I always like the Chicago Bears.
And why not? There are only two game left. Might as well enjoy them.
A few years ago, when the Bears were in NJ to play the Giants, I told Jahns I would book a dinner. A good steakhouse downtown. I also told him to invite the other beats. (As long as Haugh wasn’t on that list, I knew it was fine.) I have good relationships with Fishbain, Finley, etc. so I didn’t think we’d have an issue. We’d eat good food, drink a bunch, and bitch about the Bears. Maybe I’d even pick up the tab for the pricks.
I get a text from Adam a few days before the planned dinner. It more or less said, “What did you write about JD?”
Dickerson, when hearing of my involvement, balked at the idea. Apparently, he did not take kindly to some of the things I had written about his work over the years and viewed me as a toxic figure. (I mean, I am toxic, but that’s just because my blood is about 3% Coors Banquet.) I couldn’t find the things I had written, and neither could Adam, but I also didn’t challenge the notion. When the bulk of Bears media went to the digital realm, this space became a sort of ombudsman for them. It was no longer about calling a radio station or sending a letter to complain a column. I could copy and paste large chunks of text and directly refute ideas. Some didn’t mind. Some really did. (I’ve stopped doing that primarily because I’ve stopped reading just about everyone but Jahns.)
Anyway, I made it easy on Jahns and extricated myself from the situation. I didn’t want anyone to be uncomfortable.
Later that night, Adam brought a few of the boys down to Josie Woods to watch Northwestern play the Big Ten title game. A good time was had by all, except JD. He didn’t come.
After reading the beautiful remembrances of his life this week, I wish that week had gone differently. I wish I’d reached out to him and apologized for whatever upset him and I wish we could have split the candied bacon at Strip House. I think he would have liked me. I know I would have liked it.
The GoFundMe started for his poor son, a kid who has lost both parents to cancer in two years, is now (through the incredible work of Adam Schefter) approaching nearly a million dollars in donations. If you can give a few bucks, do so.
They can’t score.
Their last six games: 10 points vs. Tampa, 13 vs. Philly, 9 vs. Miami, 21 (!) for Los Angeles Chargers, 6 vs. Dallas and 10 vs. Philly. They are averaging 11.5 points a game over this period and some of these points actually came in garbage time. (I know, I’ve been gambling against them weekly.) Over these six weeks the Giants are three point worse than the Jags have been all season.
On the road, against this Bears pass rush, with the combination of Glennon and Fromm at quarterback, the Giants aren’t likely to improve upon these numbers.
Steelers +7 over Patriots
Line just feels too high for a week one match-up between two fairly decent teams. Patriots 24, Steelers 21.
Bills +3 over Colts
My favorite mismatch of the first week is the Bills defensive line against the Colts offensive line. Andrew Luck is in the conversation for best player in the sport but I continue to argue that his coach is mediocre and the roster construction around him is poor. Bills win outright. Bills 16, Colts 14.
Cowboys -6 over Giants
Historically, nobody has been wronger about a team as I have about the New York Giants. So my instincts you should me to ignore my instincts entirely and pick them to win the Super Bowl. But not with that defensive roster and not with the questions along their offensive front. Cowboys 27, Giants 20.
Season Record: 0-0
Been a long time since DBB has dedicated space to a single piece but Rich Campbell’s interview with Ernie Accorsi is one of the most insightful football pieces I’ve read in a long time. There is tremendous detail regarding the hiring processes, the relationship between Ted Phillips & George McCaskey, why this opportunity at this time was perfect for Ryan Pace and the difference between Chicago and other football markets.
Some of my favorite stuff was a look inside the Giants offices. An excerpt:
What did you admire about John from your experiences with him with the Giants?
“His office (as defensive coordinator) was right next to mine, so we interacted. In a lot of places, the GM and the coach are at two different ends of the building. We were right beside each other, and (Fox) happened to be in the office next to mine. We interacted every day. First of all, he’s just a great football coach. Second thing, he has a way with people. He’s not going to lock himself in the office and draw up plays and be aloof. Players love to play for him.
“When we lost him, Mr. Mara actually said these words, and they were printed. When we lost him and he became head coach of Carolina, Wellington Mara said, ‘I feel much the same as I did when (Vince) Lombardi went to Green Bay.’ He said that.
“I’ll just give you an anecdote about John. We’re going to play Minnesota in the NFC championship game (in 2001). They have Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and they’re scoring a million points a game. Now, all week they already scored 50 touchdowns in my apartment while I was trying to sleep.
“Finally we get to Friday, and I bump into Fox, and Fox says, ‘You’ve been ducking me all week.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to talk to you. I’m afraid of what you’re going to tell me.’ He said, ‘We may just shut them out.’ And we did (41-0). I thought we had a chance to win because we could score, but I thought we were going to win 45-38. He said, ‘We may just shut them out,’ and we did. And John doesn’t say that kind of stuff … to be boastful or bravado or anything like that.”
To read the entire Tribune piece, and you absolutely must, CLICK HERE AND DO IT.
Around the League Tweets has our Pro Day Monday. No Tweeting that day. Will instead display our ability to eliminate apostrophes & articles.
2 of 10. There must be a dearth of corners on market if Champ Bailey still has interest from teams. 2013 tape made 1 thing clear: he’s done.
[Side note: I love when people make statements like, “Bailey should retire now.” Champ Bailey is thirty-five years old. Thirty five! And the morning after he retires he’ll enter a period of irrelevancy he hasn’t experienced since he was about 10. He won’t be a football player. He won’t be a star. He won’t be receiving a massive pay check weekly. Bailey should retire whenever the hell he wants.]
3 of 10. Urlacher didn’t learn from Tiki. Fans ma love ya in team’s uniform but they love TEAM far more. Best not criticize em post-career.
[Side note: If Urlacher continues to complain about the organization, he’ll start hearing boos at Soldier Field. ESPECIALLY if the Bears win without him.]
4 of 10. Release of Desean Jackson far too convenient for the Eagles. Wanna bet they had say as to when the DJax gang piece would come out?
5 of 10. Dont know if they’ll gel but Giants quietly went about fixing their biggest issue: porous offensive line play. Big, veteran bodies.
These are my first ever (I think) rapid first game notes taken during the game. Not usually my approach but we’re giving it ago…
Three final thoughts on Bears vs. Giants tonight:
Bearing down. Hey, you never know.