Bernstein: Phil Emery? Um, Ok.

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) After interviews with Larry and Curly, the choice is Meh.

The Bears decided on their new general manager after sifting through a list of names that caused no excitement whatsoever, arriving at the perfect culmination of their tedious, uninspiring process. The former Bears scout returns to replace the man for whom he once worked, and any culture change at Halas Hall consists of ordering new letterhead.

Perhaps he’ll make all the right picks, refill the pipeline of talent and chart a visionary course to set the Bears up for a grand future of championship glory. Or not. I have no idea, and neither do you. Nor does anybody else, including the people who interviewed him.

There was not a possibility in play that makes me feel they missed out on somebody special, so we’ll just have to see if a notoriously incompetent front-office got one right. Remember, this is an administration that once held a press conference to announce their simultaneous desires for both massive change and valued continuity, so we have to trust that Emery is perfect for that. He’ll shake up the status quo by preserving it. Or something.

I can’t see how anyone could possibly have a strong reaction to this news. The indifference is intense.

This hire is a nice, healthy bowl of shredded wheat. Not even the frosted mini-kind, either, but the big, weird, pillowy kind that falls apart in like three seconds and tastes like a mouthful of lint.

“Solid football man,” we hear from his former bosses, co-workers and others in the NFL. It’s bland, faint praise for a cipher. Pro Football Talk reported last week that when Emery was telling his counterparts that he was about to get the job, nobody believed him.

I can translate “solid football man” for you. This is socks for Christmas. It’s driving a minivan. It’s any REM album after 1991, house-brand plastic wrap, or watching C-SPAN.

Only the Bears would make an announcement like this early on a Saturday afternoon, which is usually one of the times companies will sneak bad news out: when people are busy and news staffs are light. Stuff more along the lines of “We’ve had a bit of a reactor leak,” “Our senior VP just got arrested for naked unicycling,” or “The Reverend is taking a leave of absence due to ‘exhaustion.’”

Instead, we get “It’s Phil.”

Emery was hired to work for the Bears by Mark Hatley, but stayed on after Jerry Angelo arrived, probably because nobody knew who or where he was, or what he was doing. He was hired to be the college scouting director for the Falcons in 2004, and guess by whom.

Yes, it was Tim Ruskell. The same guy who didn’t make the second round of interviews for the job Emery just got, the same guy who joined the Bears as Angelo’s caddy after Seattle let him go and he needed a job. Then Emery took a similar position with the Chiefs.

While other teams look to find ripe fruit from successful trees, the Bears pluck unknown growths from the knotted vines in their own yard.

But the new GM is here, nominally at least.

Join me in feeling completely, utterly whelmed.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  Phil Emery?  Um, Ok.

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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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    What? I woke up from my nap for this?

    • Edward C Jerabek

      You can go back to sleep now.

      • Not Willing to Change

        Decades of being ensconced in the lowest form of disappointment and mediocrity. Where the Bears are more than happy to remain.

        Keep the mediocrity alive! Buy Bears tickets!

  • Uncle Larry

    Uninspired hire, uninspired article. Zzzzzz.

  • Sanford Sklansky

    What else would you expect from this organization. It is amazing that they found a way to win the Super Bowl in 85 much lest get back to one. Cutler is a fine quarterback but he won’t e close to a Hall of Famer. I don’t expect them to draft a Jerry Rice, but they haven’t come close to drafting a near Hall of Fame receiver. Here is a team that builds the smallest stadium (seat wise) in the NFL in the 2nd largest market. I think Lambeau holds at least 75,000. I think the Bears could draw that. Not only that they rebuild the stadium where the access is awful. If they can’t do the stadium right how do you expect them to do the football right.

  • Tom Zelenik

    He will soon be named Dumbo – not only for his huge ears – but for the continuation of the Bears neverending management fiasco.

  • Christian

    You sum up my thoughts more poetically than I could have. This hire is so milquetoast, middle-of-the-road, it’s just perfect for this “administration” which is a loose term to mean a bunch of porn-mustaches running around patting each other on the back.

  • Denver Deadite

    Not that I care to defend the Bears, but I’m not sure who the Bears could have hired that would’ve made me feel better about what’s going on at Halas Hall.

    But then, let’s face it, after the big splash the Cubs made in getting Epstein, the Bears really had no chance to come close to measuring up with their hire.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I was for Ross who made great contributions to the Giants’ SB team.

      • Patrick Brooks

        I was pulling for Litch. Just look at the Patriots and you or perhaps any one could see why.

  • Then...He Hits The Ground Running

    “Enid? Have the new paper clips come in?”

  • Nam Hu

    Yeah, this doesn’t have much splash to it but this Phil Emery guy could actually know football. How many other people can you say that about in Bears management? Maybe the team that leads the league in unintentional comedy with their press conferences and using #1 draft choices on guys with career threatening injuries took a quiet step in the right direction? Every so often a blind cat catches a dead mouse.

  • been banned

    What exactly did George McCaskey glean from his meeting with Rocky Wirtz on how to rebuild an Organization you’ve just taken over within the Family? Obviously he’s a poor listener. Wirtz, Reinsdorf, Wrigley, Einhorn, all at one time or another have been hated names in this town. Soon only the McCaskey name will hold that honor, alone and possibly forever. Absolute idiots. Except when it comes to still being capable of selling a product that customers continue to buy. They’re dumb, but the customers are dumber. It will never end until the customers demand it to.

  • Shemp Howards ghost

    Hey…how come I didnt get an interview…why you!!???


    Who is going to back up Crawford, then? It’s one of the most important positions in Chicago sports?

    Dan, I’m shocked you wasted valuable time telling us this. You have a Pro Bowl to prep for, mister! What am I going to DO!?!
    Didn’t attendance drop during the Wanny (or Juron) era? The responded with P.S.L.s It’s your seat, but you’re not in that seat. Season ticket holders didn’t seem to mind.

  • Lil' Bycracke

    “Who Cares!”
    – Bruce Weber

  • Harry's Phlegm

    R.E.M.’s first 4-5 albums were great then…meh. “Everybody Hurts” is the most boring song of all time.

    This new GM is Mr. Macho. I hate macho. I want brains. I think we just got another neanderthal.

  • Cris Benson

    Dan as much as I agree with your’e point that Emery isn’t a ‘homerun’ selection for the GM position but in all honesty who was?

    Their is no great mind that will take the Bears into the realm of where the Patriots are as a model for success.

    We had gotten what we needed a person that could build the Bears through the draft. Emery has been doing his own scouting at the Senior Bowl and the other college prospect games and that is what the Bears need a man who can build depth from within the draft.

    We have an aging defense, as well as a suspect offensive line, and we are desperate for a star WR.

    Besides all the great front office talent in the world won’t change a Bears Chairman who said build you’re team around our head coach.

    But that was you’re point anyway so I am preaching to the choir.

  • Allan Birmantas

    Coming from a naysayer,on a station which seems to have cornered the market on arrogant hosts,this hire now seems better than I thought.In other words if SCORE hates it,it might not be so bad after all.Thank you Dan,now I feel better,because until I read your article I hated this hire.

  • Fly1965

    Again, I am absolutely amazed. Not at the Bears’ decision for GM; rather, I’m amazed at how inept and entitled their lame-stream fan base and seemingly impartial media hacks actually are! You supposed sports fan (atic)s act like you are following the Cleveland Browns! Didn’t these same Bears, under the same seemingly incompetent “front office” come within one game of the Super Bowl in 2010? Yet all you unsatisfiable fair-weather fans would probably call that a fluke. You’d probably say that that merely proves just how bad the rest of the league was. Heck, you play Madden; you could put together a Super Bowl champion in fantasy football! You’re the next Hoodie! The Bears were on the march when Cutler got hurt and the season got derailed. And no, he didn’t fake his injury. The Bears did exactly what any SANE organization would do; they first got rid of Martz (his play calling doesn’t suit Soldiers Field), they got rid of JA (too many misses on 1st Rounders) and they’ll get rid of the FA extra baggage. As for dumping Lovie, Cutler, and everyone else in the building not named Forte, don’t hold your breath! If that doesn’t seem to correspond to your particular “grand plan,” Cleveland is always looking for new Fan(atic)s! And uber-pessimistic journalists! .

  • pudd'in head

    dan would you rather have the big tuna he’s been such a winner here in Fl

  • Hugh G Rection

    Bern”stien” if you are so football smart how did you miss the interviews ?

  • Dave

    Hey! I drive a mini van.

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