This past weekend was brutal for Chicago Bears’ fans, and the team didn’t even take the field.
Obviously, it’s tough for Bears’ fans to watch any years’ playoffs if the team isn’t in the tournament, and it’s tougher this year, given last year’s playoff run and the resulting expectations. But there are oh so many more reasons that this past weekend of football was like a knife right to a Chicago fans’ gut.
Let’s start with the Deshaun Watson/Patrick Mahomes showdown Sunday. While the Bears try to figure out if Mitchell Trubisky is any good or not, the rest of us remember that the Bears took Trubisky over Watson without vetting Watson as closely (according to this Chicago Tribune article, the Bears had dinner with Trubisky and Mahomes, but not Watson, while doing a tour to evaluate all three).
It’s true that draftniks put Trubisky ahead of Mahomes (some even put him ahead of Watson) at the time, but it’s one thing to miss on a pick and another to fall so in love with one pick that other top prospects don’t get the same kind of scouting. And it’s not like Watson wasn’t already in the spotlight. There was certainly consensus that he’d be a high-level starter in the NFL.
Watching Watson duke it out with Mahomes in a wild game in which the Texans eventually could no longer stop the Chiefs was bad enough. Following that game, hated rival Green Bay won after Seattle failed to make basic adjustments to stop Davante Adams, the Packers’ best wide receiver. Not to mention that the spot on the final third-down conversion was arguably too generous.
It’s bad enough to watch your rival succeed in the postseason while your team sits home. But it’s not an unusual feeling – almost all sports fans will experience it sooner or later. What makes it so soul-crushing for Bears’ fans is that the Packers have sustained success over consecutive decades, with one Hall of Fame quarterback following another one, while the Bears have had sporadic appearances in the postseason and a long line of quarterbacks who were better qualified to work in other fields. Only Jay Cutler and Trubisky have shown even flashes of success during that time, and neither went far in the postseason. At least Trubisky still has time. Still, it’s disappointing to remember that the last Bears’ QB to be under center for the team during a Super Bowl was Rex Grossman.
If you wanted Pat Shurmur to be the new Bears’ offensive coordinator, this weekend hurt you, too, as he headed to Denver instead. Meanwhile, Chicago’s very own Anthony Davis, he of the NBA, upset some fans by wearing Green Bay gear and cheering on the Packers.
With the Bears out of the playoff picture, I had wanted to put them out of sight and out of mind until the offseason. But events on and off the field reminded me all weekend that the team was sitting at home, and perhaps they wouldn’t be if the past had played out differently. Then there’s the fatigue that sets in when Green Bay wins yet another playoff game under the great Aaron Rodgers while we argue about Trubisky’s future.
At least the Vikings lost.