Author Archives: Carl from Chicago

Domain Addresses Updated

It seems that football coaches are getting a bit smarter than they used to be.  Probably the first thing a coach does when they start moving up the ranks is buy the domain “Fire(insert name here).com”

So to get to this site directly – it is going to be https://firejohnfox.wordpress.com/

Sorry John Fox I gave back the domain but we will still leave the “true” name of the site that way unless I get super industrious and figure out how to change it.

So what points here?

  • FIRERONTURNER.NET – this is a classic and we can’t give it up.  Terrible Ron Turner, with a career of futility who cost the Bears the 2007 Super Bowl, will forever be linked to our lives.  Or at least until the Bears win a Super Bowl in which case maybe we’d forget but that sure seems a long ways away
  • FIRERYANPACE.NET – Ryan wasn’t a coach but still snagged his domain
  • FIREMATTNAGY.NET – Matt Nagy joins the club!  Welcome!  Remember we are die hard Bears fans up in the cheap seats and we want you to succeed.  Sadly, the odds are that you won’t

So there you go.  What is funny is that John Fox’s domain registration was just about to auto renew… but now it’s gone and we have a new victim.

Enjoy!

Also since we are talking about boring site stuff they really have a lot of annoying ads on the mobile plan for wordpress.  Maybe if I am feeling up for it I will spring for an ad free site.  It is just the price of a couple cases of watered down beer.

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On the Bears – My 2 Cents

Dan and I pass back and forth idiotic articles on football all the time.  Journalists have to fill pages or screens or mobile devices with content so it is everywhere.  And everyone has an opinion – why not – it’s free, just like this site.

Here’s my 2 cents and “mega view” on the Bears.  It comes from reading pretty much every article I can find, listening to people who know way more than me about football, sitting in the stands, and watching the (miserable) games.

Our failure is a complete mix of toxic ingredients that inter-relate across major decisions, business decisions, coaching decisions, and frankly bad luck.  It isn’t “one thing” and it can’t just be taken in isolation.  You can’t just look at one variable and come to a conclusion.

ELEMENT ONE – OUR COACHING AND GM’S ARE TERRIBLE

It isn’t that we don’t pay a lot of money (the Bears haven’t been cheap for years) – it is that for some reason or another, we usually get the wrong guys at the wrong time.  The evidence for this is two fold – 1) the execs and coaches that we hire and cast off usually go on to obscurity 2) zero innovation has been credited to the Bears in decades (probably since the 80’s on defense).  You never hear anyone talking about the Bears inventing a trend or scheme and attributing it to them.

ELEMENT TWO – WE HAVE A HISTORY OF DRAFT BUSTS

Going through our litany of draft failures is almost too much to Bear (bad pun).  We did pick some good guys on defense leading up to the 2007 Super Bowl season but damn that was a long time ago and even reading or scanning through most of our top draft picks is a sad experience that I won’t go through here.  If you are a Bears fan and you can’t immediately recite bust after bust then you must not be much of a fan.  Dan and I are VERY high on our new QB we nicknamed Grabowski and hell if he’s great (and doesn’t fall prey to element three) then a lot of this might go away (for a bit).

ELEMENT THREE – OUR INJURIES AND LUCK IS TERRIBLE

I am not a doctor nor a turf expert but the Bears have been crippled by injuries for years and our awful field conditions have to be at least partially to blame.  The epitome of this is the injury to our starting center on Family Day.  This is going to blend with element four below but of our few solid players, they are crippled in their peak and then just limp along as an inferior shells of themselves for years to come.  I can walk through the list of injuries but really, once again, if you are a true Bears fan it has to be completely obvious to you what I am talking about.

ELEMENT FOUR – OUR STADIUM AND BUSINESS DECISIONS ARE TERRIBLE

Our stadium is a joke.  They don’t even have enough bathrooms for you to go at half time.  I routinely see fans from visiting teams dumbfounded that there is nowhere to warm up and that the stadium takes hours to exit due to obvious physical limitations and bottlenecks.  Recently I left with some Atlanta fans and they couldn’t believe that we needed to walk like two miles from the stadium through random sidewalks just to get to a place where you could get an Uber.  They were looking at me like “are we lost” and I said “hey if there was a better plan I would be doing it”.  The practical impact of this stadium mess is that we never will host a Super Bowl (else Chicago would be perfect – we have the biggest airport and a billion hotel rooms) and the team can’t make the money that you make from something like Jerry’s world in Dallas.

ELEMENT FIVE – THE STATS LIE – WE LIVE IN GARBAGE TIME

I don’t play fantasy football (which makes me a freak) but there is a HUGE difference between the game you see on the screen and the stats that come up in the end.  The Bears LIVE in “garbage time”, raising their stats when the game is either out of reach or barely in reach.  One of the best examples is when the human clown Glennon passed for 300 yards and we were blown out – I really don’t care about the stats when these games are obviously not close.  On the other hand, they hit Grabowski for his stats when he literally has ONE SECOND to throw the ball due to horrendous O line play and the fact that his receivers could not play on any other NFL squad nor probably even a top NCAA team.

ELEMENT SIX – EACH OF THESE TOXIC VARIABLES DOUBLES DOWN

It is a simple piece of math.  If you have a 20% chance of something bad happening and you roll the dice 5 times, it is very likely that it just occurred.  When we do have some talent (2007), we squander it with the worst coaching ever (Ron Turner).  When we have a bit of innovation (a few years ago on offense), it is crushed by injuries and draft busts.  When we see someone unexpected start to rise up (like Knox or Miller), they get often get catastrophic injuries.  Jay Cutler had a lot of talent but flaws – and he then was subjected to horrendous coaching and brutal O line play and always crippled and then we get history.

So that’s my 2 cents.  “It takes a village” to be as terrible as the Bears.  And you need to untangle all of these root causes and fix them over some period of time (decades?) to make progress.

  • Hire coaches who can innovate
  • Hit on the draft
  • Fix the turf or get out of Soldier Field to raise revenue and reduce injuries
  • Ignore the stats and look at the damn game

But when someone gives you a simple “cause and effect” article on the Bears, throw it in the trash.  When something good happens on the Bears, like a lobster trying to escape from a barrel, the other elements drag it back down.

Bears Close Against Possible NFC Leaders Carolina?

Carolina might be one of the better teams in the NFC, with Green Bay losing Rogers and the Cowboys seemingly falling apart.  Thus it is amazing that the Bears are only 3 point underdogs at home against this team.

Here’s a prediction per the Bleacher Report

Look for the Bears to make this a competitive game at home. It should come down to a field goal either way, and that will keep this game within the point spread. Take the points and the Bears.

Let’s think about this a bit.  First of all, the Bears finally gave up on Giraffe Neck, primarily because the mouth breathers (fans) could not stand the idea of giving up on the entire season for a better draft pick and saving the wear and tear on our new shiny QB of the future.  While I don’t set the odds for Vegas, I think the line would be a lot higher if the Bears hadn’t been very close against the Vikings (who amazingly are also one of the better teams in the NFC) and beat Baltimore on the road, which is due to the fact that Trubisky came into the game as the starter and brings the Bears a shot at winning instead of a cardboard cutout (albeit a tall one) of a QB.

If the Bears really are this close to Carolina with all their wide receivers hurt and down many key folks on defense to season ending injuries, what does this say about HOW TERRIBLE THE NFL IS RIGHT NOW?

A bunch of crazy things are happening in the NFL.  Teams that were supposed to be great are terrible, and teams that were supposed to be terrible are great.  What is the cause?  What separates the good teams from the bad teams?

  1. Competent QB play – this implies that your QB isn’t costing you the game and is able to run a decent passing attack in the scope of your offense.  If you have a terrible O line (like the Bears right now) then this must be overcome; if you have no receivers (like the Jets) then that has to overcome, as well
  2. Defense Against the Pass – I don’t care how it happens per se whether it is between rushing the QB to hurry him or having great downfield players in the secondary, if you can put pressure on the opposing passing offense you will do well.  Sure there are some running backs out there but they aren’t really putting teams up or down all that much in the grand scheme of things

The Jets, for instance, have this.  Crazily enough, McClown is playing competently even with all his obstacles and the defense is woke enough to do some damage.  Even the lowly Dolphins with Smokin’ Jay were able to win once he started getting his soon-to-be-backbreaking passes to land.

Do the Bears meet these criteria with Trubisky in the lineup?  Probably.  He isn’t killing them like Giraffe Neck and can make some plays when the o line gives him a couple seconds.  Their defense is actually not too terrible, either.  The difference is probably special teams / trick plays which seem to tilt the Bears one way or another on any given week.

I still laugh HA HA HA when I see people take defensive players or receivers and the like with their top draft picks while there are top (potential) QB’s on the board.  IF YOU HAVE TERRIBLE QB PLAY YOU ARE TERRIBLE, PERIOD.  Look at the Raiders without Carr – they are now “the Bears” as Dan and I typically term a team “without hope of winning a playoff game”.  Cleveland took a defensive stud with their #1 pick and sure he’s made a few plays but their quarterback woes make them completely uncompetitive as a team.

It is sooooo ironic that McClown is out there leading the Jests and smokin Jay can even bring the Dolphins an occasional win.  The level of play in the NFL for QB’s is laughable, and it is even worse when “garbage time” yards are taken out of the equation (I still can’t believe that Glennon threw for 300+ yards in a game).

 

NFL Against The Spread and Surprises

There were a lot of Bears’ fans who screamed when we didn’t get the GENIUS coach Bruce Arians a few years’ back.  It is hilarious to see not only how crappy and old and salary-cap laden that Arizona team is today but extra funny is that they are 0-5 vs. the spread this year (2-3 overall with some wins against crappy teams in there).  Arizona is the only 0-5 team vs. the spread after five games so far in 2017.

While the Bears are having another terrible season at least they are 3-2 vs. the spread this year… with all 3 home games being close and coming down to the wire (covering) and 2 road blowout losses.  With some bad luck they are 1-4 for the year but at least slightly ahead of degenerate gambler expectations at home.

The team that is defying all expectations is Kansas City.  Not only are they 5-0, they are 5-0 vs. the spread.  The injury gods have spared them so far and they seem to be the class of the NFL.  We will see it is a long way to the end of a 16 game season.

Bears vs. Green Bay Thursday Night

Tonight the Bears are on Thursday night football.  I think it also is streaming across Amazon too.  Dan is out of town and I am in Seahawk country but at least I will get this game on TV.

Wow that game last week was a doozy.  We got some good breaks on defense and special teams, despite that classic epic fail on the lost TD.  I definitely screamed at my TV for that.

I also heard from folks who went to the Bears vs. Steelers that the game was a sh*tshow on the side with the cheap seats and that they ran out of beer and water and the cash stations went dry.  Apparently planning for hot weather is beyond the capabilities of the Bears brain trust.  Oh well.  We don’t expect much up in the nosebleeds.

As for this game, what to hope for?  Our running back Howard seems pretty banged up, but keeps going out for more plays.  The secondary is better than last years’ but we have some injuries and we are facing Rogers so that’s always a bummer.

I am back to the core values of the Bears right now:

  • Smash our opponents. The Packers O line is pretty terrible right now and hopefully that lets us get a lot of hits on the QB.  Take em all and make em count
  • Try not to be a laughingstock.  I know we are playing Giraffe Neck Glennon just because we know this season is already lost but don’t ask him to do anything crazy like throw the ball to a wide receiver or anything.  Just run it or throw it to the running back or tight end and pray for no pick sixes

The seasons is already more promising than my miserable expectations.  We could have won game 1 and we won game 3.  Maybe we will be respectable tonight.  I’m hoping.

It’s No Coincidence…

These two facts are not unrelated.  I agree with Dan and other sensible fans that it makes sense to leave Glennon in because this season is already lost and we might as well leave in Glennon to get killed rather than start the inevitable process of wearing down Trubisky until he is broken like all Bears QB’s of the modern era.

But I can’t see the Bears dealing well with the continual firestorm of outraged fans who want to see SOME sort of reason for hope; and right now about the only speck of hope is Trubisky.

Life in the Cheap Seats

Want to sum up our Bears’ experience?  Here’s the view in the cheap seats of the last play of our loss to Atlanta when Giraffe Neck Glennon got sacked on the final play.

It was a beautiful day… took about an hour to get out of the damn stadium since we stayed until the last play.