Did Anyone See the Second Half?

I've heard it a million times since Monday night.  "This could be the win that saves Lovie Smith's job in Chicago."  Read it in both major papers.  Listened to Adam Schefter say it on ESPN this morning.  Now I'd just like someone to explain this to me: why?

If anyone was redeemed Monday night, it was Ron Turner.  Turner's offense lit up the scoreboard against a pretty good and definitely hungry defense.  His play-calling kept head-coach-in-waiting Leslie Frazier on his heels all evening, especially down around the goalline.  For the first time all season, the Bears received dynamic offensive line play and subsequently looked like a dynamic offense.  Schefter said that Lovie will likely be retained "while changes are made on the offensive coaching staff."  If Monday night was any part of the reason, then Turner should be promoted to General Manager.

Lovie Smith's defense, the defense he is now entirely responsible for, allowed thirty points in the second half.  If the Bears had lost this game they could have easily lost, fans would have woken up Tuesday morning with a lit torch in their hands.  The Bears defense showed the same flaws they've shown all season: soft on third-and-longs, lack of pressure for the duration of the second half and failure to adapt to basic offensive calls. 

If the Bears make the decision to retain Lovie Smith, a decision that has now been forced onto the lap of Virginia McCaskey (believe that and I'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge), don't try to sell the fans on the meaning of two meaningless games at the end of a lost season.  Tell us it's about the money.  Or tell us it's about the faith you have in the man in charge.  But there is one word that can not be used when announcing the decision...



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  • First!!

  • Ron Turner still needs to be fired.

  • Jeff,

    First let me start by saying that if the Bears play every game next year like they did against the Vikings this team will go to the post season. For the first time all year all phases of the game clicked and our team was able to generate a quality win. Was the D soft at times in the second half? Yes. Did the D come up big in O.T.? Yes.

    Don't make the mistake of taking away from a quality win just because you have a bone to pick with the coaching staff for blowing our chances to be competitive for a majority of the season. I think one has to be able to separate the win on Monday Night from the rest of the season.

    Don't forget who we played. Even though the queens are hated by the average Bears fans they still have an abundance of talent on their roster. Seven of their players are going to the Pro Bowl for pete's sake.

    Do the Bears have defensive problems? Yes. In my opinion the Bears do not, I repeat DO NOT, have the personel to successfully run the cover 2 and that the cover 2 is fast becoming outdated in the NFL. Offenses have figured out how to beat the Cover 2 scheme. The question I have is, is Lovehead talented enough to be able to phase out the Cover 2 and replace it with a superior defensive scheme? Lovehead has committed to the Cover 2 and I honestly don't think the man will ever realize that the days of the cover 2 are numbered in the NFL.

    Lovehead will be back next year so I think its time to start discussing the positive steps this Coaching staff needs to make during the offseason instead over crying over spilled milk.

    I mean absolutely no disrespect Jeff, and I feel your pain. I just don't think we can really knock any part of Monday nights win.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    The Cover 2 gets a lot of blame - but it's a coverage. That's all it is. You can 'work out' any coverage, it's not hard. Any coverage has strengths and weaknesses. Lovie has switched from the Cover 2 and disguised into other coverages. He gets blamed for sticking to the cover 2, but if Harris is back at full strength next year with the line we have, watch out, the sacks and interceptions and victories will stop people talking about the coverage.

  • If Virginia doesn't do it, who does?

    Patrick Ryan? Andrew McKenna?

    Chicago is the 2nd most lucrative NFL market there is, only behind New York. Chase, Cadillac, United Airlines, US Cellular - all but some major coinage into the McCaskey till. They have almost certainly voiced displeasure on not having a post-season appearance.

    The McCaskey clan usually rates in the TOP THREE worst NFL Owners, amongst almost every fan and every INSIDER poll, even the anonymous poll of people affiliated with NFL OWNERSHIP!

    What does that translate to? At NFL Owners meetings, everybody rolls their eyes when the McCaskeys come around. Snicker. They probably get patronized and not invited to the golf events.

    Jeff keeps talking about the franchise and rich tradition. But as somebody else posted, it's been a litany of failed exepctations since the Super Bowl Shuffle and one bullshit Super Bowl appearance due to the Gods themselves aligning the schedule and Lovie finally getting Jauron's defense to peak.

    Once Favre decided to drop the shade on Mister Noodle (damn I love Elmo references) and start audibles and changing calls in the huddle to take advantage of the fact Bullocks was fucking lost out there - they started to march downfield. HH had to start calling sets that called for Briggs and Roach to drop out - they HAD to stop loading the box up.

    Once Graham was isolated, everybody - including old man Farve - know he's so burnable he's the 2nd coming of Toast Patterson. By all rights, save for one exceptional effort by the mad Israeli big Izzy, the Vikes should have won that game... 31-30 was there.

    And, then, nobody would be talking about how Chris Williams held up. Lovie would not be enjoying NYE's, as he will tonight. Nobody would hold up a glass and toast with him, he'd be a pariah.

    So pony up United Airlines. Buy a big ad sign or something - to help pay for Lovie's early retirement. Because he can't coach. His scheme is old, it's figured out - and it's time to seriously consider the 3-4 ala Pittsburg. This is a linebackers town, and let's get somebody in here with a solid scheme and get to work at making Urlacher an ILB rather than a MLB.

  • Happy New Year guys, it was a rough one for Chicago sports fans (aside from the mighty Blackhawks) but as we like to say on the North side

  • I couldn

  • gpldan - that's probably the last post I'm reading today, and it was GREAT!

    What if the Vikes went for 2? Same result (31-30) most likely. I prayed they wouldn't have the nerve, and Mr. Noodle answered my prayer. What do you think Favre wanted to do? we were on our heels.

    But Jeff makes a good point - if anyone redeemed himslef, it was Turner. Today there was regret in his comments about not rolling Jay out more, but said (essentially) the line was so unreliable it made him hesitant.

    Now I'm NOT saying Turner should stay; I'm just saying that Lovie had nothing to do with the victory.

  • Nobody is taking away from the win. I was in the building, it was magical. I'm attacking the myth that the win is a reflection on Lovie's performance. When a defense allows thirty points in a half, and people believe it saves the defensive coordinator's job, you have reached a new low.

  • What I saw in the second half was a quarterback that manned up and gave the Bears a win in O.T. I also saw a D that refused to quit and a special teams unit that tore the heart out of the vikings D when they saw those returns time and time again.

    I saw what had been missing all year, a victory against a quality opponent when even the Bear faithful were struggling to Bear Down. I saw the pride of an organization come back from the brink of certain death on Monday Night and a TEAM that refused to lose.

    Bear Down Boys, Bear Down.

  • A team that refused to lose? Listen, it was wonderful but teams that refuse to lose don't allow thirty points in a half, Mike.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    A team that refuses to lose during a game finds a way to win and does actually win the game which the Bears did in this situation. I never said that they played a perfect game. If you read my comments after the game you would have seen where I said that Lovie had absolutely nothing to do with the win.

    You're saying Lovehead had everything to do with allowing 30 points in the second half and I'm saying that it was the TEAM(Players) that had everything to do with the win. I read your thread again and now see that we are really saying the same thing juxtaposed.

    I Only want to spend some time on the positives(this week) seeing we've had so little time to do that this season.

  • What I'm pretty sure I saw in that game was a bunch of players sick of being held back by poor coaching saying "Fuck it" and motivating themselves. A few calls on offense I don't remember ever seeing from the Bears before, and I have a hard time believing they came from Turner.
    And of course as soon as the second half started, Lovie asserted himself with that stupid soft cover two and the D tanked yet again.

  • SI Poll:


    Here, FlyBaby Denise handing the reigns to her doofus hubby beats out Gramma Virginia - but that's shit. Well, maybe not since the 49er org value has plummeted off a freakin cliff. But hey, they hired Samurai Mike so things are getting better... I think.

    Yahoo puts us worse than the Niners...

    I mean, who the fuck is going to unseat Al Davis, Mike Brown and Wayne Weaver?

    the Jags had most games this season that were half full in the stands. Simply put, nobody gives a rats fuck if that team lives or dies.

    But for a major market? McCaskey. By a mile. Spectacularly incompetent.

    Pro Football Weekly has a poll they conduct anonymously made up of the owners and direct reports directly. They may have stopped doing it, or moved it to their stock market simulation thing.

    I will keep looking for that.

  • Happy new years guys. Be safe. Have fun.

    2010 is the start of our dynasty... I believe it, I will wish for it. 1/4/2010. Bear down boys, bear down!

  • This article gives mention to the BearsFansUnited.org site


    it CRUCIFIES Phillips. Nails him to a cross.
    It basically says, Lovie reached his Peter Principle point and it caused a HUGE reverberation all the way into the players - and it made Lovie complacent and every other owner openly mocks Phillips because Lovie's agent cleaned his clock.


  • In reply to gpldan:

    Let me amend this after a second reading. There are nails to go around for Urlacher and Lovie as well.

    I love the line about how a Gage, Berrian Hester trio would fare. And the line about Benson.

    Wow - this article gets a bulldozer and runs the Bears organization over.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    A pretty good article, despite for me too many undisclosed sources.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    The player we should have gone and gotten - instead of No-Weight-Gaines Adams?

    The modern Trace Armstrong, who has two more years in the tank and would have been a GREAT compliment to Gator Chomper...


    instead, we let "0 and Sixteen" Marinelli talk us into Gaines Adams.


  • In reply to gpldan:

    The Gaines Adams thing I just don't get. Unless there is a history of athletic defensive ends who it finally clicks for and they develop into their potential and become 10 sack players, I hope this is what Jerry was hoping for. Does it have anything to do with us ridding ourselves of first and second round picks for two years straight because we are afraid of the no salary cap era?

    I dont know how that whole salary cap thing will work or when it will start, but just wonder if it has something to do with it. But don't get me wrong about trading some picks for Cutler, I love actually having a quarterback with talent on our team.

    That is a hell of an article by the way gpldan. As for un-named sources, well with comments like that it's no surprise, I am just glad someone is saying those things in that article and it is getting put out there. As for T Phillips getting owned, maybe, but that contract got ugly and what if the Bears did let Lovie go to another team like they somewhat threatened, that would make the Bears look cheaper than they are.

    I didn't know he gave Lovie all the power...Lovie always seemed to be this guy that wanted to give unproven coaches their chance. That works out at times, but not with 80 percent of your staff (just made that percentage up).

    Despite a new coach and a couple coordinators with better x's and o's, we just need some more motivation, and that can't happen with Lovie at the helm. Everyone is too content.

    Glad to see people are taking out their anger in the press, fans need to make public statements like that.

    I said before our owners are cheap, but I don't want a Jerry Jones and I don't want us to act like the Cowboys, but I did wish those 11 million dollars are whatever it is didn't have such a huge effect on the decision to retain Lovie.

  • In reply to jeungru13:

    Marinelli sees something in Gaines he likes. He knows the game. They mentioned beefing Adams up, so let's give him a year and see how he goes.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Doc, couldn't agree more. I think the billboard is pretty tasteless. I'm a working class guy and I keep think about the suburban Chicago working class guy who lost his job in '09 and could have used that five grand to give his kids a better Christmas. If something like that were done, in the name of firing Lovie Smith, think about the positivity of the impact.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:


    What about the guy who gets paid to paint the billboard?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    It's better than giving the money to acorn.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    C'mon man, don't bring that politics shit in here, we're all trying to get along and bitch about the Bears TOGETHER.

  • In reply to number1ninja:

    No offense meant. Thought is was kinda funny myself.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    ACtually it was even though I might disagree. But troll fishing should be verboten, even if it's accidental.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I am really trying to temper the bitchin actually. I think the Organization pretty much knows how the average fan feels now, hopin that something positive is done.

    I'm in the hopin mode now.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I am looking forward to see Inglesias play this weekend though, wonder if he will show us anything.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Agreed, although after the season's over they need a go-to receiver. CJ might be desperate to leave Detroit, he's only 70% Lionized so there could still be hope if we can unload a couple of overrated guys. They need help everywhere.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I'm just throwing this out there but what does anyone think about trading Hester or Knox and what do you think we could trade for?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Not Knox. That was a huge season for a rookie WR and really he is as good or better than Hester. Plus we could get way more for Hester, I'm assuming.
    I say we trade Lovie for a hot turd on a paper plate.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    If we're not going to use Hester for the purpose God intended - increasing the team's average starting position and providing the odd welcome touchdown - then we should get what we can for him, because he is one lazy receiver. If we're not sending him streaking down field at top speed on every available opportunity, then what's his purpose ? Collecting five yard slants and bubble screens ? We don't utilise his return skills. Okay. Send him long, stretch the field. No ? What's the point of having Devin Hester then ? He's taking up the space of a bona fide 6'4 receiver who doesn't take the play off when the ball isn't going to him. Trade him and somebody else to Detroit for the first pick (and/or Calvin Johnson), draft Ndomukong Suh and this division is a foregone conclusion for the next eight years.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Of course 5,000 could be better spent to help those in need.

    Tastless like booing at most of the home games???

    Hell the NFL has priced out the middle class worker and they keep fans, like those in Detroit who are hurting from even watching them on tv. That's pathetic reality of big business NFL.

  • In reply to jeungru13:

    Ok, I'll bite. The last time I checked this was supposed to be the land of the free and the brave. "Free" being the key word. In my book "giving" translates to how you respond in YOUR life in helping others not in telling others how to spend their money. Ninja was right, this is supposed to be a blog on the Bears not a social forum. I got the strong impression after testing Docs statement that I do not have the freedom to voice my opinion concerning the matter which is par for the course when one is lead by political ideology. This is not to say I would slander a group or individual publicly via a billboard.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    What the billboard said was decidedly NOT libelous.

  • In reply to jeungru13:

    I believe

  • In reply to jeungru13:

    If the Bears organization is considered one of the worst managed in the NFL, it may possibly go back to the old man himself. If I were to encounter the real ghost of Halas (not our friendly fellow poster), I would like to ask him why he didn't do a better job of
    estate planning. He set up the S corporation that limits the number of stock holders to 100 and further requires that all earnings be distributed annually and then compounded the problem on the death of his son by establishing trust funds with his
    (nearly) 50% ownership, one for each of his 13 grandchildren. And, naming his daughter, Virginia, as successor trustee upon his death.

    Virginia McCaskey is considered the "owner" of the Bears but she owns slightly less than 20% of the stock but as trustee for the (nearly) 50% grandchildren trusts, she gains control of the organization. She has 70% control but not 70% ownership.

    To me, two important mistakes arise from the old man's estate planning. The first is that a majority owner/controller of a team could make financial decision with, perhaps, the most important being retaining earnings from year to year and using it, for
    example, to buy out contracts that have gone bad. Imagine trying to run any business where you start out the year with no money in the bank. And that is essentially what a S corporation requires.

    The second is that Virginia McCaskey as trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to deliver the maximum dividends to the trusts. Whatever her personal desires may be, she can not make decision based on what her ownership is but must deliver results to the

    As noted in one of the links provided earlier, she "cares only about the dividends." That's because she has a fiduciary responsibility as a trustee to care about them.

    While it may seem fair to many of us that she buys out Lovie Smith's contract, she may not want to see a half dozen lawyers (or so) representing the beneficiaries of the trusts showing up on her doorstep when she does.

    Trusts can be broken (witness the Pritzker family) but it's a long and tedious process with no guarantee of success.

    A factoid, a share of the Chicago Bears is probably worth at least 8 digits. When George Halas established the trusts, his 50% was valued at $8 million. As a result of the explosion of the worth of NFL teams, the beneficiaries of the trust are now worth tens of millions but have no real control over these millions and can not sell them to the highest bidder until the conditions of the trusts are fulfilled, the death of Virginia McCaskey. It's like owning a $50 million house that no one can buy.

    George Halas wanted to retain family control of the team he built from scratch but I'm not sure that he would be happy with the results.

  • In reply to Westerner:

    Observer - Thanks for the insight. If Virginia has a fiduciary responsibility to deliver maximum dividends to the trust, who defines maximum? If she, as well as the remaining trustees were presented 3 different options with 3 different forecasted projections, who determines which would provide the maximum dividend? My guess is there is empirical data that suggests winning teams have a higher earning potential, and if given different scenarios that would include risk (eating $11 million in order to maximize profitability in years to come) would that not hold weight in Probate?. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I am genuinely ignorant with respect to this issue.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    The trusts for the grandchildren were established by George Halas with himself as trustee and Virginia as successor trustee. As far as I know, there are no other trustees. I'm sure she must have a trust adviser or advisers but the final decision is presumably hers.

    As currently constituted NFL owners are pretty well insulated from risk regardless of the good or bad decisions they make. The Bears sell out the stadium every game, receive money from all the Bear souvenirs, make money on local deals and, most importantly, share in the broadcast revenues. I'm not sure how much of an impact a 12-4 record, for example, would have on the revenue stream. There would be income from post-season play, of course, and that might be considerable

    Any challenge to the trusts or trustee would be tried in civil court, not probate. This is what happened when one of the younger generation of Pritzkers sued another Pritzker (who was the trustee of her trust account) for lack of fiduciary responsibility.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    My thoughts exactly. I never understood, especially in pro football, how one or two meaningless wins at the end of a season can save a coach or GM.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    I'm re-watching the 2nd half now. 1st vikes TD is all on Peanut -- gives up 30 yds to Berrian and then mugs the WR in the endzone

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    Remember now, I'm not saying 7-9 looks reasonable to ME.
    It just looks reasonable to the folks trying not to eat that $11M in last 2 years of Lovie's contract.

    Me? I'd have fired him for incompetance before he got to his post game press conference after the "2-Timeout-Challenge" debacle.

    Plus, Monday night, there was Lovie, showing the same incompetance and totally MISmanaging the clock at the end of regulation by not using his timeouts to give his offense a for a shot at a field goal attempt after the Vikes tied it. Dumb as a box of rocks.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    I don't see Narcissus coming back. Not with the Vikings moving to a new OUTDOOR facility next season.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    agreed, even if they were to stay in the Metrodome. Look at how he caves when pressured

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Observer, Viva,

    Interesting conversation and thoughts. I wonder how much revenue (tickets, % of concessions, merchandising, uplift the following season, etc

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I should not be saying this (aloud or in print) but I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about replacing all or part of the Bears' management and coaching staffs so I would not be the right person to advise Virginia McCaskey on the best way to recover from a disappointing season -- not that I would ever the chance, of course.

    My main reason for posting all the stuff about trusts and fiduciary responsibility was not to advocate a particular position but to let other readers know that sometimes things are not as simple as they seem.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Thanks observer.

    Still re-watching the game. Two of the 2nd half TD drives came after Peanut went out, although he was pretty lousy prior. We also didn't have consistent pressure up front. Also, the deep middle was easy pickings (missing 54). Finally, Favre ignored Childress and went to a hurry-up spread package.

    Still, 30 points is 30 points, even if we were missing 6 starters on Defense.

    Don't forget Culter's INT, which sucked.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    How does winning a SB make you more money long term ? I don't believe that it does. The Bears owners get her share of revenue, they get richer, and there is absolutely no onus on them to return the profit into investment. Makes no sense unless you're crazy about Bear football in the winning sense. The Bears are a cash cow for the McCaskeys, it's their silver spoon, not their passion. Getting better as a team is a quandary for fans and coaches ...

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    People like to harp on the fact we gave up 30 points in the second half. A couple of pertinent points - firstly, such people will NEVER be happy and life is a litany of conspiracies against them. But we were also the ONLY team to shout out the Vikings in the first half this season. That's better than focusing on having almost lost.

  • In reply to Westerner:

    It's still 20 minutes away here in the desert but HAPPY NEW YEAR my fellow ranters, would be comedians and gluttons for punishment!

    Oh-nine was NOT fine, but we'll try again in two thousand ten!.

  • In reply to Westerner:

    It just turned into 2010 out here on the left coast and I wanted to take a moment and wish all you guys a Happy New Year!

    May the new year bring us better results and a new coaching staff. I await 1/4/10 with a prayer for change.

  • In reply to Westerner:

    "This could be the win that saves Lovie Smith's job in Chicago... Now I'd just like someone to explain this to me: why?"

    I'm not claiming any kind of brilliant insight here, Jeff, but you KNOW that the organization is scrambling for an excuse NOT to fire the guy and flush $11 Million. 7-9 has to look extremely resonable.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    7-9 looks reasonable with beer goggles. I think they can see a return on this investment if they find the right guy to replace him, and if they make the playoffs next year. Green Bay will be stronger next year and Minn may or may not be (awaiting the annual Narcissius retirement experience). With that said, we can fall further behind these teams or put them in our rear view mirror.

  • In reply to Westerner:

    Nicely put Observer. And it reminds us that nothing changes until Ginnie dies. Ed McCaskey dying did dissolve her controlling share though. And there's a lot more than eight digits at stake. Looking at a rough return of investment, the Bears are worth over a Billion dollars - the Bears are a business, one that cannot lose essentially, which will make them highly sought after... and if somebody goes to the board of shareholders (as large and as greedy as it is) and offers them hard cash when somebody passes on, then the Bears will be sold quickly.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    This article really pisses me off. Where is the buffet crashing, sandwich eating, face stuffing media on this??? This is the type of column that could really make things happen if it is widely distributed. And...I think that it rings true as to how the Bears organ-i-zation is really aligned these days.

  • In reply to gpldan:


    Believe it.

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