OK, now I’ve heard it all

Or maybe I haven’t if I’m wearing one of the Bears’ less-than-trusty headsets.


Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy walks off the field after losing to the Arizona Cardinals, 33 - 22, at Soldier Field, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

I don’t know if they have them anymore, but when something went wrong with the film projector in your junior-high health class back in the day, a dude or two from the student audio-visual department would come to the rescue.

These AV guys (always guys, for some reason) were what we nowadays would call nerds. Back then, I think we called them dorks. Or Einsteins.

At any rate, they’d come in, adjust their glasses, check the machinery and, after whispered consultation, one would say: ‘‘The film melted.’’

Out they’d wheel the projector, in would come a new one and our class quickly would be back to ‘‘Hemo the Magnificent’’ or ‘‘Reefer Madness.’’


Why don’t the Bears, a pro football team Forbes recently valued at $4.075 billion, have somebody — even a junior high nerd — who can guarantee their stupid technology stuff works on game day?

How much would it cost?

Certainly less than the sod bill for the lousiest home-field grass anywhere. Or the janitors who clean Halas Hall.

A couple of AV kids likely would do it for extra credit.

I’m getting angry now. Memories of being 14 and hormonal are flooding back.

In two of their last three games, including a 33-22 loss Sunday to the Cardinals, the Bears have had their radio transmissions from skybox to quarterback fail.

And this failure has contributed to their 4-8 demise, as well as the overall perception that we’ve got a $4 billion Rube Goldberg contraption posing as an NFL franchise.

On Sunday, Bears quarterback Andy Dalton clearly was rattled because skybox signals weren’t getting in through his headset and he had to wait for coach Matt Nagy on the sideline to relay plays via walkie-talkie.

All of this added time, pressure and distraction, which to the Bears are like bird poop on the windshield of a car they barely can steer.

Think of it: a walkie-talkie. Like the things little kids get for Christmas, then whisper into from bedroom to closet like child assassins.

Seriously, what is going on, Bears?

‘‘He couldn’t hear it, and it was going in and out,’’ Nagy said Monday of Dalton and the radio waves. ‘‘So that’s not good when you’re out there and it’s going in and out.’’

‘‘I mean, that’s a big deal,’’ tight end Cole Kmet added.

‘‘You’d like the headsets to work at all times,’’ Dalton summed up.

Agreed. It’s ridiculous for anything this dumb to happen on a team that needs everything to function perfectly just to have a chance at winning.

Technology was brought into the NFL to make things more ‘‘modern,’’ cooler for tech-loving Americans, more controlling for coaches who see their players as chess pieces.

But technology brings with it the black-box concept. That is, stuff goes in, stuff comes out and nobody but nerds know what goes on in between, such as, say, in a TV, an iPhone or a radio thing that tells a quarterback to run David Montgomery again.

This wavelength failure happened to the Bears in their last home game, too, a loss to the Ravens two weeks ago.

Funny that it doesn’t happen to the other teams at Soldier Field or anywhere else that I know of. Like the Bears are purposely blowing themselves up.

The Bears always seem amazed at such predictable stupidity. They apparently didn’t know the forecast Sunday called for cold rain, so a bunch of players wore tacky gloves that — oops — get slick in such weather.

It makes you wonder whether they know it might be cold in Green Bay when they play the Packers on Sunday. (Don’t forget your long underwear, fellows!)

I remember the Super Bowl in February 2007 outside Miami. Rain was predicted, and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning practiced at times with footballs dunked in water. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman? Nah.

How about you historians who recall that the Bears lost the 1934 NFL championship game to the Giants 30-18, largely because the Giants switched out of cleats to gym shoes for the frozen field at the Polo Grounds?

Can’t blame the Bears too much for that. It was on the road.

But this? The Giants slaughtered the Bears 47-7 in the 1956 NFL championship game, this time at Yankee Stadium, because they switched to gym shoes for the frozen turf and the Bears did not.

First time dumb happens, you can blame somebody else.

Second time dumb happens?

Shame on you.

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