Bernstein: The Horror, The Horror

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) We may never recover from this. It has happened.

What’s the point of any of it, now, really? And not just the Bears’ season, I mean. We know our world is capable of producing something as wholly dreadful as that “football” game, and it’s tough to want to be a part of it.

Gray, leaden skies and blustery cold. Officials pointing the wrong way and calling penalties on players who don’t exist. Broadcasters who have no idea who is doing what, or how to describe any of it. Frank Omiyale false-starting on a field goal attempt. No third-down conversions in eleven tries.

Tyler Palko. Caleb Hanie. May there be mercy upon our souls, what’s left of them.

More Coverage:
Bernstein: The Horror, The Horror
Hoge’s Notebook: Hail Mary Dooms Bears
Shepkowski: The Good, Bad And Ugly Of Bears-Chiefs
Photos: Chiefs 10, Bears 3
Forte Suffers Knee Injury

As reverberations continue well after its end, I am increasingly worried that his game may, in fact, be the trigger event for the downfall of modern society. Markets crash worldwide, and banks fail. Businesses collapse, governments crumble, and currencies become worthless. We may soon wander a barren, burned-out wasteland, scavenging for food.

The smallest player on the field catches a deflected desperation pass for a touchdown. More seven-step drops that cannot be blocked. Matt Forte suffers a severe knee-injury.

It will be all we can do each night to stoke a meager campfire in what’s left of a ruined building, keeping our children warm. “How did this happen, Dad?” they will ask, looking at us with weary, sunken eyes. “Were there really two white safeties on the field at the same time? And did the man on TV actually compare them to Gary Fencik and Doug Plank?”

“Yes,” we will reply. “Yes.”

Then we will watch the flickering, furtive shadows for signs of the Others, who come at night.

Two missed chances for interceptions. Delay of game on a pooch punt. Devin Hester waving his arms instead of using his feet, making every possible wrong decision, then finally deciding to run backwards. Robbie Gould hooks a 41-yard field goal attempt. Lance Louis late out of his stance. Todd Haley’s beard.

Roads become rubble, so we will walk rutted paths during the few hours of daylight, unsure where to go. Before the noon kickoff of Chiefs at Bears on 12/4/11 (“The Monstrosity,” as it will be called), we mattered as human beings. After, we are barely human at all – mere husks, now, moving morosely toward nonexistence. We hear only the shrill cries of the crows in between bites of carrion, distant bursts of gunfire, and the ceaseless roar of the wind.

Draw plays into the second level of the defense. The defensive holding call on Charles Tillman to continue a drive. And Roy Williams at the goal-line. Roy Williams.

There will be the faint crackle of a hand-cranked emergency radio, lifting hearts for a brief moment – it could be a beacon, a sign of a friendly encampment, some gathering of people together to begin to re-weave the social fabric torn asunder by what occurred at Soldier Field.

But, no, all we hear through buzzes of static are Doug Buffone and Ed Obradovich, bellowing about line stunts and the timing of zone coverage schemes. We are cold, and hungry.

There is, still, talk of one great, saving grace.

Perhaps, soon, Tim Tebow will deliver us from this evil. He will carry us heavenward on a glorious left arm, redeeming us from the sins inherent in having witnessed all this, restoring our world to something resembling what we remember. He is said to be coming.

It’s our only hope.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: The Horror, The Horror
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. Read more of Bernstein’s columns here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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More from Dan Bernstein
  • Larry Horse's Arse

    It was a brutal, brutal, brutal loss.

    • john finney

      Gosh, not sure where to start this week…hmm, well, maybe with prayer:
      Dear God, I’m just thankful that we were driving from downstate, so didn’t have to watch it on TV, and that we were out of radio range of WBBM until the 4th qtr, thank you lord for I may have fallen asleep at the wheel, and as the signal got stronger, the horrible reality began to unfold, and we said a little prayer for those unfortunate souls who braved the elements, paid the tickets, and spent a day to see this product, the once proud and storied franchise known as the Monsters of the Midway, may god have mercy on their souls. Amen.


      what he said

  • Mike Fangman

    “Todd Haley’s beard”

    BY CRACKY!!!!

  • Glockster

    This game, after the loss of Forte, was like watching the Hindenburg go down. Painfully slow, but it was brutally obvious what was happening.

    • frozenrope

      Oh, the Humanity!!!

  • Really?

    What a sad little petulant man Bernstein is. What’s the point of the Tebow dig?

    • Ballsack

      The point is that he is a bad quarterback, but praises the Lord so he must be great.

      • Bronzo

        Again he’s played a total of 8 games as a pro…he’s won 7 what about that don’t you like?

      • Spoon

        That gives him credentials similar to Danny Wuerfel, Chris Weinke, and Matt Leinart…

      • Bronzo

        Thank you Shut up already…let’s see 2 national championships, Heisman trophy, and 7-1 as a starter in the NFL…..and the problem with him is because he is a Christian athelete.who praises Jesus too much?? What’s the old line from the Godfather movie that Tom Hagan says..”This is busness not personal Sonny”

        With Bernstein it’s personal not business in regards to Tebow.

        Look I’m not saying he’s great but c’mon man he wins…

      • shut up already

        Why is that the point? He is so bad, that he has won at every level he has played. People like Bernstein want Tebow to keep religion out of football, yet Bernstein is the guy who brings it up all the time

      • Denver Deadite

        Kyle Orton had an 8 game winning streak in his rookie year.

        (Yeah, say all you want it was the defense, because it’s the defense with the Broncos, too).

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Dig? He called him the salvation!

    • Bernstein For Dummies

      They’re playing Denver next week. It fit into the tone of the article. And it’s always good to rile the sanctimonious – especially the insufferable, Jesus-is-on-MY-Side Sanctimonious. (Clearly, the Hail Mary indicates The Holy Redeemer took KC on the money line. I’m not claiming your Imaginary Friend is stupid.)

      • H8ter


  • Greg Lloyd

    I’m speechless

  • JeffG

    This column is surprising. I expected less consternation and more snarky elation with the Forte injury In fact the only things worst then the Bears play today was the asinine tweet “That $14 million guaranteed is looking pretty good, now.” taking joy in the injury of a man who has been nothing but a professional premier contributor to what success this team has had this year.

    • Spoon

      That ‘asinine tweet’ was right on the money. Which part bothers you? The fact that he was right, or the fact that he didn’t sugar-coat it?

      • JeffG

        The fact it was asinine for the failure to understand the man’s worth and then expressing joy through snarkiness in the injury. I hope the next time an employer is wanting to pay someone for less then they are worth, I wonder if your option will change if it is you who is gets to taste the bitter none sugar-coated pill. I suspect so.

    • Denver Deadite

      Forte gambled on himself, and it looks like he may have lost because of it.

      There’s no taking joy in stupidity. And Forte not signing a contract when he had next to no leverage (and now he has exactly none) was pretty stupid.

      • 100 miles south


      • SPAULDING!

        That’s, also, another heap of sad on the burt out hull of the S.S. McCaskey.
        One person that understands what an NFL offense should look like?
        WHACK! (the sound of board meeting forehead)

      • JeffG

        He did he could have held out for what he was worth but the less intellectual, and I suspect you would be one of the first, would have called him a selfish and spoiled athlete who put himself before the team rather then putting the blame on management for not doing the right thing and using leverage over fairness and loyalty.

  • Dan Reeves' Texas Twang

    Bernstien, Tebow’s coming to dinner next week and it’s gonna be like da Last Supper for da Bears!! It’s gonna be biblical! It’s gonna be delicious radio this week!

  • Denver Deadite

    I’ll say it again:
    That was f*cking pathetic.

    The Chiefs did EVERYTHING better than the Bears.

    And, yeah, it sucks to be a fan of any other team than the Broncos living in Denver right now.

    • fearnlothin

      Well, look on the bright side. It will get even worse if we get “Tebowed” next week.

  • Sanford Sklansky

    A very tough loss indeed. One again Hanie deserves a lot of blame. But his offensive line did not help him out very much in the 2nd half. While Dan told every one to stop tweeting about McNabb, I have to wonder could he really do worse than Haine or McCown if Smith decides to start him any time soon. Would Jake Delahome have been a better choice? It is just hard to believe there is not some one else better than Hainie or McCown out there.

    As for Forte, that was a very tough break. Even if he is out two weeks that could be two more losses,.

    If they can’t beat Palko I don’t know how they will beat Denver and Denver is playing very good defense.


    Donna nobis requiem. . .
    I, for one, will take to the high peaks. Seeking new alchemic formulas. and pounding my head with a giant board.

    I wondered about that defensive holding call myself. It wasn’t right.
    Johnny Knox. Well, he’s open. . . . . . . . . .
    Once again, why couldn’t have been 21 nothing by half time, and, then, I wouldn’t have ever looked at the third quarter.


    The Bears’ offense appeared out of rhythm for much of the afternoon vs. the Chiefs, even before Matt Forte left the game with a knee injury that could cut his season short. It’s very unfortunate considering how much of the Bears’ offense went through Forte to begin with, about 46% with Forte as both a running back and as a receiver. Besides, what was the deal with the field today? I noticed watching on TV the middle of the field appeared to a darker, forest green. I know that the Prep Bowl took place a week ago, but how could the Bears play on that awful a surface and Forte hurt his knee on what appeared to be that darker green? It’s bad enough the Bears lost this game to the lowly Chiefs on a Doug Flutie-style “Hail Mary” to end the first half, but it appears a lot worse if Forte is lost possibly for the rest of the season in addition to Jay Cutler with the broken thumb. They’ll be lucky to win 2 more games the way this offense is currently running.

    • Spoon

      “how could the Bears play on that awful a surface and Forte hurt his knee on what appeared to be that darker green?”

      The field had nothing to do with it at all. It was the huge blow delivered to his knee in mid air, I dont think he had any part of him touching the turf when that happened, it was simply the force of the hit on the corner of his knee.

      • Spoon

        *helmet hit his left knee, that is.

      • Spoon

        From the replays I’ve seen, it would appear he’s midway into one of his hops, doesn’t look like either leg is on the ground, or at least not planted. Yes, the helmet hit his right knee, but the shoulder pad of the LB appeared to hit his right knee coming from the side.

        I could be wrong, but it doesn’t appear to me that his foot was caught in the turf.

      • Bronzo

        Matt Spaeth missed a block…that’s how Forte got hurt . look at the replay

      • Denver Deadite

        Wasn’t he hit in his LEFT leg, right above the knee with the shoulder & helmet? It’s being reported that the injury is to his RIGHT knee.

        From what I recall of the replays at the time, the cleat on the right leg appeared to catch in the new sod (which is what that darker green was – new sod that was laid down), causing it to possibly hyper-extend.

  • mark

    dry and boring column.

    • Spoon

      Empty and unoriginal comment.

      • Mike Fangman

        +1 rep for Spoon

    • Van Horne

      Can you post a link to what you think is a “wet and interesting” column?

  • Tom

    The coaching staff needs to go. Clearly Lovie doesn’t have the sack to take control of his offensive coordinator. Lovie meets with Martz prior to the game and signs off on Martz’s game plan. And looking at things, the two of them will not adjust that pre-game plan regardless of how bad they are getting beat. And you know what’s sort of sad? Lovie will be out of a job because he didn’t have the gumption to do anything with Martz. In fact, I think Lovie is intimadated by Martz. I take that back. i dont think he is. He is

    • AT

      Tom. With all due respect, do you really believe that? Martz/Lovie is not the problem….the problem is Hanie/Barber. People always want to change the coach because it’s easy. The game come down to players, this gameplan looked great when Cutler was in. You can only expect so much of a coach….to put together a decent gameplan and not be an ass clown (i.e. Detroit coach)…Lovie’s done a decent job. They need a real quarterback, I’m sorry it’s not as quick of a fix as you’d hope.

  • 100 miles south

    A little over the top dramatic. Kinda like Fox play off coverage. But might have in 500 words described the first initial reaction. Only thing to make it worse… Packers.. salt in the wound.

  • Miss Sue Tiger

    Does Martz have inappropriate pictures of Lovie? What’s the deal? Martz needs to get out and we need to blow up the staffing and get the right coaching staff in place that can hold the team accountable and more importantly coach them to win without hurting themselves. Bear Down!

  • Bill

    If there is a sports bar in Hell, THIS is the only game they were able to see today.

  • Spoon

    I love when the “coaching staff must go” crowd comes out. When they were reeling off win after win, they slink back into the shadows, and when 1/2 the team is injured they come out and claim it’s the coaching staff’s fault. You can find mistakes on the coaching staff’s behalf today, but you can find 90% of the reason in the simple fact that the talent requied to win the game was not there with Forte and Cutler out.

    “get the right coaching staff in place that can hold the team accountable”

    Exactly who would be held accountable for your only two real offensive weapons being injured?


      The game plan for the last two games, combined with the other two bottom-of-the-barrel Cutler games: Meadowlands of ’10 and Ford Field of ’11 are impossibly bad.
      We thought we saw awful when Cade McNown couldn’t get past the fifty-yard line.
      No good can come from letting a non-passing quarterback drop back out of field goal position. Forte’s agent must’ve known his client was doubling down with a dealer showing a face card. Hanie should’ve pressed for check downs or free-wheeled flinging. The game plan just generated nothing to work off of.

      • Spoon

        So what is the game plan for losing your only offensive weapon and having a QB that can’t play the position? Hand off 3 times and punt? Throw picks on first down and hope someone can return a punt or get a pick 6? Force Hanie to stay 6′ from the line and get sacked in 2 seconds vs 4 seconds?

  • AT

    Oh my goodness! I am so happy you mentioned the God awful commentary in that game. Where do they get these guys who call the games? After that hail mary one of them actually said “that may be Palko’s first touchdown”….shouldn’t you know!!?!

    Also, I know you can’t expect much out of a back-up but Hanie was awful. Who are all of these people bashing Martz on the gameplan? Was it a bad call when Hanie missed Bennet for a wide open touchdown?! I honestly felt like they should have tried McCown…the back-up might not be good but he has to be able to complete a forward pass.

  • Dan

    Awesome column Bernsie, keep up the good work

  • shut up already

    Dan are you so insecure of your religious feelings, that you must speak of Tebow in that way? He plays hard and wins, and doesn’t make excuses, that’s it, and no big deal. Why are you so sarcastic about everything? I guess it must stem from a lack of ability to enjoy sports. Everything must be criticized. Have fun with that…

    • Satan

      …I think he’s suggesting that the Bears should be able to beat Tebow and bring a glimmer of hope back to the possibility of making the playoffs, dolt.

      • shut up already

        really? This team a playoff team. You have got to be joking, and I see that thought nowhere in his writing.

  • Satan

    The imagery in this coliumn reminded me of the movie The Road, and looking back on it, so did the entire atmosphere of today’s game. Dan nailed this one.

  • George Scorewell

    As the Hail Mary pass sailed towards the end zone on the last play of the 1st half, I was inspired to see Big Brother Urlacher waiting, playing centerfield among a trio of Bears defenders. That is, before this dominant defense turned dystopian, as Little Brother, i.e. “Plank” Conte, tipped the ball … to a Chief.

    Thus did the Bears mistakenly morph their opponent’s skill set, and turn this game into a Bizarro match, where the half-ending deflection for a touchdown was the least egregious of many Bears miscues, but the most costly.

    • Denver Deadite

      It was Urlacher who ‘batted’ the ball directly into the waiting arms of the Chiefs player… a Chiefs player who was completely prepared for that possibility.

      I know that they’re taught as defenders to do this, but there needs to be some logic applied in these situations.

      If you’re in the front of the end zone? Bat it down forward. But if you’re in the back of the end zone, like Urlacher was? Far safer to just intercept it, or swat it over your head and out of the end zone.

      Instead, the Chiefs player simply crouched down and anticipated the ball being knocked down. Great play on his part.

      • George Scorewell

        Upon further review, it was actually a combination bat-down. Also in the review is that Steltz failed to box out McCluster, who showed great alertness and presence on the play. No heavy fault on Conte… my “Plank” was meant for the CBS broadcasters to walk, not the rookie, who’s had a pretty good year.

        There were much dumber and more injurious plays, but the end zone play will be up there with the Marino to Hampton to Clayton TD pass in ’85 as a weird-assed play that well reflects an equally weird game.

      • Denver Deadite

        Thanks for looking at it again, George. I must admit, I don’t have the stomach to do so; I just want to flush that game, and then flush again and again and again and again in the hopes of being able to forget it.

  • Mike in Montreal

    And let’s not forget the part where King Kyle road in on a white horse to save the day, and was killed immediately.

    • Mike in Montreal


      Where we’re going, we won’t need roads.

  • heyBuddy

    Worst game ever! Hanie has no business playing NFL football. Are the McCaskey’s too cheap to pay for a decent back up QB or was management dumb enough to think Hanie could play?

    • Spoon

      Name that decent back-up QB, go ahead, I’ll wait.

  • Ted in San Francisco

    . . . and what rough beast, it’s hour come round at last
    slouches toward Mile High Stadium to be born

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