After weeks of dogged pursuit, I’ve landed an exclusive interview with myself about the upcoming Bears season.
Q: This is quite a coup.
A: I’ll need that in question form.
Q: Is this interview quite a coup?
Q: How many games will Mitchell Trubisky start this season?
A: It’s Mitch, not Mitchell!
Q: You seem to be the only one who cares about this.
A: When the fabric of society starts unraveling because of such an unfortunate naming error, don’t come looking for me for help.
Q: But I am you!
A: And what a cross it is to bear.
Q: Let’s get back on topic. How many games will Trubisky start this season?
Q: Only one?
A: Yes. Coach John Fox will call a designed run play for Trubisky that will result in the first total body sprain in NFL history.
Q: Does Fox have it out for his rookie quarterback?
A: It would appear so. Against all logic and any concern for the Quarterback of the Future’s future, Fox had Trubisky drop back on the last play of a meaningless preseason game Thursday, with the Bears down 25-0. Trubisky ended up under a pile of Browns. Somehow he got up, unscathed.
Q: Would Fox have been fired if Trubisky had torn a knee ligament and was lost for the season?
A: I don’t like to deal in hypotheticals, but his sorry butt would have been out of here so fast, you would have thought it was a bullet train.
Q: OK, what about the starting quarterback, Mike Glennon? He seems like a nice guy.
A: So is my accountant.
Q: You don’t like Glennon?
A: I can only go by what I saw in the preseason, and I didn’t see much in terms of throwing accuracy. The Bears really, really want him to be a decent quarterback for one year so that Trubisky can learn without having the weight of the world and opposing defensive linemen on him. But hoping that Glennon is good enough is like hoping your doctor is good enough. You never want to find yourself desperately scanning the walls for a framed diploma.
Q: Everybody’s is now gushing about the Bears’ defense – why is that?
A: This happens every year, in some fashion. You start off assuming the Bears are going to win five or six games. Something goes right in the preseason, which are to real games what Slim Jims are to ribeyes, and the city suddenly changes its victory prediction to 10. So the defense looked good in limited action in practice games, and now we’re resurrecting Buddy Ryan and the ’85 Bears.
Q: What happens when the real games begin?
A: Seasonal depression.
Q: Is it me, or are you pessimistic about the 2017 campaign?
A: There’s something about the Bears and their fans. Something in the water here. Or maybe it’s the 16-game schedule and the feeling that every week is life and death. No matter how obvious it is that the Bears are rebuilding, no one wants to have to deal with the pain of a rebuild. The season is upon us, and now lots of people are getting excited about the team’s prospects in 2017.
Q: So you’re saying the Bears aren’t going to be very good?
A: I didn’t think I could have less an opinion of your intelligence, but I see now that I was wrong.
Q: General manager Ryan Pace has brought in players he says have improved the locker room “culture.’’ Doesn’t that count for anything?
A: Only if this were a class on table manners. This is the NFL, which tends to reward homicidal tendencies. Unless Pace is talking about the importance of bonding in organized street fights, I’ll pass on the culture talk.
Q: I’m told this year’s pregame team prayer is going to be something to behold.
A: Tell me what year it’s going to be when the other team doesn’t have a prayer. That’s all that matters.
Q: Is it always pitch black in your world?
A: It certainly explains the plaid pants-checkered shirt combos.
Q: No, really, give me one reason not involving the quarterback why the Bears won’t be any good this season.
A: To whom is the quarterback supposed to throw? Alshon Jeffery is gone. Cameron Meredith is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Markus Wheaton has a broken finger, and who knows what he’ll offer when he’s back. Kevin White’s existence is still more rumor than fact.
Q: But the Bears have Jordan Howard, who rushed for 1,313 yards as a rookie last season! Can’t they just run the ball to a good record?
A: Not in today’s NFL.
Q: OK, what’s your prediction for the season? And, yes, I am sitting down.
A: Glennon will give up the ghost and the starting job to Trubisky by Week 8. Trubisky will take his lumps but survive. The Bears will go 5-11. If they really wanted to do this rebuilding thing right, they’d go 2-14 and get the first pick in the 2018 draft. But these are the Bears, right?
Q: I’m asking the questions here.
A: These are the Bears.