It's time for Bears fans to let it go

Published11/23/2009 12:40 AM

Apparently, Bears fans can quit trying to appreciate their team now.

The Bears lost 24-20 to Philadelphia on Sunday night. They are 4-6 now. They're all but eliminated from the NFC playoff race.


And the crowd booed at the end, though not raucously. Fans have had too much of this for too long to muster much emotion.

"There's still a lot of football to go," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said as if that's a good thing.

The bad thing is there's so much football left and nowhere to go. There's just no there there when it comes to the Bears.

It's easy to root for the uniform. It's easy to root for a dramatic game like this one. But, man, is this ever a tough group of principals to root for.

It's not that Bears have bad personalities. They aren't the Cubs with Milton Bradley and Carlos Zambrano going goofy.

It's just that the Bears have no personality, no particular person to embrace, no one who is a combination of great player and great fun.

Not unless you want to make Jay Cutler the guy, but he was awful against the Eagles and then couldn't salvage the game with a touchdown drive at the end.

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If Cutler had pulled out a victory, the Bears wouldn't have so much won this game between mediocre teams as not lose it against someone equally as frustrated and frustrating as they have been.

Then the Bears lost it anyway.

Again, though, it isn't so much performance as personality that makes it hard to bear-hug the Bears.

Probably the best example is Smith because he's out front more than the others.

Even in victory something is missing in his relationship with Bear fans. In defeat everything is missing.

The McCaskeys? Virginia is a wonderful woman but as invisible as the Bears' running game.

Ted Phillips? It's difficult to tell exactly what he contributes these days as club president.

Jerry Angelo? The general manager is an engaging guy but not nearly as accessible as he could be.


Cutler? The quarterback is distant enough to be mysterious but not mysterious enough to be intriguing.

Brian Urlacher? Even when he was healthy and playing well, he chose to be a public nuisance.

In a sports era that's supposed to be entertainment, all these folks are more likely to give you the business than be providing you with show business.

Devin Hester used to be huggable for his electric runbacks but now he's just another wide receiver.

This is a franchise known for defense but can't play defense. It's a franchise known for running the football but can't run the football.

Winning would help. Making the playoffs would help more. Chicago sports fans will cheer felons if they compete for a championship.

But the experience would be complete only if fans could like and hug and bond with the team they invest so much of their heart and soul and money in.

After losing to the Eagles, Bears fans don't have the best of either a winning team or winning personalities.

Maybe it's good that they can quit trying to embrace either.

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