Warning: Long read!
I’ll try to go in chronological order, as much as possible. I got the impression that the 2014 season began with a lot of optimism about what kind of a season the Bears would have. And there didn’t seem to be too many people that were disbelieving.
Granted, there were plenty of raised eyebrows with the Cutler contract, but persuasive alternative choices at the time that the deal was done weren’t overpowering arguments. It was in January that this website sought out reasoned analyses as to what choices the Bears had besides to sign Cutler, come up with the name of an experienced available QB, or opt to draft and pray for a QB. Having read what was written, I didn’t see a viable alternative to signing Cutler. As has been necessary to repeat, however, the price tag was an altogether different animal. But, let’s not forget that QB contracts after Cutler’s deal was done, as a whole, have included less guaranteed money than they did before Cutler’s contract. The point being, negotiators of the Cutler contract could still point to more, rather than less, guaranteed money, as indications of what Cutler, even as merely a quarterback with a pulse, should be getting in light of what QB contracts before his contract had escalated to include.
There was probably not enough emphasis and attention paid to certain developments that would come back to haunt the Bears. While the site certainly didn’t endorse things like Briggs leaving town to open his BBQ place and B. Marshall going on The View (?) to sign his contract, stinking horseshit like these events didn’t draw the hot flaming ire that we now hold for them.
As for the actual start of the season. the majority of us figured that the Buffalo game would be a win for the Bears. Instead, it would prove to be an omen. The win against the 49ers was an unexpected win. But again, the Buffalo loss and the San Francisco win had us doing some meaningless mental gymnastics, trying to rationalize a loss to Buffalo with a win against the 49ers. Not something a good team does to people’s expectations.
It was after the 38 – 17 home loss to the Packers that, more than confusion about the Bears consistency, but the season’s true ugliness began to show. It was then that we had to realize that with Jay’s lifetime record against the Packers and our remaining schedule, things were grim.
Dan made the call on Jared Allen’s invisibility as early as September 23, when the team was just 2 – 1, stating that Allen “has to start getting sacks.”And, as the season progressed into a lost cause, Allen’s practice and polish in front of the TV cameras seemed to allow him to avoid and escape being cornered as the rat he was this season. Pneumonia my left nut.
As to the team, Dan posted “Conditional Critical” as early as October 9, a few days after the Carolina game.
I think it was around the Miami game on October 19 that most of the readership started to fully admit that the Bears were not who we hoped they were. Of course, it was the week after the Miami game that the Patriots put up 51 points and any and all hope seemed to absolutely turn into delusion.
The site has been exploring damage control since at least October 20, when the “What is to be Done?” thread appeared. Interestingly, a comment back from that thread is as follows:
“…start showing the high priced vets the door via trade and begin grooming a qb.”
It was on November 10 that Dan floated “Put A Fork In IT” on the site, following up by declaring that from that point on, he would be giving the remainder of his tickets for the season away. Actions, people, speak volumes.
The site didn’t really rake Lamaar Houston over the coals too badly, though the (expletive deleted) more than deserved it. The guy was so completely and utterly a sorry excuse for a Bear he seemed to be creatively exploring new ways to be a distraction.
“Stop Harassing Marc Trestman’s Daughters” had to be published by the gentlemen in charge here at the site. Apparently, there are people in the population at large who call themselves fans with too little honor and self-respect than to terrorize offspring about their father, who is a public figure, though the children are not.
The website included a podcast and a poll in 2014. As well as several pieces about the U. of I. The talk about the Bears cap situation has been interspersed throughout the year and Dan has made this one of the few forums, if there are any others, devoted to the Bears where the readers have gained some understanding about this thing called the cap because someone took the time to focus on it, in an environment that is conducive to learning.
As for the content of the majority of the posts throughout the year, it seems to be that the love of the Bears out of a sense of history and faithfulness remains strong. As is true about at least a few players, like Forte, Bennett, Long, and Paea, most of the time. But, as far as liking every single player or coach that puts on the uniform of the Bears, well that has been impossible.
Black Monday came and the Bears told Phil Emery and Marc Trestman that they would be parting ways from the Bears before 9:00 am. George McCaskey and Ted Phillips held a press conference stating that they’ve retained Ernie Accorsi, an expert consultant, to guide them in reaching out to a new GM and HC. Perhaps Accorsi will be given a lot of weight. Perhaps McCaskey and Phillips think that they need to continue to think the way that they have been thinking. Certainly we’ll all be doing a lot of reading in the coming weeks about the new blood, whomever it may be.