And it doesn’t stop. This from Dan Pompei (a normally insightful and thoughtful writer) on why Caleb Hanie is the root of all evil from the Trib on :
The season of this quarterback-cursed franchise ended on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m.. That's when Kyle Orton was awarded to the Chiefs, not the Bears, by virtue of their standing in front of the Bears in the waiver claiming order. One month later, the Chiefs have a quarterback who can beat the Packers.
WHAT! Orton got replaced by a QB even his own coach and management didn’t like because Orton was 1-4! And a rookie with even WORSE throwing than Kyle Orton went 7-2 with EXACTLY the same team around him.
Did you LOOK at Cam Newton’s record who also got his first start this year like Hanie? He was 2-8. Where was this angst against Cutler when he went 1-4 early this year? Dan is now prescient predicting although just 3 weeks ago he wrote this:
As off the mark as Hanie was, however — and make no mistake, he was very off the mark — he still could have beaten the Chiefs. In fact, he had the Bears in position to win. It’s Not Hanie’s Fault.
David Haugh and Brad Briggs lamented the terrible loss of Olin Kreutz and lambasted the Bears although Kruetz couldn’t even cut it with the Saints. And I don’t mean just play. The man just flipped his new team off and quit. This from someone lionized as a Bears locker room leader.
And congratulations Chicago media! Your complete lack of objectivity has now gone national!
With Hanie’s first loss, Tom Waddle and Marc Silvey talked like Hanie had never nearly won the NFC Championship game last year when Cutler couldn’t move the team even 10 yards a series. Somehow a rookie quarterback was supposed to perform like Cutler had the past 5 games when Cutler was a disaster the first 5 and most of last year.
I can’t tell if it is unrealistic expectations or the poison of Chicago politics now entering sports media.
Even the Fox TV announcers Chris Myers, Tim Ryan were befuddled by the Chicago media. After Caleb rallied the Bears to a 14-7 half time lead with an excellent throw to Bell for a touchdown, they said (paraphrased from memory):
The local sports talk radio has been brutal on Caleb Hanie. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s almost personal.
And there you have it.
Simply, if the all knowing Chicago sports media thinks someone is worthy of being protected (like Orton, Kruetz or Cutler) they will give you good press. If they don’t, you will become the scapegoat for all evils whether you like it or not.
Forget reasoned analysis and patience. And like a typical Democrat Chicago politician, they simply IGNORE facts to push their own angle. After weeks of castigating Bears management for not paying Forte, it finally came out that the Bears had offered Forte a MORE than reasonable extension in training camp that he turned down. Forte is paying for it now, but MOST of the ESPN, Trib/Times reporters act like it never happened, never ONCE writing this kind of scathing piece against someone willing to jeopardize the backbone of the Bears franchise.
Two caveats to all this. I will say at least the Chicago media CARES about their sports. I live in Houston where any new development is treated like the grand opening of a new Piggly Wiggly. Also, I must say I may have overestimated Hanie’s potential as well. He is a good quarterback and needs real snaps to show us what he’s got. Pompei was right in his FIRST piece weeks ago. The inability to get a little time in the pocket isn’t Caleb’s fault. The inability of the defense to stop 80 yard drives isn’t his either. But he will need to show a bit more control of the ball and run more often.
Even if Urlacher publicly declares him a running back as he did Tebow. And then there is that which the media refuses to take Urlacher to task on either. Good thing I have a backup team this year Cutler or not.