'Tis the First Ever Monday Mailbag.

| October 15th, 2012

How different do you think the Bears would look right now if Jerry Angelo were still GM?

David M. Evanston, IL

JH: Well, for one, I don’t see any way Brandon Marshall is currently in a Bears uniform. It just wasn’t Jerry’s approach to (1) acknowledge deficiencies on the Bears receiving corps or (2) make a splashy trade for improvement at the position. Does he draft Alshon Jeffery? Perhaps. Does he sign Michael Bush? Perhaps. His signing of Chester Taylor leads one to think he values the backup running back.

The defensive starting lineup would look exactly the same. But would they have added depth pieces like Hayes and Hayden?


Hey Jeff,

Why do you hate pop culture references so much?  Every time you write about staying away from them I feel like I’m missing out on a good joke, go for a few this year!  Works for Sports Guy as you know…

Great blog, thanks!


JH: In movies and theatre, I despise pop culture references because they immediately date the work. Think about movies like The 40 Year-Old Virgin and basically everything Judd Apatow is involved in cinematically. Ten years from now nobody is going to understand a thing coming out of the mouths of those characters. The great works – in any artistic medium – are the ones lasting far beyond their release date.

For instance, watch this scene. If you eliminate the two pop culture references the scene works just as well and might be even funnier. But nobody on earth will know what Maid in Manhattan is come nine minutes from now, never mind nine years.

As for Simmons, I actually like him a lot and can’t help admire his career. But I just choose to be old school in my approach to writing about sports. I’d prefer trying to find interesting ways to contextualize games I love that don’t involve comparisons to Real Housewives programs.


Hey Jeff,

Where do the Bears look in the first round of the draft?

Teddy M. Springfield, IL

JH: Why are so many fans fixated on draft needs for a 4-1 team? I got three or four emails asking me about April. Who cares where the Bears are looking to improve in April? I want to see them improve in October! That being said I don’t see the Bears targeting positions in April. I think they’ll take the best players on the board each round.


Why don’t you like fantasy football? You’ve never really explained it.

Many People, From Everywhere

JH: I played fantasy football for many years and was very successful at it. My brother and I were in a league of high-powered New Jersey attorneys, we drafted at Houlihans in Secaucus and Marshall Faulk essentially won titles for me every year. The last year I played was 2002, right as fantasy football was blowing up around the country.

Why did I stop? I started hating the types of football conversations I was having. I still hate them. I hated seeing individuals running from game to game to see who scored touchdowns but not care a lick about the team got into position to score the touchdown or what the context of the touchdown was. People pretend fantasy football has made football fans more intelligent but it absolutely has not. Just because a guy or lady knows stats doesn’t mean he/she knows sports.

In 2005 Noah, the Reverend and I launched this site. And I didn’t need anything else.


How important are the next three games for the Chicago Bears?

Rob. Arlington Heights

JH: They are pivotal to this Bears season.

Detroit. I watched every snap of Lions v. Eagles Sunday and the only reason the Lions won is because – inexplicably – Andy Reid and Juan Castillo seemed to adapt a “make Calvin Johnson beat us” approach in the fourth quarter. (Spoiler alert: He did.) The Lions are not very good, outside of a talented front four on defense and the Stafford-to-Johnson connection. The Bears have a prime opportunity in primetime, at home, to put their season to bed.

Carolina. Any time Steve Smith is on the other sideline against the Bears that team has a shot. But Cam Newton has been awful in 2012 and the nobody has been better than the Bears defense. With Aaron Rodgers and the Packers about to surge offensively, the Bears need to show their championship meddle and beat an inferior team in their ballpark.

Tennessee. There’s a major issue facing the Bears in Tennessee: Noah and I will be sitting together in the stadium and that’s been a cursed combination. Otherwise, they should win.

The Bears can be no worse than 6-2 heading into the back eight. But they should be 7-1.