In the mostly two and a half decades of disappointment since the magical 1985 season, the Chicago Bears franchise has been snake-bitten. Thanks to bad coaching/personnel moves and historically atrocious performances at key positions (QB, RB), the Bears have been more bad than good.
Before making their second-ever Super Bowl appearance in 2006, teams like the Panthers, Chargers, Rams, Titans, Raiders, hell even the long-time doormat Buccaneers, had been to the Super Bowl before the Bears made it back.
Fans of other teams would look at our 10 playoff appearances in the last 25 years and write this sad story off as unnecessary whining. But we Bears fans know better. Gather yourself, Bear Nation as we relive these ‘horrific’ events we’ve endured since 1985…
- After the ’85 season, Jim McMahon couldn’t stay healthy, and we had to resort to career backup guys like Doug Flutie and Mike Tomzcak leading Super Bowl ready teams in the late ‘80s.
- Speaking of QBs, the Bears have been in a deep freeze at that position the last two decades. There are too many no-names to name here, but as evidence, I offer two historically bad investments – Rick Mirer (who we gave up a 1st round pick for) and Cade McNown, another lofty, first-round debacle.
- We’ve seen a trio of overrated running backs ride into town with high expectations, only to be abruptly shown the door without ever realizing half their potential. Yes, I’m talking to you, Misters Enis, Salaam and Benson.
- And the coaches…oh those coaches: Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron and Terry Shea, who gave new meaning to the phrase ‘offensive’ coordinator.
- And how about the coaching hire that was announced but never actually occurred – Dave McGinnis, who the Bears ‘hired’ to replace Wannstedt, except for one minor detail – the guy never had a contract in place.
That’s a lot of drama for Grabowskis to absorb.
And then came the 2010 season…
It appears as though the NFL gridiron gods, in a sign of pity for the league’s founding franchise, are trying to make amends for past shortcomings. For evidence, I give you…
- The overturned Calvin Johnson game-winning TD that was overruled by a ref’s strict interpretation of a rule that will probably be changed this offseason.
- The Packers being flagged for a team-record 18 penalties (and 152 yards), two of which saved what would’ve been Jay Cutler INTs.
- Playing host to the red-hot Philly Eagles who were playing without their top 2 cornerbacks.
- The injury-riddled, cheese-headed rivals, who lost their starting RB Ryan Grant early in the season. And now, with Aaron Rodgers recovering from his 2nd concussion this year, the Pack is facing the very real possibility that backup QB Matt Flynn will start vs. the surging Patriots in New England.
- For every Rodgers, Favre, Vick and Brady-led offense the Bears defense has faced this year, they’ve also matched up against a Clausen, Thigpen, Stanton and now Webb.
Which brings us to Monday night’s matchup vs. the Vikings. With Brett Favre likely out due to numbness in his hand that contributed to the end of his 297 consecutive games played streak, and Tavaris Jackson out with turf toe, the Vikings will turn to rookie signal caller Joe Webb to start at QB against the Bears.
Yes, this is the same Joe Webb who played WR for the Vikings on occasion this year. Oh, and did we mention the game won’t be played at the Metrodome, but rather outside in single-degree temps?
It doesn’t take a lot of analysis of this one to figure the Bears – with a realistic chance to clinch the North with a win and Packers’ loss – should come out of this one in great shape…assuming no major contributor is lost on the frozen tundra of TCF Bank Stadium.
Who would’ve thought we’d be writing/reading the headline “Chicago Bears – 2010 NFC North Division Champs.”
Somewhere, Papa Bear Halas just slipped the football gods a friendly bribe in exchange for some well-deserved good fortune.
Bears – 19, Vikes – 10