Bulls

CSN looks back at one of the windiest days in NFL history on the next installment of Bears Classics

CSN looks back at one of the windiest days in NFL history on the next installment of Bears Classics

‘Bears Classics’ presented by Knauz Automotive Group season premiere to debut Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM CT -- Exclusively on Comcast SportsNet

Narrated by Chicago Bears/Pro Football Hall of Fame legend DICK BUTKUS

Chicago, IL (October 22, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet and the Chicago Bears will debut a brand new installment of its partnered Bears Classics presented by Knauz Automotive Group documentary series when the network will once again go back in time to highlight one of the more unique meteorological occurrences in NFL history that produced an unforgettable, record-setting play by a Bears defensive back.

In its third season premiere, debuting Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet, Bears Classics will turn back the clock to November 13, 2005 when the Bears hosted the San Francisco 49ers at a blustery (to say the least) Soldier Field.  Chicago is no stranger to strong winds coming off Lake Michigan, but conditions were extreme throughout this game, as peak gusts reached levels of over 50 mph.  However, the winds played in the Bears favor on the very last play of the first half.

With :02 left on the clock, 49ers kicker Joe Nedney lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt that caught one of the those strong gusts, forcing the football to go wide right.  At that moment, an alert Bears cornerback - Nathan Vasher - was eight yards deep in the end zone when he caught the football, hesitated for a moment…then simply went for it.  Combined with Vasher’s speed and some key sideline blocks from linebacker Lance Briggs and safety Chris Harris, Vasher tore up the field to make NFL history with a record-setting 108-yard play.

This 17-9 Bears win over the 49ers gave the team its fifth-straight victory and a 6-3 record at that point in the ’05 season.  The team finished with an NFC North best 11-5 record, which ultimately fell to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

This edition of Bears Classics, subtitled Winds of Change, takes an in-depth look back at that game featuring candid interviews with players and coaches from both teams, along with those who covered that historic game ten years ago.  Plus, this hour-long documentary will also breakdown the key plays and moments from the game, which included a devastating injury to the Bears first-round draft pick, running back Cedric Benson. 

This edition of CSN’s Emmy-nominated Bears Classics documentary series will be narrated by Chicago Bears legend/Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.  Butkus played for the Bears from 1965-1973 and is credited for redefining the middle linebacker position.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.  Comcast SportsNet’s Sarah Lauch is the Executive Producer of Bears Classics, Willie Parker is the Producer, and Kevin Cross is the network’s Senior Director of News & Original Content.

In addition to the documentary narration by Butkus, among the numerous players/media/execs interviewed in this edition of Bears Classics include exclusive interviews with the following individuals:

NATHAN VASHER

Bears Cornerback (2004-09)

REX GROSSMAN

Bears Quarterback (2003-08)

THOMAS JONES

Bears Running Back (2004-06)

LANCE BRIGGS

Bears Linebacker (2003-14)

TOMMIE HARRIS

Bears Defensive Tackle (2004-10)

BERNARD BERRIAN

Bears Wide Receiver (2004-07)

ADEWALE OGUNLEYE

Bears Defensive End (2004-09)

ISRAEL IDONIJE

Bears Defensive Tackle/End (2004-12)

ROBBIE GOULD

Bears Kicker (2005-present)

JERRY AZUMAH

Bears Cornerback (1999-2005)

ANTHONY ADAMS

49ers Defensive Tackle (2003-06); Bears Defensive/Nose Tackle (2007-11)

JOE NEDNEY

49ers Kicker (2005-10)

LAURENCE HOLMES

WSCR AM 670 “The Score” host

PEGGY KUSINSKI

NBC 5 Chicago Bears beat reporter

JOHN “MOON” MULLIN

CSNChicago.com Bears “Insider”

LARRY MAYER

ChicagoBears.com Senior Writer

SCOTT HAGEL

Bears Vice President of Communications

Please note the following quotes from Comcast SportsNet’s premiere airing of Bears Classics: Winds of Change,debuting Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM CT:

NATHAN VASHER (on returning a 49ers' missed field goal for a 108-yard touchdown, setting an NFL record):  "The hardest part was to be able to catch it, you know, leaning back and not to go out of bounds, but I mean it was right before halftime so there wasn't any time left…let's take it out and see how it goes. And the rest is history."

ANTHONY ADAMS (as a 49ers defender watching Vasher's historic run): "Vasher runs right past me...right past.  I remember this like I remember my kids being born…he ran right past me and I wanted to trip him!"

TOMMIE HARRIS (on the extreme weather conditions at Soldier Field): "I've never played a game that windy.  I mean the pylons were rolling off...you could barely stand up as a player."

REX GROSSMAN (on returning to action in 2005 after missing 13 games with an injury): "My leadership as a whole, I felt like I was just totally trying to be me…to be who I was…smile, have a good time, be intense when I needed to be, and do my job."

THOMAS JONES (on the competition with top draft choice Cedric Benson for lead running back): "It's one thing when you're competing on the field.  It's another thing when you're competing off the field, so we really never had a relationship.  I tried to in the beginning, but once I realized that wasn't going to work, I just focused on doing what I was doing on the field."

Comcast SportsNet will also re-air this episode of Bears Classics on Tue, Nov. 10 at 7pm – and again on Wed, Nov. 18 at 7pm.  Details regarding November’s premiere episode of Bears Classics will be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition, fans can also get interactive prior and during every airing of Bears Classics with their thoughts, memories and comments by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsClassics.  Plus, CSNChicago.com will provide additional, online exclusive interviews and commentary write-ups from a variety of Comcast SportsNet on-air talent members and from CSNChicago.com’s Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin.  

Denzel Valentine suffers setback on injured left ankle, will be reevaluated in 2 weeks

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USA TODAY

Denzel Valentine suffers setback on injured left ankle, will be reevaluated in 2 weeks

Denzel Valentine’s troublesome left ankle is going to keep him on the sideline for at least the next two weeks. Fred Hoiberg said Saturday before the Bulls’ home opener against the Detroit Pistons that Valentine is suffering from a bone bruise in the ankle he sprained on the second day of training camp. Valentine will be evaluated in two weeks.

“It sucks because of all the work I put in this summer and being around the guys you want to be out there so bad,” he said. “Things happen for a reason, and now that we know what’s going on I at least have a time frame and be patient with it; it’s bad news but good news at the same time as it gives me time to get ready.”

Valentine had been practicing earlier in the week and appeared close to a return after spraining the ankle on Sept. 25. But the third year wing complained of discomfort in the ankle and missed practice on Friday. A scan of the left ankle revealed the bone bruise, and Hoiberg wouldn’t speculate on when exactly Valentine might return.

It’s the same ankle Valentine had surgery on in May 2017. Valentine also missed the last two weeks of last season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. The injury couldn’t come at a worse time for Valentine or the Bulls, who are in desparate need of help both in the backcourt and on the wing.

Though Valentine isn’t a true point guard, he averaged 3.2 assists per game off the bench last season. The Bulls could use that kind of production when Kris Dunn returns on Monday, as Cameron Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono haven’t exactly showed promise in the early going.

Instead, Valentine is on the mend and it’s unclear when he might return. Given he’s had surgery on the same ankle before, the Bulls will be cautious upon his return.

“I’m a fighter, I’m not going to quit; just deal with the hand dealt," Valentine said. "I can’t sit here and be negative, I just got to fight, stay mentally strong and this will be bittersweet when I come back and have a great year.”

Still in search of guard depth, Bulls reportedly 'planning to sign' Shaquille Harrison

Still in search of guard depth, Bulls reportedly 'planning to sign' Shaquille Harrison

The Bulls are still scrambling to add depth at point guard and found another body to throw in the rotation.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Bulls "are planning to sign" Shaquille Harrison. Harrison was waived by the Suns on Monday.

In order to complete the move, the Bulls are reportedly waiving center Omer Asik.

Harrison went undrafted out of Tulsa in 2016. The Suns signed him and sent him to the then NBA D-League. Last season, the 25-year-old from Kansas City played in 23 games and made two starts in the NBA. He averaged 6.6 points and 2.4 assists in 16.7 minutes per game.

The Suns signed Jamal Crawford earlier this week and waived Harrison. The Bulls apparently have swooped in.

This move comes just six days after the Bulls added Tyler Ulis, who was also waived by the Suns. Ulis didn't play in the season-opening loss at Philadelphia.

Kris Dunn will miss his second straight game Saturday against the Pistons. His absence against the Sixers showed the lack of depth at guard for the Bulls. Cam Payne started at point guard and split minutes with Ryan Arcidiacono. Payne went 0-for-4 in 21 minutes and led coach Fred Hoiberg to say potential lineup changes are "still up in the air."

Harrison can now join Payne, Arcidiacono and Ulis in a battle for backup minutes at point guard when Dunn returns to the lineup.