It seems to have become evident that the decision-makers for nearly all Chicago sports franchises are stupid.
Stupid Is As Chicago Does
Although it seems rather unprofessional to label someone or something as "stupid", the sports scene in Chicago has surpassed what could once be considered "enigmatic" -- or for the superstitious, "cursed" -- and has grown into full-on "stupidity".
Take the city's longest-suffering franchise, the Chicago Cubs, for example. After winning next-to-nothing over the past 100 or so years, the Cubs found themselves in the thick of another major decision in the hiring of a new manager for 2011. After employing the high-profile, highly respected Lou Piniella for the past four seasons, and achieving minimal results, one would assume that Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry would seek the most credible candidate with a good history of winning.
Hendry, as we all know, chose 2010 interim manager Mike Quade.
102 years of futility and this guy is going to change things?Why is it stupid? Because Mike Quade is nothing more at this point in his career than a third base coach who happened to be in charge of a failed team that managed to accumulate some wins once the pressure to win had subsided.
Anyone could have done what Quade did in 2010. The reason for the success was because it was during a point in the season when the Cubs, along with over half of Major League Baseball, were playing for nothing more than pride. Quade's hiring is not the first promotion of an interim manager in the big leagues, but odds are it will yield the disappointing results that often accompany such a move.
With better baseball minds and team leaders available, the Cubs now find themselves committed to a guy who simply doesn't possess the stature, experience, and most likely the natural ability to lead that is required of a franchise as desperate to win as the Cubs.
Again, it's just plain stupid.
Following suit would be the Chicago Bears. For the past two decades, the Bears have had very little sustained success. They have made the playoffs in consecutive years just once, and have been to the Super Bowl only one time.
Dating back to the final day Mike Ditka held the title of Head Coach, the Bears have donevery little in seeking out a leader who not only can provide results, but a leader capable of being the face of the franchise -- much likeDitka and "Papa Bear" himself were regarded. Since the Ditka era, Bears fans have been forced to endure terrible teams coached by Dave Wannstedt, severely under-talented teams coached by Dick Jauron, and now severely mis-managed teams coached by Lovie Smith. Of the three successors since Ditka's departure, not a single one has been what Bears fans would regard as being "the right guy". With a football tradition based on intensity,hard-nosed play, and toughness, one wouldthink that Bears brass could employ leaders who less resemble deer caught in headlights as often as the three aforementioned coaches often have on the sidelines.
Much like the Cubs, the Bears had an opportunity to make a critical decision this past offseason. Had the Bears simply evaluated their franchise with so much as a hint of honesty, it would've been relatively clear that the current coaching regime has not only failed miserably, but in doing so has also wounded the future of the franchise considerably.
But alas, the Bears president Ted Phillips stood behind the men who have done nothing more than virtually fall into any sort of success they've had and, more times than not, set their franchise up for failure with poor decisions and personnel moves.
The Bears had a chance to clean the slate and try to rebuild a team worthy of the tradition the Chicago Bears have.... but they chose not to.
Furthermore, Bears personnel has been marred in a severe lack of talent for the better part of the past twenty years as well. While the rival Vikings and Packers have employed the likes of Brett Favre, Randy Moss, Reggie White, Chris Carter, Sterling Sharpe, and others, the Bears biggest names have paled in comparison. Frankly, if you subtract Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs from the equation, just how many Bears "greats" have there been lately?
Curtis Enis? Bernard Berrian? Hardly.
Outside of Urlacher and Briggs, Devin Hester has been the most high-profile member of the Bears since the departure of the legends -- Singletary, Dent, Payton.
For the majority of recent Bears' history, "nice players" have been the face of the Bears. While other franchises have discovered the Favre's, Warner's, and Brady's, the Bears have evaluated and pursued the McNown's, Mirer's, and Jonathan Quinn's.
After numerous years of failure in returning the Chicago Bears to the elite status they once held, there simply is no other adjective to describe them than "stupid".
The Chicago Bulls -- just as stupid. Over the course of a decade, the Bulls franchise has been very similar to it's football-playing brother. Ten years, nearly five top draft picks, and outside of Derrick Rose, not a single smart pick.
For years, the Chicago Blackhawks were stuck in the midst of stupidity. Over the course of only three seasons, they managed to make great enough strides to give Chicago its first Stanley Cup in nearly a half-century.
Isn't it time the other franchises take note of the Hawks' plan and try to follow suit? Seems simple enough, but we're dealing with true masters of stupid in the Cubs, Bears, and Bulls.
As the popular phrase, uttered by Mr. Gump goes, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Kind of makes you wish Forrest could get an interview in this town.