Posted by sportsmaven on October 4, 2010
In case you are wondering why the Chicago Bears get very little if any respect from the national sports media, then you haven’t been watching tonight’s game against the New York Giants. Opportunities to get a nationally televised game on your schedule are few, and yet with the exception of last Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers, the Bears have treated those opportunities to quote the NFL Network’s Warren Sapp, “like a blind dog in a meat house”. Now I don’t know what that means exactly, but it doesn’t sound too good to me.
Respect is something that is earned on the field of play. For the Bears defense, they played their hearts and souls out all night and deserve all the game balls that any team has to offer a unit. Conversely, the Bears offense, and the offensive line in particular, have put the Bears national reputation back in the proverbial trash can, overshadowing all the good things the Bears have done this season. You think the Giants went off on Bears QB’s tonight? Wait until you hear how the national media tees off on the Bears.
The offensive line is a disaster from the top down. the Bears line gave up 10 sacks tonight…9 in the FIRST HALF! If Jerry Angelo is not bringing in a parade of offensive lineman to Halas Hall starting tomorrow, he would be as neglectful a manager as the captain of the Titanic, the guy who was noticeably absent as his ship rammed into the iceberg that would take it straight to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. I don’t want to pin all the blame on the lack of blocking. Jay Cutler didn’t do his lineman any favors and neither did Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
The longer this game continues, the more inept the offensive line looks. There may not be any more room in Lovie Smith’s doghouse after this game for those who truly belong. Somewhere, a vindicated Dennis Green is watching this game and telling his dog how right he was about these Chicago Bears.
I have spoken all week about this game being the season for the Bears, and not in the same manner of desperation of which this game is the season for the New York Giants. Playing on the national stage of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, this game was supposed to be a defining moment for a Bears team that many have had doubts about since the opening game of the season. Unfortunately for the Bears, this game has cemented the many opinions of those outside of Chicago, that the Bears are more pretenders than contenders.
In the coming weeks, the commentary will be that the Bears beat the Detroit Lions on a rules technicality, beat the Dallas Cowboys by pure luck, and won the Packers game because the Packers decided to commit 18 penalties to beat themselves. The Bears were considered by many to be the worst 3-0 in the NFL, maybe in NFL history.
Let’s make no mistake, the Bears didn’t lose to a good team tonight. Outside of the outstanding front 4, this Giants team is horrendous. This is a bad loss for the Bears, a loss that can send even the best of seasons spiraling downward. We’ll see if the Bears can recover from this disaster. Now next week’s game against the Carolina Panthers becomes the new season defining game…..
Update: This post was the first post of the Sportsmaven blog written exclusively on the Apple iPad. I used the WordPress app, which is pretty good, but still in it’s developmental stages. The writing experience has been very good and I used the touch keyboard, which I found quite reponsive. While I had no major issues with typing on the type pad, I know some people do. I will continue to use the iPad to write blog entries going forward.
Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Dennis Green, Detroit Lions, green bay packers, Halas Hall, Jay Cutler, Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith, mike martz, New York Giants, Titanic, warren sapp | 1 Comment »
Posted by sportsmaven on September 30, 2008
It almost didn’t happen. Two series ago, the Chicago White Sox were left for dead. They went into Minnesota to play the badly limping Twins, armed with a 2.5 game lead and left down by .5 game with 3 to play. At least they were home and playing a Cleveland Indians team that was playing out the string in a disappointing season. The Twins were doing their part, losing the first two games of their final series against an all of a sudden very tough Kansas City Royals team, but the Sox kept throwing the generosity back, losing their first two games as well. Then, the first break came. Indians LHP Cliff Lee, the probable AL Cy Young Award winner and 22-game winner was shut down due to a stiff neck. The next break came in the form of a clutch outing by LHP Mark Buehrle on Sunday to extend the season. The third break was facing RHP Freddy Garcia (who so happens to be married to Sox manager Ozzie Guillen’s wife’s niece) and the Detroit Tigers at home. The break after that was Garcia pulled from the game in the 6th inning after shutting down the Sox, only to be followed by 2B Alexi Ramirez’ grand slam to win the game for the Sox. The biggest break of them all? Hosting a one game playoff for the AL Central Division title at home against Minnesota.
(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
The local Chicago media has been focused on a dual Cubs/Sox playoff presence for most of the baseball season. Both teams were in 1st place in their respective divisions for most of the season. TBS made a huge mention of this fact tonight on their television broadcast, as well as the fact that it has been 102 years since both the Cubs and the Sox made the post-season in the same year. Nobody else mentioned the fact that in the same city theme, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Dodgers also made the playoffs this season. Little coverage, little play anywhere for that story. Since 1901, the White Sox have made the post-season 10 times, in 2008, 2005, 2000, 1993, 1983, 1959, 1919, 1917, 1906, and 1901. In the same timeframe, the Cubs have made the post-season 16 times, in 2008, 2007, 2003, 1998, 1989, 1984, 1945, 1938, 1935, 1932, 1929, 1918, 1910, 1908, 1907, and 1906. The last time both the Cubs and Sox make the playoffs in the same year? That’s right, 1906. In contrast, the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s have made the playoffs in the same season 5 times since 1968. The New York Yankees and New York Mets have shared post seasons three times since 1969 and the Dodgers and Angels have done it twice since 1961.
There have been 17 intracity World Series matchups in baseball history. The Yankees and Mets played each other in the 2000 World Series, dubbed the Subway Series. In 1989, the A’s swept the Giants in the Bay Series, marred by a devestating earthquake. Then it’s the Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956 and 1955, 1953, 1952, 1949, 1947, and 1941. In the middle, the St. Louis Cardinals vs. St. Louis Browns in 1944. Before that, it’s the Yankees again vs. New York Giants in 1951, 1937, 1936, 1923, 1922, and 1921. Chicago Cubs vs. the Chicago White Sox? Once, in 1906.
I don’t know if this will be the year for the Chicago match up for the ages, but something special is in the air in the Chicago baseball world in 2008. Lets hope that it’s not another century before this happens again.
Posted in Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox | Tagged: Alexi Ramirez, Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Cliff Lee, Detroit Tigers, Freddy Garcia, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark Buehrle, Minnesota Twins, New York Giants, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, Ozzie Guillen, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Cardinals, TBS | 3 Comments »
Posted by sportsmaven on April 26, 2008
There have been countless mock drafts, endless expert analysis and general watercooler, beer garden, happy hour sports conversations on what exactly the Chicago Bears will do with their draft picks in today’s NFL Draft. The consensus? Nobody knows exactly what the Bears will do…..and that’s exactly the way that Bears GM Jerry Angelo likes it.
ESPN’s expert NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper thinks the Bears will go with a offensive lineman, specifically Vanderbilt OT Chris Williams. Todd McShay from Scouts, Inc is going with Boise State OT Ryan Clady (personally, I think he’ll be long gone by pick 14). Fox Sports analyst Jay Glazer has the Bears picking Illinois standout RB Rashard Mendenhall. And finally, the guru of all mock draft analysts, the most accurate mock draft expert, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning Star has the Bears choosing Virginia OG/OT Branden Albert. Other late circulating rumors have the Bears entertaining trade offers and the possibility of moving down in the draft (which is real, since Jerry Angelo seems to prefer that strategy over all others.)
One thing is certain about this draft: This is a make or break draft for Jerry Angelo. He has to hit big in this draft and he has to hit big with picks on the offensive side of the ball. The Bears have many holes to fill: OT, OG, WR, RB, possibly QB. The Bears need at least 2 starter grade picks out of this draft and and probably 4-5 major contributors in order to compete in the NFC this coming season.
The NFC will be a vastly improved conference this coming season, and in particular, the NFC North Division. The Minnesota Vikings look drastically improved with the addition of WR Bernard Berrian to strengthen the offense and DE Jared Allen to a underrated defense, the Detroit Lions look to make a step up from last season if they play their draft cards correctly and the Green Bay Packers are the reigning division champions, who many feel will drop off after the retirement of QB Brett Farve. (I believe the Packers will be in contention for the division title all season long.) In addition, teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Seattle Seahawks are bulking up to compete for the NFC crown.
The Bears hold 11 draft picks and 4 of the first 100 picks. The Chicago Tribune ranked the top GM’s in the NFL in terms of draft picks that went on to become starters in the league. The top GM was, surprisingly Arizona Cardinals GM (and former Bears Director of Pro Personnel) Rod Graves. The Bears Jerry Angelo made it into the top 10 at #10, mostly on the strength of his defensive picks. Offense has not been good to Jerry Angelo draft picks, which puts even more pressure on hitting this draft big. The Bears need playmakers, explosive players, football players, not combine gym rat types. Jerry Angelo stated this week that this was a 10 man draft at the top, which is not good if you hold the 14th pick. While I don’t envision Angelo trading up, it wouldn’t surprise me if he traded down. The OL pick in the first round seems to be the majority opinion in mock drafts and analyst opinions. Which means that it’s most likely Chris Williams. 2nd round RB and third round WR/OL. After that, it’s more of a crapshoot, which makes predictions a waste of good time. Good luck, Jerry Angelo……you’re going to need a lot of it.
By the way, some of the players I like in this year’s draft that I would be thrilled to see the Bears pick:
RB – Rashard Mendenhall, James Stewart, Ray Rice, Matt Forte
WR – Mario Manningham, Malcolm Kelly, Eddie Royal, James Hardy, Jordy Nelson
OL – Ryan Clady, Branden Albert, Chilo Rachal, Duane Brown, Anthony Collins, Chris Williams
QB – Chad Henne, Joe Flacco, Dennis Dixon
Safety – Tom Zbikowski
DT – Marcus Harrison, Pat Sims
LB – Jordon Dizon, Xavier Adibi
Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: 2008 NFL Draft, Anthony Collins, Bernard Berrian, Branden Albert, Brett Favre, Chad Henne, Chicago Bears, Chilo Rachal, Chris Williams, Dallas Cowboys, Dennis Dixon, Detroit Lions, Duane Brown, Eddie Royal, ESPN, green bay packers, James Hardy, James Stewart, Jared Allen, Jerry Angelo, Joe Flacco, Jordon Dizon, Jordy Nelson, Malcolm Kelly, Marcus Harrison, Mario Manningham, Matt Forte, Mel Kiper, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, NFC, NFC North, NFL, Pat Sims, Philadelphia Eagles, Rashard Mendenhall, Ray Rice, Rick Gosselin, Ryan Clady, Seattle Seahawks, Todd McShay, Tom Zbikowski, Xavier Adibi | 3 Comments »