Some people are fans of the Chicago Bears. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Chicago Bears. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: Chicago Bears
Your 2013 record: 8-8.
Your coach: Marc Trestman, who has turned out to be pretty good! Sure, the defense is abominable, but look at all those deep passes that are actually completed! NICE. Trestman's emergence as a sound football mind means we can now move on to the part where the Bears nickel-and-dime him at every turn, until he finally gives up and walks away. That's how it works in Chicago. Either you're a shitty coach and you fail, or you're a decent coach who gets lowballed and suffocated by management ... and you fail.
Your quarterback: Jay Cutler. Still. Thirty years from now, Bears fans will still argue about whether they kept the wrong quarterback. If you put Cutler up against Josh McCown in a blind taste test, McCown would probably win. He had a better completion percentage last year, a better TD/INT ratio, more yards per attempt. He's more durable, and he's not a prick. But Cutler was a first-rounder and the Bears traded away the blue-and-green side of the Monopoly board for him, so they peer-pressured themselves into keeping him around. These are the Bears, so any decision they make will be wrong.
Earlier this year, I got a drink with a friend of mine named Mike, who's a big Bears fan. I asked him what he thought about Cutler. Here was his reply: "I really like Jay Cutler. I think he's a pretty good quarterback, and I'm dead certain that we will never ever win a Super Bowl with him." So there you have it.
By the way, meet your new backup QB:
That photo never gets old. I hope they engrave it on Jimmy Clausen's tombstone. I think the Bears signed Clausen specifically because he is the one QB in football who is a less appealing person than Jay Cutler, so that people never root for Cutler's backup again.
What's new that sucks: The team brought in 9,000 free agent safeties, mostly to prevent this from happening again:
Oof. That is hard to watch, man. It's like they weren't even trying. You can split the middle of this defense like it's Carmella Bing. The Bears also lost Julius Peppers to free agency (the same Packers team celebrating above, actually) and replaced him with Jared Allen. I am a Vikings fan, and so it hurts me to know that Jared Allen is gone. However, I also know that everyone DESPISES Allen's lasso sack dance, and that analysts will stumble over themselves to give Allen a rimjob anytime he runs 40 yards down the field to tackle a ballcarrier that got free because he failed to keep contain in the first place. And now you Bears fans will have to pretend as if none of this bothers you. I did it for a while, and you'll adjust in no time.
Also, Devin Hester is finally gone. You can stop pretending like he was some remarkable secret weapon now. Bragging about special teamers is like bragging about your nose mole being a distinguishing mark.
What has always sucked: I lived in Chicago for three years, and even if they grew up in the super-white, John Hughes parts of Chicago like I did, dipshits from Chicago will always ACT as if they grew up near Cabrini Green and spent their formative years bootlegging for Al Capone. HE PULLS A KNIFE, YOU PULL A ZIMA. The whitest areas of Chicago are basically Portland, with douchey experimental restaurants where people eat food foraged from public parks, but you get to pretend you're HARD because 82 people get shot every weekend seven miles and 19 police jurisdictions away.
That kind of faux tough guy horseshit has been the running narrative for Chicago sports fans for decades now. They all cream their jeans over the '85 Bears because the '85 Bears were zero brain and all head shots. They worship Ditka even though Ditka is a sad, hunchbacked old man who can barely string two hot takes together coherently. They bitch CONSTANTLY about Derrick Rose's toughness, as if their sorry-ass YMCA knees were somehow more durable. They cheer for shitty weather (BEAR WEATHER) even though this is clearly a team built for deep passing.
And they are remarkably possessive of opinions about their terrible sports teams. You, person who is not from Chicago (unlike Mike from Evanston, who gets to pretend he's from Chicago), aren't allowed to have an opinion about Jay Cutler. Only Chicago sports fans are savvy enough to understand the machinations of the local teams, which is why Mike Wilbon begins every argument with, "I'm from Chicago, okay?" (Mike Wilbon now lives in Arizona.)
There are two Chicagos, and you don't get to brag about being from the part where armies of Big Ten frat bros lord over entire neighborhoods, and even larger armies occasionally invade and take over the city for shit like Lollapalooza. That Chicago is the home of fucking Pitchfork. That Chicago is the one that has a constant, grating inferiority complex about not being New York. That Chicago fancies itself as a global city and has a trailer park near its southern border. And that Chicago "won" the rights to George Lucas's stupid George Lucas museum even though George Lucas is from California.
One more thing: I was in Chicago over a year ago and I went to eat at a Korean joint, one of those Korean joints that is almost 100% Korean clientele, where you walk in the door and you can see the look in their eyes like, "Oh Christ. WHITE PEOPLE." Anyway, I got some noodles and the noodles were drenched in that awesome red sauce that's in all Korean food. We're not talking about a small amount of hot sauce. This was, like, a quart of it. And I knew I shouldn't have eaten too much, but it was really good. So I'm eating and eating, knowing full well that this stuff is gonna go roaring out of my asshole as soon as I'm finished. Sure enough, I get to this book signing/party thing five minutes later, and I immediately have to go shit. And my shit is RED. Blood fucking red. I'm sitting there, pushing this stuff out, with sweat pouring down me. So much red diarrhea. And when I got up and walked out, I had to go back in five minutes later. And then I did it a third time. So that's what Chicago reminds me of: red poop.
What might not suck: Alshon Jeffery! Holy shit, Alshon Jeffery is a beast. He could make YOU look good at quarterback. Look how nasty this motherfucker is:
If only Rex Grossman were still around to throw terrible deep balls to that man.
Hear it from Bears fans!
Ditka was a speaker at our high school's version of career day. The auditorium was packed and erupted with he walked on the stage. The first words out of his mouth were: "You are all a bunch of spoiled brats." Everyone started booing him and I don't remember anything else he said.
During the tornado/hurricane/air tsunami that delayed the Bears-Ravens game on November 17th, the team waited until the sky was literally falling on fans to evacuate. The big issue came when the PA announcer kept reminding those of us in the 400 section that we needed evacuate... which is what we were desperately trying to do. Because of the exiting system for that area, a massive amount of people, 35ish rows high, have to flow into a small number of exits. As someone with tickets that are pretty high up, it was almost 20 minutes before we were able to get below. Twenty minutes exposed to the elements (lightning bolts for everyone!) while the PA people kept chastising us for ignoring their commands. And when we finally did get below, we figured out why it was particularly bad: at the bottom of the stairs, as people entered into a far-too-crowded covered area, vendors were selling beers.
I shit you not: instead of having stadium staff direct people to move away from the exits to allow more people through, they were selling beers to people.
Soldier Field, despite theoretically being located in downtown Chicago, is about as accessible as a nineteenth-century whaling post. One side is bordered by a frigid lake and the other by a Scooby Doo style railroad yard. The only remaining option is to walk thirty minutes through a series of tunnels that act as amplifiers for every bucket-drummer in Cook County.
This is our president.
Dr. Charles Nichols:
Back in 2001 during the Chicago Bears "Magical-Pull-A-Horseshoe-From-My-Ass-Season" I was unlucky enough to go to my first Bears game, which just happened to be the playoff between the Eagles and Bears. I recall watching a man in the upper deck section wearing a Brett Favre jersey. He was holding a box of nachos, pop corn, assorted meats, etc. while trying to balance a carton of sodas in the other hand as he slowly walked up the stairs. Suddenly a mass of people descended upon him and all of the food went flying everywhere. The lasting image I have is of his children screaming as he was ravaged for wearing team colors that were not applicable to that particular game.
Years later I would be at a Bears/Packers regular season game only to listen to one young Bears fan threaten a Green Bay Packers fan in the bathroom. He promised that he would, and I quote, "Take my dick from this urinal and pee in you and your Mom's mouth because no one in this bathroom likes you. Yougotthatbuddy?"
Our fans are complete fucking assholes.
Fuck the Super Bowl shuffle, that shit was awful.
I was in a cab a couple weeks ago after the first preseason game and the driver told me that he was excited for the Bears, but not for Cutler. He was excited for Jimmy Clausen (!) and wanted Cutler to get hurt so Clausen could shine (reminder: Clausen hasn't thrown a pass in a regular season game since Obama's first term).
At Soldier Field, whenever there is a timeout, the PA guy goes "There's a timeout.." - that is the cue for the Bears fans to scream at one another "Where????" PA guy waits and answers, "... on the field." Bears fans then, in unison, say "Ohhhhh!" - one of the worst traditions (if it even deserves to be called that) in football. Not funny, not clever, not cool. Fuck that.
There were questions at safety, linebacker and special teams at the end of last season.
There were questions at safety, linebacker and special teams going into free agency.
There were questions at safety, linebacker and special teams going into the draft.
There were questions at safety, linebacker and special teams going into training camp.
There were questions at safety, linebacker and special teams going into preseason games.
Now that kickoff weekend is days away, the Bears still have questions at safety, linebacker and special teams. But somehow the Bears will be better.
Holy shit the fans. The extent of their vocabulary rivals that of Groot.
Our stadium is completely silent on game day. The renovation was built in the exact opposite model of Seattle's stadium.
Fuck Mel Tucker.
I have a friend who works with a McCaskey and got invited to his wedding. They had a cash bar at said wedding.
I married into a Chicago Bears family. I am an Indianapolis Colts fans. I have been chastised for years that my team does not play "REAL FOOTBALL" because we play in a dome. On the day of the Super Bowl in 2006, when it started to rain, I got texts from all of them saying "RAIN FAVORS THE BEARS, BEAR DOWN, BEARS WEATHER!" The Bears proceeded to get waxed 29-17.
Half of Bears fans think Cutler is overrated and overpaid, and we should have cut him instead of extending him because he'll never win a Super Bowl (as if anyone better wants to come to Chicago and slum it to 9-7 in a polar vortex and miss the playoffs every year). The other half thinks that half should shut up because he's our best QB since Sid Luckman. Somehow both of these things are true.
The vast majority of the fanbase despises Jay Cutler because he won't answer stupid questions from the stupid media and because he didn't finish the NFC Championship game while being unable to put weight on his plant leg. This is all in spite of him being statistically the greatest QB to ever don aBears jersey. The guy has stayed in town despite being sacked 11,000 times and having to put up with 3 different offensive coordinators in as many seasons, 2 of which were horrendously inept. But after the inexplicable success of Josh McCown (throwing to the 2 greatest wideouts the Bears have ever had), this city is full of people who think Marc Trestman can turn any QB into an NFL starter except for Jay Cutler. Every year Bears fans can't wait to watch the 2nd half of every meaningless pre-season game to grab the name of the journeyman scrub backup QB they think should get the start instead of Cutler by week 3. This year that guy is Jimmy Clausen. Jimmy Clausen went to Notre Dame which means 2 things. 1) He's fucking horrible. 2) The entire midwest is going to WORSHIP him.
The Bears' discovery of the forward pass, a mere 80-odd years after the rest of the NFL, has created as many questions as it has answers: will Chicago's Park District finally take proper care of Soldier Field's turf now that Da Bears have some skin in the passing game? Did the Bears pay Cutler an indeterminable, yet large amount of money to headline a system that can be mastered by Joshcade McCownpants, the quarterbacking equivalent of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's McPoyle family? And will the Bears be able to skate through another season with an offensive line consisting of five frozen turnstiles relocated from a post-blizzard Loopocalypse at the Washington & Wells station?
All eighty-seven Bears safeties have a combined Madden awareness score lower than the number of times they've watched receivers sprint past them, laughing all the way.
I have run into Bears' Chairman George McCaskey a couple times, most notably at my cousin's wedding (he was marrying a McCaskey) when he showed up late to the cocktail hour and spent the rest of it standing alone creepily in a corner sipping scotch with his sunglasses on (inside).
When his Bears teams were at their peak (which wasn't nearly long enough btw), the players were frequently getting endorsement opportunities. When Mike Ditka found out about this, he would encourage not to take the job as it could be a distraction to the team. On at least one occasion, one of the players was stunned to see that Ditka had actually taken the endorsement deal that he had encouraged the player to turn down.
Fuck Mike Ditka.
I am fairly confident Jay Cutler will contract whooping cough from the un-vaccinated child Jaxxxxxon and be sidelined for the entirety of his $100 million contract he just received.
Mike Ditka should just go away. Ditka is revered only by dipshit 20-somethings and mouthbreathers that live on the South Side and beat up umpires at Sox games, whereas anyone with half a brain just wishes he'd fucking formally apologize for every public word he's uttered since January of 1986 and then launch himself into Sun so scientists can study exactly how red a human face can get. He has turned into some caricature that exhibits the worst possible traits seen in assholes like Rush Limbaugh, Greg Schiano, and every creepy old man on Earth.
I was born and raised in Wisconsin to a Chicago father. I've been a Bears fan my entire life. Part of me is resentful that I wasn't raised a Packer fan. It would have been nice to root for Favre and Rodgers during my formative years. Instead Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Josh McCown and Jay Cutler have all started on my fantasy team. I paid $8 in a $200 auction for Earl Bennett. I look forward to overpaying for Cutler now that everyone realizes he is halfway decent in a competent offensive scheme.
The Kellen Clemmons-led Rams scored over forty points against the Bears last year. Someone named Benny Cunningham rushed for over 100 yards in that game.
The most exciting plays for years for this franchise were the special teams.
When I was in seventh grade, my birthday present from my parents was tickets for me and my best friend to the Bears preseason game against the Ravens. Erik Kramer was our quarterback. My memory is a bit hazy but I believe he threw 16 interceptions during the first half. Sitting behind us were three Ditka dick suckers in Payton jerseys drinking the stadium dry. Between mouthfuls of brat, they were alternately heckling the shit out of Kramer and sexually harassing any attractive women in the area, with no regard for the fact that children were sitting all around them (we weren't the only ones). Being 12, my friend and I thought they were hilarious. My mother was understandably horrified at the extremely disgusting things they were saying. Then at halftime, the entertainment was a junior high dance team. These guys start in on the dance team like they're a bunch of hooters waitresses. I distinctly remember one of them shouting "Come on baby! I've got caaaaaaaandy!"
Horrible. But being 12, we wanted to impress these douchebags. So we made a plan and then when Kramer got close to our side of the field, stood up and yelled "Bite me, Kramer!" My mom grabbed both of us and walked us to the car. Birthday over.
TLDR: Bears fans ruined my birthday and made me a bad person. Fuck us.
I lived in Chicago for 10 years and Bears' fans were so insufferable they made me stop watching football. This is an entire city of people who think you should run directly into the line 5 plays in a row and on the 6th run play-action to the Tight End.
Nobody here understood the Cover 2 scheme when Smith was coaching. Charles Tillman would be playing his normal zone coverage, the safety (HOLY FUCK LOVIE CAN NOT SCOUT SAFETIES) would inevitably be caught in no-man's land, and the WR would blaze up the field and catch a 50-yard TD. "Tillman got burned again," lamented half of the city.
Many fans believe that Mike Singletary is one the best LBs of all time. He is so vastly overrated ("THOSE EYES!") and he might actually be one of the worst players in the HOF. Seriously, he has 7 career INTs, 19 career sacks, and 0 career forced fumbles.
Chris Conte is still on the roster.
These are fans who TRULY believe it's a successful season if we go 2-14 and those only 2 wins are against the Packers.
A couple of my co-workers, also Bears fans, several years ago said the following when the New England Patriots came to town, "Tom Brady can't deal with the cold and wind this weekend." I pointed out that Foxboro, MA gets cold in winter as well, which they argued with me on. Sure enough, the Pats score 30+ on the Bears in 0 degree weather with 30mph winds with Brady throwing with ease, while we looked like the warm weather team. I hate my co-workers...
We have the dumbest fan base by far. We insist that Brian Urlacher is the son of god, and that letting Josh McCown go to the Bucs will screw us over. That's when they know how to pronounce his last name correctly. The number of times I hear Mcgown, McGowan, McNown is 10 times more than they actually say McCown. Mike Ditka is the pride and joy of this town, even though he can't put a sentence together to save his life. And if you say anything nice about the Packers, you'll be burned at the stake. But it's not just the fans. We have the dumbest press in the country. Reporters always ask about "Bear Weather" and how it affected the game. Also, they play on grass. It's 2014, put in some turf.
Perennial jerk face Jay Cutler and his weirdo barbie doll wife Kristin Cavallari are part of the well researched and totally legitimate anti vaccine movement. So 20 years from now when the world is reeling from a measles outbreak and Black Plague 2.0 is on the horizon feel free to blame these two idiots (and Jenny McCarthy, who is also from Chicago).
NOBODY recognizes the fact that McCown almost exclusively threw to Jeffrey and Cutler always looks for Marshall. The data is all there and I could tell you the percentages if I didn't just spill Al's Beef all over me just now.
Jay Cutler has as many playoff victories in a Bears uniform as Steve Walsh.
Go figure that the best Bears offense in 30 years would come on a team that gives up 30 points a game. Kate Moss & Melissa McCarthy could balance a seesaw better than this org balances its talent.
Jay Cutler is hands down the best quarterback the Bears have had in my lifetime and arguably the history of the franchise. Yet the meat heads in this city treat him like absolute GARBAGE. "Cuter sucks! He's not Chicago tough!" What the hell does "Chicago Tough" mean? Does getting sacked 167 times in 5 years not qualify as tough? Wanting to out grit teams with "Chicago Toughness" is dumb and doesn't work.
Not even Marty McFly wanted to get back to 1985 as much as the average Bears fan
George Stanley Halas was an employee of Western Electric in 1915 and had tickets for the Eastland - bound for the company picnic across the lake. He overslept and missed dying with more than 800 of his coworkers when the boat overturned in the river. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in history.
Can you imagine a world without Superfans? Oh, what could have been.
Bears fans are like the prime rib of meatheads.
Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District, which means that its run by the Chicago Park District. That means The Bears are better off playing in the sand on Lake Michigan because at least the tide will clean that up.
Bears fans actually wanted McCown to remain the starter after Cutler got healed, and constantly referred to him as any combination of the following: McNown, McGowan, McCGnown,
Our Tight End regularly engages in social media conversations about orange dinosaurs and black unicorns, and recently body slammed our first round draft pick at camp.
In Chicago we actually have people who sound like Bill Swerski's Superfans without affectation. The only difference is that they use the n-word more.
Mark Bears fans down as the biggest group of uneducated meatheads. They will lose to the Lions 51-49 and the next day on 670 The Score there will be callers lining up to talk about how Cutler is a bum and we need to start Jimmy Clausen and the fault is certainly not that our defense has more leaks than the Iraqi navy.
Trailing the Bears by 21 points in the fourth quarter last season, the Cowboys ran the ball on every single play. That's how bad our run defense is.
This is a fanbase that is going to give Jay Cutler roughly 14 minutes into the regular season before they start demanding that Jimmy Clausen starts. There are too many white Bears fans living FAR too close to South Bend, Indiana.
Here's why the Bears suck: for years and years, everybody in the Chicago sports media said that they just needed a wide receiver corps that could actually catch the ball. Well, last year we had WRs that could credibly be named among the league's best, and what happened? They still managed to shit out yet another late-season collapse, thanks to a suddenly putrid run defense. I'm sure they'll get the run D shored up just in time for Jay Cutler to get lung cancer, and then every sweaty pollack in the Chicagoland area will be saying "we just need a QB!" It's the ultimate whack-a-mole football team.
If you listen to any call in show in the Chicago market after a narrow loss, you'd think Jay Cutler was the antichrist.
Went home to Chicago for a wedding this summer and found myself in a classic Bears conversation. A stereotypical suburban-raised, city-living white dude who works at a boring pubic accounting firm started chatting me up about football (after explaining he first got into Kings of Leon when he was blown away by "Sex on Fire"):
"Fuck the Packers. I hate Rodgers. Peppers is gonna suck for them. Derp. Derp. Bear Weather. Derp. Cheesheads."
"Sure, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous of their organization," I reply. "I just want the Bears to consistently contend like that."
He looked at me like I just poisoned his newborn.
"I should punch you in the face for saying that shit."
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks: personal anecdotes, encounters with fans, etc. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit.