- Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times reviews the problem of stadium revenue for the Bears.
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune continues his analysis of the Bears position by position. Here he writes about the tight ends. As most fans would expect, he sees this as a low priority need in the offseason.
- Larry Mayer at chicagobears.com and I see eye-to-eye on the Bears offseason priorities.
- Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com writes about the difficulties the Bears face in a future which includes an uncertain cap situation. The Bears haven’t approached some veterans they would have ordinarily tried to extend or re-sign by now because they don’t know what the future holds. Matt Forte and Olin Kreutz are good examples.
- Jon Greenberg, also at ESPNChicago.com, looks at sports-related dates to look forward to now that football “won’t be back until August”. Yeah, yeah. Just tell me when the Combine begins and leave me alone.
- Michael Wilbon at ESPN talks about watching the Super Bowl at the White House with Bears fan Barak Obama. Oh, yeah. He’s the President of the United States, as well.
- Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times reviews the major issues involved in the current labor negotiations:
“The worst-case scenario is the type of grudge match that wiped out the 1994 World Series and the 2004-05 NHL season. Although possible, there are too many billions at stake for the sides not to eventually come to their senses.”
Baseball fans said the same thing in 1994.
I’ve gotten a definite impression that there are a least some owners who are more interested in breaking the union than getting an agreement. I get the impression that DeMaurice Smith is more interested in making sure he doesn’t give much if anything in his first negotiation than he is in looking after the best interests of the game and, therefore, the players. Its a bad combination.
I’m not holding my breath waiting for the next season to start.
- Sam Farmer, writing for the Chicago Tribune, goes over some stories to keep an eye on in the offseason. Here’s one that is slipping under the radar but shouldn’t:
“Chargers: Is this their last season in San Diego? They are the clubhouse favorite to relocate to Los Angeles, and the NFL will be looking to move back into the nation’s second-largest market once the CBA is resolved. If the Chargers can’t get a stadium deal in San Diego — and the prospects of one are looking bleaker by the day — they will be looking to exercise the escape clause in their Qualcomm Stadium lease.”
I know that the Chargers are only one of many teams that have talked of relocating. But I think this one might be the real thing. There’s absolutely no way they’re going to get a stadium in San Diego.
- Mike Munchak in the Titan’s new head coach:
- Munchak wasted no time in firing offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. Via Jim Wyatt at The Tennessean. Heimerdinger interviewed for the head coaching job Munchak ultimately got.
- The Star Caps case drags on.
- Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press writes that the Lions are optimistic about being able to attract free agents. Wide receiver Nate Burleson has some definite opinions an the subject:
“With players, the way we look at it when we’re going to new teams is the city appeal, how we feel about the location, and then it’s, ‘What was it like when I played that team?’ Certain teams you play against, you’re like, ‘Them guys were soft. I don’t want to be part of that organization. I don’t want to play for them.’ Or, ‘They were arguing on the sideline, I don’t want to be part of that type of disruption.’
“‘I know there’s some teams that we played, some guys were like, ‘It’d be all right to go to war with those guys. They show up on game day. They show up to fight.’ And that’s what we do.'”
I think the NFC North as a group holds up pretty well in this respect. The Vikings, perhaps, didn’t show as much fight as you’d like to see. Other than that, the the division has some pretty tough, high football character teams.
- Charlie Walters at the Pioneer Press thinks the Vikings are looking at last place next year. I’m not so sure. There’s a lot of talent on that team. If Les Frazier gets them to play like they did in 2009 with the addition of even a decent quarterback, they’ll be as dangerous as anyone.
- On the other hand, Jeremy Fowler, also at the Pioneer Press, points out that DT Pat Williams is unlikely to be back. If DE Ray Edwards leaves via free agency and DT Kevin Williams actually has to serve a suspension stemming from the Star Caps case, they could have some trouble on the defensive line next year. That’s the strength of their team.
- According to Geoff Mosher at the Delaware News Journal, the Eagles have shot down a rumor making the rounds through cyberspace that Jon Gruden, a former Super Bowl champion coach and current ESPN analyst, would be replacing Andy Reid as Eagles head coach. Via benmaller.com.
- Those who claim that sports books always go with the spread that gives them a 50:50 split, listen up. The Las Vegas casinos as a whole made less than a million dollars on the Super Bowl with some suffering rare losses. The books who lost stuck with the “dead number” not moving thier odds despite heavy betting on the Green Bay Packers. The strategy is risky but it maximizes profits if the initial number turns out to be the right one.
- George Bretherton at The New York Times thinks the Steelers should have run the ball more in the second half of Super Bowl XLV. I generally agree, especially as he has laid it out. But more generally the Steelers made it very tough on themselves throughout the game with harmful penalties that consistently put them in holes they had to try to pass their way out of.
- The Sports Pickle tracked the NFL’s official Facebook page during Super Bowl XLV.
One Final Thought
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic can’t understand people who don’t watch the Super Bowl. Its really simple. They haven’t discovered television. Or fire.