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John Fox: Be intelligent, not macho, and wear sleeves in the cold

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Head coach John Fox of the Chicago Bears stands on the sidelines in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field on December 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Sunday’s Packers-Bears game may be the coldest game ever in Chicago, with forecasts for a below-zero high. Yet many players on both teams will go sleeveless, as football players always do.

Bears coach John Fox thinks that’s stupid.

Fox said his message to the team is that if they’re trying to look tough, rather than taking care of their bodies, they’re doing themselves a disservice.

“I’ve told them the macho stuff’s all great, but there comes a point where people might question your intelligence,” Fox said.

That message didn’t get through to the players. Pernell McPhee, the Bears’ defensive captain, insisted that looking tough and being tough are one and the same.

“I ain’t wearing sleeves,” McPhee said. “As a defensive lineman, as a front-seven guy, as a guy who plays defense -- I think it’s a sign of weakness. I ain’t wearing no sleeves. I don’t know about everybody else. I’m at war. I’m [in] combat. I ain’t got time to think about sleeves. I’m gonna go out there sleeveless, and that’s how I’m going to play.”

Fox will be wearing a thick coat on the sideline, but some of his players would rather risk frostbite on the field than show any sign that the cold is getting to them.

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