Trubisky Talks, But Now Enters Fight for His Football Life

| June 15th, 2020

Chicago Tribune: Mitch Trubisky confident he can win betway平台 job.


NBC Sports: Trubisky still feels the Bears are his team.


The Athletic: How Bears QB Mitch Trubisky is trying to reach a ‘different level’.


Chicago Sun-Times: Mitch Trubisky – Nick Foles trade left me “kinda pissed off”.

We hadn’t heard much from Mitch Trubisky since the conclusion of the 2019 season.

Scratch that, we hadn’t heard ANYTHING from Mitch Trubisky since the conclusion of his disastrous 2019 season. The protesters were getting too close and the Bears sent their beleaguered young quarterback into the bunker without his fifth-year option. By the time he returned to ground level, a former-Super Bowl MVP was sitting behind his desk.

When Trubisky met (virtually) with the press last week, he said all the things you’d expect to hear, and are referenced in the headlines above. He hasn’t given up on being the starting quarterback of the betway平台 . He believes he can be a better player. He’s not ceding ground to well-phallused Foles. Even though his voice seems incapable of rising above a sort of aw shucks monotone, there was certainly more resolve than we’d previously heard, more determination.

Will it matter? Probably not. Trubisky’s problem has never been that he doesn’t want to be great. He’s not JaMarcus Russell. He’s not Cade McNown. Since the day he arrived in Chicago the organization – both publicly and privately – has done nothing but praise the kid’s intangibles. He’s a good person, a great teammate, a hard worker.

The problem is he’s not any good at playing quarterback.

We’ve detailed where he struggled in 2019. Reading defenses. Getting into the right protections and plays. Deciding when to keep the football and get easy first downs with his legs. Hitting wide open receivers for big plays down the field. By every conceivable evaluative metric for quarterbacks, Trubisky ranked no better than 28th in the league, and often ranked below several backups.  He was objectively bad. If he played any other position, or the Bears had a serviceable option on the roster, he would have been benched well before Thanksgiving.

Read More …



Thursday Lynx Package

| June 11th, 2020

Is there a lot going on in Bearsland? No. But here’s some interesting stuff to read.

  • Adam Jahns goes back on the hockey beat! His incredibly fun piece for The Athletic details the week of celebrating that followed the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup triumph. The opening lines set the stage: “Everyone who went to the Pony Inn in the early hours of June 10, 2010 remembers what they saw and experienced when they left the Lakeview bar. What’s still up for debate is when the party ended.” (I also have a lot to say about the string of layoffs from this particular outlet but I’ll save those out of respect for those who are now out of work.)
  • Why did Matt Nagy end the virtual off-season program early? Kevin Fishbain tells you that and more. Side note on this: most of the league did the same thing. As a buddy of mine told me via text: “There’s only so much you get done on your phone.”
  • This incredibly rare white grizzly has emerged in Banff. Why experts hope you never see it. Sometimes a headline forces your finger to push the link and that’s what happened with Alex Boyd’s piece in the Toronto Star. It’s a pretty compelling read with super Canadian passages. “The message from park officials and bear researchers alike is crystal clear: Do not seek out the bear, and if, by chance, you happen to see it, give it space.”
  • Data has already told our readers why Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback in 2020. Now, NBA coach Doc Rivers is agreeing with him. Have to be honest, his logic is pretty damn logical.
  • Brad Biggs features a ton of Jordan Lucas quotes in his piece for the Tribune, and Lucas delivers some of the most eloquent remarks on a truly difficult issues. “I really don’t think there’s anything more to explain. I think everything that has been put out there for every media consumer to see, every person on social media, I think it’s pretty easy to see what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. I don’t think there’s any gray area. I don’t think there really was before, but if there was, definitely not now. We just want peace. We just want justice. We want to be treated the same way as everybody. And that’s just the cold, hard facts of the thing, you know?”



An Open Letter to George McCaskey and the Bears

| June 8th, 2020

Editor’s Note: This terrific letter was not written by me. But I agree with each and every word and was happy to attach DBB to its message.

8 June 2020

To Virginia McCaskey, George McCaskey, Ted Phillips and the betway平台 organization,

As lifelong Bears fans and members of the Bears community, we read the statement your franchise issued June 1 regarding the police murder of George Floyd, and we appreciate the organization’s identification of white supremacy and bad policing in Floyd’s immoral death.

Now it is time for you to say more.

George McCaskey wrote in his statement that following George Floyd’s murder, “we are witnessing the anger and frustration play out in protests across the nation, including Chicago.” He talked about addressing the murder in team meetings, and continuing the organization’s support of four Chicago community groups.

These are wonderful commitments. And listening to Akiem Hicks speak about those team meetings, which he said created “healing” in the locker room and “changed my perspective on life,” it sounds like they hit their mark for many of the players.

But a sports franchise’s statement needs to hit its mark with the public with the same tangible strength. 

The images and stories of police violence in Chicago this past week — against protesters, press and passerby — are horrific, yet not surprising. As Mayor Lightfoot noted, Chicago has a deep history of police violence, specifically against Black people. In the past week, we’ve seen an officer running over a 16-year-old girl in Roseland, officers shoving, brawling and clubbing protesters, and officers pepper spraying reporters

Then there were the officers who dragged a woman from her car Sunday afternoon in a mall parking lot, where she was shopping with friends, and beat her, kneeling on her neck.

Since protests in Chicago over Floyd’s killing began Friday, May 29, 344 complaints have been made against the Chicago Police Department, according to the head of the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, for excessive force, denial of counsel, improper search and seizure and verbal abuse.

Incredibly, one of those complaints is from Ghian Foreman, president of the Chicago Police Board, the independent civilian-led board that decides disciplinary cases involving police. Foreman’s complaint alleges that officers struck his legs with batons at least five times while he marched on 47th Street to protest police brutality.

Read More …

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“I Understand What I Don’t Understand”

| June 5th, 2020

I call it The Beige Beast.

It is a beat-up 2005 Chevy Cavalier that belonged to my dead grandfather. It’s got a front right bumper hanging on for dear life. It waived goodbye to 200,000 miles on the Merritt Parkway, bringing me back from a round of golf in Danbury, Connecticut in March. It passes inspection because sometimes miracles do happen and horns do blow.

Earlier this year, before the world put the emergency break on, my theatre company was running an after school program in an Asbury Park, NJ middle school. My uncle lives a few towns over so I decided to swing by there for lunch before heading to A.P. I found myself on a back road and the thing hadn’t been paved since about 1971. When The Beige Beast hits a pot hole, it feels like a crash. The impact is jarring. I know the next pothole hit could be the kill shot so I was swerving to avoid them and that involved a shitload of swerving.

Usually I’d notice if a cop was behind me.

This time I didn’t.

Lights. Siren. Pulled over.

He scuttled up to my passenger side.

The window is broken on that side so I had to open the door to speak to him. It had to look shady.

I gave him an expired insurance card but explained that I could show him the Geico app to prove the insurance wasn’t expired, just the card. That had to SOUND shady. He took my word for it and never asked to see the app.

He asked why I was swerving and I explained my pot hole issue. He joked, “I thought you might be looking at your phone.” I said I wasn’t and was only like five minutes from my destination.

And that was it.

“Keep her straight the rest of the way,” he said. He then walked back to his cruiser and we went about our days. I told my uncle the story and I never thought about it again until the last few days.

Because I’m white.

Read More …

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On Expanding Our Relationship with 26 Shirts, and How You Can Help.

| May 29th, 2020

Years back I decided to give 26 Shirts some prime real estate on DBB. We have always tried to use this platform to raise as much money for charity as possible and I liked the idea of a company whose foundational ethic was to help others. Over the years, we have had a lot of success with various designs and helped a great many people and organizations, especially my lovely friends at the Windy Kitty Cafe.

But we haven’t been successful enough. And the reason is simple.

My friend Del Reid (of #BillsMafia and drinking with me in Buffalo fame) and the folks who run this company have a passion for Buffalo sports and their products reflect that. I don’t even like the teams in Buffalo and I’ve bought three of those designs! The Chicago items tend to be less specific, and subsequently less interesting. To combat this I have built a sort of “ideas team” of artistic-minded friends who share a passion for Chicago sports. But that’s not enough.

Two other things need also to happen. The first is 26 Shirts producing the official DBB shirt for the 2020 season. That design has already been chosen and the shirt is in the works. Unlike they’re other products, that shirt won’t have a limited shelf life. It’ll be available on a rolling basis for the entire 2020 season. (It’ll benefit the kitties.)

The second is your involvement. If you have an idea for a clever Chicago sports tee shirt, please reach out to me via email: jeff@www.podzamci.com. You just need a concept. You don’t have to design it. They have brilliant designers. And if you have a charitable cause you’d like the proceeds to support, that’s even better. I don’t know anything about the Bulls or Blackhawks or Cubs or White Sox. And I don’t care to learn about them. Many of you do. And just one clever pun or inside reference could end up on a tee shirt and end up helping someone who needs it.

I don’t consider 26 Shirts an advertiser. I consider them a partner. And I’m invested in helping them expand their reach in Chicago and break seriously into the market. You can be a huge factor in making that reality.

Have a nice weekend. Stay healthy.



Thursday Links Package

| May 28th, 2020

This is the quietest time on the football calendar, the lull between the the NFL Draft and the start of training camps. So here’s some stuff worth reading. Read it, don’t, I don’t care.

  • Dan Pompei’s excellent piece detailing the battle scars of Kyle Long is a painful NFL read. One of the things that has often surprised me is the general obliviousness many fans have when it comes to the physical toll football takes on the bodies of these young, strong men. None of those fans will look at the game the same way after reading this staggering work.
  • The Bears were very good on defense in 2019. But they weren’t good enough to compensate for a putrid offense. Adam Jahns breaks down the Robert Quinn signing and just how good that unit will need to be to return to the postseason in January.
  • Is Cole Kmet a Y? Is he a U? Is he some other letter? Here’s what I know: he’s an impressive young man with whom the coaches are already in love. Adam Hoge at NBC Sports Chicago discusses his early days as a Bear and where he’ll fit in the 2020 offensive structure.
  • The Arlington Hambright Section!
  • From Mark Potash’s piece on Roquan Smith in the Sun-Times: “Despite the issues he has had in his first two seasons, Smith has been as good as advertised. His sideline-to-sideline speed, his instincts and his versatility — the ability to rush the quarterback, be a tackling machine and defend in coverage — give him a dangerous skill set for an inside linebacker. So far, he’s clearly general manager Ryan Pace’s best first-round pick. But by the eye test and Smith’s own testimony, he has a lot more to give.”

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The Pandemic Photo Gallery (Because…why not?)

| May 22nd, 2020

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