Van Horne ignores Fencik's spiel. He's heard it before. Neal has, too. Everybody on the Bears has heard it.
Ryan used to call Fencik in regularly for a "special meeting where I'd chew his ass out good for all sorts of things including criticizing the offense." The defensive coordinator hasn't done that for a while, saying that Fencik's new "maturity" makes it unnecessary. But Fencik has always been mature. What Ryan means is that everybody on the club respects Fencik now and likes him too much to get upset when he sounds off.
Neal is getting ticked, though. He's out of the game forever, and this criticism hurts. He and Fencik start yelling.
Fencik gave his piano to Neal's daughter last year, and the two men are chums. Still, there's risk here. Even in his condition, Neal could squeeze Fencik like a grape if the runt safety goes too far. But Fencik likes to speak his mind, and he's never minded risk.
"Some of those guys just didn't play well!" Fencik yells, pounding his fist on the table.
Later, true to his nature, Fencik reflects on what he has said.
"Why do I always go after the offense?" he says with a sigh. "They don't deserve it. The fact is, nobody played well in the San Francisco game. That is the truth. Me? Ha. On my interception in the end zone—the pass Montana was throwing to Solomon—guess where I was supposed to be? On a blitz."
Of course, what Fencik doesn't mention is that he knew where the pass was going and that a blitz wouldn't have worked, and that great free safeties are paid, ultimately, to be out of position. That may be what bugs him most about the Bears' offense, any offense—its guiding maxim is that nobody should ever be out of position.
One of Fencik's earliest nicknames with the Bears was Bitch, because he complained about everything. That eventually changed to Doom, because of the way he could enter a scene and "doom" it with darkness. "He could walk up to a group of laughing guys in the dining hall, sit down, and by the time he left there'd be absolute silence," says Plank.
But it wasn't all negative stuff he'd bring up. He just questioned everything. He still does. It's the way he is, "the way everybody was at Yale," he says.