Posts Tagged ‘Marc Trestman’

By Peter Stern, Philosophy Faculty.

My late demented mother had a few favorite sayings which at the time didn’t seem like anything much, but over the years they’ve gained a special place in my heart.  Out of the blue, one of her pet remarks will pop into my head and it’ll sound pithy and funny and even a bit helpful in sorting out some issue I’m trying to think through.  Here’s an example of one kind of momism:  a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

      “Big Deal!” you say, oozing buckets of incredulity.   Well, yes it is since I decided over the weekend to pen a few Flaneur inspired thoughts on a topic I know next to nothing about—hence the relevance of mom’s warning about knowledge and its dearths.   The knowledge challenged subject I wish to discuss is the Bears’ decision to hire Mr. Marc Trestman as their new head coach.

       To me, the vast wasteland of my enormous ignorance about sports notwithstanding, Imagehiring Mr. Trestman was a typically Bear style mistake.  Why?    Firstly, he’s been out of the NFL for a bunch of years.  All things considered, wouldn’t it make more sense to hire someone with a great track record in the NFL rather than in a lesser Canadian League?   Of course a more knowledgeable football fan than myself could name a few coaches who did successfully make the jump to the NFL but it strikes me that taking that chance increases the odds things won’t work out.

 Image      Secondly, he doesn’t look like an NFL coach.  What does an NFL coach look like?   Bill Belichick for one.   Our own Mike Ditka for another.   Maybe one of the Harbaughs would work.   Mr. Trestman won’t.  Now once again I know very well that looks can be deceiving and judging coaching ability and success on such a superficial quality smacks of a certain knee jerk caveman like stupidity; nonetheless there’s something to be said for looking the part.  Indeed Phil Emery, the Bears G.M., praised Trestman for being cerebral and scholarly—instead, I suppose, of looking and acting like a football player.  Well, personally, I prefer football players looking like football players, all things being equal, and scholars looking like scholars.  Sure there are outliers out there, but my feeling is you should look the part, as much as possible.  I simply can’t see this guy wearing a Belichick hoodie in December or any other month for that matter.

        Lastly, my main reason for finding Trestman disappointing is that picking him was based on the premise (or hope) that this guy can transform Jay Cutler making him into a genuine first tier quarterback on a par with Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady, or Drew Brees, etc.  As I see things, this is the dumbest reason yet for hiring Trestman.  No one can change Cutler, period.  Not even Cutler can change Cutler even if he wanted to which, in all candor, I don’t think he does.  That’s part of the divine mystery of being who one is.  As far as I can make out, Cutler enjoys being Cutler.  Once again I’m well aware that people do change, but we all know many don’t, and if they do, the change is modest at best.

        Certainly I’m aware my take on Trestman may prove horribly mistaken, as Mom in her wisdom had warned me long ago; still, I’m still left wondering whether Mr. Emery betting Cutler will change is as nutty as risking good money on the McCaskeys changing.   Actually, if the McCaskeys and Mr. Ted Philips, and Mr. Emery were really serious about getting a first rate quarterback, why didn’t they trade Cutler and invest in one of the new young phenoms gracing such teams as the Colts, Ravens, and 49ers?