Chicago Bears Tight End Martellus Bennett
was awarded the "Bear of the Year" Award at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards
last night. He should get "Soundbite of the Year" as well. Bennett is the best sports soundbite in the city right now and probably the best Chicago sports interview since Adam Burish.
He's also the best Bears interview subject since Jim McMahon and he owned the room during his acceptance speech last night at the Hilton Chicago International Ballroom. The "Orange Dino" (one of his many nicknames) was hilarious, insightful and inspirational during his time on stage at the live awards ceremony hosted by David Kaplan.
The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago’s professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. Over $400,000 was raised benefiting the March of Dimes.
"The real reason we're here is for the kids," said Martellus Bennett encouraging children to be creative "because imagination is how children will come up with solutions to the problems that we have."
"I wanna lead by example, to be creative," continued Martysaurus Rex (I told you Martellus Bennett has like 40 nicknames).
"Where I'm from, you feel like you have to dribble a ball or catch a football to get out of the hood, but I want kids to know that you can get scholarships for creative writing, band, film, you can do all kinds of things."
As Martellus said, "it's frowned upon to be a creative guy and play sports," and "Everybody's BFF" is doing everything he can to change that...
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...
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...
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...
Greg Gumbel is the third man to serve as both host and play-by-play announcer for a Super Bowl (the first two were Dick Enberg and Al Michaels). He hosted Super Bowls XXVI, XXX, and XXXII before calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII. Jim Nantz became the fourth man to join this elusive group after he called Super Bowl XLI for CBS.
Greg Gumbel is the older brother of news and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel (although Bryant has been in the broadcasting game for three more years). Greg is the first African-American announcer ever to call play-by-play of a major league sports championship in the United
States when he announced Super Bowl XXXV for the CBS
network in 2001. He was born in Louisiana but raised in Chicago.
Both Gumbels attended De La Salle Institute (same high school that produced Mayor Daley) and grew up in Hyde Park. Greg Gumbel did all his socializing on the North Side while living on the South Side (the same Hyde Park neighborhood as Muhammad Ali). He later lived in Lakeview, just off Lake Michigan
at Melrose between Broadway and Sheridan. Greg Gumbel also resided at Edgewater Beach apartments.
Bryant Gumbel told Greg Gumbel about an opening at WMAQ-TV NBC
5 in Chicago, and that sports reporter job was how Greg got his first gig.
I had an exclusive with Greg Gumbel at NFL
on CBS Media Day. Very honored to have him as today's CSMW interview guest...
The Chicago Bears
played their second preseason game last night with quarterback Jay Cutler
already hitting his stride. In surliness that is. Cutler was filmed during ESPN
’s Monday Night Countdown show yelling at a ball boy to “give me the f*cking ball.” Cutler than shakes his head in disapproval. (Watch the GIF here
What’s even more shocking than the ball boy incident is this: pregame shows for preseason games actually EXIST. I’m surprised there’s a market for this. But how AWFUL was it to tune in last night and hear the bloated bloviator of Bristol, Chris Berman calling the Chicago Bears game. I thought GOOD GOD WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS HORROR??
Berman mispronounced Corey Liuget’s name. And then made a bad joke in which he correctly pronounced it. The former Illini
(pronounced “legit”) was a top 20 NFL Draft
pick and has started for the Chargers for awhile. If Berman is such a NFL expert, he should know how to pronounce his name correctly. “Boomer” also made the TIRED AND CLICHE “the Butler
did it” joke, and peppered the night with his 70s rock humor that no one over the age of 14 finds witty. Chris Berman is the national version of Hawk Harrelson. No one can explain his popularity anymore.
Enjoy this pic of Mr. “You’re with Me Leather,”
with a bunch of strippers...
The Chicago Bears
and Minnesota Vikings
have essentially “traded” newspaper beat writers. Well, the papers themselves didn’t trade writers; the “core” covering the Bears and Vikings made a swap. And it involves the two main papers in both the Twin Cities and Chicago.
The Vikings have a new beat writer: formerly of the Chicago Sun-Times. And an ex Vikings scribe moves to the Chicago Tribune.
APSE (Associated Press Sports Editors), a national organization that strives to improve professional standards of sports departments, just made these last two tweets...