The Chicago Bears have made the playoffs twice, one division title, and have had just two winning seasons ever since George McCaskey took over as chairman of the board in 2011.
Clearly, it has not been the decade of George.
The Chicago Bears are 79-97 and have five double-digit losing seasons under his leadership. Under McCaskey’s leadership, the Chicago Bears had the least amount of wins in a 16-game schedule with three in 2016.
While 99-year old Virginia McCaskey is the official owner, she defers to her son on most ownership decisions. His record shows he makes bad decisions–a lot of them.
The problem is you cannot fire the owner.
George has had no problem firing head coaches and general managers only to get the same losing results. He has gone through three, and most likely four, head coaches and general managers.
Yet, during his first 10 years cloaked in failure, he has had just one team president and CEO in Ted Phillips—whose overall record going back to his start date in 1999 is even worse.
Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey is not a football person, and needs some help.
McCaskey is an admitted non-football person. Even though this is the family business and the only revenue source that makes his family and him billionaires, George has made no effort to learn all the in’s and out’s of football.
Even then, not knowing every little football detail like his grandfather, team founder and NFL legend, George Halas is not his biggest problem.
George McCaskey has three bigger issues leading to management failure as detailed by Chicago Tribune Bears beat reporter, Dan Weirder.
The first problem is being in denial.
The second is possible paranoia and lack of confidence.
The third problem–which is George’s biggest challenge–is that he is listening to the wrong people. Weirder detailed McCaskey’s inability to seek guidance outside of his inner circle.
I highly recommend paying the subscription fee to read the piece. It is an outstanding and has the most indicting line on a chairman resisting getting to know the family business in detail…
"Said [former Chicago Bears great Gary] Fencik: “People ask me all the time, ‘Do the Bears ever ask you for advice?’ I go, ‘Nope. Never. Not once.’ “I take it as a reflection that they don’t even know how to go about being a good organization,” he said. “Because if I were the owner of that team, I’d be sitting down with as many trusted football people as I could to educate myself as much as humanly possible about the game and what’s necessary to succeed.”"
McCaskey admitted if he goes outside the organization for guidance, he turns to other fellow legacy family-owned NFL franchises. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrisey described the absurdity of asking your competition for help perfectly…
"One of the revelations from the news conference is that McCaskey consults with the owners of the Giants, the Steelers, and the Cardinals when he needs advice. This could be part of the problem. If you’re reaching out to the Maras, the Rooneys, and the Bidwills for help, it suggests you might want to expand your circle beyond the 1940s or huddle with other people besides the grandchildren of the NFL’s rich and famous. But the past is the McCaskey family’s wheelhouse."
Why does it matter who the chairman turns to for advice? There is speculation that Philips has finally realized he should not be on the football side and either retire, change title to president of business operations, or move into a role focused on getting a new stadium In Arlington Heights.
Second, if the Chicago Bears go through with turning rumors of head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace being fired into a reality, someone is going to have to help George with the hiring.
Finally, the nightmare situation is somehow the Chicago Bears win this Sunday and George thinks that is a strong enough finish to keep either Pace, Nagy, or both. He needs someone to tell him that would be a bad idea.
Right now, the chairman is possibly heading down a dark path by possibly keeping Pace and giving him a promotion.
George McCaskey needs someone to talk him out of promoting Pace. He just needs football people to talk to in general.
Who should George turn to for advice in helping turn around this franchise mired in failure?