211 Comments

Week 13: Bears at Giants Game Preview, Volume I

| November 29th, 2018

Above: my hometown. It’s a shitty town a few miles outside New York City. It was called Soccertown USA after we put three guys on the 1994 World Cup team.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…and these two teams are headed in opposite directions. The Bears are a team on the rise, a few wins from a division title and their first postseason trip in eight years. The Giants are enduring the final days of a champion quarterback and are probably a few years away from being contenders again. (They’ve also got Norv Turner 2: The Revenge at head coach.)


Game Poem

A Fan of the Bears, in the Shadow of Giants

I grew up in the shadow of the Meadowlands,

My father’s hand-painted Lawrence Taylor poster board displayed in the dining room window for all of Kearny, New Jersey to see.

The white 5 and 6 sat awkwardly on the faded blue paint, like two tourists afraid to speak their native tongue in a foreign cafe.

I could have chosen the Giants. It would have been easy.

I could see their building out my bedroom window.

The window above my elephant toy box, laden with blue and red and green spots for some reason.

The window I’d shout out to my friends from on Saturday mornings.

I could have chosen the Giants and celebrated Super Bowl titles four times.

Could have had Tyree and Norwood wide right and Manningham up the sideline.

But those would just be rings.

Titles.

Brief but wonderful celebrations of athletic success.

I could have chosen the Giants,

And I would have a team.

I chose the Bears.

And got a life.

Got this website, my thirteen-year and counting passion project.

Got Reverend Dave’s bullshit and “Bears Jeff” in the Josie Woods computer.

Got Rick Pearson at the Goat and Adam Jahns out in Edison Park.

Got the Old Town Alehouse and Rossi’s and Pippin’s and the Twin Anchors.

Got Seurat at the Institute and the crust at Pequod’s.

Got the motherfuckin’ Q Brothers, what you got?

I was born and raised in the shadow of Giants Stadium, a big concrete structure in a filthy swamp where Big Blue played their football.

But I found home in the city of the Chicago.

Where the Bears are.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

106 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Salaam’s Passing, Fangio Rumors & More

| December 8th, 2016

You know you wanted it!

You know you missed it!

Here it comes!

The return of Audibles!

A Salaam Story

On April 22nd 1995, the day Rashaan Salaam was drafted by the Chicago Bears, I was playing Little League baseball in Kearny, New Jersey. For younger readers, the draft did not used to be a prime time affair. It was a two-day, all weekend long, NFL fanatic binge experience the likes of which the league has never duplicated. It was amazing.

There were four Bears fans in Kearny. Me. Anthony Aiello. Phil Caputo. John Cali. Yes, I grew up in a place that had a few Italians. It’s also the town where about 75% of The Sopranos was shot. (My mother did the real estate deal with HBO for the property that became Satriale’s.) Three of the four of us were at a place called Gunnell Oval – a large park area with six baseball fields – when Salaam became a Bear.

You know that scene in That Thing You Do! where the members of The Oneders run through the streets of town at the shear excitement of hearing their track on the radio? That’s what the Salaam pick was like in Kearny. We thought, none of us older than 17 at the time, this pick was going to change the franchise. We thought a Super Bowl was near.

It didn’t come to pass but I like to think I’m still that 13 year-old kid down the Oval, endlessly believing greatness is just one draft pick away.

Rashaan Salaam died of an apparent suicide at the age of forty-two. Our love goes out to his family and all the people in his life. Too many young men who’ve played this game we love have left the world too soon.

The Fangio Rumor

Mike Mulligan, not known to make shit up, shocked many Bears fans with a bit of a bombshell late Tuesday:

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,