THE MORNING AFTER: The Crying Shame
CHICAGO – In purest form, they are supposed to be spur of the moment, impromptu and natural.
Some viral videos are not.
They are the work of hours and not seconds. They are planned out and not reality. Sometimes you can tell which ones are. Others you can’t.
But one of these came across my Twitter on Sunday night, a few hours removed from another contest at Soldier Field that seemed destined for a positive ending. Yet on Sunday it finished on the wrong foot, both figuratively and literally.
When Robbie Gould yanked a potential tying field goal to the right in the closing seconds of the Bears’ loss to the Redskins, something spontaneous came over a young Bears fan. His mother, who goes by the Twitter handle of “Big Blond Hair” sent this video over Twitter.
Could it be viral? Maybe. You be the judge.
“He’s never good make ‘It’s Good’ again?,” cried this young Bears fans as he’s consoled following the Bears’ 24-21 defeat at the hands of the Redskins. Tears flowed down his face onto his shirt that his mother admitted had pizza stains from the three hours of football fun and ten seconds of torture that preceded the video.
You have to feel for this kid. No one wants to see a little kid cry-especially when his heart was broken by his favorite team. It’s part cute, part gut wrenching and 100 percent real. Indeed it’s viral.
Yet the ten seconds film of this fan is more symbolic than sympathetic. The feelings in that child might as well represented everyone that rooted for the Bears in this unusual 2015 season where hope has turned out to be a mirage.
“Is he ever going to make ‘It’s good again?” Great question. Lots of people feel that same about their kicker who has, very simply, been a model of consistency in an era of change with the franchise.
Robbie’s missed six kicks this year-the most since he had the same amount of three-point transgressions in his rookie year of 2005. Last week against the 49ers he missed a pair of field goals well within his range. In the final seconds he pushed a potential game-winner to the left, leaving himself and the 60-thousand fans at Soldier Field in a bit of shock.
The Bears lost that game in overtime. A fluke for Robbie, right? Not really.
With his team down three and a 50-yard attempt in front of him, Gould had a chance to make it right just a week after things went wrong. Funny things happen in football but for the consistent Gould a miss seemed out of the question even on a wet and rainy day on the lakefront.
“We’re not going to lose faith in guys,” said Bears head coach John Fox, who said he was confident he would make the kick.
So were many others. So was that kid in the video. But Gould didn’t. He pushed it to the right this week instead of the left. Walking off the field in a bit of shock, this time there would be no overtime chance.
Washington 24. Chicago 21. The game was over when his ball hit the net wide of the goal posts.
“The wind was at my back, the wind was going right to left. It was in perfect range,” said Gould, who to his credit took full blame for his transgression. “I could probably have kicked from 61 going that way – sixty-ish, maybe. They got it in range.
“I have to make it.”
But he didn’t. Now for once there is doubt about someone to which there was very little in the past. Some have called for tryouts for a kicker for the Bears’ last three games which are now for pride and the outside shot at a .500 record. Maybe next week in Minnesota a chance to tie or win the game with a kick will be bypassed judging Gould’s recent history.
That’s a shame.
Robbie’s the most accurate kicker in NFL history, making over 85 percent of his kicks during his 11-year career. Against the Chiefs in October Gould passed Kevin Butler for the most points in franchise history. He’s done so as a classy member of the organization known for his deeds on the field and off as well.
Maybe that’s why the kid cried. If there is doubt that even Robbie Gould can get the job done, then this season is lost. Last week was a thorn in the 2015 and Sunday was the nail. The kicker had a lot to do with it.
It’s a crying shame, really.