The start of the 2021 NFL Regular Season is on Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys. Both the Buccaneers and Cowboys have identified franchise quarterbacks for their respective teams as Tom Brady is looking to lead the Buccaneers to their second consecutive Super Bowl title while Dak Prescott is returning from an injury that forced him to miss most of the Cowboys’ 2020 campaign.
The Bears believe that they have their franchise quarterback in the form of 2021 first round draft pick Justin Fields. Despite Fields proving during training camp and the pre-season that he was the better quarterback over veteran Andy Dalton, the Bears are prepared to roll out Dalton as their Week 1 starter on Sunday night when they take the field against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Bears’ decision to start Dalton over Fields has divided the Bears’ fan base. The insistence from Bears’ general manager head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace to start Dalton over Fields has drawn the ire of many Bears’ fans. Ire to the extent that Bears’ fans are openly rooting against the team as they open the season.
There has been a growing theory on Bears’ twitter that fans should root against the team and Dalton because that is what is going to lead to Fields seeing the field sooner rather than later. Look no further than 670 The Score host Danny Parkins:
This take from Parkins is the reason why the Bears’ fans are divided. The hype and anticipation of seeing Fields being the starting quarterback for the Bears is certainly understandable. Fields’ presents the best chance that the Bears have had at securing a franchise quarterback for their organization since the day of the Jay Cutler trade in 2009.
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But, the idea that Bears fans should root against the team until the decision is made to start Fields is a misguided concept. Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy has already gone on record in saying that Dalton will be based on performance and not solely on wins and losses. It is a philosophy that Nagy followed last season when he benched quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter of their Week 3 game against the Atlanta Falcons when Trubisky threw an interception. The Bears were 2-0 when that decision was made and Nagy made the decision because the team was winning in spite of the play from their starting quarterback. If Dalton is struggling, Justin Fields is going to be the starting quarterback sooner rather than later.
The Chicago Bears have insulted the intelligence of their fan base and that is one of the reasons why their online approval rating is declining.
The divide of Bears’ fans over the quarterback controversy is one of the reasons why they have one of the worst fanbases on social media. Due to that divide, that may be one of the reasons why the Bears are among the least liked sports’ teams online.
It should come as no surprise that the Bears are suffocated with a negative sentiment online. Outside of the night that the Bears drafted Fields last April, the Bears’ organization has proven to be tone deaf in regards to how they are received by their fanbase. The Bears were a punchline last January when they praised a six-game losing streak as one of the reasons why they decided to retain Nagy and Pace. Since then, the lack of transparency from the Bears has lead to many fans taking their shots at the organization online.
There is a way the Bears can change their online sentiment online and that is by simply winning games and proving they are a competent organization. Whether that is with Dalton or Fields as their starting quarterback, if the Bears win game, the sentiment surrounding them will change. Unfortunately, the Bears seemingly find new ways to disappoint their fan base as the years pass by.