Preps Talk

Bears' history on Thanksgiving Day

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Bears' history on Thanksgiving Day

Few things are better on Thanksgiving Day than turkey and time with family, but football may be one of them. From Turkey Bowls in the backyards and at local parks to the three NFL games each year, football has become part of the holiday.
And while the Bears have certainly left their mark on the history of the NFL, they also have done the same on Thanksgiving.
The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys currently host games annually, but the Bears were actually the first team to do so. From 1922 to 1933, the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals played annually, going 7-3-2 in that span. The 1932 game against the Cardinals marked the last time the Bears played a home game on the holiday.
But the Bears' annual turkey day game didn't end there, as they played the next five seasons against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, going 2-3 in that span. All five games were played in Detroit.
The Bears didn't play again on Thanksgiving until 1947, when they went back to Detroit for a 34-14 win. Two years later, they won again in Detroit, 28-7.
The Bears first played Dallas in 1952, falling 27-23 against the Texans in a game played in Akron.
The Cowboys, then members of the AFL, began their annual series in 1966. The Bears did not play the Cowboys until 1981, a 10-9 loss in Dallas.
Walter Payton enjoyed success on his first Thanksgiving Day game, rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown along with 107 receiving yards and another score in a 31-14 win.
Chicago has dropped its last three Thanksgiving Day games, last winning in 1993 with a 10-6 win in Detroit. Its most recent game was a 21-7 loss in Dallas.
The franchise's largest Thanksgiving Day win came in 1928, with a 34-0 home win against the Cardinals. A year later, the Cardinals returned the favor with a 40-6 win.
The worst loss in Thanksgiving Day history was a 55-20 defeat at the hands of Barry Sanders and the Lions. The Bears held a 20-17 lead at halftime before 38 unanswered second-half points. Sanders ran 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Since 1920, the Bears' franchise has played 32 times on Thanksgiving, fourth most in history. Only the Lions (72), Cowboys (44) and Packers (34) have played more.
Here's a complete list of the Bears' Thanksgiving Day games, per Chicago Sports Memories:
1920: W, 6-0 at Chicago Tigers (Staleys)
1921: L, 7-6 vs. Buffalo All-Americans (Staleys)
1922: L, 6-0 at Cardinals
1923: W, 3-0 vs. Cardinals
1924: W, 21-0 at Cardinals
1925: T, 0-0 vs. Cardinals
1926: T, 0-0 vs. Cardinals
1927: L, 3-0 vs. Cardinals
1928: W, 34-0 vs. Cardinals
1929: L, 40-6 vs. Cardinals
1930: W, 6-0 vs. Cardinals
1931: W, 18-7 vs. Cardinals
1932: W, 24-0 vs. Cardinals
1933: W, 22-6 at Cardinals
1934: W, 19-16 at Lions
1935: L, 14-2 at Lions
1936: L, 13-7 at Lions
1937: W, 13-0 at Lions
1938: L, 14-7 at Lions
1947: W, 34-14 at Lions
1949: W, 28-7 at Lions
1952: L, 27-23 vs. Dallas Texans (in Akron, Ohio)
1964: W, 27-24 at Lions
1977: W, 31-14 at Lions
1979: L, 20-0 at Lions
1980: W, 23-17 (OT) at Lions
1981: L, 10-9 at Cowboys
1991: L, 16-6 at Lions
1993: W, 10-6 at Lions
1997: L, 55-20 at Lions
1999: L, 21-17 at Lions
2004: L, 21-7 at Cowboys

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

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High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.