By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) The alarm on the clock radio goes off for the fourth time (thank you, St. Procrastinus, Patron Saint of snooze buttons), and I sit up and contemplate for a few seconds whether or not this day is worth even greeting, figure I owe it to the 180 children whose futures I get paid fabulously to help mold, and galumph to the shower. Toweling off and admiring myself in the mirror because somebody needs to drink such a vision in, I hear the text message notification go off. If somebody is dead, this day is starting off terribly inconveniently.
Good news—nobody dead. Better news—the text informs me that the Chicago Bears have hired Mark Trestman to be their new head coach. I am excited for this new era of Bears football and look forward to what innovative things Trestman can bring to the franchise. Because I’m such a great guy, I immediately relay the news on social media, remember to put on pants, and drive to work.
I arrive at school and begin getting ready for the yelling, crushing of dreams, and other general magic that will inevitably happen in my classroom, check some emails, and see a Facebook notification on my phone. Oh, joy, let’s see what people I know think of the Bears hire! It’s not even 8am, I’m bereft of caffeine, and I see this. That is how my Super Happy Bears New Coach Fun Time Day began.
Please, football fans, I’m begging you—don’t judge the guy before he’s even had a chance to coach a down of Bears football.
Yes, Mark Trestman was coaching in Canada. Canada, because even though it’s just America with less gun violence and more Tom Greene, is weird because it’s not America because in America everything that isn’t American is weird. America. Even weirder is Montreal because it’s all Frenchy and cultured and has granted office of Minister of Aboriginal Affairs to Gary from Evanston. And Alouettes? An alouette is a lark and a thoroughly effeminate song about ripping body parts off of said bird. DIS TRESTMANMAN MIGHT AS WELL CALL EM DA CHICAGO CROISSANWICHES.
And the Canadian Football League is inferior to the National Football League; therefore, a CFL coach must be inferior goods, too. Unless you acknowledge that the CFL is still professional football that isn’t exactly in the business of putting out a bad product or that CFL rosters are full of former NCAA Division I players. I understand that, say, hiring a college coach or NFL assistant feels more comfortable because it doesn’t involve Loonies or special tuxedos or Steve Nash. But a college coach isn’t a professional coach. An assistant coach isn’t a head coach. Don’t fall into the xenophobe trap. And by the way, Trestman isn’t Canadian. Working in Canada doesn’t grant somebody citizenship.
Why brush a guy off because he comes from somewhere different (even though he came from here before that)? Aren’t Bears fans the ones so often stereotyped for demanding something different? “Zorich to linebacker.” “Try more shotgun.” “Cook the McCaskeys and eat them.” Those revolutionary Bears fans. But now different—which isn’t exactly all that different in negative fashion some want to apply—is bad? Being a coach in the CFL is not a bad thing nor would it necessarily be for a guy to have Arena League experience or NFL Europe. Many a CFL coach comes from American football, and once in a while a CFL coach comes back to America.
People loved and hated the hiring of Mike Ditka. “YEAH HE PLAYT FER DA BEARS!” “BUT HE WAS A SPESHIL TEAMS COACH YOU CAN’T EVEN TRUST ONE OF DEM TO BABYSIT A HOUSEPLANT.” When Dave Wannstedt was the hot coordinator on the come up? “HE WON A SUPER BOWL WIT AMERICA’S TEAM.” “DAT MUSTACHE DOESN’T MAKE HIM DITKA.” Ditto Lovie Smith. “HIS DEFENSES WERE SOLID.” “WAIT HE’S BLACK?”
Pump the brakes, folks. Mark Trestman has a very solid resume, and I have yet to hear someone credible speak a bad word about him. I’m sure he’s not God’s gift to coaching, but he’s worked in the NFL—and well—and is highly respected in football circles, Canadian and domestic. Are the Bears winning the Super Bowl in 2013 under him? I highly doubt it. Can the Bears win a Super Bowl under him in the future? I can’t automatically dismiss that before he’s done a damn thing here.
Phil Emery has a plan, and it sounds like one that is extremely un-Angelo. That it will produce championships I cannot say—his ability to draft well hasn’t been proven yet—but since the firing of Lovie Smith he has made it very clear that he has his act together and is committed to nothing short of a Super Bowl win. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for the Bears. What I do know is that there are seemingly smart, respected people running the show, and they at least deserve to not be cut down before they’ve even attempted to put something successful together. (Notice how it wasn’t just a head coach hired but almost immediately assistants as well and plans for other assistants conveyed?)
A student walked in while I was banging my head off my desk after reading the Facebook microcosm of Bear fan skepticism. He asked if I had heard of the hire and my thoughts on it.
“From what I’ve heard about the guy, I’m excited about the choice,” I said.
“Me, too,” said the teenager who plays on the hockey team and whose opinion is therefore Canadian and irrelevant.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.