Once again, the Bears are saying hello when it’s time to say goodbye.

It was fun to see them crack the whip against the toothless Bengals. How bad are they?

But one of the flaws for me in the NFL these days is that as soon as the Bears start showing that they’re not playoff-worthy—and that moment has come early and often lately—I start thinking that true Bears believers should root for them to lose so they can improve their draft position and select players who give them a chance to, you know, be good.

This is one of the many pluses of college football. Believing that losing will pave the way for a brighter future is not an NCAA conundrum.

With the Bears packing a 3-9 record on their trip to Cincinnati to face the 5-7 Bengals, the cerebral Bears fan in me said, “Just lose, baby.’’

A loss would have kept them right in the hunt with some other miserable NFL teams—including the equally proud and hapless 49ers and Giants—for a good draft slot.

Nobody’s going to catch winless Cleveland for the No. 1 draft pick, which is too bad. It’s wasted on them; they never use it well. But the Bears were in the mix right behind the Browns.

And then they had to go spoil it by smacking the Bengals 33-7.

What’s the deal with Ohio? The Browns and Bengals are an embarrassment, while Ohio State and Toledo are kicking butt.

I would tell the NFL teams in the Buckeye State to throw money at Urban Meyer. (I’m sure That School Up North would contribute.) Problem is, Meyer is too smart to entertain a proposition like that.

Meanwhile, the Bears looked like a real football team in Cincinnati.

I don’t always watch the NFL. But when I do, I prefer the Bears.

And I watched Sunday with a group of Bears fans who helped temper my disappointment that they were screwing up their draft position. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.