Bears fans, I know you’re upset. This season has been a disaster. They haven’t won a game since Oct. 10, and their most recent loss is to the Baltimore Ravens sans Lamar Jackson. Chicago’s defense has been disappointing, and the offense… has been somewhere between atrocious and promising all season, but never great. There is plenty of blame pie to be served to the entire organization, and the biggest slice should probably go to coach Matt Nagy. However, it’s time to chill with the “Fire Nagy” chants.
There is plenty not to like about how he does his job. His offense does not play to his quarterbacks’ strengths, and he does not make many adjustments to give Justin Fields easy plays (and nor did he when Mitchell Trubisky was behind center). Every pass seems to be a straight drop back, and Nagy rarely takes advantage of his QB’s mobility. He can also come off as arrogant in his press conferences.
There is a report out there that Nagy was informed that he will be fired after the Bears’ Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Detroit Lions. A report that Nagy has denied. Regardless of whether it happens on Black Friday or Black Monday, this is a move that should be made. It’s not his fault the Bears defensive backfield has been subpar and the offensive line has served up Justin Fields to opposing defenses like turkey and dressing, but what he’s doing with this limited roster is nonetheless not working.
Still, these chants are beginning to go too far. It was heard during the game at Soldier Field on Sunday and traveled up Lake Shore Drive and down Madison Street to the United Center on Monday. The Bulls were getting blown out by the Indiana Pacers and the fans were irritable following that bad loss to the Ravens, so a “Fire Nagy” chant broke out during the fourth quarter. Again, at a basketball game. It’s excessive and random, but at least Nagy and his family weren’t there.
His son’s high school football game though? That was a different story.
Nagy’s son is on the Lake Forest High School football team, and they were playing a playoff game against Cary Grove. According to Cary Grove’s statement, it was their student section that began the “Fire Nagy,” chant. Looking at the video, it does sound like adolescent voices, so at least the adults of Lake Forest, Ill., are decent enough to only do that in professional stadiums.
There have been audible “Fire Nagy” chants at Bears games throughout the season. It was even heard at Raymond James Stadium during the Bears 38-3 blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maybe the problem is we shouldn’t be chanting for people’s jobs like a mob chanting for a thief’s head in medieval times.
Nagy said following the Bears loss to the Steelers that taunting sets a bad example for the youth. That’s nonsense, but if kids hear thousands of people yelling “Fire Nagy,” on television they just might yell it at him and his son at a high school football game. For those who didn’t attend high school it doesn’t take much to get an inappropriate chant started in a student section.
Kids or not, we should probably do better than being a chorus yelling for someone to be fired while they’re doing their job (and especially when the event has nothing to do with them). It reminded me of when Trubisky was booed at a Bulls game the night after he was drafted by the Bears. It just feels kind of nasty.
Maybe this news coming out about what happened at the game will cool some of this off if Nagy does indeed coach the team again in a Week 13 matchup that will likely go poorly for the Bears. They return to Soldier Field to play the top-seeded Arizona Cardinals who will have a healthy Kyler Murray.
Booing the home team is harsh, but it happens sometimes. It’s human instinct to voice displeasure with something that they wish was better. Calling for someone’s job in unison is a bridge too far, though. It has a mob mentality feel to it that we should always reject. That’s how athletes end up getting plunked with items from the stands.
Clever heckling can always make the in-game experience better, but we should always strive for decency.