Print and Go Back ESPN.com: BlogsColumns [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Bears' bad PR


So, let me get this straight.

The Bears just finished their third straight season without a playoff appearance. They kept a bad coach and bad general manager because they were too cheap to buy them out of their contracts. Claimed they were making big changes by hiring new coordinators. Took 27 days to hire "Lovie buddy" Mike Martz and more than a month to settle on in-house candidate and "Lovie buddy" Rod Marinelli. Fired pro personnel director Bobby DePaul and "escorted" him from the building. Then they told everyone they won't go "hog wild" during free agency. Am I forgetting anything? As Bears fans, our confidence in management is near an all-time low. So, after the start of one of the worst offseasons in recent memory, what do we get? A notice that ticket prices are going up.

Classic.

My co-host Tom Waddle tells me that it's their business and I should stay out of it. Waddle sounds more and more like Kenny Williams every day.

I understand the Bears should never have a problem selling out the cozy Soldier Field. If you protest, someone on their long waiting list will gobble up those tickets in a heartbeat. That said, it doesn't mean we have to pay the freight happily. It's just not good public relations to raise prices after so many flops and penalize the fan in a rough economy.

Would Toyota dare to raise prices after its last few months? Of course not. That would be bad timing. Our Bears don't care about timing, if they did, Lovie would learn how to manage the clock. If Bill Cowher were here, I would've happily paid more for tickets. Instead, the McCaskeys have kept everyone in place because they didn't want to spend money, but they have no problem asking you to pay up.

So, after dealing with the newest and baddest version of the "Bad News Bears", I'm asking for one thing in return.

I want lights. I want cameras. I want action. Bring HBO to Halas Hall and training camp in Bourbonnais. Follow the White Sox's lead. Show the dedicated Bears fans the team you are asking them to shell out more money to see. Show them that the people running the team are competent. I'm asking NFL Films gatekeeper Steve Sabol to select the Bears as this year's subject for "Hard Knocks." I'm asking the McCaskeys to allow this and give us a glimpse of how the charter franchise of the NFL is run.

Imagine the storylines: A coach and his staff on the hot seat. Jay Cutler looking to rebound from a disastrous season with the help of the quirky Mike Martz. A healthy Brian Urlacher back on the field after missing all of 2009. Football "meathead" Mike Tice demanding excellence from the offensive line.

I'm sure the Bears would never go for this and the NFL could view Lovie as the least interesting man alive. My prediction ... the colorful Rex Ryan and the Jets will be the ones featured on HBO.

-- Speaking of the Bears, why are so many against signing a guy like Torry Holt or LaDainian Tomlinson? No, they aren't Pro Bowlers anymore, but they could still help the team with Mike Martz running the show. Give me Holt over Rashied Davis, Juaquin Iglesias or Earl Bennett. Give me Tomlinson over Garrett Wolfe or Kevin Jones. Neither would be expensive and with the current labor unrest, there aren't any better options in free agency.

-- I've had the two-TV set up for a couple of years now. HD 42-inch over the fireplace. 48-inch projection old school box to the left. They comes in handy during dueling sporting events. Cubs/Sox games, Bulls/Hawks games or Bears/the rest of the NFL is the usual set up depending on the season. Sunday night was a dawn of a new sports day. USA/Canada hockey was showcased on the flat screen, albeit not in HD thanks to it airing on MSNBC. Girlfriend Gertrude was captivated by ice dancing. So, as I was living and dying with every shot vs. Ryan Miller in the last few minutes, Gertrude also "treated" me to comments about the Russians' outfits in ice dancing. Holy Lutz!

-- Don't know if someone else came up with this before us, but as Carmen DeFalco and I were discussing the many nicknames of the Bulls front office combo of John Paxson and Gar Forman, we came up with "GarForPax." I've heard Gar Paxman. Or Pax Forman. And even simply GarPax. I like "GarForPax" best. Uses both names and sums up the way things are being run, as far as I'm concerned. Paxson is still calling the shots. Forman announces them publically. So Forman speaks for Paxson. Thus, GarForPax.