Hey guys, Noah here. Most of you don't know me, but I'm the less famous half of DaBearsBlog. I get to do stuff like make sure everything runs well instead of interviewing Mike Ditka.
Anyhow, just wanted to let you all know that we've heard you and are going to be trying to speed up the comment process and fix some other things before the season starts. While I'm doing all this, I figured I'd ask if there's anything else you might like to see on the site. Go crazy: We can't do everything, but if you've got good ideas I'd love to hear them.
Thanks to all of you for making this website what it is. I know I speak for Jeff as well when I say you rock.
Terry Johnson can have everyone else's headlines. I'm done with him. Today the Bears inked Nathan Vasher to a five-year extension through 2012. In the midst of what's been happening with this organization the last twenty-four hours, this move shows a diligence by Jerry Angelo to maintain the core of this unit that has been seriously lacking in recent months.
Vasher is a star (if not shutdown) corner with incredible ball-hawking skills and the ability to make a difference should he be needed in the return game. The way things are going over at Halas Hall these days, it's just nice to know someone on the field will be happy to be there come opening day in San Diego.
THE BEARS TODAY WAIVED TANK JOHNSON. FOR THE ESPN STORY, CLICK HERE.
On this website over the last six or seven months, I have supported the rehabilitation of Tank Johnson. I have supported the Chicago Bears' decision not to treat one of their own like a piece of fruit. I have indicted the Chicago Sun-Times for their relentless attacks on Tank' character - from his arrest through his eating habits behind bars. Someone hand me a towel...there's egg on my face.
Tank Johnson's latest arrest was best summed up by the best Bears writer going, David Haugh:
Ask anybody at a sports bar or train station in Chicago or any NFL city this weekend how Johnson's latest incident reflects on the Bears. It embarrasses them.
David nailed it and he need look no further than our humble website to find the source of greatest embarrassment. My heart sank when I heard this report. My misguided and romantic view of the world saw this story having a happy ending. It saw stories on ESPN leading up to February's Super Bowl detailing the renaissance of man written off for dead in the NFL. It saw the Chicago Bears becoming the model of true human compassion in a league where Bill Bellichick forces players to play with concussions. Yet there he was at 3:30 in the morning in Arizona. Drinking. Driving.
I have to step back now, Terry, I'm sorry. And so you know, I'll no longer be calling him Tank as I'll no longer call Adam Jones "Pacman." It is time we relinquish these stupid nicknames and see these idiots for the frail and pathetic human beings they are. There are too many good men and good players on this team and in this league to waste space writing meaningless columns in defense of a man who'd so carelessly throw away the opportunity not many teams in this league would consider, nevermind give.
I've moved on.
"I'm a Bear. If people don't know I'm a Bears fan by now, they're not paying attention." - Ditka
That was Iron Mike's response to my second question, calling into question the Mariotti-infused "contraversy" regarding his failure to pick the Bears in Super Bowl Piccolo. My first question...what else?
"Coach, where did the idea for pot roast nachos come from?"
He gestured forward and asked, "Excuse me?" I repeated myself. My friend Eric laughed.
"Well...my partner actually," he answered. "Pot roast is a big thing in Pittsburgh and we liked the idea of sticking on a nacho. Those are Mexican. Pittsburgh and Mexico are close." He laughed throughout his answer. The rest of the room has no idea what was happening. From that moment, Ditka and I had a bond.
I won't bore everyone with the whole story but today was even better than I thought it would be. I was face to face with my idol, a legend for the only franchise I live and breathe. He was cordial and nice - neither of which I expected. He was there to talk about motivation in the workplace and was not expecting eleven (ELEVEN!) of my Bears-specific questions. Here's some highlights...
On Tank Johnson:
"If you don't have a gun in your hand, you can't shoot anybody. You have to put yourself in better situations."
On the recent conduct around the NFL:
"I think your life as an NFL player is about giving back the same it gives you. Walter Payton gave back more. That doesn't happen anymore."
On criticisms of his demeanor:
"They only showed me hollerin' not pattin' people on the back. I never asked a player to do anything I didn't do as a player. I'm not gonna ask you to climb Mount Everest because I didn't do it. But I am gonna ask you to bust your ass."
It felt like Mike and I were having a casual conversation in my living room and it was terrific. I respect the man more today than I did yesterday and love my ballclub just a little bit more. If anybody wants to know anything else, feel free to ask. I'd be thrilled to say more. My sincere thanks to Elayne and all the folks at Move Ahead for the invite.
Here's a look at some stuff happening in the Bears universe...
TOMMIE HARRIS apparently won't stop talking about bringing Donovan McNabb to Chicago and Oedipus Rex is none too pleased with his comments. I don't want Donovan. You don't want Donovan. That's all there is to say about it.
CHRIS BROWN is currently all over the Bears radar. The signing was put another body in the backfield but he's far too similar in style to Benson's bruising back. The Bears will have a nice 1-2 combination with Benson and AP. Brown would seemingly provide only insurance should Benson hit the DL for any extended period of time.
JEFF HUGHES (of me fame) will be in Edison tomorrow for Mike Ditka's speech and press conference. Hopefully I'll do the loyal readers of this site proud and get Ditka to say something completely inappropriate. Lame as it may be for member of the journalistic community, I'll certainly be trying to get a photo with him and hope to have it on this site by Wednesday.
DECEMBER 2ND looks like the target date for our annual trip to Chicago to see the Giants come to town. If we can set it up and any of ya'll show interest, we could throw together a Saturday night site party at Rossi's on North State. Be cool to get liquored up with some of you...although Pissed Off could be a real angry drunk.
So I'm almost ready to recant weeks of angry declamation against the moving of Devin Hester to the offensive side of the football. Almost. Almost. Here's what the Bears players had to say (including Hester) as brought to you by Fred Mitchell of Chicago's only daily newspaper.
I love running a fake reverse and seeing everybody run at you, and Cedric (Benson) is running with the ball on the other side of the field. That just cracks me up.
We all just fit in different roles. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Devin is going to be kind of the gimmicky guy. I wish we had more than one ball on the field.
From what people are writing, Devin Hester may just be the Bears version of Reggie Bush. He'll be the player defensive units have to account for no matter where he lines up on the field. The last time the Bears had a player like that he wore #34.
Nobody at Halas Hall cares what I think. Not Jerry Angelo. Not Ted Phillips. Not Lovie Smith. But they should. Because my opinion on this matter should be their opinion on this matter. Alex Brown can help you win a world championship. A second round pick next April can't.
Why don't the Chicago Bears wake the fuck up and realize what's happening? You just played in a Super Bowl. So what do you do? Trade your best offensive weapon and piss off one of your best defensive weapons. Now you're considering trading a player who must be terrible if losing organizations like the Pats and Colts are interested.
At what point will the geniuses running our football team realize that the collection of players they had last season worked pretty well and the reason we didn't win the world championship was because of THEIR stubborn committment to a shitty quarterback? I don't mean to kill Rex and I support him as this team's starter, but the Bears didn't lose the Super Bowl for any other reason than #8.
The Halas Hall yard sale is over. Put the shit back in the garage and fire up the training camp barbeque.
So we've hit the big time...
On June 19th, Mike Ditka will be giving a motivational lecture at the Holiday Inn in Edison, New Jersey. (For info on the event, click here.) There will also be a press conference and guess who's been invited as a member of the press.
Jeff Hughes, DaBearsBlog.com
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, you now have a pipeline directly to da coach. Hopefully I'll get him to say something terrible that he'll regret for the rest of his life and will make our site the TMZ of the sports world.
So what should I ask him? Is there anything you guys are desperate to know?
But it looks like it'll be reduced to six. The Morality Czar has decreed that Tank Johnson's suspension can be reduced from eight games to six games if he meets the following conditions:
1. No further adverse involvement with law enforcement and full compliance with any requirements imposed by a court. 2. Compliance with all league requirements, including counseling. 3. No participation in any practices or other organized team activities during the period of the suspension. Johnson may, however, be present at the Bears' facility during the suspension for counseling sessions and other approved activities such as physical treatment or individual workout sessions.
I like a lot of about this. I like that Tank can get a reduced sentence for good behavior. I like that he'll be allowed at Halas Hall for individual workouts and treatment. I like that he'll be returning Week 7 in Philadelphia. This will be the last time I say it so I'm gonna say: I am incredibly proud of the Chicago Bears have handled the Tank Johnson situation. They treated him not like an employee but like a family member. I hope Tank keeps his nose clean and repays this great debt he owes the organization.
1. Tank Johnson is most likely going to be suspended between six and eight games according to David Haugh, the official beat writer of DaBearsBlog. And you know what? That's not a bad thing. Bringing in a fresh Tank Johnson at mid-season should provide the defense with a spark - a necessary spark for a defense that's shown the tendency to tire and weaken as the season progresses.
2. I don't care how many guns were in that house, I find Tank Johnson's behavior far less morally reprehensible than Michael Vick's dogfighting. For every Steve Patterson Sun-Times crap piece, there's a brilliantly revelatory (and in this cas nauseating) piece like this one from George Dohrmann from Sports Illustrated. I don't know who is editing the Best Sportswriting of the Year book but this piece has to be considered.
3. My brother's right: the reason Trent Green hasn't been traded to Miami yet is because Carl is a smart GM in Kansas City and he's waiting to see how this Vick thing plays out. The last thing Bobby Petrino wants is to try and run his offense with Joey Harrington.
4. ESPN may be smartening up. They fired Joe Theismann. They replaced him with Jaws. And they've found a way to get Bill Parcells and Keyshawn Johnson on the same television screen. (Second prize in the broadcasting offseason goes to NBC for adding Keith Olbermann to the Sunday night lineup).
5. If you're an out of town Bears fan, we're targeting the December 2nd game against the Giants for our annual trip into the city. Big party at Rossi's on North State that Saturday night. Get tickets. More to come.