To Bear Down or Not To Bear Down

That is the question. At the risk of stating the obvious, football is awesome. The hitting, the strategy, the fresh grass underfoot as your team of choice takes the field in that late summer warmth–they all fill you with excitement, anticipation, and joy.

Yet there is a key ingredient required to transform enthusiasm over the return of football into genuine delight at your team’s prospects for the year. That ingredient is hope. Without it, the a given NFL season is an existential morass brightened by occasional distractions of fleeting positivity. With it, as denizens of other cities well know, you may be prone to deeply painful suffering as it is wrought from your grasp. But it also gives meaning to the day in and day out giving of oneself to a fandom.

The 2016 edition of the Chicago Bears do not offer much in the way of hope. This is not to overdramatize (too late) the “plight” of a Chicago Bears fan. Other teams’ fans have it far worse than we do. But when you saw last year’s product and considered the ceiling, it fell incompetently short of it, and not enough changed for you to hope for much more than 8-8, there’s not a lot of hope to get the blood flowing about spending time, money, and energy watching, supporting, and lamenting the product on the field put forth by those sporting GSH on their sleeves.

Yet despite my painfully obvious lack of excitement over the team’s prospects this coming season, I still plan to “Bear Down,” including flying back for at least one game to soak up Soldier Field in person. Now, I recognize that all this Bear Down talk makes it sound like I’m building up to an elaborate gay joke. I’m not. Not even building up to a fight song joke. Just indicating that malaise aside, I’m signing up to pull for this team despite my better angels strongly pulling me away from rooting for a mediocre team in a morally questionable league run by an absolute assclown.

 

Roger Goodell continues to be a douche
Jerry Richardson wishes he could make all of his players wear one of two jerseys like this. What, you don’t like binary jokes?

 

I also know that my fellow Chicago fans have a reputation, and it’s a shitty one that I’m trying to avoid playing into. As with the Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks, we overglorify our good teams, overvillify/overlament our shitty teams, and demonize some players too quickly while deifying others that do not deserve that level of popsicle sucking. The same fans in the picture above will demonize Cutler all week at the water cooler while they pretend to know what an option read is, and then if he connects with Alshon on a fade will start screaming “Super BEARS, Super BOWL!” until you want to defenestrate them from the Signature Room. Magary covered all types of Bears fans–from the depressingly sad to the obnoxiously douchey–in the 2016 edition of WYTS, but I swear, a lot of us are totally normal people who are level-headed about our devotion for a team that won eight NFL championships before the Super Bowl era but only one since then. To be clear, I’m not a Cutler hater. We covered my view on Bears quarterbacks in depth last year, and obviously Jay Cutler gets far more shit than he deserves given what he has to work with. He’s a top tier talent with a revolving door of coaches and systems (now on his SIXTH offensive coordinator in eight seasons in Chicago) and a fanbase that hates him based on ridiculous expectations and irrational anger toward his apathy.

 

 

All that being said, this team sucks. John Fox is entering his second year of what looks like a five year rebuilding effort already a few years behind schedule, and I don’t have a lot of good news/optimism for the 2016 season.

Not gonna lie, I strongly considered ditching this entire endeavor in favor of merely posting a video of Norm MacDonald making Hitler jokes. After all, what is there to be said about the 2016 Bears that Cuntler and I didn’t cover in last year’s preview of the 2015 Bears?  Last year’s prediction: 8-8, 6-10 if the Pickleman got under center. Result: 6-10, with an 0-3 stint from the picklefucker. Not a lot of reason to see a majorly different outcome this year.

 

Look, Goatse plus a horrifying mammal insertion. At least Clausen is gone.

 

What’s changed? The offensive coordinator/alleged Cutler-whisperer fled for a head coaching job where the running game is boosted by a possibly washed up vegan and the quarterback is possibly even less liked by his teammates than Jay Cutler is by the media.  Meanwhile, the Bears’ starting running back joined Brandon Marshall(s), Kellen Davis, Jarvis Jenkins, Derrick Rose, and Joakim Noah in forming Chicago East.  Forte’s departure also gives headline writers another terrible pun to add to the repertoire. The best nicknamed tight end left and trashed Cutler (and the commish) in the press before the Bears came to practice with his new team. 40% of the starting offensive line is gone as Chicagoans started talking about addition by subtraction. It doesn’t help that the second year center they were hoping could make a leap is already on IR, Kyle Fuller is out 4-5 weeks, and a bunch of other Bears are struggling with nagging injuries before the season even starts. Oh, and the Vikings look positioned to take the division [Editor’s note: the preceding analysis was written before Teddy Bridgewater‘s body spontaneously combusted], while the self-loathing Chicagoan in me knows Rodgers will at least keep the Packers in contention (and likely continue the “Cutler can’t beat Green Bay” narrative). With the Megatron-free Lions likely occupying the cellar, seems like 2nd or 3rd in the division and watching the playoffs from home is a strong likelihood.

 

Pictured: The end of the Vikings 2016 season h/t to blackroseMD1
Pictured: The end of the Vikings 2016 season
h/t to blackroseMD1

 

The good news? The Bears are matched up against the AFC South this year.

And fine, there are some signs of life. Last year’s first round draft pick, Kevin White, is finally healthy after missing the entire 2015 season. So if he and Alshon Jeffery can stay healthy and out of trouble, that’s a pretty strong complement of receivers for Jay Cutler to not have enough time to overthrow. Jeremy Langford showed some decent skill last season, so maybe the running game isn’t as dire as the experts believe. Danny Trevathan and his Super Bowl ring join Vic Fangio‘s better-sooner-than-expected 3-4 defense. And there’s a new backup QB fans will start clamoring for after the Bears lose to the Colts week five (though he played like enough dogshit in the preseason game against the Pats that apparently Bears reddit believes anyone is a better option at backup QB).

“What about the rookies?” you ask. Or am I just hearing voices in my head again? :Ahem: Well, first round pick Leonard Floyd is either the second coming of Aldon Smith (in between the lines, not the one from CrimeBeat!) or Shea McClellin. Cody Whitehair probably is going to have to contribute right away given injuries and turnover on the offensive line. The next four picks were all defensive needs, so I liked them at the time and hope they pay off over the course of the season. And I don’t want to talk about the likelihood of starting a skill player from Indiana that isn’t Antwaan Randle El or Larry Bird.  After years of Phil Emery’s wildly inconsistent drafts, a year where the Bears met needs and weren’t the ones trading up to get a kicker is enough to be considered a victory. Yes, that’s still depressing. On the bright side, at least that same team that drafted a kicker in the second round is paying for Chris Conte again so he’s not fucking things up for Chicago. HAHAHAHAHA.

 


Watching this still gives me a sad

I have a fantasy league where I may not be able to make the draft due to travel, and the commissioner offered/threatened to draft me an all Bears team if I couldn’t make it. That has frightened me into rearranging my travel schedule. Net-net, the offense is likely downgraded from last season, when they already underperformed their talent level, and the o-line is potentially horrendous. The defense is improving but remains porous (especially) in the secondary. Special teams remain a question mark. Looking at the schedule, best case scenario is that Brock’s Lobster is a piece of shit in his debut, they feast on the Lions, upset the Jags and go into the bye week with a 3-5 record needing to steal a split with one of their betters and pretty much run the table outside of the division (Bucs, Titans, Niners, [REDACTEDS] are all winnable, not so sure about the G-Men) to have a shot to sneak into the postseason. The ceiling is likely three wins in the division with a strong possibility of handing the Lions a win in tandem with sweeps by the Vikes [Revised to a split with the Vikings if Shaun Hill is under center there] and Pack and that number drops to one.  Still pulling for them, but it’s probably a 7-9 team [8-8 if the Vikes are without Teddy], and to the point above about “hope,” any outside chance to make a playoff push rests squarely on these shoulders:

Fuck. Should have just gone with the Norm MacDonald Hitler jokes thing.  Take it away, Norm:

 

 

WHO’S LIVING IN THE PAST NOW?!

Go Bears!


 

BrettFavresColonoscopy

BrettFavresColonoscopy

BFC is a Chicago native transplanted to our nation’s capital and transplanted again to the mountain West. He enjoys football, whisky, and the oxford comma.
BrettFavresColonoscopy
BrettFavresColonoscopy
BrettFavresColonoscopy
BFC is a Chicago native transplanted to our nation's capital and transplanted again to the mountain West. He enjoys football, whisky, and the oxford comma.

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Chicago Bears 1967 Season Preview – [DOOR FLIES OPEN]blaxabbathOld School ZeroMoose -The End Is Well NighInanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli Recent comment authors
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[…] for winning the first ever “Super Bowl.” I know it’s popular to predict that the Bears will finish even steven at .500, but I think they have a real shot at going […]

Old School Zero

When The Bearistocrats! bear down, usually that means the wife pops a baby out and the dad immediately takes a dump on it before cutting the umbilical cord.

Otherwise known as the Chicago Two Minute Drill.

blackroseMD1

As someone who’s first team is the Chargers and second team is the Bears, I honestly don’t even know why I get excited for football season.

Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli

I realized today that my interest in football is now more driven by hating teams–especially my own–than by actual enjoyment of the sport.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

comment image

I didn’t realize it could get worse…

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

This one incorporates both a Chargers and Bears on acid theme.

http://www.speakeasycustomtattoo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/kiowabear.jpg

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Old School Zero

I thought I was the only one with this particular miserable team pairing. MY TEARS ARE YOUR TEARS TOO!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
SonOfSpam
Enrico Pallazzo

You can’t spell Cutler without the last four letters of Hitler. Ppl forget that.

Don T

Yeah, I think Cutler is quite good too. Is he a coach-killer though?
Very nice preview. I sent it to a couple of Bears fan friends too.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

I think all the NFL coaches are old enough to have gotten the smallpox vaccine, but …

SOON

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Someone in the DC area needs to represent Ape in his fight against his asshole HOA.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

HOA LAWYER: Did your dog poop on the common area lawn?

APE: [losing his composure] YOU’RE DOGGAMN RIGHT HE DID!

http://lh3.ggpht.com/-xB_tkBXOw00/UR1cnnmfB2I/AAAAAAAAa3g/VKgKt-edapc/Jack-Nicolson-you-cant-handle-the-tr.jpg

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

You want dog shit on your lawn! You NEED dog shit on your lawn!

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

APE: Son, we live in a neighborhood that has lawns. And those lawns have to be fertilized by men with dogs. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Ufford?

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

We’re going about this all wrong. What Ape should do is a variation of the Chewbaca defense: The Chopped Shirt Defense.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/sb1gjyyqkdg596stdbgf.gif

Brocky

A good write up. Pretty accurate on the expectations for this year.

Now I will take this chance to show my love for the bears.

I love how utterly hateable this team is

I love that no matter how badly this team plays, packers fans (among others) will try to convince me that the bears are worse than the browns.

I love that no matter how well this team plays, they will still try to convince me that the bears are worse than the browns.

I love that I hear more about the 85 bears from opposing teams than I do bears fans. The sheer existence of that team, one of the most dominant and entertaining squads of all time, is associated with chicago, just lights a fire under overweight assholes.

I love that Urlacher gets called overrated. I love that Chris Collinsworth trips over himself tryi.g to discredit Cutler on a touchdown pass.

I love that every bears critic I know lives in the greater chicago area. I love all the bandwagon packers and colts fans, two of the most self-righteous, hypocritical fanbases I know, are all blackhawks fans.

I love how the every single player on the bears goes from being overrated on monday, and inexplicably becomes a hall of famer because the bears traded him on Tuesday. When you have people trying to tell you how good Kyle Orton is, you know you’re doing something right.

I love that the league owes it’s existence to the bears. That T-formation you see your kid’s pop warner team using? You’re welcome for that. I love the fact that sites like this exist because of George Halas. Shit, we even took our name from the exaggerated antics of the offspring of a well know bears personality.

I love that the Lions can go 0-16, and their fans still try to shit talk me.
I love the Vikings can have never won a legitimate championship, and still call us chokers. And I love how according to green bay, 1 title in the last 40 years makes us the worst team ever, while 2 titles in the last 40 years makes them the best team ever.

I have no delusions of grandeur for the bears, we’re not a consistently competitive team. But we’re sure as hell hated like one. And as a wise man once said:

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

So, in closing,

BEAR DOWN MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

Brocky

And of course I forgot to add a closing bold bracket after “still try to convince me”

Do we have edits or not? I can never tell with these things

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Got your back, homey.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“Got your back, Romey.”

– Cliff Avril

Cuntler

Yikes. 3 Super Bowls for the NFC North in my lifetime? Barf. That’s only better than the NFC South and AFC South, which are both crappy, expansion team-filled, garbage divisions.

blaxabbath

Good to see Brocky has embraced his true calling.

http://www.ownapieceofsouthpark.com/img/large_uploads/ProfChaosHelmet.jpg

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Knowing now that Urlacher would become who he is makes me angry at myself for not playing football in high school, where I could’ve played against him (I played O line before).

blaxabbath

He was the beta version of JJ Watt.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Yeah, and I’d love to have a story to tell about putting him on his ass.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

OR, you know, I could just lie.

As I was unsurprised to learn last night, that seems to work out for everyone else I know. Fuckers.

Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli

Or proto-Watt, if you will.

Don T

Being hated is a mark of relevance, although youse NFC North fans seem especially intense. Every division fame is like Steelers-Ravens for the fans, which is pretty cool.
That was a very measured Fuck All Y’all. Great stuff.

Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli

*reads Brocky’s post*
*gets excited*
*gets really excited*
*beats chest and lets out a roar*
*screams “WE’RE GODDAMNED WINNERS WHO CAN RUN THROUGH FUCKING WALLS!”*
*runs straight at nearest wall**
*slams against wall painfully and collapses to the floor in defeat*

Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli

*reads Brocky’s post*
*gets excited*
*feels really good*
*beats on chest and roars “WE’RE GODDAMNED WINNERS AND NOT EVEN A WALL CAN STOP US*
*runs straight at nearest wall*
*slams painfully into wall*
*collapses to floor in motionless state of defeat*

Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli

Goddamn it. It told me I double posted and I couldn’t find the post so I just ran myself into a wall twice for NOTHING.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“At least your tried the wall twice.”

-Donny Trump

ballsofsteelandfury

Well done! Now I’m embarrassed that my part of the Steelers preview is so half-assed. I’m not going to change it, but still.

blaxabbath

Oh whatever will we do? The poor Steelers NEVER get any love from the media.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Nicely done. I give you a standing ovation.
/stands up
//pants fall down
//keeps applauding anyway

Sharkbait

This is DFO. The fuck are you doing wearing pants?

theeWeeBabySeamus

Ummmmm….
I don’t like advertising how small my penis is…..?
Does that sound reasonable?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

We don’t judge here; you are a grower, not a shower….. if someone tells you you have a giant clit; simply state that the water is VERY cold and sever a bit for affect.

Enrico Pallazzo

I mean, name another QB whose name is that similar to Hitler than Cutler? YOU CAN’T! Something to think about.

Cuntler

Nice work. A few questions. Why the fuck did they get rid of Slauson? Did you know the Bears have lost six straight to both Washington AND Detroit? Also, did you know Chris Johnson called Dowell Loggains “predictable” and said Mary Mornhinweg is a better offensive coordinator? Marty Mornhinweg?!?

I haven’t felt this bad about a Bears team since the Kordell Stewart/Chris Chandler year. I’m going to go with 5 – 11. When does hockey start?

Fuck the following people: Ryan Pace (YOU, SIR, ARE NO THEO EPSTEIN), John Fox (Let’s face it, he is a retread who sucks), Eddie Royal, Pernell McPhee, Chris Conte, Mark Trestman, Mel Tucker, and George McCaskey.

My message to the Bears:

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theeWeeBabySeamus

Reminds me of my fav quote from Book of Eli…

House getting shot to hell by Gary Oldman and his crew:

Mila: “What’d that voice of yours tell you about this?”
Denzel: “We’ll both make it out.”
Crazy old cannibal bastard: “What about us?”
Denzel: “You weren’t mentioned.”

Crazy old cannibal bastard and crazy cannibal wife dead in seconds.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

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blaxabbath

This guy who fell for Manziel’s “wreck this league” text messages is predictable? WEIRD!

http://i0.wp.com/doorfliesopen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Document-page-009.jpg