WHAT TO DO WITH JAY CUTLER?

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After he lead the Bears to a 27-20 victory Monday night over the Green Bay Packers, albeit an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers, Josh McCown leaves the Bears with a big question, what to do with Jay Cutler who will be a free-agent at the end of the season? In a little less than two games, McCown has completed 36 of his 61 pass attempts, throwing for 476 yards and three touchdowns, and more importantly, no interceptions. And these are not dink-and-dunk type passes. Averaging 13 yards per pass, Bears head coach Marc Tressman has not had to alter the Bears offense one bit for Josh McCown. And while they didn’t win the game against Washington in week 7, the game where Jay Cutler was injured in the second quarter, it was not the fault of the offense. It was more on a defense who couldn’t stop the Redskins at all, and especially, when the game was on the line, on their final drive and the Bears lost 45-41.

So that brings us to the question, with the emergence of Josh McCown at quarterback, should the Bears resign Jay Cutler to a long-term contract in the offseason? I have always defended Jay Cutler. Saying just when he finally gets a good coordinator in Mike Martz, and they ironed out their differences and were able to work together effectively for a little over one season, he gets injured at the end of 2011. And last year Lovie got rid of Martz. So Cutler has never really had a chance, with a good offensive coordinator in place, or he’s healthy, to show what he can do. We’ve been teased enough, with flashes here and there, to know what he is capable of. I will admit, this question didn’t cross my mind, until I saw this tweet last night by @RealSkipBayless “As big a fan as I am of Cutler’s, have to believe some Bears fans wondering if Trestman should stick with McCown.” I replied, no. But later, as I watched the highlights of the game, and McCown’s performance, I really got to thinking about it.

The Bears could use the money they would save by not resigning Cutler, on some of the good defensive free-agents that are gonna be available. In particular, Seattle’s Strong Safety Kam Chancellor. Currently our last line of defense is Chris Conte. Who has gotten boiled over so many times, each time a running back is bearing down on him, it looks like his life is flashing before his eyes. And I would like to think, that with the $15million/per the Bears would save by not resigning Cutler, they could also sign another impact defensive player, maybe a defensive lineman or another safety. I have dubbed Major Wright, major wrong. My friends on Facebook can attest to this! To win a Superbowl, all you need is a sturdy offense (like the one the Bears had Monday night), and a good defense. It’s still a sore spot for many a Bears fan, knowing that the Bears, with it’s great defense, probably could have won that Superbowl in 2007, if Lovie had just stuck with Kyle Orton as our quarterback.

What will be the convincing factor for me, is Josh McCown’s performance this Sunday against Detroit. If he does good, and the Bears win, well then that will cinch it for me, that he is our future. Sorry Jay, sometimes things just don’t work out. I hope no hard feeling. The problem will lie in, how will the coaching staff handle it when Jay Cutler is fully healthy and ready to play. Will they pull a “Jim Harbaugh” and just bench Jay and go with Josh McCown so long as the getting is good? Or will they hand the reigns back over to Jay when he is healthy. All this will be a mute point if McCown lays an egg this Sunday against Detroit, who has a much fiercer pass rush than Green Bay. But if he does good, Marc Tressman has a tough decision to make. Winning in sports is not easy. Sometimes you have to make tough personnel decisions. Chicago fans are familiar with this trade, Charles Oakley for Bill Cartwright, and the three championships that it brought. Anyway, I can’t wait until Sunday. All I want is for the Bears to win, and if our defense can get better, while our offense remains sturdy, so be it.

Follow me on Twitter @7millicent

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Open Letter To Roger Goodell

Dear Mr. Goodell,

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This letter is about the quality of football being played on Thursday nights. It sucks! You, and the NFL, claim that you care about player safety. Yet you are asking them to play a football game on 3 days rest. In all levels of sports, pee-wee, high school, college, and the pros, for as long as time, football has been a game that was played only once a week. I brought this subject up in a Facebook sports group that I’m in. One person argued, that after a team plays on Thursday night, they have nine days off. As I told them, that to me, doesn’t outweigh having players play on only three days rest, as opposed to five or six. Two games that really got people on Twitter pointing out the poor quality of Thursday night games, was the game between the Jets and the Patriots in week 2, and the Chiefs-Eagles game in week 3. Many even said, that they were gonna find something better to do with their Thursday nights.

I cannot take full credit for the solution I am about to propose. Part of it goes to @MitchKwik. Through synergy, we came up with the following idea: You can still have a Thursday Night game to kick off the season, players are fresh out of camp, and fans are clamoring for some action. But after that, we, the fans have gotten our fill of football, and are good. We don’t necessarily need football in our life three nights a week. And if you’re a fan of college football, four.

Anyway, you can bring Thursday Night Football back in Week 5. And guess what two teams will play in that game? Two teams that had bye weeks in Week 4. Good idea, right! The quality of football is sure to improve and Thursday nights have more of a chance to become, ANY GIVEN THURSDAY. Because as it is now, a lessor team has little or no chance of beating a stronger opponent on 3 days rest. I hope that you take our idea into consideration. We are more than just people who watch football. We are fans, who have invested years of our lives to it, and feel like we may know a thing or two about how to keep it the great game we have grown to know to love. Thanking you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Pennie Beasley

Follow me on Twitter @7millicent

What Week 1 Taught Me About My Fantasy Draft

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First off, let me start by saying that I am in three leagues this year. That is the most I’ve ever done. Last year I was in two. I am also the commissioner of one league. And for someone who’s only been playing fantasy for about five years, I think that’s pretty good. Now let’s get down to why we are here, the important stuff. See that man above, yeah that guy, Peyton Manning. With the #4 pick in my league, I could have easily taken him in the first round, and maybe even the second (8-Teams). But I must admit, I was a Peyton doubter. I believed that at best, he would have a repeat of last season. Projections even showed him having a slight decline. Well obviously, I’m a doubter no more! So what did I learn from week 1? Out of my three leagues, I should have at least tried to get Peyton in one. Like the saying, innocent until proven guilty, fantasy stud, until proven a dud.

The next thing I want to get into, involves Peyton’s little brother, Eli Manning. Well, sort of. It’s about his receivers. Now we all saw Victor Cruz catch three touchdown passes Sunday night. Heck, one of my Twitter friends said, let’s go for four! Anyway, what I learned from Week 1 is, don’t let preseason numbers fool you. Unless the receiver is coming back from a major injury and is struggling to even practice, don’t look at the numbers. Once again, look at pass performance. Eli could only need two completions to Victor Cruz in the preseason, and they are ready for the regular season. I believe that is all they had. And I must admit, I was a little bit worried about selecting Brandon Marshall when I saw him dropping all those passes in the Bears third preseason game. People kept saying, well he is coming off hip of surgery. I was all prepared to draft A.J. Green instead. But thinking back now, he looked just fine in the second preseason game, so maybe he just had a bad day. Being a Bears fan, I went ahead and drafted him anyway and after Sunday’s performance, I was happy I did. See just use some basic common sense. I know it’s tough when the clock’s running and you got to select. But getting a receiver that has an excellent past performance with a certain quarterback, like Eli-Cruz, Cutler-to-Marshall, or Andy Dalton-A.J. Green, you can’t go wrong with it, irregardless of what the preseason numbers say. And you can throw a receiver like Hakeem Nicks in there too, who did his thing Sunday night as well (5 catches, 114 yards). I was very cautious about drafting him, and didn’t because he was coming off an injury. But given his past history with Eli, he would’ve been well worth the gamble in the 6th round or later.

Lastly, what week 1 taught me is, always look for a dark horse or unknown to have a breakout year and take a chance on them. After I saw Peyton Manning complete two touchdown passes to Julius Thomas, before even one to Demaryius Thomas, I was like, “I got the wrong Thomas on my team!” It all worked out in the end for me on that scene. But a third year Tight End, who even heard of Julius Thomas before Thursday night? Well, I knew a little about him. When I went looking for a second tight end, the research said that he had one catch, and some unfavorable things. So I passed. Thomas is, well was a relatively unknown. The best place to look for a relatively unknown receiver, is on a team with an elite quarterback. Your breakout performer can also be a young, veteran running back, who was backing up someone that is no longer with the team. He’s probably now gonna be the starter, so naturally his carries are gonna go up and thusly his numbers. Case in point, the situation in St. Louis, where Steven Jackson left for Atlanta. Now that position is wide open for his backups last year Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. In the league I’m in with 20 teams, I picked 17th (the owner let his kid pick names out of a hat, lol) and it didn’t snake, I know, it was horrible for me. But anyway, the pickings were slim, so I went with Pead. The jury is still out on Pead, who was serving a suspension for game 1. Another type of breakout performer, can be a college player whose game translates well to the NFL. As a fan of Notre Dame, I knew that TE Tyler Eifert was just that type of player, combined with a good, established quarterback in Andy Dalton. As you can see, I got those last two things right. But that dark horse thing, yeah, I really gotta work on that.

Bulls Compete in Vegas Summer League

ImageUs sports junkies don’t know what to do with ourselves these days. I will be honest though, I’ve enjoyed the break since the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. After that adrenaline rush, I’ve even managed to sit down and watch a bunch of new releases from the RedBox. Then there is the Chicago Sky, who with rookie sensation Elena Delle Donne, look like they will make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. As for MLB, well the Cubs weren’t playing for this year anyway. I don’t know why, that’s something to ask Theo about. So while we’re waiting for football, why not check out your team’s draft picks and possibly future players in the NBA Summer League.

Bulls Assistant Coach Adrian Griffin will coach Chicago’s summer league team and he will be assisted by fellow assistants Andy Greer, Ed Pinckney and Mike Wilhelm. The team consists of PG Marques Teaque, 1st-round draft pick SG Tony Snell, 2nd-round pick F Erik Murphy out of Florida and F Malcolm Thomas who played significant minutes with the team last season. Looking at the 13-man roster, two other names grabbed my attention. A guard named Charles Boozer. Now I don’t know if he’s related to Carlos, but that is a unique name. And PF Deon Thompson a rookie out of North Carolina, who I believe is a pretty decent player. When you’ve got North Carolina next to your name, you’re always worth taking a look at. So here’s the NBA Summer League schedule and maybe when you’re not watching anything much, like I found myself today, you can turn over to NBATV and see a little of the action!

NBA Summer League 2013 Schedule

Friday July 12

COX Pavilion
1 PM — New York vs. New Orleans (Game 1)
3 PM — Atlanta vs. LA Clippers (Game 2)
5 PM — Cleveland vs. LA Lakers (Game 3)
7 PM — Charlotte vs. San Antonio (Game 4)

Saturday July 13

COX Pavilion
1 PM — Golden State vs. Washington (Game 5)
3 PM — Sacramento vs. Dallas (Game 6)
5 PM — Chicago vs. Memphis (Game 8)
7 PM — Denver vs. Milwaukee (Game 10)

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3:30 PM — Minnesota vs. NBA D-League (Game 7)
5:30 PM — Phoenix vs. Portland (Game 9)
7:30 PM — Miami vs. Toronto (Game 11)

Sunday July 14

COX Pavilion
1 PM — New York vs. Washington (Game 12)
3 PM — Charlotte vs. Dallas (Game 14)
5 PM — Cleveland vs. Memphis (Game 16)
7 PM — Atlanta vs. Miami (Game 18)

Thomas & Mack
1:30 PM — LA Clippers vs. NBA D-League (Game 13)
3:30 PM — LA Lakers vs. Portland (Game 15)
5:30 PM — New Orleans vs. Milwaukee (Game 17)
7:30 PM — San Antonio vs. Toronto (Game 19)

Monday July 15

COX Pavilion
1 PM — New York vs. Charlotte (Game 20)
3 PM — Cleveland vs. New Orleans (Game 21)
5 PM — LA Clippers vs. LA Lakers (Game 23)
7 PM — San Antonio vs. Atlanta (Game 25)

Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM — Minnesota vs. Phoenix (Game 22)
5:30 PM — Sacramento vs. Golden State (Game 24)
7:30 PM — Chicago vs. Denver (Game 26)

Tuesday July 16

COX Pavilion
1 PM — Minnesota vs. Miami (Game 27)
3 PM — Sacramento vs. Toronto (Game 28)
5 PM — Chicago vs. Portland (Game 30)
7 PM — Denver vs. Washington (Game 32)

Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM — Golden State vs. Milwaukee (Game 29)
5:30 PM — Phoenix vs. Memphis (Game 31)
7:30 PM — Dallas vs. NBA D-League (Game 33)

Wednesday July 17

COX Pavilion
3 PM — #11 Seed vs. #22 Seed (Game 34)
5 PM — #13 Seed vs. #20 Seed (Game 36)
7 PM — #15 Seed vs. #18 Seed (Game 38)

Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM — #12 Seed vs. #21 Seed (Game 35)
5:30 PM — #14 Seed vs. #19 Seed (Game 37)
7:30 PM — #16 Seed vs. #17 Seed (Game 39)

Thursday July 18

COX Pavilion
1 PM — #7 Seed vs. #10 Seed (Game 40)
3 PM — #6 Seed vs. Winner of Game 34 (Game 42)
5 PM — #4 Seed vs. Winner of Game 36 (Game 44)
7 PM — #2 Seed vs. Winner of Game 38 (Game 46)

Thomas & Mack
1:30 PM – #8 Seed vs. #9 Seed (Game 41)
3:30 PM — #5 Seed vs. Winner of Game 35 (Game 43)
5:30 PM — #3 Seed vs. Winner of Game 37 (Game 45)
7:30 PM — #1 Seed vs. Winner of Game 39 (Game 47)

Friday July 19

COX Pavilion
1 PM — Game 34 Loser vs. Game 35 Loser (Game 48)
3 PM — Game 36 Loser vs. Game 37 Loser (Game 49)
5 PM — Game 40 Loser vs. Game 41 Loser (Game 50)
7 PM — Game 44 Loser vs. Game 45 Loser (Game 51)

Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM — Game 38 Loser vs. Game 39 Loser (Game 52)
5:30 PM — Game 42 Loser vs. Game 43 Loser (Game 53)
7:30 PM — Game 46 Loser vs. Game 47 Loser (Game 54)

Saturday July 20

Thomas & Mack
1 PM — Game 40 Winner vs. Game 46 Winner (Game 55)
3 PM — Game 42 Winner vs. Game 45 Winner (Game 56)
5 PM — Game 41 Winner vs. Game 47 Winner (Game 57)
7 PM — Game 43 Winner vs. Game 44 Winner (Game 58)

Sunday July 21

Thomas & Mack
3 PM — Game 55 Winner vs. Game 56 Winner (Game 59)
5 PM — Game 57 Winner vs. Game 58 Winner (Game 60)

Monday July 22

Thomas & Mack
6 PM — Game 59 Winner vs. Game 60 Winner (Game 61)

(Please feel free to leave a comment about your team and it’s prospects below.)

Game, BUT NO PRIDE

Image I made a promise in 2010 after the Dumdecision, that if the Heat won, I would quit watching NBA basketball altogether. The only thing that kept me as a fan, was Dallas winning. I don’t know how I feel right now. People believe I hate. No, I just don’t see a point in giving my time to a league where every player wants to be on the team with the best chance to win. What’s the point in that? What ever happened to competition!? So what you might not get a ring, but your integrity will still be intact! Which is why I took such delight, when John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins Kentucky team lost in the NCAA Championship. Now NBA Basketball is changed forever, because of one man’s decision. Players are clamoring to posse up to improve their chances of one day winning a chip. Which is why, other than my Bulls, the team I would really like to see win next year, would be the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were built the right way, through the draft, trades and developing players.

No 2013 MLB Hall of Famers

On November 28, 2012, eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were given a ballot with 37 candidates eligible to be voted into the illustrious Baseball Hall of Fame! A player had to get a “Yes” vote from 75% of these writers to be selected for induction into the Hall of Fame (Class of 2013), the paramount of a major leaguers career! You wanna know how many they voted in? Not a one. That just about sums up how the BBWAA feels about “The Steroid Era”.

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Of the 37 candidates, there were 13 returnees and 24 newcomers. There were the usual suspects. Roger Clemens, first time on the ballot, and a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer before that scandal in Washington right? Nope, 38%. Can you believe we spent tax-payers dollars for that. That’s about as bad as the test the Department of Defense used to run to determine how long it takes ketchup to leave a new Heinz 57 bottle. And remember the year Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire went back and forth for the home run title? Exciting times right? Well, with 13 and 17% of the vote respectfully, they can forgetaboutit. And I’m almost sure that after seven years, Mark McGwire wishes that they would just remove his name from the ballot altogether. Unless he believes that one day, the steroids issue will become a mute point. I doubt it, especially with the recent performance-enhancing drug scandal involving the Biogenesis Clinic.

Many believe a turning point in how you are judged for The Hall, steroids or not, will be when Alex Rodriquez becomes eligible. A-Rod admitted in 2009 that he had used PEDs in the past. And he is the central figure in MLB’s Biogenesis investigation. That’s way down the line though, he’s still under contract with the Yankees for the next 100 million years, I mean dollars. Which brings to mind this question. Should a major league baseball team or any professional sports team, be able to void a player’s contract if they test positive for performance enhancing drugs?

(BTW, the player with the highest percentage of votes, was Craig Biggio at 68%. A catcher, later turned 2nd baseman this was his first time on the ballot. He had a stella career spending it all with the Houston Astros and collecting 3,060 hits.)

Why Derrick?!?

Read this article and then tell me I’m wrong in saying, what a disappointment it has been Derrick Rose not playing in the last two games. As I looked at Nate Robinson, sitting on the bench, suffering from the flu with a towel over his head. And Taj Gibson right next to him worn out, playing basically on one leg. Then there’s Joakim finally feeling better, but played all series with plantar fasciitis. You have no excuse Derrick. Knicks guard Iman Shumpert had the same injury at the same time last year, and has been back playing at least a month. It’s a wrap, you’re weak mentally. While they are saying the politically correct thing, I’m sure that your teammates and coaches have lost all respect for you, and so has this fan!!! http://bit.ly/Zr591y