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posted: 11/11/2012 5:00 AM

Simple steps to Bears happiness

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  • Bears head coach Lovie Smith, left, is congratulated by Titans head coach Mike Munchak after the Bears' 51-20 victory at Tennessee last week.

    Bears head coach Lovie Smith, left, is congratulated by Titans head coach Mike Munchak after the Bears' 51-20 victory at Tennessee last week.
    Associated Press


Sometimes we look for the answers too high up and too far away.

And sometimes the question just isn't that complicated.

Such is the case with a portion of Bears nation that often can't believe what it hears from Lovie Smith.

It's mostly because Smith has turned smug into an art form, a Picasso of pomposity with a Zen-like ability to make fans certain they saw a different game than the one Smith patrolled from the sidelines.

Some of the angst is coaching related, but it seems most of the displeasure with Smith is due to his media meets, his only opportunity to speak to the fans.

So if the rhetoric aggravates you that much, the simple solution is to stop listening. If it's spoiling your Bears Sunday, or has at times had you considering rooting against the beloved, then don't watch the news conferences. If it makes you crazy, stop paying attention.

It's that easy.

Look, Smith isn't going to change, and he is going to be around these parts for a long time. No, he hasn't won enough -- actually, he hasn't won anything -- but his players love playing for him, and that's crucial today in professional sports, where mutinies are all too common.

He's a terrific coach during the week if not always on game day, and he has given over more control of the games to his assistants than ever before. Enjoy that he's winning this year and appreciate him as a coach for that.

Don't listen to the nonsense and you'll find that you like him more.

But he's not going to alter the way he approaches questions about his decisions, or admit that he or one of his players has made a mistake.

When his players are bad, he'll say they're OK. When they're OK, he'll say they're good. When good, he'll insist they were great. And when great, they are Hall of Fame bound.

It's not like you don't know the drill. It's not like you can expect something different.

And if you thought Smith was insufferable last year as an 8-8 coach who had won a single, lonely playoff game in five years, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Just wait until December when the Bears have the best record in the NFC and are headed toward a playoff run -- and Smith is headed toward another contract extension.

By today's standards, Smith is a good NFL head coach, whether you like it or not. Yes, he has gone through assistants like Lindsay Lohan goes through rehab, and he has famously asked you to trust him despite some awful hires that have cost the Bears entire seasons.

But as long as the McCaskey family adores him, he's going to be here. And as long as he has success, the best way to avoid the things about him that drive you nuts is to make certain you don't hear it.

You won't learn much from it anyway.

We've never been more divided as a people over so much in our lives. So much of it brings a daily aggravation that makes the grind unmanageable.

Things are tough, and yet sports are a grand escape. It's a few hours a day, and for an NFL fan just a few hours a week. It is time to revel in the highs and suffer the lows, knowing it is only sports and that it's the best time of the year for football fans.

Find a way to enjoy it and remove from the experience that which is disturbing, even if it means skipping past the head coach.

Likewise, if Jay Cutler's postgame is enough to make you spit up your hot wings, hit the mute button.

And if Brian Urlacher's words make you want to thrust your head at maximum speed into a brick wall, avoid them.

Wait to hear from Roberto Garza, Lance Briggs or Charles Tillman. They are a delight in nearly every situation, whether good or bad. After games, they are amazingly honest.

Watch the highlights. Manage your DVR. Or spend quality time with the RedZone Channel.

But for the love of Allan Ellis and all that's holy, don't put yourself through any more of what pains you.

Not in the fall. Not in Chicago. Not on a Sunday game day.

We need not remind you, there's only 16 of them.

•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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