The Bears’ latest ray of hope

Bears coach Matt Eberflus (left) and general manager Ryan Poles speak to the media Monday at Halas Hall. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Introductions of new general manager Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus offer a bit of sunshine, but we’ve seen — and felt — all this before.

It was all teddy bears and blue skies Monday at Halas Hall.

The new regime walked in, and away we went — on to the Super Bowl!

New general manager Ryan Poles wept a bit as he thanked people for making his journey from failed pro offensive lineman to Bears personnel boss a reality.

And new head coach Matt Eberflus looked so smiley and puppy-dog-eager that you half expected him to break out the whistle and start tooting drills right on the dais.

Wise and wizened NFL guru Bill Polian had been brought in some time back to find the new on-field leadership for the McCaskey Bears. And he seemingly had done just that — with aces.

So it goes every time the Bears start over.

The clouds disappear, the sun beams and visions of lollipops dance through our heads.

Phil Emery, Marc Trestman, John Fox, Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy — they all looked like winners when they first were trotted out. I remember Dave Wannstedt, the defensive pride of the NFL champion Cowboys, being a great catch by the Bears. Everybody wanted Wanny. Yes, they did.

Wanny’s six-year record with the Bears was 40-56.

Each new man anointed by the Bears’ changeless core management— ie, multiple McCaskeys and temporary-accountant-turned-president Ted Phillips — makes even the most rational fan think: Hey, maybe this is the guy!

Almost always, it isn’t.

We will give this new pair a try, and, of course, any judgment can’t come for a couple of years, maybe longer. Everything has to be built from the bottom up, you know.

As Poles said: ”I’m excited to help build this organization and help build this roster to get to where it should be, which is a championship-level team.”

Indeed. Such is newly hired GM-speak. Always.

Being a bit of a wiseacre, I often have fantasized about a fresh leader coming in and saying: ”Guess what, folks? Average works for me!”

But forget frivolity.

Gung-ho is how the new guys come in. And we always forget the future: once-celebrated GM and/or coach fired, packing charts and schemes into cardboard boxes, slinking into the darkness.

That neither Poles nor Eberflus has held a GM or head-coaching job before might seem to be a big negative. In our eternal optimism, however, we can call it a big plus.

Are these guys going to make novice mistakes as they learn their trades, or are they going to blaze new and innovative trails that will dazzle us with brilliance? Hmm.

Why, I even remember Mark ”The Hat” Hatley, the vice president of personnel and de facto GM almost a quarter-century ago. He was going to lead the Bears to the promised land.

The team went 19-45 in four seasons under his direction, and ”The Hat” summarily was doffed.

So it goes. And, in truth, there is a reason for the constant uncertainty, the ups and downs for the Bears and all teams. (Mostly downs, in the Bears’ case.)

The reason is that the NFL is actually a single entity. The 32 teams are really one big restaurant, with multiple windows, all serving the same food. The league is rigged so no team can stay horrible for very long and no team can stay at the top for very long, either.

The worst team gets the best draft picks, there’s a salary cap, etc. Each team, no matter how lousy, gets $275 million from the NFL’s business deals every year, guaranteed. And that figure goes up constantly.

So it’s only the details that matter. Oh, and lucking into a Hall of Fame quarterback, a la Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and the soon-to-be-retired Tom Brady.

The Super Bowl-bound Bengals are proof that being bad and being good are a mere coin toss apart. The Bengals were 6-25-1 in the two seasons before this one. Now it seems young Joe Burrow is the superstar quarterback they’ve craved.

And how did they get Burrow? Because of their wretchedness, they got the first pick in the 2020 draft. Even a fool would have taken LSU national champion and Heisman Trophy winner Burrow. And the Bengals did.

But enough of that.

Everything’s new with the Bears’ football management. Poles says his team’s identity will be ”tough and violent.” Of course, we love that. Hello, Dick Butkus!

Eberflus says his direction for coaching the team will be ”intense” and ”smart.” It will be hands-on and detailed.

”We’ll have a plan for every player, what he needs to do,” he said.

Poles and Eberflus are undefeated, folks.

Now the blender begins.

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