I had a dream last night.
It was a wondrous, surreal dream born on the outer-rim of the ethereal crust of an alternate reality, grounded in a far more palatable strain of realism where candy-coated wishes mate with tender porterhouse fantasies to produce offspring that can only be considered fantastic. Were they visions of what might have been, or were they whispers of what should have been? I don’t know for sure. All I can do is recount the events as they unfolded in my unconscious mind.
It was April of 2009, and Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo was preparing to desperately offer quarterback Kyle Orton, first-round picks in 2009 (18th) and 2010, and a third-round pick (84th) in 2009 to pick-up talented, but underachieving, malcontent, petulant douchebaggy dickface, Jay Cutler. (I’ll have to check my notes, but I’m pretty sure that’s his full name.)
But Bears Coach Lovie Smith killed the move, citing that this deal was essentially the equivalent of trading a fistful of money for the potential of a handful of magic beans. Angelo eventually backed off the deal, seeing his opportunity to cast Coach Smith as the scapegoat of the pending mediocre 2009 season, giving fans and owners the illusion that Angelo was actually working for his ridiculously lucrative salary.
The next season played out as expected. Cutler was eventually traded to the Washington Redskins where he broke their single-season interception record. QB Kyle Orton looked good, but not great, throwing for a career high 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns while nursing three fractured ribs from all the sacks allowed by the Bears offensive line (After the Bears o-line broke the single-season record for sacks allowed, Bears center Olin Kreutz, despondent and inconsolable, donated half his annual salary to Orton’s medical bills and psychological therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.)
But there were a few more offensive bright spots. With the 18th selection in the first round of the 2009 draft that was not traded to Denver, the Bears selected wide receiver Percy Harvin, who had such a strong first season that he was selected as rookie of the year. With the addition of Harvin, Devin Hester was moved from the primary receiver position to the slot, where he roasted slower nickel and dime backs for 1,027 yards and 10 touchdowns on 53 catches, a blistering 19.38 yards per catch. Essentially, every fifth time Hester touched the ball, he scored a TD.
Defensively, the Bears submitted one of the poorest efforts in recent memory, epitomized by the dreadful production of one-time defensive stalwart, cornerback Nathan Vasher. At one point, someone accidentally switched Vasher’s seasonal highlight reel with this clip from the film, The Naked Gun, and no one noticed. Brian Urlacher was lost for the season with a broken wrist, and defensive tackle Tommie Harris was lost for the season with a disconnected heart. Sure, Harris played through it, but it was clear to everyone that he’d much rather had spent the season watching his Iron Man Blu-ray from the back seat of his tricked-out Semi-cab with chrome rims.
(What does he get, like 5 miles per gallon in that thing? I don’t know why he doesn’t just go ahead and put spinners on it and drive it to the Arctic circle so he can go club baby seals and hunt polar bears into extinction.)
Throughout the entire ordeal, Coach Lovie Smith was a silent, stoic, majestic rock of near-consciousness. Bear-fans were practically bawling and flogging themselves up and down Lake Shore Drive, but Coach Smith was as placid as the eye of a hurricane. His post-season press conference speech rivaled that of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Promised Land”. It was almost as if he knew his fate was sealed, but his steadfast determination had placed the Bears in prime position. Only, no one knew it but him.
On the very same day Lovie Smith was fired as Bears coach, another highly regarded Afro-American coach, San Francisco 49ers’ Mike Singletary, was being unceremoniously canned after being caught on camera using interpretive dance involving his naked buttocks and flatulence to show his QB Alex Smith exactly how he felt about Smith’s route progression and decision-making. Seizing the opportunity in a rare showing of executive brilliance, Bears GM Angelo wooed Coach Singletary into the Bears vacant head-coach position.
(I mean seriously; who would you rather have coaching your team…)
(Or this guy…?)
(Again… and pay attention this time… would you rather have this guy here… )
(Or this guy… ?)
(One more time… this guy…)
(Or this guy!)
(Or this guy!)
(Or this guy!)
Once again, Samurai Mike was the toast of Second City.
During Coach Singletary’s first team meeting with the Bears, the team gathered to watch the lowlights of the 2009 defensive highlight reel. Before the film was started, Cornerback Nathan Vasher tripped over his own feet five times while making the seven-step trip from the juice bar to his seat. As he picked himself off the carpet to ring his spilled beverage from his sweatshirt, he locked eyes with Coach Singletary. Though no words were spoken, Vasher knew what was up.
“Aw, come-on man!” Vasher protested in vain. “I can still play safety!”
Singletary’s normally wide-eyes narrowed, intensely focused on Vasher.
Vasher continued his plea; “Coach! Try me out at safety! Please! You won’t be sorry!”
Singletary furrowed his brow and stroked his chin thoughtfully. He even kept his pants on. “Alright Nate,” Samurai Mike warily concluded. “We’ll see what you’ve got at the safety position this season.”
Turning his attention to quarterback, Coach Singletary observed that Kyle Orton had developed the habit of immediately dropping to the fetal position whenever he heard footsteps behind him, even when in the shower. Though Singletary knew that Orton had done a yeoman’s job under harsh conditions, he also knew that a change was needed moving forward.
Just then, a beaming Jerry Angelo burst into Singletary’s office, brimming with excitement. With the rapid-fire cadence of a caffeinated second grader explaining why his new Yugio deck is the best thing ever, Angelo exclaimed, “The Redskins are offering the Philadelphia Eagles a 2010 second-round pick (No. 37 overall) and either a third- or fourth-round draft pick in 2011 for Donovan McNabb! That’s way less than what I offered the Broncos for Jay Cutler a year ago… and McNabb is a classy, proven asset at QB! No wonder Lovie thought I was a total idiot last season for trying to mortgage our future on a whiny dickface! We can totally match the Redskins’ offer! Let’s up the ante by offering a 2010 first round pick and a conditional third-or-fourth round pick in 2011- hey, wait a second… I didn’t know we could make our picks conditional! Did you know that Mike? You did? Holy shit… I really do suck at this job! I don’t know how I didn’t get canned last year… OK… well anyway… oh, and let’s throw in Kyle Orton too!”
Coach Singletary paused for a moment to consider this implausible windfall. “Your plan has great merit,” he conceded. “However, let’s not include Orton.”
Angelo looked puzzled. “But I don’t understand. Clearly more is better, right?”
“Not always,” Singletary countered. “Consider this; Rex Grossman has already agreed to sign with the Redskins as a backup. Reuniting Grossman with Orton would be worse than combining Corey Haim and Corey Feldman with a luxury hotel suite full of hookers and blow. I won’t be held responsible for their training camp turning into something from Animal House. My conscience won’t allow that.”
And so the pieces fell into place for a run at the 2010 season and destiny:
During McNabb’s final three seasons as Bears QB, he led them to an improbable three-peat as champions of Super Bowls XLV, XLVI, and XLVII, and earned league MVP honors in 2011 and 2012. The Chunky Soup Curse was converted to a rite of passage similar to, “I’m going to Disneyland!” During an interview, Bob Costas asked John Madden who would win in a knife fight; McNabb, or Favre, causing Madden to go into a five-day coma.
Vasher’s success at safety earned him the comeback player of the year award in 2010. Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered all footage from Vasher’s 2009 season at cornerback immediately destroyed. The NFL Players Association did not protest.
Devin Hester broke a single-game touchdown record with 7TD’s, then broke it again the following week by scoring 8TD’s in a single half versus the Detroit Lions led by Jay Cutler. In fact, two of Hester’s TD’s came from intercepting Cutler, as Hester was tapped to fill in for cornerbacks who were succumbing to heat-stroke from intercepting so many Jay Cutler passes. It is rumored that in California, John Madden’s orgasm from watching this game could be heard from a radius of five miles.
The NFL Coach of the Year award was renamed the Mike Singletary award. The statuette is of a man pointing and yelling with his pants at his ankles. Pantsless motivational halftime speeches by coaches become vogue, traumatizing little-league athletes across America.
Lovie Smith became an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. His in-depth “analysis” (“Anytime a defense makes tackles, that’s a good thing.”) frequently causes Tony Dungy to nod-off while on the air, and puts Bob Costas on the verge of tears nearly twice each Sunday.
Jerry Angelo became Executive of the Year in 2010 and 2012.
As The Boondocks Huey Freeman once said, it’s fun to dream.