Bears

Word on the Street: Blackhawks get super charged

Word on the Street: Blackhawks get super charged

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011
CSNChicago.com

The Blackhawks get super powers

Meet "The Blackhawk." This character is the latest Stan Lee "Guardian" comic book character released from the NHL in anticipation of the All-Star game. Joining superheroes The King, The Penguin, and The Hurricane, The Blackhawk controls the element of wind. (NHL.com)

CubsSox rivalry goes too far

A suburban Chicago man was sentenced to three years in prison for blinding a man. The argument started when Cubs fan Boguslaw "Bob" Czapla and two of his friends disagreed with another party-goer about which Chicago baseball team was better: the Cubs or the White Sox. Sox fan Robert Steele lost his right eye and suffered a broken nose in the fight, only for defending his team.

Garza deal as good as done?

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times reports that the Chicago Cubs are wrapping up a trade for Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Garza. But CSNChicago.com's David Kaplan has been informed of alternative information. He says three major league sources confirmed that there have been discussions about Garza between Tampa Bay and Chicago, but no deal is imminent. (CSNChicago.com)

Bears playoff tickets on sale

The Chicago Bears playoff tickets went on sale today, but the supplies did not last long. The window to buy was very short. Ticketmaster confirmed that all the tickets were sold within six minutes of the opening. Tickets can also be purchased from NFL Ticket Exchange and StubHub. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

Too much love for Scalabrine?

Every time this guy steps on the court the crowd at the United Center goes nuts. But David Miller of The Deep Dish says that Brian Scalabrine is one of those players that fans love to love - despite the fact that he's not that good. But fans still cheer for him because he's a hard worker and never complains. (SB Nation)

Is Cutler ready to be playoff leader?

Jay Cutler will be making his first postseason appearance on Jan. 16 when the Chicago Bears take on either Philadelphia, New Orleans, or Seattle depending on the results of the wild-card weekend. Despite it being his first trip to the postseason, he is ready to be the leader in the huddle.

"My confidence really hasn't been shaken since Week One with all of the ups and downs that we went through," Cutler said. (Chicago Tribune)

Cavaliers hire homeless man

A homeless man in Cleveland gets his big break. The Cleveland Cavaliers offered Ted Williams a position to put his rich, velvety smooth voice to work. Team spokesman Tad Carper said that job could include working in the Cavaliers downtown arena, the Quicken Loans Arena. (Tribune News Service)

Unfinished Bears job a 'bitter pill' for John Fox, but the legacy lies beyond just the W-L record

john_fox_mullin_story.jpg
USA TODAY

Unfinished Bears job a 'bitter pill' for John Fox, but the legacy lies beyond just the W-L record

When John Fox succeeded Marc Trestman in 2015, neither he nor the Bears were looking at the situation and Fox as any sort of “bridge” hire – a de facto interim coach tasked with winning, but just as importantly, developing and getting a team turned around and headed in a right direction.

The heart of the matter is always winning, but in the overall, the mission statement also includes leaving the place better than you found it. Fox did that, which is very clearly the sentiment upstairs at Halas Hall as the Bears move on from Fox to Matt Nagy.

“It would’ve been nice to see it through,” Fox said to NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s kind of a bitter pill but you sort things out and move forward.

“I do think it’s closer than people think. We inherited a mess... but I felt we were on the brink at the end. I think that [Halas Hall] building is definitely different; they feel it. I do think that it was a positive.”

(Fox is probably not done coaching at some point, but that’s for another time, another story, and anyway, it’s his tale to tell when he feels like it. Or doesn’t.)

One measure of the Bears change effected: Virtually the entire Trestman staff, with the exceptions of receivers coach Mike Groh and linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, was jettisoned along with Trestman. By contrast, Nagy has retained not only virtually the entire Fox defensive staff under coordinator Vic Fangio, but also arguably the single most important non-coordinator offensive coach by virtue of position responsibility – Dave Ragone, the hands-on mentor of quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Obvious but extremely difficult decisions are coming, as to shedding personnel and contracts – Josh Sitton, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young being among the most difficult because of tangible intangibles that no organization wants to lose.

“Bridge” results

Fox was never intended as a bridge coach but the results point to that function having been served. To exactly what end remains to play out under Nagy and the quarterback whom Ragone and Fox’s handling began developing.

Rick Renteria was one of those “bridge” guys for the Cubs, intended to be part of pulling out of or at least arresting the slide into the Mike Quade-Dale Sveum abyss, and leaving something for Joe Maddon. The late Vince Lombardi effectively served as that, at age 56 and for an unforeseen one-year for a Washington Redskins organization that’d gone 13 years without a winning season before Lombardi’s 1969 and needed a radical reversal. The culture change was realized over the next decade under George Allen and Jack Pardee, much of the success coming with the same players with whom Washington had languished before the culture change.

The Bears were in that state after the two years of Trestman and the three years of GM Phil Emery, certain of whose character-lite veteran player acquisitions (Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall) and high-character launchings (Brian Urlacher) had left a palpable pall over Halas Hall. A Fox goal was to eradicate that, which insiders in Lake Forest say privately was accomplished even amid the catastrophic crush of three straight seasons of 10 or more losses, and with injuries at historic levels.

What happens next is in the hands of Nagy and GM Ryan Pace, after a third John Fox franchise turnaround failed to materialize. Or did it? Because much of the core, from Trubisky through the defensive makeover, came on Fox’s watch, like him or not.

“You wish some things would’ve happened differently obviously,” Fox said, “but there was a lot positive that happened.”

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

The Blackhawks have banned the four fans — who were ejected from Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals for their racist remarks towards Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly — from future home games.

On Monday, a Blackhawks spokesperson released this statement:

We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also wanted to remind fans that they can alert security at the United Center by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST <SPACE> followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.