13 Sep 1998: Head coach Dave Wannstedt of the Chicago Bears looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Bears 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart/Allsport
Our friends at Pro Football Talk combed through the annals of Bears history, looking at the worst moments since the last work stoppage. In their eyes, the worst moments were right after the 1987 strike, when the Bears who won the Super Bowl were still together. Losses to the Redskins and 49ers marked the end of any chance that dominant team had at creating a dynasty.
He also pointed out the loss in the 2006 Super Bowl, which started with an exclamation point in Devin Hester's kickoff return touchdown, and the most recent horrible, terrible, no-good, very-bad moment: the 2011 NFC Championship game.
Though those moments were all awful, they share a common thread. They all took place in the postseason, meaning that the Bears had at least made it into the playoffs. Only one team finishes the NFL season happily each year, but any team that makes the postseason can be proud of their success. Cutler's knee giving out, the Bears offense falling apart against Indianapolis, and the Super team only winning one Lombardi Trophy were terrible, but those losses were softened by the wins that came before them.
The worst moments in Bears history since 1987? It was one, long, painful moment known as the 90s.
It's easy to forget how mind-blowingly terribly the Bears were in the 90s. The Bulls were winning championships, so it was easy to switch football-watching attention to basketball. But the 90s were really bad.
They made the playoffs three times: twice under Ditka with remnants of the Super Bowl team, and once in a miracle with a 9-7 team coached by Dave Wannstedt. Six different quarterbacks and three different coaches led the team. They drafted people like Curtis Enis, Rashaan Salaam and Todd Sauerbrun. They had a record of 73-87, which was not so terrible that it required the team to fire everyone and start from zero, but enough that Bears fans suffered.
The lesson, Bears fans? Losing in the playoffs sucks, but not nearly as much as not making the playoffs at all.