Imrem: A lost Bears season in so many ways
The reason dramatic changes must be made at Halas Hall on Monday is clear: The Chicago Bears aren't Chicago's Bears anymore.
Club chairman George McCaskey isn't tone deaf. Ownership took out a newspaper ad thanking fans for their support.
The Bears accomplished a rare double this season by becoming as unlikeable as they were unsuccessful.
The Bears lost 13-9 at Minnesota on Sunday to finish with 5 straight losses.
Head coach Marc Trestman said, "I'm really proud of our football team, the way they played today."
Please, fast, get this man out of here.
Trestman added that a team meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, by which time his fate and that of others likely will have been determined.
Consider the Bears' final offensive possession with the outcome in the balance: Included were a false start, an illegal touch of a pass, a dropped pass, another false start and a fourth-down completion short of the first-down marker.
Not much to be proud of in that, coach, is there?
The Bears' final 5-11 record isn't the only reason they're difficult to like as football players, much less respect, much less embrace.
Go back 45 years to the season in which the Bears finished with a 1-13 record, the memory of which should make fans grimace.
Instead, much about that season brings a smile that you don't see around here these days. That team oozed a certain roughhouse integrity that this team lacks.
In 1969, you could smile over Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers heading toward the Hall of Fame. You could smile as Mike Pyle, Ed O'Bradovich and Bennie McRae wound down noteworthy Bears careers. You could smile with Brian Piccolo and Doug Buffone, both of whom remain local legends in their own way.
You could smile with the immense presence of George Halas, no longer the coach but still Papa Bear as the owner.
You could even smile that the Bears still played in little old Wrigley Field instead of just another of today's coldly modern stadiums.
A 1-13 team could be beloved because it was Chicago's 1-13 team, a raucous and rebellious bunch that struggled week to week like many of the city's residents struggled paycheck to paycheck.
How many Bears fans will have similarly warm feelings in 45 years when they look back on the 2014 Bears, who won five times as many games as the 1969 team did?
You'd have to travel many a city block to find a Bears fan who has much good to say about the McCaskeys, about Trestman, about general manager Phil Emery, about quarterback Jay Cutler.
At times the behavior of players like Lance Briggs, Brandon Marshall and Lamarr Houston disgraced the "C" on the helmet and disgusted the faithful on the streets.
Overall, when it comes to looking for reasons to hug this team, there's no there there.
If the Bears have an identity on the field it's of being soft. If they have a personality off the field it's of Briggs-Marshall selfishness. If they have an image generally it's of a group just passing through town.
These Bears just don't play Bears football, just don't talk Bears football and just don't project Bears football.
I know, I know, I keep lamenting that the Bears have become foreign to me.
Can't help it because there was a time when even at 1-13 they still were the LuvaBears.
"I guess we'll see what happens next, huh?" defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff said.
For Bears fans, next better be something dramatic.