The Chicago Bears haven’t won a playoff game since Lovie Smith. Their next head coach should be Black

The Chicago Bears haven’t won a playoff game since Lovie Smith. Their next head coach should be Black

If you pass on an established Black head coach and don’t bring in the best offensive coordinator in the NFL — who also happens to be Black — it means the white guy you hired better be good. Well, Matt Eberflus sucks, Eric Bieniemy is still one of the best play-callers in the game, and Jim Caldwell is an assistant with the Panthers all because the Chicago Bears decided to go with the white guy who’s led them to a team-record 14 consecutive losses.

Racism is always bad for business.

The franchise that told Chase Claypool to stay home because he told the truth about how bad things are, and the team that’s obsessed with keeping Nathan Peterman employed, is the laughing stock of the NFL after blowing a second-half 28-7 lead before eventually falling, 31-28, to Denver on Sunday — a week after the Broncos lost, 70-20, to the Miami Dolphins. The Bears are now tied with the rebuilding Panthers as the only winless teams in the league.

‘‘You know, when you’re 0-4, no one’s done the job well enough, right?’’ said Eberflus. ‘‘That’s just facts, right? It’s a results business, and we have to do a better job collectively as a group.’’

Eberflus hasn’t won a game since the Bears beat the New England Patriots back in Week 7 of last season — which means Chicago is three weeks away from going a full calendar year without a win. These are the kinds of things that happen when you hire a coach with a 3-18 record.

But, it didn’t have to be like this.

When the Bears were looking for a coach, they ignored Bieniemy as they weren’t one of the many teams he interviewed with for a head coaching job over the years. And while he doesn’t have all the weapons he did in Kansas City, his offense in Washington is doing better than what they currently have in Chicago.

“Eric Bieniemy has done everything he is supposed to do” to secure a head-coaching job, said Louis Moore, professor of history at Grand Valley State University who specializes in African-American and sports history to Time Magazine earlier this year. “He’s worked his way up, and he’s won. If he was white, he would have a job. There’s no question about that.”

And even if the Bears didn’t want to take a “gamble,” on Bieniemy, it’s not like Eberflus had any head coaching experience on his resume, either. Well, that was until he showed Chicago how bad he can be when he’s in charge. Chicago chose Eberflus over Dan Quinn — a former head coach who lost in the Super Bowl and who now leads the vaunted Cowboys defense — and Caldwell — a former head coach who lost in the Super Bowl and is now a senior assistant with the Panthers.

The record books will tell you that the Bears are better when they have a Black head coach. And while Lovie Smith is the lone Black head coach in franchise history, he’s still the last head coach to win a playoff game — something the four white coaches after him have been unable to do. Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times polled fans, and according to them, 68.6 percent agreed that the team made a mistake by firing Smith after the 2012 season.

A seasoned Black head coach who made it to a Super Bowl, and a Black coordinator who’s led one of the best offenses the league has ever seen were both right there, and Chicago thought Eberflus was the best choice.

Racism also makes people dumb.

“These guys do not want to hire Black coaches,” Todd Boyd, a professor of race and popular culture at USC, said in that same Time Magazine piece. “Maybe when they make the decision, that’s not at the front of their mind. Maybe they don’t say, ‘I’m not going to hire a Black coach.’ That’s the result. They can think of a million and one reasons why not to do it that have nothing overtly to do with race. But when you look at who are the coaches in the NFL, it speaks for itself.”

At some point, in the coming weeks or by the end of the season, the Chicago Bears are going to fire Matt Eberflus. One of the most storied franchises in league history will be looking for a head coach — again. And as usual, a Black coach’s name will come up in discussion, because that’s what happens in a league that has a long history — and a class-action lawsuit against it — of not giving Black men chances to lead NFL teams. The Bears will have a decision to make: hire another sorry white guy or hire a man of the same race that gave us our last postseason victory. The choice is literally Black and white.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.