I have been attempting to write this since last Sunday, but am only now, on Thursday night, having any success putting my thoughts down in print. Following the "double doink", the play that cemented Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey into Chicago sports history forever (in a Steve Bartman kind of way), I immediately left the viewing party at my friend's apartment. Ignoring the stream of text messages flooding my phone (even my mom put in her two cents. She was not happy), I headed straight home and threw on a Michael Jordan documentary. I kid you not, that is exactly what I did and although it mildly served as a distraction, my mind kept replaying the kick in my head. Did that just really happen? Did our kicker just cost us a chance to reach the Super Bowl? Will Parkey make it out of Soldier Field alive?
I needed to vent, but participating in the various Parkey hate groups forming within the various group chats on my phone seemed unproductive, so I sat down to write this post. However, that proved to be an impossible task. You see, every iteration of my opening paragraph, no matter who many times I attempted to re-write it, continued to resemble what most would consider a death threat; it made Regina George's burn book look like the bible.
So, now days later, I am picking this back up with a clear mind. I have had time to reflect on what exactly happened (a missed 43-year field goal that Robbie Gould could make as a 7th grader) and understand that being a kicker is one of the most stressful jobs in sports. You can be the hero in a matter of seconds, but also end your teams season with just one kick (this is the path Parkey chose). With that being said, the overall theme of my thoughts from Sunday still ring true today; we need to cut Parkey.
Although cutting him seems obvious, there is a chance Parkey is back next year. He still has $3.5 million dollars guaranteed next year on his contract, which is a lot to eat for a kicker, but our front office better get hungry because they need to clean their plates. After a 12-4 season, the city of Chicago will be thinking Super Bowl next year and we cannot go into the playoffs with Parkey at kicker. I had zero confidence in Parkey going into last week's game before he missed field goal. Now? I wouldn't feel comfortable kicking with Parkey in the latest version of Madden.
I don't wish ill on Parkey and I hope he bounces back from this and has a long career in the NFL; just not in Chicago. It is not only in our best interest to send Parkey packing, but in his own as well . The fact that someone as unassuming as myself is having trouble forgiving Parkey can only mean that there are thousands, perhaps millions, of Bears fans who never will. Parkey could make every field goal he kicks next year for the Bears and the people of Chicago would still be just a bite of polish sausage away from having a heart attack the moment he lined up for a field goal in the playoffs.
So, it is obvious that we have to cut Parkey, but when will it happen? Since he didn't get the boot Monday morning, I could see the Bears waiting for things to calm down before pulling the trigger later in the year. However, with Parkey now scheduled to appear on the "Today" show this morning, maybe Bears general manager Ryan Pace should just call in and cut Parkey on national TV (if Pace actually did that, he would push himself into Theo Epstein territory of Chicago front office legends. Not even George Halas himself would pull a stunt like that. Still though, I feel like I would get an odd sense of closure from seeing that.).
Whenever Parkey does get cut, don't feel too bad; I know I won't. The guy is only 26-years old, made $9 million for one year of work, and doesn't even have to pay for movers, as there are thousands of Bears fans that would be more than happy to help.