2015 DFO Chicago Bears Preview
A Conversation Between Cuntler and BrettFavresColonoscopy, moderated by Jeff Joniak
Jeff Joniak: Hey there, sports fans, welcome to the first ever Chicago Bears preview on Door Flies Open! I’m Jeff Joniak, voice of the Chicago Bears while you’re tailgating or at home and need to listen to the radio while watching Fox on mute. If you’re not already sick of me after 15 years of doing play-by-play for OUR Chicago Bears, then you haven’t been listening. Hub Arkush can’t be here today, because no one on this website knows who the fuck he is. Joining us today with their perspectives on the upcoming Bears Season are Cuntler and BrettFavresColonoscopy.
BrettFavresColonoscopy: Thanks, Jeff, it’s a pleasure to be a part of the DFO preview series.
Cuntler: Thanks, Jeff. Isn’t this a bit below your pay grade?
JJ: Outstanding. BFC, why don’t you get us started with a little background about yourself.
BFC: Sure thing. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs (which doesn’t mean I’m not a Chicagoan, no FUCK YOU), and going to Soldier Field was a big part of my childhood. Bears home games are where I first saw adults vomiting in public; where I first learned what “mooning” was/that it, too, actually happened in public; and where I first saw a man so deranged by fandom and beer that he was compelled to write “Fuck Dallas” on his chest to be displayed as he stood shirtless in subzero temperatures for four hours. I guess what I’m saying is, despite living in DC for over a decade, the Bears and their fans have been and continue to be a huge part of my life.
Cuntler: I grew up in the city, so suburbanites from HighElkBuffaloLawnGroveLakeHeights like BFC give me an entirely new view of the team, from a less murder-y perspective. I love Soldier Field, too, although the parking sucks since they rerouted Lake Shore Drive in 2002. It holds a special place in my heart, as it is the first place I witnessed people pissing on a passed out person (although that person was passed out in a stall, so it was to be expected). We are a classy bunch.
BFC: And it starts at birth, Jeff. Growing up in the greater Chicagoland area (an actual term despite 1-2.5 more words than necessary) meant that there were 9 year olds on school buses wearing shirts with hateful things about the Green Bay Packers on them. Among the tamer of these was an elegant yet chic piece of fashion that squeezed the following brilliant essay on a child’s frame: “I Have Two Favorite Teams: The BEARS and Whoever is Playing the Packers!”
Cuntler: My favorite was the one that said “Green Bay Sucks” on the front and this on the back:
Cuntler: These were made in kid and newborn sizes. This tradition continues into the modern era, of course.
BFC: This is the kind of bullshit that leads to a local tenet that finishing 2-14 was a successful season if the two wins came against the Packers. Un-fucking-real.
JJ: Now, now, that’s not true. We have the BEST fans in the league right here at Soldier Field! The temperatures may be low, but spirits are sky high! Ditka! Bear weather! HERP! DERP!
Cuntler: Jesus Christ. You’re the worst. You are missing the real issue with Chicago Bears fans. We all HATE the fucking Green Bay Packers and their smug fat idiot fans with their stupid cheeseheads and their $250.00 framed donation receipts to a fucking billion dollar corporation. Is this an inferiority complex? Yes. Are we jealous of their 30 to 40 straight years of good quarterback play they miraculously lucked into? Yes. Has been been watching the Packers lose in the playoffs every year since 2010 been the best part of our seasons recently? Fuck Yes. Eat shit and die, Packers and Packers fans. You, too, Jeff.
JJ: Well alright.
BFC: Look, Cuntler’s right, but no one should have to worry about the 2015 campaign being a success for the Bears by any metric. They won’t make the playoffs, they won’t have a winning season, and they sure as fuck won’t beat the Packers twice, or even once for that matter.
JJ: Wow, bold prediction without any analysis at all!
BFC: I really liked watching John Madden and Pat Summerall growing up. Especially the drinking part.
Cuntler: We’ll get to the analysis in a bit. On the overall record prediction, BFC is a bit more cynical on this front than I am. First, the Bears open against the Packers, who don’t usually start the season that hot. Also, if everyone’s favorite football player/insurance salesman gets hurt, this division is wide open. As far as the rest of the division goes, everyone is picking the Vikings as their sleeper team, which never works out for them. The Lions got worse on defense, and are pretty shitty offensively apart from Megatron (Golden Tate? Please.) So it’s possible (but not probable) that they sneak into the wildcard round and lose.
BFC: It’s also possible that Roger Goodell will wake up one morning, realize he’s a piece of shit, and go sledding down the Eisenhower on a plastic replica of THE SHIELD. But let’s look at some hometown press. Recently, the Chicago Tribune ran a piece called “Are the Bears the Worst Team in the NFL?” I won’t bother linking to it since virtually the entire Tribune website is behind a paywall. In a related matter, if the article had been called “Is the Chicago Tribune a shell of its former self, and does everyone who grew up in Chicago wish it could die a merciful death without continuing to fill its bedpan with rancid fecal matter?” then the answer would be an emphatic YES.
Cuntler: Agreed. Fuck Steve Rosenbloom with his mother’s dick.
BFC: But the answer to the first question is no, the Bears are not the worst team in the NFL. But they are among the worst at making sure their fans don’t get a chance to root for a winner. My view is that this year’s team is built for 8-8, and that’s with the benefit of a soft schedule and some really serious offensive talent remaining on the roster. Matt Forte remains a top five running back, Alshon Jeffery is a BEAST, the offensive line played above the expected level of ass last year and potentially upgraded at Center, Martellus Bennett has earned his self-given nickname, and we will get to Cuntler’s namesake shortly.
JJ: But wasn’t last season just an aberration for a SOLID NFC North contender?
BFC: Let’s talk about last season for a second. All of us that cheer for laundry with GSH on the sleeve had very high expectations for the aforementioned offensive firepower plus 1-3 Brandon Marshalls. Gone are the days of Monsters of the Midway Smashmouth football, the analysts said. The Bears are built to hang up 45 points per game and outscore the best teams in the NFC the analysts said. You can drink away the anger and sadness, the analysts said. So what happened? The Bears finished 5-11, averaged less than 20 points per game, kept trotting Chris Conte out to fail worse than youknowwho in art class, fired their GM and windowless white van-driving head coach***, and there wasn’t enough liquor and therapy in the world to make it better/credible that this team could compete in a talented NFC North any time soon.
***Quick aside about Marc Trestman, pictured here at a Cubs game. It didn’t come out until the end of the season that Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli left the Bears after then-GM Phil Emery asked him to help interview and cull the head coaching candidates. Marinelli told Emery that Trestman ranked third of the three, which also included Bruce Arians, who really, really wanted to coach in Chicago. Emery said thanks lol I don’t care what you think, hired Trestman anyway, leading Marinelli to resign and take a demotion with Dallas rather than serve under a coach he predicted would be a disaster. Reminder: Rod Marinelli is NOT a genius.***
BFC: And then there’s Jay Cutler. As is often noted when the NFL mistakenly puts the Bears on Monday Night Football too many times in a season (read: more than once), the Bears have a history of quarterbacks ranging from hilariously shitty to serviceable. I non-ironically believe that Sid Luckman remains the best quarterback in franchise history. Erik Kramer was a legitimate reason for excitement in the 1990s. Kordell Stewart was worth a shot, and compared to Jonathan Quinn, Henry Burris, Steve Stenstrom, Cade McNown, Craig Krenzel, Moses Moreno, and many many others, he wasn’t THAT bad. Sexy Rexy led the Bears to the Super Bowl, and Chicagoans still weren’t sure he was a better option than Kyle Orton (which he was).
Cuntler: Favre won his first MVP in 1995. Look at the Bears quarterbacks since then: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chicago_Bears_starting_quarterbacks. I can’t wait until Rodgers dies in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident in Michael Sam’s closet so Packers fans can live through a run like this.
JJ: Is there a number I can call to watch that?
BFC: So along comes Jay Cutler, destined to fulfill South Park’s prediction for him while batting down Bears fans’ dreams like stuffed fake mice. He has an amazing arm and a predilection for throwing interceptions like Brett Favre with all the charisma of Jeff George. He is, without a doubt, the best quarterback the Bears have had in a long time, and by far the best quarterback currently on the roster. But the goobers in the Bears’ front office realized that the whole city fucking hates him, so they refused to say he was the starting QB until after new coach John Fox and team had time to evaluate him and the rest of the roster. Cutler is not the best QB in the league, but what do you have to evaluate when you’re comparing him to this guy:
Cuntler: Yup. You nailed it. Cutler is maddeningly inconsistent, but he sucks less than any quarterback the Bears have had since the 1940s. Seriously, look at this shit:
Cuntler: The Bears had Sid Luckman, Johnny Lujack, and Bobby Lane as quarterbacks in 1948. It would be like having Manning, Rodgers, and Brady on the same roster today. Since then, the garbage BFC mentioned and more garbage. I think the Curse of Bobby Lane applies to the Bears as much as the Lions.
Cuntler: Anyway, back to last year. The defense was the 32nd ranked unit in the league. You can’t expect an apathetic cat with diabetes, a smoking problem, and unvaccinated, polio-stricken children to carry a team with no defense. As the team goes, Cutler goes. It should be the other way around, but the Bears really don’t have any other options.
JJ: Wow, that is a lot of insight for two guys living in their basements.
Cuntler gets up and hits Joniak in the head with a commemorative Walter Payton nitrous oxide tank.
Cuntler: We’re both successful adults with jobs and homes of our own, you fucktard. Man, who invited that asshole?
BFC: I think he came in because the door had flown open.
Cuntler: It’s closed now. What do you think of the defense?
BFC: My view is the defense is dramatically different but still shitty. I don’t have any faith that the aging defense from last year has been replaced with something better. I see a changed scheme and some shuffled pieces. The secondary is still old and terrible, and the defensive line is a big question mark. I have less than no faith in Shea McClellin and whatever is left of Jared Allen’s mullet. I just don’t see this D stopping Rodgers, Purple Jesus, or even Reggie Bush on a regular basis.
Cuntler: “Braintrust” is more than an overstatement for this front office, especially the Honda Accord-loving scion running the team, but some of the offseason changes the new regime made give me a bit more confidence than that. I think the defense has a chance to fall in the middle third of the NFL. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio did an amazing job in San Francisco with the young players he had there. The Bears signed some good linebackers that fit in his 3-4 (Mason Foster, Pernell McPhee), and have a lot of young fat guys on the line who may or may not blossom into good players. Further, you cannot understate how fucking terrible Mel Tucker was at both coaching and scheming. So, so terrible. Also, CHRIS CONTE IS DEAD.
/POURS OUT NOTHING
So maybe the defense will be shitty, but we don’t know how shitty, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
BFC: I don’t think it’s enough. I see a bottom third defense, a quarterback the fans and some of the players believe is completely gutless (and Cutler is starting anew with his fifth offensive coordinator in seven seasons in Chicago), a new head coach in John Fox, and one of the toughest divisions in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. 2-4 in the NFC North would be a stretch for this team. Oh, and we haven’t even talked about how the number one draft pick hasn’t been able to practice at all yet and is starting out camp on the PUP list.
BFC: Not like rookie wide receivers need practice time to adapt to the NFL.
BFC: Fortunately, the Bears play all three of the teams looking at a new home in LA, plus the Redskins, Bucs, and a few other teams that make for winnable games. Maybe it’s the booze talking, but I’ll reach and say this team could use that soft schedule to finish 8-8. I reserve the right to change this prediction to 6-10 if/when Jimmy Clausen takes the reins. And despite the NFL’s best efforts, I’ll keep watching every week.
Cuntler: So will I. Damn it. I agree that 8-8 is about right, but the season will probably look more like this:
Cuntler: But I am often quite wrong about these things (Click that link for the laughably wrong prediction. Stay for the horrible grammar!). And I’ll leave you with this preemptive strike on a topic that seems to come up more often than it should in Bears preview posts:
A Requiem for the ‘85 Bears
Bears fans are fond of the 1985 team in the same way that a guy may be fond of that girl he dated in college for a summer who was way out of his league, but somehow banged him for two months and gave him unrealistic expectations for the rest of his life. The ‘85 Bears were objectively great, very entertaining, and were the only truly memorable Chicago sports team in 1980s. The Bears had not won a championship in the modern era, meaning no Super Bowl titles before theirs. George Halas died in 1983, and the McCaskey boys were incompetent fucksticks then as they are now. The defense was amazing, Walter Payton was the best running back in the league, and the whole city rallied around this charismatic crew. They were also unique in that they only won one (possibly because Ditka was such a shitty coach), when teams like the Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, and 49ers all were winning multiple championships.
The Bears haven’t put anything close to that team on the field since, so the ’85 players are probably more glorified than they should be because they were so good for such a short period of time. The only time Bears fans I know talk about them is when someone in the media brings them up (like Drew Magary every year in the “Why Your Team Sucks” preview, or when Cris Collinsworth talks about how he played the ‘85 Bears in 1987). The media, in Chicago or otherwise, always casts them as the standard against which the Bears should measure themselves. It is annoying to Bears fans, it isn’t fair to the current team, and it is objectively fucking stupid. I never have sat around with my friends who are Bears fans and talked about the 1985 team unless one of the players is in the news for committing suicide or going on CTE-fueled walkabouts. We all follow the current teams in sisyphean frustration, and we will think back to that super sexy 1985 team sometimes, as is natural to do. But any Bears fan that brings them up in any conversation apart from one revolving around historically good NFL teams is an asshole.