Being Bad is Actually Good, Richardson-Fields Comps, Schedule Shenanigans, Predicting Future Picks, and Other Bears Bullets
First, it was the Bears landing the No. 1 pick.
And last night, it was the Chicago Blackhawks hitting jackpot and winning the Connor Bedard lottery:
So … our friends at BN Bulls got next, right?
- If anyone knows the value of owning the first pick, it’s us. Not just in terms of player and value, but also when it comes to vibes. I’ll admit that some of my feelings might be clouded because I was in a pretty dark emotional place when it happened, but the Bears clinching the first pick sent a jolt of joy through he fandom. You’d have thought this team was playoff bound based on the reactions. But that is what hope can do for a fanbase that has felt hopeless for so long.
- Who’s making the first joke about the Blackhawks trading the first pick to Carolina?
- Better yet, which of you wants to suggest taking the token local kid with the first pick because they get the Blackhawks more than Connor Bedard does?
- While it’s on my mind, the Chicago Bears really turned their worst season in my 36+ years of existence on this planet into a stud receiver (DJ Moore), plug-and-play starting offensive lineman (Darnell Wright), a cornerback who could conceivably start in Week 1 (Tyrique Stevenson), a 2024 first-round pick, a fourth-round pick in 2024, and a 2025 second-rounder. That’s one heckuva trade tree, especially when you take into consideration the extra branches of the second trade-back in Round 1 and the trade-up from pick No. 61 to get Stevenson at No. 56. You can’t erase last year’s woes from the book of record, but this return will begin to make things right.
- My way-too-early read on the Bears’ 2023 schedule is that there are a bunch of games that we’ll probably deem to be winnable. Chicago has just five games against four opponents that made last year’s playoffs. On one end of the spectrum, one of those teams is the paper-lion Vikings squad that got finessed out of the playoffs by the Giants. And on the other end of the spectrum, the Bears are playing the defending Super Bowl champs. It’ll either be in a tough road environment (Arrowhead) or a potentially neutral-site situation in Germany.
- The league has yet to confirm reports that this year’s Chiefs-Bears game will take place in Germany. And that more recent reporting has shared K.C.’s desire not to move its game against Chicago overseas makes me think that one isn’t going abroad. We’ll continue watching this with great interest.
- Don’t get me wrong. I understand why a segment of the fan base is itching for a Bears-themed trip to Europe. And I definitely get the difference between playing the Chiefs at Arrowhead (where they have a decided home-field advantage) versus squaring off in Germany (essentially, a neutral field where the Bears might have more reach because they’ve long had international traction). But I also vibe with KC’s ownership seeing the potential cash cow that could give the local economy a boost. Think about the hotels, restaurants, bars, and other service industry places. There’s big money to be made here, which is why Chairman Clark Hunt isn’t letting a potential Bears game go overseas without a fight.
- Patrick was in Kansas City for the 2023 NFL Draft, so his insight is particularly unique:
- Bears fans already travel well. Remember how many went down to Jacksonville during the COVID-altered season? And that was for a middling Bears squad that was barely able to squeeze into the playoffs. A Bears team that is moderately interesting with a quarterback whose arrow is pointing up after the offseason they had will have fans flocking. Don’t even let me start dreaming about what crowds will look (and feel) like when they’re actually competitive.
- The best part of the NFL’s schedule release in recent years is how it’s turned into a social media extravaganza:
- Here’s hoping the Bears’ social media team is up to the task. We’re rooting for ya!
- An artistic view of the Bears’ rookies:
- NFL media analyst Lance Zierlein forecasts the Bears will not be among the teams earning a compensatory draft pick in 2024. That probably has to do with the free agency formula and the Bears signing more players than they lost. But one thing we should keep tabs on is if Assistant GM Ian Cunningham snags a job in the big chair elsewhere. Because a team snatching up Cunningham for a general manager gig would lead to compensatory picks in the future. The dynamic GM Ryan Poles and his top lieutenant seems good. And while I want to that to last for as long as possible, I think it would speak volumes about the health of this organization if a team were to poach Cunningham after just two seasons as an assistant GM.
- Things I’ll be watching for in 2023 that are kinda sorta Bears adjacent: Will the Colts use Anthony Richardson in a way similar to how the Bears were using Justin Fields last year? It isn’t a 1-for-1 comp. Fields was a far more accomplished passer at Ohio State than Richardson was at Florida. But like Fields, Richardson has loud tools and unique athleticism that should allow for him to be deployed differently by an offense in a building phase. Our friends at BN NFL have more on this prospect on the rise.
- We love seeing the Bears give back to the community:
- There’s a real Ronald McDonald vibe going on here:
- And yet, if anyone needs me tonight, I’ll be in the bleachers with friends.