Last

I did you all a favor and did something over the holiday.  I scoured the web for any prediction that had Illinois NOT finishing dead last in the Big Ten West.  How do you think I did?  That’s right, I couldn’t find ONE prediction that had the Illini in any other place than last.  Because we have Lovie and he will resurrect the program and stuff.  Or something.

Some good news, however – my “Fire Lovie Smith” tag is re-usable from his Bears days so at least I am saved that tiny bit of labor.

Meanwhile, you get a cool 150-1 for Illinois to win the Big Ten Title, only “bested” by Rutgers at 250-1.  I always laugh at these futures odds.  That Illinois bet should be at least a thousand to one if not more.  For Illinois to win the Big Ten every other team except perhaps Purdue and Rutgers would have to go down in a plane crash or get hit by a meteor.

Anyways, looking forward to another great year of football from Champaign.

OTC on the Bears’ offseason

We love “over the cap” – a web site that attempts to explain how NFL teams operate and how they leverage the economics of NFL contracts to construct teams and increase (or not) their chances of success.  It is also ironic that the main guy running the site is a Jets fan because the Jets generally fail to take his advice and do everything wrong.

In a disturbing but seemingly accurate summary of the Bears’ offseason and turnover on their roster…

19. Bears

Snaps Lost Quality Snaps Lost Quality ST Lost Avg. APY Lost Avg. Rank
22.3% 14.3% 9.8% $2,622,083 17.5

This has to qualify as one of the oddest offseasons of all time.  The Bears were relatively average in their turnover despite having a terrible team last season and went out and signed an expensive free agent quarterback and drafted a top QB but sold off their best receiver.  This has all the makings of a front office giving a head coach enough rope to hang himself so that their hands are clean when they fire him next season. When final rosters are set and we revisit the snaps gained and lost I expect everything to cancel out except for Glennon. If Glennon fails expect wholesale changes in 2018 with Fox being the fall guy for 2017. I don’t know if that’s the way to run the team or not.

It is hard for me to improve on that, especially

I don’t know if that’s the way to run the team or not

Ron Turner Gets a New Job

Ron Rivera, in what I can only imagine was a “good old boys” hiring, has hired You Know Who to be a coaching assistant for Carolina.  I had to go through and edit our “about” page, which is getting unbelievable.  Looking forward to when Ron gets fired from this one.  More importantly, I have a new team to bet against this Fall.

On the Carr Contract

Every swinging dick on the face of the planet has thoughts on the David Carr contract, and so do I.

As usual, OTC has the breakdown of the numbers, and also as usual, I agree with most of what is said in this piece.

However, I have a few things to add.

Most readers of OTC should know that Aaron Rodgers was responsible for tanking the qb market and it appears that his artificial ceiling may have been broken. With the coming deals for Stafford and Ryan, we should see numbers above Carr’s new deal relatively soon.

I always enjoy it when OTC talks about getting “Flaccoed”. That guy cost me $$ in Reno when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. I relish every article I read about how poorly his contract has served the Ravens since.

But back to Carr. The thing that the OTC piece ignores is that NFL teams really HAVE NO CHOICE when they have an inkling of a franchise QB. Carr is very good, but he got injured at the end of last season and the Raiders instantly looked like the Bears. That was a fantastic test tube for everyone to see. No QB, no team. Period.

What are the options? Keep bringing in people like Luther, or McClown? You will NEVER have success with a strategy that does not involve a franchise QB. Sure, the Ravens of old got away with it (and so did the 85 Bears, for that matter) but that horse has long ago left the barn. Franchise QB or bust. Just draft ’em, and pay ’em. In this light, you can’t really fault the Grabowski pick of this year for the Bears. Just keep stockpiling QB’s and keep trying to land the franchise guy. It really is the only way.

White Flag Trade

As a long time Sox fan I remember the damn “White Flag” trade.  It even has it’s own wikipedia page…

The White Flag Trade was a trade made between two Major League Baseball teams in 1997. On July 31, 1997, the Chicago White Sox traded three major players to the San Francisco Giants for six minor leaguers. At the time, the trade was maligned by the vast majority of White Sox fans as Jerry Reinsdorf giving up on the team, as they were only 3 12 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the American League Central Division lead. [1] In 2000, however, the White Sox won the Central Division title, receiving large contributions from two of the players received in this trade (Keith Foulke and Bob Howry).

Today the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler.  Jimmy Butler was a basketball stud, a guy built for the modern game of basketball.  They got some stuff in return but nothing great.  They got a higher draft pick, but just high enough to pick a “project” type guy, a 7 footer who had one year out of Arizona.  He’s never gonna have a career like Butler.

I don’t mind tanking but the Bulls aren’t really tanking.  They are just playing well enough to get bad draft picks and avoiding clearing out their terrible management team – the only positive thing that they’ve done in years is draft and re-sign Butler in the first place.

Will look to see what Fro Dog says over his site where he mournfully follows the Bulls…

Bears Were The Highest Spender in Free Agency

I saw this graphic from the awesome site “Over the Cap” that highlighted spending on free agency in the offseason.  I was surprised to see that the Bears were the top spender!  It doesn’t seem that we’ve picked up that much talent in the off season, but I guess Glennon cost a lot of money (not a lot for a QB in the grand scheme of things) and then we had just a ton of other pickups, as well.

It doesn’t seem like we really added a lot of game changing players, but since the roster has almost no talent except for offensive linemen, running back and linebackers (like it is 1985 or something) – we had an immense amount of holes to fill in order to improve the team.

I was joking with Dan about our expectations for the Bears and he said that the goal was “to not be a laughingstock” which was hilarious and an apt description of my feelings, as well.  I think maybe it is a candidate for the masthead of this site.

One thing that this points out (again) is that the Bears may be a terrible team that hasn’t won in 30+ years (OUCH) with a front office that is awful at drafting and brings zero innovation, but they are NOT AFRAID TO SPEND MONEY.  We all have heard about how cheap Papa Bear was but we should shed that stereotype and replace it with a new stereotype which is that

The Chicago Bears spend big, have the worst stadium, terrible coaching, no innovation, draft poorly, and are locked in a cycle of failure.  We celebrate wins that are over 30 years old and know in our hearts as fans that we will never be a competitive franchise.  Win or lose, we will booze.

I think that sums it up.  Oddly enough, spending money is about the ONLY thing the Bears are good at.

Eddie Royal and Will Sutton Gone

The Bears cut Eddie Royal and Will Sutton. Royal was simply a place holder at receiver for a bit. Sutton was our third rounder in 2014. Of that 2014 draft, deftly executed by that genius Phil Emery, the Bears now have left:

Kyle Fuller (likely on his way out soon)
Ka deem Carey (placeholder running back)
Pat O Donnell (punter)

If anyone ever wonders why the Bears suck, this is the reason.