It could probably pass as the title of an M. Night Shyamalan film.
The tale of an invisible threat that inconspicuously spreads until it has suffocated the progress and sucked the life out of an otherwise thriving civilization.
"The noise" (coming to a theater near you).
It's a phrase that was said countless times at Halas Hall over the last few weeks, referring to the chatter and external forces surrounding the Bears.
Last week, "the noise" was the quarterback debate - Jay Cutler or Josh McCown. It was the conversation you couldn't escape, a plot ripe for a producer's picking with the age-old narrative of alleged good vs. perceived evil only accelerating its snowball nationwide. But the Bears conquered "the noise" - never allowing the ongoing (and sometimes heated) discussions outside the building to penetrate the Hall.
Picture an out of breath and disheveled but victorious Marc Trestman glowering downward as the camera pulls away and the music crescendos. Truth is "the noise" isn't your run of the mill villain anyway. It's complex and (if we're being honest) a badge of honor of sorts.
Sure, if unaddressed or allowed to run its course "The Noise" could be potentially destructive and divisive. But there are enough NFL teams out there that remain so much an afterthought in their respective sports markets; they'd never even be targeted. So the Bears are smart enough to appreciate the position they're in that allows for "The Noise" to exist.
"NFL football is fascinating and we have the best fans in NFL football." GM Phil Emery told ESPN1000 on Friday. "The fact that we're the topic of conversation every day is not necessarily a bad thing."
Head Coach Marc Trestman was challenged with having to control "the noise" and even he concurred.
"It excites people to be able to be part of those decisions" the coach said. "I don’t look at that as a negative. I look at it as a positive. What’s going on around us — the chaos and the noise around us — is part of the beauty of the game because it involves everybody. We just try to stay focused on evaluating our situations the best we can and making mindful decisions that hopefully are in the best interest. They don’t always wind up that way, we all know that. But hopefully they’re in the best interests of the team."
He went on to admit that keeping the players aware of any convenient or conspiratorial theories that threaten that goal is part of his job. That transparency is even more important to those who haven't experienced "the noise" before.
"It's the young guys who are new to the league and understanding that this is a long, long road." he said. "A long journey and things come up during the course of the season that needs to be addressed."
You'd think that having to spend even a moment addressing such potential distractions would take away from a team's ability to fully prepare for their actual opponent. But last week's win is evidence to the contrary. Trestman's practical position, embracing a supposed adversary, undoubtedly set an example for all his players. They weren't about to let some swirling stories gain traction and write theirs.
For that reason, because they were always in control, the Bears were fine sharing the scene with "the noise."