By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) Never again do I want to have another leaflet-passer on the corner look me in the eye, grin vacantly and say “Jesus loves you.”
No. No, he doesn’t. Jesus hates me. I have proof.
He hates me, hates Marion Barber, hates the Bears’ defense, hates the way Cover-2 leaves the middle of the field open, hates Caleb Hanie, hates coaches who don’t remind runners to stay in bounds and protect the ball, and then hates Marion Barber some more. He hates the Vikings and the Raiders, the Chiefs, Chargers, Dolphins and Jets.
We all probably deserve it, I guess.
But no wholly-good, divine being could possibly make Bears fans feel as awful as they do today.
We knew the Old Testament god was kind of a jerk – that’s well established. He baited Adam and Eve just to kick them out of the house because they were getting annoying, then he flooded the whole damn place because he didn’t like what was going on, keeping just an old guy on a foul-smelling boat. Real nice.
What about, “Hey, Abraham, kill your own son. Seriously, do it because I said so. Wait…just kidding! ” That’s not even clever.
So him, I get.
And I’d understand a supernatural force that chooses to reveal itself by creating something beyond human, able to inspire by its sheer ability to outperform mere mortals. Something so vastly gifted and skilled that any witness would immediately lose all doubt as to whether there is a universal master.
It’s surprisingly snarky, though, to want to send that message through a half-season of head-scratching coaching decisions, stupid penalties, lucky bounces, Marion Barber, horrible execution by defenses, and Marion Barber.
Not to tell Jesus how to do his job, but all he’s doing is making football fans really angry. Not the best marketing plan. And when I say “football fans,” I mean pretty much every human being, anywhere. So stop rewarding quarterback play that sets the game back decades, and then any other message might be a little more credible.
Many evangelicals describe their relationship with him as personal and direct, describing how he talks to them, or that they have some kind of ongoing conversation with him. I don’t have that kind of in, but I wouldn’t mind getting in touch with his secretary and arranging a meeting. Lunch would be fine. Or Starbucks. The one by him, the nice one, with wi-fi and parking.
“Jesus,” I’ll say (or Mr. Christ? Mr. Jesus?), “Seriously, it’s enough. You know he’s bad, right? And it’s bothering people who like other teams, and who actually prefer that winning results from playing watchable football, and from playing well.”
Then I’ll take out the letter John Elway asked me to deliver and hand it to him.
I’m sure he’ll be polite and professional, before glancing at his iPhone, finishing his espresso and leaving me still thinking about how it was possible that the Bears just lost to Tim Tebow and the Broncos.
The Bears’ season is pretty much over, hope sucked away by one of the worst losses in team history, followed by one of the most agonizing.
For a guy supposedly possessing the most profound, boundless compassion, he sure seems to have figured out how to inflict pain.
Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.