Let alone continue on in his job as General Manager of The Chicago Bears.
If you're a Bear's fan, and lets face it the people willing to admit to this distinction must be declining at a precipitous rate, it must be feeling a little like Ground Hog Day for you this morning. You know Ground Hog Day the Bill Murray movie were he keeps reliving the same day over and over again?
By now, most Bear fan's have heard that the latest great hope for football salvation in our town, Rex Grossman, broke his ankle last night and is out for 3 to 4 months. Effectively, this means that for the Bears to have any chance to make the playoffs this year, they will have to do it on the back of the second string quarter back. More on this in a moment but first lets review some recent Bear's history.
Chicago has never distinguished itself as a Quarterback focused franchise. An incredible number of marginally talented men have attempted to bring excellence to the position and for a variety of reasons, most having to do with a stunning lack of talent, they all have failed. The list of quarterbacks that I can remember just from my life time alone is stunning: Virgil Carter, Jack Concannon, Gary Huff, Bobby Douglas, Bob Avellini, Vince Evans, Jim McMahon, Steve Fuller, Mike Tomczak, Mike Hohensee, Doug Flutie, Eric Kramer, that guy from Michigan, Cade McNown, Shane Mathews, Jim Miller, Craig Krenzel, Johnathan Whatshisname, and the latest to crash and burn, the aforementioned Rex Grossman. When you consider that I am 44 years old, this amounts to a change of quarterback every two years, and I am sure that I have forgotten at least five that should be on this list!
Stunning, isn't it? As a charter club in the NFL, the Chicago franchise seems to have taken the strategic decision to become the team that finds new and interesting ways to really screw up. The truth is that a cursory examination of any one year will reveal tales of remarkable incompetence marked by a uniquely Chicago Bear creativity in the actual implementation of their stupidity. Lets take the 1970 draft for example. As any fan knows, 1969 was a disastrous year for the team. Able to achieve only 1 victory in 12 attempts, the sole positive development to come out of that hopeless campaign was the fact that going into the 1970 draft, the Bears had the number one pick.
For most teams this would have represented an opportunity for salvation. You see, that draft held the promise of Terry Bradshaw, most recently of LSU, and the arm that would eventually propel his team to multiple Super Bowls and Bradshaw himself to the Hall of Fame. Not so the Bears. Instead our heros, comfortable with their 1969 number 2 pick from Kansas State the unforgettable Bobby Douglas, chose to instead trade the number one slot to Pittsburgh who used it to take Mr. Bradshaw. The rest, as they say, is history.
I could go on (and on, and on....) but you get the point. So awful is the Bears history at the quarterback position that in the last 39 years, only one quarterback has thrown for more than 20 touchdowns in a season. By comparison, Peyton Manning threw 49 last year alone, and never has thrown for less than 26 in any season.
So it was with great hope that the Bears began the 2005 campaign. Their QB hopeful, and focus of all Bear's fan's dreams Rex Grossman, was coming off of an ACL injury that occurred last year (when he was coming off of a torn throwing hand tendon injury from the year before) and fans were hoping for some stability at the QB position. Despite our hopes, many wondered if it was wise to put all of our eggs in the basket of a QB who has only been able to start 6 out of 32 games in the 2 seasons that he has been in the league.
This seemed like a dodgy sort of decision, especially when you looked at the Bear's back-ups. Should Grossman get injured the team was relying on Chad Hutchinson, a journeyman with only 12 starts under his belt who most recently was rejected in Dallas by Bill Parcels the multi-Super Bowl winning coach, and 2 rookies straight out of college, one drafted in the fourth round and the other not drafted at all. Oh, yes, and some other guy that I've never heard of whose name is Dinwiddie. Do we really need to know anything more about a guy named "Dinwiddie"?
"Gosh Mr. Angelo, do you think we should perhaps get an experienced back-up in the not so off chance that Grossman turns out to be injury prone?" was the question most often repeated in the off season. Football genius that he is, Jer said "no", he was quite happy with the line-up that he has.
So we now find ourselves the morning after the second exhibition game (THE SECOND FREAKING EXHIBITION GAME YOU IDIOT!) and we are without our starting quarterback for essentially the rest of the season. This is doubly moronic when you consider that Grossman was by no means a proven quantity even if he had remained healthy.
I have scoured the news and sports sites this morning, and I am stunned to report to my readers that Angelo remains a free man. This is an outrage. In terms of crimes against humanity there certainly have been worse offenses, but that is no reason to let this awful man off the hook. He has taken the hopes and dreams of Bears fans everywhere, crushed them, shown no signs of remorse, and yet he has not spent one night in jail. Not one friggin' night!
This is an outrage.
With all the talk of corporate greed, and felonious activity you would think that there would be room for the application of our statutes against extraordinary football incompetence such as this. Why in the world should Martha Stuart have to serve jail time for a little fib to the Feds, when men like Jerry are allowed to remain free. My liberal friends tell me how the Patriot Act is a threat to our freedoms, but when a man exploits the goodwill of the best fans in football for his own ill gain and remains free, how bad can the Patriot Act be?
There will be those that say I'm "over reacting", and that Angelo's incompetence isn't "actionable" in a court of law, or that it doesn't "actually violate our legal statutes". While I grudgingly admit this is true, I'm constantly told that we are now living in George Bush's police state and I must ask, what good is a police state if we can't throw those we're mad at in jail?!
So okay, incarceration my prove problematic thanks to the liberal hand wringers out there. Fine. Lets fire the guy then. Last year the Bears set records for offensive constipation due mostly to Angelo's ill considered decisions. Did I mention that he made sure all of our back-up QB's were completely devoid of talent then as well? He now has done it again. I used to have a boss that had a favorite saying, and I think it applies here quite well.
"Screw me once, you're an asshole". Screw me twice, I'm an asshole".
My friends, I may be many things, but I'm no asshole. Fire the guy.
UPDATE: Amazingly, I forgot both the Kordel Stewart era and the Chris Chandler era.
UPDATE II: Whooooo boy, I thought I was pissed. Check out Jay Mariotti in the Sun-Times:
"I don't know what bothers me more: the franchise's incredible lack of good fortune at the position, or Jerry Angelo's utter stupidity in once again leaving his team without a quality backup. The minute Grossman signaled for a trainer, then slammed his helmet on the cart in disgust, Angelo should have resigned on the spot."