'Tis the First Ever Monday Mailbag.

'Tis the First Ever Monday Mailbag.

How different do you think the Bears would look right now if Jerry Angelo were still GM?

David M. Evanston, IL

JH: Well, for one, I don't see any way Brandon Marshall is currently in a Bears uniform. It just wasn't Jerry's approach to (1) acknowledge deficiencies on the Bears receiving corps or (2) make a splashy trade for improvement at the position. Does he draft Alshon Jeffery? Perhaps. Does he sign Michael Bush? Perhaps. His signing of Chester Taylor leads one to think he values the backup running back.

The defensive starting lineup would look exactly the same. But would they have added depth pieces like Hayes and Hayden?

______________________________

Hey Jeff,

Why do you hate pop culture references so much?  Every time you write about staying away from them I feel like I'm missing out on a good joke, go for a few this year!  Works for Sports Guy as you know...

Great blog, thanks!

-Perno

JH: In movies and theatre, I despise pop culture references because they immediately date the work. Think about movies like The 40 Year-Old Virgin and basically everything Judd Apatow is involved in cinematically. Ten years from now nobody is going to understand a thing coming out of the mouths of those characters. The great works - in any artistic medium - are the ones lasting far beyond their release date.

For instance, watch this scene. If you eliminate the two pop culture references the scene works just as well and might be even funnier. But nobody on earth will know what Maid in Manhattan is come nine minutes from now, never mind nine years.

As for Simmons, I actually like him a lot and can't help admire his career. But I just choose to be old school in my approach to writing about sports. I'd prefer trying to find interesting ways to contextualize games I love that don't involve comparisons to Real Housewives programs.

_____________________________

Hey Jeff,

Where do the Bears look in the first round of the draft?

Teddy M. Springfield, IL

JH: Why are so many fans fixated on draft needs for a 4-1 team? I got three or four emails asking me about April. Who cares where the Bears are looking to improve in April? I want to see them improve in October! That being said I don't see the Bears targeting positions in April. I think they'll take the best players on the board each round.

______________________________

Why don't you like fantasy football? You've never really explained it.

Many People, From Everywhere

JH: I played fantasy football for many years and was very successful at it. My brother and I were in a league of high-powered New Jersey attorneys, we drafted at Houlihans in Secaucus and Marshall Faulk essentially won titles for me every year. The last year I played was 2002, right as fantasy football was blowing up around the country.

Why did I stop? I started hating the types of football conversations I was having. I still hate them. I hated seeing individuals running from game to game to see who scored touchdowns but not care a lick about the team got into position to score the touchdown or what the context of the touchdown was. People pretend fantasy football has made football fans more intelligent but it absolutely has not. Just because a guy or lady knows stats doesn't mean he/she knows sports.

In 2005 Noah, the Reverend and I launched this site. And I didn't need anything else.

__________________________________

How important are the next three games for the Chicago Bears?

Rob. Arlington Heights

JH: They are pivotal to this Bears season.

Detroit. I watched every snap of Lions v. Eagles Sunday and the only reason the Lions won is because - inexplicably - Andy Reid and Juan Castillo seemed to adapt a "make Calvin Johnson beat us" approach in the fourth quarter. (Spoiler alert: He did.) The Lions are not very good, outside of a talented front four on defense and the Stafford-to-Johnson connection. The Bears have a prime opportunity in primetime, at home, to put their season to bed.

Carolina. Any time Steve Smith is on the other sideline against the Bears that team has a shot. But Cam Newton has been awful in 2012 and the nobody has been better than the Bears defense. With Aaron Rodgers and the Packers about to surge offensively, the Bears need to show their championship meddle and beat an inferior team in their ballpark.

Tennessee. There's a major issue facing the Bears in Tennessee: Noah and I will be sitting together in the stadium and that's been a cursed combination. Otherwise, they should win.

The Bears can be no worse than 6-2 heading into the back eight. But they should be 7-1.

EMAIL ME YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS. MAYBE I'LL DO ANOTHER ONE OF THESE LATER IN THE WEEK.

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  • Dear Jay, check out the fade on 4th and 3rd. Would you ever make that throw?

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000080305/Week-6-Russell-Wilson-highlights

  • take your fucking pick:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRMfMPNQffE

    Not only does he make that throw, he did it to his fucking running back.from the 25yard line on a wheel route not a shitty ball to Braylon Edwards that a good college DB picks off because it was in the air so long.

    bang bang

  • Speaking of bang bang, I think my favorite part is what Devin does to AJ Hawk at about the 1:36 mark. Almost as good as the one Bennett put on that punter.

  • umm...yes...he would/has/will/is/making said throws.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRMfMPNQffE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inNZJTaeES8&feature=related

  • Your answer to my pop culture question was as responsible as Snookie becoming a mother.

    Did my bad joke even make sense? No. I suck at pop culture references. You're right, that scene would have been better without the Maid in Manhattan reference, but I think some pop culture references can be timeless.

    Stupid Packers offensive resurgence.

  • In reply to Perno:

    Is there a way for a pop culture reference to be timeless?

    And... fuck the Packers.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    Ringo references are usually timeless. At least for now.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    One Ringo to rule them all?

    (I was almost named Ringo, by the way. Stoned parents.)

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I asked myself that question, and couldn't come to a good answer. Maybe not timeless, but they can be viewed as funny for a long time. Especially older pop culture like Seinfeld and Ferriss Bueller.

  • Stafford?

  • In reply to Shady:

    simply dead

  • Close enough, here's your prize:

    http://bouncy49.ytmnd.com

    You're welcome.

  • In reply to Shady:

    My god man. No, thank YOU sir.

    Should be back online by Thursday btw

    Gems&Dragons

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Now that's a magic carpet ride I'd love to take. A-thankyou. New maps dog.

  • In reply to Shady:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRoXqvCz6Zc

    Bang! Bang!

    G&D!

  • Jeff, one other important move by Emery was getting Campbell. Not sure Angelo would have done that - another "maybe"?

    I just hope we stop the 3rd round safety thing because Wright and Conte mature and improve to the point there is no need to think about it any more.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    Never!

    We also red-shirted Hardin. Although, Wright, Conte and Hardin all seem to get the injury bug, but that has more to do with the safety position, as I've already expressed, it's perhaps the 2nd most dangerous position to play behind HB.

    Wright and Conte do look like the real deal though, and when they're out their together, the Bears are a turnover machine (something ridicules like 19 turnovers in 11 games)

  • I watch movies like Caddyshack, Animal House, and Fletch, and they're still hysterical.

    The difference between decent funny movies and GREAT funny movies is that the decent funny movies USE pop-culture references, and the great funny movies BECOME pop-culture references.

  • You know, this is blasphemy among many of my friends, but I have not seen Fletch in it's entirety.

    I tried to watch it a few months ago, and at the age of 29, I didn't get what was so funny about it. At what point does it get funny? I made it like 45 minutes in and don't recall laughing once.

    It's the Sanzenbacher of my DVR. Still there, somehow... waiting for another shot... but I just don't see the appeal.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    very interesting timing on this. last night, the girlfriend and i were sitting on the couch with nothing to watch (i made her watch the afternoon games with me so the packers/texans were off the table for evening viewing) so i loaded up HBO Go and settled on Fletch. she had never seen it and i remembered it being a funny movie.

    all i kept thinking was, "i think i'm supposed to laugh at that." i mean, he wore fake teeth and spoke about ball bearings. stroke of comedic genius!

    i don't know. i think it was at the height of the chevy chase rage when everyone thought everything he did was funny.

    vacation still makes me laugh. fletch, on last night's viewing, makes me wonder why they needed to make a fletch 2.

  • In reply to evantonio:

    I just feel so sad for you both. You should make an apt with your doctor TODAY to get your sense of humor checked out... I think it's broke

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Aren't you the one who doesn't think Will Farrell and Adam Sandler are funny?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    "can i borrow your towel? my car just hit a water buffalo."

    yeah. that's hysterical.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    +1. What I HAVE seen was amusing but still haven't sat thru a contuinuous viewing.

    Didn't find SOMETHING ABOUT MARY terribly funny even when it was all the rage but then, a little Ben Stiller goes a long way for me.

    Have seen NONE of the HANGOVERs. Nothing in the trailers appeals to me.

    I sure it's partly because I am fast becoming a Grumpy Old Man.

    Oh, and don't call me Shirley.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    You picked a terrible time to stop sniffing glue Al

  • What do I do to say how much I love this comment?

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    You can give them the old "+1".

    Or, maybe an official DBB Stamp of Approval.

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    You loved it more than Ben Afflek loved the script for Gigli?

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Look who's back!

  • In reply to Shady:

    More of a sighting than officially back. New baby and Jewish holiday season kinda cutting into the blog time. But I read everything Jeff writes... and maybe 50% of what everybody else writes.

    Have a bye week status post in my head I really want to write out... we'll see if it happens.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Well, I'll just SEE your GIGLI and raise you an ISHTAR !

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Careful or I'll pull out a copy of Cleopatra on beta mach.

  • Bizarre; my comment didn't appear.

    That comment was:

    The difference between decent comedies and great comedies is that decent comedies USE pop-culture references, and great comedies BECOME pop-culture references (e.g., Caddyshack, Animal House, Fletch, etc.)

  • ...Maid in Manhattan...

  • Mel Brooks...Blazing Saddles...Young Frankenstien...just about anything he puts in movies that he makes fun of.

  • In reply to MaddBearfan:

    He copped out the ending of BLAZING.

    Not unlike MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL except in THAT case, the backers basically said "End it. TODAY!"
    and cut-off the money.

    Quintessential Mel Brooks: THE PRODUCERS (1968) with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

    Max Bialystok: How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast.
    Where did I go right?!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Springtime for Hitler was a great song and production.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    "Springtime for Hitler and Germany...

    ...Winter for England and France."

  • In reply to MaddBearfan:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6Ec43f1xdU

  • Well put.

  • I love this site's software. Nothing like forcing a user to log out and then back in to see their comment, and then being unable to delete the double-comment. Chicagonow needs a serious upgrade.

  • I just had the same problem: my comment didn't appear after posting. So I did what you did (logged out & back in), and now it's visible to me.

    Except, da blog wouldn't let me log out. I had to close the page, then clear all cookies and active logins, then log back in.

  • I went 3-0 in FF this weekend.

  • It would appear that comments are broken (at least for me) on this post.

  • Comments broken?

    (this is just a test)

  • They're working for me.

  • Jeff I'll give you credit for being a nice guy about Simmons. He stopped being funny years ago. Once he started taking all the kudos to heart he's been an overbearing know-it-all. He tries to act like the arbiter of what's funny.

    Watched some of the Fudgies last night. I'm glad to see they can light up someone besides the beloved. Rodgers is a great QB but he's a major douchebag.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    A buddy at work loves Bill Simmons, and continuously told me how much I'd enjoy him.

    So, like Fletch, I gave it a shot.

    I found it very disappointing. I could see the appeal for my friend, as he loves him some PCR's (yeah, the official acronym). I kept thinking to myself, "man, for a 50+ year old guy, he's sure hip to the things most of my generation would find funny".

    For some reason, I imagined Bill Simmons looking like Bill Parcells. When I found out he was a younger guy, I was somewhat angry... I think a "fuck that dude" may have been my official response.

    My buddy's reply? "C'mon, he liked referencing The Wire, and you love The Wire!"

    Bullshit. THe dude is the Seth MacFarlane of sports writing... continually lowering the bar.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I used to thoroughly enjoy reading Simmons a few years ago, haven't really read him since then. I always stopped reading when he got into basketball and picked him back up during football season.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I used to love his stuff early on when he would give blow by blow posts about Wrestling PPV. Made me laugh like crazy and brought back great memories of going to the matches as a kid (even as a kid I knew they were fake). At some point, he started letting everyone know how funny he was and what an expert he was on everything. At some point it REALLY wasn't funny. Haven't read him in years.

  • I find Emery's ugly mug in the camera a problem. Looks like MaGoo.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-bears-set-to-release-rb-bell-20121015,0,4263161.story

    Bell getting cut again. This time, his salary will make him attractive and the Pack will probably grab him and use him.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    If the Packo'Crap does pick him up, I hope he keeps his fumblitis.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    So, E-Rod is toast for the season, perhaps?

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8506988/the-top-teams-game-rest-week-6-news

    The jinx is on.

  • Jeff I have to vehemently disagree with your stance on pop culture references. I watched My Man Godfrey over the weekend and The Thin Man series is one of my favorites. Both have lots of pop culture references ie "Prosperity is just around the corner. Yeah it's been there a long time" But I'm pretty sure if you're a learned individual with some knowledge of history you'll get the jokes. Besides all work is dated in some mannor or another. We all speak in the parlance of our time, as the dude would say.

  • My Man Godrey is one of my all time favorites. I just made a note to myself earlier this week to pick up a DVD copy of it and We're No Angels (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray, Leo G. Carroll and Basil Rathbone). You've got to have seen that one. If not, try to...

  • In reply to tobijohn:

    Two very nice, selections.

    William Powell was an outstanding actor even without THE THIN MAN. I love to to watch him make "Scotch" with Henry Fonda in Mr. Roberts.

    Watch out for substandard copies of "Godfrey". I think it slipped into public domain.

  • You can print almost any of Will Rogers' commentaries on the US Congress today and they are STILL , unfortunately, all too relevant.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
    - Groucho Marx

  • My Hoodoo picking ability is still in tact. For the first time this season I picked a team trying to jinx them (after being 1-4, what's left?). I picked the BiQueens and you know how that turned out. I may just pick the Kitties this week but that might be tempting the karma gods.

  • If Angelo was still GM, Martz would still be OC.

  • Clutss' problem was that he wasn't 6'5"

    We have an Adderall addict now

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-new-bears-te-eldridge-an-option-at-fullback-20121015,0,7231256.story

  • In reply to gpldan:

    "...the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Eldridge could get up to speed and get in the mix at fullback.

    "I would love it," Eldridge said..."

    Bwahhhhahahaha. Adderall is a mix several different amphetamines. We used to call 'em Black Beauties.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    Chicago Now could use some Adderall. It took 8 minutes for the above comment to display.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    Yep, it took 8 minutes for my last comment to appear as well. The logout/login procedure mentioned by "I Bleed Navy + Orange" above is unnecessary/incidental.

    Apparently we are now on an 8 minute delay (at least some of us are). That will be a lot of fun next Monday night. Thanks, Chicago Now. You're awesome.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Clutts problem was that he was too much of a fullback to play fullback.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Mayhaps he was deemed, "Too Cluttsy"...?

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    C'mon, Al. You can do better than that.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    What dates one's writing more, references to pop culture or the use of words like "tis" and "methinks"?

    Tis a question for ye olde emailbag.

  • ESPN/Chicago has the top 50 Bears listed (according to their panel). Can't really argue too much. Most of these things always have too many recent guys and not enough old guys. This one might be just the opposite. Going through all the pics brought back some great memories.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Ditka #3?!? Over Halas? Please...

    It is a true testament to Walter's greatness that I won't try to argue whether he should be ahead of that guy that is #2 on that list.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    Interesting list, but I have to agree with you Dave. In my opinion (not that I've been a Bears guy for as long as most on the blog), you've got three true candidates for #1. Those three are Halas, Payton, and Ditka. My vote goes in that order, but I wouldn't mind seeing them listed in any permutation.

    Gale Sayers has knocked himself down a few spots by being such a jerk in retirement. I'd say Sayers should be in the 10-15 range on that list. Rounding out my top 5 would be Luckman and Red Grange, but I could see some of the other top 10 guys that played defense beating out Grange for the 5 spot.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Payton, Butkus, Halas.

    Honorable mention: Sayers.

  • Butkus definitely solid. But over Ditka?

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Found it interesting that ESPN had Dent ranked higher than Singletary. By one, but still.

  • Ray Lewis down for the year, maybe for good...

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2012/10/15/linebacker-ray-lewis-biceps-injury-baltimore-ravens/1634765/

  • In reply to gpldan:

    As a fan of the NFL, I will be seriously bummed when this guy leaves the game.

  • Have to agree. Always sad to see a legend retire. Afraid Lach may not be far behind either.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Laderius Webb is one, too.

  • -650,000 blog points to SNL for using Sandusky in a skit.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I used to think that SNL was past its hey day and that it used to be funny.

    The other night, I watched some of the old, old episodes on Netflix. And sadly, I realized SNL, with the exception of a *few* skits, was never funny.

  • Bad news, Blogfader: Da Bears Blog Tee shirt is based on a pop culture reference.

  • After looking at the standings, only 3 AFC teams have a winning record. If Chargers lose tonight, it will be two teams. Who would have thunk the NFC West would have 3 teams with winning records now, and one at .500? A very strange start to the year.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    Won't stay that way though. Cards are stumbling on offense (28 sacks given up already) and the Seahawks need to be able to win away from home. I would still take the Hawks as a wildcard team though.

    Seeing how bad the AFC West is pisses me off even more when I think about how we Hanie'd our way against them last year.

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    Please don't ever say that name again. Thank you

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    The Seahawks are going to be a threat. If not this year, watch out for them next year. They remind me of the beloved circa '05, but with a QB with a much higher ceiling. If they get lucky enough to host a playoff game, watch out. The defense is very very good and very young. They have a smash mouth running game with a very good return specialist in Leon Washington. I'm not sold on their wide outs, but I think they make the playoffs this year.

    After six games, I predict Chicago, San Fran, NYG, Atlanta, Seattle, and Green Bay as the six teams from the NFC.

  • I read a quote about Seattle recently: "At home they look like the best team in the NFC West; On the road they look like the worst team in the NFC West." But they've got the tools. If they have a couple more big drafts, they'll be like San Francisco - stacked with young talent and a solid coach.

  • OL could use some work as well but this season has proved that most teams are in that situation.

    I would like to disagree with the Pack pick, but I can't think of a team that will displace them. Would love another team to solidify to push the Packers and Hawks to a tie for the 6th spot, simply because the Earth has never witnessed the level of butthurt that would arise from the state of Wisconsin if that played out.

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    Hahahaha. That would be classic.

  • hahaha Phil Rivers, trifilin' snitch.

  • Philip Rivers fucking sucks. Single handedly gave the game to the Broncos.

  • My thoughts on where we are in the playoff picture in Bye Week.

    1) Vikings - The Vikings really have two guys doing all the work on offense, AP and Percy Harvin. Kyle Rudolph and Christian Ponder are contributing, but its a pretty thing list of guys doing the heavy work. If the Vikings see a serious injury to one of their offensive stars, the season is over. With that said, this team is built for cold weather and I can see them sticking around to make things hard on Green Bay.

    2) Packers - They'll put up another stinker before the regular season ends, but they've had a rough schedule so far to start the year. They started against San Francisco, then played the Bears right after (1-1 is pretty good after that stretch). Then they play @Seattle in the replacement bowl before hosting a desperate Saints team (again, 1-1 not terrible and could have been 2-0 if the replacement ref's coin landed on the other side). They lose a stinker to the Colts and you think they're done, but then they destroy the Texans. At 3-3, they're 1.5 games back and own the tie-breaker till we play again. They haven't peaked yet, but that's actually bad for us since they usually burn out before the season ends. Their next four games are St. Louis, Jacksonville, Arizona and Detroit. I predict they will be at least 6-4 after that stretch and in good position to challenge for a playoff spot.

    3) Detroit. They get to host the Seahawks and play the Jags next, so they could get to 4-3, but that will be their best record of the season. I suspect the Lions will end the season around 7-9. They'll be one of those teams that never quite gets mathematically eliminated, but keeps losing games they have to win to stay in the hunt. Then maybe they'll draft someone on either side of the ball that's heard of something called the run game.

    4) Bears. We are legit, but we haven't faced our rought stretches yet. We will face a Niners, Texans, Vikings stretch - three brutal running teams in a row to wear down our front seven. Then we get Seattle (another running machine) before again facing the Vikings and Packers. Week 16 will be rough as we travel to Arizona where it looks like the Cardinals will be fighting hard for the playoffs (though by then that could be a gimme game). And if we need a Week 17 win, it will be against Detroit who will have nothing to play for except to make the Bears sad :(

    I think this team has the tools to be 7-1 going into the gauntlet, but with the Packers at our heels (and their toughest games behind them) its going to be a race.

    It doesn't look like it now, but when the season ends, the NFC North will be seen as the best in football.

  • Oh God:

    "...Patrick McCaskey, the Bears’ senior director of special projects, also addressed the crowd at its training facility in Lake Forest, serenading them with a religious liberty-themed rendition of 'Bear Down, Chicago Bears'..."

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/lake_forest/chi-religious-leaders-forge-gameplan-at-bears-practice-site-20121014,0,7421843.story

    Sorry if that's already been posted.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    Religious Liberty
    by Patrick McCaskey
    (sung to the tune of 'Bear Down, Chicago Bears')

    Religious liberty requires constant vigilance and protection.
    Without religious liberty other freedoms have fragility.
    We'll never forget how God built this nation, no religious persecution.
    Religious liberty, this is why we're having this conference.
    [We] want leaders to be foot washers, religious liberty.

    http://www.trbimg.com/img-507b7d15/turbine/ct-met-religious-freedom-detail.jpg-20121014/600

  • Whoo-hoo!

    I'm no longer on an eight-minute delay. Thanks.

  • Hey MB, any idea on where kid like me could get a motorcycle in CA?

    And would you happen to be hiring lol

    I don't need a job but I was just wondering. You seem to have a nice job atm.

  • Hey Canada, my boy the "Feelin" kicked some ass tonight. I know it's a cheesy TV show, but the guy can sing with a lot of soul. I still vividly remember the first time I seem him live at the bar many years ago. I think that's the best compliment I can give him. He's got it going on in all different genres.
    Doc, gp, Butch, and others: I think all you guys would like this cool cat's style live. He's a hell of a great piano / keyboard player as well, and also does some solo stuff on guitar.

    http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/nicholas-david-vs-todd-kessler-shes-gone/1420964/

  • MB should really like this song. It's Hall and Oates.

    http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/nicholas-david-vs-todd-kessler-shes-gone/1420964/

  • Btw, does anyone recommend any starter motorcycles?

  • Triumph has a great line. Or just go straight up Johnny Tran ala The Fast and The Furious. Rice Rocket with Tec-9 included.

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