Bears

Word on the Street: Singletary won't return as head coach

Word on the Street: Singletary won't return as head coach

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Singletary will not return as head coach

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary will not return as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers next season, according to reports out of CSNBayArea.com. The 49ers lost to the division rival St. Louis Rams 25-17 Sunday, effectively knocking the preseason NFC West favorite out of the postseason.

The 49ers are now 5-10 with one game left to play and there are reports that he may very well be fired even before the final game of the season. If not, it is confirmed the former Monster of the Midway will not be back next year. (CSNBayArea.com)
Cubs out of the running for Webb

Brandon Webb has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Texas Rangers, pending a physical. The Cubs were said to be out of the running for the pitcher's services before Sunday, when those talks were nixed before the Webb-Texas report.

A source claims Webb is closing in on a decision from both of the remaining teams. The veteran has not pitched since Opening Day of 2009, but has drawn interest this offseason as his shoulder is reportedly healthy. (ESPN.com and MLB.com)

Vikings-Eagles pushed to Tuesday night
Thanks to a horrendous storm on the east coast, the Philadelphia Eagles' matchup with the Minnesota Vikings that was originally scheduled for Sunday night has been moved to Tuesday night. The game will be played at 7 p.m. CST and televised still on NBC.

"Due to public safety concerns in light of today's snow emergency in Philadelphia, tonight's Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "Because of the uncertainty of the extent of tonight's storm and its aftermath, the game will be played on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared. The National Weather Service states that a winter storm warning in Philadelphia remains in effect until 1 pm on Monday."(Chicago Tribune)

Hawks regaining health

Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg will play in Sunday night's Blackhawks game against the Columbus Blue Jackts. Hossa hasn't played since he was hurt in practice on Nov. 29 with a lower body injury. Stalberg was injured Dec. 15 in a game against Colorado.

Patrick Kane is still sidelined and is going to evaluate how he feels after Monday's practice before making a choice about whether or not he will play Tuesday in St. Louis. (CSNChicago.com)

Vikings could play outdoors in '11

The Vikings must have enjoyed their outdoor game against the Bears last Monday night because there is talk of Minnesota playing outside for all of the 2011 season.

Sources say Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is assessing the viability of the Vikings playing in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota (where they played the Bears last Monday) for the entire season. (ESPN.com)

Bulls leading the way in home attendance

LeBron James left a void on the Cleveland Cavaliers when he took his talents to South Beach, but the fans are still packing the stands in the King's old castle. The Cavs have the second best home average attendance with 20, 562. Only the Bulls draw more fans at home. (NY Times)

Parity in the NFC North?

The Detroit Lions, who have spent the larger part of the decade in the NFC North cellar, have now won three straight games and sit at 5-10 on the season. The Lions were heralded as a much-improved team coming into the '10 season, but until recently, they hadn't shown much proof of that. But, after a win against the 7-8 Miami Dolphins (a team that was previously still alive in the AFC playoff picture), Detroit now has its best winning streak since 2007. (Chicago Tribune)

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.