Chicago has caught on to Ryan Pace.
The Bears GM has gone from completely escaping responsibility to being right out there with head coach John Fox in a matter of weeks.
It took more time than it should have, but Pace can't pretend any longer that this is someone else's team.
It's his team. And his team is 12-32, good for a .270 win percentage.
The goal posts have been moved frequently the last three years, and if he keeps his job it will be interesting to see what the next goal is.
First it was rebuilding fast. Then, it was competing in the second year, when the Bears won three games. Before this season, hopes were high that the Bears could finish .500 and maybe threaten for a playoff spot.
But in a league where bad teams make the playoffs, the Bears set the bar lower and lower each season.
Soon the hope will be that the Bears can beat winless Cleveland on Christmas Eve.
While Bears fans wonder what's next for their 3-9 team, the 2-10 Giants cleaned house Monday, when co-owner John Mara could no longer pretend his head coach and general manager could get it done.
"We agreed wholesale that changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team we expect to be," Mara said of his discussions with co-owner Steve Tisch said. "We also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes."
The Giants have won two Super Bowls and made the playoffs four times in the last 10 years. The Bears have made the playoffs once (2010).
"It became more and more apparent that we were going to have to do something at the end of the season," Mara said. "So we talked after the game (Sunday) and again (Monday) morning about why prolong it any longer. Why not just get it done now?
"I'm very conscious of the fact that three of our last four games are at home. I was conscious, having lived through it before, of what the reaction was going to be.
"It also gives us somewhat of a tactical advantage, allowing us to start looking at general managers right now, rather than waiting to the end of the season."
Since Michael McCaskey fired Mike Ditka in 1992, the Bears have made the playoffs five times in 25 years and won four playoff games.
Inevitably, the discussion returns to ownership, and based on email and social-media response, the fans have already moved on from Pace and Fox and once again are wondering why George McCaskey and Ted Phillips should be in charge of a football team.
After the last round of firings three years ago, McCaskey spoke with certainty that all was well with the plan in Lake Forest.
"We feel the structure we have is a good one," McCaskey said that day. "The head coach reports to the GM, the GM reports to the team president (Phillips) and the president reports to the chairman (McCaskey)."
In the three years since, the Bears have won six games, three games and three games. This isn't baseball. You don't need five-year plans. You need about three playmakers on each side of the ball. That can be done in two years.
If the Bears don't clean house, they will sell you hard on the notion of hope, that it's all coming together. You know, all the same things you've been hearing for three decades.
If they only fire the head coach, he will be blamed for everything and the story will quickly change to another high draft pick and the great future ahead.
Pace will undoubtedly be "fired up," just as he was for John Fox and Mike Glennon and Kevin White.
The McCaskeys are not evil, not to blame for all the world's ills, but since they ran the likes of Jim Finks and Jerry Vainisi out of town, they haven't produced much success.
It's 30 years past wondering if they will ever let someone other than a McCaskey and Phillips run the operation.
But it won't stop fans from hoping.
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