(CBS) – The collective sigh of relief heard across Chicago Monday was from Bears fans who endured a disappointing 5-11 season.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports Bears enthusiasts were glad that team owners began to make sweeping changes by firing General Manager Phil Emery and Coach Marc Trestman.
“Fantastic. They needed to do it,” Dan Wasserman said at Manny’s Deli in the South Loop.
The season ticket-holder says he didn’t even bother going to the last two games.
Though all NFL teams—even losing ones—make lots of money from lucrative, national television contracts, an owner would have to live in a cave not to be affected by the cascading criticism, expressed in a variety of ways.
Employment expert John Challenger says even a team like the Bears, with conservative owners, have a little patience.
“Today, we live in this era of short tenures. CEO’s get knocked out all the time. If the numbers aren’t good, it doesn’t last long,” he says.
Fans tell CBS 2 they want the new general manager to get better players and a fiery coach to motivate them.
“You had a coach who was in over his head and a quarterback who wasn’t listening, and GM who had to sign people to cover up for his drafting mistakes,” Magdee Abdallah says.
But University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson, an expert on the business of sports, is a little more charitable about what went wrong.
Luck has to be taken into consideration, Sanderson insists, because general managers and coaches all have access to the same information, including scouting reports and video and computer printouts.
“Do I think the firing of the general manager and coach will make any difference? Not much,” he says.
Just don’t tell that to bears fans, who are convinced Monday’s big changes are a step in the right direction.
“I hope that it does some good, that they come back and win,” Joyce Haynes says.