When I was 8 or 9 years old, I threw my glasses at the TV because the Chicago Bears lost a game against the Dallas Cowboys. I think I even broke those specs, much to my parents’ chagrin.
I’ve thrown – and broken – TV remotes because of a Chicago Bears loss as an adult. Embarrassingly, that has come deep into my 30s.
But these past few weeks, I’ve watched each Bears loss – and the near-loss to the Detroit Lions – with a detachment that I haven’t had in a long time. The last time I was this detached from a team I rooted for was when I was covering one. No cheering in the press box and all that came with that job.
Professional detachment is one thing and it’s necessary when you’re physically covering games. But when you have the metaphorical fan hat on and you’re not being paid to cover the game, you can let the emotions flow.
I no longer feel those emotions. This Bears team is bad. I know it’s bad and I just can’t bring myself to get upset. Not anymore.
Earlier this season, when the team was 3-2 and the playoffs seemed at least a little bit realistic, even with a rookie QB, floundering head coach, and subpar roster, I was still emotionally attached. I still cared. Then I just stopped.
The Chicago Bears are making fans question their care for the team in 2021.
I can’t pinpoint which game and/or play did it for me but I think the slide from anger to apathy took place slowly after the Bears blew it against the Baltimore Ravens. Maybe it was the night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those two games were very winnable and if the Bears win either or both, perhaps they’re still in the hunt instead of booking tee times.
Yet, the Bears botched both in the final minutes and the season slipped away. With that, so did my emotional investment.
I’ll still watch the three remaining games because why not? We only get 17 games a year and they only take place once a week. It’s not baseball, basketball, or hockey – I don’t feel as guilty for missing some of those games, especially when the White Sox/Bulls/Blackhawks are bad or even merely mediocre.
Furthermore, it’s winter in Chicago so I’d be spending a lot of time on the couch anyway. Oh, and the pandemic really puts a crimp in my social calendar. So yeah, I will be watching. But I won’t be caring.