The Choice (and remember, death is not an option):
Lovie Smith’s recent teams in December or Lovie Smith’s recent teams against the Packers?
That’s some coaching Smith has done the last two years, huh? Coaching when it mattered, huh?
Smith, of course, had his own checklist when he became Bears coach nine seasons ago:
Beat the Packers. Win the division. Win the Super Bowl.
Even if you didn’t agree with the the priorities, at least he voiced winning the Super Bowl, not just getting there.
So, where is Smith and where are the Bears with accomplishing those goals?
Smith’s Bears haven’t beaten the Packers lately, losing five straight times heading into Sunday’s game. Just to clarify: not a good thing.
Smith’s Bears did win the NFC North division in 2010, then proceeded to lose the NFC Championship Game at home to those very Packers, part of four losses in one calendar year to the rivals from Green Bay.
As for the Super Bowl, the odds say the Bears won’t win one under Smith.
Of coaches whose experience covers just the Super Bowl era, only Bill Cowher needed more seasons with his team to win a Super Bowl than Smith has with the Bears to date.
If you go back to the NFL and AFL before the merger, only Kansas City’s Hank Stram and Dallas’ Tom Landry coached their teams longer than Smith before winning the Super Bowl.
But they won Super Bowls within the first six years of the game’s creation, so Smith has been futile longer.
Smith still has time to check those things off his list. He still has Sunday. He still has this season.
But that’s not where the smart money would go.
It’s not that Smith’s goals are wrong. It’s that his to-do list looks more like a Dear Santa letter.