A Letter To Vic
Dear Vic Fangio,
I'm writing this letter to thank you for bringing back the Monsters of the Midway. As you know, Chicagoans appreciate tough-nose defensive football. We are a hard-working city. We welcome someone who tells it like it is, and is willing to get their hands dirty. This is why a man as crazy as Mike Ditka is still idolized to this day. Well, that and the ring. I was ecstatic when finding out Nagy wanted to keep you in Chicago. I truly felt like we were on the verge of another Ditka-Buddy coaching combo. The veteran savvy defensive coordinator, and the new vocal head coach. It turned out to be somewhat similar, but you and Nagy had a less hostile working relationship, to say the least. With so many things changing on offense, you were able to provide stability on defense that did so much for this team.
The list of defensive legends the Chicago Bears is remarkable. Listing them would make this a 12 page letter. I was born in the early '90s, so I was able to understand and enjoy football in the Lovie Smith era. The Bears never needed, nor coveted a quarterback. That defense took the ball away, scored, put the offense in great field position, and so on. It was old school, hard nose football, and as the league evolved, the Bears attempted to as well. I don't fault the organization, they struck out swinging. Some teams don't seem to try. The transition brought that fart-in-the-wind known as the Trestman era. Mr. Fangio, I can't tell you how many times I have brought up the back to back moppings by the Patriots and Packers, in 2014. The Bears gave up 106 points in two games. That's when I realized the Bears had completely lost their identity. Everything I loved about my team was gone. But it was a blessing in disguise. A few tough years brought Ryan Pace, John Fox, and you of course. You probably should have put on some armor and rode a stallion through Halas Hall. Yes, you were our knight in shining armor. Wait, you're a stallion too, never mind - I digress. In 2014 the defense was ranked 31st, and by your third year, we were ranked 9th. When given a slew of talent, you produced the top defense. By mid-season, it was evident you would earn a Head Coaching job. In your time with the Bears, you developed more stars than you were given. Where would Fuller be without you or Ed Donatell? The mad scientist, the man with the old-school Italian swag; you were loved by your players, and it was evident.
It's funny to think that a Defensive Coordinator would help a quarterback as much as you did Trubisky. You gave Tru the time he needed to develop. The media crammed their foot down Mitchell's throat every time he overthrew a ball. I could only imagine how much worse it would have been if we weren't winning games. When the media tried to give you credit for the defensive progress in 2017, you were humble. You said if we were a great defense, we would have won more games. You always found a way to challenge your players respectfully. We all know the offense started slow and still has their work cut out for them. The security your defense provided allowed Matt Nagy to work the kinks out and develop his offense. It was your defense that won the Bears a lot of games last year. It's unfortunate the Bears no longer have the security you provide. I would've loved to see you hoist a Lombardi with the Chicago Bears, and truly believe it would have been a lock to win the Super Bowl if you stayed here. It's easy to understand why you took the job; you should've gotten this opportunity much earlier. All of Chicago should appreciate what you've built and should be happy for you.
Vic, seeing how happy you were during your first presser for the Broncos was touching. You showing admiration and appreciation for your former players, and wearing McCaskey's tie, was honest and heartwarming. You're as real as it gets. Your transition with the media was immediate and apparent. I was used to seeing you answer 21 questions in 5 minutes. I can only hope that Elway doesn't interfere with what you're doing over there too much. I'm sure Denver's defense will re-emerge as one of the best in the league under your watch. Chicago will definitely miss you. I hope you only lose two games in 2019, week two and the Super Bowl. I think it would be safe to say on behalf of the Bears fan base, thank you, Vic, for bringing back the Monsters of the Midway.