Audibles From the Long Snapper: String Almost Played Out Edition

| December 28th, 2011

NOTE: I have not received many emails when it comes to the Fantasy Playoffs. The prize is cool (6 pizzas delivered to you from Lou Malnati’s) and I don’t want to tell them to piss off. It is an easy game to play and a fun way to generate a rooting interest for these postseason games. Just let me know in the comments of this post if you’re interested. I”ll explain the rules at the end of next week.

Why Mike Mulligan’s Become the Worst Columnist in Chicago

Whether you agree or disagree with  the media’s attack on Halas Hall in the aftermath of the Jay Cutler era (and I’m done with that argument) it is columns like this one from Mike Mulligan that make want this “end of newspapers” things to come quicker than expected. Forget about the opinion. Just look at this dose of fact:

The Bears have drafted players who have started, but haven’t hit on enough starting players. They have signed free agents who have contributed, but very few who are regular contributors.

So the Bears haven’t drafted starters? And they haven’t signed starters as free agents? So are we to assume the entirety of the Bears starting roster were acquired through trades? Folks using the events of the last five weeks to draw conclusions about the organization are misguided. 2012 will bear that out. (Side note: Mulligan is also a plainly bad writer. It seems he’s just written a bunch of sentences and randomly dropped them on paper.)

How to Make the Pro Bowl a Meaningful Event

Here’s my plan:

  • Hire an elite panel of intelligent former players, personnel men, scouts and skilled members of the media. These men should be paid to watch every single snap of every single football game played in the NFL.
  • Eliminate players and fans from the process. Neither of these groups have any idea what’s happening around the league. They know their teams and, for the most part, know other teams exclusively through ESPN/NFL Network highlights and whichever clubs are given the primetime platform.
  • Stick this entire panel in a room for a few days and have them debate each and every position. Film it, edit it and make it a several-hour special on the NFL Network. The awards would have more weight than ever before and fans would be glued to the broadcast as they rooted for their favorite players.

The only Pro Bowl award I care about, by the way, is Corey Graham winning the special teams honor. It just doesn’t seem to matter who the Bears lose on their special teams units, Dave Toub finds ways to get the best out of the men he has. I believe Toub is going to be a damn good head coach (and Adam Schefter is rumoring him as a candidate in Jacksonville).

2012 Season Opponents 

Already announced:

Home: Seattle, St. Louis, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota.

Away: Arizona, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota

The Bears will finish third in the NFC North, meaning they’ll now also face Carolina at Soldier Field. Their final opponent will be whomever finishes third in the NFC East. If Philadelphia beats Washington Sunday afternoon, that would mean the loser of Giants v. Cowboys would fall to the third position.