It's on you now, Phil Emery.
The time has come to show us what's rattling around inside that mysterious mind of yours.
Presumably as Bears general manager you have the authority to fire or retain head coach Lovie Smith.
So what will it be now that the Bears were eliminated from the playoff race Sunday?
Will you weigh more heavily that the Bears won their season finale 26-24 at Detroit to finish with a respectable 10-6 record?
Or will it be that under Smith the Bears failed to qualify for the postseason in a frustrating five of the past six seasons?
Smith will calculate for you that the Bears were in the playoffs one of the past three seasons. He'll also attempt to con you into believing that the victory over the Lions already establishes the Bears' record at 1-0 for the 2013 season.
Tradition screams that Smith will try to convince you that the Bears couldn't have fallen off the playoff cliff because the world is flat.
Seriously, Smith will concoct all sorts of convoluted cockamamie in an effort to coach the Bears again next season and maybe even coax a contract extension.
It will work, sir, if you really are Lovie-Dovey with Smith, as you have professed to be since arriving here last winter.
Perhaps you haven't been in town long enough to understand Chicagoese, which translated says Smith has plunged from not beloved to not welcome.
That brings us to the real question: Can you ignore what a huge chunk of Bears fans have been trying to tell you?
After nine seasons they're tired of Lovie Smith. He's barely bearable when the Bears make the playoffs and unbearable when they don't.
So, Mr. GM, are you capable of essentially spitting in the faces of these fans by making them endure Smith for another year?
If so, next season promises to begin in September with more people on golf courses, in supermarkets and even at Cubs games than are at home watching the Bears.
These people still will be Bears fans. It's an addiction that locals have been unable to shake through the likes of a 1-13 season, personal seat licenses and Dave Wannstedt.
But fans have become angry, Mr. Emery, which is one step this side of apathetic.
As many tickets will be sold but not as many seats will be filled. This is Chicago, and on any given Sunday there are museums to visit, restaurants to savor and other sports teams to drive us nuts.
Anything is better than witnessing Smith's wasted timeouts, inability to put together an NFL offense and personnel evaluations like Kellen Davis.
Not all fans feel this way. But enough do that if you care more about what they think than Brian Urlacher has said he does -- which is not much -- you'll dump Smith.
Mr. Emery, you represent change around here, and regardless of what Sheldon Cooper says on "The Big Bang Theory," change can be good.
At Halas Hall it started last year with you replacing Jerry Angelo and should continue this year with you replacing Smith with another head coach.
The mood around here is that people don't want to hear you support Lovie Smith any more than they want to hear another season of the same old coach uttering the same old nonsense.
So, Mr. GM Emery, sir, it's on you now.
We'll hang up and listen for your answer.
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