Bernstein: Bears End The False Hope

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) Anybody have 1000 pounds of marijuana?

I’ll share, I promise.

We’ll rip open a few bags of Doritos, put on some Thelonious Monk, Steely Dan, or A Tribe Called Quest, and hold a wake for the 2011 Bears, who finally rolled over and died in the dirt after stringing us along through as miserable a four-week stretch as anybody here can remember.

They did it in front of the stunned, silent home fans, displaying the truth of their thin, banged-up roster and making clear what has probably been the story since Jay Cutler got hurt: they never had a shot.

They were “a few plays away” in Oakland, giving optimists and apologists the chance to hope that Caleb Hanie would improve with every live-fire snap. Then came the unspeakable hell of the Chiefs game, followed by the excruciating, impossible loss to the Anointed One in Denver.

Through it all, the true-believers held fast to the idea that defense and special teams could minimize Cutler’s absence against lesser foes, providing a puncher’s chance in the playoffs once he returned from hi-tech thumb surgery. Even I allowed myself to envision the possibility of that case, rationalizing that just enough could go the Bears’ way.

But I’m an idiot, remember.

In hindsight, it seems inevitable that it would finally crumble. Messages from any coach start to resonate less amid such frustration, an overburdened defense was bound to tire, and most importantly, there just weren’t enough good players left.

One wide receiver cracked in half and carted off, another hobbled, and one standing in a jumpsuit and shackles before a federal judge. Good times.

As quickly as Sam Hurd found himself out of the NFL, Hanie seems to want to give him a run for his money. He is far removed, now, from his eyebrow-raising relief stint in the NFC title game, and is looking like a free-agent who will have to fight it out with a draft pick to make another team. He got more playing time, and got worse.

So it’s time for the usual, big-picture questions, now. Will the weary Jerry Angelo keep up his defiant posture regarding his future, or will he quietly step down, whistling Dixie into retirement? Indeed, it may not be his choice. Bad players can’t matter this much.

The Mike Martz thing has to be over, right? Two years of whatever that was, and now something else to get the most out of Cutler while he’s in his prime and an aging defense can still perform. There will be new options for an offensive mind, with the previous concerns about both Lovie Smith’s job-security and Cutler’s leadership seemingly settled.

And we move on, finally able to stop pretending that the Bears were really in the hunt for anything this year. We can let it go, feeling a little silly about expecting something that wasn’t going to happen.

It took the Seahawks, of all teams, to slap everyone in the face and tell us all to stop being stupid.

In a way, it’s a relief.

For the Bears and their fans, this last month has been a bitch.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Bears End The False Hope

Dan Bernstein

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;s ovah, it’s all ovah…..

    • WHY???

      The Bears organization hires only the worst coaches. After this clown-car of idiots drives away, another clown-car full of more asss clowns will take over!!

    • MercurySeven

      Dan is right! When football season began Dan said that it’s better to watch football at home. After seeing all those empty seats, I was glad to be home.

    • Big Viv

      Steely Dan and A Tribe Called Quest both suck. Get some better stoner music, Dan. I suggest Pink Floyd or The Doors.

  • Bill Vick

    You had this column written in the 3rd quarter didn’t you?


      i had my response written after “‘let’s do it fuh Johnny!” got smashed up.
      Johnny Knox. He must look brilliant in practice. But, in game-time conditions.
      I hope he’s not hurt. The George Bailey of the NFL. Only, he doesn’t have a Sam Wainright to bail him out.

      Good news is, you have no reason to watch on Christmas Day. If I were Lovie Smith, I’d concede the game and let every one enjoy the holiday.

  • Confederate

    Look away. Look away.

  • heyBuddy

    Thank god it’s only a week until the Bulls get started.

  • Sanford Sklansky

    As bad as all this was the last four week. As bad as Hanie was, there was just no reason to lose the way the have the last few weeks. Especially the KC and Denver game. Blame Hainie all you want but brain cramps by Barber and a dropped pass that would have tied up the Kansas City games were killers. That is not on Haniie. And it wasn’t like the Bears defense was facing great quarterbacks. Yet the defense did not come up big when it really counted.


      I agree. Hanie is just some guy they hired in order to complete their evil plan of avoiding playoffs and taking fan’s money. It’s not Hanie’s fault that he’s in the line-up. Bears had to know how bad he is.

      What I hate is hearing the Bears talk it up before a game. As I listen to them say “we have to step it up” and blah blah blah, all I’m thinking is: “you’re gonna lose.”

      And they do!!

    • Spoon

      …and with a real QB you’re winning both those games by 3 TDs and none of those moments even happen or matter.

  • robd

    Front office needs to be removed.
    Cmon George, show me a pulse.

  • Shannon

    Lucky last year, unlucky THIS. I will never ever say “I’d rather be lucky than good” ever again.

  • Bagwhan

    The only thing more painful to go through is trying to wait out the commercials, the Score Board updates, and the in program shilling going on with the Doug and OB show. Good grief is that a painful listen. No less than 5 DIFFERENT car dealer commercials, they do the remote from Buffalo Wild Wings, yet shill for Wing Stop…thank god there are 2 other stations with Bears Post Game going on you can turn to during these extended non talk sessions—I love the Doug and OB show, but SCORE management, go find a single sponsor that will fund the thing and keep the content and dialogue going without constant interruptions.

    And of course the Bears are done. You said that last week dan. Now back to the commercials. 14 minutes of commercials and SCOREboard update strung together before hearing Doug, OB, or a callers voice again. Too much shilling now. Ruining what was once a great show with constant and overly long shilling, for any company that shows up with money.

    Find another station Doug and OB where they’ll let you have the forum you deserve.

    • Matt Brooks

      Podcast, yo. It’s the only way I can stand anything from the radio. An hour of radio in 38 minutes. Magic, I tells ya.

      • Calm Down

        Radio is loaded with commercial after commercial after commercial. On WBBM NewsRadio, their commercial breaks take up more time than for them to read a 2-sentence story!!

        Yep. Podcasts. Freedom from commercials.

  • Chinesebuffet


    You go now

  • Palestine Kevin

    The McCaskeys better strap on a pair and FIRE!!!!!!!!! Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith Angelo deserves more fault than Lovie but Lovie is set in his ways and he has a proven track record in crucial game situations of poor game calling and preperation.Its time to clean house Both must go for the Bears to have a chance at a Super bowl title!!!!!!! And send some wide recievers offensive line men and Caleb Hanie packing on train!!!!!!! Get a Damn clue we S U C K!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Matt Brooks

      I don’t think Lovie should go. In my view, he’s done a pretty darn good job with what he has. Perhaps he’s been a tad to deferent to his coordinators, but no one’s perfect. The “villain” here is Angelo and his putrid drafting record.

      • Palestine Kevin

        yea im real impressed with lovie smiths bears at 7-7 good teams can win without a starting qb. Greenbay kept winning last year when rodgers went down. Angelo and lovie should be fired so fast the door cant hit em in the ass ontheir way out!!!!

    • #winning. no thx.

      wake up, kevin. bears upper management doesn’t want to win the super bowl. thought u could tell by now.

      we are the s u c k-ers, we fall for this bullsh every year and we end up thinking/saying the same stuff palestine kevin writes.

      let’s see what 12/18/2012 looks like!

      • Palestine Kevin

        The McCaskeys apparently are satisfied with selling tickets and filling the stands iv never been fooled by them.Im a bears fan so i do try to look at the positive things the bears as a team do.And when Cutler and forte are in their they do make things iteresting but Jay needs to have somone like a larry fitzgerald to throw to.And matt forte would run roughshod over defenses if he had some hog mollys blocking for him.until quality wideouts are signed and the offensive line is beefed up we can forget a super bowl we are close to having that in chicago thats whats so frustrating about angelo pulling the strings.

      • Spoon

        This is such an incredibly herp-a-derp statement, it makes Kevin from Palastine seem like a rocket scientist.

      • Bronzo

        Spoon what does herp-a-derp mean?

      • Spoon

        It means so incredibly reta rded that you just walk around saying herp-a-derp.

      • Bronzo

        got it… I’ve seen you use that term many times, I assumed that it meant saying something stupid.

      • Spoon

        It works better when you use it verbally, and say it quickly with a slightly silly voice. It makes me snicker.

  • Palestine Kevin


  • Palestine Kevin


  • Real Talk

    PUFF PUFF……. PASS!! One thing that Caleb needs to work on when he gets picked up by another franchise.


    To borrow a common “Boers & Bernstein” term, Caleb Hanie is simply bad at football for starters and how the Bears can continue to start this guy at QB with the season on the verge of being shot to pieces is maddening. Besides, where was the pass rush on another bad QB, the Seahawks’ Tarvaris Jackson, in the second half of today’s 38-14 debacle? It was nowhere to be found in the final 30 minutes. In plain English, there’s more than enough blame to go around.

    In fact, there was an “NFL on FOX” graphic that Chris Myers, Tim Ryan & Jaime Maggio showed today in which the Bears had an 83% chance of making the playoffs with the Bears getting off to a 7-3 start since 1990. In fact, after today, playoffs?! As the SCORE’s own Doug Buffone would say, “STOP YOURSELF!”

  • Satan

    It’s such a hilarious slap in the face to Donovan McNabb that the Bears didn’t even CONSIDER having him play quarterback over Hanie.

    Did he (McNabb) somehow not retire yet? What’s he waiting for?

    Finally, if I had one Bears-related Christmas wish, it’d be to see Martz play quarterback for the Bears for a series.

    • El Oh El

      “Caleb is my quarterback.”

      Bears MEANT to do that.

      Loyal to the sad and bitter, bitter end.

  • Ray Clay

    It’s not over yet.

    Maybe Derrick Rose can suit up next week in the orange and blue?

    He might not have the size, but I bet he can defend much better than the current Bears O-line.

    • Mike

      You just made Illinois fans cringe with “Derrick Rose” and “orange and blue” in the same sentence.

    • JP Burke

      how can the offense defend?


    “five names that I can hardly stand to hear
    including yours and mine
    and one more chip who isn’t here. . .”

    The Blackhawks are mellow (man)
    Otherwise, the best use of our mental energy this week, is to, somehow–DId anyone read the last Dan Brown book?–get Brian Braun vindicated. There are far reaching ramifications if he isn’t.

  • Edith Hamilton's Myth Fan

    I’m tired of Jerry Angelo’s “mythology” – his favorite god or demi-god must be Tantalus because he “tantalizes” us with dreams of a successful season only to have dreadful drafts, bad players and bad coaches. Just clean house – no one left over! The Bears need to have a Poseidon sized flush of the toilet!

    • Whoya

      How many Bears draft picks….oh, never mind.

  • raybert

    the he11 with this weekly event called football.



  • val

    Does anyone have 2000 lbs?

  • how can i help you

    “For the Bears and their fans, this last month has been a b!tch.”

    That’s all you had to write, Dan.

    Had to make an edit on “b!tch.” Why did CBS let you print it, Dan?

  • R-Dub

    You could GIVE Angelo the first 5 picks in the draft and you’d be lucky to get one mediocre starter. How in the Hell has this guy kept his job for 11 seasons! He has never won a Superbowl as a scout, GM or anything. He has made horrible personnel decisions over his tenure. Time to go Jerry!


    What NFL team will Hanie be on in 2012?

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Sacramento Mountain Lions?

      Arizona Rattlers?

  • AT3374

    Truth hurts . Some fans got it into their heads that this guy was legit , due to GB going on cruise control in the CC game last year . Hanie will be fortunate to make a roster next year . Angelo needs to step down and take Ruskel with him . Although Lovie has done a good job with this ROSTER , he too needs to go . Get some new blood in here and hopefully in a few years we can compete with Minne for 3rd place , cause DET and GB aren’t going anywhere for a while .

    Good thing we have the Bulls to look forward to

  • jimmyp

    This is an A+ paper!! Your best writing to date. Yes, you are an idiot, or at least you were.

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