Bears

5 Questions with ... Melissa McGurren

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5 Questions with ... Melissa McGurren

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with... On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest ... a standout cast member of the enormously popular Eric and Kathy Show on 101.9 FM THE MIX ... shes a Northwest Indiana native whose love of media and personal drive to make it in the crazy world of radio broadcasting landed her at just about the best place one can hope to be at in the biz ... plus, she's pretty damn funny too ... here are 5 Questions with ... MELISSA McGURREN!

 

BIO: Moving to Chicago wasn't a far trip for Melissa McGurren, who grew up in Portage, Ind. At the age of 8, Melissa was already writing and creating radio shows on cassette tapes to play for her mom. Although the shows needed some work (come on, she was only 8 years old), she decided to pursue a career in radio. Melissa started her radio career in the Hoosier State in Hammond and Merrillville before becoming the sidekick/traffic reporter at THE MIX. She consistently strives to be the best Melissa she can be and says there is always more to learn through new experiences in life. The new love of her life is her son Porter, who was born in December 2010. "With a twinkle in his eye, he stole my heart. Ok, so that's super cheesy," she says, but it's completely true.

 

1) CSNChicago.com: Melissa, first off, congrats to you and your fellow cast of characters on the massive success of the Eric and Kathy Show. The shows popularity seems limitless right now. There's no doubt you've attained a solid fan base over the years thanks in part to your great sense of humor and ability to put your male counterparts in their place if needed! As the aforementioned primary sidekick to E & K, do you have any aspirations to one day soon have your own radio show? Do tell.

McGurren: Well, I'll say this ... I don't know what the future holds for me. I love my job, I love radio and I can't imagine not being on the air. I think my future is radio. Likely in the capacity of on-air, but as long as there is growth with the Eric and Kathy Show, both on the air and in the studio, I'll be there. If the show ever ends (let's say, 30 years from now), I'll probably just retire. All kidding aside, who knows what path the future holds, but when something "feels right", I just go with it. Right now, the Eric and Kathy Show "feels right."

 

2) CSNChicago.com: Being a public figure as a radio personality naturally opens up your personal life to your listeners (i.e. the trials and tribulations of motherhood, relationships, etc.). Was/is that particular aspect of your job difficult for you or do you feel that it is just an absolute requirement in order to further connect to your audience?

McGurren: When I first started, I didn't mind talking about some aspects of my life. This was when I was on another morning show. Yeah that's right. I did a different show (for a short time). Anyone remember Tim and Willy, on Kick's Country? Actually, I loved those guys but you probably don't remember. They weren't around very long. When the popularity of the Eric and Kathy Show increased, so did the information about our personal lives. I must admit, it was a HUGE adjustment, but there's something about sharing some parts of your life with the audience that not only makes them relate more to you, but you relate more to them. This comes in the form of e-mails (mostly). People share their stories with me. They introduce themselves when we're out and they attend our functions. I love it. I actually feel like I'm friends with them as much as they are with me.

 

3) CSNChicago.com: You've stated that you don't know that much about sports ... not sure if I can believe that. Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp, for example, regularly appears on the show as do other athletes from time to time. Simple question: do you ever get nervous when an athlete is on the show in fear of your self-proclaimed lack of sports knowledge?

McGurren: Well you can believe it. I don't know much about sports. I definitely know more now that we talk about it on the show, but I don't really follow it. I get why people love sports. I've gone to some games myself and have thoroughly enjoyed all that goes on, be it the tailgating, the camaraderie, etc. As far as being nervous when pro athletes come in, nah...not really. Typically they listen to the show anyway and already know the dynamics. We talk about a lot of things non-sports related so I'm fine in that aspect.

 

4) CSNChicago.com: If you could be one celebrity for one week, who would it be and why?

McGurren: Just one? There are at least 11 that I would pick, but if I can only pick one ... Chelsea Handler. She says what she wants, does what she wants, is very funny and I still think deep down she is a pretty nice lady. I know I worry too much about saying the wrong thing to people or hurting their feelings.

 

5) CSNChicago.com: Name your Top 3 favorite songs/artists that would NEVER be played on The Mix?

McGurren: Ok, first up, give me some old Dixie Chicks and I'm pretty much in heaven. There's something appealing about a song that speaks to a lot of women who aren't ready to settle down and want to have fun instead of the stereotype ... a woman that just wants to find a man and have babies. I went through a time of just wanting to have fun myself and so have my girlfriends. So boys, don't just jump to conclusions on the ladies. Also, I'd have to go with Foo Fighters -- I may not always be in the mood for them, but when I am ... look out! Besides, David Grohl is dreamy. Michael Jackson -- Like most people, I started listening to his music again after his sad death. His music will forever be timeless to me. Can I add a fourth? ANY Frank Sinatra song is fantastic!

 

BONUS QUESTION! CSNChicago.com: Anything you'd like to promote Melissa? Tell us ... CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it!

McGurren: I have StyleFile events that start every spring and last all summer. We get hundreds of people coming. I love hosting them, I love the people that come and it's just "a good ol' time." Listen on the show for upcoming events starting soon! Plus -- I'm looking for a charity that I can really be involved in that deals with animals. I don't want to donate money (I already do that). I want to be involved in the creative solutions to stop animal cruelty. If YOU know how to get me in there to help, email me (Melissa@wtmx.com)! I'm not looking to host events. I want to do more than that. I want to bust the bad guys!

 

McGurren LINKS:

Official WTMX Eric and Kathy Show home page

Melissa McGurren on Faceboo

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

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AP

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

There wasn’t a single game Harry Hiestand coached while at Notre Dame — 77 in total — in which he didn’t have a future top-20 pick starting at left tackle. 

Zack Martin (16th overall, 2014) was followed by Ronnie Stanley (6th overall, 2016), who gave way to Mike McGlinchey (9th overall, 2018). Hiestand also developed Quenton Nelson, who went on to be the highest interior offensive lineman drafted (6th overall, 2018) since 1986. Nelson and McGlinchey became the first pair of college offensive line teammates to be drafted in the first 10 picks since 1991, when Tennessee had tackles Charles McRae and Antone Davis go seventh and eighth. 

“It wasn’t surprising because the kind of guys they are, they absolutely did everything the right way, the way they took care of themselves, the way they trained, the teammates that they are and were,” Hiestand said. “They just did it all the way you wanted them to do it. So it was. It was a good moment.”

Hiestand said he had a sense of pride after seeing his two former players be drafted so high, even if he wasn't able to re-unite with either of them. The Bears, of course, didn’t have a chance to draft Nelson, and had conviction on using the eighth overall pick on linebacker Roquan Smith (as well as having tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie in place for the 2018 season). 

Anecdotally, one former Notre Dame player said (maybe half-jokingly) that Nelson and McGlinchey were fighting each other to see who could get drafted by the Bears to play with Hiestand again.

“There’s nobody that I’ve been around in this game that’s more passionate about what he does,” McGlinchey, now with the San Francisco 49ers, said of Hiestand at Notre Dame’s pro day in March. “There’s really only two things that are important to him, and that’s his family and then his offensive linemen. There’s a lot to be said for that. 

“In this game, everybody’s always trying to work an angle to up their own career — he doesn’t want to do anything but coach O-line, and that’s what really sticks out to us as players. He cares for us like we’re his own. Obviously he coaches extremely hard and is very demanding of his players, which I loved — he pushed me to be the player that I am.

“I’m standing in front of all you guys because of Harry Hiestand. But the amount of passion and care that he has not only for his job but his teaching abilities and his players is what sets him apart.”

Hiestand could’ve stayed as long as he wanted at Notre Dame, presumably, given how much success he had recruiting and developing players there. But six years at one spot is a long time for a position coach, especially at the college level, where the grind of recruiting is so vital to the success of a program. It’s also not like every one of the blue-chip prospects Hiestand recruited to South Bend panned out, either. 

So Hiestand knew he wanted to get back to the NFL after coaching with the Bears under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. It’s a new challenge for him now, not only to develop second-round pick James Daniels but to continue the growth of Cody Whitehair and Leno while getting the most out of Kyle Long, Massie and the rest of the group (back during his first stint with the Bears, Hiestand had the luxury of coaching experienced, more ready-made offensive lines). 

As one of the more highly-regarded offensive line coaches in the country, though, Hiestand could’ve jumped back into the NFL whenever, and nearly wherever, he wanted. And for him, coming back to the Bears was the perfect fit. 

“That’s an awesome, awesome place, a great franchise,” Hiestand said. “It was something, I always wanted to go back, I didn’t know where I would get the opportunity. So I’m just very fortunate it just happened to be back at the same place that I was before. There are a lot of things that are different but there’s also a lot that’s the same. 

“But it’s one of the — it is the greatest organization. Historically, this is where it all began, and being part of it — and the other thing, and I told those guys when I got here, when we get it done here, you guys are going to see this city like you’ve never seen it. And I remember that. That’s what we’re after.” 

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

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USA Today

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

Don't be fooled by Tarik Cohen's height. He has towering confidence and he's setting up to have a big role in coach Matt Nagy's offense in 2018.

“On a scale of 1-10, the dangerous level is probably 12,” Cohen said Wednesday at Halas Hall about the impact he can have in the Bears' new system. “Because in backyard football, it’s really anything goes, and it’s really whoever gets tired first, that’s who’s going to lose. I’m running around pretty good out here, so I feel like I’m doing a good job.”

Cohen proved last season he can thrive in space. He made an impact as a runner, receiver and return man and will have a chance at an even bigger workload this fall, assuming he can handle it.

With Jordan Howard established as the starting running back, Cohen knows his touches will come in a variety of ways.

“It might not necessarily be rushes,” he said. “But it’s going to be all over the field, and that’s what I like to do. Any way I can get the ball or make a play for my team, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”

Cohen averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry as a rookie and led all NFL running backs in the percentage of carries that went for at least 15 yards. He's a big play waiting to happen.