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There’s Not Much Going On. It’s Fine (and Healthier) Not to Click.

| April 15th, 2022


For 18 of the 32 NFL teams, there are 348 days without football.

And that’s just too much time.

Too much time to gallantly scroll the witless wasteland of Twitter, engaging in unwinnable debates about whether a young player might be good in the future. Too much time antagonize other fan bases on Facebook or TikTok or Reddit or OnlyFans because, you know, their team stinks and your team doesn’t. Too much time to bemoan every free agent signing, no matter how little the investment, and study every draft “prospect”, even when 95% of those prospects have no chance of being a viable professional player.

It’s not the fault of the fans. Fans love football. But do they really love football that much more now than they did when the draft was held on weekend afternoons and when free agent signings were only known because you’d read about them in the paper a day or two after they happened? An overwhelming majority of NFL fans are not even on Twitter – a fact often forgotten by those of us who seem to spend our lives on the platform.

Truth is, there is now far too much media covering the sport (and sports generally) and that media is forced to operate on a 365-day calendar. There is no vacation from the clicks business. The newspapers need you to click and they’ve learned mock drafts are click gold. The Athletic needs new subscribers: that is their entire value proposition. CHGO needs to find their foothold in the marketplace. The only way to do these things is constant engagement. The only way to successfully engage is to launch “takes” into the sports atmosphere.

And my god, EVERYBODY HAS A PODCAST. LITERALLY, EVERYBODY. Well, there is one Bears-related entity that doesn’t have a podcast: me. “The Weekend Show” was fun to produce but it was always far more of an audio variety show than an actual Bears pod. (That sometimes sums up this entire enterprise.) I’ve been asked to do a podcast a hundred times. I’ve been asked why I don’t do a podcast two hundred. My answer is simple: I don’t have that much to say. And when I have something unique that requires my voice, I do one of those Twitter audio things and get it done in two minutes. Also, I’m not that interested in the stuff that doesn’t tangibly happen on the field.

You know, those other 348 days.

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Friday Lynx Package: Jahns Leads the Way, Poles Preaching Patience, Arlington Heights in the Distance.

| April 8th, 2022


Let’s take a look around the internet and see what’s interesting.

  • The legend that is Adam Jahns has perhaps the best piece of the off-season – a breakdown of Chicago’s plan to develop Justin Fields. While fans are obsessing over the pieces around the player, the Bears are focused on the player. And that’s the correct approach.
  • Bears Care Gala tickets are now on sale and if you have the means, it’s an amazing event. (It’s not cheap.) For a grand you can be seated with a Bears legend AND a current Bears player/coach at the dinner, while also receiving an invitation to the VIP cocktail reception afterwards. It also supports the great work this organization does in the community, mostly under the radar.
  • Brad Biggs does a mock draft, including the two second-round selections for the Bears. And apparently, if you follow the twitter mentions, it’s an outlier of mock drafts. (Again, I have no idea when it comes to this stuff. I’ll start my draft research in about three weeks. And that will be plenty. But Biggs gets sauteed for selecting someone called Jobe in the second round.)
    • One thing: I do not believe Poles is targeting any particular positions with these picks. He’ll have a board and he’ll stick with it. He won’t reach at WR or OT because the closet is empty at those two spots. Poles is preaching patience, and his behavior has reflected that.
  • Totally missed this excellent Kevin Fishbain piece on the origins of Matt Eberflus in Toledo.
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: Bears are starting to wake up from their hibernation and instructions on how to deal with that are circulating from New York to Michigan. I’m amazed by these people who live in places where bears are just hanging outside the local tavern at night. Just seems like a recipe for drunk guys losing bear fights.
  • Good piece at WCG, as Jacob Infante breaks down which wide receivers in this draft class fit Luke Getsy’s scheme. If I’m Poles, I’m looking at one thing: speed, speed, speed.
  • Missed this whole kerfuffle between Fields and some jackass at Barstool, a company I’ve hesitated to criticize because I really appreciated the work their top guy did to support struggling bars and restaurants during Covid. I get the appeal of Barstool. They speak directly to the kind of sports fan I avoid at bars, and there are A LOT of those guys.
  • Speaking of barstools, this is a terrific read in Baltimore Magazine, arguing why sitting at the bar is often the best place to experience a restaurant. “When we go out, we like to sit at the bar,” Cooper, 79, says. “It’s fun to be close to each other. I think bartenders are sort of fun. They give you quite a bit of attention. It’s cozy.”

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Training Camp Diary: Jimmy Graham Makes the Comparison

| August 6th, 2021


You can argue the health of the offensive line is important. But really, it’s not. It’s August 6th.

You can argue the depth at corner is an issue. But really, it’s not.

The only thing important right now for the Chicago Bears organization is Justin Fields. And that’s why today’s diary is just this Adam Jahns Tweet, quoting Jimmy Graham, a guy who has been around.

If you’re getting sick of Fields-specific posts, I have a recommendation for you: find another blog.

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Wednesday Lynx Package

| April 14th, 2021


Very little happening. Here are some links.

  • Adam Jahns, fresh from vacation, posits what the Bears could look like if Ryan Pace had been perfect when it comes to the draft. (He openly admits that no GM is perfect – or anywhere near it – but it’s still a fun exercise to read.) The truth? Pace didn’t have to be perfect. He just had to get quarterback correct.
  • WCG must have an ESPN+ subscription because they let us know who Mel Kiper projects to the Bears in both rounds one and two. (I pay for Jahnsy. That’s enough.) The players? OT Teven Jenkins and WR Anthony Schwartz.
  • Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times does a breakdown of the four QBs who should be available day two and beyond. We’ve discussed three ad nauseum. Mond. Mills. Trask. But Finley sneaks in another name: Notre Dame’s Ian Book. His breakdown: The skinny: Book isn’t a Day 2 pick unless a team overlooks his measurables and sees a two-time captain who had more success than almost any passer in Notre Dame history. He’s probably at the top of the Day 3 quarterback tier, which includes Texas’ Sam Ehlinger — Tom Herman, his former head coach, now works for the Bears — and former Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman.”
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS! This USA Today piece has nice video of a “curious” bear being chased away from a home by two “mighty” guard dogs.
  • Nice Brad Biggs piece on lengendary strength coach Clyde Emrich – one of the rare individuals connected to the team’s titles in both 1963 and 1985. Emrich just turned 90. You’ll probably have to pay to read this. But the Tribune is worth paying for because you get Rick Pearson in the deal.
  • There is a movie called Thunder Force. It is apparently terrible. And in this terrible movie, a character named “Lydia goes on a long rant about the Chicago Bears’ 1985 season.” Perhaps it’s time to simply retire all things ’85 Bears for the foreseeable future. Haven’t we drained all the milk we’re gonna get from that cow.

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Practice Notebook: A Different Summer, A Different World (8/31/20)

| August 31st, 2020

Saturday would have been the third preseason game; the final opportunity for those trying to grab the 2-3 spots at the bottom of the roster. Instead Saturday was just another Saturday, and the last time any laymen would have an opportunity to look at the 2020 Chicago Bears before their season opener.


How Different This Summer Has Been

Writing about an NFL team has a seasonal rhythm to it. After the dead period of May and June, July begins a slow, deliberate crescendo to the nervously thrilling first whistle of opening day. In my case, there’s always a boozy, beachy Labor Day weekend that serves as a calm before the season’s storm. Then that Tuesday it’s all day, every day, until the season ends. Not this year, except for the boozy bit.

No fans at training camp has meant no leaked video or secretive email reports. These usually start flooding my email box on the first day of camp and don’t stop. And honestly, they’re pretty helpful. Last year, while many were excited about the prospect of Riley Ridley making a rookie impact, I was getting word early on that the kid was completely overwhelmed by the professional game. Turned out to be the truth.

The media isn’t shown anything of worth anymore and now can’t say much about what they are shown. So we’re left with scraps of reports.

No joint practices or preseason games means there’s nothing to which we can tangibly react, which has predictably taken all the dramatic steam out of the quarterback competition. This summer, for the first time since I started doing this, I was excited for the preseason because it was going to determine the starting quarterback.

Instead the season will just…start. Sunday September 13th will come. We will all wake up, have our breakfast, settle into our routines, and the game will begin. And fans across the league will be surprised by what they see.


Statement from Chicago Bears Players

Like many in the sports world, the Bears took a pause on Thursday to meet and discuss the racial issues facing our country. Their statement:

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Thursday Lynx Package (8/6/20)

| August 6th, 2020


  • Who provided the most in-depth look at Mitch Trubisky’s competition preparation? Unsurprisingly, it’s a guy I used to drink with in bars when that kind of thing was allowed: Adam Jahns. And in his piece for The Athletic he gives plenty of reason for Mitch loyalists to believe the young signal caller is capable of finally turning a corner. My two cents? I just don’t understand what he’s done to earn another shot. If I’m the Bears, I tell Mitch that Nick Foles is starting the opener but to keep his arm warm in the bullpen.
  • This spring I got into a somewhat public Twitter spat with Stacey Dales for having the gumption to challenge an opinion of hers. Now full reporting shows that Aaron Rodgers (a) was pissed at the selection of a first-round QB and (b) is openly discussing the end of his tenure with the organization. I get that some in the sports media get overly protective of those they cover to protect access. But this was dumb argument by a smart reporter. You’d have to know absolutely nothing about Rodgers to think he wouldn’t be offended by the pick.
  • Kelly Stafford went a bit ballistic when it turned out Matt Stafford’s Covid-19 test was a false positive. “I have been losing my mind because of how my Family has been treated since my husband was put on the Covid-IR list,” Kelly, who has four children with Matt, said. “Even after we knew it was a false positive, I was approached in a grocery store told I was ‘endangering others,’ my kids were harassed and kicked off a playground, I was told I needed to wait in my car when trying to pick up food, and people closest to us had to get tested just so they could go back to work… and that’s just to name a few things.” Kelly has battled significant health issues and I understand her frustration. But all the things she suggests here are the PROPER PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE with a positive test. If it’s false positive, great. But before that is known, you can’t just pretend it’s life as usual.
  • IN ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: Here are some bears “pole dancing” in West Hartford.

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Thursday Lynx Package (7/16/20)

| July 16th, 2020


Here’s five valuable things to read. Read em, don’t, I can’t really worry about it. It’s your life.

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Thursday Links Package

| May 28th, 2020


This is the quietest time on the football calendar, the lull between the the NFL Draft and the start of training camps. So here’s some stuff worth reading. Read it, don’t, I don’t care.

  • Dan Pompei’s excellent piece detailing the battle scars of Kyle Long is a painful NFL read. One of the things that has often surprised me is the general obliviousness many fans have when it comes to the physical toll football takes on the bodies of these young, strong men. None of those fans will look at the game the same way after reading this staggering work.
  • The Bears were very good on defense in 2019. But they weren’t good enough to compensate for a putrid offense. Adam Jahns breaks down the Robert Quinn signing and just how good that unit will need to be to return to the postseason in January.
  • Is Cole Kmet a Y? Is he a U? Is he some other letter? Here’s what I know: he’s an impressive young man with whom the coaches are already in love. Adam Hoge at NBC Sports Chicago discusses his early days as a Bear and where he’ll fit in the 2020 offensive structure.
  • The Arlington Hambright Section!
  • From Mark Potash’s piece on Roquan Smith in the Sun-Times: “Despite the issues he has had in his first two seasons, Smith has been as good as advertised. His sideline-to-sideline speed, his instincts and his versatility — the ability to rush the quarterback, be a tackling machine and defend in coverage — give him a dangerous skill set for an inside linebacker. So far, he’s clearly general manager Ryan Pace’s best first-round pick. But by the eye test and Smith’s own testimony, he has a lot more to give.”

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Thursday Links Package

| May 30th, 2019

It’s truly the only period of off-season for the NFL. Other than the rare injury at an OTA, nothing of relevance takes place until teams report to training camp. Here are some links for you to enjoy.

[Side Note: When searching for links, I was amazed at just how many blogs there are now and how shitty most of them are.]


  • “On an anger scale of one to 10, cornerback Prince Amukamara thinks he’s seen new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano reach a three at most during the Bears’ offseason program.” Adam Jahns of The Athletic (still not used to this) on why the Bears defense doesn’t need continuity in the transition from Fangio to Pagano. It needs change. (Jahns will be back on a pod with me in the coming weeks.)
  • “I didn’t want to blow the opportunity,” the intensively private McCaskey told the Sun-Times last week in a rare sitdown interview commemorating the team’s upcoming 100th season. “I didn’t want them to think of me as some little old lady that’s just hanging around. And, ‘What’s she really doing here?’

    “I wanted to let them know how much I cared about the team, and all of them.”

    A little old lady?

    “Well,” she said, smiling, “I am.” That’s an excerpt from Patrick Finley’s excellent sit down with Virgina McCaskey on the newly-designed (and wonderful) Sun-Times website.

  • J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports on expectations for David Montgomery in year one: “There are some clips that you can go back and forth and watch and say man, (Montgomery) kind of reminds me of Kareem,” Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Manning said. “And you go back to cuts from (Hunt) too and you’re like man, that’s kind of strange, it looks a little like David there in that sense. They’re different, but I do think there are some similarities.”

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