That is right: you are not dreaming. The decision was obvious, and the Bears made no point in waiting to make the move official. Lovie Smith is no longer the coach of the Chicago Bears. That was fun. Let's try it again: Lovie Smith is no longer the coach of the Chicago Bears. Ahhhh... (relaxing sigh)
While reveling in someone's misfortune is less than honorable, Lovie built himself a long, tough road out of town, and now has to face it. After the fans and media were subjected to Lovie's demeaning press-conferences, backwards logic (attempting an on-side kick with a minute left in the game, and trailing by seven is "in position to win"?), confused attempts at math (the meaningless division of the season into quarters, as well as being "1-0 in 2012" after last season's win against the Vikings on the final day of the 2011-12 season) and the constant on-field blunders disguised as "decisions," of course there will be a substantial amount of joy throughout the city this day, as Lovie takes his walk of shame out of Chicago.
Do not feel bad about your joy, Bears fans. Cling to that warm spark of new hope for the Bears that has now been birthed in you. Acknowledge it, love it; hug it.
The Bears have been stagnant at best since the Bears made the Super Bowl in 2006, winning games, but failing to make the playoffs save for the year that "team up North" took us down and then won the Super Bowl. Lovie blew a 7-3 start last season, and now completed his masterpiece: taking a 7-1 team to a 10-6 final record, and missing the playoffs.
Lovie's best quality, which has been over-documented throughout his tenure at Halas Hall, has been his ability to get the most out of his players. No matter the situation, it has always been emanated that the players play hard for Lovie, giving their best at all moments, but especially when the team has its back against a wall. If Lovie got the best out of his players, the Bears would have made the playoffs last year. If Lovie got close to earning the best out of his players, they would have finished above 10-6 this season, and would be in the playoffs. If the Bears were a good football team, no one in Chicago would have been watching the Vikings/Packers game yesterday. If Lovie Smith had done anything to deserve coming back to finish his contract next year, he would be. Simply put, Lovie has been continually losing this job since 2006, and the fact that his fingers have been able to hold their weak grasp on this team as long as they did, is almost baffling.
However, today is about positives. Phil Emery made the best, and biggest, decision of his career as Bears GM today, when he fired Lovie Smith. This needed to happen now, and the fact that Emery knew this and, furthermore, was allowed to do so, is promising for Bears fans. Whether Emery will be a great GM for the Bears or not is yet to be determined, but now fans know that Emery IS the one making the decisions. Now, fans can see what Emery's plans are, and if he is capable of rebuilding this team.
A new era has begun today Bears fans. Lovie is gone, and Emery has the power to craft this team as he sees it best. Dreams of offensive-gurus as Lovie-replacements may dance through your head this week, along with thoughts of competent coordinators, plays called-in on time, a winning record on challenges, and logical time-management. Enjoy this time Bears fans: a new era has begun and, right now, the future is full of nothing but promise.
[And... breaking right now- the Bears have already requested to interview the Broncos' Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy, among other candidates that they have already reached out to. McCoy was able to get production out of Tim Tebow at the QB position. Bears fans should be excited that the team has already identified and targeted McCoy, and other candidates, so soon. Granted, there will be plenty of interviews schedule and options to be discussed, but this is another encouraging early sign as the Bears seek to replace Lovie. Happy New Year Chicago.]