After the Chicago Bears win over the struggling Green Bay Packers, fans and former players are salty.
The Chicago Bears took down the broken Green Bay Packers yesterday at Soldier Field, and with the Minnesota Vikings victory, they were officially eliminated from the playoffs for the second straight season. Now, the franchise and its fans have only an upcoming coaching search and NFL Mock Drafts to look forward to.
To Bears fans who are all too familiar with offseason malaise, this is a welcomed sight. It was great not only to see the franchise part ways with one of its most successful coaches because he couldn’t get along with a grumpy 36-year old, oft-injured quarterback but also to see the team and its fanbase react so irrationally to adversity.
However, the apoplectic reactions were not just limited to the fans, but even some of the Packers former players got into the mix. Take, for example, LeRoy Butler‘s mini Twitter rant yesterday. First, the former Packers safety and Super Bowl champion set his sights on Aaron Rodgers. In the midst of Rodgers’ struggles, Butler pondered what Mike McCarthy might be thinking to himself while watching the game — hint, hint, Butler doesn’t think McCarthy was the problem.
But Butler didn’t stop there. While he took another shot at Rodgers, he also found a way to disrespect Mitchell Trubisky in the process.
Again, for a fan base who has supported a team through some very tough times, this sort of reaction is enjoyable. Why? Because outsiders have refused to admit what those closest to this team have sensed for the last few weeks — this team is primed to take over the NFC North for the foreseeable future.
The Bears core is young, talented, and signed for the next three to four years, meaning their window has just opened. Looking at the rest of the division, you have the Detroit Lions who have been stuck in neutral for the past 25 years and have a first-year coach already on the hot seat.
Then there are the Minnesota Vikings who fired their first-year offensive coordinator in-season, and will likely be financially hamstrung by Kirk Cousin’s huge contract, which he is underperforming.
Finally, we circle back to the Packers. Rodgers, who has been injured or knicked up quite a bit in recent years, and the Packers are going through a lot of turmoil and transition at the moment. Not only do they have to find a head coach, but also have to fill a number of holes on their roster — a result of Ted Thompson‘s failures in his last two seasons as general manager.
All of this points to a golden opportunity for the Bears to take control of the division for the foreseeable future. If so, get ready for a lot of similarly ignorant tweets from opposing fans and former players.
I can understand it is difficult for them to come to the realization that their teams are on the downswing, but denying it doesn’t make it any less likely to happen.