Bernstein: A Memo To Those Craving Only Bears Homerism

By Dan Bernstein–

Any time a Chicago sports team is in contention for a title, new eyes and ears are brought to computer screens, papers and airwaves. With them come deep misunderstandings, it seems, of what it is we do in the professional opinion/analysis business, and what should be expected of us.

Let us take a brief timeout from the noise to set some things straight. You may consult the following any time the Bears, Cubs, Sox, Bulls or Blackhawks are vying for something important.

First, we prefer that the Chicago team wins. A high tide lifts all ships in our business, since advertising dollars are the lifeblood of commercial media. Winning means more money for everyone, and money is good.

Beyond that explanation, which some may view as cold or cynical, know this: most of us working at this job in Chicago grew up here. The Walter Payton poster each of us cherished may now be rolled up in an attic or crawlspace of our childhood home, but it’s there – just as that innocent, emotional connection with a team still exists within ourselves. We have done our best while rising through the ranks of reporters, anchors and producers to learn to use our heads more than our hearts, however, developing the unbiased sensibility that ensures clear judgment.

Just as my Monday entry let you know directly, there are times and places for certain feelings to emerge — as when sharing sports experiences with our kids, for one example — but we have jobs to do.

Second, it is not our responsibility to cheerlead. Do not expect us to think the Bears are as good as you think they are, or to be as certain of victory. Skepticism, criticism, or questions about your team are not “hatred.” If your team is not favored to win a game, that is not because someone is insulting you personally or challenging your manhood.

Your default setting needn’t be that you are being disrespected when other teams are discussed or praised. Coaches use the “us against them” technique to improve players’ focus during the week of practice and their effort during the game. You are not a player.

It is not our goal to have players, coaches, executives or owners like us, or like anything we say or write. Importantly, too, we are not politicking you, the consumer, for sports-fan “votes” as if in some weird election.

If you want an echo-chamber for your internal pep rally, enjoy the thin treacle of local television. There, they are too frightened to do anything but try to make you as happy as possible, since any responsibility that may have existed in that business to treat you as a being capable of critical thought has long been abdicated.

Third, train yourself to not want such things. Though there may be simple joy in having every positive vibe reflected back at you throughout the journey with your team, those feelings can be superficial and fleeting. Try to find the richer, more textured experience that comes with the consideration of flaws, concerns and potentially-negative outcomes. Knowledge makes the process more fulfilling, and victory sweeter.

Lastly, we do not claim to represent Chicago or its teams, individually or as a group. When out-of-town fans (from both Podunk hinterlands and better-developed areas) call or write with venomous attacks on the media as if on the team, it is utterly without purpose or effect.

To those who already knew all this, we appreciate your patience in this matter.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled lunacy.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  A Memo To Those Craving Only Bears Homerism
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>


More from Dan Bernstein
  • The Fire and The Passion

    Oh boy, the meatballs are going to come and get you now, I hear them ‘a comin’

    • Denver Deadite

      Bernstein has gone from trying to embrace his inner meatball to entirely rejecting it in the span of a few days.

      • Mike in the South Loop

        Do you blame him? Remember some of the phone calls this week? They’re beyond ridiculous.

        One caller asked the Danny Mac show to say Bear Down for every single phone call this week. He was serious too…not drunk.

      • Denver Deadite

        No, I don’t blame him. Bernstein can’t go ‘full meatbal’l; it’s just not in his nature.

        But I did issue him a WYC for today over the fact that he made the claim in the first place.

  • Murph

    Is that why I don’t have a job anymore?

    • The Fire and The Passion

      at least you have time to eat lunch now

    • Murph

      You’re the Browns chicken caller of da show!

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      I thought it was because you got caught trying to stuff 80 pounds of stolen office supplies into a 10 pound bag?

  • RickingBall

    Yeah, but the show still sucks. ;-)

  • Ex-Bears Fan

    I agree with Terry about undoing the Jay Cutler trade. Kyle Orton is a proven winner, Jay Cutler is not.

    • steve

      Umm, what exactly has he won besides drinking contests and neck beard (by-crackey) contests?

      • Ex-Bears Fan

        Kyle Orton is a good guy and a smart player who gives you a great chance to win every game. Cutler is a jerk who will throw 4 or 5 interceptions against a good team in a big game.

      • pulseczar

        Why are you humoring him/her? Don’t feed the trolls.

    • mike in davenport

      Yeah, how have the Broncos done with him?

      How did Orton’s last season with the Bears compare either of Jay’s?

      You can say you like Kyle more, but what the f do you mean by “proven winner?” Kyle hasn’t won sh%&. Jay is headed to a championship game (through winning), and Kyle was benched for Tebow.

      Jay is breaking Bears QB records held since Luckman.

      • Denver Deadite

        Obvious troll is obvious, Mike. :)

        That said, the defense here with the Broncos has been just awful the last several seasons. They wouldn’t win even with Elway back under center.

  • George Oscar Bluth

    You can hear in Boers’ voice he regrets flip flopping and saying he’d undo the Cutler trade. He gets so defensive when he knows on an island. Saying you’d want Orton back and want Jerry to have more draft picks to mess up is just a baffling opinion.

    • Bucktown Boy Marty

      That was the most ridiculous stance Boers has ever had. And the fact Bernstein couldn’t admit that Cutler simply got better this season is ‘lunacy’ as he so eloquently put it to end his article.

      Admit you both were wrong and SHUT UP

  • Mike in the South Loop


    From someone who works in the media, I can’t get over the misconception fans have: Fans believe media is to blame for their reluctance to praise every facet of a particular team, but then slam them for allowing politicians to get away from their shenanigans in other areas of coverage.

    Imagine if the same can be said in that circle: “Support your mayor! What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see Mayor Daley is trying to bring us the Olympics!” Never mind the inevitable scandal and financial windfall that such an event implies.

    Why the disconnect when it comes to sports? Sure we’re fans, but we can think intelligently. We’re not zombies. If one loves Quentin Tarantino, it doesn’t mean we have to adore “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

    That’s precisely what Bernstein is getting at: One can think critically, look at the event, and evaluate the many thousand variables that go into the eventual game. It’s what makes these shows go…

    The other point: It’s fascinating that the most dedicated and interested of fans who tend to watch the team–bad or good–are less sensitive about the subject matter and are more open to criticism or talking potential falls.

    The dumb come out when things are good: “Why are you talking about my team! What’s wrong with you?!”

    Surely, we’ll hear that today…you know that kind that were around when the Blackhawks were in the midst of a promising playoff run?

    “Get behind my team!”

    Those voices have been reduced these days… funny how that works.

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    That’s why Kyle is sitting @ home, and trade talks surrond ‘old neck beard’ Jay was brought here to win.

  • Andrew Batka

    If you chose to listen to the Boers and Bernstein Show you must remember you are NOT listening to Sports radio! Rather you are listening to one man (and his bumbling sidekick) who has found an avenue a medium if you will to host and provide as outlet to all things that are Dan in Real Life.

    Instead of a knowledgable Sports show host you will get a person who goes out of his way to belittle you if he cannot cmoprehend your question or theory. Instead of empathizing or understanding you he would rather pick apart what you say piece by piece until you can’t remember why you called. Lump the idocracy of such banter in with personal tirades about his hime calendar, or how Peter Pan shouldn’t be watched by kids today andyou quickly will realize why ESPN1000 is a better listen in the afternoons; either by car radio or office PC..
    You can chose to go through Dan in Real Lifes training plan above on how you should conduct your ‘Fan-ism’, or be yourself, love your meat headed-ness, love the fact that your team had no chance, celebrate how you knew that Martz and Tice would find a way to build and use Greg Olsen…..unlike the un meathead. If you want to do that as I believe you should…..tune into ESPN1000 because there they let you enjoy that, let you celebrate and if they don’t understand you…they don’t be-little you…the paraphrase and try to figure out your point and make a comment on it…

    Go Bears!!

    • mike in davenport

      I don’t know if I’d go that far, but Dan is very well-versed at HOW to argue. His best tactic is creating a black and white issue where there really are shades of gray. Murph used to do this all the time, too, but he was way more obvious about it.

      What I find funniest on the show is when Dan kind of forms an opinion about something, then repeats it for days on end, working it into jokes and references. Then, when he interviews a guest that is close to the situation, Dan puts forth his theory, trying to get his guest to say it the way he says it. Sometimes the guest agrees, sometimes not. My favorite moments are when Dan gets flustered after the guest disagrees or dismisses Dan’s argument as irrelevent.

      Remember, Dan is up front about his goal on the radio-to make money for his bosses and himself. If he has to resprt to saying deliberately inflammatory things to get traffic to the website and ears to the radio, he’ll happily do it.

    • Kevin S

      This is big boy radio. If you can’t hack it, maybe you should be listening to 1000.

      • Mark


      • Andrew Batka

        It might be big boy radio…butit’s not Sports radio….

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      Andrew, you are exactly the type of person that should listen to ESPN 1000. Go there, enjoy your fat, 3-headed idiot radio and never come back.

      Dan has the unfortunate task of having to deal with “you people” on a regular basis. People who think the B&B show is a platform for them to call in and waste valuable air time on stupid opinions, impossible trades, or God forbid something like “Ah Bernsie, you’re not a true fan” should be stuck on an island getting fisted by the Incredible Hulk. It’s bad radio. If you don’t think so, then Carmen, Jurko, and Harry is the place for you.

      Dan has been desensitized through the years. Can you blame him? When 90% of your calls are bad, wouldn’t you eventually start expecting the worst? He badgers your kind because he doesn’t want you to call back. And rightfully so.

      At least someone will come forward and tell it like it is.


      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Anyone get a shudder-inducing visual regarding “Hulk Hands”?

      • Andrew Batka

        Hey I pump Jay since you can’t even put your real name forward; kindly rfrain from labeling me as “you people” jagoff

      • Spoon

        I’ve listened to Score Values rather than turning on ESPN before…

    • pulseczar

      ESPN 1000’s afternoon show is nigh unlistenable. Even when they had Smokey Mac. The fact that Teinowitz is gainfully employed in any capacity lowers my hope for humankind. Have fun down the dial. See ya never.

      I won’t even get into all of your inane points, but how exactly did Martz and Tice “build and use” Olsen? Didn’t he have the most disappointing season of his career? Among TEs, he was like 20th in receptions and 26th in rec yards. Yay “meat headed-ness.”

    • Larry Horse's Arse


      Anyone who is that big of an @sshat ought to listen to Harry the horserider.

    • Andrew Batka

      Wow way to hate people you don’t even know because your ignorant…

      • Jay's Insulin Pump

        Did you put “your” on purpose? Seriously, be real with me here. It’s you’re.

        His ignorant what? GO AWAY.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        He will soon be listening to the Afternoon Spittoon and the trio with a combined IQ that wouldn’t break a hundred.

      • Joe Stone

        Yet one of them actually played professional football and may actually be able to give real insight into the game unlike your Mr. Bernstein who’s garnered his entire sports knowledge from his extensive library of books whose titles all end with the words “….for dummies.”

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        At what point did you have to play a sport professionally to know it? Are we having that dumb argument now?

      • Joe Stone

        So what you’re saying is that if I sit on my couch and watch you do your job, I will know as much about it as you do.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        No. You said because someone played pro football we should listen to them about football for insight. There are plenty of people that didn’t play pro football that are as knowledgeable (or far more) as 12 year veterans. Playing pro football does not necessarily give a person a leg up on analyzing football. Can it? Sure. Is it automatic? Not even close. That’s all.

      • Joe Stone

        Automatic? No. More likely than someone who was probably a high school manager? Yes……

      • Joe Stone

        One more thing. I’ve disected fetal pigs and frogs in college biology. Let me know if you need bypass surgery. I can give you a discount.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        In the case of my job, however, probably :)

      • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

        Dude, go the eff away. You are annoying, probably a packer fan!? If so go eff yourself, and listen to WSUK loser talk, stop commenting on are blog.

    • Demetre in Loop

      Why are you repeatedly commenting on Bernstein’s blog if you hate his show and listen to 1000 in the afternoons???

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    This is going to be a good WYC, later today.

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    Looks like the former Score castoffs, are out to pimp ESPN 1000. Yeah, listen to 1000, if you like studdering bums like, Hubner, Jurko, Harry, Carmen.

    • Murph (Just A Fan)

      Hey cool breeze, don’t talk about the others shows.

  • bronzo

    Good blog …but we’ve been over this 100 times!! enough already…wake me on Sunday …. there is nothing else to analyze.

    Go Bears!!

    • BearsFanInHoustonTX

      Totally agree….blah blah….

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    I think the game boils down to this: Aaron Rodgers is a special player. He can do it all. He has done it all this season many times. For Green Bay to go to the Super Bowl, he’ll have to do it all yet again this Sunday.

    In my amateurish analysis, I see that Rodgers has to have an “excellent” game for the Packers to win. “Good” may not be enough. In Cutler’s case, he has to have a decent game. He doesn’t have to do it by himself. In fact, if he has to try and do it himself, the idea of the Bears beating the Packers gets dicey to me.

    Take a “decent” stat line such as this: 250 yards passing, 1 TD, 0 INT. If Cutler does that, the Bears have a good shot. If Rodgers has that clip, there’s a chance that something went terribly wrong, and the Packers could be in deep trouble. Rodgers has to own the field, which is entirely possible, but the Bears have played him pretty well.

    However, Rodgers is just as likely to have an “excellent” game as Cutler is to have a “decent” one. That’s what makes this game so interesting even beyond the superficial hype and storylines. Good gravy, I can’t wait for Sunday.

  • bigtime sucker

    my company has adopted a new sales model, will be to busy to comment for the time being. but i leave saying this, the packers probably have more talent, but the bears can mud out a victory here. they have a knack for uglying up a pretty offense and rendering them pedestrian, and if they can do that, if they can out physical the packers on both sides, they CAN win, but i haven’t decided if they WILL win

  • Mr. Boers

    Writer’s block today Danny?


    I know there’s been very little talk about this topic, but if they do the “Second Half” come 3:30p or so, here’s a non-Bears/Packers topic the guys should bring up. The more I read about this Carmelo Anthony story, the more I’m starting to think he will finish this NBA season whether he likes it or not with the Denver Nuggets. I’m also getting the impression that Carmelo’s wife, former MTV VJ LaLa Vasquez, is pulling the strings and trying to force the Nuggets to trade Carmelo to the New York Knicks. This as the Knicks likely don’t have enough to give the Nuggets what they want in return. As for all the talk about the Bulls, forget it. Carmelo doesn’t want to come to Chicago either. It’s either the Knicks or nothing.

    • AT3374


  • boers the missing link

    who the F tunes in to WSCR any longer, r u kiddin me !!!

    • Andrew Batka

      Can’t go wrong with M n H in the AM, not too mention the ZZ drop in and LH!!

  • AT3374

    Going to watch the big game on the big screen at Hollywood Palms this Sunday . Going to be awesome

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Sounds great..enjoy.

  • BearsFanInHoustonTX

    Lou is sending my deep dish today, will enjoy it on Sunday!

    • Andrew Batka


  • joe Stone

    I just love it when Danny B gathers us all in a circle at his feet and teaches how we should all act as fans. Thank god for someone as learned as Danny. I can’t wait ’til this afternoon to learn what else we should do as fans.

  • Jay's Insulin Pump

    Great post Dan. One problem I see, if I may:

    Your article speaks volumes to the readers who believe this to be common sense – which it clearly is. Unfortunately, I’m sure it comes off as a foreign language to the one’s for whom it is meant.

    Next time you want to drop some knowledge, I suggest putting it in terms they can understand. Like a series of Jeff Foxworthy-esque punchlines that indicate poor judgment on phone calls.

    “If you think the guy 10 minutes ago calling about changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 for the playoffs had a good point, youuuuu…..should be a phoneless meatball.”

    Feel free to add your own below.

  • Ray

    Dan Bernstein, why the hell do you always focus on fans in every column? Do you have any thoughts on the Bears facing the Packers in the NFC title game? Did you go to school to study fan psychology or talk about sports?

    • Andrew Batka

      Amen Ray…Lord forbid he actually talk about Sports….

  • Downer

    Bernstein has been a major downer the last week or so. The biggest game of our football lives and all he does is complain that people are meatballs. Football is a game of meatballs! It’s a meatball sport for crying out loud! What does he expect? Bear fans to be melancholy and concentrate on the fact that they aren’t a very good team?!! This is the Pack and the Bears for the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Quit crying about the fans Bernsie! If you can’t handle it then go find another job.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      You are right.
      He said he was going “full meatball” but that lasted maybe a couple of hours on Monday and he’s been insufferable ever since.
      How about talking about the GAME instead of the fans, media, anthem etc. etc.???

      • Downer

        Another thing I don’t understand is he goes on about the fans for four hours on air and then goes and writes articles about it for CBS Chicago. OK Burnsie, we get it! It’s too bad he can’t find a way to enjoy this week, it really is. I’m letting my meatball flag fly, high and proud!! BEAR DOWN!

    • mad as hell fan....

      So I guess Dan lied on Monday. He is not in “full meatball mode” and is now talking to down to people who are in “full meatball mode” this week. Danny could barely last until half way through the show on Tuesday. Since Tuesday he is telling people to shut up, the anthem singer doesn’t matter and take your homerism and shove it. All reasonable opinions…….BUT WE AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE REASONABLE THIS WEEK REMEMBER?!

  • Bob in San Diego

    Sidebar to the whole meatball arguement – anyone out there from CBS who can post yesterday’s 3 pm hour? Thank you!

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Today is Ozzie’s 47th birthday.

    • mad as hell fan....

      “Who cares”-Bruce Weber

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Well played.

    • Murph

      Cubs talk!

      • The Fire and The Passion

        Break out the yellow pad!

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        You’re the Brown’s Chicken caller of the week!

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Wanny is interviewing for the Brown’s DC job.
    It would be great to have Wanny back in the “lig” talking about playing hard all four “dons”.

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