The Burke Blotter: Feel Sorry for Chicago Bears Fans

Feel sorry for Jay Cutler and the Bears

Sometimes things cease being funny and just become pathetic or perhaps even tragic.

That is the situation in which the Chicago Bears find themselves in right now. Touted as a potential Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the season, things quickly went off the rails for Chicago. After a 2-1 start, the Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 and everything went downhill after that.

The Chicago defense, once the pillar the team was built around, continued to play poorly. They became the first team since the 1923 Rochester Generals to allow 50 points in back-to-back games after allowing 51 against the New England Patriots followed by the 55-14 destruction at the hands of the Packers. What’s even worse is the loss to the Packers came after the bye week. Even with two weeks to prepare, the Chicago defense still wet the bed.

Still, the defense was still expected to struggle a bit in 2014 (though not as bad as it has been all season) and that it was the Jay Cutler-led offense that would carry the team to the promised land. With Matt Forte in the backfield and Brandon Marshall and the emerging Alshon Jeffrey catching passes, 2014 was finally going to be the year Cutler established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

It didn’t happen, and Cutler (who is making more than any other offensive player in the NFL this season) finds himself benched for Jimmy Clausen (JIMMY CLAUSEN!) going into Week 16. Marc Trestman, heralded only one year ago for his quarterback “whispering ability,” is likely out of a job this season and Cutler will also probably be packing his bags once the season is over. Being a turnover machine will do that to a quarterback, no matter how foolishly large their contract is.

This Bears team has been one of great amusement for Packers fans, but given recent developments and how bad the Chicago team has been, you have to feel genuinely sorry for fans of the Bears.

The Packers/Bears rivalry is the oldest rivalry in the NFL. It’s also one of the best in all of sports. While it is nice to consistently beat up the arch rival, it’s also becoming an empty victory of sorts when the opposition is so pathetic.

Packers fans in their late thirties and older remember when the shoe was on the other foot. The Bears teams of the 1980s were constantly taking a pathetic Packers team to the woodshed. It wasn’t until Bret Favre’s arrival in 1992 that Green Bay was able to turn the tables on their rival to the south. Beating the Bears in the 1980s would have, long term anyway, meant more to the Packers than beating the Bears when they’re in bad shape and Green Bay is a juggernaut.

Rivalry games mean more when both teams are in top form. While the games are often nail biters, winning those games also means more to victor and hurts more to the defeated. Again, walloping the Chicago Bears is fun to do but rings hollow when they are in such bad shape.

After this season, the Bears likely will rebuild and will face the Packers in 2015 with both a new head coach and a new quarterback. Hopefully, for the sake of the rivalry, these games will once again be the instant classic so many other Packers/Bears games have become.

Fans of both teams deserve nothing less.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


36 thoughts on “The Burke Blotter: Feel Sorry for Chicago Bears Fans

  1. I was expecting this article to carry some smugness but thankfully it didn’t. Nice job of recognizing a foe and respectfully presenting their troubles. I do remember the Packers dark days and watching a team struggle to put a consistent, competitive effort on the field each weekend. Wolfe, Holmgren, Favre, Thompson, McCarthy and Rodgers have spared us this fate over the last 20 plus years.

    I don’t see the Bears rebounding any time soon. The Vikings actually look like they will present the bigger problem before the Bears. As much as people would lay this at the feet of Cutler and Trestman, I would say that the Chicago management going back to DeAngelo started the problem. Giving up first rounders and Orton for Cutler and the raft of bad drafting has the Bears in this position. Trestman happened to take over command of a sinking ship. Rebuild is an understatement.

    Nice work Kris

  2. I do feel sorry for the Bears, but not the Bears fans, they are selfish, inconsiderate, double standard, know it all, rude, dumb azzes…

  3. As the article notes, rivalries ebb and flow. There were some great rivalry games with the Bears in the mid to late 2000’s. 2011 is when the wheels started falling off for them.

    I have empathy for them, but not sympathy.

    Empathy because the Packers used to be awful in the 70’s and 80’s…but I have zero sympathy for any franchise that drafts poorly, spends heavily on free agent busts and keeps making bad decision after bad decision.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be happy with the Packers dominating this rivalry for at least the rest of Rodgers’ tenure. I doubt the Bears or their fans had any sympathy for the Packers’ organizational mistakes either.

  4. Cutler is having the usual Cutler year. It’s silly to blame him for not turning into Brady or Rodgers. The way the Bears are handling this suggests they’ll be making more poor decisions in the future.

  5. A judge had to decide which parent to award custody of baby bear. The judge says “I am going to send you to mama bear.” The baby replies, “Don’t send me to her, she beats me.” “Then I’ll send you to papa bear.” responded the judge. “No” said baby bear, “he beats me too. Just send me to the Chicago Bears. They never beat anyone.”
    I hope this joke is proven wrong and they rise up and beat Detroit!

    1. In the end, I’m not sure whether I’d like to see Detroit get beat prior to coming to GB, thus perpetuating their inability to win outdoors in cold(er) weather but also making them even more feisty, or if I want them to beat Chicago and come to GB smug and cocky.

  6. Nobody is going to feel sorry for the Packers and Packers fans on the day when the wheels inevitably come off in GB…

    1. Exactly Dobber – this is why we should appreciate and enjoy what the Packers have been doing and continue to do this season, which is field a quality, winning, competitive, playoff team every season. Many of our fellow bloggers criticize MM and TT when in fact we could be going the way of the Bears and many other NFL franchises. Some posts are ugly and whining now, imagine what they would be like if we were in the Bear’s shoes. It is unfortunate for the Bears’ fans but remembering the ’80s leaves me no remorse for them. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  7. Are the Bears a bad team because of some tragic event,thankfully not,they are bad because the ORG made huge stupid mistakes in the hiring of key personnel who failed in drafting and signing players to stupid unmerited contracts and with a vast majority of the fan base allowing blind love to cover up those mistakes and not protesting against such…the Cutler contract is proof in stupidity and belief he is elite is blind.

    Regardless of how the rivalry is losing any pomp,the fact that the team cannot compete period should be a major issue of concern and that is where any sympathy would be from me….play as a whole has a bigger effect League wide than the falling off of a rivalry.

    We have enough 2-14,3-13 teams and unless the fans of Bears demand smarter moves and not cheer obvious stupidity..they get what they deserve and sympathy isn’t part of it. 🙂

    1. Exactly. The Bears have been playing with top-name Free Agency “fire” for years. They had to make some sacrifices to the salary cap, signed a STUPID QB contract and watched as their defense was put out to pasture. The organization and their fans, who have been annually claiming THIS WAS THEIR YEAR to knock off GB for the last 5 years, deserve every bit of this record.

      Screw them. I enjoy watching them lose. Almost as much as I enjoy watching Minny lose.

      1. Don’t forget, they re-wrote Peppers’ contract two years in a row to get immediate cap relief, and then had to cut him and bring in Allen, which looks like a mistake in that they are getting less production for more (including guaranteed) money. Emory made other mistakes, like Cutler’s contract. One thing TT is great at is that his contracts with players usually allow GB to cut the cord if necessary with only some cap/dead money pain.

    2. “unless the fans of Bears demand smarter moves and not cheer obvious stupidity..they get what they deserve and sympathy isn’t part of it. :)”

      The above, Taryn, is why it is perfectly appropriate to point out on this website any perceived mistakes made by TT, but to do so responsibly, by which I mean the assess the totality of his body of work. We have some TT-haters, but also some who are apologists or those who continuously claim that the coaches, scouting staff know better than the fans (which is generally true, but is beside the point).

      1. Exactly. TT has made several mistakes. So has MM. So does everyone. But the totality of their work is undeniably top 5 in the NFL over the past 8 years.

  8. This rivalry going back to the very beginning is just about even I believe. This run by the Packers over the Bears seems like it has gone on forever but many of us remember the 70’s and 80’s.

    Enjoy it. It’s almost coming to an end. Soon once Rodgers and Ted Thompson are gone, the Bears and or Vikings will probably be on top again and the Packers will be on the bottom. This is how it goes. Appreciate the moment. Having almost back to back hall of fame casts of Favre/Wolf/Holmgren and Rodgers/Thompson/MM is not normal in any kind of sports. Chances are very high Packers next qb/gm/coach of the future will look more like the current Bears organization.

    There’s unbelievably a generation of young fans that only know winning and Favre and Rodgers as their qb’s. What scares me is what are these young fans going to do when this team looks like the current Bears or the Packers of the 70’s and 80’s? Wiil they continue to support them? I have my doubts. God help us when that day happens.

  9. The only thing that really matters to me is that the Bears have obviously thrown in the towel and given up on their season. Yeah, Cutler sucks, but does anybody really think that Jimmy freakin’ Clausen in a better option??? To be sure, the bumbling and befuddled front office and/or Coach Marc Trestman have their reasons for benching Cutler, but those reasons have absolutely NOTHING TO DO with providing a competitive edge next Sunday.

    Far from feeling sorry for the Bears, Packer fans should be PISSED that the Bears are not even trying to beat the Lions this week. By their own decision to bench Cutler have virtually no chance of doing so.

    Screw the Bears.

  10. Only difference between Bears and Packers = AROD vs Cutler. Last week we saw how GB fares when AROD plays like Cutler.

      1. So what you are saying is these rivalries all have to do with who’s the better quarterback? Hmm.. interesting. I would tend to agree Archie.

        1. No. Just. No. GB is a better organization all around better OL. Better secondary. Better WRs. Better Coaches. Better scouts. Better GM. Better Secondary. Better LBs. Only place CHI has us (pre-injury) is at DL.


      2. Actually, it was Josh McCown who was playing more like ARod. Cutler was better than he usually is for stretches, but there was a genuine QB controversy in CHI. Based on this year’s results, maybe they should’ve let them both walk.

        Remember, also, that despite the offense’s performance, the Bears couldn’t break .500 a year ago.

    1. Typical Archie gibberish. The Packers defense is CLEARLY better than Chicago’s, with GB ranking 16th in total yards and 18th in scoring, compared to Chicago’s rankings of 31st and 32nd. But I guess defense doesn’t matter, huh? Even on offense the Packers O-line is miles better than Chicago’s, and the best the Bears could hope for at WR/TE or RB is a push. Plus GB clearly has better coaching.

      PS – Cutler has NEVER played like ARod… unless you feel that his passer rating last year of 89.2 was really something special. Rodgers has never had a passer rating that low in any season when he was a starter. And even if Cutler did “play like Rodgers” last year, what on earth is your point? That the Packers won the division and bounced the Bears from the playoffs anyway… and this despite the fact that Rodgers missed half of the season?

      The height of irony is when you think that OTHER people are drinking the Kool-aid.

      1. Funny, but I recall Bears offense was #1 or #2 in NFL last year while our defense was last or next to last. If you think our defense is any better than Chicago’s I’d say you are the one drinking the kool-aid.

        1. Try logical thought for a change. If the Bears offense was/is so damn good, and Cutler was playing like Rodgers, and their defense was so much better than ours, and yet the Packers WON THE DIVISION OVER THE BEARS even without Rodgers for half of the season, how can you even think to say that the only difference is we have Rodgers? Lame.

          If Rodgers wasn’t even on the field for half the season, maybe there must have been something else that accounted for the Packers division championship?

          1. What are you smoking this evening? Do you recall our record when Rodgers was out? Do you remember the game where we won in the last second? There defense was better than ours last year. Cutler played well last year. We won the division by default. 8-7-1 come on dude…

              1. If being rational means your happy with an 8-7-1 record and not winning a playoff game since 2010, then by all means call me irrational…

        2. Per, in 2013 the Packer defense finished 25th in yd/game allowed (372.3) and tied for 24th in pts/game allowed (26.8).

          The Bears finished behind the Packers in both categories: 30th in yd/game allowed (394.6) and 30th in pt/game allowed (29.9).

          Neither is anything to brag about, but the stats argue against your assertion.

          1. Not to mention his half-assed assertion that THIS year’s Packers defense is somehow worse than the Bears, even though the Packers are 16th in yards and 18th in points, while the Bears are 31st and dead freakin’ last.

  11. Having somewhat a unique perspective on this, I thought I’d chime in. I was born and raised in SE Wisconsin. People from Illinois are generally not well thought of there. In fact we referred to them as FIBs when I was a kid. We hated most things Illinois(except I liked the Cubs). We hated the Bears with a special venom.

    I’ll never forget the game vs the Bears in 1980. I was watching the game with my Dad from a harness racetrack in Chicago. The Packers lost 61-7. From Wikipedia:

    In the game, the Bears scored eight offensive touchdowns. After the Packers had suffered the second most lopsided defeat in their history, Bart Starr charged across the field to confront Bears coach Neill Armstrong. Starr was upset because Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan had the Bears blitzing from all angles in the fourth quarter, even after the Packers inserted backup quarterback David Whitehurst with the score 48-7.[15] “Bart Starr was upset,” Armstrong said after the game. “He did the talking and I did the listening. He said he’d rather not hear what I had to say, something to that effect, and he left.” Two years later, Bill Tobin, the Bears’ vice president of player personnel at the time, revealed that he had been instructed by general manager Jim Finks during the off-season to study film and decode the Packers’ signal system for relaying plays to the quarterback. Tobin, who had been in the Packers’ front office during the Devine years, had been fired by Starr in 1975 as part of a wholesale housecleaning. “I went at it like a tiger does good meat,” Tobin said at the time. “We wanted 100 points,” defensive end Dan Hampton said. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of pricks.”

    Now I live in suburban Chicago, and work downtown. I married a livelong Bear fan. My father in law is a Bears season ticket holder. In fact I just donated the Lion tickets for him to Big Brothers..haha
    I feel bad for my loved ones when the Bears lose, but I still want the Green and Gold to pund the living snot out of them every time they play.
    My son and I were at the blowout in Lambeau this year, chanting “we want 60” at the end of the game. McCarthey alas had too much class..the same could not be said of the Bears in 1980.

    1. Excellent post White92. I remember that game. Yes, Bart Starr was furious and humiliated and the Bears never let up that game. Didn’t know that about Tobin trying to decode the Packers signal system at the time so that was an interesting read. I believe it was old Zeke Bratkowski that used to do that and drive me nuts with all his hand signals. It figures the Bears were cheating. Poor Bart. Man, I liked him as a coach too and he got treated like shit by most of the Packers fans at that time. He had one hell of an offense but he had no defense.

  12. Pfffft I DO NOT feel sorry for DaBears in no way shape or form! They STINK and I Love it! Packers Rule!

  13. Well, as fan coming from across the world (from Europe), and that I’m not long time fan of football (from 2007-2008 till today!) I have to say that I do not feel that rivalry so strong, not against Bears nor against Vikings, maybe I’m in the position to see things little more clear. I do respect Packers fans feelings against both franchise and my intention is not to teach you or to criticize you. just to place other (we can say “from side”) sight to the recent situation. I read some comments placed here and I will agree with you. Nobody else is guilty for their problems (Bears and/or Vikings) but themselves. They picked up GM(s) & coach(es), they let them to bring team(s) to the point they are now.
    Comparing to the teams from NFL North division Packers has huge advantage in both position of GM and MM. Of course every human make mistake, so every GM & coach do them. But greatness is not evaluated by the numbers of the mistakes, but, also, how you deal with the mistakes when you commit them. I have to say that Packers advantage over other franchises in NFL North is clearly by how Packers organization deals with mistakes. Many fans demand break over knees reactions when something is going wrong, but Packers organization is not fast in that kind of reactions. Even the largest fans of Brett Favre has to admit that…
    Packers posses confident in their decision and rarely let few things that went wrong fog their opinion (to remind you, one of these knee-jerk reaction was with Jeremy Ross . remember how good he is now with Lions?). But, when has to be done, Packers do what they need to do and do that classy. If not, they will not have respect from their present and released players, Other franchises trying to act like Packers, but that way of doing business is something that you can not achieve in few years. You need many years and few classy important position persons to be able to become that type of organization.
    By my humble opinion this is the secret why Packers are contender and not pretender every year!
    But, I see changes in Lions organization, as well as in Viking organization. Is that good for Packers? My opinion – yes! More strong opponents, better Packers at the end.
    With Chicago? Bears are down and I can see (I may be wrong) Jaguars future because of only one stupid contract. Jay Cutler can play better in the environment which will not expect from him to be better than elite QBs. He is pushed over his abilities and that is why he are making many bad decisions and mistakes. But Jay Cutler is not the guilty one. Blame is on the organization! Now, they have to start to build from the beginning and that will last…
    I do not feel sorry for franchise, but I feel sorry for the fans…

    1. No offense Croat, but even at 33, I remember the end of the “dark days” (the mid 80’s to early 90’s). With the exception of 1989 (which was still ruined by the Vikings in week 17), I remember getting trounced every year by both the Bears and Vikings. The only reason we didn’t draft 1st overall every year was the Buccaneers and Lions were in our division so we usually got to 4 wins.

      Bears and Vikings fans were A Holes then. They’ve not changed. They just don’t have anything to brag about over us anymore. I’m personally enjoying this 25 year run of dominance over them. I hope when ARod turns 38 or so we find another HOF QB (however unlikely) and the dominance can run to 50 years.

      Screw them both. I hope they lose every game.

      1. No, I’m not offended. I said I do not want to teach you or to judge you! Any of you. I just put there my insight from the other part of the earth, and that one is from very young fan, but already aged person. I think that when you made solid foundation (franchise organization) you can build solid house (team & results). And I will repeat, despite I do not feel like you, against Bears & Vikings, I can understand you, if not for others, but for historical reasons! No judging on any of you!

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