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A Letter to the Chicago Bears: Bears at Packers Game Preview

| November 6th, 2014

aaron-rodgers-shea-mcclellin-isaiah-frey

November 6, 2014

Chicago Bears
Halas Hall
1920 Football Drive
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Dear Bears,

Each week since late 2005 this internet space has predicted the Chicago Bears will win their upcoming football game. It has done so by prefacing each column with the simple question, “Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?” The answer has become a sort of rallying cry for those who frequent this site: I always like the Chicago Bears.

I am writing to you today because I have a confession to make. I apologize for the impersonal platform email provides this painful and stirring admission but your ignoring of my texts and phone calls has left me with no other recourse.

I should stop stalling. My admission is this. As I sit in front of my computer preparing this letter I must acknowledge that right now, at this moment, I do not like you.

I do not like the things I am reading about your general manager’s interviewing skills. I do not like your head coach’s inability to adjust schematically in the face of a career-defining week. I do not like your star wide receiver, struggling mightily on the field, spending part of each week flying to New York to appear on a television program. I do not like Willie Young responding to questions about defensive performance by stating the Bears need to hit harder. It is difficult to hit receivers and backs harder when you’re not in the same zip code.

More than anything, I do not like your effort. I do not like the fact that you followed an inspiring victory in Atlanta by not showing up for eight quarters against quality opponents like Miami and New England. Worse is the feeling that “not showing up” was hardly the problem and you were simply outmatched on the field and sideline for the duration of those eight quarters.

I do not like that you lied to me in San Francisco and gave me the impression you could take a punch in the mouth and get off the mat. That you in San Francisco seems two seasons ago.

This is not a letter meant to admonish your performance over the first half of the 2014 season. This is a letter meant to encourage a better performance over the second half. Sunday night, in Green Bay, you have an opportunity to flip the script. You have a chance to make me believe I am not wasting all these hours writing about you and caring about the outcomes of your contests.

I chose to write this letter because I normally spend two or three days on a game preview, watching weeks of film on the opponent and compiling a listing of how their strengths and weaknesses line up with your strengths and weaknesses. Then the weekend comes. Their strengths dismantle your weaknesses. Your strengths don’t arrive. Everyone knows the strengths of the Green Bay Packers. Everyone knows how they will choose to attack you. I am not going to waste several days writing about how you should rebut that attack when I don’t even know if you’ll show up to play the game in the first place.

Our relationship has been strong for many years, Chicago Bears, because I never questioned your desire to win. When you were incompetent under Wannstedt I never doubted that desire. When you were untalented under Jauron I never questioned your will. When you were unremarkable under Lovie, you know, it was cool.

You are no less talented than the team you’ll face Sunday night at Lambeau Field. You should be able to run the ball through the teeth of their defense and make plays down the field with your large, star receivers. You should be able to mount a pass rush against an offensive line that has gotten their quarterback hit far too often. Prove something to me and your many fans Sunday night. Prove to us you belong on the same stage as your longest rival. Prove to us you’re hell bent on playing meaningful football games in December.

I want there to be a place in the NFL for men like Marc Trestman, someone who has worked his way to an opportunity and does not believe in falsifying his personality to assuage a blue collar city still longing for a Mike Ditka clone. I want there to be a place in the NFL for quarterbacks like Jay Cutler, someone who doesn’t credit God every nine seconds for his success and drop “one game at a time” like an athletic robot. But you need to prove to me that you are a winning combination.

More than anything I want to do what I haven’t done in several weeks: care about you.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff Hughes
DaBearsBlog

Tagged: , , ,

  • GPLDAN

    I don’t think the city wants a Ditka clone. Well, some do.

    We’re just not a city that appreciates that new age guru shit about “building the man”, and think these guys are professionals – play and act like it.

    For all of Trestman’s new age mantras, all he seems to have really accomplished is losing control of the team. From Bennett’s camp fights in Bourbonaiss to Marshall leaving when he wants, to Briggs going to Sacramento to open a BBQ joint instead of attending a practice day, to his comments yesterday that he openly states he tunes the coaches out and just wants the season to be over, to the lack of discipline that caused Houston to blow his knee out – it all points to one thing – a soft coach. A mealy mouthed corporate shill without an ounce of leadership.

    This city would rather have a screaming clown with no credibility like Gym Shorts than a tool who speaks corporate speak about men being men with character while he’s still adding and cutting players into week 3 because they wasted the preseason and didn’t even properly field a team against Cleveland. These guys have no character, they are corporate toadies.

    So while we don’t want a Ditka clone, we want somebody at the head of the locker room that people respect and is a true NFL guy who can get some production out of a bunch of overpaid mercenaries.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Well stated.

    • IBNO

      I dunno if a “lack of discipline” blew Houston’s knee out.

      But that quibble aside, I think what we see is that when things go bad, we want a coach with fire in his belly and a bad attitude. When things are working well, Trestman’s methods work fine.

      Everybody gets put under a microscope when trouble hits. I don’t think there was much grumbling about Trestman when the Bears were looking good.

      I get it, though. The question is, “Can Trestman turn things around?” And so many people are looking at everything from the past few games and media whispers over the past 10 days and already giving the answer, “No… and here’s why:”

      I say, let’s wait until Sunday night before we make our ultimate condemnations.

      • Peanut FTW

        I agree, winning fixes everything.
        Look at the Pats, after the blowout loss in KC; Brady is done, everyone can see it, lets start the rookie. They blow out the Bears and Broncos, oh nevermind Brady is still okay I guess.
        Look at the Saints prior to the Packers game, omg they are under 500 maybe the coach should be fired, maybe Brees is past his prime. Smoke the Packers and boom “Who dat is!”

        • CanadaBear

          Of course, the difference is Bellichick has 3 rings, Payton has 1 ring and Nessman has a Grey Cup. Everyone knows the other two guys can get you to the top in the NFL. Nobody is sure about Nessman

      • BillW

        Just curious – not challenging you at all. Are you saying a loss to the Packers is the last straw in the season? We then make our ultimate condemnations?

        I think not – as I say in another comment on this thread.

    • Peanut FTW

      I don’t give a shit one way or the other about the 4th preseason game. Id rather him field no one than to get a starter hurt in their cameo. That is the absolute least of my concerns with how Trestman has coached. We started 2-1 with a great victory in San Fran before the wheels came off, it isn’t like he didn’t have them ready to play.
      I honestly believe a lot of people’s issues with Trestman is Lovie. After having that emotionless clown around for so long you kind of want the opposite personality for a while.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      You just can’t put all that on Trestman. Players, so called ‘leaders’ doing stupid shit.
      Part it’s on him, part it’s on the players, part it’s on Emery.
      That means everything is on ownership, the ‘culture’ of the franchise where these guys room around.

      • BillW

        The head coach is the leader of the team. That’s his number one job. There’s a lot that goes into it – but he is expected to be the leader of the team. Period. Yes, they need players to lead to – of course. But a good head coach doesn’t abdicate that responsibility to the players – he fosters it.

        There can be no grey areas. Trestman took a risk in letting Briggs take a personal day. The story now is Trestman had no idea it was for a restaurant opening. He thought by trusting his veteran player it was a good reason, he’d be fostering a type of respected atmosphere. The story I read – I think from Brad Biggs – is that the team was upset when they found out what it was for. Briggs then made it worse by refusing to consider it perhaps a bad move in retrospect. He caused his coach to look bad and effectively said “so what”?

        • CanadaBear

          I think Briggs was right, so what? He missed an hour meeting that day. Big whoop. Same with BMarsh. He does the show on his day off. A private plane flies him out and back the same day. Travelling can wear you out but a private plane pretty much makes it a piece of cake.

          • BillW

            I don’t have a problem with either one but there is a big difference. BMarsh did inform (if not even ask) the team. He didn’t show up on TV and catch the Bears unaware. Briggs did. It made the coach LOOK like he was not in charge. And had no regrets after that.

            Another problem – Trestman didn’t’ discipline Bennett from his preseason takedown of Fuller. Emery did.

            Another problem – Trestman said he was disappointed FOR Houston that he got hurt. Emery said he was disappointed for him AND IN him.

          • GPLDAN

            Emery said he was disappointed for him AND IN him.

            Citation for this?

          • BillW

            I’ll look it up but it was widely reported.

          • BillW
        • Barb UMihai Mar

          There are different levels of leadership in an organization. Every organization is different. Take for example John Fox. He’s the HC, but he’s not the leader of the Broncos. That’s Elway.

      • The culture with Lovie an Angelo wasn’t “soft” or “leaderless”
        The culture under Lovie and Emery wasn’t “soft” or “leaderlss”
        The culture under Trestman and Emery is both “soft” and “Leaderless”

        I wonder what the variable is?

        • SC Dave

          So the old theory about all the butt-hurt vets checking out when Lovie was fired no longer applies?

          • The question is, WHY did they check out?
            Did they check out because their intense loyalty to Lovie, or did they check out when they saw Trestman and Tucker walk in the door?

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            I don’t care why you check out. Simply by doing so it shows you’re a bum as a leader.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Olin Kreutz is no leader. Or, better said, he is the leader of a pathetic Offense.

    • I do not think Trestman is necessarily a bad coach. Bad coaches don’t have the sustained success he did up in Canada.

      I do, however, think he is a bad fit for this locker room. A coach who’s going to take the mindset Trestman does needs a player leader or two who are going to keep everybody in the locker room in line. When your biggest leader on defense (Briggs) and offense (Marshall) are both seemingly putting other engagements before football, that doesn’t work.

      If this locker room had Urlacher in his prime, it wouldn’t be a problem. If they had Peyton Manning, it would be a problem (I’m saying this for their personality, not their talent). But they don’t, so it is a problem.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        That’s were Emery enters the game. He’s at fault here in part.

        • Name one successful GM who is the “leader” of a team (and please don’t say Jerry Jones).

          I’ll wait.

          • Both Baltimore and GB have been successful for a long time because they get good GMs in place who can acquire talent and hire the right coaches to mold that talent.
            In my mind, outside of a franchise QB, the most important person to an NFL franchise is the GM. And since the GM is the one who acquires the QB, you could argue he’s most important.

        • yeah, he did a poor job of factoring personalities into his equation when assembling talent. This is a team that is playing like less than the sum of its parts.

  • IBNO

    Jeff, you’ve been bitten by the same bug a lot that has nailed a lot of lesser men.

    In the absence of games, you’re over-analyzing everything.

    What the fuck difference does it make what kind of interviewer Phil Emery is? If Trestman pulls out a win Sunday, all is forgiven. If Sunday is a loss, and the season ends in collapse, there are much bigger, longer-term problems than whether Phil Emery might scare away a significantly better coach.

    What the fuck difference does it make what Willie Young says? He’s a football player, a young man who has trained for the better part of his life to be violent and physical on a football field… not a guy who’s given tons of thought to answering media questions perfectly. You rightly say that Jared Allen is a good interview, but what matters more is his performance on the field. Apply the same logic to Willie Young.

    What the fuck difference does it make that Brandon Marshall takes a day during the week to do the TV show? Is there any indication that he is not prepared enough for games? Unless you can concretely link his lack of production this season to his off-field activities, all you’re doing is looking for something to blame. Alshon’s production is down this year, too. Is HE being affected by Marshall’s TV gig?

    You don’t like the Chicago Bears because you’ve been dwelling on negatives in absence of positives. Don’t act like that hasn’t happened before.

    • DaBearsBlog

      “there are much bigger, longer-term problems than whether Phil Emery might scare away a significantly better coach”

      Name one if Phil Emery remains GM.

      ” Is there any indication that he is not prepared enough for games?”

      He’s been awful and everyone says he’s healthy. So…are we not allowed to opine as to why?

      “Alshon’s production is down this year, too. Is HE being affected by Marshall’s TV gig?”

      Jeffery’s 2013: 89-1421-7
      Jeffery’s pace for 2014: 76-1126-6

      What’s the difference? A complete lack of production from the other wide receiver.

      • Sactowns#1

        I’d say getting a franchise QB and a decent offense scheme installed would be a much harder and longer term proposition than just finding a new head coach.

      • SC Dave

        Brandon listened to too many talkimg heads telling him how great he is. Unfortunately, the other teams are not buying.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Actually Emery is the ONLY element that could attract a great coach into coming to the Bears.

      He’s a fantastic GM in acquiring personnel and supports without limits -while giving proper freedom- his key employees.

      • BillW

        I humbly disagree with “fantastic” GM. “Not bad” is as far as I’d go right now.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          He acquired in one off season session the 2 best WR in Bears history. The second off season he totally rebuilt the worst OL in the NFL, TE included.

          That’s top notch GM work right there. Put Rodgers as the QB of his team and he’d win 2 of the next 3 SuperBowls hands down.

          He started with nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. ZERO. Conte, Jenning, Paea, Cutler, Forte, Gould. That’s it.
          PS: Ok. It’s not zero. It’s one (Forte) and a half (Gould).

      • DaBearsBlog

        Bruce Arians a great coach? Maybe. Arians was desperate to work with Cutler. Loves him. Not alone.

        • BillW

          ??? Not tracking you Blogfather. Arians was desperate to work with Cutler? Or was that sarcasm?

          • Sactowns#1

            Cutler the Coach Killer. Has a nice alliterative ring to it.

          • BillW

            Whenever Trestman gets fired the name will stick. That will be Cutler’s NFL legacy. I hope his wife is OK with that. I really wonder how his boys will take it when they grow up.

          • EnderWiggin

            Arians, Gruden, Shanny Sr., Lots of guys talked much love for Cutty when PE was having his open house.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          I was talking in general. Never said Arians. While I like him as a coach I don’t see him as a top. He’s defense-ST dependent. He’s the OC like Trestman is and with a pretty similar level of quality his Offense is just about average.
          The Cardinals have an elite Defense that Ray Horton has put in place and they also have great ST unit. On of the best if not the best.
          Give that to Trestman and he’ll be seen as a winning HC and Emery as a genius for the hire.

          PS: I’d chose McCoy before Arians and Trestman in a heart beat. He has outclassed them both by a mile in this year and a half.

  • Big Mike

    I also do not like this team. If they get their ass whipped again, I will resign myself to a few hours on Sunday simply catching the Bears game. No trips, activities, or aspect of my personal or professional life will be rescheduled. I’ll be checking out like Briggs.

    If they lose, but are in it to the end I’m not sure how I will feel.

    If they win.. ahhhh

    And of course this make or break game has to be the Packers.. SMH. Nemesis…

  • BillW

    Nice try Jeff. But you lost me a bit when you criticized emerys interviewing skills – which led him to hire the type of guy you hope there is a place for in the NFL.

    Then you say the team essentially doesn’t show up. Isn’t that due in large part to the guy you hope there is a place for?

    You maybe should have said the Bears appear soft and it’s impossible for Chicago to rally around a football team that appears soft

  • BearDown100393

    Win or lose on Sunday night, the Bears will leave Green Bay with a record below .500. Considering some of the expectations placed upon this team (especially its own claims), that remains a disappointment. And as the season progresses, those wins against San Francisco and Atlanta are increasingly diluted in quality. A current last place showing in this division should never be acceptable. And criticism should be expected.

  • Peanut FTW

    So, you aren’t picking the Bears on Packer week……

  • BillW

    I still contend this game by itself means little. A focused Rodgers should be able to pick apart our weak defense. They can’t aford to fall further back from the Lions given they lost to them already. We are unlikely to win a shootout for that reason alone. So a loss tells me nothing.

    Let’s say they put it all together and win. OK – now we have an indication that things may be better. But we’ve seen letdown – or revert to the norm – losses following wins already. So even a win tells me nothing without seeing the follow-up.

    Rather than take this game by game I feel we need to go 5-3 the rest of the way for me to feel any indication that perhaps things can improve under Trestman. The good news (sort of) is that we play Minnesota at season end and that may be to avoid last place.

    I have no thought of playoffs – I’ll be happy seeing toughness and consistent solid play.

  • Bobby Douglass

    I’m Bobby Douglass and I approve this message.

    • GPLDAN

      Hi Bob.

      • Bobby Douglass

        I sure do miss the good old days.

        • GPLDAN

          If I look at your comment history, I see you used to work at AOL.

          • Bobby Douglass

            Yep. Still do. I must know where the bodies are buried or something.

            Never thought I’d see the day when Jeff doesn’t “always like the Chicago Bears”, but I found his letter refreshing anyway.

  • GPLDAN

    Shall we go through some actual keys to the game:

    On D:

    We’ve hashed out that the front 4 need to apply pressure. I’d like to see them open with Sutton and Rat at DT, to maximize upfield penetration or save them for passing downs, and start Paea and Ego.

    Play ISO man with Fuller on Nelson. Ditch the usual Tucker left/right corner scheme and isolate – everywhere that Nelson goes Fuller goes. Jennings on Cobb – same way.

    Jam them at the line, play press man and make them beat you deep. Don’t give away the slant. Stop it with soft zone play. Get DJ Williams outta there and put Daryl Sharpton in, we need somebody who ran run down Rodgers not a broken down warhorse.

    On O:

    Bears put up 500 yards of O on the Pack first meeting. There will be a temptation to not change much. But if you watch game film against the Pats, Cutler could have run for 100 yards if he wanted to. If they run blitz in to stop Forte, you gotta pull the ball out and run to the corners if they don’t set the edge. The Pats sold out on the run blitz, had Cutler pulled the ball out Pistol style and taken off for the edge, he would have picked up first down after first down. Gotta make them pay for selling out on that run draw, that’s half the reason Trestman abandons the damn run so quick, he’s running a variation of the Run Option and never threatening with the QB. Cutler is smart enough to know when to slide out and with the strict penalties, nobody will dive into him.

    All teams are playing Cover 3 high on the Bears. Corners are giving 8 yard cushions to Marshall and Jeffery and daring them to run past them. THey are sitting on the inside position and betting that Cuter doesn’t have the timing to hit the sideline route consistently. If Jeffery’s hammy and Marshall’s ankle have killed their explosion off the line, then you gotta adjust for that. Move Marshall inside to the slot exclusively. He’ll have to run a lot of crossing routes, make him drag the LB down. We never found a way to make the Pats pay for pulling the nickel out of the box – not once. Simply put, we need Holmes to do stuff. Chris Williams. Anybody who can line up at SE and run a fly route and gas up these corners and make the safeties honor them instead of selling out on watching Bennett in the seam so they can head hunt him from Cover 3.

    The adjustments are not there. We need Cutler to run when the edge is as WIDE OPEN as it was in the Pats game. We need to make D pay for sitting back in C3 Shell all game. To do that we need somebody who can burn to keep those safeties back there and allow Bennett room to work. Crowd down and crash on Bennett? Fine – go deep.

    I hope to see some of these adjustments. If we play soft C2 on Rodgers and just hope Sutton, Young and Allen get home, we are gonna get blown the fuck out. We need to jam the wideouts and bring 5-7 from all angles including the corners. We need Shae to re-break that Collarbone.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Our DL plays 2 gap. They engage OL and only then tries to go after Rodgers if he passes.
      So it’s not really about penetration.

      Keys on D are: play nickel and blitz a lot. I’m talking about smart blitzes, not the weak shit we’ve seen until now.

      Keys on O: play to your potential and play to score, not the score.

    • beninnorcal

      Love your analysis. But we can pretty much skip most all that if we can just get Shea to do that last part.

    • I pretty much said as much a few weeks back (including a heavy dose of Forte). Never materialized.
      These guys are not only gutless and leaderless, they’re also clueless (see handle)

  • Jack Lacan

    Lovie Jauronstedtman

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    Add my signature to that letter, Jefe.

  • CanadaBear

    Here’s a good article about our challenges for the second half of the season.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/bears/second-half-bears-schedule-difficult-due-rematch-problems

  • beninnorcal

    Seems weird to say, and probably totally wrong given the shitty direction the Bears have taken, but I still say we split with Green Bay.
    I’m not overly-confident about this game but I don’t think the Pack are any better than the Bears. I do think it’s hard to beat the same team twice unless they’re terrible.
    The Bears may be terrible but something tells me they’ll start playing better this second half, just in time to miss the playoffs.

    • BerwynBomber

      Agree with you except for one guy on their roster who manages to make them more than the sum of their parts and unfortunately plays the most important position on the field.

      But yes other than that, I’m not impressed with the Cheese. They can be had. Even by us. And their rushing D is the worst in the league.

      • beninnorcal

        I know, I left out the obvious elephant in the room. But eventually the worm must turn. He can’t beat us forever.

        • BillW

          What disturbs me longer term is that GB realizes that a great QB hides a lot of ills. And they also see from the Bears that it’s foolish to hang on to someone based on potential.

          Add to that they have gone 2 for 2 in deciding what QB to base their franchise on.

          So they know what they are doing in a critical area. It isn’t luck – it’s knowledge. Making it a good bet they will do it yet again when the time is right.

          • BerwynBomber

            Yes and no about GB. I give them credit too, especially since so many teams passed on Favre and Rodgers. But guys like Favre and Rodgers are also once-a-generation players so I don’t know if they automatically re-load at that position once Rodgers retires. In another 5+ years we might very well see an average QB be their #1 guy.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            Favre’s story is so fucking crazy. That guy was a lunatic and almost died in college. Ron Wolf was the reason why he was a Packer. Fucking warrior.

          • CanadaBear

            My nephew used to tell me stories about Favre partying in GB when he was young. Not sure if they were true so never repeated them. Between being an alcoholic, a drug addict and a womanizer, it’s amazing he found time to be a great QB. Even after all the shit he’s been through, esp the drama queen shit, the press pretty much always gave him a pass. Pretty sure the Chicago press would have been a little harder on him.

          • Cormonster

            Ted Thompson was a scout for Green Bay at the time and helped encourage Wolf to go get Favre. Then Thompson drafts Rodgers. Damn. And Packer fans were calling for Thompson’s head all season the year they won the Super Bowl.

          • beninnorcal

            They got real lucky. Hindsight is 20/20

          • BillW

            God, I hope you’re right. Football wise I want one more SB win in my life and also a nice 5-7 stretch of no playoffs for GB.

  • BillW

    Off topic related to Jeff’s tweets on Vanishing NY:
    Happening everywhere. Certainly in Chicago. Lived here all my 60+ years and there are stories about restaurants and stores and theaters etc that once were a part of everyday life – taken for granted – and are now replaced by chains or stores that close in less time than it took to build them.

    • GPLDAN

      While Chicago has chain stores going up, it has also fought successfully to keep Walmart out of the city (for the most part) and has lots of owner operator stores, esp. on the near north side.

      So I disagree. You sound a bit fuddy duddy with that line, there are new opportunities but also people choose to shop the chain stores.

      • BillW

        Just reacting to Jeff lamenting the closing of one of his favorite spots. Saying it happens everywhere.

        • GPLDAN

          Jeff based the DBB logo on the Green Mill lounge up off Sheridan in the Vietnamese village.

          http://uplup.com/music_spot/green-mill-chicago/main_image/Green%20Mill%20Chicago%20music.jpg

          It’s still there. THe Riv is still running as a venue. The Music Box is still kicking.

          Macy’s blew out all the great eateries on the 8th floor when they took over Marshall Field’s but other than that – it maintains the same Christmas window displays, etc. Also it’s hard to lament Marshall Field, isn’t it? The man who hired east coast thugs to kill union leaders from the trucking and rail yards? A man so viciously capitalistic, even Donald Trump would say “whoa, hold up there”. A guy who made JP Morgan look like a amateur playing Railroad Tycoon.

          THe store is essentially the same. Same counter girls, same atrium, same place.

          • Cormonster

            I really dislike the Riviera for concerts. Same goes for HOB. Martyr’s and the Metro, on the other hand, are great places to see a band.

            Were you at that Pumpkins show at the Metro for the opening of the Siamese Dream tour? I watched the whole show on youtube last night. Fricking awesome. I seen them a day or two later at their second show of the tour at R&R in Madison.

          • GPLDAN

            I’m happy to say I was at that show and the Gish kickoff show at Metro as well

            I have some more pumpkins stories that I’ll never tell

          • Cormonster

            I can’t up vote this enough. +1,979 blog points! I seen the Gish “tour” a couple times at shithole bars in Milwaukee when Billy still had long hair. I had a beer or two with Billy and D’arcy before a show at the Cavern(?) in Milwaukee. Both were very quiet. I think that was the show they advertised under a different name, the word got around, then it was “cancelled”. We showed up anyways and waited for the doors to open. There couldn’t have been more than 200-300 people there. My memory is fading a bit, but I think that was the first time I ever heard Drown. The organized distortion blew me away. I don’t think it had been released yet on the Singles album. Gish is to this day one of my all time favorite albums. I bet you got some great stories.

      • BillW

        I shop the new places too. Was sad when Marshall Fields closed – that was the only one I reacted to. Not any others. As one ages though one does get more nostalgic. Hell, even my (grown) kids can be heard saying “remember the theater we used to go to, or the bowling alley, or the ice cream shop…”

      • Scott W.

        A small town I lived near years ago was all mom and pop stores. Then Wal-Mart moved in. Their ground team actually told the local grocery store owner they were going to “ruin and destroy” him, in those exact words, during an impromptu meeting they had with him by walking into his office at the grocery store and just laying the lumber to him. They were there to do nothing but gloat. This was at the tail-end of Wal-Mart’s “Everything made in America” policy. That Wal-Mart is now a superstore.
        But the grocery store? Still selling, still in business. The story got around, and grudges last long in small towns.

    • L.A. is like that too. Places like Venice, Hollywood, Melrose, etc aren’t the same as they used to be.
      They’re just different, more corporate.
      When you come to L.A. in order to get the “real” L.A. experience, it’s usually in grimy underground cities which still allow ppl to actually live, that isn’t turned into a corporate mall.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Maybe Rodgers left hamstring will decide to strike up another conversation with him like it did in New Orleans.

    • CanadaBear

      Had to laugh during that game. The announcers were practically throwing a benefit for Erin because he tweaked his hammy. When Cutler got knocked out and sacked 9 times in the first half against the G-Men I don’t remember the announcers throwing a pity party for him.

      • BillW

        Made me sick. I was hoping they’d finish him. Then I decided he really wasn’t hurt.

  • Well said, Jeff.

  • Scott W.

    GP, Canada, BillW…I never ever have directed posters to one of my previous comments, but will here.
    GP posted the cheerleader/sex assault story last thread. I posted a response you may or may not feel is worth your time, but it’s there and I hope you navigate over.

    • GPLDAN

      Uh….. no I didn’t.

      I didn’t post anything about cheerleaders or sex assault last thread, or any thread I can recall.

      • Scott W.

        Nope. You didn’t. Oh, my tired eyes. It was Canada that kicked it off.

        • CanadaBear

          Yeah, it was me being my usual sophomoric self. I read your reply and agree with it. Even gave it a thumbs up at the time.

          • Scott W.

            Sorry man. Thanks for the thumbs up. I wound up in the unusual position as a writer of being handed that story over 25 years ago (pre-internet) and wound up as a go-to guy for background for other writers and journos for several years after. I once had the largest collection of medical and professional journal articles about that topic in the world (not kidding – I did it all with microfiche, going back to the 1800’s). Still have those binders in a box somewhere, along with the articles.
            One of the pieces broke sales records for the newspaper I wrote them for; it sold out by noon the day of publication (morning edition), and was front page above the fold.
            Mixed feelings to be sure on that one, partner. Stirred the pot in a huge way, which as a young wide-eyed journalist is like the holy grail, but the topic itself was dark as Dante’s 9th circle.

          • CanadaBear

            Congrats on the piece. Personally I’d never make fun of women/rape for obvious reasons but when it’s a hot cheerleader and young kid … That’s just me.

            My most traumatic shit growing up was dealing with nuns and priests that were constantly hitting, slapping, punching and kicking me in school in the name of discipline. I dealt with it by making fun of those fuckers and never letting them break my will. To this day I still make fun of those bastards. Paybacks are hell.

            BTW in 7th grade I had a nun put her hands all over me numerous times. She would send me to the supply closet for discipline and then come in and stand right on top of me and talk to me about my behavior. The entire time she would be unbuttoning my shirt and rub her hands all over my chest, shoulders and torso. It didn’t scar me because it was so bizarre I never thought much about it.

          • Scott W.

            Sometimes I think you and I lived in a parallel universe. I had similar experiences in my piece of Catholic heaven, and was subsequently the first 7th grader ever to be thrown out of that school and told to never return. Wore that as a badge of honor myself. Kids in my class were in awe of me for a while after that. Heh. Got the bad boy tag because I had it out with the nun in front of the entire class. Hers was a nonsexual offense though. She told me I had to go the bathroom and cut my hair. I went off on her with all the maturity and restraint one might expect of a fatherless 13-year-old that was forever running on empty.
            The older woman/boy/young man sexual thing has happened to many, myself included (college girl, 21, I was 17, so no big deal, but Cindy, if you’re reading this, I want my Alice Cooper album back, bitch) and the damage always depends on the perpetrator and the circumstance.
            The thing is, if the memory is powerful enough to remain in full detail, the woman was a caregiver or several years older as well as being old enough to be a mother herself, and you can still feel it happen, that’s when things go off the rails.

          • BillW

            I went to Catholic schools too and even was an altar boy. Never was abused and now I wonder what was wrong with ME?? Wasn’t I GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU PERVERTS???

            Sorry – had to let it out.

            Seriously – I never was nor never heard of anyone. We were lucky I guess. Yeah – we had the whole corporal punishment thing and kneeling on pointer sticks etc. It a weird way it created camaraderie and therefore maybe wasn’t really so bad.

          • CanadaBear

            My issue wasn’t getting hit, it was how you ended up on the hit list. Can’t hit the girls, can’t hit the rich kids, can’t hit the kids whose parents help out at the convent or the rectory, can’t hit the athletes. Pretty much left about a half dozen boys to be punching bags for years. It was a good lesson in one way. Found out pretty quick life isn’t fair and people in power can do anything they want.

      • CanadaBear

        You just fit the profile!!!!!!!!!

    • BillW

      Thanks Scott – I just checked it out. Very interesting stuff. My uneducated guess would have been the boy growing up feeling either entitled / narcissistic or (quite the opposite) incredibly mistrusting and insecure.

      I didn’t read the details of this incident but I can only imagine the kid feeling on the top of the world and then having his hottie suddenly dump him. Or make fun of him in some way. And maybe not very kindly either. His parents or someone may have been good enough to step in and help him recover psychologically and report her.

      Pure speculation of course.

      • Scott W.

        It’s pretty basic stuff. First, kids know when they are being exploited. Second, when someone they trust (ie., an adult) violates them, they know it. Even if one aspect of the experience led to some level of pleasure, there is a part of them that knows something really wrong just happened.
        Boys can’t tell, because it violates the guy code. He’s “lucky”, etc. So they eat it, only to have it grow within them like a self-image tumor. Sometimes the symptoms are mild, other times they are extreme. It’s all situational.

        • BillW

          OK – getting too deep here maybe; but what makes the woman do it? Feeling of power and control? A misguided act of “kindness”? Wanting to be worshiped?

          • Scott W.

            Mostly, it’s control. An older woman who focuses her physical affections on a young boy doesn’t have to deal with an equal; she’s the unchallenged queen.
            Also, most are trying to fill some void in their lives. Sex is an emotional and spiritual event for a woman that makes her feel wanted and desired. While not her identity any more than Jay Cutler is only a QB, the need to be wanted is fundamental, and she can get that easily from a transfixed young man who, because she is his elder, will do whatever he can to please her, even if he knows it’s wrong. That he will cross that boundary “for” her (even though it’s being forced), is extremely gratifying and affirming to her.
            That it is taboo, and that society sees women as protectors of children and not as perpetrators of sexual crimes against them also feeds her narcissism in ways that narcotics can’t even do. Such women suffer from tremendous low self-esteem, and salve that with illicit affection.

          • BillW

            Whoah – heavy stuff indeed. Thanks for your insight.

  • wreckinball

    Heres hoping we chase Rodgers around enough to pull that hammy,

    But could we handle Matt Flynn?

  • wreckinball

    Have to make GB punt at least three times and have to put at least 30 on the board

    Agree with previous post about ditching the soft zone and manning up Nelson and Cobb

  • Scott W.

    Back to football…
    I think that’s one of the most interesting posts you’ve written in a while, Jeff.
    The Bears are an unexpected mess. I don’t think anyone here or anywhere saw this coming. As has been argued below, I agree the head coach has got to have a grasp of his team’s personality and rally them to focus as a unit. Trestman has failed miserably at that. There’s mutiny in that locker room, and that doesn’t bode well.
    Winning or losing the game this Sunday night is irrelevant to the long-term recovery. Winning will NOT fix everything, or for that matter, anything. The problems are running deep here. If the ones we know of are this bad, and public knowledge, I guarantee you that the ones we don’t know about are a LOT worse.
    We are in for season after season of trouble if dramatic changes aren’t made, and made soon.
    Despite my wishing it so, Trestman isn’t going to be fired mid-season. And yes, I have always known that was impractical.
    Emery isn’t going to be fired either. I sharply disagree with Barb and others who laud him, but that doesn’t matter a bit. He’s going to stay, and he’s going to keep tinkering with things.
    The only hope the Bears have is that a drastic wake up call rings in and the entire organization picks up the phone. They are ruining one of the – if not THE – most storied franchises in the NFL. They are transforming them into the Jets, the Eagles, the Raiders et al.
    I think what troubles me most in the midst of all this dissension is the lack of visibly displayed pride in their job. The realization that wearing that uniform is a privilege, and being a coach on the Bears sideline comes with enormous expectations.
    So out of no where, I’ll end with this: I always though Kyle Orton was a great Chicago Bear. I think Jay Cutler could have been, and still, maybe, just maybe, can become one. But right now, he’s not in Orton’s league.
    Fire away.

    • BillW

      “I don’t think anyone here or anywhere saw this coming.”

      (won’t say it..)

      • Scott W.

        Not lashing out here, but did you see the dissension and rebellion in the locker room coming, Bill?

        • Doc Hamstring

          “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.”

          In other words, if you predict doom & gloom all the time, eventually you’re gonna be right.

          In other other words, in life, only the pessimists are never disappointed.

          • BillW

            I know you don’t know me, but I don’t predict doom and gloom. I did assess the situation from my experiences. It’s what I do professionally too – with many others like me. Analyze – assess – act.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            in this case you are analyzing wins and losses and the disappointment of some 20 and early 30 yr olds, assessing the impact of those wins and losses moving forward while assessing blame to various parties that may or may not be valid and acting by typing on a blog that you know what you’re talking about even though none of us do. If you were paid for it you’d be called a beat reporter trying to sell page views.

          • BillW

            We’re slipping back to bad old times. Don’t want to do it. We all have opinions and they are only that and as you so correctly state none of us know very much. It’s all speculation, opinion, frustration etc.

            That’s why I deleted my comment but didn’t want Scott to think I said something derogatory to him – or anyone.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            i’m not going to slip. we’re all good.

          • BillW

            Same here – thanks.

          • Scott W.

            Your last line there made me realize how lucky I was to NOT be a beat reporter. I was a features/human interest/profiles writer.
            Thank. God.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            Scott, you’re here now and that’s all that matters. Sure you got by in the lean years by writing soft core porn scripts for Cinemax but who fucking didn’t am I right!!!!!!?

          • Scott W.

            …yeah, when yer writing for free condoms and yer bonus is looking at the cuts, finding the blog is like being given a key to the Playboy Mansion.

        • BillW

          I feared that Trestman was not head coach material. Not too much good would naturally follow from that as far as the players go. So while I can’t say I predicted any particular fallout from that, I think it’s reasonable to say I figured it would hurt the team.

    • CanadaBear

      Winning would solve a lot of the issues. The SB Bears were a complete mess. The O and D hated each other thanks to Ditka and Ryan.

      In hindsight, keeping Orton probably was the most prudent thing to do. Since JA never managed to solve the OL issues or spend much money on the O, it would have made more sense to keep Orton. Oh well.

      • Scott W.

        I think the difference in the divide between the O and the D in 85 and us now are pretty stark. In this locker room, there seems to be a kumbaya campfire, not fire in the hole. 53 men prone to controlled violence week in and week out aren’t going to respond well to the equivalent of a folk guitar festival vs. Heavy Metal.
        Yeah, I’m overstating it.

        • BillW

          That’s essentially it; I suspect there is not much respect for Trestman by the team. Obviously I have no way of knowing – I could be dead wrong. Maybe they all are willing to smash through walls for the man because he’s so nice to them.

          But if the team doesn’t have respect for their head coach and a firm belief in his ability to lead them, then it’s already over. I don’t see how Trestman can get it.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            No one knows any of this rampant speculation.
            Everyone keeps saying guys would run through walls for Lovie. Well I would fucking hope so, they had fucking badass motherfuckers on those teams. Mike Brown, young Urlacher, young Briggs, awesome D linemen, hall of fame kick returners, sick special teams guys like Ayabendejo, etc.
            Al Louis Jean could be coached by fucking Lombardi and he’s not running through a wall. Demontre Hurst is like 5’9 and a practice squad….uh…I mean starting nickel.
            All of your guys chatter about a guys ability to lead when the team has already played in some really close games and pulled them out, whitewashed the Falcons, barely lost to Buffalo and Carolina, etc. You can’t put up 500 yds of offense one game and then suddenly when you lose the next one in bad fashion the team doesn’t respect the coach, the players are on the verge of mutiny…etc. It doesn’t make sense.

          • Scott W.

            No. I’m an expert at rampant speculation. I practically have a PhD in it.
            Look, all I can do from my living room is take a wild-ass-guess at what’s going on based on news stories, player quotes, and game play.
            Hell, for all I REALLY know, every player in the locker room has a pinup of June Cleaver on their door, and bites the heads off of Marc Trestman’s collection of pet rats before every game.

          • BillW

            Loved June vacuuming in pearls and high heels.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “Oh, Ward. Can you talk to Wally and The Beaver?”

          • CanadaBear

            Don’t be so hard on the Beaver!

          • BillW

            You’re right. As i said above, I don’t want to slip back into the bad vibe in the blog that has happened before. It’s speculation as I acknowledge by saying I have no way of knowing. Putting out my opinions like others do that’s all.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

            Big Mike has an actual progression that should be followed following every loss. Now mind you, he’s totally freaking out and pissing all over it right now but if I recall correctly, Thursday is the day where we start proclaiming that Rodgers is dead, his girlfriend smells dirty down in her special place and that we are going to fucking stomp on their necks and then rape all of their cows.

          • SC Dave

            Damnit! Thanks for trying to get the old blog back

          • BillW

            Besides – you gave me absolution, good Padre. I don’t want to lose that!

          • SC Dave

            so fucking rhis… you’d think all these posters were on the damn team

      • AlbertInTucson

        I understand it wasn’t much better in ’63. QB, Bill Wade, said the defense would come off the field and tell the offense “Hold ’em.”

  • Doc Hamstring

    This sort of reminds me how after one or two bad games, people pack it in and shout, “Look, they suck! I told you so! Just wait until they’re 4-12! Then you’ll see I was right!”

    Everyone’s jumping on the “there is something major wrong here” bandwagon.

    Where was this bandwagon in August?

    • Scott W.

      It isn’t a bandwagon. It’s shock.

      • Doc Hamstring

        No, shock is, “What the fuck happened? I thought we were supposed to be good!”
        This is, “We suck and here is Reason 1, Reason 2, and Reason 3 why things won’t get better.”

        • Scott W.

          I’m in the “What the fuck happened” camp with 20-20 hindsight Doc. That’s what keeps my fan card validated every season.
          Shock. Really. It is.

          • Agree. We’re all shell-shocked.
            Only Bill apparently knew they were this bad before the season started, and likes reminding us at every turn.

          • GPLDAN

            Bill:

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/70/Eeyore.gif

            “I told you guys… it would never wuuurrrk.”

          • BillW

            See my response to S,P & C14.

            Nice picture of Eeyore by the way.

          • BillW

            I deleted that post and replaced it with one calling myself a douche for posting it.

            I had been given absolution by Father Johnny and fell back into sin. I am hopeful I will be forgiven.

          • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

          • BillW

            Thank you – I will do my penance. Three Our Papa’s and three Hail Virginia’s.

  • wreckinball

    I agree with Jeff that there seems to be a don’t care attitude about the team coaches and players

    In my many years of watching lots of bad bears teams don’t remember the dont care. They still sucked but you could see the effort

    Exception is Marshal

    • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

      why can’t we downvote posts anymore?
      Truth is, none of us are in the locker room and players don’t really sit in interviews wringing their hands in anger and tears screaming for revenge, vengeance, the next game, etc. It doesn’t mean they don’t care.
      Now Briggs???? He don’t give a fuuuuuuucccccckkkkk.

      • wreckinball

        Just agreeing with Jeff on what appears to be their attitude.

        So you wish to down vote his letter

        So you know otherwise You’ve been in the locker room?

        Maybe try disagreeing without being such a dick

        • GPLDAN

          wreckin:

          Telling Johnny to not be a dick is like telling the Ramones not to rock. If you take away Johnny and my dickishness, we have nothing left.

          • wreckinball

            Understand

        • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

          A downvote means I disagree with you not that I want you to get Ebola.
          I was asking a legitimate question about downvoting that seemed more dickish in print because of the cold emotionless nature of the printed word.

      • SC Dave

        I will again support your tack. It irritates me no end all this talk about a subject of which the speakers know nothing

        • BillW

          I agree it’s been overdone and I am one of the guilty parties. The speculation of a lack of something (toughness, leadership, whatever) is understandable I think but doesn’t add to the discussion. Or add value as it were.

          I blame the boredom of the bye week.

        • Scott W.

          I don’t mind down votes, even if they are typed out.
          But gee, Dave, I know a lot of stuff about…stuff.

    • BearDown100393

      “We have every confidence in Phil and Marc and the players to pull us out of this” – George McCaskey
      “I still believe in Phil and Marc as leaders” – Ted Phillips
      Question: Do the Bears players themselves still have confidence in either Emery or Trestman (&coaching staff)? Or even more blunt: have the players ever?

      • SC Dave

        The players need confidence in THEMSELVES and the rest will work out. And their play on the field is the way to get it

  • BillW

    I can’t wait for Sunday night. Win or lose – I’m going through Bears withdrawal. I’m addicted to them and to this blog. There are worse habits.

  • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

    My fellow bloggers. Big Mike has an actual progression that should be followed following every loss. Now mind you, he’s totally freaking out and pissing all over it right now and may be drinking and throwing uncooked brats at his family members but if I recall correctly, Thursday is the day where we start proclaiming that Rodgers is dead, his girlfriend smells dirty down in her special place and that we are going to fucking stomp on their necks and then rape all of their cows.
    VIVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rodgers!! Muerte.

    • Trac

      Hahaha. Napalm….it works every time, hahahaha

    • Shady

      Fucking took you long enough.

  • Trac

    Hey guys, look on the bright side. The 4 letter network bumped the Bears from 23rd to 21st in their power rankings. Woohoo!

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      its because Wilson is practicing again. they know he is the key to the offense and a leader in the locker room. heck he can even rally the defense by doing his very own skinny black version of the truffle shuffle.

      • GPLDAN

        Mofo got wheels.

        • johnnywad

          Plus, I think Brandon said he’s a number 1 in August.

  • BillW

    By the way Jeff – I assume you actually did send the letter. Be sure to let us know if you get any type of response, even if it’s some type of form letter.

    • EnderWiggin

      He didn’t have to send it. Half of the Bear staff reads this blog.

  • GPLDAN

    Jeef Twixes:

    Bears whiffed on Will Hill. No other word for it. He’d be starting the final 8 games of the year and give them stability at position.

    I cried and cried about that, and you said I was overreacting! I said it was a monster screw-up not to spend what was needed to get him in. You said something like the Bears didn’t need another head case.

    this blog so needs a memory tool

    • Trac

      Now Bill….uh hem, I mean GP, he actually may have cost us a couple of spots on the draft board. Yessir, we’re all set.

  • BillW
    • GPLDAN

      Well, if he’s going to clean up his mechanics, he can start by not holding the ball down at his hip before he throws. All top QBs keep that ball up high, he’s carrying it around like he’s Sweetness.

      • BerwynBomber

        Cutler’s mechanics are what they are at this point. He ain’t changing muscle memory at this stage of his career.

        • EnderWiggin

          Don’t be so sure.. He played with the ball in perfect position for most of last season. Really boggles the mind what happened.

      • Shady

        Rodgers holds the ball at his waist.

  • Sactowns#1
  • GPLDAN

    When Emery gets tossed, Teddy will enter into a darkside deal with the Hutts to run the Bears. The Hutts are profiteers above all else.

    http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h–/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/11/5/1415221669038/917d9d27-68a0-4b28-befd-a956a8b048b3-620×372.jpeg

  • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

    Huge interview tomorrow boys, like going into Lambeau and pulling it off on Sunday night I’m going in first play fucking Alshon deep because fuck them. Demanding the position. Dooonnnnn’ttttt Caaaaarrrrrrrrreeee!!!!!!!!!!

    #tradewindcourage

  • GPLDAN

    Shady Nuggets –

    Don’t see it

    • Shady

      – somanyblogpoints

  • Trac

    The paradigm shift? Chicago is the old Cleveland? Perish the thought.

  • Donnnnn’t Caaaaarrrrrre!

    I think Brandon Marshall’s brother just got into a shitload of trouble, stay tuned

    • Shady

      DENVER — A younger brother of Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been arrested in Colorado after what one local television channel described as a crime spree, online jail records showed Thursday.

      Bijon Massie-Marshall, 23, is being held on $800,000 bond at the Arapahoe County Jail on the outskirts of Denver on one felony charge of aggravated robbery and one variable charge of being a fugitive from justice, the jail’s website showed.

      Denver’s 9NEWS reported that Massie-Marshall is accused of committing a number of offenses in Colorado. Meanwhile, an arrest warrant was issued for Massie-Marshall out of Cook County for a misdemeanor retail theft charge from January in Evanston. The $30,000 warrant was issued in July after he failed to show up for a court hearing on that case, according to prosecutors and court records.

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-brandon-marshall-brother-crime-spree-20141106-story.html

  • Trac

    Really am glad for Cleveland and their fans. They’ve built a legitimate contender proving once again that a slid defense wins games. Emery ziggy when he should of zagged.

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