Bears

Konroyd: Where do we go from here?

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Konroyd: Where do we go from here?

Another playoff game in the books, another controversial incident, and another black eye for the NHL. A great question was posed by a tweeter in our postgame show wanting to know what can be done "about the ref's current inability to keep the game under control." An excellent question and one that has a lot of different components to the answer.

My attempt at an answer, and this is the short version, is that as a ref you have to have a feel for the game. Now I'll admit that NHL hockey is far and away the toughest sport to officiate, but when we see crimes on the ice go unpunished, it leaves you shaking your head and wondering what these sheriffs on the ice are doing. And it goes beyond the Marian Hossa non-call. But we might as well start there.

Raffi Torres, who has been very effective and valuable to Phoenix in this series so far, had just leveled Dylan Olsen -- a pretty sturdy defenseman at 215 pounds -- and Torres was on a roll. He proceeded to catapult himself into Marian Hossa (about six seconds after the Olsen hit) with a well-placed shoulder to the head. Think of it as a 210 pound punch flying through the air and smashing into your jaw. There was a linesman five feet away who must have felt the impact because he started to put his arm up to protect himself when Hossa was knocked horizontal.

Maybe he was watching the puck, but there were three other officials on the ice, two of which have to be watching for just this type of penalty. Not only did everyone miss it, they let Hossa lie on the ice motionless and concussed for a good 10 seconds before they blew the whistle. Head trainer Mike Gapski was already on the ice attending to the victim as 22,000 screaming fans were calling for the refs attention.

It was almost as if they didn't want to see it because they knew they had screwed up. And what was the reaction from referee Ian Walsh? An emphatic whistle and penalty, signalling Blackhawk Brandon Bollig to get to the penalty box. There would be none of these shenanigans on his watch! Wait a second, you ask yourself as you give your head a shake. Did I really just watch this? Where was he 20 seconds ago?

There was a spear that was missed and a flagrant trip that almost ended up in the back of the net for the Blackhawks. And that was all in just the first period. But getting back to the question, its all about feel. As a referee, you have to be so clued in to the game that you have to become one of the players. I can guarantee you that every player on the bench and on the ice saw that illegal hit. I know 22,000 fans did.

Bears vs Rams, Week 14: How to watch, listen and stream

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USA TODAY

Bears vs Rams, Week 14: How to watch, listen and stream

The Bears are facing their toughest test of the season against the NFC-leading Los Angeles Rams. Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky have been compared to Sean McVay and Jared Goff many times, and now they get to go head to head.

Here’s how you can tune in to the game.

Game Information

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago Bears (8-4)

7:20 p.m. CT, Sunday, Dec. 9

Soldier Field, Chicago

Television

Sunday Night Football on NBC

Announcers: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth

Stream

Stream on NBC Sports

Football Aftershow on NBC Sports Chicago

Radio

WBBM 780 (Chicago)

Satellite Radio

National broadcast: XM 88

Bears feed: XM 225

Rams feed: XM 226

Coverage on NBC Sports Chicago

“The Warm Up” — 15 minutes prior to every Bears game this season, host Laurence Holmes, along with analysts Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte, will hold a special Facebook Live segment on NBC Sports Chicago’s official Facebook page — offering a game day preview featuring their expert commentary and predictions. 

Plus - Bears fans will have also an opportunity to have their questions answered by submitting their game day inquiries via the “comments” section on the live stream.

“3rd Quarter Sidecast” — At the start of the third quarter of every Bears game this season, fans will also be able to interact with the Football Aftershow crew via Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) as they watch and react to the first few series of the second half.

In addition, the “3rd Quarter Sidecast” will also feature more fan interaction as fans can post their thoughts and ask their questions to Briggs, Brown, and Forte.

Bears vs. Rams: Top experts predict primetime loss for Chicago

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USA TODAY

Bears vs. Rams: Top experts predict primetime loss for Chicago

For most of the season, the top NFL analysts have backed the Bears in their weekly game predictions. But when a team like the Los Angeles Rams come to town, that confidence in Chicago vanished.

It doesn’t help that the Bears are coming off of a disappointing loss to the New York Giants, but the return of Mitchell Trubisky should provide enough of a boost to ease any lingering concerns.

Still, the second-year quarterback hasn’t faced an opponent of this caliber, and 78 percent of the national prognosticators are picking the Rams, according to NFL Pick Watch.

Out of the top 25 most accurate predictors, only four are picking the Bears on Sunday night. 

The analytics models mostly favor Los Angeles, but Microsoft Cortana is the only machine picking the home team.

Our own JJ Stankevitz predicts the Rams will win a close game that comes down to the wire.

The betting line has moved in the Bears’ favor, but everything seems to be stacked up against Matt Nagy in prime time.