The key to happiness: Expect the worst when it comes to the Bears’ pursuit of a new QB
You can’t be disappointed if you think it will be business as usual for the team, which hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman.
It’s not necessary to tell most Bears fans to expect the worst when it comes to the team’s offseason pursuit of a decent quarterback. It’s like telling someone who lives in Seattle to bring an umbrella.
Quarterback dread is one of the few things that brings Chicagoans together, even though there are some outliers who still think Mitch Trubisky can be a great quarterback, given the right circumstances. The right circumstances presumably would involve a passing-accuracy donor.
But expecting the worst out of the Bears is a wonderful coping strategy. If general manager Ryan Pace is given the task of bringing home supper, it’s hard to be disappointed when you’re anticipating leg of roadkill. That approach takes some of the sting out of following this team.
But not all of it. There will be outrage in the coming days and weeks if Pace comes home from market with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who is Trubisky without the library of leadership books. But if you go into it with the strong belief that you’re about to be Wentzed or Winstoned, it might take some of the edge off when it happens. You still will take to social media to announce you never will go to another Bears game. But there will be a significant part of you thinking, ‘‘Yeah, that’s about right.’’ The older, more battle-weary Bears fan will be thinking, ‘‘For reasons I can’t explain, I deserve this.’’
If Pace does the unbelievable and lands the Texans’ Deshaun Watson or the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, then you’ll be a happy, delirious camper.
Given their miserable history of choosing quarterbacks, it would be insanity to think the Bears are going to make the right decision this time around. Folks, we still view a man from the 1940s as the best quarterback in team history. That would be Sid Luckman. You’d think that in the decades after Luckman, the Bears accidentally would have tripped their way into someone better. Instead, the odds are better that life exists elsewhere in the universe than a good quarterback exists in the team’s future.
It will take a mini-miracle for things to work out for the Bears in these quarterback stakes. Think about all they’re up against in landing someone who can turn around the offense. For starters, they have that historical burden. If you don’t believe in curses, fine, but it’s hard to argue with 70-plus years of quarterback futility.
Then there are the compensation issues. The Bears, with the 20th overall pick in the 2021 draft, don’t have the kind of draft capital it usually takes to pull off a big deal.
You also have Pace’s track record with starting quarterbacks: Mike Glennon, Trubisky and Nick Foles. The football term for that is ‘‘Yikes!’’ Then there’s the tiny matter of That Which Mustn’t Be Mentioned Anymore — Pace’s decision to trade up in the 2017 draft to take Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Watson. Ancient history, we’re told. By the way, so is the Fall of Rome, and we’re still studying that.
Let’s say that Pace works out a trade for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, which some might consider a victory, given that the 23-year-old has suffered in a bad organization. What gives anyone hope that Bears coach Matt Nagy and his staff would be able to turn Darnold around any more than they were able to transform Trubisky?
You can see how a Bears fan might assume the fetal position and call it a life.
There’s so much going against the organization, most of it its own doing. It’s hard to get pumped up when you know the authors of the Bears’ most recent horror story still are doing the writing.
I hear this from a lot from readers: The Bears’ futility at quarterback gives sports columnists something to write about. Of course, it does. But the inference is that having a great quarterback to cover wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. To which I say: I don’t know! Try me!
I have just committed the mortal sin of dreaming. It goes against everything I have said not to do when it comes to the Bears. As mentioned earlier, the key to survival is to expect a profoundly bad quarterback decision this offseason. Do not daydream about what life would look like with a good-to-great signal-caller. Do not covet your neighbor’s quarterback.
Expect the worst. Be pleasantly surprised by anything else.
You can thank me later.