By Timothy Baffoe–
(CBS) I have three nephews, all no older than age five. They’re the craziest, sweetest, funniest people on earth and really the only people who understand me.
As I’m not their father, though, I constantly underestimate why they can’t just do whatever I want.
Can I take them to a Cubs game? “No, Tim, they have worse attention spans than you, and we are raising them as Sox fans.”
Can we watch Full Metal Jacket? “This is why you can’t babysit.”
Can I help the baby’s teething with my cold beer can? “Give him back, Tim.”
I just assume they’re capable of so, so much, but I also don’t live with them all day. I haven’t really scouted them and don’t know their limits beyond what Coach Brother and Coach Sister-In-Law know after working with them day in and day out, putting them in gameday situations like preschool and no diaper.
The nephews aren’t ready for everything Uncle Tim wants them selfishly to be and do, even though they’re my toys who will say or fetch basically whatever I tell them (which is really awesome). Essentially, they’re collectively Mitchell Trubisky.
I get it. You want the future of the franchise, the second overall pick whom the Chicago Bears traded up for, to play right now. He’s the new toy, and looking at it in its cellophane while Mike Glennon was awful in a 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday is torturous. I feel you, Bears fan.
Yet you’re not going to get to play with your new toy. Nor should you be able to right now.
“Mike is our quarterback,” Bears coach John Fox said in a way that sends shudders through every Bears fan who has heard prior coaches give some pronouncement of “______ is our quarterback.”
“Everybody wants to blame somebody, but that was a team defeat and we all had our hands in it. That wasn’t Mike Glennon Bears; it was the Chicago Bears. It was our whole team.”
Yeah, but Glennon was the smell of a garbage can in a Chicago alley in an unusual mid-80s mid-September. Did Glennon lose the game for the Bears on Sunday? Yeah, kinda. Three turnovers, one of them a pick-six. It was general suckage most of the way through.
Which means it’s Trubisky time, of course. Right?
“Ah, no,” Fox said. “I don’t think any way — not even seeing the tape yet — that you can pin that on the quarterback.”
I mean, yeah we can. There was never a consideration of Trubisky entering Sunday’s embarrassment, Fox said. Say what you want about Fox — who has yet to win a September game in his three seasons in Chicago — but he’s not dumb enough to put the franchise’s future into the middle of an unwinnable game with a defense dominating his team and injuries to the offensive line prior to and during the game that forced Cody Whitehair to play three positions.
The situation figures to be no better as the Bears prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3. Then the Green Bay Packers after that. Then the Minnesota Vikings, followed by the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers. That means 0-7 is entirely possible.
Of what value is throwing Trubisky into that? Now that defenses know the Bears are quite capable of wetting themselves in the running game — Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for a huge 20 total rushing yards Sunday — and the receiving corps is only known nationally by its drops, to put a rookie into that for the sake of the holy “valuable game reps” offers little payoff.
Glennon is here for the exact purpose of getting his head kicked in while this nowhere team spins itself into the ground on a weekly basis. Trubisky learns nothing from getting sacked or otherwise being forced to throw into coverage during this stretch of death scheduling by the NFL. If Trubisky goes in right now, it’s still a debacle with him questioning himself and you wondering if the Bears traded up for a bust. Holding a clipboard and running the scout team gives him as much learning experience right now as strip sacks. You want him in there — even if he’s losing — just because it’s different, and different must be good. Except when it’s not.
That’s not to say that Glennon should get all 16 excruciating starts. But the third game for a team that went from hanging in at home with an Atlanta Falcons team that played like it didn’t care to being abused by the Bucs ain’t the time for the Mitch.
“There’s been no communication of (being benched),” Glennon said Sunday. “So there’s no reason to worry about it.”
And no reason to be mad about it. To feel otherwise means you had some serious misgivings about what the deal was with the 2017 Bears.
You have to wait on your new toy, and don’t take it personally. I can tell you as an uncle who has never changed a single nephew diaper: Don’t ask for it.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.