Posted on: June 10, 2008 11:55 pm

Vinny Del Negro? Hold back the anger...

When I first heard the Bulls were going to hire Vinny Del Negro as their next head coach, I almost flipped. Heck, they already dragged the search on so far that I figured Tom Thibodeau might as well get a shot at an interview. At least he has experience on the bench, which is a place that will be new for Del Negro next season.

However, as the day went on, I started to think about it more and more. Now, the hiring doesn't look all that bad.

After Mike D'Antoni spurned the Bulls and signed with the Knicks on May 10th, any hire John Paxson made would have been viewed as less than stellar. D'Antoni and the young, athletic Bulls squad seemed like the perfect match for D'Antoni's "run happy offense." Players such as Ben Gordon showed their approval in having the former Suns coach.

After D'Antoni was off the market, who was left? Doug Collins? Collins might have been a good hire, but if he was having second thoughts about the job, maybe it is good that he just enjoys his retirement.

Avery Johnson? On paper, he is definitely a good coach, but when you have Dirk Nowitszki, who is one of the league's most dominant forwards, it's hard not to falter. The problem is that he did falter towards the end of his stay with the Mavericks.

Dwane Casey? All he has over Del Negro is bench experience. His sub .500 coaching record with the Timberwolves and lack of motivation with young players and an always energized Kevin Garnett cost him a chance to save this young Bulls team craving motivation.

So Del Negro might not be the greatest option, but it is certainly not as bad as you might think. Former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Tim Legler thinks that Del Negro's brain and intensity might be a good match with this team. Also, close friend and PTI co-host Michael Wilbon says that Del Negro favors an offense that is similar to the one D'Antoni had in Phoenix.

That's a positive right?

As far as him having no coaching experience, that can all be fixed if he puts together a staff of prominent assistant coaches. The Chicago Tribune reports that he is expected to bring former Spurs and Sonics coach Bob Hill on as his head assistant coach.

Who knows, this move could be great, or it could be a complete bust. However, Bulls fans need to reserve their judgment and wait to see the results that some from the hire.
Posted on: April 7, 2008 11:46 am

07-08 Chicago Sports: Frustration and Turnaround!

In July and August, it seemed like every Bears fan was sipping the kool-aid. I remember some people had posted on the Bears boards that  "Cedric Benson was going to have a break out season," and "Rex Grossman was going to take that next step and become a Pro Bowl quarterback." Also, the defense was going to destroy the league and the offense was going to make Bears' history (which isn't too hard to do).

Now, back to reality. By the end of September, the writing was on the wall. Grossman was yanked after only throwing 1 touchdown to 6 interceptions in only three games. Cedric Benson seemed like he was a car stuck that was stuck in neutral while in a pile of mud. And, the most prized defense in the NFL suffered a countless number of injuries.

The season still ended at a respectable 7-9, but the objective that was preached all offseason of getting back to the Super Bowl failed. The only bright spot was seeing Devin Hester top a remarkable rookie season with another record setting sophomore year. Also, beating the Packers both times was a great accomplishment too. To Bears fans, Brett Favre's last season won't be remembered as a rebirth, but a time when the Bears got their revenge on number 4 one last time.

Okay, but there was still the Bulls in October. In 2007, they went 49-33 and swept the defending champion Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. After that series, they took the favored Detroit Pistons to six games. So, what did we Bulls fans do? What we should do, sip the kool-aid. But, instead of sipping, we guzzled it and paid for it. 

Do you remember all the hype? The Bulls were pegged to go to the NBA Finals or at least the Eastern Conference Finals. Fast forward to right now. Currently, they are 30-45 and are most likely out of the dull Eastern Conference playoff picture. Some people cite the fact that the Bulls didn't acquire Kobe Bryant or that Luol Deng and Ben Gordon turned down new contracts as reasons why the Bulls fell out of contention this season. Also, firing Scott Skiles for a calmer clone didn't help either. Call it what you want. Lack of heart, lack of emotion, lack of leadership, lack of a superstar. The Bulls didn't have it in 2007-2008. 

But, there has been one upside. No, not the fact that Kosuke Fukodome looks amazing or that the White Sox are leading the AL Central. It's too early to breakdown the overall baseball season. Do you remember that other team that plays in the United Center? Yeah, the Blackhawks. After years and years of dissapointment, the Blackhawks not only turned around their play, but their image as well. 

While they didn't make the playoffs this year, they did have 88 points this season and were one spot out of eight place. This season, the development of rookie forward Patrick Kane and center Justin Toews have put the writing on the walls for this organization, and it's promising. In fact, Kane, who compiled 72 total points, is a leading candidate for this season's Calder Trophy winner.

Also, off the ice, the Blackhawks have done the unthinkable. This season, Rocky Wirtz struck a deal with Comcast Sportsnet to air a selected number of games. As they head into next season, all 82 games, home and away, will be on television. The Blackhawks have also brought back old faces to West Madison Street. Legends such as Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Tony Esposito are back with the franchise.   

For the most part, this '07-'08 has given Chicago sports fans a lot of heartbreak. One of Cub-size proportions. But, baseball is getting into full gear, and maybe, some postseason action will occur.

Category: General
Posted on: March 26, 2008 4:31 pm

All-time Bears Team

Ok, I was bored so I created an All-time Bears Team. Please, debate!


Starter: Sid Luckman

Reserve: Jim McMahon

Reserve: Erik Kramer

Starter: Walter Payton

Reserve: Gale Sayers

Reserve: Red Grange

Reserve: Neal Anderson

Starter: Bronko Nagurski

Reserve: Matt Suhey

Starter: Willie Gault

Starter: Johnny Morris

Reserve: Dennis McKinnon

Reserve: Marty Booker

Reserve: Curtis Conway

Starter: Mike Ditka

Reserve: Desmond Clark

Starter: George Musso

Starter: Danny Fortmann

Reserve: Tom Thayer

Reserve: Mark Bortz

Starter: Jim Covert

Starter: Stan Jones 

Reserve: Joe Stydahar

Reserve: Keith Van Horne

Starter: Olin Kreutz

Reserve: Clyde "Bulldog" Turner

Reserve: George Trafton

Starter: Richard Dent

Starter: Doug Atkins

Reserve: Dan Hampton

Reserve: Adewale Ogunleye

Starter: Dan Hampton

Starter: Steve McMichael

Reserve: Wally Chambers 

(Tommie Harris might make it here one day)

Starter: Wilber Marshall

Starter: Doug Buffone

Reserve: Lance Briggs

Reserve: Otis Wilson

Starter: Dick Butkus

Reserve: Mike Singletary

Reserve: Brian Urlacher

Reserve: Bill George

Starter: Mike Richardson

Starter: Charles Tillman

Reserve: J.C. Caroline

Reserve: Leslie Frazier

Starter: Mike Brown

Starter: Mark Carrier

Reserve: Gary Fencik

Reserve: Shaun Gayle

Starter: Kevin Butler

Starter: Brad Maynard

K/P Returner
Devin Hester

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: George Halas

Defensive Coordinator: Buddy Ryan

Offensive Coordinator: Ron Turner (1990's version)

Special Teams Coordinator: Dave Toub

Resident Fat Guy: Abe Gibron

That guy from the 1960's who used to drink and curse on the sidelines while in a Bear suit.

How deadly would this team be against other "All-time" teams?

Posted on: February 13, 2008 10:13 pm

Top Ten Bears Running Backs

Last week, I ranked the top ten quarterbacks in Bears history. This week, I'm going to rank the top ten running backs. By running backs, I mean both halfbacks and fullbacks. The start of the list was easy to rank, but towards the end of the list, I really struggled where to rank some of these running backs. The hardest ones to rank were the backs from the late 50's and early 60's because George Halas ran a 2-3 back system. Anyway, I think number one won't come as a's Cedric Benson of course! Haha! I'm joking of course.

Top Ten Bears Runningbacks (Reverse Order):

10. Matt Suhey (FB- 1980-1989)
 Best season: 1983 (681 r.yds, 4 TD, 149 att., 4.6 YPC, 49 rec., 429 rec. yds, 1 TD)

9. Anthony Thomas (HB- 2001-2004; NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2001)
  Best season: 2001 (1,183 r.yds, 7 TD, 278 att., 4.3 YPC, 22 rec., 178 rec. yds, 0 TD)

8. Thomas Jones (HB- 2004-2006)
  Best season: 2005 (1,335 r.yds, 9 TD, 314 att., 4.3 YPC, 26 rec., 143 rec. yds, 0 TD)

7. Beattie Feathers (HB- 1934-1937; 2-time all-pro, First 1,000 yard rusher in NFL history)
  Best season: 1934 (1,004 r.yds, 8 TD, 119 att., 8.4 YPC, 6 rec., 174 rec. yds, 1 TD)

6. Willie Galimore (HB- 1957-1963; 1-time pro bowler, 2-time all-pro)
  Best season: 1958 (619 r.yds, 8 TD, 130 att., 4.7 YPC, 50 rec., 434 rec. yds, 4 TD)

5. Rick Casares (FB- 1955-1964; 5-time pro bowler, 4-time all-pro)
 Best season: 1956 (1,126 r.yds, 12 TD, 234 att., 4.8 YPC, 23 rec., 203 rec. yds, 2TD)

4. Neal Anderson (HB- 1986-1993; 4-time pro bowler, 4-time all-pro)
  Best season: 1989 (1,275 r.yds, 11 TD, 274 att., 4.7 YPC, 50 rec., 434 rec. yds, 4 TD)

3. Bronko Nagurski (FB- 1930-1937, 1943; 7-time pro bowler, 3 NFL Championships, Hall of Famer)
  Best season: 1934 (586 r.yds, 7 TD, 123 att., 4.8 YPC, 3 rec., 32 rec. yds, 0 TD)

2. Gale Sayers (HB- 1965-1971; 4-time pro bowler, 5-time all-pro, Hall of Famer)
  Best season: 1965 (867 r.yds, 14 TD, 166 att., 5.2 YPC, 29 rec., 507 rec. yds, 6 TD)    

1. Walter Payton (HB- 1975-1987; 9-time pro bowler, 9-time all-pro, MVP in 1977, Super Bowl XX, 2nd All-time leading rusher, Hall of Famer)
  Best season: 1977 (1,852 r.yds, 14 TD, 339 att., 5.5 YPC, 27 rec, 269 rec. yds, 2 TD)

Posted on: February 7, 2008 3:59 am
Edited on: February 7, 2008 4:02 am

Top Ten Bears Quarterback...I'm Joking Right?

I must be crazy! You're probably asking yourselves, "why on earth would Chi-town0023 make a list of the top 10 Bears quarterbacks?" 

Well, why not? There is a mystique about Bears quarterbacks. Most people ask, "how can a franchise have only one Hall of Fame quarterback in its near 90 year existence?" Or, "how can they keep failing to find a franchise quarterback?" Well, believe it or not, some of these quarterbacks they've had were actually quite serviceable.

In fact, the Bears once had a knack for picking quarterbacks. For one season, their roster was comprised of three Hall of Fame quarterbacks and another one that was an all-pro every year he played. I won't name names, but one of them was a veteran, the other had one year under his belt, and the other two were rookies. The following season, one retired and the other one was traded. The third quarterback struggled to find his mark with the Bears and was eventually cut. That guy would go onto the AFL and become an NFL ironman. The last quarterback, the one who was always an all-pro, retired after an injury in his fourth season.

As you read these, put some things into persepective. Remember, most of these guys played in an era where foward-passing was used at a bare minimum. So, low passer ratings, low completion percentage, and touchdown to interception ratios that mostly favor more interceptions are common. 

Top Ten QBs in Bears History (in reverse order):

10. Jim Miller (1999-2002)
  Best season: 2001 (2,299 p.yds, 13 TD 10 INT, 57.7% comp., 74.9 passer rating)   

9. Bob Avellini (1975-1984)
  Best season: 1977 (2,004 p.yds, 11 TD, 18 INT, 52.6% comp., 61.3 passer rating

8. Jack Concannon (1967-1971)
  Best season: 1970 (2,130 p.yds, 16 TD, 18 INT, 50.4% comp., 61.5 passer rating)

7. George Blanda (1949-1958)
  Best season: 1953 (2,164 p.yds, 14 TD, 23 INT, 46.7% comp., 52.3 passer rating)

6. Ed Brown (1954-1961; 2-time pro bowler)
  Best season: 1956 (1,167 p.yds, 11 TD, 12INT, 57% comp., 83.1 passer rating)

5 (tie). Johnny Lujack (1948-1951; 2-time pro bowler, 4-time all-pro)
  Best season: 1949 (2,658 p.yds, 23 TD, 22 INT, 51.9% comp., 76 passer rating)

5 (tie). Jim Harbaugh (1987-1993)
  Best season: 1991 (3,121 p.yds, 15 TD, 16 INT, 57.5% comp. 73.7 passer rating)

4. Billy Wade (1961-1966; 2-time pro bowler and all-pro...1-time each with Bears, 1963 NFL Championship)
  Best season: 1961 (2,258 p.yds, 22 TD, 13 INT, 55.6% comp., 93.7 passer rating)

3. Erik Kramer (1994-1998; Bears single-season records for TD passes and passing yards)
  Best season: 1995 (3,838 p.yds, 29 TD, 10 INT, 60.3% comp., 93.5 passer rating)

2. Jim McMahon (1982-1988; 1-time pro bowler and all-pro in 1985, Super Bowl XX)
  Best season: 1985 (2,392 p.yds, 15 TD, 11 INT, 56.9% comp., 82.6 passer rating)    

1. Sid Luckman (1939-1950; 3-time pro bowler, 9-time all-pro, 4 NFL Championships, Hall of Famer)
  Best season: 1943 (2,194 p.yds, 28 TD, 12 INT, 54.5% comp., 107.5 passer rating)

Category: NFL
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