Billboard calls for firing of Lovie Smith

December 24, 2009 8:18:52 AM PST
Some angry Chicago Bears fans are calling for a change in team leadership.They are showing no love for head coach Lovie Smith -- and they are putting it on display for everyone to see.

The billboard is the handiwork of Bearfansunited.org. It reads:

"To the McCaskey family: Do the right thing. Hire an entirely new coaching staff -- and GM. Sincerely, the Chicago Bears Fans."

"It's not just from here in Chicago. We've gotten donations from South Korea, from Germany, from Greece, from South America, so we're all over the place," said Andy Gasser, Bearsfansunited.org.

Gasser and his friends created Bearsfansunited.org last Friday. In five days they have raised nearly enough money to pay for the sign and a full page newspaper ad. They said they will give anything beyond $7500 in donations to the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation.

The effort has caught the attention of sports talk radio where calls for the ouster of Coach Lovie Smith and his crew have been a hot topic.

"They don't need a fan grass roots effort to say they have failed this year. They are well aware of what is going on and I think things like this? while it does make fans feel better, you respect the passion but I don't think it will have much of an impact," said David Haugh, Chicago Tribune/ESPN 1000.

But getting the McCaskeys to listen is what the billboard is all about. The owners of Wheeling Auto Center donated the 40 foot space. They said because they own the billboard, the sign is staying as long as necessary.

"We are the fans. We support the team, we buy the jerseys, buy the tickets, go to the games and we support the team," said Dave Becker, bearsfansunited.org.

"They told us to trust them and we did. And they failed. How long are we supposed to sit around and not do something? And I think honestly we've been very patient as Bear fans," said Andy Gasser.

Late Wednesday afternoon the Payton Foundation's lawyers said they would not accept any money from the website. The Chicago Bears did not comment about the coaching situation.


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