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Some years ago, new Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman received a crash course in losing, thanks to the Chicago Bears. Freeman spent less than a year as an NFL player, but that was more than enough time for Freeman to understand the discomfort associated with continually coming up short.
“The growth with the Bears, you learn how to take defeat. I wasn’t there for that long and my butt got cut real fast. I was like, ‘Oof,'” Freeman said earlier this week.
“You learn how to take defeat.” – Marcus Freeman, asked about what he learned during his time with the Chicago Bears
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) December 12, 2021
Chicago deep dish spends more time in the oven than Freeman did with the Bears. Freeman was drafted by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft. He was waived in early September, just prior to the start of the regular season, and then spent time on the practice squads of Buffalo and Houston before a health issue forced him to retire the following spring.
“For me, it was a great learning experience because I was never outside of my comfort zone when I went to Ohio State,” said Freeman, a standout linebacker for the Buckeyes. “…The minute I got to Chicago and I was by myself, my family was back home, I said, ‘Oh, this (losing) is a little bit uncomfortable.’ That helped me grow. It helped me get to this point where, hey, you can handle being outside your comfort zone.”
Bears fans can empathize with Freeman’s discomfort. Since 2009, the year Freeman was drafted, Chicago has had just three winning seasons. There was also a stretch there when the not-so-scary Monsters of the Midway lost 10 or more games in four consecutive seasons.
Freeman’s Chicago-based master class in defeat is one course you don’t want to pass.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF