Now that the Bears have parted ways with Devin Hester, the problem with the Bears organization, fans say, is that it's not loyal to its players:
Melanie Lane · Top CommenterThis coach reminds me of Wannstedt who did not renew Butlers contract despite butler having the better record during pre-season that year. The team demands loyalty from it's fans but gives none back and we support em. Blah. We should have let Urlacher have one last year if only for leadership during a rocky change over, they didn't and our defense was terrible. Wish we still had Lovey, maybe I can become a Tampa Bay fan.
Marty Martino, a constant complainer, agrees with Melanie:
Marty Martino · Top CommenterDevin will look stupid in that new Tampa Bay uniform. I will still where is jersey that I recently bought proudly and cheer him on as he breaks the NFL returns to TD record. The Bears are making a HUGE mistake not resigning this guy. Phil Emery analyzes things too damn much. How about thinking with your gut and heart once in a while? This will really hurt Bear fans loyalty since Emery has none.
Andrzej Siata checks in from Poland with the same sentiment:
Bears always screw things up with their players. their as bad as the bulls management .this team needs a new owner just like the Bears. when Rocky took over the Hawks. he made them the best team in the NHL within a few years. i hope the owners of the bears and bulls die so a better person can manage themthats why no one wants to play for the bears and bulls cause their not loyal to their players. look at Lakers being loyal to their superstars, the Spurs, Packers, Red Wings, Patriots. like i said it all depends who owns the team.
I picked Melanie's, Marty's and Andrzej's comments for sharing the same word, "loyal":
For what it's worth, even Brian Urlacher agrees with them:
Nathan Odenbach · Top Commenter · Magneco/MetrelOh my God, it's not about loyalty. It's about being a better team. How many players have the Patriots jettisoned off of that team? Does Wes Welker ring a bell? Deion Branch? Brandon Lloyd? Keeping Devin Hester on the team does not make the team better in 2014. It doesn't. End of story. If you want loyalty, then Gabe Carimi would still be on this team. So would Urlacher, and J'Marcus Webb, and on and on and on.
In case you haven't noticed, like Melanie, Marty and Andrzej, loyalty in the NFL has gone the way of giving carries to the fullback, which is to say, it was a common thing back in the '70s and '80s, but it hardly exists anymore and even when it does, you question any team that does it. Brian Urlacher is absolutely right: It's not there. It's not just the Bears. It's every team in the NFL, or at least, all the good ones.
I'm generally a big fan of salary caps in sports. I think it's great that a NFL team in Green Bay, Wisconsin can compete with the New York Giants. But one big casualty of it is the ability to keep players for sentimental reasons, coach-on-the-field stuff, etc. A similar thing happened with the Bulls in the NBA when they traded away Luol Deng for little more than cap relief. Fans and players alike talked about loyalty and disappointment.
By contrast, you look at the White Sox, who are paying longtime captain Paul Konerko $2.5MM to be a part-time player, essentially just to give fans something to cheer about, to appeal to emotion and sentiment, to have him be a coach on the field and in the clubhouse, and to do right by Paulie who has done right by them. For all his flaws, it's the kind of thing Jerry Reinsdorf would do, and if it were up to Jerry Reinsdorf, Luol Deng is probably still on the Bulls. But in MLB, teams are not up against a hard salary cap and thereby have some flexibility, especially a team that's transitioning the way the White Sox are. The Bulls, meanwhile, are expected to compete for a championship against an increasingly hard cap and with an almost desperate need for a shot creator, something Deng never was, and those players are generally among the highest paid players in the game. As a fan of the Bulls, I have to demand that they ultimately do allocate that salary towards the right player, but I'm not sad to see Deng gone.
In the NFL, the Bears and really all teams are expected to compete for the playoffs each and every year, and are expected to do so working against a hard cap. Every year there's a new crop of players and agents demanding record-setting contracts so they can see their names on espn.go.com. There is simply no room for loyalty and sentimentality, no room to give $2MM per year for a guy you don't absolutely need. The Denver Broncos just parted ways with Champ Bailey, who has had a Hall of Fame career with them. The only exception is if you really don't care if the Bears go to the playoffs this year. Then you can bring back Hester, Peppers, Tillman, and heck, Urlacher too and let them all do a victory lap even though they never really won anything. If you want the team to get younger and better. all four of those guys are gone.
Filed under: Chicago Bears