LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — The Chicago Bears have endured decades of disappointment, countless failures and just a single Super Bowl victory, but no season can compare to the misery of 2014. The McCaskey family is ready to take back its heritage franchise.
George McCaskey stood before national cameras and a frustrated fan base as a man in charge, one who demands Super Bowl success. He embodied the desires of an organization desperate for championships. A 5-11 campaign that created the utmost dysfunction was deemed unacceptable.
“This was a painful season,” McCaskey said, offering the look of conviction.
The rambling reign of Marc Trestman and Phil Emery is done. Their misguided planning and plotting is over, preventing the Bears from falling deeper in a hole of mediocrity. Enough was enough — the Chicago Bears are a loser and must change. That’s what Black Monday brought to Halas Hall.
Throughout a season that spiraled beyond the control of a listless head coach and misplaced general manager, there were legitimate questions as to whether the Bears would pull the plug so soon on their regime.
But what more was there to see?
Chicago became a national embarrassment, a joke, a punch line. There were consecutive losses that saw 106 points allowed, three straight weeks of humiliations on primetime television, and a star receiver threatening boxing matches to fans on Twitter, among many other misdeeds.
The McCaskey family would have no more of this. George and his mother, 91-year-old Virginia, would do whatever it takes to uphold a proud football franchise.
“She’s pissed off,” said McCaskey of his mother, fighting back genuine tears.
“We’re fed up with mediocrity.”
So were the 50,000-plus fans who braved the December cold at Soldier Field and the thousands of no-shows who would rather waste their money than watch the Bears. The team was a joke, even to the most passionate of fans.
That’s what McCaskey is, he admitted.
Conventional thinking would give Trestman a third season and allow Emery’s draft picks to prove themselves. Only once have the Bears fired a coach after two seasons. But this was no conventional situation; the franchise was in crisis, with Trestman continuing his heinous act of willful ignorance as his house burned to the ground.
Everything wasn’t fine for the Bears. The “process” Trestman cherished was a disaster. His toolbox of concepts might as well have been filled with dog feces. Those good weeks of practice he falsely boasted ended in embarrassment each Sunday or Monday. The circus created by Trestman, blabbermouth Aaron Kromer and the band of miscast mistakes had to end. Fans were clamoring for it, and even players like Robbie Gould wanted it.
Fortunately, the McCaskeys wanted it, too.
Trestman failed miserably as a head coach. His attempts to build chemistry faltered, his offense regressed, his defense was a joke. Emery, too, failed. His scouting proved to be poor, his free-agent signings largely stunk, and his “I’m the smartest guy in the room” act was making the Bears worse.
In fact, two years of Trestman brought the Bears to an unfathomable low. Rock bottom hit hard at halftime of the game in Green Bay, with Aaron Rodgers tossing six touchdowns in a half. But they kept scratching further through the foundation of terrible.
Each loss brought more shame on the orange and blue, but Trestman continued his acts of ignorance, Emery refused to hold his hand-picked hire accountable and team executives held meetings that brought nothing.
“It’s on me,” Emery would say.
“It’s on me,” Trestman babbled much longer than he should have been allowed.
Only one man could put an end to this.
George McCaskey, the chairman of the Bears, the grandson of George Stanley Halas, would not allow his family’s franchise to be further humiliated. He stood in front his family’s legacy and its beloved football team and demanded better.
A powerful action was followed by strong words. The McCaskey family is pissed off, fed up and wants so badly to make the Bears a championship team.