Author Archives: Carl from Chicago

Chicago Seems to be an Irrelevant Franchise

If you live in Chicago you are in the echo chamber about the Bears – Bears news, commentary, predictions, some optimism, and despair.  However – now that I’ve moved out of Chicago, I can see how irrelevant they are on the main stage.  This pains me… and it pains me even more which OTHER franchises seem to stay “top of mind”.

Green_Bay_Sucks

The damn Packers!  Near my place there is a semi-seedy bar covered in flags and what do I spy on top?

I see tourists every day tromping through my neighborhood… often they are wearing gear supporting their pro football or state college team.  I hardly ever see anyone with anything from the Bears (and I’d probably be struck by lightning if I saw anything for the Illini) because the Bears are pretty much unknown here and in most of the country.

It makes sense, because we’ve sucked pretty much the whole time for anyone under, say, 40.  The Bears won in 1985 and that was 30+ years ago so you’d have to be at least old enough to have been part of the media storm to care about them (or be someone who grew up hearing about them all the time).

Not only have we been terrible, pretty much all of our stars on the team are unknown.  It is hilarious that the Bears are reaching way, way back into stars before my time on the new jerseys.  After Walter Payton (note… that was a LONG time ago) there is hardly anyone and even Urlacher is mostly a nobody outside of Chicago.

It is so bad here there isn’t even really a “Bears” bar in Portland… but you can see all sorts of other teams including franchises like the Buffalo Bills and of course the Steelers and Packers.  The Raiders too always band together and that’s a scary bunch.

It doesn’t help that we have had an awful offense this whole time… people do play fantasy football and if we had a lot of stars in that facet of the game we’d probably get more acknowledgment.  And Dan and I have been banging the drum for offense the whole time (and hopeful that Trubisky will bring it).

I have to blame the McCaskey’s for all this.  They’ve had this franchise forever and done nothing with it.  They need to fix it or find someone who will.  And sadly they likely won’t, and will pass this on to various members of their extended clan indefinitely.  And we will remain irrelevant…

 

Bears Have A Window Of Four Years

One of our favorite sites is “Over the Cap” which reviews the economics of football. An added bonus is that the head of the site is a Jets fan, so he gets to watch his favorite team essentially do everything wrong with football finances (so far, at least).

There is a great number there – Trubisky at 3.72% of our cap space, with our divisional competitors ranging up to 14.95% for Stafford and Rogers at 11.6% (before his next contract, where he is sure to break the bank). Who knows what Minnesota will do but I hope they break the bank going for Cousins and then they get a mid range QB for what will probably be the largest contract in the history of the NFL.

I’m up in the Pacific Northwest now and watching the Seahawks dismantle their team and start over. Their 3 awesome years coincided with getting a top five QB on the cheap (Wilson) but now that he is getting paid they can’t re sign their stars and are going to let a lot of them go.

Every single Bears fan is like “duh” to this whole thread… we know that bad QB’s kill the team since we’ve lived through generations of them. We also lived through terrible offensive coordinators, such as the immortal Ron Turner, who spurred the original intent of this site (Fireronturner.net will ALWAYS point here). Even today I heard a podcast talking about how terrible Norv Turner was with his 7 step drop like some sort of idiotic time capsule of how the NFL used to work (along with Jeff Fisher a horrendous coach / coordinator). The analysts seriously have to start putting an asterix next to these seasons because they are outliers.

In any case, there is a lot of cause for optimism if we can 1) keep Trubisky from getting killed 2) install a modern offense that actually leverages his talents 3) get an O line that isn’t a fricking turnstyle 4) maybe not have literally the worst receiving corps in the NFL. I know Chicago loves defense but this game is 90% offense… just look at the Super Bowl and most of last years’ playoff games (the ones that mattered, not the horrendous ones like the Bills ha ha).

The NFL is changing FAST. History means… not much. And the NFL is now super stacked in favor of drafting effectively since those positions give you top flight talent on the cheap. And damn have a coach and coordinators into what’s happening right now not based on some idiotic history (I love Gruden talking about bringing back the fullback for the Raiders ha ha).

Nagy May End Up Sucking, But At Least He Showed Up at the Bears

Bears fans may think that we have a proud history and are a storied franchise, but the reality is that we are 33 years away from our last Super Bowl win and haven’t even knocked on the door for the last 10.  Minnesota has a beautiful indoor stadium as we saw last Sunday while Dan and I trudge up 10,000 steps to our seats at the top of a windy outdoor bowl with crappy concessions and not even a place to warm up.

So it didn’t really surprise me when the Bears search, led by a guy with little success in the NFL (Pace) and an accountant who’s done nothing to create a winner (Phillips) found a guy who had been an offensive coordinator at the pro level for half a dozen games to be our head coach, Nagy.  While teams like San Francisco and even the Raiders ($100M!!) paid up for talent, we scraped up someone with nothing to lose at taking a flyer at being an NFL coach who doesn’t mind working for a franchise seemingly going nowhere and led by this diminutive duo.  Hell I was just happy we didn’t get an old blowhard like Jeff Fisher.  Maybe Nagy will at least have an entertaining press conference after each loss most likely.

The guy I thought we should at least try to get was McDaniels.  Sure he flamed out the first time he was a head coach at Denver but he’s learned a lot since then and ran the most fearsome offense ever.  With the NFL’s idiotic “wink wink nudge nudge” model of having coordinators for teams in the playoffs not being able to accept jobs for next year (but they can just sign the day after their team isn’t in the playoffs) – the Colts seemed to one-up the Bears by taking arguably the best candidate out there while we selected a nobody (at least a nobody who wasn’t already a bust or old fart).

But now the jokes’ on Indy.  Ha ha.  Still hate you for beating the Bears after the 2007 season anyways.  But probably there still are a lot of guys out there as candidates who have 6+ games as an offensive or defensive coordinator under their belts, maybe 500 or so.

Another glimmer of laughter was that Detroit is picking up the Patriots defensive mastermind who couldn’t stop the Eagles AT ALL under that Hall of Famer Nick Foles.  Ha ha.

Here at Fire Everybody we get most of our satisfaction from the failures of others since our own hopes have inevitably dashed by injuries, ineptitude and just plain lack of talent.  All the while freezing our asses off in the cheap seats of what soon will be the worst stadium in the NFL (since the San Diego Chargers moved, although the worst day outside in San Diego is usually pretty damn awesome).

Fire Everyone Is Here

Hey everybody.  We changed the domain name “firejohnfox.wordpress.com” to “firemattnagy.wordpress.com”.

I think a lot of the folks that used to find us now see a blank page over at “firejohnfox.wordpress.com”.  I will try to fix this through wordpress.

Of course I am telling people how to find us who can’t find us so I am kind of shouting out into the void.  Obviously if this was a commercial site this would be more of a problem…

 

Domain Addresses Updated

It seems that football coaches are getting a bit smarter than they used to be.  Probably the first thing a coach does when they start moving up the ranks is buy the domain “Fire(insert name here).com”

So to get to this site directly – it is going to be https://firemattnagy.wordpress.com/

Sorry John Fox I gave back the domain but we will still leave the “true” name of the site that way unless I get super industrious and figure out how to change it.

So what points here?

  • FIRERONTURNER.NET – this is a classic and we can’t give it up.  Terrible Ron Turner, with a career of futility who cost the Bears the 2007 Super Bowl, will forever be linked to our lives.  Or at least until the Bears win a Super Bowl in which case maybe we’d forget but that sure seems a long ways away
  • FIRERYANPACE.NET – Ryan wasn’t a coach but still snagged his domain
  • FIREMATTNAGY.NET – Matt Nagy joins the club!  Welcome!  Remember we are die hard Bears fans up in the cheap seats and we want you to succeed.  Sadly, the odds are that you won’t

So there you go.  What is funny is that John Fox’s domain registration was just about to auto renew… but now it’s gone and we have a new victim.

Enjoy!

Also since we are talking about boring site stuff they really have a lot of annoying ads on the mobile plan for wordpress.  Maybe if I am feeling up for it I will spring for an ad free site.  It is just the price of a couple cases of watered down beer.

On the Bears – My 2 Cents

Dan and I pass back and forth idiotic articles on football all the time.  Journalists have to fill pages or screens or mobile devices with content so it is everywhere.  And everyone has an opinion – why not – it’s free, just like this site.

Here’s my 2 cents and “mega view” on the Bears.  It comes from reading pretty much every article I can find, listening to people who know way more than me about football, sitting in the stands, and watching the (miserable) games.

Our failure is a complete mix of toxic ingredients that inter-relate across major decisions, business decisions, coaching decisions, and frankly bad luck.  It isn’t “one thing” and it can’t just be taken in isolation.  You can’t just look at one variable and come to a conclusion.

ELEMENT ONE – OUR COACHING AND GM’S ARE TERRIBLE

It isn’t that we don’t pay a lot of money (the Bears haven’t been cheap for years) – it is that for some reason or another, we usually get the wrong guys at the wrong time.  The evidence for this is two fold – 1) the execs and coaches that we hire and cast off usually go on to obscurity 2) zero innovation has been credited to the Bears in decades (probably since the 80’s on defense).  You never hear anyone talking about the Bears inventing a trend or scheme and attributing it to them.

ELEMENT TWO – WE HAVE A HISTORY OF DRAFT BUSTS

Going through our litany of draft failures is almost too much to Bear (bad pun).  We did pick some good guys on defense leading up to the 2007 Super Bowl season but damn that was a long time ago and even reading or scanning through most of our top draft picks is a sad experience that I won’t go through here.  If you are a Bears fan and you can’t immediately recite bust after bust then you must not be much of a fan.  Dan and I are VERY high on our new QB we nicknamed Grabowski and hell if he’s great (and doesn’t fall prey to element three) then a lot of this might go away (for a bit).

ELEMENT THREE – OUR INJURIES AND LUCK IS TERRIBLE

I am not a doctor nor a turf expert but the Bears have been crippled by injuries for years and our awful field conditions have to be at least partially to blame.  The epitome of this is the injury to our starting center on Family Day.  This is going to blend with element four below but of our few solid players, they are crippled in their peak and then just limp along as an inferior shells of themselves for years to come.  I can walk through the list of injuries but really, once again, if you are a true Bears fan it has to be completely obvious to you what I am talking about.

ELEMENT FOUR – OUR STADIUM AND BUSINESS DECISIONS ARE TERRIBLE

Our stadium is a joke.  They don’t even have enough bathrooms for you to go at half time.  I routinely see fans from visiting teams dumbfounded that there is nowhere to warm up and that the stadium takes hours to exit due to obvious physical limitations and bottlenecks.  Recently I left with some Atlanta fans and they couldn’t believe that we needed to walk like two miles from the stadium through random sidewalks just to get to a place where you could get an Uber.  They were looking at me like “are we lost” and I said “hey if there was a better plan I would be doing it”.  The practical impact of this stadium mess is that we never will host a Super Bowl (else Chicago would be perfect – we have the biggest airport and a billion hotel rooms) and the team can’t make the money that you make from something like Jerry’s world in Dallas.

ELEMENT FIVE – THE STATS LIE – WE LIVE IN GARBAGE TIME

I don’t play fantasy football (which makes me a freak) but there is a HUGE difference between the game you see on the screen and the stats that come up in the end.  The Bears LIVE in “garbage time”, raising their stats when the game is either out of reach or barely in reach.  One of the best examples is when the human clown Glennon passed for 300 yards and we were blown out – I really don’t care about the stats when these games are obviously not close.  On the other hand, they hit Grabowski for his stats when he literally has ONE SECOND to throw the ball due to horrendous O line play and the fact that his receivers could not play on any other NFL squad nor probably even a top NCAA team.

ELEMENT SIX – EACH OF THESE TOXIC VARIABLES DOUBLES DOWN

It is a simple piece of math.  If you have a 20% chance of something bad happening and you roll the dice 5 times, it is very likely that it just occurred.  When we do have some talent (2007), we squander it with the worst coaching ever (Ron Turner).  When we have a bit of innovation (a few years ago on offense), it is crushed by injuries and draft busts.  When we see someone unexpected start to rise up (like Knox or Miller), they get often get catastrophic injuries.  Jay Cutler had a lot of talent but flaws – and he then was subjected to horrendous coaching and brutal O line play and always crippled and then we get history.

So that’s my 2 cents.  “It takes a village” to be as terrible as the Bears.  And you need to untangle all of these root causes and fix them over some period of time (decades?) to make progress.

  • Hire coaches who can innovate
  • Hit on the draft
  • Fix the turf or get out of Soldier Field to raise revenue and reduce injuries
  • Ignore the stats and look at the damn game

But when someone gives you a simple “cause and effect” article on the Bears, throw it in the trash.  When something good happens on the Bears, like a lobster trying to escape from a barrel, the other elements drag it back down.

Bears Close Against Possible NFC Leaders Carolina?

Carolina might be one of the better teams in the NFC, with Green Bay losing Rogers and the Cowboys seemingly falling apart.  Thus it is amazing that the Bears are only 3 point underdogs at home against this team.

Here’s a prediction per the Bleacher Report

Look for the Bears to make this a competitive game at home. It should come down to a field goal either way, and that will keep this game within the point spread. Take the points and the Bears.

Let’s think about this a bit.  First of all, the Bears finally gave up on Giraffe Neck, primarily because the mouth breathers (fans) could not stand the idea of giving up on the entire season for a better draft pick and saving the wear and tear on our new shiny QB of the future.  While I don’t set the odds for Vegas, I think the line would be a lot higher if the Bears hadn’t been very close against the Vikings (who amazingly are also one of the better teams in the NFC) and beat Baltimore on the road, which is due to the fact that Trubisky came into the game as the starter and brings the Bears a shot at winning instead of a cardboard cutout (albeit a tall one) of a QB.

If the Bears really are this close to Carolina with all their wide receivers hurt and down many key folks on defense to season ending injuries, what does this say about HOW TERRIBLE THE NFL IS RIGHT NOW?

A bunch of crazy things are happening in the NFL.  Teams that were supposed to be great are terrible, and teams that were supposed to be terrible are great.  What is the cause?  What separates the good teams from the bad teams?

  1. Competent QB play – this implies that your QB isn’t costing you the game and is able to run a decent passing attack in the scope of your offense.  If you have a terrible O line (like the Bears right now) then this must be overcome; if you have no receivers (like the Jets) then that has to overcome, as well
  2. Defense Against the Pass – I don’t care how it happens per se whether it is between rushing the QB to hurry him or having great downfield players in the secondary, if you can put pressure on the opposing passing offense you will do well.  Sure there are some running backs out there but they aren’t really putting teams up or down all that much in the grand scheme of things

The Jets, for instance, have this.  Crazily enough, McClown is playing competently even with all his obstacles and the defense is woke enough to do some damage.  Even the lowly Dolphins with Smokin’ Jay were able to win once he started getting his soon-to-be-backbreaking passes to land.

Do the Bears meet these criteria with Trubisky in the lineup?  Probably.  He isn’t killing them like Giraffe Neck and can make some plays when the o line gives him a couple seconds.  Their defense is actually not too terrible, either.  The difference is probably special teams / trick plays which seem to tilt the Bears one way or another on any given week.

I still laugh HA HA HA when I see people take defensive players or receivers and the like with their top draft picks while there are top (potential) QB’s on the board.  IF YOU HAVE TERRIBLE QB PLAY YOU ARE TERRIBLE, PERIOD.  Look at the Raiders without Carr – they are now “the Bears” as Dan and I typically term a team “without hope of winning a playoff game”.  Cleveland took a defensive stud with their #1 pick and sure he’s made a few plays but their quarterback woes make them completely uncompetitive as a team.

It is sooooo ironic that McClown is out there leading the Jests and smokin Jay can even bring the Dolphins an occasional win.  The level of play in the NFL for QB’s is laughable, and it is even worse when “garbage time” yards are taken out of the equation (I still can’t believe that Glennon threw for 300+ yards in a game).