Rozner: Bears' concern for you not part of the deal

  • It would be best for everyone if Bears Chairman George McCaskey kept up his end of the deal with the fans.

    It would be best for everyone if Bears Chairman George McCaskey kept up his end of the deal with the fans. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/15/2021 2:23 PM

George McCaskey does not care about you.

It's always been true and that makes him unique among local sports owners in precisely no way.

 

It also doesn't make him a bad person. I don't pretend to know the McCaskeys. Maybe they're great people. Maybe they're awful. But the fact that they don't care about their fans makes them exactly the same as every other owner in sports.

Regardless of what you may think or what they may say, paying lip service to all your heart's desires, owners care about franchise value, making money and winning championships, the order of which may vary from owner to owner.

But do not kid yourself about their level of care for you, any more than would Amazon or Apple. They want you to buy their products. If they're good products and fairly priced, you will stay loyal to them.

The contract is you support a sports team and they're supposed to give you entertainment and championships. That's it. That's the contract. You buy tickets and hot dogs and jerseys, offer them TV ratings, and they're supposed to try to win.

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Somewhere on his list, George McCaskey wants to win. He'd be a fool if the opposite was true. There are many great financial benefits to winning.

He just doesn't know how.

As for why he insists on bringing back the same group of jokers and stuffing them all in a tiny clown car for another season, well, that's beyond my grasp.

It probably has something to do with the remaining candidate pool, money, timing, the pandemic, the salary cap nightmare, or some combination of all.

There's too much evidence suggesting otherwise for him to believe these are the right men to lead the Bears, and there's no one remaining on the planet to make a case for the three-headed Monsters of the Middling unless they're football clueless.

Still, his lack of interest in your opinion makes him no different from all the owners I grew up with, like George Halas, the Wrigleys, Bill Wirtz or Bill Veeck. At least Veeck had an excuse. He was operating on a shoestring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

You're probably thinking Rocky Wirtz is different.

Rocky did everything right when he took over and bless him for not being his father, but if he did not do all that he did -- opposite from his dad and with the goal of making the franchise great -- he would have had to stop losing millions by selling the franchise for a 10th of its current value.

You benefitted from all the wonderful moves he made, but he did that for the sake of profit and franchise value and keeping his other businesses afloat, and because he wanted to win Stanley Cups. You were far down the list of concerns, even for someone keenly aware of how his father mistreated you.

The difference between Wirtz and McCaskey is one was willing to give up control of the operation. Wirtz knew how to turn it around and McCaskey has no apparent idea, keeping in place a family management structure that has never worked.

To be clear, it doesn't matter to me if they win or lose. My job is to tell you what I know about what they do. Once you walk in that door professionally, a journalist is not supposed to care, despite how much bias or cheerleading you might see in media these days.

When you're writing 900 words in 15 minutes on deadline with a game that's changing every few minutes, the last thing you care about is who wins or loses. What you want is a result, any result, as soon as possible.

I don't even care that some Bears folks wanted me out at Fox-32 long before I quit, once in a meeting saying of me to those in the room that, "He's not on board."

Correct. Not my job to be part of your team.

I didn't take it personally. I wouldn't have wanted my opinions on the Bears' station if I were the Bears, and they had similar feelings about Dan Hampton's brand of honesty.

The reason for sharing that is to display how much time the Bears spend on controlling the narrative, the constant need for spin, and how much they believe those covering the team ought to be part of the team.

Like walking through parking lots and shaking hands before a game to show how much they care, it's a laughable waste of time and energy.

Matt Nagy frequently refers to how much "you guys care" when speaking to the media during a losing streak, and last Wednesday, Nagy said, "We appreciate all you guys throughout this entire season."

The media does not need to be appreciated.

And while I have no rooting interest, the reality is it's good for business when the Bears are good, and it's good for the city when the team contends. This is still a Bears town and when the team is good it's a happier place to live.

So, for your sake and the sake of Chicago, it would be much better for everyone if the Bears figured out what they were doing and put a championship team on the field.

It's just a mistake to believe George McCaskey doesn't care about you because he's keeping a failed administration in place, to continue with the same policies that have produced one winning season in six years, zero Super Bowls in the last 35.

All he wants from you is your money. All you want from him is competence. That's the contract.

And somebody's not holding up his end of the deal.

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