Decades of frustration earned Bears fans the right to boo offense
One of the benefits for athletes in Chicago is how much the city loves its teams.
It affords athletes business opportunities away from the field both during and after their careers.
The 1985 Bears have become a cottage industry in Chicago, if not big business. Bears players become bigger than actors or politicians in Chicago.
When players delve into the arena outside the playing field, they need to be better informed on what the fans have endured for decades and decades.
Young players don't always understand or appreciate what this fan tie means, and Bears safety Eddie Jackson expressed this naivety Friday during his appearance on the McNeil & Parkins Show on WSCR-AM 670.
Jackson wasn't happy about the fans booing quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the offense Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.
"That booing situation, like, that's not us. That's to all my Chicago Bears fans," Jackson said. "If you're a real Bears fan, a fan of any one of the Chicago Bears, the way we handle the situation of booing, things like that, it's called adversity. As a fan, as a player, in life, we're going to go through that.
"For them to start booing, that's something that we don't take kindly, we don't accept, we don't like. I just want to speak to the fans on that part. All the booing, we need to cut that out. It's football, we get it. Trust me, we're more frustrated than you guys are and we don't boo our teammates. 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."
This is a welcome-to-the-NFL or this-isn't-college-ball moment for Jackson.
The dividing line between players and fans in the NFL is the way franchises are followed, expectations and loyalties are built. Years and decades of frustration can fester. Players are gone in a few years. The fans will be there forever.
It's not just a place people went to school four years. The teams become parts of their lives. Some spend big percentages of their living following the teams, not to mention tons of time.
After the 100th anniversary celebration and all the fan contact Bears players have had with fans, it's something they should understand by now.
They've built up the pressure on themselves by upping fans' expectations, and when they're touting their offense as greatly improved, and their quarterback as much more advanced, the frustration becomes greater if neither are true.
In the NFL, it's Philadelphia fans booing Santa Claus, Bears quarterbacks getting booed and New York Jets fans booing life in general. Even Packer fans were booing last year and that almost never happens. Coming soon: Patriots fans boo.
It doesn't matter which team, if they're failing to meet expectations they get booed because of the heavy commitment fans have to these teams with little or nothing to show for it.
Bears coach Matt Nagy understood the reason for booing at his postgame press conference.
"Like I said, to our fans they have every right to boo, every right to boo. We get it," Nagy said. "The way they showed up tonight and how crazy rowdy they were and how supportive they were of our team, I'm glad our defense stepped up.
"I thought our defense – I don't want to take away from what our defense did and coach (Chuck) Pagano and the way he got his guys ready against that offense who no one knew really what they were going to do. Those guys stepped up tonight. (The Packers) had one or two big plays, they had a long throw and then they had a pass interference, but for the most part our defense played pretty well. I'll take that part away from it if I can find some positive. But again, going back to the fans, they deserve better, and that's what we need to do."
Bears fans frustrated by decades and decades of broken promises have earned their right to almost any type of expression, short of beer-bottle throwing like Browns fans.
The booing discouraged Bears players?
You want to talk about discouragement, try forking out a ton of money while sitting in 10-degree cold through Bobby Douglass, Bob Avellini, Rusty Lisch, Vince Evans, Steve Walsh, Erik Kramer, Rick Mirer, Jonathan Quinn, Chad Hutchinson, Shane Matthews, Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, Kyle Orton, Caleb Hanie, Jay Cutler and Mike Glennon.
There's one way to prevent the booing and the Bears did it last year.
You turn the boos to cheers. Players have to know this.