- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune answers more questions:
“If the Bears win the Super Bowl, would that help bring them a new stadium to Chicago? Not only is Soldier Field the smallest stadium in the league, it’s pretty bad when the home team’s players constantly gripe about how bad the playing surface is. We’re the third-largest market in the league. No way Soldier Field should be the smallest stadium in the league, especially with the rich tradition the Chicago Bears have. — Corey, Chicago”
“I have heard absolutely no talk about a new stadium in Chicago and would be shocked if I did. Mountains are moved more easily than stadiums are built in Chicago, especially on the public’s dime. By the way Corey, would you like to see your taxes go up to pay for a new stadium? I wouldn’t. And I fully expect that in my lifetime I’ll never see the Bears call another stadium home other than the one they are currently playing in.”
As a resident of the city of Chicago I can agree whole heartedly and without reservation with Pompei. I think the outside of Soldier Field is a horrible abomination but the inside is as nice as you could ask and I have no desire whatsoever to watch a game in another stadium. I certainly have no desire to pay for one. Until it was lowered slightly last July Chicago had the highest total sales tax of all major U.S. cities. I’m as big a football fan as you’ll find but as things are right now I could guarantee a tax payer revolt if anyone tried to build a new stadium here and I’d be right with them every step of the way.
- Rashied Davis via Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times:
‘‘[it always seems he's on the fringe] because you guys put me on the fringe. Nobody else does. I’ve never seen myself as a roster-bubble guy. Maybe a little bit last year. But no — you guys see that. In the locker room, they don’t think I am. My coaches don’t think I am. They haven’t told me that.’’
Its nice that Davis has confidence. But if you’re not a starter, there’s always the potential that you’re going to be considered a roster bubble guy in the NFL. No one should have to tell Davis that.
- Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times points out that the Bears will have 14 unrestricted free agents after the season. The top two strong side linebackers are on the list and, interestingly, Hayes puts a higher priority on signing backup Nick Roach than starter Pisa Tinoisamoa.
- Steve Hyde and Mark Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel talk about the Dolphins coaching situation and the embarrassing consequences resulting from the attempt of GM Jeff Ireland, owner Steven Ross, and Carl Peterson to hire Jim Harbaugh in this interesting video shot before Sparano’s contract was extended:
- Hyde also writes about the apparently expanding, if unofficial, role of Carl Peterson in all of this:
The people on Steve Ross’ plane told the strange story. How Jeff Ireland was anointed a survivor over Tony Sparano is mystifing. But Carl Peterson is the really strange and disturbing figure, as I wrote in my column today. Peterson flew under the radar in this entire episode but was the loudest presence of all. He was Bill Parcells. He was the acting football czar. A guy who won nothing in running Kansas City for the final 15 years was setting the course for this franchise. Not only that but surely he was the one behind telling Bill Cowher that he had to inherit Ireland and Mike Nolan. Why would Cowher accept the job under those conditions? Peterson’s a scary presence, folks, not just for what happened this past week but for what it means for the future.
- Snoop Dogg and John Legend do the Peyton dance (via ESPN.com):
- Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com discusses the things to watch in Saints-Seahawks matchup. The most relevant point for Bears fans is probably this one:
“How the Saints attack the middle: There’s a good chance the Seahawks take a conservative approach to covering New Orleans in the secondary in an attempt to eliminate big plays. But that shouldn’t slow down the Saints because they’ll just lean on intermediate routes, which are the bulk of the offense anyway.
“[Saints quarterback Drew] Brees will have to be patient and settle for underneath throws to the slot receivers, tight ends — such as Jeremy Shockey — and running backs with the Seahawks playing so conservatively. But will he?
- Plymouth police are investigating a 22-year-old woman’s claim that she was the victim of “inappropriate contact” by an as yet unidentified Lions player Thursday. She is lawyering up. Via Dave Birkett and Eric Lawrence at the Detroit Free Press.
- Lori Nickel at the Milwaukee Journal-Senitinel on Packers head coach Mike McCarthy:
“There’s a reason why the players don’t seem uptight after a turnover or other mistake and why they don’t turn on one another when they lose a close game, and it starts with the coach.
“McCarthy is not a screamer for the sake of theatrics. If practice turns sloppy, he breaks the monotone buzz of the fluorescent lights in the Don Hutson Center with angry, sharp instructions. He yells. Profanity is used just to emphasize the point. But once it’s made, McCarthy moves on, without the long, drawn-out drama.”
Contrast with the comments of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis about emotional former head coach Mike Singeltary (via Comcast Sports Net Bay Area):
“I think we did play tight,” Davis said. “Guys were a little scared. They were more worried about coach Singletary getting on them than playing football.”
- more McCarthy as Nickel quotes him:
“You have three choices in life when looking at any situation. You can take a positive angle, a negative angle or no angle at all.
“I clearly believe in positive mind-sets. Positive needs to be the starting point. I believe in positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement is a useful teaching tool, but it is a short-term teaching tool.
“At the end of the day, when you’re building a program, it’s all about culture. Positive culture equates growth, and that is very important to me – that everyone in our program continue to grow.”
One Final Thought
Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand discusses his recovery progress after he was paralyzed in a football game with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi: