Bears

Word on the Street: Ozzie's fashion statement

Word on the Street: Ozzie's fashion statement

Friday, April 1, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Ozzie sporting a new look?

Ozzie Guillen showed up to the postgame press conference with a new wardrobe, a shirt that read "Ozzie mows Wrigley Field," complete with a photo of the White Sox manager mowing the lawn at the Cubs' home field. (CSNChicago.com)

Rodman in the Hall of Fame?

The Pistons honored Dennis Rodman by retiring his No. 10 Friday night, but a bigger honor awaits Monday.

A Pistons source confirms that the NBA will announce that Rodman is part of the 2011 class of Hall of Fame inductees.

Rodman didn't speak much on the topic of the Hall of Fame during a 20-minute press conference Friday evening, deflecting one question about it by saying he had a lot going on. But he did touch on several other topics and became very emotional at times. (mlive.com)Holliday to undergo appendectomy

The St. Louis Cardinals will have to play without another major contributor for a while this season. Just a day after hitting a solo home run in the season opener, Matt Holliday will undergo an appendectomy.

The outfielder went home after the 5-3 extra-inning loss to the Padres and began feeling pain.

General manager John Mozeliak said the club will not make any roster moves today, instead waiting to hear from doctors about how the surgery goes. (StlToday.com)

The best goal call in Fire history?

The Chicago Fire defeated the Colorado Rapids in the second round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying at Shea Stadium in Peoria on Wednesday. But it is the energetic and at times hysterical goal calls that have had fans talking.

Communications Manager Brendan Hannan made his play-by-play debut alongside Team Writer Jeff Crandall, and drew inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld. (Chicago-Fire.com)

More and more agree: Cam Newton is No. 1 pick

On NFL Network's late-night edition of "Total Access" Thursday, Albert Breer became the latest reporter to predict Cam Newton will be the No. 1 selection in April's draft.

"If you ask me today, Cam Newton goes to Carolina with (the) first pick, Breer wrote on Twitter just before the segment. Breer added on air, This kid has dealt with a lot of things. And hes been a leader throughout it. I spoke to a personnel man recently. He would be shocked if Cam Newton wasnt the No. 1 overall pick. (Newton) still remains strong there as the top quarterback in the draft. (ProFootballTalk)

Krause leaving Sox for Arizona job

The White Sox's struggling effort to maintain a presence in Latin America is facing yet another challenge. Director of White Sox international scouting Jerry Krause will leave the team to take a position with Arizona.

Krause held his position with the Sox for less than one year. He leaves to serve as special assistant to Jerry DiPoto, the Diamondbacks' executive vice president of scouting and player development.

Krause was the Bulls' former general manager and had spent 21 of his 37 years scouting baseball players. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Unlikely ex-Hawk garners Goal of the Night honors

The folks at ProHockeyTalk select the best save and goal every night during the NHL season, and last night, Ben Eager won the title of Best Goal of the Night.

No, this is not an April Fool's Day joke, Eager, the former Blackhawks enforcer is the legitimate Goal of the Night winner.

Currently on the San Jose Sharks, Eager showed that he could use his hands for more than just fighting, taking a nice pass and moving it to his backhand to score a beauty of a goal. (ProHockeyTalk)

Looking deeper to understand how John Fox still commands Bears trust through bad times

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USA TODAY

Looking deeper to understand how John Fox still commands Bears trust through bad times

I’ve always placed great stock in the drama tenet, “Action is character.” What an actor/person does in significant part defines their character, or lack of same.

Conversely, in some situations, what someone doesn’t do can be equally defining or revealing. A couple of those involving the Bears are worth noting, because they suggest things about John Fox and and his staff, and perhaps a bit of what players think of them.

Nothing stunning, just a case of when you pull the camera back for a little wider angle, a broader picture forms out of seemingly separate or isolated incidents. Fox has never lost his teams through three generally miserable seasons, those teams consistently played hard through bad times. A handful of specific situations offer some insight into perhaps why:

The Cohen conundrum

Fox and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains came in for scalding criticism for their recent seeming under-utilization of running back Tarik Cohen. The closest either came to laying out the real reason was a reference to concerns about the rookie’s pass-protection capabilities, no small issue against Green Bay and coordinator Dom Capers’ blitz proclivities; coaches want to see Mitch Trubisky wearing a Bears uniform, not Clay Matthews.

Cohen may be the Bears’ leading receiver, but if a back can’t present the viable option of pass protection, the offense is limited even more than it already is anyway with a rookie quarterback.

Come forward a week: Overlooked in the aftermath of the loss to Detroit, in which Cohen was not part of the hurry-up offense driving for a winning or tying score, was the fact that Cohen simply didn’t know the plays well enough in that situation. Fox didn’t say so. Neither did Loggains.

Cohen did.

Asked afterwards what he wasn’t solid with, Cohen owned it: "Probably the hurry-up plays at those positions. I know certain plays at those positions, but to open up the whole playbook with me, I’ll have to learn all of those plays.”

Should he have been up to a faster speed in week 10? That’s another discussion. But like it or not, his coaches were not going to be the ones to out him.

The Howard hassle

Jordan Howard finished 2016 second to only Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott in rushing yardage. He began the year inactive for game one and lightly used in games two and three. The reason Loggains gave from the podium was that coaches didn’t really know what they had in Howard.

Yes. They did. But Loggains didn’t cite Howard for not being in shape to carry the load the offense needed. Neither did Fox.

Howard did.

“I should’ve been in better shape,” Howard said at the outset of training camp last July. “I should’ve been playing earlier if I would’ve handled what I had to do.”

Some very effective coaches have used public embarrassment for motivation; Mike Ditka assessed that he wasn’t sure Donnell Woolford could cover anybody, and Buddy Ryan summarized that “No. 55 [Otis Wilson] killed us,” for instance.

Fox and his staff don’t do that and they’ve have taken the heat for their players, which does frustrate those tasked with accurately reporting sometimes hard information.

Medical restraint

Fox’s tenure has been awash in major injuries to pivotal players. He has made points in his locker room by shielding those players and their issues whether outsiders like it or not.

That started back with Kevin White and the infamous stress fracture that Fox was accused of knowing about and lying that he didn’t. The real situation was that medical opinions (and the Bears had gotten a bunch) were divided to the point where the Bears opted against surgery until it was conclusive that the shadow on an x-ray was indeed a fracture. Fox refused to call the injury a stress fracture with the doctors so divided, and he was pilloried for it. But not in his locker room.

The organization very much needed Pro Bowl lineman Kyle Long this season for an offense that certainly wasn’t going to live on the arm of Mike Glennon. Long was testy and combative during training camp, and “honestly I’ve been champing at the bit to get back,” he conceded, “but they’ve done a good job of pulling the reins a little bit and making sure that I understand that it’s a long season.”

Small things, not necessarily connected, but as Fox’s third season winds down, what his team shows will factor into decisions on his future. The Bears right now, after the Green Bay and Detroit losses effectively ended the “hope” part of their season, are entering that dreary phase of a year when effort will be critiqued as critically as performance.

The on-field results now will say something about character, Fox’s own and the collective one he has worked to instill since January 2015.

How to watch and/or stream the IHSA football state finals this weekend

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How to watch and/or stream the IHSA football state finals this weekend

It's Thanksgiving weekend, which among other things, means the IHSA football state finals are taking place.

NBC Sports Chicago has live coverage of the finals of all eight classes and is streaming every telecast, including surrounding pre/postgame coverage, to be made available to authenticated subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the NBC Sports app.

Check out the action taking place in Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday with the Class 1A final and concluding Saturday night with the Class 8A final and a special recap edition of High School Lites following the final game. Highlights from each of the games will be available on our website throughout the weekend.

The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago is also available on numerous digital streaming services including DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling TV, CenturyLink Stream, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.  For a full list of carriers and more information about NBC Sports Chicago’s live streaming service, viewers are urged to visit nbcsportschicago.com/live-faq.

Here is the full schedule for the weekend's games and broadcast coverage:

Friday, November 24

LIVE NOW: Class 1A: LENA-WINSLOW (Lena) [13-0] vs. TUSCOLA [13-0]

1:00 PM – Class 2A: GIBSON CITY-MELVIN-SIBLEY (Gibson City) [13-0] vs. MAROA-FORSYTH (Maroa) [12-1]

4:00 PM – Class 3A: IC CATHOLIC (Elmhurst) [12-1] vs. PLEASANT PLAINS [10-3]

7:00 PM – Class 4A: MORRIS [11-2] vs. ROCHESTER [13-0] (NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; please visit our CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

Saturday, November 25

10:00 AM – Class 5A: PHILLIPS (Chicago) [13-0] vs. DUNLAP [13-0]

1:00 PM – Class 6A: PRAIRIE RIDGE (Crystal Lake) [13-0] vs. NAZARETH ACADEMY (LaGrange Park) [12-1]

4:00 PM – Class 7A: BATAVIA [12-1] vs. LAKE ZURICH [13-0] (NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; please visit our CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

7:00 PM – Class 8A: LINCOLN-WAY East (Frankfort) [13-0] vs. LOYOLA ACADEMY (Wilmette) [12-1] (NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; please visit our CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

Further information is available at this link. Edgy Tim previewed each of the eight games here and has players to watch for the weekend.