I was talking to a Bears fan friend today after the press conference, discussing the basis for Bears fan fury, and it led me to look at some key numbers of the past 25 years comparing us, the Packers, and the Lions. And frankly, we're closer to being the Lions than the Packers.
I summed up my personal Bears frustration with this, but even that wasn’t quite right, because no one is the Patriots. I’d settle for being a millionaire in this scenario, and that’s Green Bay.
I know we all got annoyed when Lions fans tried to equate a six-game winning streak to the entire damn history of our two franchises. That was a ballsy maneuver for one of only two clubs from prior to the Super Bowl era that has never been to a Super Bowl.

But they had a point.
Why did I look at 25 years? I think that's the peak of one's fandom, give or take. You become a fan at about 5 years old, you start to understand what you're seeing at about 10, you start learning history at about 15.

25 is the best mix of knowledge, experience and emotion.
But 25 years is also important because that puts us outside of our last Super Bowl. The Bears brass skates by on a ton of b.s. because of our history. And you know I love history but let's get real. A 25-year-old Bears fan should have lived through a championship.
Alright, the gory details. Since 1995, Packers-Bears-Lions:

Champs: 2-0-0
Super Bowls: 3-1-0
NFC CG: 8-2-0
Div champs: 14-5-0
Playoffs: 19-6-6
Losing seasons: 4-14-18
10-loss seasons: 2-10-15
Last in division: 1-10-11

Are we more Packers or more Lions?
The head-to-head totals since 1995 aren’t any better. We’re two games better than Detroit head to head, but we’re worse than Detroit against the Pack.

Bears vs. Lions: 27-25 🐻
Packers vs. Bears: 40-13 🧀
Packers vs. Lions: 37-15 🧀
Frustratingly, we’ve had talent. Just not at QB.

Since 1995, Packers-Bears-Lions:

First team All Pro players: 11-16-8
First team All Pro seasons: 18-21-15
Pro Bowl QBs: 2-1-1
Pro Bowl QB seasons: 18-1-1
4,000-yard QB seasons: 15-0-11
What kills me is that the McCaskeys and the greater NFL still touts the Bears-Pack rivalry as one of equity. Yet talk to Bears fans under 30 and they'll tell you they don't see it that way. They've seen a nearly 30-game swing in their life for the Pack.

The Bears-Pack conversation used to be this:

"We've got more HOFers. They've got a few more titles. We've got the all-time series. They have better QBs. We've got better RBs and LBs. What a rivalry."

Now they crush us with few exceptions, and George and Ted just don't ACT.
It's weak to tout history when you have no present. We've won one championship in 35 years. We've won two championships since the team was integrated. Seven of our nine titles came before the NFL ended the two-way player era.

You want to understand the fan fury? There you go.
So when Bears leadership sits in front of us and acts as if all is well after another dud season, brings back the guy who just four years ago set the franchise back a decade and boasts about "culture" over actually winning games and championships, it's an insult.
George McCaskey, Ted Phillips and Ryan Pace are Jerry and George enamored with the crop circles.

We're the vendor trying to get their priorities straight.

"Culture? Why don't you win something."
When Bears ownership wants to raise ticket prices, they do it. When they want to curtail tailgating in the parking lots, they do it. When they want to get rid of players we love, they do it. There are consequences for everyone except themselves, Pace included.
Listen, it's #BearDown until I die. That's just what it is. But this leadership has turned the Bears into a Cubs-esque generational heartbreak machine. We're not who the McCaskeys think we are. We're who Packers fans, and Lions fans, know we are. I'm sick of it.
Hope everyone's doing well. Bear Down.
All love to the Lovie guys. I’ve gotten to know many of them and believe me, they wanted to give the city a championship as badly as we wanted to see one. They also had the best recent run against the Pack. They deserved better, and you know what I mean.
More depressing numbers crunching of the Bears in the Super Bowl era, from @lvhaag:

Regular season win % — 17th (49%)
Playoff games — t-20th (25)
Playoffs win % — t-27th (40%)
Super Bowl appearances — t-18th (2)

@WCGridiron #BearDown

Who were the Bears 1st team All Pros, 1995-2020?

O - Olin, BMarsh
D - 54 x4, M. Brown, Ted, 55, Pep, Peanut, Mack, Eddie, Fuller
ST - 🐐 x3, Patterson x2, Milburn, Gould, Cohen

Ayanbadejo and Mannelly would be there if they had coverage and LS then.

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More from @readjack

18 Sep 20
It's been a question on my mind for a few years now: Where do the Bears rank among NFL franchises in terms of Black starting quarterbacks?

I've spent about a year crunching the numbers. Here are my findings.

A thread.

Starting in 2017, when the Bears chose Mitch Trubisky, Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez over either Pat Mahomes or Deshaun Watson plus Colin Kaepernick, I started looking at our franchise's history with Black QBs.

The question of why the Bears seem to consistently make the wrong choice at quarterback has been alive since at least the 1940s, when Papa Bear brought in two brilliant QBs as heirs to Sid Luckman's throne, and managed to lose both of them within 4 years.

Read 44 tweets
17 May 20
The History of the Chicago Bulls Dynasty, by Jack M Silverstein.

A work in progress, in 72 parts.

A thread.

As I work on "6 Rings: The Bulls, The City, and the Dynasty that Changed the Game," my work on the dynasty Bulls will continue to deepen and expand.

But as we prepare for the final night of #TheLastDance, I want to look back at what I've done so far.

This thread is most of what I've ever written about the dynasty Bulls. It goes without saying that there is much more to come.

Want to follow my journey from research to book in real time?

Subscribe to my newsletter, "A Shot on Ehlo."

readjack.substack.com/archive ImageImageImageImage
Read 81 tweets
16 May 20
I've been in and out of the room on Sunday nights during #TheLastDance and I've missed pieces here and there that I then catch during the week. Catching up on ep7 — definitely surprised they skipped this play.
But I think I'm more surprised (and I discussed this on @LockedOnBulls last night) that the doc isn't doing a great job of tying together the two timelines: the '97-'98 story with the flashbacks. There is a huge reason why this play is so important:

In 1994 and 1995, without MJ, Scottie Pippen was a top-5 player in the NBA.

Not hyperbole:

Read 12 tweets
19 Apr 20
The game’s best player. Its best coach. Its best GM. Disgruntled Hall of Famers. A quiet owner. The feud that consumed them all.

Why did a thriving dynasty become a lame-duck season?

This is the true story of how the 1998 Chicago Bulls became #TheLastDance.

A thread.
Tonight, we bask in #TheLastDance, a documentary on the 1998 Chicago Bulls that takes its title from Phil Jackson’s branding of the season as such. There was truly nothing like this season: a dynasty at the peak of its powers given a preemptive expiration date.
The question that I imagine will be at the heart of #TheLastDance is one that those too young in '98 (or not yet alive) might not know, and one the rest of us will re-live in painful detail:

How in the world did this dominant team back itself into a one-last-run season?
Read 39 tweets
17 Feb 20

I am writing a book.

"6 Rings: The Bulls, The City, and the Dynasty that Changed the Game"

Coming in 2021.

Want to join me for my research ride?

Subscribe to my newsletter, right here: readjack.substack.com

What will this be? Let me tell you.

A thread. ImageImage
If you were here for it,
If you were in the city or the suburbs,
If you were in the state or in the country,
If you were overseas or at the Stadium,
If you sat courtside or at home,
If you were a child or you’d seen it all,
The Dynasty was a lifestyle.
The Dynasty was in your home.
It was on your clothes.
It was at your job.
It was on the train.
It was on TV.
It was on your mind.
It was at the bar.
It was at your birthday party. ImageImage
Read 98 tweets
5 Sep 19
No Chicago athlete was more beloved than Walter Payton.

His death 20 years ago shook Chicago, and led to one of the most emotional, stunning, Bears games ever.

This is the true story of Sweetness, Bryan Robinson, and The Block.

A Thread.

#BearsPackers #SavoringSweetness
Walter Payton’s skillset was as vast as it was deep. Yet that is not what defined him as a football player. What defined him were his intangibles:

His heart, his will, his leadership, his toughness.

His spirit.
When the Bears drafted him in 1975, he boldly — and rightly — made this declaration:

“When I get through with Chicago, they’ll be loving me.”

It happened much sooner than that :)

Read 37 tweets

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