Bernstein: A Motivational Trick Off the Table For Bears

The Bears can't play the "nobody believes in us" card this season.

Dan Bernstein
April 19, 2019 - 1:37 pm

(670 The Score) Every single team uses some version of it at some point, whether entitled to do so or not.

It's selling the idea that their performance is fueled by outside doubters, low-end predictions or some other evidence of being sold short, in either perception or reality.  Even at the highest levels of professional competition, it still must resonate enough for the smartest coaches of the best teams to pull the old warhorse out of the stable one time or another, invoking the idea that "the only people that think we're good are the people in this building." Or something.

Matt Nagy and the Bears may indeed still give it a go, but evidence is mounting quite to the contrary.  Everybody believes in them, actually, with enough people counting on them to keep winning that they are now one of America's teams for the 2019 season.

Analysis of NFL schedules upon release is mostly foolish, the perfunctory assignment of Ws and Ls to various dates based on past performance, even before a draft and all the trades that come with it and well before knowing which teams will be among those inevitably losing critical players to serious injury.  But we do it anyway, never caring enough to remember later all the stuff we're making up right now.

Related: Bernstein: Ending Baseball's Joyless Battle

What can be determined is what kind of television product a team is expected to be, a measure of quality and the eyeballs that will come with it.  The Bears have already been assigned five games in prime time, with two more that are featured national games -- on September 15 at Denver and Thanksgiving at Detroit.  They also have a well-anticipated game in London and the opportunity for one more contest to be flexed into a national slot.  That's already a major endorsement, and a bet by the networks that they're well worth our attention.

Moreover, the Bears are averaging a betting win total around 9.5 in Las Vegas and the sportsbooks, further indication of a currently widespread and broad-based feeling that they are a playoff contender from the start.

So until and unless adverse circumstances and outcomes prove otherwise, any attempts to rally players around a common cause that pits them against the haters and pushes them to own the naysaying outsiders is just not based in fact.

That won't stop them from doing so, I'd bet, but it's a sign of a better place for the Bears when such things come off as silly.

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