The (1984) Chicago Bears: Beneath the Newspeak

Steve PauleyContributor IJanuary 6, 2010

LIBERTYVILLE, IL - JANUARY 15:  Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo (R) congratulates former defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, Lovie Smith (L), on his four year contract as head coach of the Chicago Bears at a media conference on January 15, 2004 in Libertyville, Illinois.  (Photo by Aynsley Floyd/Getty Images)
Aynsley Floyd/Getty Images

"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."

This passage from George Orwell's 1984 is one that every Chicago Bears fan should consider while digesting the latest propaganda being dispensed by the folks at Halas Hall.

For those unfamiliar with Orwell's novel, the phrase refers to something called Newspeak, a language conceived in order to suppress all capacity for individual thought, reason and emotion.

The Bears organization may not be so sinister nor despotic as 1984 's totalitarian regime, but its eagerness to maintain the appearance of stability by controlling the usage of language is no less opaque. To put it simply, your Bears are lying to you.

Every comment made by Lovie, Jerry, Ted Phillips, et al. is designed to give you reassurance of their faith and resolve in their course for righting the ship. However, much like Newspeak, these words are really meant to conceal reality's bitter truth.

Jerry Angelo says he believes a "bevy of coaches" will be lining up for the open coordinator positions, yet a coach would have to be either crazy or masochistic to consider Chicago's roster an ideal situation. Some poor soul will answer the call (Mike Martz?), but overestimating the sentimental allure of the Navy and Orange is nothing shy of hubris.

Lovie Smith defends his Tampa-2 scheme despite the fact that it has been almost unanimously dismissed as an effective base defense. He hollowly attributes our third down impotence to the defense simply having a down year. If change and accountability are truly the order of the day, how can a scheme that was repeatedly abused by opposing offenses be so immune to scrutiny?

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Ted Phillips would have you believe that money was not a consideration in the decision to retain Smith and Angelo. However, any Bears fan who has ever had hopes of signing Free Agent X or trading up to draft Player Y can attest to the financial "inflexibility" of the McCaskey Family.

In 1984 the subtleties of Newspeak were overtly used a means to maintain dominance over an unwitting populace. Similarly for these Chicago Bears, it is used for self-preservation.

The GM supports the coach whose hiring was his preeminent responsibility. The coach defends the reputation of the system he was hired primarily to establish. The team president champions the dynamic duo because they are saddled with contract extensions that he himself approved.

The words say these men are committed to winning. Unfortunately, the truth lies closer in those words that go unsaid. And that is, as Orwell might say, doubleplusungood.

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