237 Comments

Championship Sunday Previews & Predictions

| January 16th, 2014

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4-0 picking games last week but only 3-1 against the spread. (Seattle line went off anywhere from 8.5 to 9.5.)  Last week I was confident. This week I am not. Well at least half not. Let’s go!

3:00 PM ET – NEW ENGLAND AT DENVER

Line: Broncos -5

Analysis: Think both teams are going to have a ton of success running the ball. Think neither team is very good defensively. So what does the game boil down to? Same thing this game always boils down to: which of the all-time great quarterbacks makes more plays in the fourth quarter. I’m sticking with my gut. I believe this is Manning’s time.

Side note: I was disheartened by the performance of Manning’s receivers against the Chargers. Decker let a touchdown pass bounce off his chest and gave away the onside kick. Julius Thomas was a no-show for three and a half quarters. Wes Welker dropped one of the most perfect back shoulder tosses I’ve ever seen. (If Welker catches this ball it would be have been the signature play of the game.) Before last weekend I would have argued the Broncos have a significant advantage over the Patriots on the outside. Now? I’m not so sure.

Final Score: Denver 30, New England 28

6:30 PM ET – SAN FRANCISCO AT SEATTLE

Line: Seahawks -3.5

Analysis: This game has two principle elements for me.

Element I: Russell Wilson’s ability to extend drives with his legs. With the Niners limiting Marshawn Lynch’s influence and the general absence of playmakers on Seattle’s offense, I’d guess Wilson faces 10-12 third-and-longs over the course of the evening. His ability to stretch the defense with first-down runs the last time these two teams played in Seattle was a huge factor in Seattle dominating the contest. Niners must fight their aggressive tendencies and err on the side of discipline/containment.

Element II: Colin Kaepernick’s turnovers. He can’t throw the ball to the other team. Not in a game where every point will be gold and field position will be the name of the game.

Side note: Wouldn’t it be great if this turned into a wild shootout? If all the prognostication and analysis was wildly off-base and we ended up  with a 48-45 game? That’s what I’m rooting for Sunday. Scoring fest.

Final Score: San Francisco 16, Seattle 13

Tagged: , , , ,

  • MB30SD

    Seattle… NE.

    • MB30SD

      Oh and I’m riiiach biiiiatches!

      With firsts that is.

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      Agreed. That’s the depth of my analysis on this one.
      Seattle at home, with that defensive backfield, is a no brainer.
      Pats over Donkeys is more of a gut feel.

  • MB30SD

    Oh and from last thread… The 2012 squad had 8 pick 6s. Eight. Liiiiittle bit of a drop off huh? Smfh

    • Johnathan Wood

      they still had 4-5 pick 6s this year, i think. It was more that the sacks and total turnovers dropped, as did their ability to simply get stops and force punts.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Who needs to throw as much when you can gouge away at well over 5 yards a pop?

  • gpldan

    Nice Sandra Locke reference in there, Blogfather.

    This year, Clint will give us “it’s the 4th quarter in America, people!” and then yell at a locker.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Never understood the Sondra Lock attraction.

      In addition to BRONCO BILLY he did SUDDEN IMPACT, THE GAUNTLET, EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE and …JOSEY WALES with her.

      As I recall, their parting was less than amicable.

      • gpldan

        She wrote a book called “The Good, The Bad and The Very Very Ugly”, so yeah – I’m thinking he didn’t keep her happy.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Her IMDB Bio paints a VERY dark picture of Clint.

          http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0516800/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

        • MB30SD

          Always found her disgusting. Just not attractive in my book. Like a whiter fluffier olive oil.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Now, now, “disgusting” MAY be just a bit harsh, although her looks never did a thing for me, either.

            Now, if I’M Clint and am going after a co-star, I’d been chasing PLAY MISTY FOR ME’s, Donna Mills.

          • Irish Sweetness

            If I’m Clint, I’m banging EVVVVERY-ONE – a la Gary Oldman in Leon.

          • Irish Sweetness

            She was a lollipop stick with eyes.

      • MB30SD

        I had the wrong chick Al. Just looked her up. Locke is actually not bad.

        I was thinking of the chick with the afro. Can’t find a pic of her.

  • Johnathan Wood

    So Pasqualoni as the new LB coach. He has experience as a HC for almost 20 years in college (called defensive plays at the time, I believe) and was a DC in both DAL and MIA. Also experience as LB and DL coach in college and NFL.

    Wonder if he’s there in-house guy to replace Tucker should things go poorly on that front.

    • BillW

      Thanks for the info – being credited to Mully and Hanley and reported on the Trib. Don’t know much about him but he is expereinced and obviously a teacher (given his college years). And will put some heat on Tucker as you suggest.

      • NewBearInTown

        I’d love to see the Bears bring Wade Phillips in to coach the D-linemen. That would definitely create intrigue as to a replacement for Tucker if things fall apart. But it would also be a steal given Phillips’ success in Houston and Dallas on D.

    • Irish Sweetness

      We didn’t sign Singletary? Fuck.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Russell Wilson has not been doing a hell of a lot over his last 5 games. Some of that was because he didn’t need to, but some of it because he couldn’t.

    The Seahawks couldn’t beat the Cardinals IN Seattle with their excellent defense AND the “12th Man” (And home field advantage still up for grabs) despite the fact that Carson Palmer was playing giveaway with BOTH hands that day.

    The Saints seemed to benefit from having already played in Seattle this season. That early Fumble was a killer but the Saints still SHOULD have a had one more shot into the endzone last week but for Marques Colston’s brain cramp

    The 49ers have also already played in Seattle this season and this time they bring a rounding-back-into-all-pro-form Michael Crabtree with them and SF is 1 point from coming in on a 15-game winning streak.

    Could it not be said that they also just played a taller version of Russell Wilson as a warm up for the real thing?

    If I were a Seahawk’s fan, I would be VERY concerned about Sunday.

    Big surprise: Percy “Hurt Again” Harvin is listed as “Questionable” for Sunday.

    “Questionable”. They should just put that on the back of his jersey.

    As for Broncos-Patriots…

    I think Belicheat (Yes, I hate him, but dammit, he DOES know football) will bludgeon away with Blount, Vreen & Ridley to stay in the game early, wear out the Bronco’s D (already down 2 of their best) and win it in the 4th. I also think the Pats will be able to get more pressure on Manning than Denver puts on Brady.

    Discalimer: This opinion, and $1.79 will get you a large coffee at any Tucson area Circle K.

    • gpldan

      Party with Al at the Circle K, people! Be there or be square!

      • IBNO

        Ted, something very strange is afoot at the Circle K…

    • BerwynBomber

      Wilson has a long way to go to be considered great but you are absolutely bonkers if you think Cam Newton is as natural/instinctive a QB or pocket savvy as Wilson.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I don’t know who wins, but that’s why I think SF will cover the spread. Wilson has a 67 QBR in these playoffs, has barely thrown for 100 yards, and he’s up against a defense that can shut Beastmode down. This game will be settled in the air and that favors SF bigtime.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    My playoff predictions and rationale thus far (the only game I missed on was the Eagles, and not by much).

    Wild Card Round:

    Colts over Chiefs.

    Colt’s D has been on fire – very opportunistic lead by a DPOY type in
    Freeney. The Chiefs sometimes throw up offensive duds esp if they get
    behind, and I see that happening here.

    Also, Luck has a knack for the 4rth if they do need a comeback.

    Eagles over Saints.

    It’s not so much the conditions, but the Saints can be shut down.
    Hell, OUR D actually held them to like 24 points. IF the Eagles take
    away Graham, the Saints don’t have much else on O.

    The Saint’s D is vastly improved but far from dominant. Shady McCoy
    is one of those players that transcends gameplanning anyways. He’ll get
    his, and it’s just a matter of DeSean and Co doing just enough to keep
    the Saint’s D off-kiltered. I think it happens.

    Chargers over Cincy.

    Much like the blog father, I don’t like either team. True, Cincy has a
    better D, but the Chargers can turn it on, only they haven’t done it
    consistently. I’ve read some reports that Matthews is banged up, and
    that would be a huge blow to the Chargers; Matthews is having a solid
    year.

    Rivers also has more playoff experience, as well as Gates. They no
    longer have to be consistent for an entire season, just 60 minutes, and I
    predict they pull off the upset.

    49ers over Cheese.

    This game will be a lot closer than some might expect. I think the
    Pack are going to play for pride, esp at home, knowing they keep getting
    blown out by these dudes.

    Also, the 9er lines on both sides aren’t as dominant as last year,
    and Kaep has been known to have very inaccurate days. I’m a little
    worried that Gore the Inconvenient Truth is out of gas, and they’ll have
    to rely on their younger backs.

    Still, the 9ers will find a way to win in a somewhat choppy-sloppy game.

    Divisional Round:

    This week, I predict Seahawks over Saints. Not sure how this goes
    really. ‘Hawks could blow them out, but their O also has a bad habit of
    totally stalling at the most unpredictable times. Still, Seachickens.

    Pats over Colts. Man oh man, am I tempted to pick the dog here, but I
    just can’t envision such a depleted Colt’s O finding a way to thump
    Billichick. Also, the Colt’s D gave up 30+ points in one half alone, so
    it’s not as solid as I thought it would be. Difference is, Billichick is
    NOT Reid. They’ll make the proper half time adjustments to keep their
    foots on the throat.

    9ers over Panthers. IMO, it would take a perfect game for the
    Panthers to beat the 9ers. Much like the Colts, the Panther’s O seems to
    lack weapons, and it would take a phenomenal Cam performance to will
    his team to victory. On the flip side, Kaep, Davis, Crabtree and CO
    will convert just enough 3rd downs, score just enough points to eek out a
    victory. 9ers seem to be peaking at the right time.

    Broncos over Chargers. I really like how spunky the Chargers are,
    but the Broncos are just too powerful right now, and rested. I’m
    tempted to pick the dog here too because the Chargers almost beat them
    TWICE, and like I said last week, their D is under-rated. Nevertheless,
    Peyton doesn’t choke until next week against the Brady, per usual.

    • gpldan

      I like your success rate, and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      I also need you to rent a car and take a briefcase to Vegas for me.

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        Last week I did the spread, but wasn’t as successful. Surprise surprise, Vegas creates spreads to make it harder for gamblers to win! Who would’ve thunk it?

        Case and point. A Panther’s player with like 20 seconds left runs down the sideline and ALMOST scores a TD (which would’ve covered Jeff’s spread). Instead, he barely gets knocked out of bounds. Cam throws a few duds. Game over. Gamblers worldwide rejoice or weep.

        • gpldan

          You need Sykes 42 point proven computer system for determining the future!

          Otherwise, you have a better chance of having God show up at your doorstep with 9 strippers and a bag of Bolivian blow.

          • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

            Gamblers have the highest suicide rate. Higher than alcoholics, meth-heads, tranny emo teens listening to My Chemical Romance…their suicide is usually preceded in the previous week by…banging 9 strippers on Bolivian blow whilst on Viagra because they covered the spread by .5.

        • Irish Sweetness

          There’s a flip-side to that Butch. If you spot a team who you think should win, and you actually get a head-start, then that’s value in my book. I’m 4/4 ATS in the playoffs, and NE & SF both look like winners straight up – but both are getting 5 and 3.5 point starts respectively. That’s great value considering the Broncos likely can’t/won’t stop the Pats ground game.

          Seattle’s success is predicated on Marshawn having a good game – but SEA aren’t great against the run. SF can stop SEA, but SEA can’t stop SF, not on the ground (all things being equal). Manning won’t see much of the ball either, not with Blount pounding it at them. As soon as 8 come into the box … Brady to Edelman.

          Taking the two favorites this weekend is a real suckers bet and is why bookies don’t lose. people think .. Denver and Seattle at home? Obvious! Both bets lose IMHO. I wasn’t going to have a bet, but this is great value.. Neither DEN nor SEA
          can stop the run, both are facing running teams … yet both are favorites?

          Sucker. Bet.

      • DaBearsBlog

        Can’t make much money betting money lines.

    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      This week:

      Pats over Broncos.

      It’s going to be a close game, but Peyton this week throws a back-breaking Romo-ish pick late, and that will be the difference. The Broncos secondary is VERY suspect, and the Chargers gave them fits. McDaniel’s O can be very similar to the Charger’s O, creative in scheming players open with subpar talent. The difference is that the Pats now have a running game (turns out HB Matthews was more inj then the Chargers let on last week). One word. BRADY. Ok. two words. Billicheat.

      9ers over Seahawks.

      I’m not sure who I want to root for, but I know who my logic thinks will win. Like I said before, the 9ers are peaking at the right time, and when a team gets embarrassed by another team earlier in the year like the 9ers at SEA, it tends to really fire up the team.

      SEA edges the 9ers in D and SP (esp their kicker), but the 9ers O is far more potent. Boldin got pimped last time in SEA, and I know he’s ready to ball. Davis is their deep threat, and if SEA leaves Earl Thomas one-on-one with him (which they will because that’s how they roll), they’re going to pay. Crabtree has awesome hands and will make big plays at crucial times. The run game will really only be to keep SEA honest.

      And when all else fails…Run, Kap, Run!

      • AlbertInTucson

        That’s 2 more picks against the home teams this week.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          I don’t give as much weight to the “home” team like others do, esp in the playoffs. This time of year, you got teams on a mission. They all have the manifest destiny mentality and aren’t going to get fazed much by some noise, even in SEA.

          In fact, playing in a hostile environment can actually give the visiting team more adrenaline, focus and camaraderie.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Against the spread Al. Against the spread. Neither SF nor NE need to win.

      • gpldan

        Call my bookie! I have found MY MAN!

        Oh, oh – please Lordie above, I promise I will be nice to Trac all year long and not demean his praise for your almighty-ness, if only you can deliver a Niners-Pats Bowl! Promise!

        • SC Dave

          That would be a no-win scenario. I would not waste a single second watching the 49ers and patriots.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Neither would I Dave, especially not since I’ll be spending some of the winnings in the Windmill A-GO-GO with the hottest chick in the place spread open on the gyno-table doing an impersonation of a horse’s nose-bag and my name is Seabiscuit.

            Mind you .. Kap looks a bit too much like a Somali pirate for my liking and it may take half the off-season to calm down if he pulls a Grossman.

            Keep the bet modest, gentleman. No pain is necessary.

        • Irish Sweetness

          What I said to Al above … we could win the bet but still have a DEN-SEA bowl game. The beauty of the spread. Take what they give you in what is essentially a toss-up.

          Let’s do this on an etch-a-sketch in case BigCheesy is reading :

          SF can run the ball.
          SEA can run the ball.
          NE can run the ball.
          DEN cannot.

          DEN removed from the scenario. NE still get +5.5 head-start.

          SF can stop SEA running the ball.
          SEA cannot stop SF running the ball.

          SEA removed from the scenario. SF still get +3.5 head-start. SEA win by a FG? Not enough. CHA-CHIIING!

          May the Tall Whites be with us ……

      • Irish Sweetness

        That’s the shit I’m talking about Butch! See you on the flip side, brah!

        I just backed that double and see that the Pats are actually +5.5. Value. Value. Value.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    On a side note, Leave Clark the Cub alone!

    And on a side-side note. Bring back the Honey Bears!

  • BillW

    Two points –
    Jeff, you can’t be serious about 2.8 rating on the importance of position coaches. Especially after you said the Pasqualoni hire was good becasue of his work with developing players. Do you read your own tweets?
    Wade Phillips not getting an interview is sad; I would LOVE to see him as our DC. I always wondered why it’s so hard to find 96 good coaches (32 each for HC, DC, OC)? Partly becasue people like Lovie won’t go back to doing what he did well; part because teams keep looking for the next big thing. You’d think teams would be lining up once someone like Wade became available. What am I missing?

    • Johnathan Wood

      you really only need 64 coaches, usually. Most coaches can double as the de facto coordinators for one side of the ball, then need a good coordinator to run the other side.

    • DaBearsBlog

      I don’t understand why there’s a link between someone being a good hire and that hire being a major influence on the course of a game. Always good to have strong minds/influences in the room but my contention is position coaches are wildly overrated.

      • NewBearInTown

        What makes someone a good hire then? Ultimately the measure of quality in the NFL is whether or not you win football games.

        Position coaches, as often as not, are not meant to be strong minds and influences in the planning room. They are the teachers that run practices with the players, helping to fix technique issues and to translate the x’s and o’s into a practical mindset on the field. The coordinators create the plan, the position coaches implement it.

        Obviously it varies dramatically, but that’s the way I understand it working in principal. If the players are developing nicely, I think its fair to give a lot of that credit to the position coaches that turn them into productive professionals.

    • Irish Sweetness

      There are a lot of egos in the NFL – especially since they are all relatively young, testosterone-jammed boys. A linebacker coach who hasn’t been there and done that may not get the respect and attention of these spoiled young athletes.

      But we bring in Samurai Mike as LB coach and they’d have to listen. Imagine Mike at half-time of that GB game.

      “I will not tolerate players that can’t tackle …”

  • NewBearInTown

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1922971-study-shows-just-how-little-action-there-actually-is-in-average-nfl-game?utm_campaign=tsiphone&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com

    Interesting Wallstreet Journal Article quoted by BR. I heard about this last week.

    My biggest issue with this? Way too much time spent showing shots of the crowd and “players standing around.” I would love to see more John Madden style broadcasting where they show you which players made a great play. I don’t usually see great blocks at game speed on the first viewing because I’m guilty of being a ball-watcher. But I do see great blocks in replays and it really makes me appreciate the game more. The NFL would do well to help casual fans be able to understand what’s going on.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    I’m wondering too why Wade Phillips didn’t get hired immediately. I mean, there were some pretty feeble Ds last season (were we the worst NFL D?)

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/16/wade-phillips-wants-a-job-thinks-age-is-working-against-him/

    I’m a little baffled by Emery’s seemingly contradictory statements.

    “Injuries are no excuse.” “Accountability”

    If injuries are not an excuse, then doesn’t it follow that Tucker must be fired and upgraded? Doesn’t he have to be held ‘accountable’?

    Maybe I gotta stop thinking logically. This is the NFL, after all, where HCs get fired after one year, while Jerry Jones is still going strong…

    • NewBearInTown

      Accountability does not equal firing someone after one season. Tucker has to answer for the Bears D falling apart. But if the best answer is to let him have another year to get things together, then that’s what Emery and Trest will do.

      Teams fire coaches way too fast. Players get old. Coaches have a much better shelf life.

      • Irish Sweetness

        It really wouldn’t be fair to judge the man on one season given the injury plague that befell us. Plus, he can’t tackle for them … OR JUMP ON THE LOOSE BALL HEL-LOOOOOO!!

  • gpldan

    Very interesting to see Aaron Kromer not receive sniff from NFL team re: HC position. Shows league credits offensive turnaround to Trestman.

    I honestly do not think that is the conclusion one draws from that.

  • My Bad Guys, My Bad…

    Is anyone else mad that Kellen Davis gets to be on the Seahawks? Fuck that guy.

    • My Bad Guys, My Bad…

      Kellen was fucking instrumental in the 2nd half collapse of last season.

      • CanadaBear

        He sucked for sure but he had A LOT of help.

        • gpldan

          He was truly awful. He dropped EVERYTHING. It was interesting to see Madden updates and watch his stats fall further and further as the season went along last year.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I’m telling you it’s all in his head. Kellen just needs an attitude adjustment. His highlight reel is no longer on youtube – but he used to make some sick catches. Belicheat should have picked him up.

        Watch the slomo on the end of this catch. Can’t teach that.

    • johnnywad

      Yes. Unless he’s the reason they lose. Then I’m fine with it.

  • CanadaBear

    Pulling for SF and Den. SF is one of my all-time most hated teams. That’s how much I hate Pete Carroll (and that 120 db crowd). If Sea wins I might have to pull for NE if they win. That’s almost unthinkable.

    • gpldan
      • CanadaBear

        Harbaugh is an ass and a drama queen. Carroll acts like a Junior high cheerleader and has that extra helping of smarm that just makes you want to smack him.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Pete Carroll or Jim Harbaugh.

          Sounds like a “and death is not an option” choice.

          • NewBearInTown

            Meh, neither of them would bother me too much in Chicago to be honest. Likewise Belichek.

            I would not want Shanahan anywhere near my time.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Harbaugh thinks he’s Ditka. I’d take Belicheat in a fucking heartbeat – although I think the guy’s a ducheyne.

          • SC Dave

            Harbaugh is a better coach than Ditka tho.

    • Cormonster

      Russell Wilson, baby. That’s why I’m pulling for Seattle. Love that guy and Darrell Bevell, the OC. Two ex-Badger QB’s.

      Carroll is an ass douche, but he’s done a great job as coach and he has balls. Any chance Lovie or half the coaches in the league would have started Wilson last year after paying big bucks for Flynn? He blew up that roster his first two years until he got the players he wanted. I think he had well over 100 different players on the roster during that time.

      Tired of the 49er’s. I’d like to see a different team win the SB. IF not Seattle, then Denver. Billicheat is a great coach, but hasn’t won a SB since getting caught cheating. Funny how the NFL destroyed all the evidence after the Patriots got caught.

    • SC Dave

      I understand the sentiment, but ANYONE other than the Patriots or 49ers. Or the Steelers, but they are not in.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I hate SF nore than any team, but it’s all about the benjamins ….

  • gpldan
    • CanadaBear

      Love the monocle and top hat!

      That’s exhibit A why I don’t like Harbaugh. What a drama queen!

  • Sactowns#1

    Can this fool use Walters name for proffit? I guess if it’s an “artistic endeavor” but idk. I would love it if it was good song but it’s just terrible. http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh663rP4O781J05oo0

    • Irish Sweetness

      Nah, it’s a tribute .. .I think. Respect.

      BTW- when are we getting Walter’s Song? Suhey and Wally were way tighter than Piccolo and Sayers. Will Smith and Eric Bana.

      First scene : Matt and Wally accidentally walk into The Blue Oyster, and Serena LePuff plays the jizz-guzzler that tries to sell them poppers before they walk out in stitches. NTTAWWT.

  • Johnathan Wood

    this is a pretty good explanation of what the “hybrid” defense is that Seattle runs and people think Chicago will try to implement.

    On early downs they smack three DTs out there totaling about 950 pounds and then let the “leo” roam around as a rushing LB, pick his spot to attack (this is what McClellin would be, supposedly).

    http://beargoggleson.com/2014/01/16/chicago-bears-can-look-seattle-seahawks-defensive-blueprint/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    • NewBearInTown

      So I’m down with the concept of the 3-3 look with a roving “Leo,” Shea did a lot of this kind of thing in college, but he hasn’t really shown himself to be a stud pass rusher in the pros. Do we put him in that spot to fit within an existing system? Yes. Do we revamp our D because we think Shea can play Leo? No.

      With the current roster, incidentally, that look would have been Woot – Paea – Pep in the middle with the standard linebackers behind them. That means Woot and Paea are both slightly undersized and Pep really also is undersized to play that position full time.

      Drafting Nix, we could go to Paea – Nix – Woot, and now the front 3 is better suited to their roles. But you have to wonder if that group is really going to create enough pressure to occupy 5 offensive linemen and let Shea pick his spot.

      • Johnathan Wood

        I think Hageman would be a better fit if they want to go that route. He’s 310 pounds and a pass rusher to boot.

        Hageman + Ratliff or Melton (both just under 300 pounds but play bigger) + Wootton or Bennett (both 270+ with DT experience) could work.

    • Irish Sweetness

      That could be where Khaseem fits in …. let’s use what he’s got.

  • AlbertInTucson

    JUST SIT RIGHT BACK AND YOU’LL HEAR A TALE….”

    :0(

    Russell Johnson, “The Professor” on GILLIGAN’S ISLAND passed away today.

    With Gilligan, The Skipper and Mr. Howell as his competition, The Professor should have had his CHOICE of Ginger or MaryAnn to share his hut. Oh, and the answer to THAT question is “MaryAnn”.

    Trivia: The line “The Professor and MaryAnn” was NOT in the first season theme song! They were simply “…and the rest”.

    • gpldan

      But Thurstan Howell was also Mister Magoo, so there’s that.

      • AlbertInTucson

        “OH, MAGOO, YOu’VE DONE IT AGAIN!

        He was also James Dean’s wimpy Dad in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, the drunken pilot in IT’S A MAD, MAD,MAD,MAD,WORLD and General Curtis LeMay in ABOVE AND BEYOND.

        • gpldan

          IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD World made me think a cross country trip with Jonathan Winters and Buddy Hackett looked good.

          Actually – that would have been fun.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Two of the best scenes;

            1) Hackett and Mickey Rooney were trapped in that plane when pilot, Backus, passes out, and Buddy has to try and land the plane.

            Ding (Rooney)Trying to hand Benji the headset:

            Benji, I tell you, he said the man who’s flying should be talking on this thing!

            Benjy (Hackett): What, am I supposed to do everything? You want me to fly the airplane, you want me to work the radio, what are you gonna… What are you, the hostess?!

            2) Phil Silvers tells gas station owners/attendants Ray & Irving (Arnold Stang & Marvin Kapan) that Winters is crazy and they need to hold him for the police. Winters battles Ray & Irving and, in the process, completely destroys their brand new, “Grand opening” service station and then steals their tow truck.

            Famed stunt pilot, Paul Mantz, actually flew that plane thru that billboard.

            Unfortunately, not too much after MAD, MAD…Mantz was killed doing work on the original FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX when the PHOENIX flipped while he was attempting a landing. You’ll notice in the finished film, you do NOT see the makeshift plane land after the survivors fly it away from the wreckage of their flying boxcar.

          • CanadaBear

            Mad, Mad should have been way funnier. With that cast they should have just let everyone ad lib. Dick Shawn is insufferable.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I’ll admit it DOES go on a bit, but it DOES have it’s moments.

  • NewBearInTown

    I would be fine seeing Brady/Belichek win #4. I would be fine seeing Manning become the first to win for two different teams (I think that’s accurate). I’m less excited about seeing either San Fran or Seattle win, but both have perfectly acceptable stories. There really isn’t a bad path the game for me.

    But my favorite storyline? Marshawn Lynch sets the Superbowl rushing record and carries an offense with mediocre quarterback play to victory. Then they can finally give the MVP to something other than a quarterback.

    I’m convinced that the Bears could have made the Superbowl last year, won 21-0 on the back of 3 pick six’s by the defense, seen Charles Tillman with 5 forced fumbles, and they still would give the MVP to Jay Cutler.

    • CanadaBear

      Oddly enough Dent won the MVP when it easily could have gone to McMahon. That’s how much the media hated McMahon.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Ditka also thought it should have gone to McMahon.

        Another inexplicable one is Peyton Manning’s against the Bears on a day when he had TWO back rush for over 100 yards each.

        Apparently THAT vote took place BEFORE the game.

        • CanadaBear

          I remember reading an article about the MVP vote and someone was quoted saying they overheard Dierdorf going around trying to get people to vote for Dent. Apparently he said there was no way he was voting for the jackass McMahon.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Well, Mac WAS kind of jackass but so was Dierdorf last weekend.

            Not a great exit, Dan.

          • Irish Sweetness

            This is why I appreciated Mac and saw through all the bullshit hatred. I was 13. I thought the hair and shades were cool. People who were older thought “tool” and never judged him on his play. He was the single biggest reason we have a Lombardi and he never got the credit he deserved.

            That’s why if I’m GP on the train that day I go up, sit down beside him (or ask the person beside him to move if the seat is taken) and point out why he was the GOAT.

            Then I’d ask him why he didn’t reply to my letter.

        • johnnywad

          Should have gone to Lovie for inexplicably abandoning the run and Thomas Jones with a small deficit and putting the game in Rex’s hands. Stupid. He’s just as much the reason the Colts won that day as Manning is. Jones was earning his keep that day. I’ll never forgive Lovie for that.

          • SC Dave

            Fair enough, so long as you don’t forgive a far more baffling decision by Ditka to start Doug Flutie. Ranks right up there with giving the ball to Fridge instead of letting Walter score a Super Bowl TD.

            Who the fuck cares what Ditka said about who should have the Super Bowl MVP? It clearly should have been someone on the defense, and Dent had a monster game.

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        Maybe mooning the media didn’t go ever well.

        However, isn’t Dent the only defensive SB MVP?

        Somehow, that just feels right for the 85 team.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Hmm. Only Super Bowl MVP on defense? Good question.

          Research time…

          Nope.

          Turns out there’s been quite a few:

          Chuck Howley, Dallas -1971

          Jake Scott, Miami- 1973

          Harvey Martin & Randy White, Dallas -1978

          Richard Dent, Bears – 1986

          Larry Brown, Pittsburgh-1996

          Ray Lewis, Baltimore -2001

          Dexter Jackson,Tampa Bay – 2003

          Most notable on the list is Howley, the only MVP from a losing team.

          • gpldan

            Martin was as dominant as Ed Too Tall for the Cowboys.

            In that Super Bowl, they pounded Craig Morton into dust and then rode out of the stadium playing Queen’s We are the Champions.

          • AlbertInTucson

            THAT was a helluva defensive line. Martin, White, Too Tall and Jethro Pugh.

          • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

            Yeah, I thought I heard that somewhere. Seemed wrong, but maybe.

            3 from the 70s.
            one in the 80s
            one in the 90s
            two in the 2000s

            That’s rare company. Probably gonna get rarer too with all the new rules.

          • NewBearInTown

            Not just the rules. Also the media coverage. The NFL wants wider and wider appeal, ESPN and that lot aren’t arguing, so they continue to increase focus on the QB and away from guys like Lance Briggs (who rarely gets close to a QB) and even Matt Forte. QBs are easier to explain to the layman.

          • Irish Sweetness

            But Manning’s MVP was a complete fucking joke. Hopefully it’s the only ring he ever gets, but when people in years to come see that he got the MVP to boot .. . he wasn’t.

          • Irish Sweetness

            If anybody should have gotten the MVP it was Grossman. He was the Broncos best player.

          • NewBearInTown

            Still think the Giants should have had a defensive MVP in both of their wins. Oddly I think Flacco wasn’t a bad choice in the Ravens win given the final score and Flacco’s turnoverless performance throughout the playoffs.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Shouldn’t Scott Norwood have been a Giants’ MVP?

            JUST kidding. 46 yards is no “gimme”. The Bills had plenty of opportnity to get closer but sat on the ball instead.

            When you think about it, Marv Levy kinda pulled a Marc Trestman, no?

    • Cormonster

      Trivia question. Who were the only two defensive players to be named NFL MVP? Hint: one ended his career with the Bears.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I believe Alan Page was the one who finished up a Bear.

        • AlbertInTucson

          My GUESS on #2 would be Lawrence Taylor.

          • Cormonster

            Correct Al. I knew about Page, but forgot about Taylor until I looked it up. 157 blog points for you.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I remember Page still being VERY productive as a Bear despite playing at a VERY light weight at the time which, I believe, was THE bone of contention between him and the Vikings.

            Checking…

            Pro Football reference lists him at 245 but I think he was 10-15 lbs UNDER that when he came to the Bears. Can you imagine a DT at under 250? Even in 1980? I belive he was also a MASTER at blocking placekicks.

          • Cormonster

            He was definitely lean for a DT as a Bear. I remember that as a little kid.

          • Cormonster

            Alan Page has been a MN Supreme Court Justice for over 20 years. Never read his decisions or know his tendencies, but guessing he’s a fairly conservative / moderate judge based on going to Notre Dame.

            Jack Kemp is my favorite football player turned politician based on his views. He was part of the last group that was more about good governance over ideology. The Concord Coalition was the last time members of both parties tried to work together to solve the long term fiscal problems of SS, Medicare, and Medicaid. Now we have nothing but the culture wars, with politicians diverting attention from the fiscal mess that is the Federal Government.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Oh, they don’t have to be Bears ….

        • AlbertInTucson

          The Vikings thought Page was washed up and let him go 6 games into the 1978 season.The Bears picked him up and he played the last 10 games of THAT season and every game over the next 3.

          I believe he went on to become a Minnesota Supreme Court Justice.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Yep, I’d guess Butkus and Page.

      • SC Dave

        Richard Dent, was one of the two, right?

    • AlbertInTucson

      On the other hand, I would be fine with people still being able to say that Belichik hasn’t won a Super Bowl since he got caught cheating.

      A crime for which I believe HE should have been set down for a year.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Element II: Colin Kaepernick’s turnovers. He can’t throw the ball to the other team. Not in a game where every point will be gold and field position will be the name of the game.”

    Kaepernick HAS been taking much better care of the football, of late. 1 pick in his last 5 games…?

  • SC Dave

    I predict the Patriots will be the beneficiary of a number of bad calls. The NFL would, I’m certain, prefer a “local” (i.e. east coast) team in the Super Bowl in New York, Since the NFC rep is west coast regardless, I think the Broncos will get screwed.

    • NewBearInTown

      No matter how many conspiracy theories I hear, I just don’t believe that the NFL would do that Dave. They have there hopes, but I don’t think they influence individual games like that.

      Now, I do believe certain players get over-called (Suh) or over-protected (Brady/Manning). I also believe the NFL creates certain referee policies which effect the global tendencies of games over the season (e.g. Let’em play vs. Call P.I. a lot so we see more scoring). Beyond that… I just don’t see it.

      I would have loved to see the Saints win the big one this year though. Goodell and Sean Payton sharing the podium… too perfect.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Sorry, but THAT theory just won’t hold water.

      1) It’s just an unkeepable secret.

      2) It’s unnecessary.

      The TV spots are sold. The money is made. The ratings would have fall way WAY short of projections for FOX to have to rebate the advertisers anything which ain’t bloody likely.

      What ELSE are football fans going to watch on Super Bowl Sunday?
      Check out what’s on LIFETIME or THE HALLMARK CHANNEL?

      Not to mention post-season Fantasy competitions and good old football pools.

      Do you think gamblers give a crap about who’s in the game?

      Have you SEEN the TV ratings this year? Something like 34 of the top 35 programs are the NFL.

      If the NFL was worried about boosting the ratings, they would have arranged for THE BEARS to still be playing because the Bears on National TV are ALWAYS high ratings.

      If the Broncos get “screwed” Sunday, it will be because they can’t stop LeGarrett Blount or Peyton Manning goes down in a heap in the first half.

    • Irish Sweetness

      If there was to be any fixing going on, the bookies would be the main benefactors – always follow the money in any conspiracy – ergo the Patriots and Niners win the day. Straight up it’s a coin-toss, but ATS .. advantage NE + SF. Bigtime.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    Very good article about which 5 players the Bears should release and how much cap it would create.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/five-players-under-contract-chicago-bears-cut-offseason-162400058–nfl.html

    • AlbertInTucson

      Good info.

    • NewBearInTown

      Not a bad article, but he basically buys into the current trend in the NFL to eliminate the middle class.

      Cutting Earl Bennett sounds great until Marshall or Jeffery goes down for a month. Remember he is far and away the clear #3, so the team has to really trust Marquess Wilson to make this move. I think the Bears keep him, but do the same thing they did last year and restructure $1M or so of his contract into an incentive tied to catches. If we do see an injury scenario, Bennett will earn the bigger contract. If we don’t, Bennett will probably not see enough snaps.

      Weems is also tricky. He’s not just a special teams player, he’s a special
      teams leader. You can’t expect to throw just whoever onto your special
      teams – other teams do that and they get burned. We’d have to see who
      else is available, but I suspect Emery would still spend the extra $1M
      on bringing in a proven vet for specials rather than just throwing the
      latest sixth rounder in.

      Peppers is obvious. Costs way too much. Will be interesting to see the outcome of discussions, but I think there’s a good chance he retires rather than playing for cheap.

      Podlesh will be replaced unfortunately unless he absolutely smokes the competition we bring in.

      And Bush… hard to just cut him loose as he is still productive. But he’s overpriced and running backs are cheap in the draft these days. We’ll see what happens. I suspect he’s gone.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I believe the article mentions that cutting Earl doesn’t really save them any cap space of note.

      • Irish Sweetness

        There’s no reason we can’t find a bulldog in the 5th or 6th. A Suhey, a Grabowski .. just a hard-worker who weighs a lot.

        And why is the DT as a FB thing no longer in fashion? We didn’t use Melton once in the backfield did we ? He used to be a running back!

      • Johnathan Wood

        I agree on Earl. He knows the system, fits in the locker room, and doesn’t complain when he doesn’t get balls. Is also a solid blocker. That’s highly valuable.

        If they dump Earl and don’t sign a competent FA to replace him, that leaves them with exactly 2 WR with any semblance of experience on the roster. Risky move (although mitigated somewhat by the fact that M Bennett and Forte are de facto 3/4 WRs).

        Here’s the other thing: earl hasn’t had a statistically productive season in a while. So he’s not worth $2.5M on the open market. I wonder if they cut him and try to re-sign him for less. Or just go for the pay cut with incentives to earn it back like last year. Keeping him around but for more like $1.5M than $2.5M would be the ideal, IMO, just like you said.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Earl’s TD catch to help put Pittsburgh away has kind of gotten lost among Jeffey’s multiple spectaculars and the Bears missing the playoffs but I submit there wasn’t a BETTER catch all year than THAT one against the Steelers.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Bullshit selections IMHO.

      Earl Bennett? He hardly breaks the bank, and where’s our slot?

      Weems? Christ on a bike, he makes just above minimum, how much room does that give us? Then again, I’d rather we had Double-T off the PS and backing up The Beastly Brothers than have Weemsy on the squad.

      Why isn’t Mr. ‘8 million’ Melton on that list? If you want to make a big signing like Michael Bennett, it’s the harder decisions like saying So Long Henry that allow you to do that.

      Once more … Wally Chambers, Alan page, Dan Hampton, Mongo … Henry Melton ? Does he deserve the GSH on his arm at DT ? How are those knees? Do we need to care ?

      • NewBearInTown

        Melton is a free agent, no cap hit till we sign him.
        You’d be surprised how far an extra million in cap space can take you once you’ve made your big ticket signings.
        $1M out of $120M isn’t much. But most teams have a lot of their cap locked up on the A-listers, so its really $1M out of like $10-20M. A 5%-10% increase in cap space is helpful.

        • Irish Sweetness

          I stand corrected. Maybe nobody signs him and we get him for 3M.

    • SC Dave

      I think most of us recognize that cutting Earl is an idiotic idea. He and Josh are the two best “depth” guys on the roster.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I can’t believe nobody has signed Josh. If we get lucky and he comes back to us, we are set.

  • NewBearInTown

    Possible replacement for Bush. Might be available as late as the sixth round according to Walterfootball.

    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      Impressive. Kinda looks like Forte 2.0. Nice pass routes, blocking, and decent vision. Looks like he shies from contact a bit though.

      Hopefully Ford can be that basher.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I am apparently the only one who isn’t on the Forte-can-block boat.

        Remember the Minny comeback when Mac came on for Fuller? Takes the snap and the LB comes straight through an A gap and is about to plant McMahon into the ground .. .except he got lifted out of it by you-know-who.

        That is how we do that, gentlemen.

        Forte couldn’t do that in his dreams.

        • CanadaBear

          It’s always this constant blather about what Forte can’t do compared to Walter. No offense Irish but Walter was possibly the greatest football player of all time. What Forte can do is block adequately. He was horrible against the Eagles but so were the other 45 that suited up that night.

          Forte in 6 seasons has averaged 1600 yds from scrimmage each year (1111 yds rushing and 486 yds passing with 8 TD’s). Last season with an honest to goodness offense he had 1933 yds from scrimmage (1339 rushing, 594 passing with 12 TD’s). He has averaged 2 lost fumbles per year.

          The RB’s in the NFL that can match that production can be counted on one hand. Give it up already.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Stats have nothing to do with blocking. Blocking was the topic line. No problem with his outside running, but inside, we need another guy .. .and a center that doesn’t go backwards. Got no beef with Forte these days, as Lovie would say “he’s our guy”.

          • SC Dave

            I posted numbers a couple weeks back on Forte vs the league and versus Payton. No one is claiming Matt is the player Walter was, but damn I’ll keep him!

      • NewBearInTown

        For a pure wrecking ball we just singed Fiametta to be the true FB. I looked at this guy based on his measurable (shorter, heavier than average). But if he shies from contact he’s not the guy.

      • SC Dave

        Doesn’t look as fast as Forte to me.

  • Irish Sweetness

    1. How do the Broncos stop the Pats running game AND deal with maybe the second greatest QB of the modern era? Don’t you need a great defense for that? Pats +5 please.

    2. SF & SEA will likely only be separated by a FG. SF +3.5 please.

    They’ll both be close games, ergo take the value-bet spread-dog double … take what the bookies are giving you. That is all.

    • gpldan

      Pats Niners is also an acceptable SB

      Anything with Seattle is not.

    • AlbertInTucson

      I’d be taking the points in both cases too, Irish and my best guess is TAKE the points, but you won’t NEED the points.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Pats – 2/1
        SF – 13/8

        Straight up. Nice to have the head-starts though.

  • gpldan

    Historically, this has been the best week of football in the NFL. The SB is usually a let down, although some barn burners have happened in the last decade.

    Giants upset of the Pats – Steelers rally against the Cards. Giants winning AGAIN over the Pats. Some SB worthy moments in there.

    Tampa – Oakland? Awwwful.

    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      I agree. I tend to like Championship Weekend better for an odd reason: it still feels like FOOTBALL.

      MY Football. The one I spent the offseason glossing over cap space. Checking out 5th rounders from Louisiana Tech (ahem, Jordan Mills). The one I spent far too many hours debating which FAs/UFAs the Bears need to pick up. The one celebrating and lamenting our draft picks. Grinding it out and watching pre-season games just to see who might be a gem, who might be the next Dent/Brady/Foster. Cringing at injuries and seeing all the madness around the league in general (will there be a serial killer arrested again?)

      Then naturally, the regular season and all that.

      The NFL wants to add two more games, but I don’t know if I can take it. I love football, but if you follow it year round, you almost get worn out by week 17 (esp if your team is out of the playoffs).

      I love the playoffs though, so I get re-energized esp if teams I can root for a team in it.

      But by the time it gets to SB week, I feel like football just becomes a product. All these celebrities and reporters from Serbia converge and start talking about the SB teams. Ppl who don’t watch a lick of football all season are there plopped before the TV, stuffing their faces with Papa Johns, waiting for the half-time show and SB commercials.

      Of course, that’s what the NFL wanted. They wanted it to be a spectacle for the general sport’s fan or tv viewer. But somehow I feel like they’re invaders. It’s weird.

      This week is the last week which I’m gonna feel like I’m in it with FOOTBALL fans before the masses get their grubby little sausages on it.

      And what a glorious weekend it should be.

      • gpldan

        You have to get a passing grade on this before allowed into the Super Bowl:

        http://helloquizzy.okcupid.com/quizzy/take

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          The “What type of man turns you on” or “personality defect” quiz? lol

          I vaguely remember one year some foreign reporter asked one of the SB coaches a ridiculous question, but can’t exactly remember the scenario.

      • Trac

        I hate the bye week. Wish they got rid of it.

  • Sactowns#1

    Here’s an oldie and goodie- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgOYvlVqSSs

    • Irish Sweetness

      1. Cedric. Ouch.
      2. See who was a yard behind Vasher on his record return? Urlacher.
      3. Cody who?

      • Johnathan Wood

        I forget sometimes just how fast Urlacher was in his prime. Remember him matching rookie Reggie Bush stride for stride in the NFCCG on that long TD run? That was insane.

        • EnderWiggin

          Lach was within inches of ripping that bastards finger off… Then again, I think when Bush taunted Lach going into the endzone was what really sparked the team to pick it up a notch.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            That was a classic example of tugging the tigers tail. Momentum shifted REAL fast after that showboating.

          • Johnathan Wood

            Yep. That TD brought it within 16-14 for NO.

            The Bears ended the game with 23 straight points.

            After that play, NO only had one drive of 25 yards or longer, and 3 of their remaining 7 drives ended in a safety, an interception, and a lost fumble.

        • Cormonster

          One of the biggest WOW moments for me at a game was the Mike Brown OT game against SF in 2001. Urlacher blew me away with his speed in the 3rd quarter. I had perfect seats on the 50 just below the press box. Jeff Garcia dropped back to pass, and Urlacher went into short zone on the far side of the field past the hash marks. When Garcia rolled out of the pocket to the right towards us, Urlacher took off on a dead sprint and knocked Garcia out of bounds for a loss or very short gain on the play. He was there in a flash.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Miss you Brian ……

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    Here’s an early FA list (keep in mind, many of them will NOT be FAs in a few months).

    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/45947/309/2014-nfl-free-agents

    Word around the camp fire is that DE Greg Hardy (26 sacks last two seasons. Only 25. Plays the run well) will be released by the Panthers as a cap causality. Do we break the bank on him, or target a more economical DE (Michael Johnson, Lamar Houston, Michael Bennett)?

    To me, Greg Hardy is in his own tier, then those other 3. And after that, I’m not sure if the rest of the FA DEs are that much of an upgrade over Woot.

    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      Hardy-Ratliff-Melton-Wooten.

      Yes, Please.

      I’m just wondering if we target Hardy – would that mean that we would have to let go of Melton and Peanut (Pepp for sure would be gone), and if so, would it be worth it?

      In that scenario, I almost think that both Peanut and Melton would be gone, and we’d definitely get a new DT through the draft.

      So realistically, it would look more like

      Hardy-(Louis Nix)-Ratliff-Woot

      I would prefer DT/DE Hageman, but I have a feeling he’s going to shoot up draft boards really fast.

    • Johnathan Wood

      I know several Carolina fans, and they all say the vibe from the franchise is that Hardy’s not hitting the market. Either signs a deal or gets tagged.

      IMO Bennett is the most realistic possibility. Good player, probably a little underrated, so should be reasonable in price. And Seattle knows full well they can’t afford to keep him.

      • Johnathan Wood

        remember last year in FA, Emery didn’t sign the market-setting deals. He got the 2nd or 3rd highest guy at both LT and TE, which he felt was better value (relatively speaking).

        So that would be somebody like Bennett and maybe TJ Ward instead of Hardy or Byrd.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          I wouldn’t mind Ward and Bennett at all.

          If we get them, that would give us ton of flexibility in the draft, which is what Emery likes.

          However, I’m beginning to wonder how much cheaper either would be than Byrd and Hardy, respectively.

          But if Hardy IS available in FA, how can we not get him? It’s not very often that a 4 star DE hits the FA market (5 stars like Minister of D, Pepp and Watt are once every 10-15 years).

          • Johnathan Wood

            hadn’t seen that, good info. Would love Hardy, but Bears wouldn’t be alone in going after him hard due to the age and production. Would be tough to get still, but awesome if they did.

            My gut says they spend big on one DE, then get overlooked guys to compete for spots with draft picks for relatively cheap at S and DT.

          • Irish Sweetness

            If we get Hardy then the draft can take care of the rest. Can’t do it all in one year.

          • AlbertInTucson

            A better defensive line makes the rest of your defense better by default.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Who was the FA tight end ranked above Martellus Bennett?

          • Johnathan Wood

            Cook got a bigger contract than Bennett in STL.
            Long got a bigger contract than Bushrod, also in STL (slightly less money overall, but one year shorter and much higher per year).

          • AlbertInTucson

            I knew Bushrod was not the top LT available. Cook vs. Bennett? Happy to get who we got.

            Also, the Saints missed Bushrod, BIG TIME this season.

          • Johnathan Wood

            yeah, both those guys had better years for the Bears than their more highly paid counterparts in STL. Will be interesting to see if that continues.

  • Doc Nitty
  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    “Bears ABSOLUTELY lucked out with Jeffery. If Jets took him the Bears would be cutting Stephen Hill in a month or two.” – Jeff

    Huh? There’s no guarantee that Emery was locked into drafting a WR in the 2nd round. I don’t know whether Emery would have drafted Hill in the 2nd, much less traded up to get him.

    If Alshon had been drafted by Jets before us, maybe Emery stays pat, and drafts another position like LB or S (not to mention Bears would have had an extra pick I think).

    • gpldan

      Jeff kinda needs to stop tweeting that he hates draft speculation and then draft speculate.

      • Shady

        I’ve noticed his tweets have become increasingly negative and cynical.

        • Trac

          Tweeting is for twat’s.

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        He’s not only draft speculating, he’s draft speculating PAST drafts!

    • My Bad Guys, My Bad…

      I think we can all agree that a WR coming into this team would have a distinct advantage over someone drafted by the fucking Jets. Man, that has to suck….I mean, not financially of course.

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        Marshall U. Earn a degree in WR in 1 year! Money back guarantee.

    • AlbertInTucson

      If he gets the blame for McClellin, he should get the credit for Jeffrey.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Here’s a STUNNER; Percy Harvin ruled “OUT” for Sunday.

    • Shady

      Good. With those shots to the head he took last week and his migrane problems, he’s much better off sitting this one out.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I don’t know how he plays while suffering chronic migraines.

        • Shady

          He doesn’t, that’s his unfortunate problem.

          • AlbertInTucson

            That’s TWO former Viking wideouts who have major problems staying on the field as Seahawks.

  • My Bad Guys, My Bad…
    • Shady

      That’s an oldie but a goodie. But have you seen this one yet? Going viral as we speak…

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Wouldn’t it be great if this turned into a wild shootout? If all the prognostication and analysis was wildly off-base and we ended up with a 48-45 game? That’s what I’m rooting for Sunday. Scoring fest.”

    You really think Seattle can win a shootout?

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    “Humorless ultra competitive psychotic autocrat”

    Who does that refer to?

    A. Michael Jordan
    B. Tiger Woods
    C. Jim Harbaugh
    D. Bill Billichick
    E. Clark the Cub.

    • AlbertInTucson

      I’ve heard that Tiger is somewhat humorless.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Tiger Woods in a heartbeat.

    • gpldan

      I kinda get the impression Belichek has a super dark, morose sense of humor. But it does exist.

    • johnnywad

      All of the above but only if we’re using the genderless Clark. Not the one with dick and balls. He’s actually pretty easy going.

    • SC Dave

      Hmmm…. I’d say Ditka, except the first word does not fit at all.

  • Jokey

    Haven’t reached the end of this article but the setup is great:
    http://www.theclassical.org/articles/hating-and-loving-jay-cutler

    • Irish Sweetness

      I did. I reached the end.

      How old is Rick Paulas? You can tell when someone has never seen Jim McMahon play, they just talk crap and then blow Jay Cutler. They come out with crap on McMahon like “he was great when he was healthy” WTF? That just means he was great. Period. Has Jay been “great when healthy” ? Not mostly. Jim was, Jay isn’t. Jim played the second half of the Raiders game with a lacerated kidney, and it’s not his fault that Charles Martin body-slammed him effectively ending his career. So it’s okay for Jay to miss time with contusions or bursitis or whatever, but McMahon is forever to be labeled “injury prone” and thrown on the heap with the Kramers and Millers and Tomczaks. Jesus, I hate these blogging pricks. I hate the lack of respect for the single-most important player on the only Bears team to win a Lombardi. Pisses me off like nothing else. How can you blow Jay Cutler and just dismiss our best ever? Where’s the respect?

      Fuck you Rick Paulas, if you’re reading this. Fuck you right in the face. Shame on you if you’re 40+ and you DID see Jim play, because then you’re just a clueless idiot to whom football is something you pay attention to for a couple of months a year. If you’re a child then you can be forgiven your sleighting of the fifth winningest QB of all-time % wise. You can write Cutler’s yardage total on a napkin and stick it up your ass, because that’s all it’s worth you dumb fuck.

      N.B. – learn about topic lines, and clarity. Your article is verbal diarrhea, in dire need of serious editing, has no cohesion and lacks any intelligent perspective. You never would have made it past the mail-room at a newspaper, and with good reason.

      Rant over. And yes, I feel better now.

      No. No I don’t. Jay wasn’t even the best QB on the Bears THIS YEAR!

      @#@#$$@%!

      • gpldan

        I was annoyed when Murph said McMahon wasn’t so great. I was like Schroder in Charlie Brown Christmas when that bitch Lucy insults Beethoven.

        Ditka buried guys. He sent Mike Tomczak into permanent therapy. The psychological scars of Ditka can still be seen in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has motherfucking Stockholm Syndrome, his career emulates what a modern Ditka would be like. That’s how far inside Jim’s head Mike got (along with some Schembeckler in there)

        Steve Fuller was a twat. Ditka so scarred Doug Flutie it took the guy a decade in Canada before he was ready to come back.

        McMahon was the only guy who could stand up against that. I suggest people who think Steve Fuller could have led the ’85 Bears get therapy. Yes, he played crazy. Yes, he was hit so hard he went into the locker room and pissed pure blood. Yes, he fucked up his arm. So what? His career was Heath Ledger – short and brilliant. Doesn’t make him less great.

        Winning? FIne. Joe Montana was better and more clutch. But please – stand here and tell us that Troy Aikman was better than Jim McMahon because he won more. Aikman would have been reduced to a pool of gelatin on the floor by Ditka and that 85 Team. That team was nastier than any Snake Stabler era Raider teams. That team was a vicious wild bunch, too crazy good to stay stable. It was the blue meth of football teams. And McMahon was the catalyst agent. You will never see a team in any pro sport like that one, ever again. So please – to say McMahon wasn’t great disavows what life was like prior to him, when we hung hopes on Vince Evans and brought back Greg Landry, who looked like George Plimpton had come back to play him instead of a Detroit Lion. Guy was like 50 years old. We were in the wilderness before McMahon, booing Bob Avelinni for showing up drunk again. So it’s hugely disappointing to see Bears fans who I know were around not see the context of history as it actually unfolded.

        • Cormonster

          At least that bitch Lucy made some amends at the end by acknowledging that Charlie Brown did pick out a pretty nice tree, for a blockhead.

        • SC Dave

          While yes, Jim gets kudos for not letting Ditka ruin him, *somehow*, completely beyond my comprehension, Dick-a gets a pass for fucking up all the other QBs. So pathetic.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Hairs on the back of my neck, GP – that’s the shit I’m talking about. Not many egos – if any – could stand up to what Ditka dished out. But they both wanted the same thing. Harbaugh probably never audibled again the way he did before that Minny (?) pick six out wide – I think Mac just didn’t give a flying donut what Ditka thought and he changed plays on an almost every play if needed be.

          Balls. Big hairy ones … mixed with with bags of talent and coated with plenty of F-you attitude. The hacks that have to write about the Bears these days just look at the raw stats and dismiss him – which is easily done if you look a stats – but if he was under center, you generally won, especially when you weren’t supposed to,

          Troy Aikman? Mac wasn’t capable of going 1-15 in his first or any season. Just wouldn’t allow it to happen. I don’t think Aikman set 70 NCAA records either.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          The “Humorless ultra competitive psychotic autocrat” label was referring to Harbaugh lol

      • CanadaBear

        McMahon was careless with his health. Still is. He was more concerned with being a tough guy, smart ass than trying to stay healthy to lead the Bears. It didn’t help that the D was always trying to maim opposing QB’S. The opposing D was happy to reciprocate. McMahon was such an asshole to the refs they were only too happy to let the opposing D’s punish him. At some point McMahon should have grown up and stopped thumbing his nose at ALL authority. That’s really cool when you’re a kid but as you get older you realize it’s a fools game. He still doesn’t take care of himself (drinks like a fish) and acts like he’s still in college. I’ll always be grateful to him for that SB win because without him it would never have happened. However, if he was more professional and not such a self destructive, immature ass, there could have been more SB’s trophies at Halas Hall.

        • SC Dave

          While I agree with all of this, on the last sentence, I blame Ditka just as much or more.

          • AlbertInTucson

            On the one hand, he was saying “Don’t be distracted by all the outside offers” and on the other hand he was taking endorsements left and right, including basically stealing one from a couple of his players.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Fairer to say that opposing QBs were careless with his health! Very different game back then. Brutal for QBs.

  • Irish Sweetness
    • gpldan

      Daaaaa Buff!

    • EnderWiggin

      I’d expect LaBeouf’s retirement to be much like Joaquin Phoenix’.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Can somebody explain to me what happened there with Phoenix? I’ve tried to find that ‘documentary’ he did “I’m still here”? but it’s not available on torrents. Affleck claimed it was a hoax, but our Joaquin is a very strange boy ….

    • johnnywad

      You see what Plank did up there? Good stuff man. Now how bout a little something from that pen of yours? Hmmmmm?

  • Still a Doug Plank Fan

    FOR NBIT…because a bet, is after all, a bet…I believe this squares us. I added a few because I was a bit late, but, wanted to get it in before this weekend’s playoff games.

    Here you go. All Hail the Vikings…..

    ******************************************

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it
    was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of
    incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was
    the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us,
    we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going
    direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period,
    that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good
    or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

    – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    Such was the weather of conscience, on this, the celebration of despair and
    destiny on 29 December, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at high noon. It was a day of reckoning, yet one of no historical merit for the men about to engage one another with apathetic brutality. Rather, as the 22 Helmeted Hopeless stretched behind their respective battle lines to begin, they did so on an inflatable “battlefield” (a place that would not exist at all in mere days), and were led by men who couldn’t even muster the energy to fear fear itself. It was over before it began; it was, indeed, the epitome of irrelevance. Or if you prefer, the NFC North’s own Epoch of Indifference.

    The Minnesota Vikings were about to engage the Detroit Lions in their final game of the season, and through the domed air heavy with gloom, even the call to engage went unnoticed by the foot soldier designated to return fire; he was too busy waving his goodbyes to the few loyal spectators draped in purple and gold. His comrade in arms, an afterthought of a returner, surrendered immediately in the end zone of neutrality. Let the battle begin, as the saying goes, albeit as quietly as possible.

    For the next 60 minutes, Vikings and Lions bumped, ran, occasionally collided,
    and semi-violently comingled with one another in their inflatable confines. Their leaders worried little if at all; both were already packed and hoping for new places to be once the day was over.

    On one side stood a bemusing little man nicknamed Gym Shorts, whose neurosis had infected his entire pride to such an extent that some had wondered aloud if appropriate medications even existed to at least quiet a few of the voices in his head. His pet, a man named Suh, had the Lions’ image damage control team on
    24/7 alert. And though “Shorts” also had one of the most feared receivers in the entire nation under his command, alas, today, on this day of impotency, his Johnson was limp and unable to perform. A mere pup on a pride-less day.

    On the other, leading the Vikings to the most important goal of his career – not
    only to tame but humiliate both his counterpart and the Lions completely as a
    footnote on his wet-ink resume – stood one Leslie Frazier. The man who had Pondered far too long, and who had once taken in a jobless and maniacal Samurai with a penchant for waving his sword at his own players. Once a feared
    and fearless member of the greatest warriors ever to don armor and destroy
    their enemies, Frazier was now left with but one last chance for vindication
    after so many mediocre years as a leader; to pay his respects to the mighty
    Chicago Bears by defeating the Detroit Lions, who had twice bitten his former
    team.

    And so he did. On this, the last day of unimportance by any measure for both, the details of those 60 minutes mattered in only one respect; the Vikings were victorious over the slobbering, declawed Lions. The mighty playoff-bound Bears and their fans not only took solace in the Lions’ demise, but for that moment, were also able to cheer for one of their alumni.

    In that context, the Vikings had no greater victory in 2013 than on that
    yawn-inducing, apathy-inspiring Sunday afternoon.

    ***********************************************************

    • gpldan

      The man who had Pondered far too long, and who had once taken in a jobless and maniacal Samurai with a penchant for waving his sword at his own players.

      This sentence earns 2500 blog points for just being so great.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        That beats the lousy 3 points that put me at the losing end of this bet. Thanks. I’ll spend my Blogcoins wisely.

    • SC Dave

      This post earns a large pile of blog points, indefinitely defined. Kudos!

    • johnnywad

      This is great. Just great. “A man named Suh.” “His Johnson was limp”. ….. shut the FRONT DOOR!!!!! Excellent work Plank.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Thanks Johnny. God, won’t we miss Shorts just a little? I mean, the new guy seems so – normal.

    • NewBearInTown

      I’ll accept this as payment in full.
      It is tempting to lay down another bet for tomorrow but I doubt we will have time to set anything up prior to kickoff. I’ll give some thought to a fun superbowl wager though.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Nothing involving point spreads – I’m allergic.

  • Cormonster

    What happens when you mix Metallica and the Beatles? Why Beatallica of course.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EA_CgX2ihVg

    • gpldan

      Nice.

      For tomorrow’s AFC matchup, I’d love to see some Wrestling style theatrics.

      Stadium goes totally dark. PA System opens up with Ecstasy of Gold by Morricone.

      Spots open on midfield logo, man looks like he’s opening a treasure chest. Then, in one endzone Brady comes out in spotlight, with a black hat and 6-shooters. The other end lights up, the big screen pans to close up – there’s Manning with his uni on but that carpet over his head and the Eastwood flatbrim hat. He lights the cigar in his mouth, and looks up. They walk to center field, music swelling. Just before they draw, all the lights come on and the two teams run out simultaneously. Crowd goes nuts.

      The NFL won’t do it – but it would be fun.

      • Shady

        I thought Jeff was the playwright.

      • NewBearInTown

        Brady wouldn’t do it either.
        Manning would.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Yer gonna see this kinda stuff when Rex Ryan takes over as commish.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Not “The Meatles” ?

    • Irish Sweetness

      Brilliant ! “Hey Duuude .. .you’re fuckin’ insaaaaane” Mwah!
      And then over in the sidebar … “All you need is blood” .. “The thing that should not let it be”… ” Sgt. Hetfields’ Motorbreath club band”.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Hilarious.

  • AlbertInTucson

    NFL of season arriving early. Devon Bess arrested. Geno Smith escorted off of a plane…

    • Irish Sweetness

      http://deadspin.com/geno-smith-allegedly-escorted-off-plane-by-lax-cops-1503821554

      The comments underneath are the best.

      “Jet Jettisoned From Jet”

      “This is just ludicrous. I absolutely cannot believe that Geno Smith was intercepted before coming anywhere near a touchdown.”

      “Mark Sanchez is confused. “Virgin America? Not when I’m done with them.”

      “Geno Smith Intercepted By Cops, Booted Off Plane, Escorted Out Of LAX

      So, a pick, a kick, and a nick.”

      et cetera …

  • Irish Sweetness

    Ah Blogfatha .. .’kin hell lad ! What!?

    “Clint Dempsey has had more impact in this one half for Fulham than Jozy Altidore has had through half season at Sunderland.”

    Step away from the tweetin’ lad, ye cannae be deein’ this, ye cannat !

  • johnnywad

    Watched a pretty interesting football flick last night. “Undefeated”. Check it out boys.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Will do. Been wanting to see that, but had forgotten about it.

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