Lincicome: Will Bears avoid cruel karma and watch rookie QB Fields lead the way?

  • Quarterback Justin Fields will get many opportunities to prove he can lead the way for the Bears.

    Quarterback Justin Fields will get many opportunities to prove he can lead the way for the Bears. Associated Press

Updated 6/4/2021 10:42 AM

Some things you suspect, some things you guess and some things you just know.

Ohio State quarterbacks are frauds. The best Bears quarterback is the one who is not playing.


Like dead end streets these truisms meet at young Justin Fields, the latest Bears quarterback in the window.

The team that can't find a quarterback gets a quarterback from a school that can't produce one.

It's a blind date between the careless and the clueless.

Wait, you say. Give the kid a chance. Of course, young Fields will get his chance, likely more chances than he deserves. And the sooner the better. The Bears are nothing if not generous and patient and encouraging.

They can be defiantly inside out as well. Recall that once the Bears had a quarterback from Michigan (alas, not Tom Brady but Jim Harbaugh) and a fullback -- Brad Muster -- from Stanford when common sense knows it should be the other way around.

Harbaugh, by the way, swapped off and on with an Ohio Stater, Mike Tomczak, parading before us as Thing 1 and Thing 2, a description for which I must take either the credit or the blame.

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This is not to pick on Ohio State, no more than it deserves. Being as I am an apathetic alum and a token supporter -- I use an old Varsity Club drinking mug as a pencil holder -- I wish young Fields all the best. He has my sympathy, because he comes to the Bears with not only his own Buckeye baggage but all the left luggage of Bears quarterbacks before.

While Ohio State has earned its place as Disappointment U, school pedigree matters not to the Bears. Think of retread Notre Damer Rick Mirer and USC draft darling Cade McNown, quarterbacks from genuine Quarterback U's, so flawed even the Bears had to hide their eyes.

Or the most recent rescue mutt, Mitch Trubisky, schemed out of North Carolina, raw and unpolished, given four years to fail. Trubisky apologists may insist too much was asked too soon, or the rare Jay Cutler defender might point out the revolving door of Cutler's coordinators and coaches who waved hello and goodbye with the same hand.

At some point maybe the Bears should conclude it is not them, it is us.

Certainly, Fields will get his chance. It is up to him, more or less, as it was up to Trubisky and Rex Grossman and Cutler and the whole long line of lost laundry.


This is a common dilemma for Bears fans, who do not need panels and pundits and paid opinions to tell them what they know; it just never works out. Success is not a given, it is always a surprise.

To be a Bears fan is to remain a dogged optimist, a relentless romantic. Otherwise, might as well root for the Packers, who seem to have no trouble finding great quarterbacks to toil on the tundra.

To be a Bears fans is to swear never to be suckered again and still, inevitably to be wooed by hope, the cruelest trinket in the wizard's bag.

Pay no attention to the dude behind the curtain. He just might be able to hit the open man.

Serendipity or cruel karma -- I pick the second one -- has provided a rare chance for a football twofer, the removal of both lingering defects at once -- the Buckeyes' well-documented quarterback curse and the Bears well-earned reputation (to use Jim McMahon's bitter verdict) as the place quarterbacks go to die.

All it will take is for young Fields to be an immediate marvel, to match recent instant wonders such as Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson.

At the very least, young Fields must be better than the three quarterbacks chosen before him in the draft, 1-2-3, Trevor Lawrence, Zack Wilson and Trey Lance.

Rookies can win. Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, et al., are enough evidence of that. None of them, of course, played for the Bears.

Young Fields might plausibly become all that he can be, all that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy imagine him to be, all that Bears fans wish him to be, but chance must, alas, collide with the familiar.

The sooner Fields starts, the sooner the hunt for the next quarterback can begin.

Here's the truth. The best Bears quarterback may yet be the one who can throw the football with his fingers crossed.

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