Journalistic ire isnt reserved just for the Bears.
  • Mike Roemer/AP Photos
  • Journalistic ire isn’t reserved just for the Bears.

I envy sportswriters. They get to bang away. Let the Bears play a big game and stink—OK, play back-to-back big games and stink—and our sportswriters let ‘er rip. Wrote Rick Telander in the wake of the 55-14 pasting by the Packers, “The Bears weren’t even lambs. They were more like pre-packaged lamb chops wrapped in cellophane, little breaded dipsticks ready for heating and gorging upon.”

The “right thing” to do, offered Rick Morrissey, would have been for Bears GM Phil Emery to have fired coach Marc Trestman at halftime and then fire himself, and for the McCaskey family to sell the team and start delivering pizzas.

“Miserably outclassed,” observed Brad Briggs. “Everyone was to blame, coaches perhaps the most.”

Added David Haugh, “They showed up scared and it only got worse with every awful series.”

“Why wasn’t Marc Trestman fired at halftime?” wondered Steve Rosenbloom, calling Halas Hall a “toxic waste dump.”

Weirdly, both dailies—the Sun-Times and Tribune—led their front pages Monday with the same derisive pun as a headline, “Lambeau Bleep.”

What a tonic it is to have license to write that way! Political writers hem and haw because everything is so complicated and they know their readers come down on all sides. That is why I was amazed by Paul Krugman in the Monday New York Times, who decided it was time to write like a Chicago sportswriter. Krugman’s subject was Obamacare, and a current legal attempt to gut it on a technicality. The Supreme Court wants to hear the case, and Krugman fears the worst.

“Let’s be clear about what’s happening here,” says Krugman. “Judges who support this cruel absurdity aren’t stupid; they know what they’re doing. What they are, instead, is corrupt, willing to pervert the law to serve political masters.”

Naturally, by the time I got to Krugman at the breakfast table I’d read all the Bears coverage. Wow! I thought. He’s just like them. For a day, that’s who he was, a gunslinger at a keyboard.