Sunday, August 28, 2005

Just Ask Fencik

The Trib's Bob Verdi makes his weekend appearance to offer his usual goodness and prove he still has it. (Man, it's so refreshing to read Verdi after being bombarded all week by reactionary, dim-witted blowhards like Jay Mariotti.)

Here Verdi chats with Gary Fencik
and they quickly get down to the nitty gritty concerning the wretchedness of the peons who run the Bears.

"It's kind of sad, really," Fencik says. "From what I read, the difference between what the Bears are offering Benson and what he wants is maybe--what?--$2 million over five years. That's based on what Cleveland paid the No. 3 choice overall, Braylon Edwards, and the slot for Tampa Bay's No. 5 choice, Cadillac Williams.

"If you amortize that $2 million over the length of the deal, you aren't talking about a huge amount of money for a guy who could be the next Walter Payton. I'm not saying he will be. Could be. But why, especially after you lose your quarterback, Rex Grossman, should what Cleveland's paying its No. 1 determine what the Bears pay theirs? I think some teams need to recalibrate to adjust to the modern game."

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Somebody with common sense has spoken the truth.

With the debacle that is Hutchinson currently taking place, the holdout of Benson should be enough of a double whammy to assure that Angelo is shown the door. It should be. It's bad enough that the Bears may have selected a possible headcase who had a questionable past suggesting as much, but now that very headcase looks to have targeted his possible lunacy squarely on the Bears in the form of disgust and stubborness.

Look, I'm not saying Benson is a headcase, nor am I saying he won't be a solid NFL running back, but his current situation is exposing Bears management for all it is, which isn't much.

So maybe that's actually a good thing.

(Fencik) looks at the last 10 seasons and finds only Arizona, Cincinnati and Detroit with fewer cumulative wins than the Bears. Yes, even the ratty New Orleans Saints are better, and even the dreadful Bengals' history includes twice as many Super Bowl trips as the Bears.

"Arizona and Cincinnati have attendance problems, unlike the Bears," Fencik goes on. "And it's not like the Bears don't have a tradition. But you still have to take that extra step. They went after Nick Saban, and it's not like he didn't want to coach in the NFL. A year later, he's in Miami.

"Look at those three franchises. Cincinnati is the Brown family. Arizona, the Bidwills. Detroit, the Fords. Bears, the McCaskeys. Is it a coincidence? I don't know. Jerry Angelo, the general manager, had the connection with Saban. He picked Benson, after the Bears went on the clock on draft day. Did they do their homework? I don't know. He'll take the heat. He deserves to. But it all starts at the top. There seems to be something in the DNA of certain organizations."

Ugh. Arizona, Cincinnati, Detroit. Yup, the Bears are right there with Moe, Larry, and Curly of the NFL. The Bears are one of "those" franchises.

The bottom line is that the Bears, no matter how much fans might deny it, are one of the laughingstock franchises of the NFL and it's all thanks to penny-pinching deadbeats like the McCaskey's and incompetent lackeys like Jerry Angelo.


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