Bernstein: Bears Need To Stop Talking About ‘The Room’

By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist

(CBS) You have probably never heard of a movie called “The Room,” and that’s probably best for you. Not to be confused with the award-winning “Room,” the film with the two-word title is a towering achievement of badness, an independently produced monstrosity widely believed to be one of the worst ever made, described in Entertainment Weekly as “the ‘Citizen Kane’ of bad movies.”

It achieved cult status in some circles due to the scope of its utter atrocity, a directionless mess of haphazard plotting, seemingly random action and complete lack of narrative development.

In other words, much like the Bears.

The two entities would be better off not so juxtaposed, but general manager Ryan Pace keeps bringing me back there whenever he discusses the ongoing and desultory saga of his team’s quarterback situation.

“There’s no more important room than the quarterback room,” Pace said. “We put a lot of thought as to how that room blends together. I think we’ve all seen really good rooms that are better as whole because of the people that are in there. And maybe some rooms don’t click well together. I think we’ve created an environment … where it’s a room that can really click together.”

Starring Mike Glennon, with Mark Sanchez and Connor Shaw. And still possibly introducing a 2017 draft pick for a delightful cameo role.

NFL teams love their precious “rooms.” What Pace is talking about are the places in the building where individual positions meet to discuss their specific responsibilities beyond the full-team video sessions. As we have seen from enough episodes of HBO’s Hard Knocks, it’s the place where some assistant coaches deliver tough love and swaggering bad-cop routines and others offer pats on the back or an arm around a shoulder, all in between spits of tobacco slobber into a styrofoam cup.

And it’s much easier to talk about how important that place is when you’d rather not discuss what has actually been occurring on the field.

You’ll notice what Pace said first when asked specifically about drafting a quarterback.

“You feel a guy when he comes in the room,” he said. “Does he have that charisma? Does he have that confidence?”

Still about the room and not the actual place where that guy will be calling a play and then throwing a ball. After the signing of Sanchez, Pace mentioned that he “would mesh well with Mike Glennon and fit really well in the room.”

Here are some excerpts from critical reviews of “The Room,” culled from RottenTomatoes.com:

“Given audience reaction at screening attended, pic may be something of a first: A movie that prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back — before even 30 minutes have passed. Extreme unpleasantness.” — Variety

“Unfeasibly bad” — The Guardian

“Like a car crash you can’t avoid looking at. So very bad it becomes riveting” — KPBS San Diego

“Deliriously incompetent” — The Sunday Times (Australia)

“Overabundant idiocy … seamless absurdity … complete ignorance of its manifest awfulness.” — Reason.com

If the Bears want to avoid similar opinions of their play after this regime’s two seasons and two last-place finishes, it would be best to get out of the room and back in the game.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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