Ah, the joys of being a Bears fan: All the bravado, all the hype, all the same old crap.
I blame myself for getting sucked into the media frenzy. It's easy to do, we've been suffering for a long time in Chicago, and Chicago has always been a football town.
Last season was a dream come true... Almost. According to the Bears website, going into the preseason they looked BETTER than they did last year. They picked up some good draft picks on offense and defense, and moved Devin Hester over to the offensive side of the ball. They added depth at the safety position and replaced the ever-troubled Tank Johnson with a proven performer in Darwin Walker. The new quarterbacks coach was working with Rex Grossman on his mechanics. Yeah, that's it; the problem was with his mechanics. At least that's what Chicagobears.com would have us believe.
Even during the preseason, when the offense's new "explosive" weapons showed little pizzazz, there was Chicagobears.com promising an offensive juggernaut come regular season. I guess I can't blame them. What are they going to do, actually tell their fans the offense is going to stink? Nope. They're going to sell their product, no matter how awful it really is. And God help the Bears coaching staff if they actually thought that offense was going to be great. Geez.
Maybe the problem was getting the majority of my information from the Chicagobears.com. Even though I'm skeptical by nature, the constant bombardment of positive hype from the website wore my defenses down and I foolishly believed they could make a return trip to the Superbowl. Even though history tells us there's a very small likelihood of that happening.
Choosing to ignore historical facts and believe the hype is no one's fault but my own. Now I am left wondering how I'm going to be spending my Sunday afternoons. I can't bear watching the Bears now. In three short weeks, the once Superbowl contenders have become just another NFC disappointment. Both the offense and the defense seem to be suffering from that "Post Superbowl-Loss Hangover" that we hear so much about.
The defense, hailed as very deep at all positions by the local and national media, has been depleted in three short weeks. The offense with its highly touted acquisitions, has sputtered. The line can't block, the running backs can't run (or hold on to the ball), the receivers can't get open and make catches, and the quarterback can't do anything right for two consecutive drives. Who the hell needs that? I bleed navy blue and orange and I cannot help but feel that the Bears season is already over. And with that realization, my loyalty to the Monsters of the Midway has been deeply shaken. I'm taking crap from my girlfriends' kids and MY kids about how horrible the Bears are. At least in the off-season I could shut them down with a deft argument, but what can I say now? They look pathetic.
After three weeks, the defense has been riddled with injuries and the offense simply looks ghastly. Grossman has a season QB Rating of 45.2 in three games, good for 33rd in the league. There's a freakin' BACK-UP quarterback who's posting better numbers for the season, folks. The offense ranks 27th in rushing yardage, 29th in passing yardage, 26th in points scored, and 28th in time of possession: That just flat out sucks.
I don't claim to have all the answers, and I will be the first to tell you that I don't know everything about pro football, but the offense's inability to keep possession of the football and score is hurting the defense, which no longer ranks in the top five in any major category. And how sad is it when you're watching your favorite team and you're looking forward to the KICKOFFS because the only consistent scorer on the team is the freakin' kick return specialist?
It's fairly obvious that an offensive shake-up is in order. Bench Grossman, for the love of all that is good and right with professional football! It's not as if Grossman hasn't given the Bears a reason to bench him. He was terrible in the Superbowl and has continued his dismal play through the first three games of this season. Do I need to quote stats? I didn't think so.
For the record, last season I was an ardent Grossman backer. I said, "Let the kid show us what he can do. He's going to make mistakes. Let him learn. The consistency will come." Well, it's next season and Grossman hasn't shown us squat. He hasn't shown that he's grown at all or learned much of anything. In fact, he's gotten worse. Good Rex has not shown up for more than a drive or two all year and Bad Rex has crushed this Bears fan's delusions of a return to the Superbowl.
What could be worse?
The head coach inexplicably sticking by his wildly erratic starting QB, that's what could be worse. The most awful part of the loss against the Cowboys was Lovie Smith's failure to admit that he's even considering benching Grossman (until after he looked at the film). WHAT THE HECK IS THERE TO SEE? I'll tell you what he's going to see: Three picks, no touchdowns, no pocket presence, no accuracy, no confidence. What is the point of leaving him in there?
Don't get me wrong; I don't think Grossman is the ONLY problem on offense. But look what Romo did for his offensive line. His pocket presence and mobility bought time for him the backfield when the pocket was collapsing all around him. Grossman? He RAN INTO TWO SACKS! Romo opened up the running game by throwing precise passes over the middle in traffic and forcing the defense to loosen up. Grossman threw three interceptions, allowing the defense to play as tight on the line of scrimmage as they wanted. Grossman's combination of bad pocket presence, bad decision-making, fumbles, errant throws, and staring down his receivers will continue to plague the Bears until he is held accountable for his failings.
I tell you this: If I performed at work like Rex Grossman has performed on the field this season, I would be unemployed within two weeks! Not demoted, not written up, just gone. Is it too much to ask a team with a salary cap figure higher than the GNP of most third world countries to hold their quarterback accountable for his incompetence?
The Bears desperately need something good to happen. The team needs to be shaken up. The offense needs to play better. Grossman needs to sit on the bench and let Greise take over. I don't know if Greise will be any better than Grossman, but he can't be worse, and such a move will send a message to the other players. Perform or sit down. It's as simple as that.
No, I don't have all the answers, but I can tell you this: If I see number eight leading the offense at any point during the Detroit game next Sunday, I will shut off the TV and find something productive to do with my life. I'm not going to spend another twenty years of my life hoping that the Bears make it to the Superbowl when the team refuses to even acknowledge there's a problem at the QB position. It's the same crap with a different coach, and I'm not going to watch it any more. I encourage the rest of you Bears fans out there to do the same. And if the Bears don't put a better product on the field soon, all I have to say is... Go Colts!