Bernstein: A Bears QB Competition? That's On Brand

There's something oddly comforting about a Bears quarterback battle.

Dan Bernstein
March 18, 2020 - 2:42 pm
Categories: 

(670 The Score) In difficult times, we human beings ​seek comfort in the familiar. Some touchstones provide a sense of normalcy and place or evoke memories of better and more innocent days that help us when emotionally troubled. We find solace and warmth in the nostalgia, often therapeutically so.

So let's all thank the Bears for bringing us something we can all snuggle into like that old and stretched-out sweater that we only wear around the house or the pair of boxers the wife keeps threatening to throw out: yet another competition involving two completely mediocre quarterbacks.

This, people, we know how to do.

It's the equivalent of chicken soup for the soul or in this case a dipped Italian beef sandwich or tavern-cut pizza. Let's get to drawing argumentative lines in the sand regarding Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, falling into our respective tribal camps and digging in. It's almost better than football itself, which is great because we may not have any for a while. In this town, going back and forth over which of two average shmoes should play the single most important position in professional sports is at least more reliable than any outcomes they produce. It's about the process in this case, not the results.

Rudy Bukich and Bill Wade. Steve Walsh and Erik Kramer. Kramer and Rick Mirer. Shane Matthews, Cade McNown and Jim Miller. Kordell Stewart and Chris Chandler. Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel and Jonathan Quinn.

But we really learned how to do it during the unforgettable Rex Grossman/Kyle Orton wars of the mid-2000s, an era of impassioned fan conflict that raised stupidity to an art form. We each had our guy in that one, and every pass attempt at any time was some kind of societal referendum that held our very lives in the balance. That experience paved the way for the Jay Cutler/Josh McCown skirmishes of 2013 that devolved into the same kind of quarterbacking partisanship, bickering over risk versus reward and the idea of a game manager being just enough to not waste another solid defense.

Here we are again, with all the juicy storylines to make it as silly and melodramatic as we crave. Trubisky is general manager Ryan Pace's skin in the game, the draft pick whom Pace traded up for when he probably didn't have to, the guy who has markedly underperformed two quarterbacks selected later that same day, the passer inherited by the coach on arrival. Foles appears to be a concession to Matt Nagy that Trubisky is at least not what he should've been at this point and that a steadier hand who once worked with him might be what salvages any remaining competitive viability before everybody gets fired. And it's not a coincidence that former Eagles quarterback coaches Bill Lazor and John DeFilippo are now coaching for the Bears, eager to reconnect with a former protege.

It's so good, so smack-dab on brand for unsatisfying and underwhelming Bears football -- and just what we needed in our moment.  

In this corner ... meh. Has a Super Bowl MVP award but is ​on his fifth team at age 30 and was outplayed most recently by a sixth-round pick rookie who looks like he teleported here from a magazine ad selling menthol cigarettes in 1974.

In the other corner ... also meh. Young and athletic and talented but identifies a two-deep zone as "one of the woodwind instruments," press-man coverage as "pre-Civil-War agricultural policy" and a single-high safety look as "a kind of caterpillar."

No matter when a season of any kind might begin, the fun starts now.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.