The Chicago Bears are once again back on the main stage, with their home game versus the Baltimore Ravens being the national broadcast on CBS. Kickoff is at noon, and CBS is sending their A-team pairing of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Yes, "hello friends" because Mr. Nantz "is a tradition unlike any other." I'm a fan of Simms although I know many of you are not.
It's very rare that CBS comes to Chicago because they own the AFC rights package. Yet, CBS, not to mention Nantz and Simms will make it to the Windy City for the second time on Sunday. They also called the season and home opener versus the Bengals...
and NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers
host the rival Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football on ESPN. The Green Bay Packers (5-2) versus the 4-3 Bears will kick on Nov. 4 at 7:25 p.m. Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the game from historic Lambeau Field with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
This is the best game on the NFL docket this weekend. No, really it is. Bears-Packers on MNF is the only NFL game in week 9 between teams with winning records. And it’s the 185th regular season game between the Bears and Packers, the most games ever between two NFL franchises. But you already knew that. Spreads vary between different places of “investment,” but the best online gambling sites
have Green Bay favored by 10.5 points and the over/under at 49.5 points. Doesn’t that line seem a little high to you? Then again Green Bay has won six straight and eight of the last nine...
Social media amplifies everything. Often to ridiculous levels.
Today was a perfect example when ABC 7 Chicago’s Rafer Weigel mistakenly tweeted that Chicago Bears
QB Jay Cutler
was taken to the hospital following an injury to his groin in the Bears loss
at Washington. It was an honest mistake and Weigel owned up to it right away. He issued a retraction and a mea culpa once he found out that he was incorrect.
I reached Rafer Weigel by phone and he told me the whole story in detail. He was very self-aware that he acted in great haste and COMPLETELY dropped the ball today.
"I didn't think before I tweeted, and I learned you can't do that," Weigel said.
"I hope others can learn this lesson, if they haven't already...
The Jay Cutler
comments about DeAngelo Hall are a huge NON-STORY.
THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY HERE. Move on, media. Give it up.
There was no “bulletin board material” nor any “shots fired” this week. I don’t care, and neither should you.
Yet this non-controversy is making the tops of homepages for news outlets everywhere.
I know that we in the media often blow things out of proportion; especially on slow news days, in order to get more ratings/page views/sell papers etc. Media outlets owned by professional leagues or professional teams do this almost everyday. And these specific television networks do it on an even larger scale.
However, this Jay Cutler
vs. DeAngelo Hall script is a huge waste of all our of time. Cutler was as vanilla and boring as he usually is during all his interviews...
Behold, press conference drinking games. Or “press conference Bingo” for those who choose gambling instead of alcohol for their vice. We do not advocate any of these drinking games, and will not be held responsible for any damage inflicted by you or inflicted upon yourself.
These are not your generic cliches; for the most part.
The 25 worst interview/press conference cliches are listed here.
Consider it the Jose Canseco “Juiced” of corporatespeak and lying in the sports media world. That’s a more general list. This is more specific. These are the words and phrases that are to each individual what the word “phony” is to the text of “Catcher in the Rye.”
It’s not just Chicago sports on this list. I included our friendly neighbors from America’s Dairyland too. For this list, I consulted journalists based in Chicago; then allowed Milwaukee and Madison media to join in the fun. No one person could compile a list like this. Unless they did nothing but watch sports press conferences all day.
And it's painfully obvious that I consume way too much media already as it is...
Every week, NBC
does this a lot too) mails out a press release that is essentially nothing else but “hey, we have a football game on this weekend!” Usually whenever I see these “hey, watch our football game!” emails I immediately hit the delete button. However, Chicago Bears
versus Pittsburgh Steelers is on Sunday Night Football this week.
Therefore, I actually looked through this product-promotion-disguised-as-news mass mailing to see if there’s anything you might care about. I found a few nuggets and tidbits worth sharing.
And don’t get me started about NBC and ESPN (or Comcast SportsNet or Fox Sports..okay pretty much everybody) with their self-congratulatory press releases about record ratings, or "winning the night." Bad as these are, by comparison, these mailings are an absolute joy compared to press releases on web site traffic statistics. Or the ticket sales press releases that teams send out.
Memo to teams, it's not our jobs to sell your tickets. Memo to media companies, why would we promote your site to send traffic away from own websites?
"WGAS Radio is on the air!"
Well, let’s move on to the Chicago Bears broadcast notes before I bore you to death...
"Our presence in Chicago is important to us, we are the state team, we need to bring ourselves closer to them for marketing purposes," said Illini Wide Receivers Coach Mike Bellamy- a former Chicago Bears player,
native of the SouthSide (prepped at Kenwood Academy) and Illini wideout who played with Jeff George in Champaign.
"And we have a large alumni base in Chicago and sometimes they can't make it down, so why not bring the game to them?" Bellamy continued.
On Saturday, the Illini were competing for sports fan interest against the White Sox
, a Fire match and the BMW Classic. And they still drew 47,312 fans to the lakefront in Chicago. That attendance is higher than what Illinois drew at home for their first two games this season; and a solid figure when you consider how very low expectations were heading into this year...
Chicago Tribune Fighting Illini
reporter Vaughn McClure is leaving the paper for ESPN
Atlanta. McClure, who was previously a Chicago Bears
beat reporter, will be covering the NFL
again; this time he’ll handle the Atlanta Falcons.
Before taking the ATL job, McClure was to handle the Chicago Bulls
beat once the NBA
Time to talk Jay Cutler
, Marc Trestman
and the Chicago Bears
And talk these topics with the biggest and best pundits in the business. I recently attended the NFL
Media Luncheon in New York City. It was held at “The Black Rock,” the CBS Building in Mid-town Manhattan. It was a chance to have lunch with CBS’s lead announce pairing of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms
, as well as NFL Legends: Dan Marino
, Dan Fouts, Dan Dierdorf, Rich Gannon, Shannon Sharpe
, Greg Gumbel, Bill Cowher and Bart Scott
I’ll have much more with Simms
later; he was the star of the Media Day as he regaled us with his hilarious, spot on impersonation of Bill Parcells and made sure that we write-up some of his quotes in the manner of “Simms noted with extreme sarcasm.” He’ll be here, along with Nantz for week one to call Bears versus the Cincinnati Bengals
, who I have already made my Super Bowl Champion pick.
So I’ll have much more with both Nantz and Simms, as there’s a lot of audio to go through, and a lot of it is gold. And we still have 10 days till the Bears and Bengals kick off the NFL season. In the meantime, here’s what the talking heads had to say about Cutler, Trestman, the Bears et al.
All interviews are exclusives...
The 1985 Chicago Bears
are considered to be the best football team in history by many NFL
experts. And those football gurus that don’t consider them to be the best overall team ever still believe that the ’85 Bears had the best NFL defense in history.
However, Dan Marino
is the one quarterback who beat that defense. He’s the one signal caller that figured out the ’85 Bears 46 Zone and how to get past it. The ’85 Bears still captivate the hearts and minds of this city like no other team. And Marino’s Dolphins were the only team that kept them from reaching perfection.
Marino is one of the greatest passers in the history of the game, and an analyst for the NFL on CBS
. He returns to CBS on September 8th, for The NFL Today, a pregame show now in its 46th season. This will be the 54th year that CBS has covered the NFL. Marino will be joined this season by Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher; with James Brown anchoring. NFL.com ranked the greatest players in the history of the game after the 2009 season, Dan Marino placed 25th.
I had an exclusive with Marino at NFL on CBS Media Day where I asked him how he beat the ’85 Bears and what he thinks of the Bears chances this season...