• Feb/12

    Herzog & Cornelius

    Posted on 2/06/12 at 5:56 PM - No Comments »

    Since the dawn of recorded time, holy men have consecrated the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Celtic priests called this day Imbolc, and freighted it with mystic themes of transformation; the birth of a new world from the death of the old. In our modern world, we observe this sacred passage by watching the Super Bowl.

    For Bears fans, Super Bowl Sunday will be a grueling exercise in humiliation, a private Hell of shame and frustration featuring iPhone commercials. Adding to this year’s squalor and disappointment is the story of the tragic demise of a true god of Chicago’s robust cosmology. I am speaking of the late Don Cornelius.

    As the creator of Soul Train, Don Cornelius enriched generations with his love of music, creativity, and spontaneous self-expression. With his easy-going humor, basso voice, and ABA basketball-sized Afro, the dapper host suavely ushered viewers into a party where racial tensions were exuberantly ignored. Those threatened by the extroverted atmosphere were not resented, but pitied. The message was unambiguous: “This music is for all of us, alike,” it declared. “And Joy is our birthright.” Shit, Goddamn, get off your ass and jam.

    In a city still reeling from Fred Hampton, Viet Nam and race riots, it should never have worked. Radios along Rainbow Beach were booming the untelevised revolution of the Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron. So with hortatory grace, Cornelius introduced the Soul Train Scramble, a black self-awareness game providing viewers a chance to contemplate, say, the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks while listening to the Ohio Player’s Funky Worm.

    With hard work and an eye for game-changing talent, Cornelius launched countless careers, including those of the young studio dancers: the bouncing, irrepressible Fred “Rerun” Berry; the wily, exotic Damita Jo Freeman; and in 1973, a smooth college kid from Jackson State named Walter Payton. The clip of Sweetness dancing his way down the Soul Train line is worth watching, if only because, as usual, there’s no one blocking for him.

    This Sunday, the Bears will not play in the Super Bowl. The coming rebirth of this once great franchise may be painful and lengthy. But when Madonna takes the stage at half time, I would be surprised if she did not mention Don Cornelius. I hope she does. It would give Chicago something to cheer about.

  • Dec/11

    Herzog – In Hoc Signo Vinces

    Posted on 12/17/11 at 4:19 PM - No Comments »

    On an autumn afternoon 17 centuries ago, by the river Tiber in Italy, a man stood peering at a vision of a cross in the sky. The strange symbol bore a message: “In hoc signo vinces” – “In this sign, conquer.” Inspired by the mystical apparition, the man fought a great battle and became Emperor of Rome. He chose the name Constantine, and credited the victory to his new Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

    Last week the Denver Broncos ended the Bears playoff chances as surely as Constantine ended the Diocletian Tetrarchy. As usual, quarterback and outspoken Christian Timothy Tebow gave all praise and glory to his jealous God. But Bears fans can only curse Tebow for removing the binding from their eyes. For now, Bears fans are like the Creator in Genesis chapter 2, observing Adam alone in the garden, naked and ignorant. We see the Bears, and it is not good.

    Once we overlooked the flaws of the Bears. But now we see through a glass darkly, and put away the childish notion that a team that plays only two phases of the game can contend. It is futile to blame this loss on the injuries of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Far more troubling was the Bears lack of an answer – Caleb Hanie going 2 for 15 on third down, and Marion Barber undermining decent numbers with an astonishing lack of judgment at a crucial moment. Sam Hurd’s recent arrest on federal drug charges only enhances the emerging image of the Bears as leaderless.

    But what about our leader? What of Lovie Smith? “Ecce Homo” – “Behold the man” Pilate said to the angry mob – he has committed no crime. But it was Lovie who blew off the man-to-man coverage that limited Tebow to three passes in the first 45 minutes. And it was Lovie who condoned the use of the Cover 2, not once, but three times, on Denver’s final drives. Once the check down passes began, it was if a voice had said, “Let my people throw”.

    So now Bears fans, like the worried disciples, ask “What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening?” A new coach? A new offensive co-coordinator? But as Tebow can tell us, “Put not your trust in Princes”. It is easy to mock Tebow’s simplicity, but without a conversion of our own, we may never walk the path that Timothy Tebow is walking toward the playoffs, and perhaps even, the Promised Land.

  • Sep/11

    Werner Herzog’s 2011 Season Analysis

    Posted on 9/10/11 at 1:28 PM - No Comments »

    Thousands of years ago, the first primitive societies carved and painted the stories and tokens of their brief lives onto the rock faces and cave walls of their world; enigmatic messages that to this day we struggle to understand; emblems of the human desire to project a context onto the chaotic and cruel world that we all inhabit. Stripped of all the inanities of modern life, we stand naked and frightened as early man, when we stare into the unblinking eye of eternity.

    The Chicago Bears regular season schedule arouses a similar feeling of dread and the primal hatred of the unknown. A front-loaded nightmare featuring three playoff contenders and a road game in New Orleans could easily leave the Bears in an 0 and 3 hole before moving on to face a resurgent Detroit and the suddenly dangerous Vikings. How the Bears will compete with division favorite Green Bay is an open question, one which may well be decided long before a Christmas night showdown with the champs on their frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

    There is reason to be optimistic, as the Bears have gotten better on paper since their January beat down in the NFC title game. But much will depend on the play of the talented but erratic Jay Cutler and an aging defense only recently bolstered by the arrival of two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Meriweather. Early contract disputes with Lance Briggs and Matt Forte, and a jumbled receiver corps provide ample reason to fear that by the November bye week, the Bears will be in disarray, doomed to merely survive the remainder of the season like soulless automatons, existing only in a self-enclosed universe of joyless futility, praying for death.

    Like many die hard Bears fans I will watch every game. As a man, and a Grabowski, I will search for inspiration and comfort from Lovie Smith and Mike Martz but as an artist and a filmmaker, I can only observe and record the carnage with unfeeling detachment, an eye witness to a tragedy in which I can play no part. The process by which we as human beings create and defeat our expectations defines our essential frailty. It serves to remind us of our insignificance like a collective atavistic drum-beat reaching us from our earliest desperate moments as a species across the millennia to our present state of helplessness in the face of forces that shape our destiny.

    With luck and no injuries, the Bears could rack up nine wins and just miss the wild card. Hoping for more than that would be an exercise in self-delusion.

  • Oct/10

    Patrick Mannelly Longsnapping Extrodinaire

    Posted on 10/22/10 at 2:09 PM - No Comments »

    Patrick Mannelly

  • Sep/10

    George Halas The Architect

    Posted on 9/29/10 at 2:30 PM - No Comments »

    Required viewing for all Bears fans

  • Dec/09

    Ben from New Mexico poses a question….

    Posted on 12/10/09 at 4:06 PM - No Comments »

    Dear Bear Down Podcast,

    Love the podcast.  Keep up the good work.  I hope you guys keep the momentum going for the 2010 season.

    Here’s my question:  Which Bears player do you think would win a hotdog eating contest?

    I’m going for a shocker.  I think Johnny Knox wins this thing outright.  His speed and quickness give him the advantage over the guys with bigger frames.  Plus he seems like a smart guy who would research eating techniques before the big day.

    Go Bears.

    -Ben from New Mexico

    We asked our Facebook Fans which Bear would win in a hot dog eating contest…

    the results



  • Dec/09

    A letter from a “‘non-fan’ fan”

    Posted on 12/10/09 at 3:59 PM - No Comments »

    Paul from the UK corrects our grammar:

    Hi. I really enjoy the podcast even though I’m 5k miles away in the UK and don’t follow the Bears or the NFL. I do watch the superbowl if I remember It’s on and can stay awake till 4am.

    Aaaanyway, just wanted to kindly point out a gramatical mistake on your Meet The Crew page. It should be their, not there.

    Much love! Paul

    He writes again saying:

    Hi again
    Since you found my previous email to be so enigmatic and fascinating, I thought I’d put your collective minds at rest with some more information on your biggest non-fan fan.

    I love comedy and listen to all sorts of podcasts and radio shows. My favourite episodes of Comedy Death Ray Radio have been the ones featuring Mr Matt Walsh. Last time he was on he mentioned Bear Down so I checked it out.

    I do like the NFL but it’s not covered so much over here. Plus, if you don’t have a team to follow, it’s hard to care, you know? So I’ve kept listening ’cause I like you all and enjoy the fake ads and phone calls and so on. When the Bears are discussed in depth I kinda zone out but then prick up again if somebody does a funny. I have a feeling that if I keep on listening, I’ll become a big Bears fan one day. Fingers crossed.

    Keep up the good work fellas, and who knows, just maybe you can convert apathetic foreigners like me to the Bears cause one joke at a time.

    Much love, hugs, high fives and ass slaps!
    Paul, Scotland

  • Nov/09

    A Letter from Lucas in Iraq

    Posted on 11/20/09 at 5:12 PM - No Comments »

    Hey guys,

    It’s your biggest fan in all of Iraq again. Just thought I’d say thanks for making this horrible season a little brighter with the podcast. The only thing I get to see about the games is the highlights they show on ESPN when I go to chow, assuming we’re not out on a mission. Usually I’ll find out the score sometime the day after the game from my wife, she emails it to me. Hopefully things turn around for da bears, but if not, at least I’ve got bear down to keep me upbeat about next season. As a small aside, my wife had our daughter on the 3rd of November. The only reason i mention it is her name, Addison Patricia Lunsmann. I know most of you are south side fans, but for the one of you that loves the cubbies like I do, you can appreciate her name. That was an uphill battle with the wife, but I got my way in the end. Of course most people don’t know the address to Wrigley field, so it’s just a cute name to them. Thanks again for the great podcast guys and happy veterans day.


  • Nov/09

    Bears Quotes

    Posted on 11/20/09 at 5:08 PM - No Comments »

    Here are some of our favorite Bears Quotes. What’s yours?

    “A lot of fans were drawn to me because they knew that whatever the score was, I was going to run as hard as I could on every play. You don’t have that now, you have guys waiting for next week or even next year.”
    -Walter Payton

    “You cunts on offense are playing like a bunch of cocksuckers and you cocksuckers on defense are playing like a bunch of cunts”
    -Papa Bear

    “I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it.”
    Gale Sayers

    “If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and a uniform that wasn’t the same as the one I was wearing, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother.”
    -Bo Jackson

    “When it’s third and ten, you can take the milk drinkers and I’ll take the whiskey drinkers every time.”
    -Max McGee, former Green Bay Packers receiver

    “Football is a very short-term proposition. Football really prepares you for nothing. The only thing I got out of football was the ability to work hard, and that’s it.”
    -Gale Sayers

  • Nov/09

    The weekly email from Tony from Clearwater

    Posted on 11/20/09 at 5:05 PM - No Comments »

    Dear Bear Down

    As you know I own an amazing sports bar in Clearwater and people are like “you should be mayor of this town” and I’m like no comment. Anyway sorry if I seem a little bummed out today I was just remembering how I lost like 15 really good friends when the towers went down on 9/11.  Well after watching that terrible game against San Francisco every body in the bar was so depressed they wanted to kill themselves and they were like Tony “would you kill yourself” and I was like “hey guys be cool just be chill it’s gonna be ok” and they were like “Man Tony you’re the coolest, you should be the next Dr. Phil”.

    Here’s my question why  does Chicago give Cutler a 40 million dollar contract extension in the middle of the season, we already had him for a couple of years. I would never do that and I have a lot of hot waitresses with nice tits.

    Tony from Clearwater

  • Nov/09

    Heather from Erie, PA asks:

    Posted on 11/11/09 at 11:51 PM - No Comments »

    Hey guys

    I was raised in Buffalo where my dad is a big Bills fan and my mother was a Bears fan. I kind of like both teams. My question is, is being a Bears fan a matrilineal trait or a patrolineal trait?

    Heather from Erie,PA

    Heather, “the trait “Bears fan” is passed down thru the mother, much like being jewish. If you’re dad is a Bills fan it doesn’t matter, you’ll still love cased meats and tenacious linebackers for your whole life.”

  • Nov/09

    Marco can go suck it along with Ice Titan

    Posted on 11/11/09 at 11:47 PM - No Comments »

    Marco writes:

    Hey Dillweeds
    I got more Bears knowledge in my left nut than you guys have in your whole families. Why don’t you guys “Shut down” Chicago Bears, you’re wasting internets space douche-jags.

    Marco from Stone Park

    A note to Marco–We challenge your left nut to Bears Trivia. Meet us at Tin Horn Flats. We’ll be the ones singing Bear Down as loud as humanly possible.

  • Nov/09

    More Fan Mail

    Posted on 11/11/09 at 11:43 PM - No Comments »

    Bear Down

    What’s up? I love the podcast it’s righteous. My heart got broken by Tommie Harris and the rest of the D-line. We should clone Dan Hampton and Wilbur Marshall while they are still alive and start 5 Dan Hamptons and 6 Wilbur Marshalls on every defensive play. In fact I challenge you guys to name a better defense than that. And don’t tell me this isn’t possible.

    Carter from Aurora, IL


    Dear Bear Down

    What’s going on with the picks to click? It’s confusing.

    Pete from Peotone

  • Nov/09

    Tony from Clearwater writes (again):

    Posted on 11/11/09 at 11:41 PM - No Comments »

    Dear Bear Down,

    I had a bunch of friends down here watching the game at my bar down here in Clearwater. I had like monitors synchronized to show one giant image, people were like “Tony is the coolest with his giant TV”. But too bad the Bears lost cause I talked to Lovie this week and he promised a win, I know Lovie because I used to be a fireman in Chicago and I pulled him out of a car with the “jaws of life” and saved his life, and Lovie was like “Tony you’re the coolest for savin my life, we’re gonna be buddies”.  My question is this whatever happened to Cap Boso(people say I’m built like him) and I Greg Olsen better than Cap Boso?

    Peace in Middle East
    Tony from Clearwater, Fla

  • Nov/09

    Beardown is headin to San Fran

    Posted on 11/10/09 at 9:47 PM - No Comments »

    Attention Beardown Podcast Friends We’re heading to San Fran for the game. Where’s the tailgate and who has the Oldstyles? BEARDOWN!

  • Nov/09

    A Bears/Seahawks Poem by Jim U-Boat

    Posted on 11/10/09 at 5:48 PM - No Comments »

    Chalk a win up at week 3

    We beat the birdies by the sea

    But lost another MLB

    Now this may sound like an accusation

    But their jerseys are an abomination

    Borrowed from streets and sanitation

    I just do not see the use

    Of begging for assured abuse

    By suiting your team up in charteuse

    My advice to you, Seattle

    Before you plan your next week’s battle

    Is burn them uni’s without dilly daddle

  • Nov/09

    Nate Vasher Quote on moving to Safety

    Posted on 11/06/09 at 1:39 PM - No Comments »

    “they’re coming straight at you. It’s like playing madden almost.”

  • Nov/09

    Tony from Clearwater writes:

    Posted on 11/05/09 at 3:09 PM - No Comments »

    Hey Bear Down

    I have rescued two friends lives when they fell through the ice when we were kids. I tried to stop a guy from stabbing my girlfriend and lost a kidney, and a girlfriend. I own a restaurant/bar in Clearwater, Florida that makes probably the best supreme nachos in the country. Seriously even Brent Mussberger had them once and said I was a cool guy for making them. I play the Bear games on my satelite package every weekend and people love me for it because I get crazy and I don’t care. And you should see all the girls that come for my Bears party, so many of them have huge tits. It’s great. And kids come too, I rent a jumpy house for the parents who like to drink and watch football at bars, and they think I’m the coolest for doing it. My question is this, why do they keep wearing different jerseys every game like those orange ones this week against Cleveland? I have my blue Dave Duerson jersey and that’s all I’m ever going to buy. It was signed by Dave Duerson himself when I met him at the Bally’s in River North when I lived in Chicago. He said I was a cool guy and should have played football cause i’m a pretty big dude. But I can’t  get too winded because I have a bullet lodged near my heart.

    Tony from Clearwater

  • Nov/09

    A letter to Beardown Podcast

    Posted on 11/05/09 at 2:59 PM - No Comments »

    Dear Bear Down

    I am a lifelong Bear fan and have seen many coaches come and go. That’s my point, all coaches are temporary and fans are forever. That said, it’s time for Ron Turner to pack his bags and move back to Dumb-assville.  He’s probably got one bag to pack, and it ain’t filled with smart offensive plays. I am so sick of his play calling. If I see Garret Wolfe run between the tackles one more time I’m going to barf up my beef and sausage combo. Stop running up the fucking middle jerk wad, throw the ball. After that I’m sick of that stupid “screen to Hester loss of one on the play” play. Everyone knows it’s coming and there are no extra yards to be had when the linebacker and cornerback are already inside his jock.  I hate Ron Turners offensive game plans, becasue they don’t fool anyone. If you can’t score in four downs from inside the two on the Cleveland Browns then let’s shake things up and get more Ron Turner than Ron Turner and do four quarterback sneaks in a row on every series. Ron Turner equals fucking moron.


    Brian from Rolling Meadows

  • Nov/09

    Mitch Albom’s Real NFL Ghost Stories

    Posted on 11/05/09 at 2:57 PM - No Comments »

    Many years ago George Halas was sitting down in his office with place kicker/quarterback George Blanda when rookie linebacker Dick Butkus hurried into the office with a look of terror on his face. Butkus said “Coach you have to come outside and see what’s going on outside on the practice field. The three men ran outside and there above the five man tackling sled was a whispy white apparition with a smile on it’s face. As the spirit hovered it held it’s arms above it’s head in a parallel gesture in what looked to the men as a touchdown signal. Halas broke down in tears and Blanda asked the coach what was wrong. Halas told the players that he thought the ghost might be his father whom he’d never had a chance to say goodbye to because he was on the road with the Decatur Staleys trouncing the then Milwaukee meat packers with his T-formation. As the players comforted the coach, a bloody referee shirt appeared on the ghosts body while it’s still held its arms aloft in a touchdown gesture.  Halas then stopped weeping and laughed saying “that’s my old man alright”. The players were confused by Halas’s certainty. Halas continued “You see my father was a high school football referee and he was murdered by an angry coach after he had made a questionable call that had lost the coach the Illinois Class 3A state football championship.”  Butkus and Blanda were spooked but Halas stood there and smiled the smile of a long snapper who had just hiked a perfect spiral to a second string quarterback holder. Halas explained “You see boys when that murderer went to trial he cursed my father saying ‘I bet that terrible ref wishes he could have changed his call. I hope he roams the as a spirit worrying about his bad call.” Halas took a deep inhale a breath like a coach who just called a naked bootleg play that scored a touchdown then looked at the players peacefully saying, “ you see boys, my old man is stubborn son of a bitch, and he knows even if you are stuck between heaven and hell, a good ghost referee never changes his call.” With that Halas returned to his office and rumor has it that later that day he drafted the “Kansas Comet” Gayle Sayers.

  • Sep/09

    Welcome to Bear Down

    Posted on 9/23/09 at 7:32 PM - No Comments »

    Tune in each week for the latest talk from some die hard Chicagoans on their favorite football team–Da Bears.