The Chicago Bears have dedicated their offseason to finding a kicker to replace Cody Parkey who famously doinked a ball off the uprights in the final seconds of a playoff game. Head coach Matt Nagy has gone to unconventional lengths to try and drum up intensity and pressure in practices to test the kicking candidates mettle.
And in the first preseason game of 2019, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera decided to help Nagy and the Bears out by icing the kicker.
"I did that to help the Bears, because they're in a kicking contest," Rivera told reporters after the game.
Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro are the two kickers vying for the job and it was Fry lining up to take the kick from 43-yards, the same distance that Parkey attempted in that ill-fated playoff game, when the timeout was called.
Fortunately, Fry made the kick and the fans erupted in cheers, a theme that carried on throughout the night with the spotlight on the kickers.
For more on the #KickerWatch with the Bears, check out this article from Bears Insider JJ Stankevitz.
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The Chicago Cubs tied the Washington Redskins for 14th on Forbes' Most Valuable Sports Teams 2019 list with a $3.1 billion valuation. The Cubs' valuation grew by 7% year over year.
The Cubs are the fourth-most valuable franchise in MLB behind the Yankees ($4.1B), the Dodgers ($3.3B) and the Red Sox ($3.2B). Only seven MLB teams made the Top 50.
Two other Chicago teams, the Bears and the Bulls, are tied for 19th on the list with a value of $2.9 billion. The Bears' value grew just 2% while the Bulls' valuation grew by 12% year over year.
The rise of the pro sports teams valued over $2 billion has been pretty meteoric over the past decade. In 2012, only Manchester United was valued over $2 billion and in 2019 that number has risen to 52.
In 2012, only the Knicks and Lakers made the Top 50 list but in 2019 the Bulls are one of nine teams to earn a spot. The Bulls were the fourth-most valuable NBA franchise in 2019 behind the Knicks ($4B), Lakers ($3.7B) and Warriors ($3.5B).
Forbes credits the NBA's international prospects and worldwide revenue growth for the league's rise in the list.
No NHL teams made the list, the New York Rangers were the most-valued hockey team at $1.55 billion, 72nd highest.
The Bulls expected to be picking at the top of the NBA Draft after finishing in the top 4 of lottery odds. They dropped to seventh however, but could they be moving up?
Some think they can, and former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose "proposes" a Bulls-Pelicans trade while strongly suggesting their might be insider info behind this "proposal."
When asked what the Pelicans should do with the No. 4 pick, Rose suggests a trade.
"If I was them.... I guess I'm going to say this, I was going to look at my phone to see if I was able to say this," Rose says. "I'll swap with the Bulls and try to get [Zach] LaVine from them.... and give [the Bulls] Lonzo Ball."
So that would be the Bulls sending the seventh overall pick and LaVine to New Orleans for Lonzo Ball and the fourth overall pick.
When asked if that was going to happen, Rose coyly responded "we'll see."
Ball has been connected to Chicago ever since the Lakers started pursuing Anthony Davis during last season. Rumors also connected the Bulls to the Lakers-Pelicans trade for Davis in the past couple weeks as the third team. And further rumors have suggested the Bulls were the most active team in regards to moving up in the NBA Draft.
But what would it take to move up in the draft and who would the Bulls pick? Mark Strotman has the answers.
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