Imrem: Chicago Bears show bad is better than mediocre

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, file photo, Chicago Bears head coach John Fox watches against Washington during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago. The Bears 41-21 to fall to 3-12 with one game remaining on the schedule.

    FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, file photo, Chicago Bears head coach John Fox watches against Washington during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago. The Bears 41-21 to fall to 3-12 with one game remaining on the schedule.

 
 
Updated 12/28/2016 7:22 PM

Let's look on the bright side and give the Chicago Bears some credit for being so bad that they're good.

The bane of all sports is mediocrity. Nobody ever made a movie titled "The Mediocre News Bears."

 

This season hasn't been mediocre. It has been horrendous. As forecast during the preseason, the Bears are awfully awful.

But that's good.

If the Bears were an average football team, the McCaskey ownership could trick the fan base into staying the course.

Not now, though. Some moves have to be made just to indicate -- perhaps inaccurately -- that someone at Halas Hall has a pulse.

To maintain interest, a team has to be really competent or really incompetent.

Average doesn't inspire passion. One of the worst Bears eras came and went under Lovie Smith when they were between 7-9 and 9-7 four times in a span of five years.

None of that for these Bears. They'll finish either 4-12 or 3-13 after consecutive records of 6-10 and 5-11.

This stretch culminated last weekend in a Soldier Field environment in which millions of Chicago-area Bears fans chose not to buy about 3,000 available tickets, an announced 18,116 bought them but didn't use them, and Soldier Field looked like White Sox park on a chilly September evening.

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The easy interpretation is that the afternoon was an indication that Bears fans have lost interest.

Not so fast, my friends. The truth is that fans do still care. It's just that they choose to care somewhere else.

My goodness, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday they'll care enough to go to the Botanic Gardens with their spouses, play video games with their kids or drive to Starved Rock with the entire family.

Guess what, though: There's a good chance that a running conversation will be about the Bears. Phones might even be used to monitor how they're doing in the season finale at Minnesota.

Many will want the Bears to lose so they can retain the third overall slot in the NFL draft.

The real reason to hope the Bears lose, however, is that it would complete a really deplorable 2016 season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Even if the Bears beat the Vikings, no one will tolerate comments like "Rex is my quarterback" like in the Lovie days.

Heck, head coach John Fox tried to get away with saying that the Bears are "closer than people think" to being a good football team.

At 7-9, 8-8 or 9-7, the response might be, well, a left tackle here and a cornerback there and maybe the Bears will be playoff contenders.

At 3-13 or 4-12, the response had to be to fire this delusional bum and get someone in here who has a clue.

A dysfunctional football team does elevate a fan's emotions to somewhere between frustrated and furious.

So, Bears fans, scream to fire the coach. Demand changes in the front office. Ask for a detailed report of what exactly each and every McCaskey does.

Then there's the quarterback, or more specifically the perpetual lack of one.

The question to someone with the Bears is whether you'd get one decent quarterback by combining all the body parts of Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Connor Shaw and David Fales.

As bad as the Bears are, ask it in a tone of indignation rather than indifference.

Congratulations to the Bears for being so bad that people notice.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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