Big Cat’s Note – This is a long post. If you don’t want to read it I won’t be upset in the least bit but its a post that needs to be said because I’m sick of the East Coast media reporting on Chicago teams like they’ve actually taken 2 seconds to figure out what is going on.
The National Media has an East Coast Bias, fine, if they don’t want to give equal time to the Bears or any Chicago team because the Jets and Tebow and Eli Manning are more fascinating that’s perfectly acceptable, I don’t make those decisions and I won’t sit here and complain about what a media outlet does to get maximum ratings.
But what does bother me is when the Bears do get more than an average day’s worth of coverage by the National Media and what do they do? They basically cherry pick facts and anecdotal evidence and package it into a nonsensical story line about why Bears fans wanted Lovie Smith fired.
This is a piece of Josh Levin’s Article in Slate
(Source) Or, it would’ve been fair enough if Smith and the Bears had missed the playoffs in the typical way—say, by going 8-8, as they did last year. But this season, Chicago went 10-6. In two of those losses, quarterback Jay Cutler didn’t finish the game (against Houston) or didn’t play (against San Francisco) due to a brain injury. Frontline players like Brian Urlacher, Tim Jennings, and Lance Louis also missed games down the stretch as the Bears tailed off after a 7-1 start. Even so, Chicago would’ve made the postseason if the Packers had beaten the Vikings on Sunday. But Green Bay lost, making the Bears the sixth team with 10 wins or more to miss out on the playoffs since 1992.*
Lovie Smith, then, was fired after leading a team to a record better than that of last year’s Super Bowl winner because a bunch of teams he didn’t coach happened to have good seasons. Also, he failed to prevent Jay Cutler from getting a concussion.
When a coach gets fired because of things he can’t control, bloodthirsty fans will almost certainly explain it away by saying he’s bad at the things he can control. At least by the accounts of Bears facepainters, Smith was bad at all the little things that get on fans’ nerves, like timeout and challenge-flag deployment—the exact same stuff that supposedly makes Andy Reid unworthy of his Hall of Fame mustache. It’s not quite as dumb to blame a coach for misusing his timeouts as it is to run him out of town because the Packers couldn’t stop Adrian Peterson. Still, fans only talk about niggling things like clock management when their teams are losing. I’m guessing that Smith’s ability to tell time didn’t get worse as the season dragged on, nor did it cause Brian Urlacher to get hurt. It’s an excuse, not a cause, a transparently drummed-up charge on the order of canning a guy you don’t like because he took three pens from the supply closet.
There are 16 games in an NFL season. 10-6 is a very strong record, and teams with that mark or worse have made the Super Bowl in four of the last five years. Four of Chicago’s six losses came by one score or less. You can blame Lovie Smith for that, or the fact that some dude in Moline washed his lucky shirt at the halfway point of the season. Each of those excuses would make just as much sense.
This article honestly couldn’t be more false. Yes Lovie struggled at times with clock management. Yes it could occasionally be maddening but that is honestly one of the very last reason’s Lovie Smith was fired. If Josh Levin would actually open his eyes and instead of picking out a few random tweets or stories he heard from a guy who knows a guy who’s uncle sells steaks to Morton’s he would realize Lovie Smith was fired for 2 very valid reasons.
Reason 1 – Lovie Smith missed the playoffs 5 out of the last 6 seasons. Qualifying for the Playoffs is the number 1 goal every team has every single season. Its first on the list. Is completing that goal 16% of the time good Josh? Doesn’t seem that great to me.
Reason 2 (MOST IMPORTANT REASON JOSH) – Lovie Smith hired Mike Martz to be the Offensive Coordinator and then followed that up by hiring Mike Tice as his successor. Complain all you want about Lovie not getting the best on field personnel to work worth or his teams being hampered with injuries, at the end of the day Lovie is not an offensive coach. An Offensive coach would understand that hiring Mike Martz, with his aggressive pass offense and 7 step drops probably doesn’t fit very well with a horrendous offensive line. Or that having Mike Tice, who has ZERO play calling experience when there were plenty of competent replacements out there probably wasn’t an intelligent move. Like I said earlier in the week, Lovie is an antique car trying to race in Daytona. Today’s rules have made this an offensive league. Lovie is not an offensive coach. He literally had zero to do with the offense. How can you possibly win in this league today when your Head Coach doesn’t even want to have a say on how the Offensive side of the ball is managed?
Oh and Josh, you can tell everyone that Lovie was 10-6 and that last year’s Super Bowl Champion had a 9-7 record to end the regular season and that no 10 win team should ever fire it’s coach but if you took ONE second to actually look into Lovie’s record, to actually figure out how he was 10-6 you would stumble on yet another reason why it was time for a change.
Lovie’s coaching record with the Bears was as follows…
51-15 vs. teams with losing records
11-8 vs. teams with .500 records
19-40 mark against teams with winning records.
10-6 doesn’t seem as stout now does it Josh? You basically saw 2 numbers next to each other, one bigger than the next and decided, wow, that coach is a fantastic coach, he should NEVER have been fired, it must have been the mouthbreathing fans that pushed him out of town.
If you hadn’t been lazy and taken more than 2 seconds to dig deeper you would have realized that that line of thinking is completely asinine. You could not have been more wrong or ignorant. No one in Chicago hated Lovie. He was a great coach. He made the Bears relevant after Jauron and Wanntsedt did everything in their power to submarine the franchise. Lovie’s legacy will be a good one in Chicago. We will always think fondly of him and what he did for the Bears.
Actually, let me stop myself, who am I kidding, he sucked because he used that one timeout incorrectly in Week 15 against the Packers, I’m happy that asshole got fired. Now someone pass me my facepaint and sausage, those East Coast guys always know what we’re thinking even when we’re not thinking it.