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SportsMonday: Bears, Bowling, Bulls, Bell

Well, I did tell you the Bears season was over last week. And the team had clearly packed it in on Sunday, offering no resistance (at least on offense - the defense did force three turnovers after all) against the Eagles on their way to a 31-3 loss that, it must be said, could have been much worse.

Then again, as far as the sheer embarrassment factor goes, this might have been the worst weekend in Chicago sports history.

The Bears fell to 3-8 and takes on the even worse (okay, that is enough of that word for a while) 49ers (1-10) next Sunday in Chicago. Any fan who attends that game is pathetic.

Then again, this is the town where the Bulls are losing on purpose and still selling more than 20,000 seats per game, so I'm sure a couple ten thousand lemmings will show up at Soldier Field to cheer for the Minnows of the Midway next time out.

I suppose for now I can dream. I can dream of fans screaming "Enough!" to incompetent management by staying out of the stadium en masse. Go and tailgate and then stay outside. And if chairman George McCaskey comes around and looks like he's having conversations with a pretend friends/fans, give him a stiff arm.

And surely at this point it occurs to at least some of the people trying to win the clever contest with their signs calling for John Fox's ouster that the organizational rot infecting everything about the Bears goes a hell of a lot deeper than the coach.

Why in the world would incompetent general manager Ryan Pace be allowed to hire the next coach? I have outlined the case against his continued employment here many times of late.

Then again, why would "the accountant who is never accountable" Ted Phillips, aka the president of the Bears for God's sake, be allowed to replace Pace? And of course even if Phillips was finally let go, the aforementioned clueless legacy owner McCaskey would be in charge of his replacement. Yikes. Of course George and his mommy Virginia should sell the team. Of course they won't.

On Sunday, losing morphed into embarrassment when Alshon Jeffery had a grand old time celebrating his touchdown catch against his former team. He orchestrated an all-hands-on-deck celebration skit in which he pantomimed rolling a bowling ball and all 10 of his teammates fell down as if they had been struck.

That was the Chicago sports theme over Thanksgiving weekend. It wasn't bad enough that the Bears and the Bulls continued to lose big, they also had opposing teams openly mocking them.

A part of me enjoyed Warriors rookie Jordan Bell making the "money" gesture with his fingers as he was introduced as part of Golden State's starting lineup against our local basketball team on Friday. At least he was showing up some people who desperately need to be shown up. But it was also an atrocious affront to a team Chicago used to be proud of. How does a rookie get to a place where he thinks that sort of behavior is okay?

The defending champs went on to beat the Bulls by 49 but that was the least of the visitors' problems.

Bell of course was the guy the supposedly rebuilding Bulls sold to the Warriors in the second round of the draft earlier this year for $3.5 million.

Team president John Paxson - and let's be clear, Paxson is in charge of everything with this team - has struggled to explain the Bulls' decision with Bell. He has tried to say that the Bulls had five guys they wanted to get in the second round and when they were all gone, the team traded the draft pick used to take Bell for "cash considerations." And while we're here, let's hear it for euphemisms!

Perhaps it occurred to Paxson that fans might not go for that explanation (perhaps they might ask why the Bulls thought their list of prospects was better than the two-championships-in-three-years' Warriors' list), so he switched to claiming that he was trying to build up good will with ownership by giving them a relatively tiny amount of money in exchange for a player who clearly has NBA potential.

You cannot make this stuff up.

So Kevin Durant was hurt and Draymond Green was resting (or vice versa, it is hard to keep track in the NBA these days) on Friday and coach Steve Kerr decided to mess with the Bulls. He started Bell, a long defensive dervish forward who was seen last season starring for Oregon last year. Bell has certainly shown potential this season but there were a number of other more veteran guys who you would have thought would enter the lineup before him.

Bell proceeded to fill up the stat sheet, with his performance highlighted by six blocked shots. After the game he was even better. He was given a copy of the box score and he told reporters he was looking to check the numbers put up by "cash considerations."

Apparently his teammates, led by all-world shooting guard Klay Thompson, had spoken with him before the game and pointed out that the draft day trade was slightly disrespectful.

They were also saying that the Bulls are so far from being any sort of a threat that opposing teams can take liberties without worrying about any sort of repercussions.

The Warriors couldn't have cared less if they offended the Bulls. Alshon Jeffery felt he same way.

Again I ask you, when the hell do pitchers and catchers report?


Comments welcome.

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