LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- There is no such thing as the Bears Way.
There is a Tress Way, but he's just a punter the Bears released.
I believe the Dodger Way was coined back in the 1940s, and other fan bases and teams have glommed on with their own versions. Some have real meaning. Some do not.
Several Bears, Lovie Smith guys, mainly, talked about this fanciful Bears Way as this 5-11 season wore down, and we dutifully transcribed these quotes.
But it's mostly nonsense.
As one of the founding members of the NFL, the Chicago Bears have every right to tout their tradition and believe it means something. But when it comes to winning championships -- or even just making the playoffs -- the Bears Way actually means done around New Year's.
Yes, even with Lovie's defense causing takeaways.
So now we find ourselves wondering if the Bears can find their way, and get it right this time, after firing general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman on Monday.
Bears chairman George McCaskey gets a lot of love for being different than his bumbling older brother, Michael, and, as many say, because he really "gets it." Maybe it's true.
But I'm unconvinced as he heads his second general manager search and second coaching search since taking over control of the team in 2011. McCaskey and team president Ted Phillips met the media Monday and didn't do much to impress me.
But at least they brought in someone to help by hiring Ernie Accorsi, the former New York Giants general manager, as a consultant.
Still, Accorsi is just there to give advice. McCaskey said he and Phillips will decide on the GM hire together and that it will be "very much a collaborative effort."
Wow, way to take the reins, George. Phillips, the former accountant who helped the McCaskeys get their stadium deal, remains the McCaskeys' Tom Hagen in perpetuity.
"We understand the magnitude of this decision, and we understand that Bears fans are counting on us to get it right," McCaskey said. "We think that the experience that we bring over the last three years -- having been through the process before and talking to various people around the league and adding Ernie as a consultant -- will help us in the process and get us the right people to lead the Bears."
Inspired yet? At least McCaskey showed some emotion, canned or not, when talking about his 91-year-old mother's dissatisfaction with her father's team. George paused for like 10 seconds, seemingly choking back tears before answering.
"She's been very supportive," he said. "She agrees with the decisions that we made. She's pissed off. I can't think of a 91-year-old woman that that description would apply to, but in this case I can't think of a more accurate description.
"She's been on this earth for eight of the Bears' nine championships, and she wants more. She feels that it's been too long since the last one, and that dissatisfaction is shared by her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.
"She's fed up with mediocrity. She feels that she and Bears fans everywhere deserve better."
OK, cool. So what will be different from last time when the Bears hired Emery, who a year later hired Trestman? Why should fans trust these guys?
Consider what McCaskey said:
"One of the things that I think is going to be really helpful to me in this process is that I've been able to develop relationships with people around the league. So when I go to them for advice, there's a confidence level and trust factor that people I think will be more willing to share their opinions with me than they were three years ago."
And what Phillips said:
"Bringing in an expert consultant like Ernie Accorsi, I think, is a huge difference. The prior process was a thorough search. We talked to a lot of people throughout the league, both current personnel folks and coaches and ex-coaches and GMs. I think what we have now with Ernie coming in is someone consistent who is giving us a voice on a daily basis who's on our side and doesn't have any other agenda to try to push their own people. Ernie is a longtime football man. He understands the tradition, the importance of football in Chicago, and I think that alone is going to be a very valuable addition."
Man, being a consultant is a great job. It pays well, typically, and there's no repercussion for failure. It's like being a columnist, except with less work and better dinners.
I'd love that kind of job, so let the end of this column be my résumé.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Trade Jay Cutler. Or try to, anyway. This team needs a clean slate at quarterback. The Bears' failures during his tenure aren't all on him. But he has been here for the firing of two coaches, four offensive coordinators and two general managers. It's done. It didn't work. Let him try to win somewhere else. Start fresh. His benching by Trestman felt like the end. Let it be the end.
2. Hire Rex Ryan. I can't claim to know anything about general manager candidates, but after reading "Collision Low Crossers," a fantastic football book about a season with the New York Jets, I think Ryan would be the perfect fit here. Yes, he has a connection with the Bears, going back to his father's reign as defensive coordinator, but it's about Rex, not the Bears. He can bring the personality this team desperately needs. I don't know if he'll be the savior, so to speak, but it would be a fun ride.
3. OK, I'll pretend I know something about executives. Make a run at Green Bay Packers director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst. He's 41, but he has been with the Packers since 1998. Or maybe look at Eliot Wolf, the Packers' director of pro personnel. He's only 32, but he's Ron Wolf's son and he knows football.
I'm tired of hearing about the Bears valuing people who understand this team -- like Accorsi working for George Halas and rooming with Brian Piccolo. What's to understand? It's a historic franchise that rarely makes the playoffs. There. You get it.
Try finding guys who actually have won at other places. Ryan won in Baltimore, then he did pretty well with the Jets before a bad patch.
A guy like Gutekunst is part of one of the best front offices in the NFL, a rival that has dominated the Bears in recent years.
Forget the Bears Way. Give Chicago a new way.