Just a few days ago I wrote about how the ‘honeymoon” is over for Bears head coach John Fox. In comes the bye week, where the shenanigans really start. Bears defensive end Jeremiah Ratliff has a meltdown and has to be escorted out–not once, but three times. The Lake Forest police were eventually called and Ratliff was cut the next day.
That is only the beginning. On Friday we find out more details about the incident, including Ratliff claiming to be “the devil” and wanting, “to kill everyone in the building”. Some eye opening comments from the 6’4″, 287 pound athlete.
The galling part is Fox, who had been downplaying the incident since last week when it happened, continued to downplay it (or downright lie, depending on who you talk to). When pressed, Fox simply said, “I was at practice” and “I am not a psychologist”. In all fairness, Fox should probably not have been the one to be addressing the media on this situation, it should have been Ryan Pace, who was directly involved.
It was Fox though, and he sounded absolutely horrible in doing so. His military-esque cloak and dagger bit has worn thin. It started in training camp where media was prohibited to send out tweets from practice. Never mind the fact that any fan with a phone could have done that. It then continued with strict access to players made available on a day in and day out basis.
Then there are the “press conferences” in which Fox dances around every. Single. Question. Asked. I get the “not wanting the opposition” to find out certain things. In this instance however, the Bears not offering up pertinent information could have got someone seriously injured–or worse. The Bears got very lucky that no one got hurt. In this day and age where people take out their anger and frustration with bullets, not letting everyone know there was a huge threat is a mistake.
Whomever decided that Fox, with the charm of an old leathery shoe, and who was at practice at the time–should have been the one to host a press conference Friday, did the organization no favors. If this was Ryan Pace, or someone higher up the ranks, they need to get together with a legitimate PR firm and discuss tactics. Considering this has been going on since Pace/Fox have been in town, I don’t see this clearing up anytime in the future. All parties involved seem to have the same cloak of arrogance that has surrounded the Bears for the past few decades.