The Chicago Bears started their season 0-4, before finally beating the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football. That win was the Bears’ first win in nearly a year, breaking what was at the time, the longest ongoing losing streak in all of American sports. The poor showings have led to skepticism amongst fans surrounding the competence of the organization.
The coaching staff, in particular HC Matt Eberflus and OC Luke Getsy, have come under heavy scrutiny from fans. “Fire Matt Eberflus, this man should not have his job. He should’ve been fired after the Chiefs game,” junior Kairav Patel said, and continued, “Fire Luke Getsy, he’s possibly the worst offensive coordinator I’ve ever seen in my life.” “Luke Getsy is to blame for the 0-4 start,” sophomore Joseph Fallon concurs. However, Fallon disagrees that firing is the best solution, “The Bears have had a bad history of firing coaches too early,” Fallon said. “You’ve gotta give him some time.”
That opinion doesn’t appear to be particularly popular, with the fanbase’s patience waning, fans begin to long for past successes. “I’d rather have Matt Nagy back than what we’ve got right now,” sophomore Vito Gierut said. “Matt Nagy took us to the playoffs twice.” Poor performances have also led fans to propose more unconventional solutions. “We’ve got to bring back the glory days of the Chicago Bears, maybe bring back Mitchell Trubisky,” senior Colin Duffy said.
That then brings up the seemingly never ending conversation about Justin Fields, of whether he is good enough to be the franchise QB moving forward. Junior Robert Young is a member of the pro-Fields camp. “I think he’s a great quarterback,” Young said. “He can be so good, but he’s gotta lock in.” Meanwhile, some fans are more ruthless in their criticism of Fields. “Justin Fields isn’t playing his position right, [he’s] acting like a running back,” Duffy said. “Justin Fields isn’t a quarterback, he doesn’t have the mentality to win games.” Statistically, this does add up, Fields has a measly record of 6-25 as a starter throughout his career. However, Fields has shown flashes of brilliance during his time with the Bears, which seems to have allowed him some leniency with the fans. “I think Justin Fields has definitely grown as a passer a little bit,” Patel said. “We have this whole season to evaluate him, we’ve got time.”
There is a limit to leniency, though, especially this year, as the Bears appear that they will have two top picks in next year’s draft. One of these picks was acquired this past offseason in a trade with Carolina, where the Bears gave up the right to select a quarterback, and instead chose to trade down. GM Ryan Poles, who made the trade, has gained some favor from the fans because of it. “The trades he made with the first round pick, to get all those different picks, that’s goated,” sophomore Omar Garcia said. “I’m down bad for Poles,” Patel added. This year, the Bears will likely be facing the same dilemma, take a quarterback, or trade down. Justin Fields’ play throughout the rest of the season will surely impact Poles’ decision.
Poles’ moves have led to a slight sense of hope for the future from fans. “We invested a lot in our future, so I think we’ll do good,” Garcia said. “If not, then it’s just a problem with the franchise.”
That begs the question, is it just a problem with the franchise? The Bears haven’t won a Super Bowl in almost 40 years, where they have been under the same ownership the entire time. This has led many fans to believe that ownership is the root problem. “They’ve been terrible every year I’ve watched them,” sophomore Rafael Mora said. “We’re a poverty franchise, always have been and always will be,” junior Timothy Wiley said. “They need to sell the team,” he pleads.
Although the quality of play may make being a fan difficult, Bears fans have continued to show immense loyalty and support. “I don’t care if we go 0-17, I’m still watching every single game,” Patel said. For these fans, fandom isn’t based on results, but rather love for their city, their community, their people. “I live and bleed Chicago sports,” Duffy said.