There are many different kinds of fandom. None are better than the other, nor more valid. To debate such things is a bit off point.
I assume this thread is really about Lovie, since it laments the days of Ditka. Valid, and well covered, there are hundreds of threads that cover the territory.
I wasn't 23 in 1985, I was 18, and I remember well 1984's disappointment and 1986's too. We had an organization that was built for a multi year run. We only finished the marathon once though. As much fun as that was for us fans, it wasn't really a dynasty, it was an almost dynasty. In some ways, it was more frustrating then than now. We had the horses, for a pretty long time span, without immense turnover.
Today's teams don't have that same opportunity. This is the free agency era. Players come and go constantly. Chemistry can't be the same on teams as it was 25 years ago. Few players start and finish their careers with the same team. And so, tradition is diminished too. Ditka could bring tradition into the locker room, and the players understood the meaning inherently.
I'm not completely sold on Lovie, nor am I ready to throw him out. As a fan, I have no control over that. We've been close now twice in his era, but we didn't have the horses to finish the race.
I'd say the frustration is more with the front office than the locker room. The current era doesn't allow the locker room to be the final determinant.
Winston Churchill: "Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak."
"If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain."
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I agree with everything you said except one part.
I don't think this is about Lovie. I don't think it should be about Lovie. If it is, it's the incorrect stance to assume. I think Lovie would love nothing more than to be able to fire up his team with talk about tradition and history and glory. Guys like Ditka and even Smith come from a different era. They grew up with a Pre 1985 Mindset. Ditka got to use his. Lovie can't.
Nobody would listen. Players today are a different animal. So why waste your breath?
But that's no one's fault, that's just how things are now. It's not about being cynical (which actually shows up in Post 5) because I think we would all love to see a return to the days when the players were the most devout proponents of the team, where they would come limping off the field and yell at the trainer "wrap it" and want to go back out, even if they were losing their toes or something. Nowadays, players look at their bodies as an investment. There are pros and cons in this argument and I don't think we should get into that.
All I'm saying is that it exists, it's going to exist, it's not going away and there's no use getting all cracked up over the past.
And the reason it exists - and you hit the nail on the head - is because of Free Agency. The days of a player being drafted and staying with the same team for their entire career are few. And they're becoming more rare every year. In fact, I would be going to far as to say that The Bears are among only a few teams that actually continue to take pride in retaining a player for their entire career. So there's something to get out of this. Although if they lose Kreutz, that's going to take a major hit. But Urlacher is still going (crosses fingers).
I don't think Jerry Jones has an issue with Free Agency.
Or Daniel Snyder.
So if you're looking for someone to blame a lack of Pre 1985 Mindset, those two would be a good place to start.
I can certainly appreciate BHS' sentiments, because there are times when I want to see Lovie bring the heat. I'd love for him to go off and be all Mike Singletary on a player. But it would just be a waste of time now.
And speaking of tradition, I wouldn't even have pointed all this out if he had been a little more aware of a tradition of our own here in this thread. I never thought those damned Gremans would buy me this much trouble.
And Burris, I don't need the thought. That quote is highly accurate and valid. Maybe you should take another look at it.
Last edited by matsellah; 07-30-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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the 85 mindset went out when these guys EFF'ed up and went to the NFCC. Seriously, any chance of improving this team went out the window when they went out and won. This season will either be great or tragic. I don't see an in between here.
I'm so sick of hearing about 85; I was 10; I don't really remember to much other then they underachieved the next few years, and then the team was broken up and we had an underachieving Harbaugh and an under appricieated Neal Anderson. I also remember not doing squat until the mid 2000's, and not doing squat since. So if you want an 85's mentality all your asking for is one great year followed by 20 years of crap on a stick. No thanks.
I don't want a "Bears mentality" b/c that has started to become a "Cubs mentality". I want a GB, Pitt, Philly, or NE mentality. Teams that, for whatever reason, find themselves constantly shooting for a SB multiple times in a decade. And that doesn't start w/the players it starts with the owners, then moves down to the GM and Coaches.
Frankly I don't see anything happening until Ginny kicks off and the Mc's are finally expelled from the hallowed halls of Hallas.
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Different era, different players, different coaches. There not much of anything in the entire world today that mocks 1985 BH-s.
Originally Posted by Blue Horse-shoe
I believe that teams tend to adopt the personality of their coaches. As a player and a coach Mike Ditka chewed gum and kicked ass.
Lovie Smith looks like he's on valium and waiting for the ex-lax to kick in so he can read the sports and take a good healthy shit.
It's the difference between patient acceptance of your fate and the imperative to control it. To me Lovie Smith will never be a true Bears Head Coach in the mold of a Ditka or a Halas.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
I remember 84 gaining steam to 85. It was a perfect storm of management, drafting, coaching, rivalry, and innovation. The 46 defense had a tactical advantage that most likely will never be duplicated. It would be near impossible to duplicate the specialness but the imperative of getting back I can understand.
I think players are passionate but things including the dynamic of football and the distractions are different as well. In every era it's a different animal. Comparisons like who's the greatest, who's the best general, who would win what battle etc. are incomparable.
Arguing on the internet is like winning the special olympics, even if you win your still messed up.
Restore the roar!
I was only four years old and not into anything other than Transformers and G.I.Joe in 1985. I get sick of all the reverence that the '85 Bears receive simply because that was so long ago that I can't really relate to it. In some ways, I'm with Blue Horse Shoe - I want a championship ball club and I want one now. But in other respects, I know that not all franchises are as committed to excellence as others. The Bears have had a long history of settling for mediocrity since about the late 1960s. I read somewhere that during the reign of Michael McCaskey, the Bears had a winning percentage somewhere around .530 give or take, which is good, but they haven't won a single championship since I was four years old. Again, I can't really relate to what went on in the mid-1980s.
There are really two reasons that I became a Bears fan in the first place. The first is because of the franchise's history. There are few teams in the NFL that can compare to the Bears in terms of their historical value. We've won more games and have a higher winning percentage than any team in the history of the NFL. We have had more Hall of Famers as well. We are second in the number of championships to the Packers, which really bothers me because we've won with greater consistency than that franchise has. The 1980s was an opportunity to close the gap on the Packers, but because Mikey did little to bolster the roster with solid draft picks other than Neal Anderson and, to a lesser degree, Jim Harbaugh, the Bears never reached their full potential. I wrote an article about the great Bears teams from 1986 through 1988. I think it would serve everyone well to read it and to see where the strengths and weaknesses of those teams lied. As was typical to any other era in Bears history except for the Sid Luckman years, it was the quarterback position that really doomed the Bears during this stretch of years.
The second reason why I started following the Bears is because my dad grew up knowing Doug Atkins, and thus he always pulled for the Bears to win for that reason when he'd see them playing on TV. Dad tells me stories of Doug Atkins all the time, of how Atkins and Ed O'Bradavich hit Y.A. Tittle so hard multiple times during the 1963 NFL Championship Game that "he thought they'd killed that son of a bitch." Also, Dad tells me stories of how Doug couldn't stand George Halas, how he always referred to Halas as being cheap with his money, and so on and so forth. Doug probably enjoyed his time in New Orleans more than he did in Chicago because of the party scene down there (Doug was known to have a few beers here and there), but he is usually best remembered as a member of the vaunted "Monsters of the Midway" defenses of the late 50s/early 60s.
Would I like to see Mike Singletary back in Chicago working with the Bears in some form? You had better believe it. Do I think that we will ever get a coach that is that fiery? No. The reason Bill Parcells didn't succeed in Dallas isn't because he didn't have the talent. It's because he was a dinosaur from an age where coaches always got the last word in over a dispute. In essence, he was out of touch with today's players.
I want a championship, and I don't want it now - I wanted it yesterday. That is the New York Yankees fan within me speaking. But I digress. I don't know when, or if, the Bears will win the Super Bowl again, but I don't think I will ever trade in my now-four and a half year old Brian Urlacher jersey, Chicago Bears Foamhead hat, and Bears memorabilia simply because we aren't winning. I'll borrow a phrase from Kegstand, except I'll do so with Coke: I'll drink until the season is pretty. To me, though, the season is always beautiful, regardless of what direction it takes. Football is a great sport, and the Bears are but one of its suitors.