The Chicago Bears are not playing in Super Bowl 57. Obviously. So what team should Bears fans root for this Sunday? It’s pretty clear.
Thanks for the No. 1 Pick
The 2023 Chicago Bears weren’t that bad: A few calls go our way early in the season, and the Bears are vying for a wild card spot rather than unloading stellar defensive talent. One such talent, defensive end Robert Quinn, was traded to the Eagles mid-season. The Chicago Bears’ single-season sack leader (he surpassed Richard Dent in 2021 with 18.5 sacks) helped the Bears not-exactly-tank and gave the Eagles some defensive help. Sure, Quinn hasn’t played nearly as well for the Eagles in 2022 as he did for the Bears in 2021, but there’s still one more game in which Quinn can make a large impact before exploring free agency in the off-season. It’s a rare win-win trade for both teams.
No one is better than the ’85 Bears
For better or worse, Chicago sports fans will endure talk of the greatness of the 1985 Bears until a future Bears team wins the Lombardi trophy. And while Coach Ditka still garners undue amounts of love, he was not the coach most responsible for the team’s success: Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan helmed the greatest NFL defense of all time. Unfortunately, the Bears chose keeping Ditka over Ryan, and the could-be dynasty became just the best one-off Super Bowl champion. You know who did appreciate Ryan? The Philadelphia Eagles. From 1986 to 1990, Ryan was the head coach of Philly. The Bears and Eagles faced each other only once in the playoffs in those years. The Bears beat the Eagles in the 1988 NFC Divisional Game. Which leads us to our next point…
The one time in modern sports history Chicago and Philadelphia faced off in a championship, the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, the Blackhawks beat the Flyers. The Cubs didn’t play the Phillies in any of their recent playoff runs, the White Sox beat the Houston Astros in their only 2000s-era Fall Classic, the championship Jordan Bulls beat the 76ers in the playoffs in 1991 and didn’t have to face them to win any of the other five championship runs. Sure, the Eagles technically beat the Bears in the 2018 NFC wild card game, but that’s the Double Doink game! Philly advanced, but the Chicago Bears lost way more than the Eagles won. There’s a Wikipedia page about the kick! A Wikipedia Page! That does not usually happen! Anyway, Philadelphia does not and has not really given Chicago sports fans any cause for playoff concern. There is no rivalry.
Double Doink karma
Still hung up about the Double Doink? Root for the team that witnessed our pain. Also, Matt Nagy was the head coach of the Bears that year. He is now a senior assistant and quarterbacks coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. Which leads us to our next point.
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Root against Matt Nagy
Nagy is in the Super Bowl. Good for him. Really. But it’s extremely difficult to root for Nagy after a 34-31 record and 0-2 playoff record after four years in Chicago. Also, he’s the quarterback’s coach. Which means he’s Patrick Mahomes’s coach. And while Mahomes is likable (the most likable current QB?), he already has a Super Bowl ring. The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts does not.
A reminder: The Bears almost drafted Patrick Mahomes
The 2017 NFL draft has been tormenting Bears fans since April 27, 2017. The Chicago Bears traded up for the No. 2 pick, went with Mitch Trubisky and doomed themselves to the middle/back of the pack for the next five years. The Chiefs got Patrick Mahomes with the No. 10 pick. They’ve been to five consecutive AFC Championship games and are headed to their third Super Bowl. You know who the Bears almost drafted? You know who Patrick Mahomes thought was going to draft him? You know how this story comes up every year since the Chiefs are historically great and the Bears are not? Thank God for Justin Fields. He’s our best hope at ending this historically atrocious draft screw-up.
Philadelphia is the East Coast version of Chicago
It just is. This is entirely anecdotal, but fandom is based on anecdotes and is subjective, so this also makes perfect sense. Most everyone I know from Philadelphia likes most everyone I know from Chicago, and vice versa. We both enjoy sandwiches (Italian beef and Philly cheesesteak, respectively), beer (Philly has the second most bars per 1,000 people, Chicago used to have a bar for every 239 residents) and all four major sports. Five if you count soccer. And we both hate New York. We are the same. Go Birds.
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