Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
By John Mullin
The Bears remaining schedule appears to have just gotten ever so slightly tougher.
The Minnesota Vikings firing head coach Brad Childress and replacing him with former Bear Leslie Frazier could well slow and possibly even reverse the death spiral which Childress, Brett Favre and other elements created.
The Vikings have gone from within a Favre turnover of the Super Bowl to near-laughingstock in the NFC, which no one in Chicago certainly will lament. If theres any wish that Bears fans might have, it would be that ownership have made this change before the debacle against the Green Bay Packers Sunday. The team Frazier wouldve sent out vs. the Packers could scarcely have played worse than Childress last one.
The Bears dont face Minnesota until Monday Dec. 20, by which time any initial emotional upsurge from the Frazier-for-Childress might have dissipated. Teams routinely ramp up after a change at the top, as the Cubs did last summer after Mike Quade replaced Lou Pinella, whether out of guilt, fear (the next firing wont be the new head coach; itll be players) or whatever.
The Vikings are at Washington this Sunday, then host Buffalo and then the New York Giants before the Bears show up. The Redskins and Bills both won Sunday and the Giants will be coming off a game vs. Washington the week before. Hard to say what mental state the Vikings will be in by the time they meet the Bears. Or if Favre is out and Tavaris Jackson is the interim quarterback by then.
Ironically, Frazier might well have been head coach of the Chicago Bears, not the Minnesota Vikings, by now. Frazier was to be the defensive coordinator on Dave McGinnis staff in 1999 before negotiations blew up between McGinnis and Michael McCaskey (the premature press release myth is just that, myth).
Paths to top jobs seldom follow straight lines and it might have needed McGinnis foundering for Frazier to have been elevated to the interim spot he now holds with the Vikings following Brad Childress ouster. Also, GM Jerry Angelo had replaced Mark Hatley by that time and quite possibly wouldve wanted his own head coach candidates rather than be in a situation where Frazier mightve been forced on him.
Funny how history works out sometimes. Or doesnt.
It didnt directly involve football (although the NFL played its regular slate of games the following weekendno, it really did, seriously), but it was on this date in 1963 that President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Politics or opinions of Kennedy aside, the world turned upside down that day.
Ill do the regular Monday visit with the guys SportsRadio 1450 WFMB-AM in Springfield. Then drop by the Monday night 7-8 p.m. chat on CSNChicago.com.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.