Mike Imrem, Column of the Year

| December 15th, 2009

Where oh where did Bears go?

By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist

Where are the Bears that a lot of us grew up with?

Where are the Monsters of the Midway, win or lose?

Where are the physical, aggressive, intense, tough and strong Bears?

Where’s the blocking?

Where’s the tackling?

Where are the Bears you had no reservations calling by
macho nicknames like Bulldog and Bronko, Super Crunch and Samurai,
Mongo and Danimal, Chico and Jimbo, the Galloping Ghost and the Kansas

Where are the blood and sweat to go with the tears?

Where are the Bears who autumn after autumn made even the bad times good?

Where are the Bears that would beat opponents up if they couldn’t beat them?

Where is the tight end that runs over people and the running back that runs through people?

Where’s the hope, false or otherwise?

Where are the Bears who would be at least competitive with a bad quarterback instead of noncompetitive with a good one?

Where’s the head coach who speaks gibberish you want to hear instead of gibberish that drives you nuts?

Where is the head coach who terrorizes officials?

Where indeed is Papa Bear?

Where is Iron Mike?

Where is the draft part of draft and develop?

Where is the develop part of draft and develop?

Where’s Bear weather making a difference, really or mythically?

Where’s the kick returner who was the best ever before becoming an ordinary wide receiver?

Where’s the reckless defense with a supersized tackle called Fridge or Fat Freddy?

Where’s the ability to stop the run on defense and run the ball on offense?

Where’s the head coach with the audacity to clear out a deadbeat’s locker?

Where’s the Bears team that you could like in victory
and respect in defeat, rather than respect in neither and dislike in

Where are the Honey Bears you could both like and respect?

Where are Dougs like Atkins, Buffone and Plank?

Where’s the vim?

Where’s the vigor?

Where have you gone, Walter Payton, a city turns its lonely eyes to you?

Where are the players who symbolized people in seats instead of suites and standing room only instead of personal seat licenses?

Where have the days gone when Bears football was a game
where you could buy a ticket from a street scalper instead of a
business where you can buy one from an online broker?

Where’s the head coach with an appreciation of timeouts?

Where’s the Bears team that makes you feel proud and
privileged to sit in the stands with the wind blowing sleet in your
face just to cheer on their effort?

Where’s the Bears’ pride in anything these days?

Where’s the same page and the single heartbeat, for better or worse?

Where’s the fire?

Where’s the brimstone?

Where are the executives who will tell it like it is, or at least like they think it is, instead of trying to fool fans?

Where is the owner hesitant for whatever reason, financial or friendship, to fire the head coach or general manager?

Seriously, where are those Bears that we grew up with?