When you’re constantly viewed as a Chicago Bears hater, your opinions of them can often be taken with a grain of salt. “He doesn’t even like the Bears, what does he know? He’s just a lame ass 49ers fan who loves to hate on the locals.” I’ve heard it all despite watching, virtually, every Bears game since the time WrestleMania started. Whatever, I’m over it. That’s why it was such a pleasant surprise to read Yahoo’s, Michael Silver, NFL ownership rankings this week. He started his countdown in reverse order going from 32 to 1. In a shocking development(insert major sarcasm), the Bears hardly- breathing Virginia McCaskey checked in quickly at number 28. See, it’s not just me who thinks they are running a shit show at Halas Hall. They rank slightly ahead of Tales From The Crypt, err I mean Al Davis and his Raiders, Mike Brown’s Bengals, William Clay Ford’s Lions, and Randy Lernar’s Browns–not exactly a main event lineup. The aforementioned owners would also rank at the top of the “worst owners in the history of sports” list, not just the NFL. This got me to thinking, why not delve into the why the Bears ownership ism and has been, so putrid? Why not further expose their decrepit way of doing business? The beauty of having this website is that I can sift through their bullshit when so many Bears suck-asses refuse to. My father told me a long time ago just how pathetic the Bears ownership was. I remember the passion he had when describing it(I think it was after the ’87 season after they lost a 2nd consecutive home playoff game to the Redskins). When my old man talks, you listen. The guy is like E.F. Hutton, I swear. Friends of mine who grew up with me that are reading this are nodding in agreement.
I’ll start around that ’87 season when Michael McCaskey tried to become the Bears version of Eddie DeBartolo(you know, without the success, vision, and desire to win). George Halas hired Mike Ditka in 1982 to be his head coach going forward and Jerry Vanisi as his general manager a year later. Halas put the piece in place to the team he founded. Those two men not only helped build the ’85 Bears(perhaps the greatest NFL team), they had a team that had the best 5 year record of any team in history from ’84 to ’88. That slimy rat Michael McCaskey couldn’t handle the fact that he had nothing to do with the building of the team he was placed in charge of. It ate at him. He wanted to have his own legacy. So he fired Vanisi in January of ’87 and took control of football operations. I mean anytime you can fire the man who built the only SuperBowl champion your team has had, you have to do it right? It slowly unraveled from there with McCaskey trading away Wilbur Marshall and Willie Gault, drafting Brad Muster, Fred Washington, Ron Cox, Peter Tom Willis(never draft a quarterback with two first names), Stan Thomas, Alonzo Spellman(and his 37 personalities), and Troy Auzenne. I think I’m nauseous.
Once McCaskey fired Ditka in ’92, it really went downhill. The Dave Wannstedt- led Bears were a running joke of the 90′s. They did make the playoffs in ’94 and, actually, won a game. That was quickly forgotten when they were destroyed by San Francisco 44-15 a week later. It took the Rick Mirer trade, and back to back 4-12 seasons in ’97 and ’98 for the Bears to finally fire the constantly perplexed Wannstedt.
That firing wasn’t the low point of the Michael McCaskey error. The Bears announced the hiring of Dave McGinnis(who desperately wanted the job) without signing him to a contract first. Smart move, huh? The disaster ended with the Bears deciding to hire a coach who didn’t have a pulse(Dick Jauron). Michael’s days running the Bears were over and Virginia threw Ted Phillips into the driver’s seat. You know what it’s been like with the 3 stooges running the show the past 7 years.
This leads us to the future. No, the Bears aren’t selling the team. We aren’t that lucky. Virginia has shown she is still breathing(barely), and has decided that George McCaskey(the team’s senior director of ticket operations) will take over as team president. Only the woebegone Bears. Are they really going to hire the director of ticket operations as the new team president? I don’t want to believe it. It’s almost as sad as when I found out that Rocky was doing more steroids and HGH than Drago was in Rocky IV. This is why they ranked as low as they did on Silver’s list.
Are you holding out hope they will sell the team? Good luck. The slimy rat recently said “We intend for our family to own the Bears for as long as you care to think about…woof woof woof.” Ok, I added the woof woof woof, but if you are a long time Bears fan, then you get the reference. That quote is like putting every Bears fan in the ring with Manny Pacquiao and letting him unleash combos on their face for 3 rounds.
I almost forgot to mention that they also raised 75% of their seats at the smallest stadium in the league. Riddle me this, how does the team in the NFL’s 2nd largest market have the smallest stadium in the NFL? Ooh ooh I know, I know. It’s because they HAD to keep the columns of the old Soldier Field. Give me a f***ing break. As my buddy Scott pointed out the other day, “There’s a place 40 feet away called the Museum of Science and Industry for that!” God forbid they had the foresight to build a retractable roof that could hold SuperBowls, the Big Ten Championship Game, a NCAA Final Four, porn expos, or anything else that would generate income.
I haven’t even mentioned that they play on the worst surface in the NFL. But hey, they had to play that Simeon vs Mt. Carmel game there. I’m passed nauseous and am, officially, sick to my stomach.
Speaking of throwing up, have you read the Forbes piece on the Bears? It’s another great read and it further shows just how inept this team is run. The Baltimore Ravens are worth more than the 9th ranked Bears in terms of overall value. They are worth $1.07 billion dollars, but can reportedly be worth $800 million more. Do you know how hard you have to try to not be in the top 3 in franchise value when you have the setup the Bears do? They aren’t sharing the Chicago market with another team like the Jets and Giants do in New York. They refuse to market themselves the way the Cowboys do to generate more revenue. Basically, they are content to stay right where they are. They don’t want to challenge themselves to push the envelope, and they couldn’t care less about challenging the Cowboys & Patriots for most recognizable and successful team (on and off the field) in the NFL. Why? Because they have comatose ownership who is stuck in a retro way of thinking. Look on the bright side, the senior director of ticket operations is about to add to the McCaskey legacy of mediocrity. It won’t ever happen, but what if Eddie DeBartolo wanted to get back in the NFL and made Virginia’s corpse a Godfather offer for her team? With another horrendous season staring Bears fans in the face, why not dream of the possibility of an owner who actually gives a shit about winning?