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The [Tuesday] Papers

"McCown is going to get paid in the off-season," our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman writes in SportsTuesday: McCown Clowns Cowboys.

"The soon-to-be-former back-up will get a shot at starting somewhere in the NFL. The consensus among the 'experts' in Chicago has been that the Bears' first priority was taking care of Cutler's contract. The thought has been that he should have the first shot at running this offense in 2014, even if the team had to franchise him and pay him $16 million in the process.

"Surely even the most simple-minded of analysts have to now be thinking that isn't necessarily the case. Here is another fascinating fact: Did you know that at 33, Tony Romo, who earlier this year signed a whopping $108 million contract extension with the Cowboys, is all of one year younger than McCown? If I am McCown's agent, I play the tape of the highlights of last night's win for any and all interested teams when negotiations begin in a few months. On a brutally cold night in Chicago, McCown was considerably better than the $108 million man."


Josh McCown is 34. Mark Prior just retired at 33.


Just heard on The Score that in weather like they played in at Soldier Field last night, the team keeps chicken broth on the sideline because it contains electrolytes - it's the cold-weather Gatorade, which is unusable because it freezes. Also: hot chocolate for the carbs.


Dear NFL: Why schedule night games in Chicago in December? Day games, sure. We gotta play 'em. But this one didn't make sense.

Owl City
"In what is becoming a common sojourn to the Chicago area, once-elusive snowy owls have been seen at Montrose Harbor and other spots along the shores of Lake Michigan, delighting birders eager to see this beautiful raptor that typically stays close to its Arctic home," Steve Mills writes for the Tribune.

"Ornithologists and local birders say snowy owls have been spotted in greater numbers than in past years, both along the lakeshore and in inland counties across northern Illinois. This 'irruption,' as birders refer to the migration south, suggests the owls' diet of small rodents might be in short supply in the Arctic."

Well, they've come to the right place!

"The quick spot-cleaning that CTA rail cars receive when trains pull into terminals in the mornings and afternoons will be eliminated at the end of the year, the transit agency and its rail workers union said Monday," Jon Hilkevitch reports for the Tribune.

"The CTA has not budgeted for new positions to replace ex-offenders whom the CTA has employed as part-time apprentices since 2007 to clean rail cars and buses, said Robert Kelly, president of Local 308 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. The ex-offenders program will end Dec. 31, the CTA and the union said last week.

"The union said trains will be cleaned only on the midnight shifts starting at the first of the year, because the CTA said it is eliminating all morning and midafternoon jobs for car-servicer positions."

Can snowy owls do the job?

Rahm's Word Not His Bond
"With holiday shopping well underway, aldermen representing some of the busiest retail strips in the city still are waiting for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to keep the promise he made to allow certain wards to retain paid metered parking on Sundays," The Expired Meter reports.

"[Ald. Scott] Waguespack said city attorney Stephen Patton has assured him that the city would draft an ordinance to bring back paid Sundays meters to his ward, but he's still skeptical.

"Even though the city's attorney has said he'd do it, I think they're going to ignore it because they think the deal will just go away," Waguespack said. "But it's never going away. You've created a problem that will never go away."

"Waguespack added that changing the Sunday parking deal in some wards would open the revised deal to unwelcome scrutiny and perhaps unearth unforeseen weaknesses in the renegotiated lease.

"I don't think they want to hurt the deal they cut. If they don't do 'free Sundays' it undermines the flawed analysis that Sundays aren't free and it doesn't work," Wauguespack said, referring to the trade-off the city made with the parking meter firm for free Sundays in exchange for extending hours of enforcement in River North.

"The city did not return multiple requests for comment on the issue."

Maybe the city's spokespeople were too busy running outside to feed the meter.

Transfer Of Wealth
"Sysco Corp.'s $8.2 billion takeover of Rosemont-based U.S. Foods provides a big profit for its private-equity owners," Danny Ecker reports for Crain's. "But some employees likely will pay with their jobs."

Meet Michigan's Santa School
The School of Yule.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Hos before bros.


Posted on December 10, 2013

MUSIC - Pandemophenia.
TV - NBC's Bicentennial Special.
POLITICS - We Tortured Some Folks.
SPORTS - Gold Stars For The Red Stars.

BOOKS - The Slave Who Escaped George And Martha Washington.


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