The vast majority of the news over the past week or so coming out of the Chicago sports media and national media regarding the Chicago Bears has centered around Lovie Smith's replacement as head coach of the Chicago Bears. A few mentions of where Lovie is planning to interview for his next job have been interspersed with the onslaught of stories detailing the names and backgrounds of those who will be interviewing for the Bears' job. It occurred to me, after reading a few of the stories and listening to the incessant meatball chatter on sports radio, that for a guy who ran the most popuar sports team in the third-largest city in the country for nine years, there was very little known about Lovie Smith, the man, by even the above-average informed fan.
Remember, the Bears are more popular than any team in Chicago and they are covered by dozens of reporters and media reps on a daily basis. So, when a guy runs that team for nine years, you'd think that you'd know something about his life, maybe hear about him out at a restaurant or even hear about his wife supporting a local charity or organization. When my wife asked me today if Lovie Smith had any children, it occurred to me how much was never known about Lovie Smith.
(Chicago Tribune) We definitely know he had a blank stare, but what about his favorite restaurant?
We do know a few things about Lovie Smith. For example, Lovie's press conferences were exercises in misdirection and lack of information. He frequently frustrated fans and reporters alike by his refusal to provide information about his player's injuries. He also consistently angered fans by his failure to get "angry" or show what is considered the requisite emotion as a Chicago Bears coach. The venerable Chicago tration of "you've got to have the fire" doesn't matter to me and never seemed to matter to Lovie either. It just seems odd, thinking back, that Lovie never really seemed to do anything to engender himself to the people who bought tickets and supported his employer.
Further, while it is odd that Lovie was fired and apparently has left town without saying one word about his players, Bears' management or the fans after nine years, I suppose it is possible that once he's hired by another team, we'll hear something from Lovie that may actually give us a clue into the man. On the other hand, nothing has tanspired over the past nine years that guarantees any insight into Lovie's psyche.
As a loyal Bears fan and nine-year veteran of the Lovie Smith regime, I know that he came from Big Sandy, Texas. But, did Lovie ever buy a home in the Chicago area while he coached the Bears? Did he ever mention anything about his kids, other than the fact that his son is his agent. Who did he hang out with? Given the vast amounts of no details, can any Bear fan readers answer any of the following questions?
1. Is Lovie Smith married?
2. If yes, what is Lovie Smith's wife's name?
3. How many children does Lovie have? What are their names?
4. Are they school-age and did they have to be uprooted? Did any of them attend a local high school?
5. Did Lovie ever attend a sporting event outside of the Bears games?
6. Did anyone ever see Lovie at a Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs or White Sox game?
7. What is Lovie's favorite restaurant in Chicago? Did Lovie ever go to a restaurant in Chicago?
8. Did you ever seen Lovie around town away from Halas Hall or Soldier Field?
9. Did Lovie drink alcohol? Was he ever at Gibson's? Did he take his wife to see Jersey Boys?
10. What kind of car did Lovie drive?
For those of you who can provide the answers, I appreciate the information. In reality, while I never would have wanted another Mike Ditka ubiquity experience, it might have been nice to see a human side of Lovie Smith. In fact, it might have made me actually have a feeling, one way or the other, when he got fired. Instead, I just couldn't care less. Lovie didn't seem to get it here in Chicago. I don't think he could have cared less either.
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