About five years ago I was on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and noticed they had a game where you had to chip golf balls into a hole for big prizes. One of those prizes was a throwback Walter Payton jersey. Authentic. I remember thinking, “I’m a damn good chipper of the golf ball. I can get three of these in and win that jersey for about ten bucks.” Thirty bucks later, no jersey. (No golf balls in the hole either.)
So I walked over to the candy wheel at Jenkinson’s Pavillion, threw a few bucks down on my usuals: blue 2, white pop, Bob both ways. I won on the first spin and took home a box of red Swedish Fish.
In many ways, this is what the Bears just did at the quarterback position. They tried to get the Payton jersey. They took a financial risk on promising ability. But they ended up wasting time, wasting money, and settling on a reliable candy experience.
Nick Foles isn’t a sexy choice to be quarterback of the Chicago Bears. He isn’t going to sell tickets or jerseys. He isn’t going to be the focal point of the 2020 marketing campaign, or a promotional weapon for the television partners. Foles’ arrival in Chicago does not increase the chances – thank sweet Jesus – of the team appearing more prominently on primetime television over the coming season.
What Foles does is stabilize things. He calms the waters. The Bears looked at their 2019 and determined the quarterback was costing them games. They went and found someone who wouldn’t.