103 Comments

After an Exhausting 2017 Season, Some Thoughts on Football Media – Chicago & Beyond

| February 19th, 2018


(1) Everything I thought about David Haugh was confirmed when I watched him order a Blue Moon from Marco at The Billy Goat Tavern. Everything.


(2) Jason La Canfora continues to embarrass himself nationally. ESPN has Schefter and Mort. Fox has Glazer. NFL Network has RapSheet. And yet CBS, one of the league’s preeminent partners, continues to march this Human Misinformation Machine onto their New York City set every Sunday to be wrong. When JLC reported the Bears were bringing in Bill Polian last year, my source inside the Bears responded with this text: “Hahahaha.” JLC makes things up. There’s no other way to say it.


(3) For the first time in my twelve years writing DBB, I dabbled in the the “breaking news” game and I have to admit it was a shitload of fun. There is something genuinely thrilling about having information before everybody else, even when that information is as trivial as who the next offensive line coach of the Bears will be.

But sadly, “breaking news cache” seems to be all football fans care about anymore. A decent opinion doesn’t register. A good sentence or two? Fuck that! I’ve been doing the same crap on Twitter for years and I basically doubled my following because I knew Mark Helfrich would be the next offensive coordinator before Brad Biggs. And the sad part is I didn’t do anything for that information outside of have a friend. The sentences are the hard part!


(4) Is Adam Jahns my pal? Yes. But we became friendly (initially) out of mutual respect for each other’s work. Jahns tackles Bears issues with objectivity and intelligence and – most importantly – style. He can write! He is a pleasure to read! He’s the best the Bears beat has to offer day-to-day.


(5) Brad Biggs has lost his fastball. He was the best Bears beat writer for a decade, and his Monday Ten Things was the only must read of the week. Neither of those things is remotely true any more. One thing you should know: the organization hated that Phil Emery leaked so profusely to Biggs. They love that Pace does not. There are people in the building who actively root against Biggs getting stories.


(6) You could call what’s happening on Twitter between Greg Gabriel and I a “feud” but it’s somewhat one-sided because Gabriel blocks me on Twitter and I can’t see anything he writes. (I have to rely on followers literally sending me screenshots.) Here’s the truth with Gabriel. He’s a pariah inside the walls of Halas Hall. Ownership can’t stand him for a myriad of things surrounding his tenure with the Bears. He doesn’t have one solid connection in that building. And he’s angry and resentful that some of us do. His way of rebuffing us, and by “us” I mean primarily internet-based writers, is to wave his resume in the air and claim we don’t know anything. The sad truth, however, is he knows we do. And the more we know, the angrier he gets.

Oh, and he’s constantly wrong! About everything! Why does this guy have a platform for ANYTHING other than college player evaluations?


(7) I don’t root against The Athletic, even though the guys in charge of it are awful human beings. People should pay for good sports journalism and it seems they’re doing okay,generally, with their BUY EVERY WRITER approach. But two things: (a) Their current economic model is untenable. They’ll never bring in enough cash to make their VCs happy. (b) When it comes to the Chicago Bears, why would anyone pay for Kevin Fishbain and Dan Durkin? Fishbain is probably the sixth best writer on the Bears beat and Durkin, well, I’ll just leave that one alone. (But there’s no doubt the recent Richard Roeper news made him a tad nervous.)


(8) About five or six years ago, I had long conversations with folks inside press relations at the Bears. I understood their media policy about granting media access to “blogs” but I wanted to change that. I started speaking to a few other bloggers I respected about consolidating our efforts. I started raising money. This thing was happening. Then, seemingly overnight, there were 150 Bears blogs. And one was worse than the next. I will say the Bears were great about it. They were never cold or condescending. But they knew they couldn’t set a precedent with letting bloggers in those rooms. And they were right.


(9) Then again, that’s all Dan Pompei is now. He’s a legend in the business but he’s a blogger now. That’s all Bob McGinn is too. And Greg Bedard. Just because you charge for your fucking blog doesn’t make it something different. And this is not denigration. I like the work of all three of these guys very much. But they are bloggers!


(10) I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone in Chicago isn’t paying Hoge & Jahns to do their podcast daily on the radio. Waddle & Silvy are still the only game in town when it comes to viable sports radio (Bears category) but there were many times this season when I just didn’t bother because The Two Adams had already done the job for me with their post-game pod.


(11) Until the Tribune fires Steve Rosenbloom, nobody should take them seriously. That goes for sports only. If you’re not reading Rick Pearson’s local politics stuff, you’re lost.


(12) In fairness to him, I’ve heard Jeff Dickerson is a great guy. But does ANYBODY read him? How? Seriously, if you do, email me and explain: jeff@dabearsblog.com.


(13) Favorite Bears-related piece of the year: Dan Wiederer’s breakdown of the Trubisky dinner in Chapel Hill. Read it HERE.


(14) Favorite Bears columnist of the year: Adam Hoge. He’s the right amount of insight and incite. Balanced and objective but angry when he needs to be. But he’s way too fit to be a full-time sportswriter. He’s full-time TV bound.


(15) I wish the NFL would take the All-22 tape away from everyone. You can argue it’s making fans more knowledgeable but it’s not. It’s a text. But you have to know how to read that text. And without input from those who’ve been involved in writing that text, you’re just guessing.

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  • SC Dave

    I disagree on 15 big time. I like having it.

    Of course, I don’t run around pretending I know who missed their assignment in the defensive backfield, or whether the QB forgot the route or the receiver ran the wrong one. You know, shit where you have to know what damn *play call* was.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I like the Two Adams podcast also.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Not hard to figure out most Bears plays last year. 8-man in box, run. 9-man box run. 3rd and long throw.

      • Scharfinator

        Interestingly enough, you may be the type of fan Jeff is referring to.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          just trolling the Run-Run-Pass crowd.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Using Jeff’s rationale, nobody should read the bible.

  • BearDown100393

    Why is Jeff pretending to be Mariotti today?

  • Big Mike

    For those of us who know how to watch film, it is the best new feature since NFL Sunday Ticket. It also provides a laugh when no nothings state they’ve watched the all 22 and are now bill Belichick.

    If we are airing comments about the sate of commentary around the game, a couple of things that I believe are missing from most everyone’s analysis is the impact of quality position coaches, along with a player’s ability to improve. Some players come in topped out. Other’s do not. happens at every level of play from youth to high school, to college and to the NFL. I’ve seen players who were just “guys on the squad” dominate at the next level up. I’ve seen dominant guys at one level never make it at the next. Circumstances, coaching, or just being tapped out and not having any more room to improve all come into play.

    I coached a guy who is a 3 year starter at RT SEC. He started as a true freshman. In High School, he was soft, big and on a very good team. He was the 7th or 8th best player on that team. Not even the best on the OL. But he was BIG. As a youth player he was horrible.

    • DaBearsBlog

      What’s strange about your comment is positio coaches are – by and large – where most “team” info is leaked from.

      • Big Mike

        I had not given that connection must thought. Makes sense that’s where leaks happen. My comment was more about how a good position coach can impact a team. These guys are in drills, classrooms, every single rep. The best are constantly researching new techniques, tools, training AND teaching methods.

    • leftcoastdave

      Which to me raises the question about how to deal with the OL, given possibly the best coach in the league. Sure Nelson would be great to have, but why not improve the youngsters we have and look for another diamond in the ruff to train up? And heresy of heresies, besides cutting Sitton do we try to trade Kyle Long at some point?

      • Big Mike

        2 thoughts. HH will be a voice in developing the Bears FA targets and Draft Board. It provides the Bears with a phenomenal window into flaws that can be improved upon and those that cannot. You are right we could reach deeper into the draft, get an HH guy that he knows is undervalued. But at the same time Nelson.. oh man. BTW, Kyle Long is going to be a f’n beast this year. Cannot under estimate his heart.

        • leftcoastdave

          Heart is HUGE.

        • SC Dave

          But one CAN overestimate a body – specifically an ankle or shoulder.

          • Big Mike

            Some injuries can’t be accounted. Specific injuries that have a magnified impact on a particular position however can be avoided.

      • CanadaBear

        If the Bears traded Long they would be selling very low. Pointless.

        • AlbertInTucson

          So, you are saying, “Trade Long – come up short”?

          • Debra Cooper

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          • CanadaBear

            Your mind works in mysterious ways Al. I dig it!

          • Barbara Upchurch

            Gℴogle gives to new employee 97 US dollars per-hr to complete easy work working off of a home computer … Do job only for few hours & stay greater time with your own family .. Any person can apply this specific job!on Saturday I bought a great Acura after I been earnin $9002 last six weeks .it is the extraordinary approach however you could not forgive yourself if you do not hop over to it.!fe202v:➺➺➺ http://GoogleCareMakingMoneyOnTheInternet/earn/cash/97$/hourly ♥♥♥b♥♥k♥d♥r♥♥♥q♥o♥♥k♥♥♥o♥♥♥s♥c♥♥♥e♥♥q♥j♥♥♥y♥c♥♥♥b♥♥n♥♥♥r♥♥b♥♥a♥♥♥h♥s♥♥t♥♥♥y♥♥♥h::::!kx641d:ueakld

      • Irish Sweetness

        So rather than draft John Hannah … we don’t?

  • CanadaBear

    Good stuff Jeff. The Trib’s sports section is sad. Hacks, no nothings, trying to make it a pay site, pathetic. #15 is just silly but I agree with most of the rest. If Jeff doesn’t want to listen to know-nothings pontificate about pro football, he’s kind of in the wrong business!

  • CanadaBear

    Did you guys see/hear Fergie do the national anthem at the NBA ASG? Brutal! The best thing I’ve read so far was “even Carl Lewis is laughing at that rendition of the national anthem!”

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Greatest of all Time!!!

    • AlbertInTucson

      Rosanne Barr: “I think I MAY be off the hook!”

      • CanadaBear

        I never thought she (Fergie) was much of a singer but she’s way worse than I thought. Apparently she doesn’t have any friends that are willing to tell her the truth.

        • BearDown100393

          Auto Tune Malfunction

        • SC Dave

          Income tells her she’s a pretty good singer.

          • CanadaBear

            Now Dave, you know that an artist’s net worth is never an indication of talent. It can be but there have been lots of truly shitty singers with tons of cash.

        • AlbertInTucson

          I have no issue with her voice, but the National Anthem is not a “Torch Song” for crissakes.

          EVEN if the tune was orignally a drinking song.

          Hideous interpretation.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Eight-time Grammy award winner??? What the fuck was she thinking?

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Everything I thought about David Haugh was confirmed when I watched him order a Blue Moon from Marco at The Billy Goat Tavern. Everything.”

    So, just based on WHAT he ordered or did he order it in some complete arrogant, ass-hat manner?

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Must have been in an ass-hat manner. I don’t put much stock in judging people by what they drink.

      • AlbertInTucson

        “Oh, you drink THAT, sniff, sniff!” is pretty arrogant in itself.

        • CanadaBear

          It’s one thing to rip on your buddies about what they drink but who really gives a rat’s ass about anyone else?

          • BearDown100393

            Bloggers on benders in bars apparently.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        Now…judging people by how much they drink I can do.

        “What? only a handle? PUSSY!”

        (kidding)

        Haugh must have ordered a beer with three olives.

      • Irish Sweetness

        A Blue Moon. A man needs to be confident in his sexuality.

    • evantonio

      Jeff drinks Guinness and Coors Light. So I’m pretty sure he’s shitting on Blue Moon. Which I don’t understand because he drinks Coors Light.

      • BearDown100393

        Consider the source. This entire post is complete tripe.

      • SC Dave

        And Guiness

        • evantonio

          Not a fan of the everyman’s stout?

      • CanadaBear

        When I was younger we used to say Coors Light was a shot of PBR in a can of water. I used to like Guiness on tap. Could make a pint last an hour or more and it was still drinkable.

        • AlbertInTucson

          I still remember when Coors wasn’t available East of the Mississippi or such.

  • BerwynBomber

    Judging a person by what he or she drinks seems adolescent as hell, even if Haugh has been contemptible for years. And I don’t get the Blue Moon crit anyway. It’s beer. Who gives an F? Is it not hipster cool or something like Old Style? What am I missing?

    Jeff pimping “Waddle and Silvy” always amuses, especially when he calls it the “only game in town”.

    Last I heard the Score crushes ESPN radio locally, and it probably should given that the latter is only a part-time outfit (in regard to its CHI coverage).

    I don’t have a dog in the hunt. But Waddle and Sily has never seemed much more than average/competent sport talk programming, though Waddy is one of the better ex-jock CHI commentators.

    • CanadaBear

      I agree but since I can’t stand Haugh I wasn’t about to call Jeff on it! Not to mention I quit drinking long before Blue Moon came out so I have no idea how good/bad it is. If it was truly hideous I could see pimping somebody over it (esp a buddy).

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        If it was truly hideous they would not still make it.

        • CanadaBear

          Not sure about that. Don’t they still make Milwaukee’s Best?

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Fair point, but people still drink it.

          • CanadaBear

            That was my point. It’s hideous and they still make it.

          • BearDown100393

            How fussy are drunks?

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            Plenty.

            “Oh….My…God….he’s drinking Steel Reserve in the GREY CAN. Everyone knows Steel Reserve Triple Export in the Black Can is stronger and fit for the truly sophisticated beer critic!”

          • AlbertInTucson

            Do they still make BUCKHORN?

          • CanadaBear

            I haven’t seen that since I was in my 20’s. Billy Beer was the worst I’ve ever had and it’s not even close. My fave when we were teenagers was Golden Glow. You could routinely buy it for 4 quarts for $1. A real price performer!

          • SC Dave

            Billy Beer was truly awful.

          • leftcoastdave

            Huber Bock used to be $4/case back in the day.
            Better than anything any micro brewery could produce.

          • CanadaBear

            That was made somewhere in WI wasn’t it?

          • AlbertInTucson

            “Billy Beer”.

            Never tried it butevoking it made me chuckle!.

            Don’t drink alcohol very often anymore, not that it was ever a problem or I have gone Tea-totler.

            I never liked Hamms or Pabst.

            Used to like Red Dog when my local pub had it on tap.

            I like Fat Tire.

            Shiner Bock.

            Nothing against Blue Moon.

            Had a Hanelai Bay over a board game with the Kids Saturday night. Not bad.
            ‘Cept I lost at Catan after sitting on 9 points (10 wins the game) for the better part of an hour!

            I am no beer connoisseur.

            Hell, I just had to LOOK UP “Connoisseur” to see how to spell it.

            I’d just as soon have a Bloody Mary, a Gin & Tonic or a Margarita.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Explain Pernod! Southern Comfort!! Good Jesus that is vile piss.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            That’s the point. What some people consider vile and hideous others don’t. If a drink is universally panned as bad it would not still be on the market, unless it is some niche market that people buy it out of spite.

      • DaCoaches Mustache

        Canada, I’m guessing you have shared in the past, but I forget. Why did you quit drinking? Did you black out and wake up next to a moose with Maple Syrup and hockey sticks strewn about?

        • CanadaBear

          I just had my 24th anniversary a couple of weeks ago. I got a DUI and had to go to video court in the morning. I was locked up until late in the afternoon. Needless to say my wife at the time was pissed. I had been down the DUI road once before and had numerous insane things happen due to drinking. Alcoholism is rampant in my family and at some point ya gotta quit or fuck up your life forever. No issue with other people drinking.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s why I never even took up driving C-Bear, I knew! I would have killed somebody, be it my self or worse, someone else.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            …dammit, I was hoping it was a Canadian morality tale of waking up with the *right* moose but the *wrong* maple syrup.

            I’m at over 3 months on my drinking hiatus, with 2 weeks left. March should be interesting. But, I hope not TOO interesting …you know what I mean.

          • CanadaBear

            Absolutely! Don’t burn down the barn the first night out! Like I tell everyone, just don’t drive.

          • John F

            24 years, that is outstanding sir!

  • BerwynBomber

    If I could change two things about the sports media it would be to hire ex-jocks (and coaches) purely based on meritocracy of their announcing/analytic skills (not their name recognition), and in a similar vein, improve the evaluations and/or talent evaluators who make the recommendations or decisions to hire the ex-jocks.

    • BearDown100393

      It is about ratings. Nothing more.

  • No Collusion!

    None!

    • SC Dave

      Speaking of none, no one cares

      • Meueller does

        • willbest

          well its probably the only way to keep half the FBI out of jail at this point.

  • SC Dave

    A little tidbit from Biggs’ roster rundown…

    “Amos joined Chris Conte (2011-14) and Major Wright (2011-13) as the only safeties in a 10-year stretch to make nine or more starts for three consecutive seasons. ”

    and

    “Reality is, the best safety on that list since Brown’s playing days ended is probably Conte. No one will forget the 48-yard touchdown from Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb on fourth-and-8 in Week 17 of the 2013 season to win the division for the Packers and keep the Bears out of the playoffs, but Conte has averaged 65 tackles per season and has 14 career interceptions and 40 pass deflections in his seven-year career. He’s been an effective starter for the Buccaneers over the last three seasons and now has 90 career starts.

    Jackson and Amos certainly can surpass Conte, but they’ve got work to do in terms of longevity, which has been difficult for so many Bears safeties to achieve.”

    • CanadaBear

      Conte seemed to always be dinged up and no Bears fan was ever going to forgive him for that busted play.

      • DaCoaches Mustache

        Conte would make a diving interception or a super athletic pass breakup, only to cover the wrong dude 2 plays later and give up a TD.

        • SC Dave

          That is soooo Conte as a Bear.

          Suppose he had had a Lynch or Brown to keep him in the right coverage…

        • AlbertInTucson

          And then have to helped off the field.

        • Yup. And he would hang on to AP like my nephews trying to tackle me. Amos is like the opposite. Durable. Hardhitter. Reliable. Just no Wow plays

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            Amos won’t get you beat. But he won’t win you games either. That has to come from someone else. But most defenses are like that I guess.

            I wonder if he’ll get there as he gets more seasons behind him. He seems to be smart. But not yet wise. Hmmmm.

          • I think he’s decent at causing fumbles. And by now no doubt he’s earned a rep for demolishing WRs, so that counts cuz WRs don’t want to be Cooked.

            But he has stone hands like Howard. Maybe more jugg machine time.

            That did help Jennings that one off season

  • BearDown100393

    “There are people in the building who actively root against Biggs getting stories.”

    For a franchise that has not made the playoffs in 7 seasons, maybe these people need to be fired and replaced by others not worried about this type of crap.

  • MoneyMitch10

    Completely agree with your Biggs comment. That clown blocked me on twitter for calling out mully and Hanley on their ridiculois bullshit. And Biggs wasn’t even tagged in any of it!! Dudes a joke now.

  • Metablogging and bluemoons…gonna be a looooong offseason

    • SC Dave

      May be time for a sabbatical, Butch.

    • BearDown100393

      Jeff trolled us

  • ButtonShoes

    Seems like the guys Jeff likes are very pro-Bears and pro-Bears FO, and the guys he doesn’t like are skeptical of the Bears. Not that I think guys like Haugh, Durkin, Gabriel or Fishbain, etc., are any good, but the only way a sportswriter has a chance with me is if I can tell they are capable of being reasonably skeptical about the team they cover. I don’t trust this team or give them the benefit of the doubt anymore, and I don’t know why anyone else does given their track record.

    Oh, and the Bears’ obsession with secrecy can go fuck itself. Why are they so secretive? What secrets do they think they’re protecting? Here’s a newsflash for the Bears FO: you’re a bottom-of-the-barrel football franchise. You can’t possibly have any secrets that anyone is interested in.

    • BearDown100393

      Except Jeff.

  • No Collusion!

    9 tweets a day keeps the Feds away!

  • catfish44

    Greg Gabriel

    @greggabe
    6h6 hours ago
    More
    Wow, according to one totally out of touch with reality Bears blogger Jeff Hughes Hall of Fame writer @danpompei is “just another blogger”. Thats amusing. He adds that Tribune writers @BradBiggs and @DavidHaugh aren’t worth a damn. #hilarious

    • AlbertInTucson

      Dear Greg: Punctuation still counts. You manged to get one comma in after “Wow”, then promptly neglected several others.

      • catfish44

        best you got? lololo useless.

        • AlbertInTucson

          For you, that’s all that was needed.

          • catfish44

            5 year old comment.

          • AlbertInTucson

            No, it was only posted yesterday.

    • Real housewives. Blogger edition

    • BearDown100393

      Just buy him a Haugh lite and call it a day

  • Adipost

    Holy shit, who the fuck are you to just take shots at everybody? You sound 10 times more bitter and pompous than Greg Gabriel.

    And wtf are you on aboot regarding the All-22? I do breakdowns regularly and I love reading/watching others break it down. We’re not all too stupid to understand what’s going on.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/CHIBears/comments/7la5d0/john_fox_is_right/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/CHIBears/comments/7hgpfa/the_somebody_help_trubisky_wr_offseason_plan/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/CHIBears/comments/7dovie/the_growth_of_mitchell_trubisky/

  • Irish Sweetness

    So Brian Cushing gets cut. Quelle Surprise. His response?

    “It’s all good.”

  • Debra Cooper

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  • FQD1911

    This is the Jeff I know…

  • Barbara Upchurch

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