There are things I’m rooting for when it comes to the schedule release. I want at Buffalo in the first six weeks. I want Miami/Arizona late in the season, when playing golf is no longer an option for those of us in New York City. I don’t want a primetime game the week in November when I’ll be in Europe.
But none of that has anything to do with the actual Chicago Bears. These three things do.
- Easy Start. The entire organization needs a couple wins early to convince the locker room things are headed in the right direction and convince the fan base there’s something to be excited about on the lakefront. Ideal opening spots? Home to the Jets or at Buffalo, both of whom will be starting either rookie or journeyman QBs.
- Stay off Primetime. If the schedule has the Bears playing 15 early Sunday games and the obligatory Thursday nighter, that would be ideal. The Bears need to grow and develop with their second-year QB in the relative anonymity non-primetime contests provide. (And personally, I just love the early game Sunday. That’s football. First beer at 11 am. Last beer at 5:30 pm.)
- Heavy Home December. How is this Matt Nagy/Mark Helfrich offense going to operate in the blustery conditions of Soldier Field in December? I think it is (a) pivotal they find that answer in year one and (b) essential they understand what makes Jordan Howard special.
Tickets on Sale?
The Bears are putting single game tickets on sale one hour after the release tonight and dressing it up as some sort of gift for the fans. Bull. Shit. For the first time in years, the Bears had tickets available on Ticketmaster for late-season 2017 games. They are terrified of that happening again and are trying to capitalize on some of the enthusiasm currently surrounding the organization.
This will only serve those re-selling on the secondary market, however. People can’t always make plans 4-8 months in advance. The $100 seats will be scooped up tonight by brokers and resold for $250+ tomorrow. And that’s why so many Bears games are 30% opposition fans.