The Chicago Bears are one of the most storied franchises in all of football. They are starting to finally get back to the top of the league, but is the pressure too great to play in Chicago?
Last season ended in one of the most heartbreaking ways for the Chicago Bears. After winning the NFC North and grabbing the three-seed, Chicago had to go up against the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. It looked like the Bears were going to survive by hitting a last-second field goal. But a double doink by embattled kicker Cody Parkey and the Bears were sent home.
Parkey didn’t last much longer as the Bears released even though they will have to carry just under $4.5 million in dead cap money. With the release, the immediate name that popped up to replace him was longtime Bear Robbie Gould. He was going into free agency and he still owned a home in Chicago. The Bears kicking situation hadn’t been very good since they let go of Gould in 2016. It was a very debatable decision to release Gould as he would go on and kick very well for the Giants and most recently the 49’ers.
"“I’ve always said it to Robbie, be careful what you wish for sometimes, because it’s not easy to kick in Chicago,” Butler said on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy Show on Tuesday. “It’s certainly not easy to kick in San Francisco, but he’s found a situation out there where he’s been as good as there is. Can you duplicate that by coming back to Chicago? I don’t know. … It’s a scary thing to mess with your legacy.”"
It seems most of his talk was about the tough weather conditions that arise in Chicago, but some of it was also rooted in the way the fans treat players. Was he trying to suggest that there is too much pressure playing in Chicago for the Bears?
It is a fact that the Bears fans will pack Soldier Field no matter how bad the team is. They routinely average maximum capacity or just below every year. They are arguably some of the best fans in the entire NFL and they do want a winning team. But does that bring with it too much pressure to play for the Bears?
Butler’s argument was messing with Gould’s legacy, but if you are a competitor is that something you are truly worried about? There are lots of players out there that probably feel that way, but then again are those the players you want on your team?
If Matt Nagy continues to the lead the Bears to potential NFC North titles the pressure is going to mount, but again is it too much? You will always have fans that are delusional and think that players and the team should play better than they actually are, but you will get that in almost every city, even Jacksonville.
HaHa Clinton Dix just recently said he signed with the Bears to chase a ring, so obviously he didn’t think the pressure would be too much. Of course, he is in a different situation than Gould is, but either way, he is stepping up to the challenge. He is the kind of player you want representing the Bears.
If you listen to chatter from around the league there are far worse teams to play for as far as pressure goes from the fan base. Just look at Dallas or Philadelphia. Not saying those are bad places to play but they could really get on a player not playing well.
My thought is to bring in players that don’t care about the pressure and what it might do to their legacy. Get players in that want to fight and represent the city of Chicago.
Stop listening to guys like Butler who think people will fade under the pressure and join a team heading in the right direction. Gould would do well in not listening to him and welcome a trade to the Bears if it will happen.
It’s not too tough to play for Chicago, but you better love football.