By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) The “f—ing fans” sure sound different when the scoreboard changes, don’t they, Jay?
Amazing how that happens in an NFL stadium, right? They boo you and your sloppy teammates after an inexcusable half of uninspired slop against an over-matched opponent, then cheer when you actually perform as if you know what you’re doing.
Are you new to this whole idea?
After the game, you said “I’d boo us, too,” but the tape doesn’t lie. And PR people follow Twitter.
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On your way to the tunnel at the end of the second quarter, FOX cameras caught you responding to the booing by saying – to nobody in particular – “These f—ing fans, I swear to god.” As if the Bears deserved anything other than to be showered with praise and bouquets after allowing six sacks, countless pressures and too much Panthers offense in a game that should never have been close.
It’s one thing to have unfairly high expectations, another entirely to expect a first-place team with championship aspirations to block the edge, stop the opponent on third and long, take advantage of gift-given starting field position, and catch the damn ball when it hits you in the hands or the chest. They weren’t just booing you.
No reason to be so sensitive, either, especially after an effort last week that ended any lingering questions about your toughness. And aren’t you smart enough to know the camera will always find you, and that it looks for you particularly when you’re under stress, and more likely to lash out as you have so many times at so many different people?
It ended up being a good day, after all. Misery turns to ecstasy when Tim Jennings happens again, the two-minute drill does its job and Robbie Gould figures out how to play the wind. Wins like this were the reason the Bears traded for you, Jay – so a quarterback in full command could prove that the other team left him too much time on the clock.
Nice work over the last eight minutes or so. The offense just needs to execute like that earlier next time, and there won’t be any misunderstandings.
I’ll always agree with you about stupid Bears fans, believe me. Any of us who deals with some of these people can understand your pain and frustration. They can be under-informed and over-served, have problems stringing together the simplest of sentences, and many of them are also some combination of morbidly obese and hideously ugly.
But that doesn’t mean they were stupid today. They knew what they were seeing.
Nice to know that a victory (and, most likely, someone alerting you to what everybody saw so clearly at halftime) brought you around to understanding their feelings, and their right to express them lustily. They changed their tone, and so did you.
It’s human nature to not want to hear such things, even if well deserved. Everybody on the Bears sideline was just as disappointed as those in the stands for most of the day, and just as relieved when you got out of there with the improbable win. Does an ass have room for two crowns?
Challenging moments bring out heated reactions from, umm…hot-heads, but winning changes the context for everything, as I’m sure you ultimately know. Ask Cam Newton.
You’ll find today’s comeback is a good lesson: the “f—ing fans” are a whole lot more palatable when you and the Bears give everybody a reason to be happy.
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.
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