Bears Draft Party a Good Time for Everyone Except the Players Who Attend

Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune quotes defensive end Akiem Hicks on what he thinks of the NFL draft:

“Asked Tuesday whether he at least takes a glance at the ubiquitous prognostications of whom the Bears might select with the No. 8 pick, Hicks shook his head.

“’I hate the draft,’ he said. ’Somebody coming to replace me? No. I haven’t watched the draft since I was in it (in 2012). Let’s put it that way.’

“So no thoughts, Akiem, on what the Bears can add in the draft to enliven the defense?

“’I don’t like the draft, dude,’ Hicks reiterated. ’I always like to see the same faces. I’m superstitious, but I also like things to stay the same to an extent. I like to see the same faces and have that camaraderie already built up.”’

Hicks’ attitude is hardly surprising and the only real mystery to me is why anyone would would expect anything else.

Hicks’ comments reminded me of the minor disaster that took place last year when quarterback Mike Glennon was invited to attend the Bears Draft Party last year only to see his eventual replacement taken #2 overall. It was quite a shock to Glennon who, up until that point, thought the team was 100% committed to him. It arguably was such a blow to his confidence that it practically doomed him to suffer a miserable start to the season and the eventual loss of his job.

So you’d figure that the Bears learned their lesson from this debacle and that they’re done inviting current Bears players to the party only to see their eventual replacements drafted, right?

You’d be wrong.

Among the invitees this year are back up running back Benny Cunningham, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and linebacker Roy Robertson-Harris. All could be sitting and watching their eventual replacement either in the lineup or on the roster be drafted. Not that anyone is safe. Glennon’s situation certainly proved that as no one expected the Bears to draft Mitch Trubisky. These are just the invitees who are in the most immediate danger.

I think Hicks is 100% right. It’s cruel and unusual punishment to ask players who have had their bodies used up by the NFL to watch the Bears select younger, healthier, cheaper players to replace them.

ESPN Predicts that the Bears Will Go 0-16. Let’s Start Planning the Parade Now!

Of all the “news” that the NFL releases to great fan fare throughout the year, I’ve always found revealing the league schedule to be the most worthless. Not that it isn’t important – fans all over the country are planning trips around games so they can see their teams. It’s just that all of the all of the who-ha is so over done.

Of all of the things that are traditionally done with this piece of news, the game-by-game prediction for the season for each individual team perhaps is the worst. Predicting wins and losses for an NFL season when anything can happen on any given Sunday and teams routinely go from miserable to the playoffs in one offseason is almost totally without merit.

Having said that, this exercise does give you a chance to see what the rest of the NFL thinks of your team. You can look at what beat writers outside of your area are predicting and get a pretty good feel for what expectations are. ESPN, in particular, provides a glimpse as they require each of their beat writers to do a game-by-game prediction.

So what do the writers outside of the Chicago think of the Bears’ chances this year? Not much. ESPN writers have predicted that the Bears – get this – will go 0-16 next year!

That’s right, according to ESPN we’re in for a season for the ages. On a schedule that includes the Jets, Giants, and Tampa Bay, not one NFL win.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Packers – L
Seahawks – L
Cardinals – L
Buccaneers – L
Dolphins – L
Patriots – L
Jets – L
Bills – L
Lions – L
Vikings – L
Lions – L
Giants – L
Rams – L
Packers – L
49ers – L
Vikings – L

For what it’s worth (not much), Bears neat writer Jeff Dickerson has the Bears going 7-9 after beating the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jets, Giants, 49ers and splitting with the Lions.

Given what the other beat writers think of the Bears, I’d say we can take that as an upper limit. But even a cynic like me doesn’t see 0-16. It takes the collective genius of an ESPN hive-mind to predict that.