I am going to admit I have a bias here with what I’m going to say because I am an unapologetic fan and supporter of Robbie Gould. He was an amazing kicker for the Chicago Bears. Here’s a few things: breaking Kevin Butler’s previous kicking records, being named to the All-Pro team in 2006, being voted into the Pro Bowl in 2007, and making clutch kicks to win games in overtime including the game against Tampa Bay (which gave the Bears home field advantage in the playoffs). Gould’s golden leg went on to give the Bears a playoff victory over the Seahawks with a 49-yard kick in overtime. It was the first divisional round playoff win for the Bears since 1988. That game was a key to the NFC Championship, which the Bears won, though they ultimately lost to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI. From 2005 until one week before the start of the 2016 season, despite more missed kicks last season than he’d had in his career up to 2009, Robbie Gould is still the ninth most accurate kicker in NFL history, and he holds the number four spot for the most overtime winning kicks in NFL history.
And the Bears dropped him one week before the first regular season game in 2016. It was a surprise, and yet not a surprise because he did make some crucial misses in the 2015 season that could well have made the Bears at least a .500 team. The only people who seem happy about this organizational move are the fans who were calling for his head after the missed kicks last year; the same people who put the blame for the losses squarely on his head without remembering that the Bears win as a team and they lose as a team. Perhaps there should have been other plays made to prevent it ever coming to the point where the game winning points had to come from Gould’s toe as often as they did, but that’s the past and there’s no use crying over spilt milk.
Bu I’m going to cry anyway.
The Bears dropped him like a hot potato for… Connor Barf… Barth. Connor Barth. The dude who has been less than impressive as a FG kicker four games into the season. I will definitely not be putting all my pennies into his basket and rely on that leg to win games – at least not at this point. I hope he proves me wrong by the time the season ends.
Getting rid of Robbie Gould who has always been a favorite son in Chicago, was a mistake. I took a particular amount of satisfaction from hearing a friend who had been vocal about getting rid of Gould say, “I was WRONG! Ok? I WAS WRONG! TELL EVERYBODY I WAS WRONG.” No problem, my friend, I just told them. I told them all.
Yes, I am not happy about that move and neither is most of Chicago’s fans. The man got booed on the field, for Pete’s sake! Very telling, indeed.
While I’m writing this piece and lamenting the Bears’ loss of Robbie Gould, I’m as happy as a monkey in a banana factory right now because the Bears beat the Lions 17-14!
But that will be another article after I process the fact that with this win, maybe we aren’t going to suck this year as much as everyone thought after the first three games. Hope is alive in Chicago!
It just isn’t alive in Connor Barth… yet.