(670 The Score) God, Twitter sucks. You’d think that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers explicitly declaring ownership of Soldier Field on Sunday in the waning moments of his 750th win in Chicago would automatically qualify as the worst moment of the Bears’ week, and yet somehow the dumb bird app found a way to present their worthy contender, like, nine hours later.
So here we have Bears safety Eddie Jackson, who was mad on the web, coming at former Chicago star linebacker Lance Briggs, who was mad on a television and then the web. We also have several thousand Bears fans, who are – you guessed it – mad on the web, projecting their frustrations about all aspects of an organization onto one single player at a non-premium position. We even have writers, perpetually mad on the web, thinking that a quickly deleted Twitter interaction in the aftermath of a hyper-physical game overflowing with testosterone is worth going 700 (650) words on. I wonder who’s having the most fun???
We’ll start with Jackson, because he's actually the only part of this saga that’s relevant to the 2021 Bears. Jackson misses tackles. His physicality isn’t what earned him a big ol’ contract extension, but it feels difficult, if not disingenuous, to make the argument that an NFL safety “isn’t paid to” or “doesn’t need to worry” about tackling. It sorta feels like that’s exactly what they need to worry about!
But with that being said, perceptions of Jackson jumped the shark a while back. He was never going to be Ed Reed, mainly just because Ed Reed is already Ed Reed. It's hard to have more than one Ed Reed. You’d like to see more impact plays from Jackson, sure, but we don’t need to get into the whole spiel about turnover rates right now. I don’t really care that Jackson fired back at Briggs. Everyone subtweets. You have subtweeted this week. I have subtweeted this week. We always think it’s a good idea or that we’re being especially clever this time. I', here to tell you: That's literally never the case. There’s also nothing Bears alums, particularly defensive ones, love more than getting together to talk about how elite their camaraderie is. I’d get tired of being the butt of manufactured hot takes from a so-called teammate too. Credit where it’s due: Going back a decade to find one disparaging tweet is inspired work -- and not for the faint of heart. You do have to make that tackle, though.
There are a few more levels to the Briggs stuff. On the surface, he’s obviously right. It’s also not even close to the most unnecessarily incendiary take to come out of The Football Aftershow. The clip itself is harmless, though it's not all that insightful. But that’s exactly why the whole situation feels a bit sinister -- Briggs is a smart, talented analyst, and not taking what he says seriously would be foolish. But “make the tackle” is an awfully bland soundbite to cut and push on social, especially for a non-scoring play on second down with almost eight minutes left in the game. It’s almost like someone, somewhere, knew how bullish the market for Jackson criticism is. (For what it’s worth, it was far and away the show’s most engaged-with tweet of the afternoon.) Criticizing a player’s poor performance is absolutely inbounds, but you don’t always have to chum the water just because you know that sharks will show up.
For everyone else, this feels pretty simple. There are no sides to choose or merits to debate. It’s not Jackson’s fault that Bears general manager Ryan Pace offered him 58 million dollars, just like it’s not Briggs’ fault for calling it as he sees it.
If anyone is at fault here, it’s us. We logged on. It was simply one emoji tweeted, then deleted – not unlike how all our tweets will be deleted in 5-7 billion years when our sun swells into a giant red ball, boils the oceans and swallows us whole. And comparatively, that sounds pretty nice right now.
Cam Ellis is a writer for 670 The Score and Audacy Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KingsleyEllis.