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The [Monday] Papers

Spot the groupthink narrative:

* The Athletic: Eddy Pineiro's Emotional Game-Winner Serves As Early Validation For Their Kicking Competition.

* Adam Hoge, WGN Radio: Bears Get An Ugly, Yet Validating Win For Matt Nagy.

"Consider it another validating moment for Nagy, whose kicker competition tactics in the offseason were often questioned and criticized. Sunday, the winner of that competition saved the game, and maybe the Bears' season."

* Bears radio announcer Jeff Joniak: "The Bears' kicking contest was mocked, but they got the right guy."

I've already called out the narrative that Pineiro "won" Matt Nagy's offseason kicking contest, and now I'm going to have to call out the narrative that Sunday's performance "validated" Matt Nagy's offseason kicking contest.

First, let us recall this item from September 5th:

Unbearable
In case you haven't heard, the Bears open the NFL season tonight at Soldierz Field against the Packers. But we may already have in hand the season's worst take:

Actually it's the easiest thing in the world to argue.

First, it was madness! Are you kidding me?

Second, none of the nine kickers in their competition made the team! Once they were done with their scientifically, consultant-added kick-off, they went out and traded for Eddy Pineiro instead!

Oh, but that's not all. The Bears had such confidence in Pineiro that they then tried to trade for Baltimore's Kaare Vedvik. The Vikings got him instead - and he was so bad they released him.

So yeah, finding it hard to argue against the Bears' approach takes an awful lot of strenuous work, beat-sweetening and blue-and-orange-colored glasses.

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Back to today:

You could argue that Pineiro "won" the offseason kicking competititon because he's the Bears' kicker, but the fact is that the kicking contest that was mocked didn't produce Pineiro. It is true that Pineiro had to win the job over two kickers who emerged from the contest, Chris Blewitt and Elliott Fry, but that's a thin reed to connect Pineiro to the spectacle many folks found bizarre. Pineiro would have been available to acquire in a trade regardless of whether Nagy held a nine-kicker contest. The only thing Pineiro had to do with Nagy's methods was competing under "Augusta Silence" conditions.

It's also hard to say Pineiro won the job when the Bears tried to replace him immediately with Vedvik.

That's not to take anything away from Pineiro. He seems like fun, and I actually approve of nicknaming him Eddie Dinero/Eddie Money.

But he did not win Nagy's contest, and therefore his performance Sunday did not vindicate Nagy's methods. In fact, the way Pineiro came to the team essentially invalidates Nagy's contest, because it failed to produce the team's kicker.

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Also: One game does not validate anything. If Pineiro goes on to lose the next game for the Bears, is Nagy suddenly invalidated? It's preposterous.

You don't have to create and propagate narratives. Stop with the concepts. Just report. That's what Sports Illustrated did, and that's why we know how crazy the path to Pineiro actually was.

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Reminder: I don't focus on this sort of thing because I care so much about the Bears and sports, but because I care so much about journalism. Sports coverage is a terrific parallel to political coverage in so many ways, but mostly in mindthink. This is part of how news gets manufactured, and untethered to reality. And pretty soon you hear every Jane and Dick on the street repeating the narratives and much of a citizenry has been led to believe that Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. Journalism has a quality problem; most of it isn't very good. Most of it doesn't hold up under fact-checking. Much of it hurts people, and makes us stupider.

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Reminder: Rahm Emanuel's early observation that the media largely trafficked in narratives has largely guided his messaging techniques.

Of course, he's not alone in the political world: People like David Axelrod get big bucks to create and embed narratives - just as elite journalists get relatively big bucks to accept those narratives and push them along or come up with their own out of their own little heads.

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Another narrative:

I hope so, but disgraced double-doinker Cody Parkey made three field goals in three attempts in his first Bears game, against the Packers. It's. One. Game.

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And yet, Hoge:

"And his kicker made the kick, leaving just one question from this reporter to Eddy Pineiro: Do the Bears finally have their kicker?"

That's your one question, and to the kicker? Wrong!

First, it's a question with an unknowable answer. Second, the kicker is the wrong guy to ask. Maybe ask some kicking experts!

I would have liked some reporters to actually ask Pineiro about the actual kick - how he lined up, the effect of being a mile high, the angle, the hold, the snap, what was said on the sideline before he went out there, how he felt in warm-ups - instead of how he felt.

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Reminds me of some Cubs reporters stating the Cubs had "found their offense" upon the return of Ben Zobrist and the call-up of Nico Hoerner, right before they went back to hitting less than a blackjack player at 17.

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I would have also liked to have seen some mention - and maybe it's somewhere, but I haven't seen it - of if this invalidates Nagy's decision last week to not allow Pineiro to attempt that 51-yarder against the Packers.

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Like many others, I'm baffled at the absence of Tarik Cohen in this season's offense. He's what really made last year's offense go.

Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arkush isn't baffled: "Let's face it, Tarik Cohen is an All-Pro punt returner." What?

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At least the media has finally come around on Mitch Trubisky. He sucks.

Former Bear and current commentator Patrick Mannelly said on The Score this morning that Nagy's strategy Sunday was clearly to "limit the decision-making of Mitch Trubisky."

Trubisky is now someone the Bears have to scheme around.

"(Nagy's) limited by the guy with the ball in his hands," Mannelly said.

Even Hoge, a big Trubisky booster who picked the Bears to win the Super Bowl this year, says he's not seeing a quarterback who is processing information fast enough, which is a friendly way of saying Trubisky isn't smart enough to run Nagy's offense - or maybe any NFL offense.

Hoge also said he sees "evidence that he's not the franchise savior they thought he was when he was picked No. 2."

If Trubisky's lost Hoge . . .

Contests Better Than Nagy's

Seinfeld's.

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Gene Hackman's.

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Remembering Daniel Johnston
"Daniel Johnston, a singer-songwriter and visual artist whose childlike, haunted songs brought him acclaim as one of America's most gifted outsider voices, was found dead on Wednesday morning at his home in Waller, Tex., outside Houston. He was 58," the New York Times reports.

Johnston appeared twice on this site.

At the Bottom Lounge in 2012:

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At the Vic in 2017:

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Remembering Eddie Money
"Eddie Money, whose string of rock hits in the late 1970s and '80s included 'Baby Hold On' and 'Two Tickets to Paradise,' died on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 70," the New York Times reports.

Eddie Money appeared three times on this site.

* In 2009, he was No. 60 of our Trivial Pursuit: Music Choice Edition feature: "Eddie Money was born Eddie Mahoney." The legal department of Music Choice made us take this feature down because somehow they "owned" the trivia facts we were cadging from their channel, a proposition our lawyer basically acceded to, as crazy as it sounds.

* In our 2009 post Takin' Care Of Schaumburg, it was noted that Money was among many collaborators of Randy Bachman.

* In a 2014 Local Music Notebook, we noted that Money was also a Survivor collaborator.

I was surprised to find we never captured him in performance here in our The Week In Chicago Rock and The Weekend In Chicago Rock features, though those started maybe halfway through the site's life and were discontinued in the last year or so.

Remembering Ric Ocasek
"Ric Ocasek, the songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the Cars, was found dead on Sunday afternoon at his townhouse in Manhattan," Jon Pareles writes for New York Times.

"The New York Police Department confirmed the death but did not give a cause. Sources have differed on Mr. Ocasek's age; some say he was 70, but a few public records and previous articles about him suggest that he was 75.

"From 1978 to 1988, Mr. Ocasek (pronounced oh-CASS-eck) and the Cars merged a vision of romance, danger and nocturnal intrigue and the concision of new wave music with the sonic depth and ingenuity of radio-friendly rock. The Cars managed to please both punk-rock fans and a far broader pop audience, reaching into rock history while devising fresh, lush extensions of it."

Huh, I always pronounced it oh-CASE-eck.

*

I have mixed feelings about The Cars. And I loathed the songs and videos that people like this are tweeting out:

The first two records, though. Especially the first.

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From our long-lost trivia feature:

"The Cars' Benjamin Orr was born Benjamin Orzechowski."

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Wisconsin Is America's Goatland
And we're not talking about Aaron Rodgers.

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The Hidden Places Of World War 2
Funny how Trump has sparked a renewed interest in World War 2 because this time we're on the wrong side. Just think about that.

-> I didn't bother to check a style guide, but I always get tripped up whether I should use World War 2 or World War II. I mean, wars aren't Super Bowls.

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The U.S. Supreme Court's Border Wall Fiasco
"It is not just that the Court is siding, again and again, with Republicans and the Trump administration that causes us worry. It is that it does so on such specious grounds."

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Sinclair, ABC Light AOC On Fire
#Cubs.

-> One day the North Siders might show up on a list like this.

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How An American Country Music Pioneer Entered African Mythology
"[I]n death, [Jimmie] Rodgers would go on to inspire not just luminaries of American music, but also the Kipsigis peoples of the Rift Valley in Kenya - whose folk music found its way back to America decades later."

-> The transmission of culture.

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From the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #269: Dead Team(s) Walking
Winter is here. Plus: After Over 70 Years, The Cubs On WGN Is Coming To An End; Tim Anderson Chases Obsolete Award; I AM SO SICK OF MITCH TRUBISKY; Ryan Pace Had One Job This Offseason And He Failed At It Miserably; 'Scuse Us While We Kiss The Sky; Blackhawks Open Training Camp Again!; A Chicago Bull Is Dominating The World Cup; Really Good Chicago Fire News Broke While We Were Recording This; and Chicago Red Stars Rolling.

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The White Sox Report: Start Now!
A plea to finish strong.

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SportsMonday: The Unbalanced, Obsessive-Compulsive Matt Nagy
Paging Andy Reid!

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ChicagoReddit

Failed hit and run (Lakeview) from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

"Rebel Girl" by Bikini Kill at Riot Fest on Sunday night.

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BeachBook
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find at our Facebook page.

Medicaid's Dark Secret.

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American Immigration: A Century Of Racism.

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A Prison Lifer Comes Home.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Tipz Line: Ain't no lips when you're dropping tips.



Permalink

Posted on September 16, 2019


MUSIC - College Radio, Eh?
TV - John King's Dog Whistle.
POLITICS - CTU Strike Notebook.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Run, Mitch, Run.

BOOKS - What We Do To Whistleblowers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Chicago's Favorite Gyros Slices.


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