While Bears fans were undoubtedly cringing while watching Rex Grossman and Brad Johnson compete to see who was the shittiest QB yesterday at Soldier Field, Jay Mariotti’s runny mascara was from tears of joy (“who says the Bears aren’t trying to make history? They’re apparently angling to be the first franchise to win a Super Bowl without a quarterback,”) as his Monday column for the Chicago Sun-Times practicaly wrote itself.
The most telling snapshot wasn’t the postgame division celebration, which a proud coach and team would have abandoned while knowing the collective record of the NFC North is 11-25. No, it was the sight of Muhsin Muhammad, Bernard Berrian, Olin Kreutz and other offensive players motioning for fans in the south end zone to stop booing Grossman.
Right now, with Grossman playing worse than Kyle Orton during his worst hangover, does anyone have faith? Somehow, Lovie does, citing the warped logic that the Bears are 10-2 with Rex at the helm. Doesn’t he understand the Bears are 10-2 in spite of Rex? Hey, it’s Smith’s career, his daily existence in Chicago.
”Rex is our quarterback,” he said, again, after a shaky 23-13 win over a lackluster opponent. ”He’s not as accurate as he needs to be and he turned the ball over, but we’ve won with him. There’s a difference between perception and reality, and the reality is, we’re 10-2 with Rex. When we win the division title, I’m not going to tell you about all the things we’re going to do to change what we have going right now. Because there’s not a lot.”
Not armed with a psychology degree, I don’t know if Lovie is deluding himself or in complete denial. But it doesn’t require much insight to know the defense saved Rex’s tail all three times. In the first quarter, after his ill-advised toss to Rashied Davis was picked Jason Taylor-like by Napoleon Harris, the Bears defense forced a punt. In the second quarter, when one of those scary deep balls for Berrian was easily intercepted by Antoine Winfield, the defense forced another punt. In the third quarter, when another tipped pass was intercepted, Lance Briggs responded with an instant pick of Vikings dinosaur Brad Johnson. How fascinating to see Minnesota coach Brad Childress yank Johnson for Brooks Bollinger, and later, Tarvaris Jackson.