Bear Down For What?

With the NFL draft in the rearview mirror, I decided to take a look at the news around the Chicago Bears both on and off the field. Last week, the Bears drafted Caleb Williams and think he’s going to be the answer at quarterback. As Lee Corso says, not so fast my friend. It doesn’t matter who the Bears draft at quarterback. Jay Mariotti, fantastic columnist who used to write for the Chicago Sun-Times, often referred to the Bears quarterback position as the city of weak shoulders.

There’s a reason why the backup quarterback is the most popular player in the city of weak shoulders. Because the Bears ruin quarterbacks. The Bears are the only franchise that doesn’t have a quarterback who’s thrown for 4,000 yards or 40 touchdowns in a single season. If they had won the coin flip in 1970 instead of Pittsburgh, no one would know who Terry Bradshaw is. They’d ruin Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, John Elway, or the Manning Brothers. Everyone questions why the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky in 2017 instead of DeShaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes. It doesn’t matter. They would have gotten the same results if they had.

People said they shouldn’t have drafted Justin Fields in 2021 because Ohio State quarterbacks don’t cut it in the NFL, following Dwayne Haskins disastrous time with the Washington Commanders (nee Redkins). But that’s not true. Both the Bears and Washington ruin quarterbacks. CJ Stroud’s rookie year with the Texans should show Ohio State quarterbacks can make it in the NFL with the right support system in place. Had the Bears drafted Trevor Lawrence, they would have had the same results. Fields and Jordan Love could trade places and the Bears and Packers would have the same results. The Bears would still be searching for a quarterback, while the Packers would have their successor to Rodgers. Instead, in 2027 Williams will go to the Steelers as the last 2 Bears quarterbacks have, while the Packers will draft Love’s successor in 2035 and trade him to the Jets in 2038 as they did with Favre and Rodgers.

When the Bears drafted Fields, I said he should pull an Elway and refuse to play for them. Williams should do the same. The Bears have decent skill players on offense, but they don’t have an offensive line to protect him. Without an offensive line, the quarterback can’t do anything. As we learned from the book and movie The Blind Side, there’s a reason why the left tackle is an important commodity. I’ve been hearing the same song and dance about the Bears for the last 25 years. I fail to see how this one is any different.

While Bears fans think Williams is the answer to their long string of quarterback troubles, off the field, the Bears are making waves too. After failing to come to an agreement on what their tax bill should be in Arlington Heights, the Bears have pivoted to building a stadium in the city close to where Soldier Field currently is. They unveiled plans for it, saying that along with infrastructure, it would cost $4.7 billion with the Bears contributing half of the cost. However, when you account for the $600 million in debt remaining from building Sox Park and the Soldier Field renovations, along with interest, the cost would be close to $5 billion that the city would have to pay.

Speaking of the white sox, they’re looking for the taxpayers to build them a stadium too. They should tell Jerry Reinsdorf, he’s not getting squat because they gave him a stadium 35 years ago. Tell him either stay at Sox Park, build a new stadium yourself, or leave town like you said were going to 35 years ago. As for the Bears, they should draw a line in the sand with them too. Tell them you were planning to spend $5 billion of your own money on the Arlington Heights project, so clearly you have the money or a way to get the money. IL governor JB Pritzker agrees that the state should not provide these teams with corporate welfare. There’s no tangible benefit to the public for providing them with stadiums. The Bears are not going to leave the Chicago area, and neither are the White Sox, despite Reinsdorf’s threats. Chicago is a major market.

Speaking of Arlington Heights, the Bears are dumb to kill the project over $5 million in property taxes while the land is vacant. In the grand scheme of things, is it really going to matter? They spent $200M to buy the land, plan to spend $5 billion to develop it, and would have to spend about $100M to break the Soldier Field lease early. I thought the whole point of the Arlington Heights project was to own the stadium, as they don’t own Soldier Field. I’ve said before Soldier Field is the smallest stadium in the NFL and the city won’t allow naming rights to be sold because it’s a tribute to the military.

It wasn’t just about selling naming rights or building a bigger stadium and a roof to attract events like the Final 4, Super Bowl, Big 10 Championship Game, National Championship Game, attracting college football games the way Dallas and Atlanta have, and other marquee events, and to build a residential and entertainment complex. It was about the Bears owning it, which would allow them to keep all the revenues from events like this and concerts. In the first year of Cowboys Stadium, Dallas turned a PROFIT of $12M from these events. Both the Bears and Arlington Heights should return to the bargaining table and settle the dispute. Both sides will get a windfall once it’s completed.

This project would give the Bears more revenue to put into the team. However, unlike MLB and the NBA, the NFL has a hard cap on what teams can spend on payroll. Bears fans might think that this will give them the revenues to build a better team, but as a Packers fan, I can assure you it won’t. Their failures on the field are due to ineptitude and incompetence from the front office and the coaching staff. In the words of Homer Jay Simpson, “Let the Bears pay the Bear Tax! I pay the Homer Tax!” Bear down for what? A 5-12 season?

Share This Article