Bears offensive lineman Bradley Sowell (79) catches a touchdown pass against the Rams.

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Bernstein: Are We Cool If A Bears Trick Play Fails?

It's time to make a collective civic pledge in support of Bears trickery.

Dan Bernstein
January 03, 2019 - 2:45 pm
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(670 The Score) Let's make some kind of collective civic pledge here, now that stuff is getting real for the Bears faster than we imagined.

"I, ____________, hereby promise that I won't clobber Bears coach Matt Nagy if an ineffective specialty play contributes to them losing this or any playoff game. I won't be that fan, who has so enjoyed all of those on the goal line and elsewhere throughout the season as they have worked close to perfectly, who then objects to something similar having been tried only after the the outcome disappoints*.

*assuming the design of the play isn't beyond a reasonable level of creativity (bordering on self-entertaining recklessness) to have never at any point contained a high enough probability of success.

Sign here: ______________"

Thanks. We have to do this if we're being honest with ourselves and fair to the coach.

One theme as the 2018 Bears won the NFC North at 12-4 has been that of "Willy Wonka," "Freezer Left," "Oompa Loompa," "Santa's Sleigh" and "Lollipop." It's fat guys jumping for receptions and plowing into end zones, defensive players on offense befuddling television play-by-play guys in the moment and ensuing celebrations as worthy of Twyla Tharp, Bob Fosse and Mummenschanz as are the plays themselves.

I'm reluctant to even call them "trick" plays because to Nagy, they're just "plays," part of what he does.

Nagy's aggressiveness isn't an affectation or a quirk but a fundamental aspect of his professional personality that underpins the energy of both games and practices. It has been part of the buy-in up and down the roster on both sides of the ball, keeping players engaged since the first mini-camps last spring and keeping us guessing just what's coming next and what it's called.

And something could go kablooey at the worst possible time, we have to realize, and that doesn't make any of it wrong.

The Bears' opponent this Sunday won a Super Bowl in part owing to the "Philly Special" called by coach Doug Pedersen, a decision that resulted in Eagles fans actually deciding to tattoo diagrams of it on their arms and legs. Had it failed, you can bet those same chuds would have destroyed more property than they did even in victory.

So let's do this before the fact and promise to strive for intellectual consistency. We know these aren't guaranteed to work and are signing on for risk along with the reward all the way through.  

In for some of it, in for all of it.​

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