I normally post at firejerryangelo.org via my WordPress login; however, I have had problems doing so for the last two months. Therefore, I will post my rant here.
I am writing this on the last day of the 2021-22 National Football League regular season, aka Week 18. My team, the Chicago Bears, are not on the national TV schedule today, so I have Steelers-at-Ravens on in the background. I live within a 60 to 90 minute drive of the home stadiums of the Washington Redskins (the devil take Dan Snyder and his “Football Team” copout) and the Baltimore Ravens. The Redskins ownership and management disgust me, and I have never really warmed up to the Baltimore Ravens, even though they have been more successful than the Chicago Bears since I moved to Maryland over 11 years ago.
Ed McCaskey conned the NFL into swindling ownership of the Bears from the Halas family in 1984, and they have been mostly running the team into the ground ever since. Matriarch Virginia McCaskey’s contribution to the game? Firing the Honey Bears cheerleading squad after the Bears’ Super Bowl XX win over the New England Patriots.
The New England Patriots still have cheerleaders. The Patriots have also been back to the Super Bowl ten more times since 1984, with six Super Bowl wins.
Way to beat sexism, Ginny.
Virginia’s younger son Michael was made the Bears chairman in 1989. According to Jim McMahon, the Bears’ Super Bowl winning quarterback, Michael told Jim (paraphrasing), “I don’t really care about Super Bowls, I just care about having a full stadium.” Jim McMahon moved on from the Bears as soon as his contract was up.
When Michael screwed up a Bears head coaching hire, Ginny fired him and made older brother George the team chairman. George worked his way up in the Bears’ ticket office for 20 years, eventually being the ticket office manager. His contributions to the Bears? Openly admitting he knows nothing about football, and hiring “nice guys” to run the Bears. Unfortunately, those “nice guys” have proven lacking in competence to run the Bears…or any other NFL organization.
How many other former Bears general managers and head coaches have gone on to be GMs and His elsewhere in the NFL? I’ll wait…
Ted Phillips will end his 23rd season as team president today. He is more of a glorified CPA than an actual football operations lead; like George, he knows nothing about football…NFL, college, or any other league or level. He is more or less George’s best friend and right hand man, and had a hand in helping with the GM/HC searches in the 23 years he’s been on the job. Twenty three years, five playoff berths, one Super Bowl run.
Technically, team president is supposed to carry out the chairman’s/owner’s vision of the franchise and be responsible for carrying it out. It seems that all Ted Phillips has ever been good for is ensuring that the Bears’ ledger is always in the black…the results on the field be damned.
Ryan Pace is ending his seventh season as the general manager for the Chicago Bears. There is really no case for him getting an eighth season: head coaches John Fox and Matt Nagy have been failures in leadership, play calling, on-field discipline, putting touchdowns on the scoreboard, and winning football games. Both coaches wasted a pretty good defense, leaving them on the field because the offense could never hang on to the ball enough. Both coaches offered nothing but excuses and “we’ve got to do better” mantras at post-loss press conferences.
If the head coaching failures were not enough to warrant his firing, his selections for quarterback-The Most Important On-Field Position in the NFL-should do so. Mike Glennon was signed for 3 years and $45 million, and was promptly pulled after four turnover plagued starts. Pace drafted Mitchell Trubisky ahead of Patrick Mahomes (2-time Super Bowler with the Kansas City Chiefs) and never drafted or signed free agents who would help him prosper. Same with former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and a productive veteran QB in Andy Dalton.
With his job and career on the line, Ryan released All-Pro safety Kyle Fuller, leaving a secondary with one somewhat decent second year corner Jaylon Johnson and a pu-pu platter of pass interference, personal fouls, and miles of receiving yardage and passing TDs for opposing teams. Ryan signed a 38 year old left tackle to protect his QB’s blind side…and the Bears ended 2021-22 with the most sacks allowed in the NFL.
For all the top-to-bottom failure in the Chicago Bears’ chain of command, Matt Nagy is the one most likely to be fired. Failure to develop two first round draft picks at quarterback in Trubisky and Justin Fields. Not game planning an offense that would allow Fields to display the same awesome talent and skills he displayed at The Ohio State University. Half-assing, instead of harnessing, the skillsets that won Nick Foles a Super Bowl and got Andy Dalton to seven playoff berths as a Cincinnati Bengal.
On top of that, unimaginative and stale play calling that got next to nothing from his QBs or a pretty good running game. Wasting a defense, and letting the pash rush get old, tired, and hurt, while letting opposing QBs of various levels of experience and skill tear apart a secondary bereft of skill, talent and sometimes common sense.
Worst of all, post game pressers where he would always say “we’ve gotta do better,” and then doing almost nothing to make substantial changes…four years of defining insanity.
As depressing as all of this to contemplate and make keystrokes on a cold winter Sunday night, here’s the rub: George McCaskey is seventy-seven years old. From Ted Phillips down, he has been more concerned with hiring “nice guys” than hiring actual football people who can actually run the Chicago Bears like an operation that wants to win a Super Bowl (see: Green Bay Packers, Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs). Phillips has done nothing to learn about the game of football or the NFL. Pace is reportedly good friends with the Mc Caskeys and the Board of Directors, and has maybe hoodwinked everybody that “there is a good core of players we can build around for next year…,” even though his two coaches have been busts, he has had one winning season in seven, and the Bears have a grand total of four draft picks for 2022.
At his age, I believe he will be resistant to change. The TV money checks from the NFL that the Bears cash every year, must be enough to keep them financially solvent. If the Mc Caskeys are set for life, what incentive do they have to make the drastic changes for the Bears to be contenders? Does George Mc Caskey really have enough money to insulate him from the Chicago Bears’ fanbase, and probably “bribe” the Chicago media to not create too much of a groundswell of dissent?
I started this blog entry around a quarter to four this afternoon, and I am now wrapping it up at a quarter to eight. The last Bears game of the season (Vikings 31, Bears 17) ended over three hours ago. If there are true changes coming, they will start tonight. If only Matt Nagy is fired, and Pace and Phillips remain, then it will confirm the suspicion I have always had about the Mc Caskey family: they’re in it for the money, and the Chicago Bears fanbase be damned.
For those of you who stopped by for my running/Marine Corps Marathon takes: I am planning on picking up running again sometime this month. I also need to go pick a fight with the Marine corps Marathon organization about my entry into the Runners’ Club (another story for another time!).
Also: still waiting for my beanie from the St. Mary’s Thanksgiving/Prediction 5K (same deal).