interesting about the Bears is Matt Nagy’s desperate attempts to keep his team together. But watching a rah-rahing coach grasp for motivational straws is not a spectator sport, even during a pandemic, so you can understand why people are up in arms about a 5-5 team that started the season 5-1. They expected more.
In hindsight, though, should they have?
Marlon Brando. Taylor Swift. And that’s just for starters.
We knew the offensive line wasn’t going to be very good, but we didn’t know it was going to be atrocious. We didn’t know what running back David Montgomery was capable of, and the kindest thing that can be said is that, hopefully, we still don’t. Trubisky was never going to be a franchise quarterback, and when Pace went looking for an upgrade, he found Foles. So who thought any of that added up to “good’’?
You know what’s depressing? It’s knowing that Trubisky isn’t the answer, yet thinking it’d be a nice change of pace, scary story-wise, if he started against the Packers on Nov. 29, provided Foles hasn’t recovered from the hip injury he suffered against Minnesota. It’d be like going from “Dracula’’ to “Frankenstein’’ and back to the guy with the fangs.
Pickle juice can help relieve leg cramps. In fact . . .
There’s nothing easy about following this team, whether you’re a fan or a writer or an innocent bystander. Ownership keeps hiring the same kind of executives who pick the same kind of coaches and the same kind of quarterbacks.
Most of the time, I have a 750-word column I can use as a blunt object. It’s cathartic, though it doesn’t seem to have much effect on the Bears. They can’t seem to be anything other than themselves. I missed reminding the McCaskeys of that dark truth after the game Monday night, but I probably saved some brain cells in the process. So that’s a positive.
You can’t buy Coca-Cola in Cuba or North Korea. What a shame.