Arm Strength, Intelligence, Savvy, Confidence: Anatomy of a “Game-Winning” Throw.

| October 12th, 2021

3rd and 12.

7:26 remaining in the game.

Bears holding a 5-point lead, thanks to Khalil Mack’s brilliant sack of Derek Carr on the earlier two-point conversion attempt.

The Raiders were giving the rookie quarterback anything he wanted short of the sticks. (Though a look at the video below will show, outside of a dump-off option in the flat, the Bears did a nice job of running all their routes beyond the line to gain.)

Fields. Mooney. Complete. First down.

Was the game over when this improbable pass was completed? No.

Did it feel over? It sure did.

Think about this throw. Arm strength. Intelligence. Savvy. Confidence.

  • It is a twenty-yard bullet between two defenders, each with no more than a few yards between themselves and Mooney. Arm strength.
  • The throw is made low to the ground to ensure it’s going to be caught by Mooney and nobody else. (How many times do we see a high throw in this scenario go off the hands of the receiver and into the hands of a floating safety?) Intelligence.
  • Nate Tice (above) credits Fields’ eyes with opening up the lane for the pass. (I’ll have to take his word for it. It’s hard to decipher anything from this game due to the horrible camera options.) Savvy.
  • The quarterback made the throw. Confidence.

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Week Five Game Preview, Volume II: Justin Fields Game Poem, Vegas in Movies, Prediction!

| October 8th, 2021

Why Do Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And, well, just skip to the next section.

The Justin Fields Game Poem: “Less Than Broken”


tired like an old joke, told by a retired cop on an early morning barstool.

A phrase, maybe, then a cough.

The promise of a punchline, then a sip, or two, and a drag from the cigarette that shouldn’t be smoked.

You sit through it because you’re there and that’s what you do.

You might even smile,

that distanced, third person smile.

The absurdity of it all.


Then the delivery changes,

and suddenly the joke seems less than broken,

dispatched with a zeal uncommon to those smoke-filled mornings.

There is conviction in the telling,

connection with the words,

timing in the delivery.

There is hope in the joke now.


Vegas, in Movies.

I have never been to Las Vegas. And I will – in all likelihood – never go to Las Vegas. Nothing about it appeals to me. If I want gambling and loud slot machines, I’ll drive to Atlantic City. (And I’ll be celebrating my 40th birthday there in January.) If I want a debauched weekend with “the boys”, I’ll go to New Orleans. (And there’s a casino there too if you need it.) Even tee times at the best golf course in town, Shadow Creek, come with the caveat that you can be bumped any point if a whale wants your time. I mean, seriously, fuck you.

If Rickles and Sinatra were performing there, sure, I’d take the trip. But to go hang out on a cruise ship in the desert with Jay Leno and hookers? Pass.

Here are six scenes from six great Vegas movies. (Well, five are Vegas movies.)

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Things To Consider With Tonight’s Schedule Release

| May 12th, 2021

The NFL has turned everything into a television program. And who can blame them? The NFL Draft now does better ratings than almost every other sporting contest AND the damn Academy Awards. (How in the hell did that happen?)

The schedule release does not have the same ratings appeal for two reasons: (1) every local beat leaks the schedule as the day goes on and (2) we consume the schedule in one shot, in about 30 seconds, and then sort of move on.

Three things I’ll be watching with the release tonight at 8 PM ET.


Number One. Where is the Bears bye?

With a seventeen-game schedule, most teams will be hoping their bye lands as close to the middle of the season as possible. A Week 4 or Week 5 bye leaves a long stretch of uninterrupted football (barring wildcard weekend off) in order to get to the Super Bowl.

But for the Chicago Bears the bye is entirely about one thing: Justin Fields. If the Bears stick with their current plan, and give Andy Dalton the opener, the bye will be every fan’s target to get Fields on the field. A few questions should be asked.

  • What’s the difficulty level of the schedule pre-bye? If the Bears face a murderer’s row of teams and are likely to be going into the bye with a losing record, the transition to Fields will be far easier to execute.
  • Who is the opponent post-bye? If I was making the NFL schedule, I would have the Bears at home to the Lions after their bye. Soft team, terrible defense, crazy atmosphere on the lakefront. (I know right now you’re thinking, “That’s brilliant! He SHOULD make the schedule!” You are right.)

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