The [Monday] Papers
Who dat gonna beat dem Bears!
I don't think I've been more wrong about anything in the past year than the Bears. I honestly really thought, deep in my heart, that the Saints would blow them out.
Though there's still one more chance for me and Emery to say we told you so.
"I could be a real jerk and call them the worst 15-3 team to reach a Super Bowl," Jay Mariotti writes this morning. "But that wouldn't be true."
A) Second-worst. I mean, the 1985 Patriots, pee-yeww!
B) The "real jerk" part, he means.
C) Because they'll be 15-4!
"Nightmare Comes True: Two More Weeks of Ditka"
"Tribune researcher Alan Peters took a spin on his computer to see how many experts predicted the Bears to reach the Super Bowl before the season began," Ed Sherman wrote on Sunday before the game. "He came up with only three: Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, Katherine Smith of the Tampa Tribune and Brian Baldinger of Fox Sports."
Indeed, Cowlishaw picked the Colts to make it too (he didn't pick a winner in the big game, though). So Cowlishaw is the Man.
But just for fun, look at what else he wrote:
"The Colts' magical offense against the Bears' great defense will make for a special game and monstrous TV ratings. But know why Chicago is going to get there? Because the Bears got significantly better in the off-season when they signed Brian Griese. Why doesn't anyone else understand that?
"Griese may begin the season as the backup to Rex Grossman, but that won't last. Griese is no Peyton Manning, but he can be to the Bears what Trent Dilfer was to the Ravens and what Brad Johnson was to the Bucs when those teams rode defenses to Super Bowl wins.
"Griese played in 17 games for Tampa Bay the last two years. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes. That's a higher percentage than Ben Roethlisberger, than Donovan McNabb, than Matt Hasselbeck, than Peyton Manning . . . oops, it's the highest in the league."
Truth be told, Cowlishaw may have been wrong factually, but not really conceptually.
Meanwhile, Smith, the Tampa writer, indeed picked the Bears - and picked the Chiefs to beat them in the big game.
I couldn't find what Baldinger wrote.
The Tribune reports today that all eight experts on ESPN.com picked the Saints. That should teach ESPN not to borrow the McLaughlin group for its punditry.
Indianapolis doesn't have anything we could possibly want, so there won't be any mayoral Super Bowl wagering. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, however, is trying to get Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to accept a bet in which Indiana would have to move further away from us if they lose. If they win, too.
In the bet between mayors settled yesterday, Richard M. Daley won a corrupt Special Operations police unit from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. If the Saints had won, Daley would've had to give up Christopher Kozicki.
The Trib's Kozicki editorial is curiously abstract in assigning blame to "the Daley administration" and "the city" but not to "Richard M. Daley." The Trib's (correct) stance would have been more satisfying - and to the point - it if simply asked why Richard M. Daley hasn't fired Kozicki. In fact, why doesn't the paper run a headline across the top of its front page like "Mr. Mayor: Why Haven't You Fired This Man?"
"Mindlessly cutting 20 percent will devastate health services while preserving patronage," a county medical director writes to the Sun-Times today.
The Tribune editorial page believes the Bush Administration still deserves the benefit of the doubt, this time when it comes to replacing U.S. attorneys all over the country. I mean, after all, it's not like this administration has ever put politics ahead of merit when it came to filling important positions.
"Bush Needs Solid Plan B For His Surge," Charles Krauthammer writes on the Trib's Op-Ed page today. You mean we've still been on Plan A this whole time? I could've sworn we were at least down to Plan M.
Or does he mean Bush needs a Plan B for his Plan Z.
Doesn't matter. Krauthammer hasn't picked a war right in 50 years. Let's ask Cowlishaw what to do.
Plan for Transformation
"The Chicago Housing Authority, the state's largest housing agency, has closed its waiting lists for public and subsidized housing during its $1.6 billion remake of its public housing," the Tribune reports.
The Sun-Times will accordingly adjust the CHA's grade upward.
The Cubs were against raising ticket prices before they were for raising them.
"[W]e've moved on, and now we have a manager that's going to come in and say, 'This is how I want it done, this is what is going to get done, and you win,'" says Scott Eyre, heretofore a Dusty loyalist.
"Boat Show Features Yacht That's a 2nd Home."
Coming in spring: "Home Show Features House That's a 2nd Yacht."
The Martin Luther King Jr. Sale at American Mattress has been "held over."
So you can still 'Pay For A Queen, Get A King!"*
*Only valid on select models.
Tease of the Week
"Is Bob Seger still the same? We'll find out next Sunday Morning."
- heard/seen by Tim Willette
"White House proclaims tomorrow National Sanctity of Human Life Day."
"Today's death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq was the highest in two years."
- spotted by Tom Michael
At this point, it's news when we have a day in Iraq that isn't one of the deadliest of the war.
Nobody much wants the Tribune Company.
Do the right thing: sell the papers to the locals who want them, cut loose the TV stations, and put the Chicago Tribune under McCormick Foundation management.
Enemies like Mark Steyn may turn out to be Barack Obama's biggest friends. After reading this, I was ready to sign up as an Obama volunteer.
"An important item has been missing from last week's discussion about the CTA's service problems," Anne Alt of Beverly wrote to the Sun-Times on Sunday. "Last year, Chicago contributed only $3 million toward operating expenses, the same skimpy annual amouint they have given for the past 25 years. The City of Atlanta gave $18 million last year to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, a system one-tenth the size of the CTA."
It's true. CTA chief Frank "Brownie" Kruesi dodged the issue on Chicago Tonight recently, but I did some reporting on this a few years ago and the only explanation I found from the administration was that Daley thinks the region, state, and feds should pay more for the CTA and he doesn't want to set a precedent by upping the city's share.
Yeah, I know.
Field of Clout
"I, like millions of others in the Chicago area, will be in front of my TV watching the Bears play the Saints with rapt attention," U of C sports economist Allen Sanderson told the Sun-Times before Sunday's game. "But just imagine if the new Bears home had 80,000 seats and a retractable roof. There would be more fans, and the fans would be warm. And the city would have a huge leg up on its bid to host the 2016 Olympics. Instead, most of us will get to witness a great football event on television from inside a very publicly funded, quasi-private club."
You mean, imagine a competent and honest mayor instead of the one we have?
The Beachwood Tip Line: Coltish.
Posted on January 22, 2007