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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hello. Is it crushing, systemic failure you're looking for?

I haven't watched an entire football game in seven weeks. I haven't watched a Monday Night Football game in ten.

Of all their many crimes, perhaps the worst thing the 2014 Chicago Bears have done is rob me of my enthusiasm for football. Because it is more or less impossible to watch a sport for twelve hours on a Sunday when you know the one game you should care about is just going to make you sad.

I watched some of the Thanksgiving game. I peek my head in on the Sunday games. And you know what? If anything, it looks worse.

The offense continues to lack any kind of purpose or direction. Receivers give up on routes, blockers just kind of... don't, and Jay just hurls it downfield every few plays in the hope that something is going to happen. This is almost never planned, as I don't think Trestman has called a pass longer than six yards since the Niners game.

Matt Forte, of course, continues to be one of the best Goddamn running backs in the NFL, and it somehow counts for less every week.

The defense, so surprisingly stout in some of their early contests, is right back to form. Zones so soft receivers can sleep in them, missed tackles, lethargic pass rushing from everyone but Willie Young... we've got it all right here folks.

Shit, this is the article I said we weren't going to write. "Bears still bad" isn't much of a story, I said. But I miss them. I miss you. God damn it Bears, I wish I knew how to quit you.

This is the joke I was making.
You might say there's kind-of exciting drama in the fact that Jim Harbaugh is apparently up for trade, but you know we're not even going to look twice. We like our guy. Give him more time. Despite the fact that the team has performed worse each season of his career and the one thing he was brought to town to fix is as bad as it ever was during Lovie's day, we have to be patient.

And maybe we do, but right now it would be nice to even put on a show of considering your options. Because as far as I can tell, this is who we're going to be next year, too. And when our free agents come up, and our guys who are retirement age are thinking about Miami, they'll be weighing their decision against a team that is literally sucking the life force out of everyone involved.

It seems scary and early to be throwing around the term "rebuilding phase," but I can't help but feel like that's where we are. There are two real years left in the Cutler contract, and unless he wins a title I have a hard time believing that option gets picked up. Matt Forte can't do this forever. Marshall is also on the wrong side of 30, and he's currently on pace for his first sub-1,000-yard season since he was a rookie.

There's young talent here, but not nearly enough to expect any kind of resurgence when the Old Guard moves on.

If only there were a coach who had proven adept at taking teams bogged down with bad-to-mediocre seasons and turning them into contenders. Shit, I'd settle for "respectable" or even "not a total shitpile" right now. Hey what's that Harbaugh guy doing? Sure would be nice to take a look at a guy like that.

And I'll take to my grave that this is a coaching thing. 53 grown-ass men don't all get worse at their jobs on the same day by coincidence. It's hard to blame the GM when a healthy number of his acquisitions have done well for most of their time here.

Is it Trestman? Is it Tucker? Is it a curse cast by the homeless man who was sleeping under the team bus when it so rudely departed during a rainstorm? I don't know. And I hate being this guy, but like... wouldn't it be nice to at least feel like there's a bit of a fire under their asses?

I know the reason we fired Lovie wasn't his record that season, but we did just fire a guy who went 10-6 and had almost never fielded a truly bad team. If you bring in a guy and he does worse, you could at least growl a little when you pass him in the hallway.

Anyway, I don't really have anything to say here except "The Bears still appear to suck." I just miss you all. How's everybody doing? Had a good Thanksgiving? Mine was pretty quiet.

We three will be united in the physical world this weekend, and I imagine we will spend all of it pretending football doesn't exist. The Hawks are coming off a very successful road trip, we could talk about them. I have a lot to say about that Star Wars trailer if anybody is interested in that?

You did this to me, Chicago Bears. You've robbed me of my wit, my sparkle, my very dignity. Just give me a headline that says "Bears In Talks Over Harbaugh," I don't even care if it's a rumor based on a memo found in the garbage. Just... please, give me something here. You've got me reading Morrissey.

God damn you.