The 2013 Chicago Bears season came to a fittingly sad conclusion.
Chris Conte, one of the emerging stars of the previous campaign who seemed to have not only lost his way in the secondary but his confidence as well, missed an assignment. The physical side of the game had let him down all season long. Now the mental side was delivering a final, crippling blow. Peppers leaps. Kuhn blocks. Rodgers scrambles. Cobb scores. The culprit was Conte. Not only had he, in that moment, become the poster child for this devastating loss. That wasn’t enough to pour onto the slumping shoulders of a beleaguered safety. No, in that moment, Conte became the symbol of the entire season’s defensive futility.
Shots were fired at Conte from every discernible angle. Once news of an off-season surgery surfaced many, myself included, wrote off Conte’s potential future with the Chicago Bears. When Marc Silverman of ESPN Radio bet Tom Waddle Conte would not play a down for the Bears this season, Conte met that challenge with a Twittery terrific, “fuck u all.”