The Packers rolled into Chicago and clinched the NFC North, in a game that nearly wasn't as close as the score makes it seem. It was Green Bay's sixth straight win over the Bears, their ninth in the last 11, and hell—Bears fans have long memories—their 31st in the last 45 dating back two decades. Meanwhile Chicago has gone 1-5 since starting the season 7-1, and might not make the playoffs even if they win out. There were lots of factors in the Soldier Field crowd's frustration, and it boiled over in the form of loud, sustained boos throughout the game.
One Bear who couldn't tune out the boos by playing, because he's out with a hamstring injury, is Brian Urlacher. He heard them, and he's not happy. Urlacher offered some sarcasm in his weekly spot on FOX-32 Chicago last night:
"Our crowd was pretty good today for the most part. They were loud for a minute there, the boos were really loud, which is always nice," Urlacher said. "The only team in our division that gets booed at home is us. It's unbelievable to me."
(For his part, Jay Cutler sounds like he's accepted the booing as the cost of doing business in Chicago. "I'm jaded by it. I don't understand why we're going to get frustrated with it at this point.")
This isn't just unfocused jeering, though. This is Bears fans taking advantage of their only opportunity to send the message to Ted Phillips that they're more than ready for the end of the Lovie Smith era. Lovie's been head coach for nine(!) years, and while the Bears have been decent-to-good nearly every season, they're still bumping their head on the same damn ceiling. Under Smith, Chicago has consistently started hot—but gone just 15-19 in the last four games of each season. There's apparently been no attempt on Chicago's part to talk contract extension, so this might finally be it. The boos aren't just a plea to Smith's boss—they're a farewell to Smith himself.
To this, Urlacher again takes offense.
"Two of the people I don't care about: fans or media," Urlacher said. "They can say what they want to about our head coach, about our players. It bothers me. They don't know what they're talking about. Lovie is the head coach of this football team and hopefully will be for a long time."
"Hopefully will be for a long time." Maybe it's a good thing for Urlacher that Chicago doesn't have another home game this year.