The heartbreaking opening-night 10-3 loss to the hated-rival Green Bay Packers was a bitter pill to swallow for the Chicago Bears and their fans. After an exciting 2018 season, many thought that the Bears would ride that momentum right into the start of 2019 by steamrolling the Packers on national television. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
Chicago’s defense did their part by holding Green Bay to just 10 points, but the same couldn’t be said for the offense. For the first time since Matt Nagy took over as head coach last year, the Bears failed to score a touchdown. Furthermore, the play-calling on the offensive side of the ball was lopsided, and the unit looked rusty as a whole.
As a result, the Bears fans that were in attendance at Soldier Field this past Thursday night (and I’m sure many across the country) expressed their disapproval of the offense’s performance with thunderous boos. To most, this would be a normal reaction to such a display, and a big deal wouldn’t be made of it. But to one person in particular, it struck a nerve.
Bears safety Eddie Jackson wasn’t too pleased with the fans’ bombardment of boos. The day after the loss to the Packers, Jackson was a guest on the McNeil and Parkins Show on 670 The Score. When asked about the boos from the crown, the All-Pro called it “unacceptable.” To be more specific, Jackson was more defensive about the boos towards Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the offense.
“You got to understand he’s a quarterback. He’s a young quarterback. It’s his third year, second year in a new offense. He needs as much confidence as he can get. It’s a lot of talk going on about him on the Internet, things like that, and as a player, you’re a human being. You can say you don’t pay attention to this, you don’t pay attention to that, but at the same time, you’re human. When you come out there in your home stadium, where you’re supposed to be the man, the guy, and they’re booing you. Come on, man, that’s unacceptable.”
Jackson also said something to the effect of calling the Bears faithful fair weather fans.
“It’s just a fact that they’ll boo us now and cheer for us later. I feel like if you’re going to ride, you’re going to ride all the way. You’re going to ride through the ups and the downs.”
I’m not a football player, but I can understand Jackson not wanting to hear such things during a game when things aren’t going how you want. However, hearing the cheers and boos from both home fans and opposing fans is a part of the game. Booing the lack of production from a team is a die-hard fan’s way of showing tough love toward their beloved team, and letting that player and/or team know that they can do much better.
Professional athletes have a job to do in their respective sports, and that job is to produce. On the flipside, fans have a job to do as well: let players know when they are not doing what they are supposed to do.
For Jackson to expect fans to not react in such a way after seeing such a pitiful performance is unrealistic. After witnessing an offense have multiple three-and-outs, missed blocking assignments, and red-zone interceptions, everyone isn’t just going to come together and join hands to sing Kumbaya. Fans are going to do what comes natural, which is boo.
And let’s not leave out those who attend these games after spending so much hard-earned money to buy a ticket (like $300 for a nosebleed seat) just to feel as if they’ve been robbed after seeing such an atrocity. They deserve ever right to boo.
So to Eddie Jackson, I’m sure it is very unpleasant to hear negative feedback from your home crowd. And just because you hear boos doesn’t mean that we aren’t riding with you during this rough patch. We’re just simply telling you and the rest of the Bears that we know that you are capable of doing so much more than what was displayed in Week 1, and we expect to see that in the next 15 games of the regular season, and into postseason on the way to the Super Bowl.
What do you have to say about this Bear Nation?