Chicago Bears’ circus is embarrassing for once proud franchise

Credit: Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent via USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent via USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears are a mess. With various reports about the quarterback situation and others about discord, the once-proud franchise that demanded silence behind the scene is now an embarrassment.

The circus is in town for Chicago. Yes, part of it is to cover the Chicago Cubs‘ World Series run, but part of it is because of the mess around the Chicago Bears and Halas Hall.

The Bears are one of the NFL’s most storied franchise. It is one of the original team, and its first owner, George “Papa Bear” Halas, was one of the founders of the league.

The franchise has a list of titles, one Super Bowl, and countless numbers of Hall of Fame players. It prides itself on being a well-run machine.

This is not the case at the moment.

The Chicago Bears are a circus, an embarrassment to its fans. They have not been to the playoffs since 2010, not been to the Super Bowl since 2006 and not had a winning record since 2012.

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Yes, the Bears have had down seasons. It happens to every team. The problem is that usually they bounce back and are contenders soon after a rough patch. This time, however, it seems as if they continue to go in the wrong direction, and they keep getting worse every season.

After the Bears finished 2012 with a 10-6 record but no playoff berth, the front office felt a change was needed. Out went Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith, in came Phil Emery and Marc Trestman.

The players did not like that and they did not play for Trestman. Things collapsed, and the losses piled up.

Out went Emery and Trestman, in came Ryan Pace and John Fox.

Pace was hired as general manager, a man considered a great young new mind in the league, but the Bears ownership wanted a veteran coach to lead the team on the field. Can’t expect the old-school Bears to go new-school completely, right?

Fox appears to be Pace’s father figure at press conferences. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune wrote after the Chicago Bears’ postseason press conference last January about that.

"At one point, Fox interjected to underscore that if the Bears lose offensive coordinator Adam Gase to one of the teams searching for a head coach, the team’s system goes beyond any one individual. Pace just nodded in agreement. Right, Dad. When Pace was asked for a self-evaluation of his first year as a GM, Fox interrupted to praise his boss with pride. When a reporter pushed Pace to reflect on the way he handled the controversial Jeremiah Ratliff situation in October, Fox sounded a paternal tone: “You’re not going to hit them all out of the park.”"

From the start, reports were that Fox was not Pace’s first choice. After a season and a half, does it seem like Pace is Fox’s boss, or the other way around? Pace’s hands seem to be tied in his efforts to turn this team around.

Recent reports have Fox and the Bears ready to move on from the Jay Cutler era. Fox reportedly said that he was done with Cutler. Fox then had to go out and publicly deny those reports.

For his part, Cutler said Fox has “doesn’t have a choice” now but to support him.

The point is not what Fox said or what Cutler said. The point is that this is a franchise that values silence. Ownership abhors HBO’s Hard Knocks because they did not want their business, any business, public. Now the Bears franchise has more leaks than a sinking boat.

Next: Chicago Bears ready for return of Jay Cutler

There are two circuses in Chicago, one great one and one embarrassing one. Perhaps the Chicago Bears should look at what the Cubs are doing to get back to grabbing the city’s attention once again.