Bears fans rank 7th in ESPN's Sports Misery Index

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Chicago Bears fans have suffered through some pretty dark times in recent seasons. They've experienced just two playoff berths since the team's loss to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI, including last year's unexpected 12-4 season that ended in heartbreaking fashion when Cody Parkey missed a potentially game-winning field goal in the wildcard game against the Eagles.

From the quarterbacks to the head coaches, the Bears haven't had many reasons for hope.

Fortunately, that's all changing now. Matt Nagy, Mitch Trubisky, and a Super Bowl-caliber defense have restored optimism within the fanbase, but it's cautious optimism at best. Maybe it's because of the damage that's been done over the last decade. Maybe it's because there still isn't unconditional trust in Trubisky. Regardless of the 'why,' there's still a sense of uncertainty.

As a result, Bears fans rank among the most miserable in the NFL, according to ESPN's Sports Misery Index. Chicago checks-in at No. 7.

Where they're especially miserable: The Bears were the hottest team in the NFL going into last year's playoffs, riding a stifling defense to their first division title and playoff berth since 2010. Their Super Bowl run ended as soon as it began, though, as Cody Parkey clanked the game-winning field goal attempt in a wild-card loss to the Eagles. Considering that last year was only Chicago's second playoff appearance since losing Super Bowl XLI after the 2006 season, the Bears squandered an opportunity that doesn't come around too often.

A loss like last year's playoff ouster is hard to recover from. It led to an excruciating offseason kicker competition that, in a way, distracted fans from the bigger and more pressing question: Is Trubisky capable of making that jump into the top tier of NFL starting quarterbacks?

That mystery remains unanswered through three games and it may take a full season to find out. If the answer is no, expect this ranking to move up a few spots this time next year. 

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