I submit, for your amusement:
1. My post heralding the Bears’ acquisition of Jay Cutler in April 2009.
2. This particular paragraph, the last in a post written after the Bears’ 28-20 victory over San Francisco in week 3:
They’re in first place in the NFC North. Granted, so is everyone else in the division, but work with me. The offense can be as good as it was last year. The defense doesn’t have to be 1985-good or 2006-good, they just have to be better than last year, say a touchdown per game better. God and Ditka willing, last night was the start of something special.
I meant good special, not bad special.
I figured, fairly, that last year’s offense plus a defense on par with any other in Bears history would be a massive improvement. Heck, the 2013 offense and the 2012 defense probably would’ve won 12 games. Instead, we saw the worst defense in Bears’ history replaced by the second-worst defense in Bears’ history. A 2.25 point-per-game improvement will not suffice– especially when the offense is nearly eight points per game worse.
Two Bears seasons in my memory stand out as being as soul-annihilating as this one: 1989 and 2002.
1989: They finished 6-10 after winning the first four games. This came after five consecutive NFC Central titles. I wasn’t really old enough to remember the Bears being bad, so it was painful. It was especially painful because that was the year the Bears traded my favorite player, Jim McMahon, and rotated Mike Tomczak and Jim Harbaugh at QB. Jeez, that year sucked.
2002: They started 2-0 and were leading the Saints in week 3 by 20 points. That strong start was surely a sign that the previous season’s success (13 wins, #2 seed in NFC) wasn’t a fluke. Well… it was a fluke. They blew the lead against the Saints and finished 4-12.
Oh well. This season felt like it actually ended after blowing the lead against Carolina in week 5, and everything that came after was insult atop injury.
Next season looks bleak. The Bears have too much money locked up in Cutler, too many old and broken parts to replace, too many managerial and coaching personnel that need to be fired, and too many McCaskeys running the show. I’d like to think that the Bears can only improve from here, but I jinxed them enough in September.
Watching Nelson’s hit on Le’Veon Bell in slo-mo just made the backs of my knees tingle in sympathy pain. That was horrific.