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Posts Tagged ‘Pro Bowl’

Chicago Bears Devin Hester Signs New Extension

Posted by sportsmaven on July 27, 2008

Thank the higher powers above that Devin Hester’s wobbly hamstring healed just enough for him to sign a 4 year extension for a reported $40 million dollars, with a guaranteed $15 million.  The contract also has another $10 million in incentives if Hester develops into a #1 receiver, for which he has the potential to accomplish.

(Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune)

(Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune)

Word on the street is that the Hester deal has all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed:

  • David Haugh from the Chicago Tribune reports that “Hester becomes the 10th Bears starter and fifth Pro Bowl player the Bears have signed to a contract extension this off-season. It is believed this new contract will make Hester the highest-paid return man in NFL history.”
  • David Haugh also reports that Hester is at the top of the list of recent Chicago Bears re-signed by Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo.
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times reveals that “[Hester’s] extension adds four new years for Hester meaning he is a Bear through 2013. He was under contract through 2009 and he is the first player with a four-year contract for the Bears to get new money after only two seasons.”
  • ESPN reports that “This [contract] was probably the most difficult one we’ve had to do and probably ever will do because we’re not only rewarding a special player,” Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. “If you look at it as a returner, we blew that [money total] out of the water. It was now looking at him as what he might be or could be as a receiver. That’s where the real difficulties were and a real challenge.”

Any way you look at it, it seems that Devin Hester is happy (and potentially $40M richer) and the Bears are happy (a difficult, challenging, but creative and fair contract).  Hester celebrated by catching a 40-yd pass from QB Rex Grossman in Sunday afternoon’s practice.  Seems as though the hammy is healed.

Other Devin Hester commentary:

  • Windy City Gridiron notes that “[Bears] check another off theirs list” with the Hester signing.
  • Matt Loede from Bearsgab.com notes that “We’ll see now with a lot more cash in his pocket if that hamstring suddenly feels better today”
  • AOL Sports Fanhouse reports that “virtually everyone things [Hester signing] is a good move.”

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Mr. Briggs Goes To Traffic Court?

Posted by sportsmaven on August 30, 2007

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs sure knows how to keep things interesting.  He is perhaps the one person that could give Rex Grossman a breather in the press.  As usual, Mr. Briggs comes through again in the clutch, providing fans the oppotunity for yet another swirling dervish of entertainment straight from the Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan School of Driving and Public Controversy.

Lance Briggs Gets Franchised by BearsBriggs Lamborghini

Monday morning, 3am, Jet Black 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago valued at $350,000 on the Edens Expressway.  What a recipe for disaster.  Not sure what that Lamborghini did on Monday morning, but I cam imagine based on the skid marks on the scene and the condition of that fat sports car.  While i’m not ready to brand Mr. Briggs as the second coming of Tank Johnson, I can assure you that almost nothing good happens at 3am.

Mr. Briggs, you are one lucky sucker, walking away from that wreck.  I am reminded about the Deion Sanders story about when he played for the Dallas Cowboys, he tried to kill himself by driving off a highway overpass.  His car miraculously landed on all 4 tires with not so much a scratch on his body.  That’s when he found God and changed his life for the good.  Now i’m not expecting Lance Briggs to go Christian on us before our eyes, but if this incident vaults him into another 160 tackles, 4 INT’s and 4 sacks, a Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl victory, then lets call it a wash.

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NBA Invades Las Vegas — It’s a SLAM DUNK!

Posted by sportsmaven on February 18, 2007

The NBA wrestled and wrestled with this decision, but it finally named Las Vegas the host city for the 2007 All-Star weekend and what a great place to showcase the pizzaz and razzle dazzle of the best athletes in the world. Is Vegas not the perfect place for this event? The NBA should go ahead and announce that it will play all it’s all star games in Las Vegas, like the NFL does with it’s Pro Bowl in Honolulu. This is not a weekend of serious basketball, but rather, a weekend of fun, excitement, and a display of athleticism like no other. And Sin City is the perfect atmosphere to display the pricess wares of the NBA.

Jason Kapono Wins 3-Pt Shooting Contest at 2007 All Star weekendDwayne Wade Wins Skills Contest at 2007 all star weekend
NBAE/Getty Images

On a Chicago note, I wrote in an earlier blog posting that Tyrus Thomas would be the first NBA player to have to pay to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, and sure enough, that almost was the case. After taking 4 tries to make his first dunk (and then drew a score of 37 out of 50), Tyrus was cooked. His second dunk was actually pretty good — he leaped over Ben Gordon and dunked LEFT-HANDED, and ripped the net off the rim, but the judges game him a 43 (Gerald Green did the same dunk on his second dunk, jumped over 5’9″ Nate Robinson and dunked with his RIGHT hand, and got a 47) I believe Tyrus’ comments when named to participate in the slam-dunk contest hurt his scores, although clearly, he was at best, the third best, and most likely the 4th best dunker in the contest.

Tyrus Thomas at 2007 NBA Slam Dunk ContestDwight Howard Dunk at 200 All Star Slam Dunk Contest
NBAE/Getty Images

The player that definitely got ripped off was Dwight Howard. Howard had the single best dunk in the contest when he did put the sticker of himself on the top of the backboard with his left hand while dunking with his right hand. That dunk was SICK, and should have gotten 50 pts, but only received 42 pts. Nate Robinson was what I thought the third best or even the 4th best dunker, but somehow made it to the finals. I’m saying it right here — Dwight Howard, you got ripped off. You were MY Slam-Dunk Champion…

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Top 5 Ways To Make The Pro Bowl Better

Posted by sportsmaven on February 12, 2007

Yes, I was one of the few who actually admit that I watched this year’s NFL Pro Bowl on Saturday evening. As I snuggled up to my 42 in. plasma television with carry out from my favorite Northbrook, IL eatery, Francesca’s (great Italian food, by the way!) I watched what was actually a very interesting and entertaining Pro Bowl game. Devin Hester took the opening kickoff to the 19 yard line where he was tripped up by some sketchy Honolulu astro turf sort of stuff. What a difference a week makes for Hester. Actually, I couldn’t believe that the AFC actually kicked away from Hester on their second kickoff of the game. Come on, this is the PRO BOWL, not the Super Bowl. I suppose you want to turn off the few fans watching by not letting the game’s most prolific returner actually return a kick. The other thing about the Pro Bowl is that it would have been nice to see some of our own Chicago Bears players actually playing in the game (or even showing up, for that matter.)

2007 Pro Bowl

Is RB Tiki Barber retiring just in time? He clearly has lost a large amount of arm strength as indicated by the INT he threw to Ed Reed in the 1st quarter. He is clearly washed up. (well, maybe not so much) Drew Brees injury is the poster child for why many feel that the Pro Bowl is not a good game to play.

So I was happy to see that the NFL actually took most of my Top 5 ways to make the Pro Bowl better, and we, as the fans, will be the better off for that. My Top 5 suggestions were:

1. Play the game on Saturday instead of Sunday. I think they ought to play the Super Bowl on a Saturday too, seeing as it usually takes another full day to recover, whether you are at the game or at home hosting a Super Bowl party. Either way, these games work better on Saturdays, for do we really want to take a vacation day for the Super Bowl? And do we really want to stay up until 10pm on a Sunday night to watch the Pro Bowl (and miss Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and all those other Sunday night staples that are as additictive as crack?)

2. Mike all the players, let the fans hear what really goes on in the huddle. CBS did a great job of doing this, but the mikes they had SUCKED. I couldn’t hear squat when the QB’s were calling the plays. Fortunately, they had the play callers on both sides miked and when they switched to that, it worked brilliantly. Next year, get better microphones so we can hear what’s going on. Also, loved that Dan Dierdorf and Phil Simms were explaining what the play terminology meant. That was the best part of the game in my opinion.

3. Introduce a Skills Competition. This was great to see at halftime of the game. The kicking competition between Robbie Gould and Nate Kaeding was priceless and very entertaining. The other skills competitions I actually watched on the NFL Network. They were entertaining as well, with a strong man competition (# of reps at 225 lbs.) a passing, receiving competitions and a gauntlet competition that was entertaining. How about the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs? In fact, the NFL should require all teams to have cheerleaders next season. Since my Bears don’t have them, here is a shot of what could be:

NFL Cheerleaders 1NFL Cheerleaders 2NE Pats Cheerleader

4. More behind the scenes video. I want to see what a practice is like. I also want to go into the locker room and see what a player has to go through to get ready for a game, what do they do, how do they get ready. Blooper videos are also fun. How do the players spend the week in Honolulu? How about players interviewing players and coaches? How about pulling a fan out of the stands or better yet, having a fan win one of those season long NFL contests and have them call plays for the playcaller for one or two series (10 plays) for each team?

5. Amend the rules for more action. I love what the NFL to the rules for this game. No blitzes, no rushing the kickers, rules promoting one on one coverage, no ruling challenges. That was fantastic. Those rule changes brought out some nice play, some great 1 on 1 challenges (Champ Bailey vs. Donald Driver was pretty good)

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This Is What We Play For….Lets Get It On

Posted by sportsmaven on January 21, 2007

So Sunday is finally here. I am at my usual Sunday morning tailgate writing this blog. As of now, it is currently 27 degrees, and some frozen something or another is falling out of the sky. We decided to eat New Orleans style today, in honor of our worthy opponents, the New Orleans Saints. Jumbalaya, red beans and rice, cornbread, the works…we are doing it up right. This is it….our 12th home game of the season (including the preseason). The 13-3 record, the NFC North Division Title, the Divisional playoff win, the Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors all mean nothing without a victory today. I love our chances today, I really do.

I believe the Bears understand this deeply. I believe the Bears will come out with intensity, fire and singular focus. No looking forward, no looking back. For 60 game minutes, the Bears will will lay it all on the line, as they learned from last season’s Carolina loss, there is no tomorrow in playoff football.

I couldn’t sleep last night in anticipation of today’s game. I really wanted to savor every moment of getting to this game, the dedication it took from the every person in the Bears organization from the first day of training camp in July to today’s game. Lovie Smith has consistently called this the “Championship Season” and I want to appreciate every moment of today. The Saints will not go easily into the night; the Bears will have to earn this one, but as a fan, I would really have it no other way. It is their time, and this is not being cocky or talking team of destiny, but it is their time. This began last season with the Carolina Panthers and comes to this moment.

So I plan on eating my jumbalaya, red beans and rice, cornbread, drinking a Blue Moon, walking the 1+ miles to Soldier Field in the elements, thinking of Papa Bear and Walter Payton. I will be on the edge for every single play and might never sit down today, because this is the NFC Championship and the Halas Trophy is on the line. I agree with Lovie, wouldn’t it be nice to win the Halas Trophy at Soldier Field? This is what we play for……so lets get it on.

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