Thursday, January 27, 2011

Derrick Rose Might Be The NBA MVP, But Has Yet To Be "Elite"....


In an attempt to move on from the Jay Cutler hysteria the last four days have given us, I will begin by stating to my reading is time to move on. We as a city need to realize that football season is over, and we need to look toward our other teams in the city to provide us with our sports commentary for the next few months. That is until we can start debating who hits in the six hole for the Cubs and are the White Sox truly "all in" as they have stated on their billboards around town.

If you did not know the Chicago Bulls are sitting pretty as the third best team in the Eastern Conference. Only trailing the likes of the Boston Celtics and the big three down in Miami, the Chicago Bulls who have only played a small number of games at full strength have somehow found a way to win 31 of their first 45 games. If you are searching for a reason why the Bulls are fairing so well this season with injuries to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, you do not need to look any further than Derrick Rose. The number one overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft this season has developed leaps and bounds much faster than expected, and has the country debating Rose for the NBA MVP award.

Now while the MVP race is still so far away with only a little over half the season done and gone with, Derrick Rose has proven without a shadow of a doubt that the Bulls made the right choice in picking him over standout forward Michael Beasley from Kansas State in the 2008 NBA Draft. However with half the season over and possibly being named the first starting Chicago Bull to play on a All Star team since Michael Jordan, there is one label that Rose still has yet to achieve.

All Star = Check

MVP = Maybe

Elite Point Guard = No


Monday, January 24, 2011

Jay Cutler Morphs From Hero To Goat In Loss To The Green Bay Packers.....


With every end comes a new beginning. What the Chicago Bears did in the 2010 season was not only shock the football universe by surpassing all expectations reaching the NFC Championship Game and finishing the year with a record of 11-5. The Chicago Bears took a giant leap from where they were only one season ago. The season may have been filled with surprises and a little more luck than usual, but the sign of a good team is when opportunities are given to take advantage of them. All season long (myself included) most of this city was waiting for that moment when the Bears turned from the horse drawn carriage back into the pumpkin to puff out their chests and demand props for being right about this Bears team all along.

Yesterday was that day.

Like flies to a light droves of Bears "fans" came out of the weeds where they had been hiding all along and renounced their ire for their own franchise. The new target is simply the same old song. Point to Lovie Smith, Jerry Angelo and now the once heralded "savior" of the Bears franchise Jay Cutler. Turning Christ into Judas was extremely simple as Bears fans watched their "savior" sitting on the bench for most of the second half in the biggest game of his career. While the organization did not do Cutler any favors by releasing what the issue could be with Cutler's knee, the seconds ticked by as more and more Bears fans started to believe that Cutler was more wimp than warrior.

Talk about over-reaction Monday Morning Quarterbacking.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Three Keys To A Bears Victory Over The Green Bay Packers.....


Finally the week of hype has ended and now all that is on the horizon is the game. I am sorry. I should have written THE GAME instead. The greatest game in Bears Packers history since the last time these two teams hooked up in the playoffs back before our current President was even born. If you were wondering, President Barack Obama did pick the Bears (his favorite NFL team outside the Pittsburgh Steelers) to win 20-17. All the talk, all the press conferences, all the back and forth between Bear Nation and Packer is time to get to business.

It is almost impossible to point out exactly what will be the difference in this game no matter if you are a fair weather fan or the greatest NFL expert around. Most of those NFL experts (I do not consider myself one of those) had the Chicago Bears to finish with no more than nine wins this season anyway. You can talk about everything from trends to field conditions, there is not one singular thing that you can point at to convince me that the Bears will win because of _______ or the Packers will win because of ________.

With that being said, of everything we have heard this week and believe will are my top three things that the Bears must do to head to their first Super Bowl since 2006.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bears/Packers National Anthem Causes Senseless Protests.....


If you locked into the world of social networking and are signed up on Twitter with more than a billion people around the world, you know some of the shorthand lingo that people use to fit a complete thought into the 140 character limit. Much of the lingo is derived from text messaging since the use of your phone is very similar to the use of Twitter. For instance:

LOL - "laugh out loud"

TMB - "tweet me back"

F2F - "face to face"

These are just a few of what seems to be an endless second language shared with "tweeps" online on a daily basis.

Yesterday I got into a heated discussion with some of my followers on Twitter about the decision to scrap local artist and American Idol winner from season nine (I do not know that from heart, promise!) Lee Dewyze (@LeeDewyze) from performing the National Anthem at Solider Field instead to bring back Jim Cornelison to perform the song before the Bears/Packers game on Sunday. The conversation and some responses from my followers simply left me SMFH.


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Bears/Packers Rivalry May Be Dead, But Both Teams Live To Play Another Day....


What a gift the Chicago Bears gave to their fans yesterday by defeating the 7-9 NFC West Champion Seattle Seahawks 35-24 to advance to the NFC Championship game next Sunday at Soldier Field. An even better present that Bears fan are dying to unwrap is a victory over the "rival" Green Bay Packers to advance indeed to their first Super Bowl since 2006. Jay Cutler took another step in his football career by playing an outstanding game in his first ever postseason trip. In fact Jay Cutler played so well he can now be mentioned in the same breath as the Hall Of Famer Otto Graham as the only two quarterbacks in NFL postseason history to throw and rush for multiple touchdowns in a single game.

While Cutler still has awhile to amass a career like Graham's, the Bears defense stepped up to the occasion for three quarters of the game. The game completely out of hand by the start of the fourth quarter as the Bears led 28-3, the 21 points allowed in the fourth quarter may be the only negative from the entire game itself. Other than that the Bears played a great game in all phases against a team considered to be one of the worst playoff teams in NFL history. What did we learn from this game as the Bears moved one step closer to a possible return trip to the Super Bowl? It is so hard to tell since they played an inferior opponent like the Seattle Seahawks. In fact I was two years old (1983) the last time the Seahawks won a road playoff game and the entire week leading up to the game itself there were very few who believed in the team that took down the defending Super Bowl Champions the week prior.

So here come the Green Bay Packers to Soldier Field for the second time this season as a 3/3.5 point favorite which was predictable. So far in less than 24 hours I've heard/read the following already:

"The greatest rivalry in professional sports"

"Round III"

"This is the way it is supposed to be"

"The greatest event in Chicago sports history"

I know the Monday following a NFL weekend is reserved for extreme over-reaction by fans and media alike, but the hype machine is already on overload and we are not even 24 hours in.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Chicago Bears Will Beat The Seattle Seahawks....Right?


It is NFL playoffs time and here come the Seattle Seahawks! That is right! Call your sons and daughters, batten down the hatches and get yourself ready for the barn burner of all barn burners!!

Wait.....the Bears are playing the Seattle Seahawks? Really? That team that finished the year 7-9 and winning the NFC West becoming the first team to win a division with a sub-.500 record?

YES!! That team!

All season long the debate has been are the Chicago Bears more lucky than an actual good NFL team. While the schedule week in and week out has worked in their favor and the only NFL team to face three third string starting quarterbacks this season, the Chicago Bears are what their record is....11-5. They are the second seed in the NFC and will host the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday at noon for the opportunity to play for a trip to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, TX on Feb. 6th. There is no way that the Chicago Bears after the year they have had will lose at home to a team they already lost too at the Lakefront this season twice.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicago Blackhawks To Honor Hull/Mikita At Michael Jordan's House....


Yesterday the Chicago Blackhawks honored the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship with a wonderful ceremony before the current defending champs took on the lowly New York Islanders. Eight representatives of Chicago's last team to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup (prior to last season) were introduced to the sellout crowd of 21,000+, each receiving a rousing ovation from the people in attendance. On top of each member receiving a framed 1961 championship replica banner of their own, it was announced that the United Center would get two more monuments added to the area outside the United Center.

It was announced that Blackhawk legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita would be represented forever outside the United Center with two bronze statues that will join the famous Michael Jordan statue. Now while I do not expect Larry King to be broadcasting the debut of the pieces of art outside the UC like he did with Jordan, but the honor bestowed on Hull and Mikita seems a little confusing to me. While Hull and Mikita are indeed fixtures of the history of the Chicago Blackhawks, these statues and this honor seems a little too miscalculated.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Will Chicago Bears Fans Miss Lovie Smith If He Leaves?


Being a head coach of a football team requires certain aspects/traits that many of us simply do not possess. Besides being a teacher of the game of football, coaches also need to be leaders of men. Sometimes that includes becoming the male role model for some players, and sometimes it becomes the male disciplinarian for others. Strength, focus, patience, and work ethic are all quality values that a head coach of a football team needs in his repertoire. Whether it be in the college ranks or the pros, the demand for the best of the best on both levels (college/pro) is something that is incomparable to any other job.

This past winter the talk around Chicago was about the possible firing of Bears head coach Lovie Smith and the outrage by many that the organization decided to stay the course and make changes outside the man in charge. Today with a 11-5 record secured and a first round bye in the playoffs starting this weekend, I wonder if Bears fans attitude and feelings toward Lovie Smith have changed. The question is not whether Lovie Smith should receive a contract extension, but if he leaves will anyone miss him.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Lovie Smith's Luckiest Game Of The Year Comes With A Chicago Bears Defeat....


Very few things are shocking anymore in professional sports. Only once in a great while will a Butler Bulldogs come around and get to a national title game or an eighth seeded Edmonton Oilers make the Stanley Cup Finals. However what I saw yesterday from Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears absolutely shocked the living hell out of me. Like many of you I waited with baited breath for the inactives to be released to see if that would give some sort of clue on exactly what Lovie Smith was going to do with playing time for his starting lineup. Like many of you last week, I was sick and tired of hearing the continuous conversation of what Lovie Smith should do versus what Lovie Smith will do handling who will play and who will not play. Like many of you I was shocked that the starting lineup for the Chicago Bears played the entire game against a Green Bay Packers team playing for their playoff lives.

While many (including myself) will remember this year as a year where the Bears were more lucky than good by catching the right teams at the right times, even in defeat yesterday that was Lovie Smith's luckiest game of the year.