The Challenge for George McCaskey

Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune writes about the succession of leadership at Halas Hall.  Michael McCaskey is stepping down and being replaced as chairmen of the board by his brother George McCaskey.  Here’s the quote that caught my eye:

“George is expected to have a somewhat different style from Michael, but he is not expected to be dabbling in football decisions.

“‘I’ve given a lot of thought to how to do the job,’ George said. ‘I’ve got three chairmen as predecessors with vastly different styles. One of the things I’m thinking a lot about is how to be informed and involved without interfering.’”

That’s certainly the right attitude.  But it won’t be easy.

Fans piss and moan and magazines like Forbes pick at the Bears finances.  But as far as I’m concerned, Bears ownership has been generally good for the fans since the 90s when Michael was kicked up stairs from team president to chairman by his mother Virginia McCaskey.

The McCaskeys supply the necessary support, monetary and otherwise.  And they have spent money.  But generally speaking, I’m convinced that they’ve left the football operations to football people.  No matter what anyone says about general manager Jerry Angelo, every reasonable person can agree that they’d rather have him making those decisions.

George McCaskey has a challenge on his hands.  Until now Bears ownership has been very low key, staying as far behind the scenes as possible.  That has its good points but it leaves the impression that they are hiding from the fans rather than working for their benefit.  So the guess here is that when Pompei says that “George is expected to have a somewhat different style from Michael”, I think it may mean that he will be more of a public face of the franchise.  I would speculate that he’ll do more interviews and generally be more visible.  But how do you do that without exerting undue influence on football matters through your public comments?

Whether McCaskey successfully achieves the proper balance or not, one thing is certain.  At least he has the right idea going in.

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