Spoiler Alert!

The Chicago Bears are spoilers now.  They're not good enough to be in the hunt for a playoff position or bad enough to be jockeying for position at the top of the first round.  (I'm completely aware the Bears don't have a first round pick.)  If the Bears had won in San Francisco, they'd be playing for their playoff lives down the stretch.  But they didn't.  And they're not.

The spoiler role can be a fun one, just ask any Bears fan to fondly recollect sending Wayne Fontes home early on the foot of Paul Edinger.  And the Bears will be able to spoil a possible playoff appearance for their longest team rivals (this week) and a first-round bye for their fiercest player rival (December 28).  They'll also have an opportunity to end EdRay's season in Baltimore on the twentieth.
The three playoff contenders should also serve as a litmus test for Lovie Smith.  It seems the stars are pointing towards Lovie returning with a new offensive coordinator - Charlie Weis and Mike Martz the leading candidates.  The McCaskey family should release a statement - and release it this week - stating that Smith and his staff will be under a microscope over these next three weeks.  They should make it very clear that losses will not be tolerated in the name of a failed season.  
I remain dedicated to the notion that the Bears will never win a championship with this leadership group and need to make a change the day the season ends.  But knowing the organization's reluctance to eat massive amounts of salary while absorbing new money, I will root for Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli, Bob Babich, Dave Toub and the rest of these folks to win three games against three good teams and give me hope heading into Bourbonnais 2010.
If they lose Sunday.  At home.  To the Packers.  All of that is out the window.  This column will become your Fire Lovie Smith headquarters.  Because even the most awful of Bears teams would relish the opportunity to knock the cheese to the curb.  If they don't, there's no point rooting for them.   

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  • Well stated Jeff.

    I'm a big fan of Ray and Ed Reed (how can you not like guys who bring the wood like that), so I'm willing to give up the W at Balt if we play spoiler to First the Cheesies, and then the Vikings.

    And whatever happens we need Lovie gone and we need all the resistance possible from the fans. Thus, my vote is for you to be the "fire Lovie" headquarters no matter what happens in these games.

  • What would people think of trading Briggs to Arizona for Anquan Boldin?
    To me it makes sense, Williams has looked good the last couple weeks. And Pisa T has played the position in the past. Linebacker is the deepest position on the team.
    Boldin would be incredible in a Bears uni, we desperately need a #1 reciever. That would open things up for the other recievers and especially Greg Olsen.

  • In reply to alott96:

    Dude, don't even go there. You didn't say that. You're drunk/high or worse. Dude. OMG.

  • I've been troubled with this dilemma for some time now, Jeff. It never really occured to me before...not with Wannstedt or Jauron. But if the only possible way to force a change of administration is for the Bears to go at best 1-3 down the stretch, how is that a bad thing? How can I root for them to win a game knowing that it will just be further ammunition for Lovie Smith to use against his detractors?

    This season is different from last year. Fans who rooted against the Bears last year were out of bounds because up until the last game they had a shot for the playoffs. After the Bengals game I considered this season to be over, and I was right. So they have nothing to win for...

    ...but they have plenty to lose for. Perhaps you're right and the McCaskeys don't want to eat $10 million (even though I do not remember the last time such GREAT head coaching talent was availible) in getting rid of Smith. But losing gives them a chance. None of you will ever have any idea how much I hate saying this, but Bears victories hurt our cause. Bears defeats help it.

    I've always been a big-picture kind of guy, and right now the Chicago Bears cyclorama needs to have a new coach painted in to.

  • Ghost, I generally agree with you and think you're one hell of a Bears fan. Can't go with you on this one though.

    Hoping the Bears lose to the Cheese and then to Fav-Re is simply appalling. I hear you, but I think Lovie's record stands for itself and winning these highly emotional games won't change a thing.

    You can't tell me you wouldn't be thrilled to see the Bears wipe up the field with the Cheese, and then come back and put Favre on a cart (and off the TV please). Who really cares about Ray Lewis?

    Nobody knows what the McCaskeys will do, and nothing is going to happen until the season ends. Ending the season on a high note will be good for the players who come back next year.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Sure I would be thrilled for the moment...but then in January when the question of Lovie Smith's employment comes up and the possibility of Cowher, Shanahan, or whoever becomes real that same old Lovie Smith line about his main goal is to beat Green Bay will come up and the zombies at Halas Hall will think back on how this season didn't go so well but it ended on the upswing and decide to keep Smith...

    ...THAT is the precise second I will regret beating Green Bay.

    Don't get me wrong guys. I'm not rooting against the Bears...I could never do that. Instead I'm taking the conscientious objector position for the next 4 weeks. It's a personal choice.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    We can root for or against the Bears all we want, we are going to lose to all 3 of these teams. We have a better shot at losing to Detroit than we do winning one of these games.

    I literally fell asleep watching this weeks game. Didn't help I was shitfaced saturday night and only slept a few hours before kickoff, but the game was so fucking boring i fell asleep.

    If the Chicago Bear Organization was a sexual act it would be a Bukkake

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bukkake

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Mustache...

    If the Chicago fans are the woman, I think a vile and disrespectful Wookie Bukkake is more apropos: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bukkake%20Wookie

  • In reply to sjvl:

    I stand corrected, Wookie bukkake it is.

    On a somewhat more serious note...what the fuck happened to getting the pool jumper on the field? He didn't play at all did he? And Gayness Adams wasn't even active?

    This team has probably the most passionate and loyal fans in the entire league and we have to put up with crap year in and year out. I need to kick my emotional investment with the team down a notch going forward or I'm going to go completely nuts. At least we have the Hawks.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Wookie Bukkakes is a serious note for me stache.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    You don't have to root for them to lose, it's inevitable at this point. The Lions play with heart, they're just almost completely bereft of talent. But they'll beat a team with no leadership and incompetent coaching like the Bears at home. Lovie's gotta go.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    All references to sexual practices of a Kashykkian-semen-pilary related nature aside, where the fuck *is* Jarron Gilbert? [Could that be a popular board game in Chicago this Christmas?] As soon as the rule is amended outlawing pool escape on fourth down, we have a *serious* fucking weapon who could lead the league in natation ejection. I did hear he was over at your house Coach, copying your sister's physics notes ? Said something about giving her a Dirty Roman slipper followed by a Dutch Cannon ...

  • In reply to sjvl:

    The traumatic injury to EJ Henderson is the kind of event that turns a season upside-down on a team.

    The Vikes are coming to town, and in two more weeks, the Vikes could be a team struggling. The dogshit that passes for Soldier Field turf will negate speed, and maybe it will be brutal cold - something that ironically the Vikings aren't ready for, all snug in the dome.

    That game, and this next game against the Pack. I want to see blood. I want to see Daniel Plainview drink their milkshake. I want Wale to show up and inflict pain.

    Let the Ravens roll, and give the Lions a Christmas treat, I don't care. But save it all for the Pack and Vikings. Esp. the Vikings. If there is one game I want to see everybody lay it all out for, it's that one. Spoiler indeed.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I'm with you bro. Personally, the season will be OK for me if they brutalize the FudgePackers and the BiQueens. The Ravens and the Lions can then reap the inevitable let down that the Bears always have after winning big games and THAT would incense the McKookies and hopefully start the machinery that will bring on a regime change.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    The Bears coaching staffs may be working 100 hour weeks watching game films but they need to stop and start watching NFL games. During the last 10 years rule changes have turned the league into one for quarterbacks and that

  • In reply to ohlin1:

    I disagree. You just need an OLine that beats the shit out of people, and you can run the ball just like always.

  • In reply to ohlin1:

    Don't mean to tall about the packers here but watchingthe game I see they are much improved son ethe beginning of the season as our bears seem not to improve at all. Sucks. Make me mad.

  • In reply to Bounce:

    Is Baltimore as bad as they look tonight?

  • In reply to sjvl:

    they are lookn pretty good at the moment lol

  • In reply to ohlin1:

    Sorry, you can't do anything 65% of the time and do it consistently well. The further you get away from run/pass and 50/50 the further you become predictable and your tendencies are a no-brainer. The Saints are 50/50 and that'll do as proof for me. Now, where were we, Da Coach was drawing us a semen-ridden metaphor .....

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Um, I hate to rain on the parade here, BUT DID YOU GUYS SEE THE VIKINGS GAME!!?!?!?!?

    We got absolutely dismantled. What in the world makes you guys think we can win that game...seriously, because Ive lost all hope. The only W left on the schedule is Detroit....

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I saw the Vikings suck big hairy ballz against the Cards. Pressure. Favre is old Favre, just have to get the pressure on him and attack their safeties on the other side of the ball. If our D-line shows up for blood an runs amok AND if we can get Girl Olsen and Kellen Davis to the outsides and use screens to Forte sparingly, we can beat these bitches, I know it. I want to see that hillbilly in tears, splayed bow-legged on the field bleeding from his rusty bullet hole, his rectum pulled out like a clown's pocket. Smug faced cracker.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Hey all you Bear malcontents, why not become a Packer fan until your owners actually beat the odds and put together a decent team? Look at all the upsides, you all hate the Bears Owners and the teams they field, you spend all your free time in Wisconsin anyway, and you'd be supporting a team on the rise. Quit all your endless whining and enjoy a Monday morning for a change.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Look, I want the Bears to get a new head coach just as much as the next Bears fan, but just losing the rest of the games does no good. Lovie has already burned his credibility by proving he cant win big games or when it counts. They should use these next 3 games to try and prepare for the future. Lets see some new schemes, maybe switch around some players into different positions, try ANYTHING, or just do THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TRIED THIS YEAR (worked for Costanaza), maybe ACTUALLY use some of the draft picks and see how well they can fill in the blanks. Losing doesnt do anything as it doesnt get any better draft spots. No one likes Lovie and thinks he should stay, regardless if they go 3-0 the next few games. If anything, FIRE Turner now to show that we mean business and do not tolerate incompetence.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    I still believe that if the Bears go 6-10 or 5-11, Lovie Smith will be retained. I believe the McCaskeys will eat $11 million in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depresssion only when I see it.

    Some of my viewing companions Sunday were wondering if we will even see Piso in a Bear uniform again. Concensus was that his was a 1 year deal and they won't re-sign him off the injuries he incurred.

    Man, I am glad NBC didn't show that replay more than once last night. It looked as bad as the Theismann injury and you'd have to feel E.J. Henderson's career is in jeopardy.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I'm with you Albert. That's why it's just astonishing to see fans who want to see their team lose. Losing games now doesn't movie Angelo or Lovie out the door. Turner is *maybe*/probably gone. That's it. Making Denver's picks more attractive is therefore the only thing people are cheering for, and that my friends, is sad. Let's rip the balls off who's left and have some fkn pride in the big orange C ...

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    On the game, Baltimore look like us on penalties - 12 pass interference calls on Baltimore ? And someone explain to me where GB found a new O-line ? Wtf ?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Irish, seriously man. I was thinking the same damn thing!?! Where the hell did that line come from? They aren't the same set of swiss cheesies we saw a few weeks ago.

    Damn it. Was really hoping to spoil their fun this year. Whatever I guess, I'll focus my energy on whatever changes are about to happen come Jan.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    you know whats sad.....Garza has probably been our best lineman this year......wow

  • In reply to sjvl:

    You know the #1 reason that Lovie and gang should be fired?

    Simple - for making the idea of losing to the Packers and Vikings a palatable thought in the minds of countless Bears fans, no matter how we rationalize it.
    That's just sick and wrong.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    ohlin1 - I agree with your point; I really don't think these coaches watch actual games - at least not enough. They break down plays etc but in the trite saying they can't see the forest for the trees.

    I wanted the Rams to come back - maybe score a TD and fail in the 2 point conversion. Or tie it up and we win in OT.

    Hee's the sad fact - Cowher, Gruden, and / or Shanahan will be coaching somewhere else next year while we listen to Lovie say "I saw some good things out there; we'll fix they bad things and go from there. A lot of football left" etc.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    adam schefter from the 4-letter network: (paraphrasing)

    "keep on the look out for Jeremy Bates as the OC in the future for the Bears"

    he was the OC for cutty @ denver (and cutty LOVES him); offense was potent w/ him, so what do y'all think now? (he's currently the OC at 'SC)

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    FQ, looks like this dude wasn't the OC... he was QB/WR coach. And it's a badly written paragraph, but it looks like he's not the OC at SC, looks like John Morton is?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Bates_(American_football)

    Anyway, point being... can we PLEASE stop hiring fucking sub, sub coaches to take huge responsibility jumps to critical coaching positions on our team as experiments? Just hire a seasoned, proven pro. I think Weis qualifies, fuck Martz, and I'd be much more interested in Harbaugh if we're going to do another cheap experiment.

    I just hope we're not all dreaming about any changes man. I can't take another year of this shit, crap, garbage. We deserve more. The historic relevance of the Bears franchise deserves more.

    ...but I digress, go Ravens and Ray Lew. Wreak havoc and distruction tonight boys.

  • I felt that way too Ghost, about the St. Louis game. But right before kick off, I dunno; I can't even hope they lose a little no matter what. It just isn't in me, I can't sleep well when they lose, I can't eat much at dinner, it is like mini-grieving. I hate it.
    I just really don't think it matters if they go 1-3 or 3-1 down the stretch, they will pin everything on Ron and a couple of offensive coaches and give Lovie one more year to clean it up, they will probably also force him to hire a DC with some credentials, that's it.

  • Jon Gruden. Beavis on Prozac. That annoying overly positive massively overachieving kid that would call around to your house and didn't know when to take a hint and just f**k off.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Very nicely put. I do think it might be riddalin instead of prozac... but maybe both

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I hear you, Ghost, and thanks for the kind words.

    Can't argue against the "possibilty". The fact that they pulled the trigger on the Cutler deal (which absolutely STUNNED me) means that there is at least a real possibility that they could surprise us again and flush the current regime.

    After all, the economy SUCKED when they went after Cutler and it STILL sucked when they signed him lkong-term.

    Like Andy said to Red in SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION: "Hope, is a good thing...".

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    "That's goddamned right."

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    No way is this Bears team spoiling anything for the Packers, Ravens, or Vikings. I seriously question if we can beat the Lions on the road. Seriously. The Bears have become a bye week for any team that's not the Rams, Bucs, Browns, Chiefs, or maybe Lions. If I'm Rodgers or Favre, I'm freakin giddy that the Bears are on the schedule still. I'm guaranteed to throw for a ton of easy yards on slant passes over the middle and a couple of touchdowns, and my team will log another win on the way to the playoffs. Who's afraid of this team? Really?
    I'm convinced if they don't fire Lovie, anything else will be a cheap plastic bandaid trying to cover a fatal stab wound that's gushing blood all over the place. We may not be quite dead yet, but we're getting there in a hurry, and I don't see any paramedics in sight.

  • Big up to Roberto, yes. One of the surprising bright spots on a dark year (not such a terrible year since we got ourselves a quarterback who can throw a 20 yard out).

    Season surprises - good :

    Johnny Knox. Kalihl Bell. Jamar Williams. Lance Briggs.

    Season disappointments :

    Favre fitting Minnesota like a glove. Chris Williams. Ditto Kreutz, Pace and Omiyale. Matt Forte (injured or not?). Greg Olsen being a big girl. Earl Bennett. Watching Hunter Hillenmeyer pretending to be a middle linebacker on the Chicago Bears football team. Turner's failure to utilise Cutler's arm strength and the speed of his receivers, mobility (no designed roll-outs or scrambling rules). My losing 50 Euro win docket on the Superbowl.

  • Let me be clear, I am not saying Lovie should not be sent packing.
    I'd be willing to help him pack. I just don't think it's going to happen at this point in time.

    Ron Turner is a different matter. A change there wouldn't surprise me at all. I have to feel that while Jerry Angelo figured it might take pre-season PLUS a few "real" games for Turner get all the new pieces to gel and to acclimate to having a Jay Cutler at Qb, Angelo has to be alarmed at the apparent regression at QB this deep into the season.

  • Oh-ho. Just saw that Jamar '18 tackles and 2 passes defended' Williams is a free agent at the end of the season. Bye Jamar. I'll bet Hillenmeyer is signed up until old age though. Our middle linebacker had ONE solo tackle against the Rams. Bravo. I think Urlacher had 23 in a half of football once ....

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Williams and Roach are RFA's...they're not going anywhere next year. Pisa, however is a UFA and he gone.

  • OY. What a "Laundry festival" the NFL put on this evening.
    Walt Anderson's crew gives new meaning to the term "Flag football".

    Factoid: Tonight the Packers became the 2nd team in NFL HISTORY to combine 3 turnovers with THAT many penalties still win a game.

    Smoking gun: As if any of US needed further evidence that the current Bear coaching regime is absolutely stagnant...Remember just a few short weeks ago when the Bears and Packers were both 4-4 and looked like 2 sides of the same coin? Sigh. Here we are 4 weeks later and the Packers are back in the playoff hunt at 8-4 while the Bears are just playing out the string at 5-7.

    "I told you so" Department:

    Nothing raised my ire so much last year as the National Media Monkeys, mostly on the 4-Letter network, constantly singing the praises of Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco while ignoring / denigrating Kyle Orton's play, despite the fact that Orton's stats were as good or better than both of the rookies. Well, Mssrs. Ryan and Flacco, Welcome back to earth and best of luck making the post-season this year.

  • You know Al, I nearly always agree with you and your razor-sharp EDUCATED analyses (the plural form of analysis, for all you laymen to the english language out there, wherever you may be). And you may be right in your estimation that the organization will not throw away Lovie Smith.

    But we can hope. I never ever EVER thought that Angelo would spring on Cutler. This last offseason was one of remarkably bold personel decions. Perhaps this is a trend...

    I hold out hope. No matter what Ron Turner is done, so that's a half-victory.

  • Doc, for some reason I thought Michael Pittman (RB) from San Diego did in the mid-90s... but it's not on his wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pittman

    For some reason, I seem to remember it being a Ram? Anyway, although I can't remember who, I remember it happening... and it was a nasty on, the guy was stood up and guys were hitting him up top, all of a sudden you just saw everyone kind of 'snap' down like the trunk of a tree had just broken. Nasty.

    10 points for anyone who can find out who it really was.

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