Word on the Street: GB fan fired; Barkley on Cutler

Word on the Street: GB fan fired; Barkley on Cutler

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011

Man fired for wearing Packers tie

A car salesman in Oak Lawn, Ill., was fired on Monday for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to work and refusing to remove it.

"I didn't know you could get fired for wearing a tie," John Stone told McClatchy News about his dismissal from Webb Chevrolet.

Jerry Roberts, the general manager at the suburban Chicago dealership, asked Stone to remove the tie when he reported to work -- a day after the Packers beat the Bears in the
NFC title game.

The story ends on a good note though, as a competing car dealership offered Stone a job on Tuesday. (USA Today)

Barkley, Brees defend Jay Cutler

Never shy about letting his opinions be heard, NBA legend and TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley weighed in on the Jay Cutler injury subject and defended the Bears quarterback.

"I was mad at the players, to be honest with you," Barkley told WMVP-AM on Tuesday. "I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy's heart. Now reporters, they're going to do what they want to. They're entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don't think it's appropriate to question another guy's heart.

"If you go back and start looking at all the stuff that's been said, and clearly one of the more vocal critics was Maurice Jones-Drew, and then you find out he missed the last two games with a bad knee," Barkley said. "And he was really the first guy who crucified Jay. "You have to be careful, because in the two most important games of the year, Jones-Drew sat out with a bad knee. And then it really makes him look like an idiot now." ( addition, Saints quarterback Drew Brees also weighed in on the subject and empahtizes with Cutler."In some cases I know players that have torn an MCL and been out for six weeks. In some cases it's four weeks. In some cases it's two. And sometimes you're able to fight through and play. None of us know exactly what is, nobody except Jay Cutler and the Bears training staff. So it's nothing that any of us have the right to comment on because we just don't know." ( Kaplan, Man on the Move

For a great read, check out the following link from veteran Chicago sports journalist Ed Sherman in todays Crains Chicago Business. He profiles the incredibly busy schedule (with an even busier schedule on the horizon come Cubs season) of our very own Chicago Tribune Live host David Kaplan.
Should Cutler have stayed in game? The T.Ocho show debates

Seabrook, Blackhawks talking new contractThe Blackhawks are trying to retain a piece of their corps in defensemen Brent Seabrook, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Seabrook currently has the second-most assists on the team (23) with 26 points, and is already close to matching his career high in both categories.
"It's one of those things that it's going to be done when it's done," Seabrook said. "I understand that it's the business side of the game. I love Chicago, it's been my home for six years and it's definitely the place I'd like to play hockey in." (
Cubs to sign Wellemeyer?
Todd Wellemeyer is returning to the team that drafted and developed him. The Cubs signed Wellemeyer to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal. The right-hander can earn 800K, plus another 400K in incentives, Levine reports.

The Cubs drafted Wellemeyer in the fourth round of the 2000 draft and he showed some promise in the minor leagues, striking out more than a batter per inning and reaching the majors in his fourth pro season. He pitched for the Cubs from 2003-05 before they traded him to the Marlins. (
Lysacek wins USOC award

Evan Lysacek has been selected the U.S. Olympic Committee's sportsman of the year for 2010. Lysacek defeated reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko to win gold at the Vancouver games, becoming the first American men's figure skating champion since Brian Boitano in 1988. (Associated Press)

Collins suffered significant shoulder injury?

NFL Networks Albert Breer reports that Bears backup QB Todd Collins suffered a significant shoulder injury in the game. Collins has an MRI Tuesday to determine if he needs surgery.

This will probably mark the end of Collins 16-year career. He threw five interceptions and no touchdowns in the regular season, which made a lot of folks wonder why he was ahead of Caleb Hanie on the depth chart in the first place. (Pro Football Talk)
New helmet saves Rodgers from concussion?

After being twice-concussed this season, Aaron Rodgers changed helmets to one of the new, safer, high-tech models the league has been urging players to use.

Remember the big helmet-to-helmet hit he took early in the fourth quarter from Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers, the one that drew a 15-yard penalty on Peppers? Well, Rodgers feels that hit could well have led to concussion number three had he not been wearing the new helmet. (

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents. 

That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?

The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room). 

So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure. 

Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return. 

“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”

If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length. 

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma ( and Matt Zahn (CBS 2) join Kap on the panel. If the Bears lose badly to the Lions, should Sunday be John Fox’s last game? 

Plus Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill joins the panel to talk Bulls as well as the Niko/Portis cold war.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: