Some people are fans of the Chicago Bears. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Chicago Bears. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Chicago Bears.
Your 2017 record: 5-11. Let’s see the highlights!
That’s it. That’s all the highlights. This was a rebuilding year for the Bears, if you consider what Ryan Pace does to be rebuilding things. I tend to visualize the Bears’ business model as a headless Corgi put in charge of a strip-mining operation, but tomato tomahto. They got owned by their old, shitty kicker. Their coach challenged his way into turning the ball over. Danny Trevathan nearly killed a guy. Marcus Cooper pulled a Leon Lett. The tight end got his leg sheared off and then the refs took away his touchdown just to make him feel even worse. Their best win from last season was a game in which the quarterback completed four passes.
That whole desultory enterprise wasn’t enough to rid you of Pace, but it WAS enough to compel the McCaskey family to come staggering out of the crypt to fire John Fox. Fox, who is absolutely destined to coach at least three different teams in the XFL2, won 14 measly games during his three years in Chicago. That’s exactly one win for every shot he does whenever he gets together with Sean Payton at the combine. He’s gone now, and look at the fucking SEX TANK the Bears found to replace his ruddy ass…
Your coach: HOLD ONTO YOUR DICKS BECAUSE HERE COMES THE NAGY EXPRESS!!!!
Look at that smoke. Is Matt Nagy a WIZARD? I must know all his secrets. I absolutely refuse to believe anyone named Matt Nagy will be a success. Imagine greeting that guy in an interview. “Hi, I’m Matt NAGGGGGGGY.” “Hi, I’m Matt NAY-GHEEEEE.” Get the fuck out of my office with that weird name. What are you, a John Grisham character? Anyway, Sober Dave Attell here comes to you from the Chiefs, and I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that he’ll end up being more from the Childress branch of the Andy Reid coaching tree than the Pederson branch. An unheralded offensive guru hired by the Bears out of the blue? Where have I seen that before?...
RIGHT. Your new offensive coordinator is former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, and I’m already excited for NFL writers to pretend that the Bears are running some newfangled space-age college offense just because they brought in the guy who took Chip Kelly’s program and stuffed it down the toilet.
Your quarterback: MITCHY TRUBES!!!! Let’s take at last year’s game logs and see how he OH GOD
You know that one game a few seasons back where the Bears punted on every possession? This is the game log version of that. I have long believed that you can shrug off a rookie QB struggling and committing turnovers so long as he throws for a lot of yards. That is not the vibe anyone got from Mitch Trubisky’s rookie season. I’ve seen Montessori school students more sheltered than this quarterback. They put him the Tebow offense so that he wouldn’t make any booboos and the result is that enlarged prostate of a stat sheet. At one point this season he’ll put up 300 yards and you will think that’s when the light goes on. He will throw for 75 yards the next week. Last year half the readers told me every old Ditka wannabe in Chicagoland would accidentally call him Mitch Trubinsky, and now that’s all I think of when I see him play.
Also, I’m not over the Bears shelling out $15 million for four games of Mike Glennon. The guy who made that happen is still there!
What’s new that sucks: In order for Trubisky look like anything other than a terrifying overreach of a draft pick, the Bears gave $18 million to Allen Robinson, who caught exactly one pass last season. And they gave even more guaranteed money to tight end Trey Burton. I can guarantee you that’s because they confused him with Zach Ertz. What the fuck is this team doing? I haven’t even gotten to the part where they’re still trying to make Kevin White happen.
“Next-play mentality. He doesn’t care if he drops a ball,” Nagy said. “You’ll see him turn around and sprint right on back. And he doesn’t talk about it. He just goes to the next play.”
So true. No one is better at coping with dropped balls than this man. You could cave in Kevin White’s chest with a fucking wiffle ball. Give it up, Bears.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears finally used a draft pick wisely and selected Roquan Smith out of Georgia. I think anyone who watched Georgia at all could tell you that Smith is a tremendous player. This young man possesses a rare blend of talent and leadership that could singlehandedly elevate an otherwise pedestrian defense and turn it into something special. At least, that’s what I WOULD have said if the Bears hadn’t fucked it all up and played hardball with Smith during his rookie contract negotiations. As of this writing, he remains the only unsigned first-round pick in the league. How the fuck is that possible?
Subsequent reporting indicates that the Bears and Smith’s representatives are indeed arguing over contract language that would allow the team to void guaranteed money if Smith were to be disciplined by the league under the new rule.
Look man, NFL players are underpaid already. That guaranteed money is all they can count on before being unceremoniously left on the curb and left to navigate an extended, brain-damaged twilight on their own. And now the Bears are angling for a way to take even THAT money, all because of a rule that no one is even fucking clear on at the moment. This man was already robbed, dammit! Someone robbed him and then a Tribune columnist somehow managed to blame HIM for it. Never, ever, ever count out Chicago racism. It’s the Iron Man of racisms. Dick Wolf should make Chicago Racism a centerpiece of NBC’s Friday Night lineup. I swear to god that Ditka Brain has permeated this entire city.
What has always sucked: Oh my God, these fucking fans. Chicago is what would happen if Pittsburgh suddenly got really, really pleased with itself. Forty percent of the North Side population is sentient spray-on tans and another 30 percent or so are sentient jars of switchel. Everyone there thinks they’re a goddamn comedian. “Bro, you have GAT to meet my buddy Matt… he’s so funny he should be famous!
That video is deadly accurate. Santacon was invented for this particular breed of idiot human. Chicago is the world capital of assholes wearing ironic mustaches. Everyone is drunk all the time and not in a good way. Every guy struts around wearing madras shorts, boat shoes, and a shirt that’s one size too small.
The economy of Chicago consists entirely of financial engineering scams and improv comedy. There’s a patch of multiple square miles that the city literally contracts to rent-a-cops who work for the University of Chicago and are allowed to arrest and shoot black people any time they like. Rahm Emanuel is the world’s worst Democrat, and that’s saying a lot. The Ricketts are Satan. Joe Swanberg keeps making the same movie/show over and over again and getting congratulated for it just because they are In Chicago. The most famous Bear is probably still Kristin Cavallari. Mike Wilbon is a Chicago fan and he sucks. The entire city is littered with billboards of Brian Urlacher selling spray-on hair.
Deep dish pizza is fucking terrible. Chicago deserves to BURN, I tell you.
What might not suck: The backfield is absolutely stacked with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, which means Helfrich will call roughly 98 swing passes a game. My friends, this IS John Shoop running this offense. No dragons shall be unleashed.
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: In some ways I wish Curtis Enis had stuck around the league for longer, because making jokes about his last name will never get old to me. [Krusty voice] There once was a man named ENIS.
You Giants fans crowing about Saquon Barkley would be wise to remember how breathtakingly awful Penn State running backs become the second they turn pro.
HEAR IT FROM BEARS FANS!
If the Cleveland Browns didn’t exist, we’d be them.
I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Bears anymore.
Matt Nagy’s visor makes him look like a penis.
Two years ago my uncle had Christmas dinner at his house and played a tape of the 85 Bears Super Bowl game.
I thought Matt Barkley looked like a franchise quarterback.
I need Mitch Trubisky to get very good very soon because I refuse to be a franchise who’s best QB was Jay Cutler. Watching him get murdered every year while throwing 1,000 picks took at least a decade off my life.
I once bought a signed Johnny Knox jersey for $150 dollars at a silent auction.
Send the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips to the fucking gulag.
Mitch Trubrisky has mole eyes.
Not even God could fix Kevin White.
Mike Glennon is an inbred cross between Napoleon Dynamite and a rosacea ridden giraffe. And I was excited about having him because he wasn’t Jay Cutler.
Venus De Milo has better hands than Jordan Howard.
The talk on Chicago radio and TV is that Mitch can possibly, EVENTUALLY be as good as Alex Smith.
The team plays in a stadium that has all the charm of a gas station toilet bowl and looks like one from the outside.
We’ve had three noteworthy players in the past 20 years: a QB whose crowning achievement is being the embodiment of a meme for boredom, a LB who looks like a caricature of what Proud Boys think they look like, and a punt returner.
Mike Ditka is the avatar body for everyone who’s ever posted something racist in a Pro Football Talk comment section.
My father is a Bears fan. He used to make me watch Bears games with him, which in turn made me a Bears fan. My father also cheated on my mother and disowned my brother and I. Fuck my dad and fuck the Bears.
Virginia McCaskey is as bad an owner as any in sports, but she gets a pass from the commentariat because she’s an elderly woman who is George Halas’ daughter. But that just means that all that separates her from James Dolan is her longer experience with running a team into the ground and her lack of a Y chromosome.
Our new coach looks like he drinks orange soda. Our quarterback’s only positive contributions to this world were his tweets from high school.
Fuck every McCaskey with every other McCaskey.
The only joy I can still wring out of this team is through irony, so I bought an officially licensed Cade McNown jersey last year to wear to the bar if I’m meeting friends. The price was down to $15 which still seemed like a bit much, but it’s remarkably good at signaling that I don’t care and don’t want to talk about the fucking Bears.
A few years ago I excitedly made an 8,000-mile round trip to see my first ever Bears home game. A brief summary of how that went:
- The Cards scored their first TD after 13 seconds.
- Smokin’ Jay pulled his hamstring trying (failing) to stop a pick six.
- Everyone who hadn’t drunkenly thrown up on themselves left at half time.
- Jimmy Clausen.
- 48 points conceded (most ever by the Bears at home).
I then doubled down by spending the evening buying overpriced steaks at Ditka’s restaurant because rich bigots deserve my money, obviously. Fuck me for being an idiot, but mostly fuck the Bears with William Perry’s oversized ring finger.
I miss Lovie fucking Smith. That enough for you Drew?
The former face of the franchise retired and glued his pubes to the top of his head.
Our defense will look good for the 1st half before blowing a lead in the 2nd. You can set your watch to it.
We let Robbie Gould walk and then we brought in kickers who have the accuracy of Imperial Stormtroopers.
Our “rivalry” with the Packers is basically just us saying “Packers suck!” while their fans laugh in our faces as Aaron Rodgers drops 42 points on us.
The best quarterback in the history of the franchise is, by a long shot, Jay Cutler.
The most hated player in the history of the franchise is, by a long shot, Jay Cutler.
The Mitchell Trubisky Bleacher Report Expose showed that he is toeing the line between “Uninteresting Oatmeal Man” and “Silicon Valley Sociopath”. Our white bread fans are going to love the shit out of him for way too long.
Because in a town that has a three time Stanley Cup winner, a basketball dynasty headed by the GOAT and a team snapping a 108 year curse...we still worship a team whose fame is built on a shitty cable TV public access rap video.
I evacuated Florida for Hurricane Irene at the very start of the NFL season and since there was nothing else to do, I found myself watching the end of what could have been a pretty spectacular Bears comeback against the defending NFC champion Falcons on RedZone. I knew nothing would come of it, but here I was, still watching, feeling like hey, maybe we could do it! Down by six, first and goal at the 5 with 16 seconds left in the game, what happens? Ol’ Neckboy throws three incompletions in a row and gets sacked to end of game.
I didn’t watch a single Bears game for the rest of the season.
In 2007 I was in the market for my first Bears jersey. I wanted to make my choice carefully, not reflexively like every other unoriginal Bears fan lemming who had picked “Urlacher” (despite not being able to pronounce it correctly). I went over the entire roster to find a player worthy of being plastered proudly between my shoulder blades every Sunday. I somehow ended up with this:
No NFL team acts as a better metaphor for the slow-motion erosion of its city than the Bears. Decades of mismanagement by a family of cretins who belch out bromides about a “blue-collar city” one minute and the next are opening up the coffers to deranged plutocrats? Coasting on fading past glory while collapsing into a fit of incompetence and terminal decline? A population and fanbase that worships the worst aspects of itself while cannibalizing its dwindling redeeming qualities? Institutionalized racism? This city and team are so perfect for each other it’s sickening to watch. I hope Soldier Field collapses into Elon Musk’s tunnel to O’Hare.
Despite their never-ending mediocracy, somehow Bears games are still ungodly expensive. So I’ve seen 3 games in my lifetime, and in those 3 games, I’ve seen one touchdown. ONE. With that money, I could have:
- Paid additional principle to my house
- Painted interior of said house
- Taken a sweet ass road trip far away from Bears fans
- Gone to a Blackhawks playoff game (maybe)
- Gone to A million Sox Games
- Bought a repo car and rallied the shit out of it for 2 hours
- Gone to see Hamilton, where I would have had the pleasure of saying “I saw Hamilton!”
- Purchased a nice piece of art.
- Donated it to some cause bigger and more profound than myself
- Any myriad things that necessitate just a little more money than you’re comfortable with.
But I didn’t. I bought Bears tickets. You know how the story ends. Fuck me.
My fellow fans have been saying the Bears are the next Rams and the only thing they have in common with the Rams is putting their old, dead-ass head coaches out to pasture and a hatred for St. Louis.
I just moved to the Chicago suburbs, as a lifelong Bears fan, I thought it would be great to be in the Chicago area. It isn’t.
Fuck the Vikings.
Mitchy Fucking Triscuits.
Whenever the hint of a promise emerges from the void, it will inevitably be snuffed out by an ACL tear. Nagy gives me hope, which only means he’ll be dead from cholera by Week 6.
Kevin White has looked great at camp and will surely explode into a million pieces on the coinflip in game one this year.
My girlfriend, her dad, and her brother are all Seahawks fans (don’t even ask). We’re going to the Bears home opener together, the three of them in Seahawks gear and me in my Cutler jersey. I’m the only one who is going to catch any shit from the people around us too. He’s the best damn QB we’ve ever had! I don’t have Stockholm Syndrome, you do!
Last year my wife and I became parents with the arrival of our twin daughters. Between assembling various pieces of baby furniture, NICU stays, and trying to sleep at every opportunity I could, I didn’t see a down of football the entire season until I managed to sneak away to my friend’s Super Bowl party.
I have to admit, it was BLISSFUL. I couldn’t tell you who is currently the head coach. I have no idea how to spell Minch Trubenski. I see a clinically obese Wisconsin native in a too-tight Aaron Rodgers jersey on Michigan Avenue and instead of a raging hatred welling up inside me... I feel *nothing*.
My girls are great and all, but so far the greatest thing about parenting is sweet, sweet freedom from this trainwreck of a franchise.
Imagine coming off a bye at home against your biggest rival. Imagine that rival is playing without their all-world quarterback who eats your team’s lunch twice a year, every year. Imagine your head coach challenging a play that got you to first and goal at the one. Imagine that challenge resulting in a turnover and a touchback. Imagine losing that game by seven points.
Also, fuck Mike Ditka with his lit cigar.
I love how this fanbase gets a whiff of optimism when there’s a new coach. It’s like putting a new bumper on a Pinto. Yeah, it might NOT catch on fire but it’s still a Pinto.
Oh my fucking God.
Only two more years until the inevitable 35th anniversary celebration of the 1985 Bears. People still talk about how good of a QB Jim McMahon was. He literally won 3 playoff games as a starter, all in the ‘85 season. They will never go away.
All the local beat reports can talk about is how our former quarterback is on his wife’s reality show. DON’T CARE.
30 minutes before the 2017 NFL Draft with Ryan Pace fresh out of a Men’s Wearhouse commercial and into the GM role I texted my Dad who is a lifelong insufferable Bears fan “is Pace gonna blow it with the 3rd pick?” To which he replied, “Nope, Pace is a smart guy he knows what he’s doing.”
Within roughly 7 seconds my phone chimes with a text from my pops: “Pace is a fucking idiot”.
Last weekend, my grandpa and I got in a Bears shouting agreement at a Dennys in Gurnee about how it’s our year and Trubisky was going to lead us to victory and blah blah blah. I realized on the flight home to Minneapolis that both of us mispronounced his name throughout the entire breakfast. I sat in silence for the rest of the flight home which is the longest time a Bears fan has ever been quiet.
Anyone of my friends or family will tell you that I am guilty of believing and/or speaking out loud all of the familiar pre-season horseshit Bears fans spew out annually. Gems such as:
- Losing the Super Bowl only made them hungrier
- The Packers are LOST without Favre, we’ll be owning this division for years to come
- WE GOT CUTLER!!!
- Mike Martz is an offensive genius and Greg Olsen can’t block, we don’t need him.
- In Phil Emery I Trust
- Marc Trestman is going to be tough for Defenses to figure out.
- John Fox has literally taken every team he has coached to the Super Bowl by his third year. We’re in good hands now guys.
I do it to myself. And even though I know better, I still find a way, every time, to convince myself wholeheartedly that this will be the year they shock the football world. I know they suck. I know it. But fuck it, 11 wins. That’s my prediction. Fuck the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips with a pitchfork.
Here are some of my excuses for rooting for the Bears this year, in no particular order:
1. They are taking off Mitchell Truborski’s leash!!
2. We’ve got a offensive GURU head coach! Mitchell Turpedski will THRIVE!
3. We have one of the best defensive coordinators in the league!
4. Kevin White is 100% healthy and is going to have a breakout year!
When I was in middle school, I played flag football for one year. And because I couldn’t run fast and because I taller than most guys on the team, I was made the quarterback. I don’t have many memories from my time as the QB, except for when I threw a game-ending interception.
I was pissed and decided to throw a little fit on the way to the car afterwards, and my mom tried to get me to calm down by saying “Erik Kramer doesn’t act like this after he throws an interception.” I immediately started crying and said to her “you think I played as bad as Erik Kramer?” She immediately was like “oh, no honey, you played well” and tried to walk it back, but it was too late. Never try to comfort a kid by comparing them to a Bears quarterback
For my entire life, the Chicago Bears have been the perpetual dumb kid that was left behind while all the other franchises graduated and adapted to whatever was happening in the NFL at the time. It’s probably been like that for their entire existence. I swear they were somehow probably playing the wrong style of football in the 1920’s.
I grew up a die-hard Bears fan in the town where they are headquartered/practice. In the summer of 1989, my best friend, my brother and I were farting around at the high school football field. All of a sudden Mike Singletary and his wife show up and he starts running laps on the track. We rode our bikes home and each grabbed footballs and a Sharpie.
When we returned to the track, Singletary was still jogging, so we sat in the bleachers and waited patiently for him to finish. When he was done, he walked over to a drinking fountain and when he was finished drinking we asked for his autograph. He walked away without even looking at us and his wife said: “please leave us alone.” He completely blew off two 10 year olds and a 12 year old.
Mike Singletary is an asshole.
This is the first time in like three years that I’m actually considering drafting a Chicago Bear for my fantasy team.
The Bears do this to us every couple of years or so. They hire a Jurassic defensive coach who has no idea about modern football and then they over-correct with an offensive “genius” who looks like he should be registered as a sex offender in multiple states. There’s a better chance that I start lactating than the Bears field any kind of competent quarterback.
But here I am, BUYING INTO ALL OF IT, because I have some sort of second hand CTE rooting for this god-forsaken team for 40 years. Fuck me.
My team has not had an elite quarterback since the team wore leather helmets. Jesus Christ lived his entire life and got crucified in the amount of time since my team won its last title.
The Bears have to have the dumbest fan base on the planet. To everyone else, the SNL Superfans sketch was a caricature. To Bears fans, it was a documentary series. Our fans get loud when the team is on offense, causing false start penalties when the linemen can’t hear the snap count. They pine for Ditka and say that no one can match the fire and passion that he had. They go on and on about “Bear Weather” as if the Bears are the only team that plays in the cold. In short, we are all mouth breathing-morons, and I say this as a Bears fan living in Milwaukee surrounded by idiot Packers fans.
Throwing off the yoke of being a Chicago Bears fan has literally made me a happier and better person in all aspects of my life. I quit drinking almost every day, I got my dream job, and I even started dating after being in an abusive relationship that pretty much mirrored the Bears and their fanbase. Basically the best thing to ever happen to me in my adult life was telling the Bears to fuck off. I guess I have them to thank for sucking so much ass and being such a detestable franchise that I realized they were literally a vortex of unhappiness that was swallowing me whole. I still hope this miserable franchise loses every goddamn game for the rest of their existence.
Ditka is a tool. Fuck him with the jagged end of a broken, rusty goal post.
Around this time of year I get to read my absolute favorite sports articles in the Chicago newspapers. “Player X showed up to camp looking so fit and motivated. He’s definitely going to have a breakout year after being injured for 30 of the last 36 games.” “New head coach really has great chemistry with the other new coaches, and actually did you know he is a genius?” “Unknown player Y had 3 interceptions in practice, could challenge to be a starting corner?”
No, player X will be long-term injured in week 2. New head coach will have alienated all the players and the fans by week 6. And player Y will get cut before the season because, as it turns out, he sucks.
Soldier Field is a stainless steel shitbox. I’m gonna go look for a Grossman jersey on ebay.
Feeling inspired, instead of driving to the shitty sports bar to watch the Bears vs Packers game, I pedaled my bike. They were off a bye, at home, and Aaron Rodgers was out. This is what “hope” looks like in Chicago. I put my Walter Payton jersey on and texted my dad about how the defense was looking not-terrible. I was the perfect Bears rube and they submitted a performance worthy of even their own annals of incompetence. Not only did they play auto-immune-disease-football, but John Fox was able to combine a challenge flag, an end zone fumble, and his senile “I don’t know where I am” old-dad-face into a vintage game destroying turnover. Furthermore, I consumed $6 cheese crab dip and, on my ride home my handle bar detached inside a busy intersection as the streets began to flood from pouring rain. Shame on me. This is what I get for believing in the Bears and I deserve it.
If I hear one more thing about 1985, I’m going to set a building on fire.
What I hate most about being a Bears fan? When someone asks me my favorite team and after a long sigh, I say “the Bears”, they feel the need to yell in my face,”DAAAA BEARS!” Every fucking time. All those fuckwit Superfans can get fucked with rusty rebar. Throw Ditka in there too.
In 2014 I thought it would be fun to throw a little party for the Bears versus Packers Sunday night game. So I invited a few co-workers over to my apartment to watch the game. It was the first American football game my co-worker friends from Mexico City ever saw, and I was excited to share this experience with them.
By the 12-minute mark in second quarter, the Bears were down 28-0. I don’t remember anything past halftime due to some intense anger drinking. The next time I saw my Mexican friends, I apologized that the party wasn’t as fun as I had hope, and I invited them to watch next week’s game at a bar nearby. They very politely declined and said they didn’t have much interest in watching another game.
The Bears ruined American football.
Christmas in my family usually involves the two matriarchs (my mother and her sister) giving a “special” gift to their children. The Christmas of 2016 saw me sitting and talking with family, all the gifts opened, when my mother presented my brother and I with our special gift. I assumed it was going to be something sappy and was surprised when I opened the box and pulled out a scarf knit in segments of white, orange and blue. My brother pulled out a white, blue and red scarf for his team (of course it was the Patriots) and that seemed to be it.
My mother then calmly explained “there’s more” and handed me a sheet of paper. It was a detailed set of instructions for how the scarf had been created: games were divided by a white line, navy blue for bears and orange for opponents. A row was knitted for each point scored, so that a TD was six rows, FG three rows, etc. In a mixture of disappoint and shame it settled on me how much time my mother had spent creating this scarf and that it was going to be a labor of love to a team sitting on a 3-12 record as of that night. This miserable season that was gloriously about to end was now saved in the form of a goddamn 12-foot scarf. My mother explained that she wasn’t done yet (more for my brother’s sake, as the playoffs were coming up) and that we could have the scarves when she was finished. Over the brays of laughter from my brother (god I hated the fucking Patriots at the end of that season) and my cousins (also Bears fans but glad to not be getting their own wool albatross) I asked her why she would do this to me and she claimed to not know that the Bears wouldn’t be any good when she started knitting in September.
I LIKE the team and even I knew they were going to be a dumpster fire. My thoughts immediately switched to revenge and I recalled how my mother and many of her friends had gathered the night before the election to drink wine and toast the coming of the future first female President. To be able to distill that disappointment into something she can wear at Christmas is now my life’s goal.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: San Francisco 49ers.