Bears

Word on the Street: Bears to win multiple playoff games?

Word on the Street: Bears to win multiple playoff games?

Monday, Nov. 15, 2010CSNChicago.com
Bears 'King' for a day

In this morning's Monday Morning Quarterback column, the Bears -- and Devin Hester in particular, being named his co-Special Team Player of the Week -- received some high praise from Peter King.

"Very wise use of the dangerous Hester made the Bears' win over Minnesota much easier. He scored on a 19-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, then returned a punt 42 yards and a kickoff 68 yards. All in all, if Hester can impact the game as a receiver AND kickpunt-returner, the Bears have a chance to win multiple playoff games." (SI.com)

Sox apologize; keep new uniforms anyway

The White Sox recent decision to update their grey road uniforms, replacing the black diamond encasing a white sock with the S-O-X logo, infuriated many Sox fans and bloggers. Despite the negative reaction, the Sox are still planning to go forward with the change. Vice President of marketing Brooks Boyer did, however, send an email to some bloggers apologizing for the change.

"We have talked quite a bit about the road greys for a few years after getting input from our players, staff and even some fans," said Boyer in the email. "After looking at the road greys, we determined that the uniform should contain our main logo... I know this is not a popular decision with you guys and I am sorry to disappoint. In the event any or all of you are at SoxFest, please find me if you would like to discuss further." (Business Insider)

McNabb agrees to five-year extension
Redskins QB, and former Mt. Carmel High School standout, Donovan McNabb agreed to a five-year, 78 million contract extension, just 15 days after being benched for the final two series of Washington's final two drives in Detroit against the Lions.

He was replaced in the Oct. 31 game by former Bears signal-caller Rex Grossman. (CSNWashington.com)

Wrigley gets face lift for big game

The much-anticipated Northwestern v. Illinois game at Wrigley Field is just over a week away, and in participation for the big game Wrigley has undergone a minor face lift. The goalposts are up, the field lines are painted and, now, so is the famous marquee. In one of the biggest changes to the stadium in anticipation of the special occasion, the famous Wrigley Field marquee was painted purple on Monday.

But the purple marquee wont be the only unique feature of the converted converted baseball field. The dimensions of the park are also uncharacteristically tight for a football game. So tight, in fact, that the east goalpost is actually fastened to the bricks of the right field bleacher wall. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Korver to undergo MRI on knee

Kyle Korver could potentially miss a few games due to a sore knee. It was reported that Korver will not travel with the team on the start of their yearly west coast road trip so he can get an MRI on the injured knee. It is not yet known how many - if any - games Korver will miss, but his loss could make things even more difficult for a team already struggling with an injury to another key offensive player, Carlos Boozer. (Bulls Confidential - Chicago Now)

Ricketts: No plan B

Cubs owner Tom Rickets told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that he doesn't have a 'Plan B' if the state doesn't approve his proposal to borrow the 200 million he says is needed to upgrade and upkeep Wrigley Field.

Ricketts claims the planned construction to the ballpark would create more than 1,000 construction jobs but not everyone is sold. The Chicago Sun-Times editoral board, as well as many callers to sports radio shows, have ripped the plan, questioning why the state should help finance a project for one of the most valuable franchises in professional sports. (ChicagoBreakingBusiness)

Posey wins NL ROY; Castro finishes 5th

The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced on Monday that San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey won the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year award. Posey hit .305 and drove in 67 runs in his rookie campaign while helping lead the Giants to their World Series victory.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro finished 5th in the voting, tied with Pirates third baseman Neil Walker. Finishing in front of Castro were Posey, Jason Heyward, Jaime Garcia, and Gaby Sanchez. (Cubbies Crib)

Pierzynski to the Marlins?

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that there is mutual interest between A.J. Pierzynski and the Florida Marlins. Pierzynski's price tag may be too high for the small-market Marlins, but if they are successful in trading second baseman Dan Uggla, the money would become much less of an issue. Pierzynski, who lives in Florida, batted .270.300.388 with nine home runs in 2010. (Rotoworld)

Is Marcus Mariota the most logical QB target for the Bears?

Is Marcus Mariota the most logical QB target for the Bears?

Chicago Bears fans are sick and tired of the quarterback conversation surrounding this team as we enter the most important two month stretch of the offseason. My Twitter timeline (and vicious replies) are evidence of that. 

Duly noted.

That said, it's an unavoidable truth that GM Ryan Pace has no choice but to do something at quarterback in free agency or the NFL Draft. The most diehard Mitch Trubisky fan has to admit that. The former second overall pick hasn't developed into a franchise player through three seasons under center, and while the optimist would argue there's still time for him to become that guy, the realist is who must prevail when it comes to roster construction.

Marcus Mariota may be the perfect compromise. He doesn't have a resume that will immediately threaten Trubisky in 2020, but his sneaky upside combined with his youth and overall skill set is an ideal combination that could make him a long-term answer if Trubisky fails in the short-term.

According to Sports Illustrated, Chicago -- and coach Matt Nagy -- would be an ideal destination for Mariota, even if there's an inherent conflict of interest because both Mariota and Trubisky are represented by the same agent.

There are coaches out there—cough, Chicago, cough—who could slide him in easily under the guise that Mariota is a high-quality backup and develop him into a weapon under center who could take over when the starter falters.

Mariota, like Trubisky, hasn't lived up to the hype that he entered the NFL with back in 2015 when he was the second overall pick of the Titans. He's logged 61 starts and a career record of 29-32. He's completed just under 63% of his 1,110 career pass attempts and has 76 touchdown passes to 44 interceptions.

His stat sheet isn't impressive. His on-field play, at times, hasn't been, either. But he'd be an ideal reclamation project that the Bears can sell as the perfect backup even if the hope is for him to emerge as a starter.

There’s an advantage for QB-needy teams here who don’t want to deal with the public courting of Tom Brady, who don’t want to sacrifice mobility by signing Philip Rivers, who don’t want to roll the dice on every snap by signing Jameis Winston, and who don’t have the trade capital or cap space to go after someone like Nick Foles or Derek Carr.

Chicago won't be able to get into a bidding war for the bigger names like Tom Brady or even Teddy Bridgewater because of their limited cap space. Mariota won't command nearly as much to sign, and he's likely to get nothing more than a one-year commitment from a team hoping he can be like the guy who replaced him, Ryan Tannehill.

Of all the quarterbacks who've been pegged as a possible option for the Bears, Mariota feels like the most logical and, more importantly, cheaper targets who realistically could be lining up as the Chicago's starter by Week 4 of the 2020 season.

Tributes to Kobe Bryant, city of Chicago highlight memorable All-Star Sunday

Tributes to Kobe Bryant, city of Chicago highlight memorable All-Star Sunday

The specter of Kobe Bryant was omnipresent throughout All-Star weekend. Too often, it felt that the city of Chicago was not. 

But both took center stage at the All-Star game itself on Sunday night. The result was poignant, powerful and downright enthralling.

Magic Johnson set the tone early with a eulogy to Bryant that elicited multiple, impassioned ‘Kobe!’ chants from the crowd. That gave way to South Side native Common seamlessly weaving a cadenced monologue dedicated to Chicago, Bryant and daughter Gigi, as images of city legends from Barack Obama to Michael Jordan to Hebru Brantley flashed across the screen. The United Center rippled with emotion from start to finish.

For Bryant, the homage was a culmination. For Chicago, it was an essential re-centering to cap a weekend that saw only one Bull participate in an event — Zach LaVine, who exited after round one of the 3-point shootout. After 32 years since last hosting, this city deserved its moment in the sun. That one delivered.

“Chicago held it down,” Anthony Davis said. “I think they showed the league and everyone around the world about our Chicago history, about the city. I think everyone enjoyed it and respects Chicago a little bit more.”

Of course, there was a game to play, too — and embedded within were moments of pure symbolism.

On the surface: Members of Team Giannis and Team LeBron donned No. 24 and No. 2, respectively, in honor of Bryant and Gigi. The final quarter of the game went untimed, a slog to 157 (24 points more than the 133 Team Giannis entered the period with, per the league’s new Elam-inspired format). 

Chicago charities — Chicago Scholars ($400,000) for Team LeBron, After School Matters ($100,000) for Giannis — also received a cumulative $500,000 over the course of the game. Seventy-nine assists between the two teams means $79,000 will go towards STEM research in the greater Chicago area, too.

But now, let’s get a little nebulous. 

That fourth quarter, after a familiarly lackluster previous three, was electric. The offenses were legitimately running plays, the defenses were scrapping. There was controversial officiating, sweat dripping, and charges and clutch blocks galore. By the end, you could cut the tension with a knife.

“It felt like playing in the league in a playoff game,” Davis said.

Forgive me this contrivance, but how fitting a finish to commemorate both this city and Bryant. A true grind-it-out, scratch-and-claw affair. And as epic a pickup run as you’re like to find.

Most poetic, then, was the winning bucket. Yes, it was a free-throw — an anticlimactic ending to a memorable night — but the man that took it, Davis, was both born and bred in Chicago, and currently reps the same purple and gold Bryant did for 20 seasons as a member of the Lakers. 

“It was a great feeling, to be back home,” Davis said. “And I’m happy I was able to be the one to knock down the free throw to seal the game.

“For our side to get a win, for Kob (Kobe), this whole weekend was honoring him. And I think the league did a great job of doing that.”

Davis went on to congratulate Kawhi Leonard, who tonight took home the first ever Kobe Bryant All-Star game MVP award. His 30 points led all scorers in the game.

“It’s very special,” Leonard said. “I had a relationship with him (Bryant). Words can’t explain how happy I am for it. Able to put that trophy in my room… And just to be able to see Kobe’s name on there. It just means a lot to me. He’s a big inspiration in my life. He did a lot for me.”

On Thursday, normalcy will return to the United Center in the form of the Bulls and Hornets. But this was a night no one will soon forget. Thank you, Chicago. Thank you, basketball.

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