The unfurling ceremony for the giant “Abandon All Hope” banner meant to be hung over Soldier Field, Halas Hall or simply the Bears locker room can be canceled. Nobody will be needing it now that the Bears finally exceeded last year’s three-win total with a victory in Cincinnati. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in decades, but at least they have been getting there. And thanks to the neighboring Browns, the Bengals are no longer considered the worst franchise in football. Bears fans can take solace in not being Ohio bad — at least until the Christmas Eve showdown with the Browns. The Bears aren’t good either, but one can count on a professional effort from them. That’s not exactly the “culture of winning” everybody was hoping for in the halcyon days of the John Fox/Ryan Pace era. But at least the Bears have developed a culture of try-hard, even if that’s hardly the goal in professional sports. Kid general manager Pace and grizzly vet Fox were seen as a May-December bromance paired with the task of returning the Bears to greatness. Fox, it has been reported by the NFL’s own media site, has “accepted his fate” in terms of impending unemployment. Pace presumably moves on without him. “This is big-time drama, folks. Think “A Star Is Born”-meets-Disney sports epic — minus the big game at the end. Ironically the victory over a physically and psychically broken Bengals team isn’t viewed as a sign of what Fox can do against an equally undermanned opponent, but a validation of Pace’s draft prowess.
Young Bears starting to make GM Ryan Pace look good
Chicago Tribune | Dec 13