Chicago Bears week 2 success; overshadowed by injuries

Brandon Hardin

Brandon Hardin is the most recent Bear to go down with an injury.

Following Saturday’s performance by the starting unit, Bears fans everywhere should be exhaling a huge sigh of relief this week.

Cutler-to-Marshall was finally on display, the line actually protected Jay (gasp!), and Israel Idonije led the first team defense in their solid effort to contain RG3.

Instead, fans and the Bears front office are forced to keep an eye on an ever-growing injuries list.

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Possible NFC North Reality Shows


By the TSB Staff

Since the NFC North in 2009 seems to be the ultimate reality series in professional sports right now. I asked my staff to  analogize the players and coaches in the division with some of the tv show “characters” currently dotting the reality show landscape.


This is an easy one. Despite my vocal criticisms of VH1 and their mind-numbing switch from “Behind the Music” type programming to mindless trapclap like “Brooke Knows Best” marathons, I must admit I watch a lot of their reality dating shows. I love the creatures that come out of their holes in the ground to proclaim their love for aging rock/rap stars. But the best analogy I can give involves the Vikings, Brett Favre, and Daisy of Love.

Daisy is (obviously) looking for love, but was shunned from her “true love” Bret Michaels in “Rock of Love 2,” and finished second to a mature girl with less baggage and much more potential. She didn’t get along with everyone on the show, and was very shady when talking about her living situations (she lived with her “ex” boyfriend). She was the Brett Favre to Bret Michaels (or Ted Thompson’s) Aaron Rodgers (Winner Ambre Lake).

Fast forward to the fourth episode of “Daisy of Love.” She has really taken a liking to a guy named London, who is a flashy rock star-type, but is also a big flake and whines for no apparent reason other than he isn’t getting his way. As a result, he leaves before elimination, leaving Daisy bawling in her room and unable to give out her Rock Star chains. This obviously upsets the house, since none of the other guys liked London because he was a cocky but waffling douche to her. As the show goes on, we get hints that Daisy is still hurt by London’s premature departure, and her chemistry isn’t as strong with the other guys. So, with four guys remaining in the competition, Daisy’s sidekick Riki reaches out to London and persuades him to come back and resolve the issues between him and Daisy.


Obviously the rest of the guys hate his guts, and he knows it all too well. But he gradually makes it to the finale episode, and when faced with a decision between Flex, a guy that is much better for her and different than her usual drama-loving boyfriends, and London, who is like every other immature guy she has dated, Daisy says the following: “I need Flex, but I want London.” Thus, she chooses the guy everyone loved to hate, and they all learn to live with it even though everyone involved with the show (including Riki) thinks she made a mistake. I’ll leave you to fill in who is who between the Vikings organization, Favre, and the players. This analogy makes too much sense to me.


Cheaters staring Brett Favre.

When Green Packer Packer fans suspect their long-time boyfriend is cheating on them with another team, our cameras are there when the confrontation takes place.  Will Brett score with another team?  Don’t miss another great season on the NFC.

Flavor of Lovie.

Lovie Smith is in search of a wide receiver for his bachelor quarterback.  Will Lovie’s idea of ball romance agree with Jay’s desire to command an offense?  The balls will fly and players will run all season long in the most offensive show to come out of Chicago in years.

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.

Starring Aaron Rogers who teaches people it’s ok to be second despite the speedy deliveries of passes to Greg Jennings.  In the end, you will go to the land of make believe to see what life would have been like if Brett Favre was never born.

The Girls Next Door.

Starring the Detroit Lions offensive line.  Only Mathew Stafford will not be pillow fighting cuties.  He’ll be participating in the “Amazing Race,” trying to escape linemen out for his head.cedricbensonjersye


“Elimidate” starring Brian Urlacher

He’s a man known to reap the “strange” out there in the Chicago nightlife; on a level even more intense than Kyle Farnsworth or Mark Grace. Everyone has an Urlacher story. Some even have a paternity suit.

“The Shark Tank” starring Matthew Stafford

ABC’s Sunday night series is probably the only reality series I actually like these days, but this show isn’t about aspiring entrepreneurs pitching panels of venture capitalists, it’s Stafford being put into open water surrounded by blood and chum (his 0-16 Lions teammates) as the sharks, opposing defenses circle around.

“Blind Date” starring Brett Favre

I always loved the little drawings, graphics and thought bubbles that comprise each episode of this series. My dream job is to be the person who gets to write the funny observations and insults of those who participate on this game show. Actually my dream job is any job where I get to rip on people. But what if John Madden who has the biggest man-crush in the history on man-crushes on Favre, also came out of retirement just to cover a few games featuring the man who complete him? He’d no doubt manipulate the telecast to draw hearts and write amorous sayings all over the screen, and somehow the show ends with Madden and Favre in a hot tub…ugh….

Food Network To Feature Bears Bus, Tailgating Contest


By Paul M. Banks
I love it when my friends get publicity for their creative endeavors. Well, the ones who are chill and modest about it when it happens anyway. I like the people who mention it once, are happy and excited and then move on. I loathe the people who email their press clippings to everyone they know twenty different times.

(By the way, did I mention that I was accepted into the Football Writers Association of America last week? And that I get to vote for their All-America team this winter?)

Anyways, one such friend who’s about to get some high profile publicity is Da Bus owner/developer and Bears superfan Tim Shanley. “Da Bus,” a renovated old school bus celebrating the Chicago Bears. I’ve been on Da Bus, which features a shrine to (and autographs from) pretty much every Bears Hall of Famer that you can name.

The tailgate surrounding it is THE place to be when you get your pre-game Bears party on at Soldier Field. Da Bus is kicking off its 20th season of tailgating with an appearance on THE FOOD NETWORK! The Bears are at Buffalo for a pre-season game on Saturday August 15th and The Food Network will do an entire segment called “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri.” It features Da Bus and their crew going head to head against a tailgating crew from Buffalo. This competition will air on the channel sometime during the NFL season. (I will keep you posted and let you know when it airs) 

I rode on Da Bus and marched it Shanley and his crew during the downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade this past spring. I got a chance to be on local television when the float was featured during ABC’s telecast of the event. (I also sat down with Shanley and talked about how the whole history and development of Da Bus, look for that interview to be posted the week leading up to the Bears Home Opener.)

“After grilling for thousands of Bears fans who have boarded Da Bus to party on gameday over the past 20 seasons, being selected for THE FOOD NETWORK is the defining moment for Da Bus and its crew. Everyone out there knows that Timmy from Da Bus and his crew take pride in their tantalizing tidbits of tailgating fare,” Shanley said in a recent statement via email. dabus
If you want to hit the open road with them, the Producers from Food Network made terrific parking arrangements. Everyone in the Chicago contingent will be parked together; adjacent to the set to cheer on Da Bus during the taping of the segment.

Everyone will get a Bus t-shirt to wear as we unite to Cheer on Da Bus. The host of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” Guy Fieri, will be out in the crowd with the camera observing all the tailgating and grilling taking place.

Perhaps you’re not as familiar with Guy Fieri as I am. (After all, he’s my live-in girlfriend’s celebrity crush…See footnote one) In addition to his Food Network gig, he’s the official spokesperson for T.G.I. Friday’s, the guy with the blond spiky hair, goatee and Bam Bam Bigelow style shirts from the ads. (See footnote 2)  guy_fieriheadshot

“Any one who ran into Da Bus in Miami for the Super Bowl a few years back knows what its like to be on the road with Da Bus…a great time…great food…great party…and lots of energy!” Shanley stated.

I wish the best of luck to Shanley and his crew as they prepare for another open road adventure. Much like us here in Chicago are trying to bring the 2106 Olympics home, the Second City must rightfully claim the Food Network’s first ever “TAILGATE WARRIOR” grilling title! (See footnote 3)

1. My Food Network celebrity chef crush is Giada, in case you were wondering.

2. Sorry, for the footnote. These can be annoying

3. GO BEARS!!!!!

Bears Open Camp with Expectations, Controversy


By Paul M. Banks

When the Chicago Bears reported to Camp Bourbonaiss today, with the first practice taking place tomorrow afternoon, they were greeted with both high expectations and manufactured controversy.

Perhaps no team had a more productive (or publicized) off-season than Chicago, as they swapped QBs with the Denver Broncos, essentially stealing Pro Bowl signal caller Jay Cutler out of the Rocky Mountain state. Your grandparents were in diapers the last time they had a QB this good, and given how that’s, you know, kind of an important position, this move was HUGE- especially considering that Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is the only other legitimate starting NFL quarterback in the NFC North division.

The Bears also made tremendous upgrades to their Offensive Line in Orlando Pace and the underrated Kevin Shaffer, augmenting what was previously one of the team’s weakest units. The world of sports betting has taken notice, installing the Bears as the odds on favorite to win the NFC North.

Vegas also thinks the Bears have the best chance of any NFC North team to win both the NFC and the Super Bowl, as the “Monsters of the Midway” have the best odds among the four teams in both categories. When people start engaging in Monday night football betting this fall, they’ll only have one chance (December 28th when Chicago hosts division rival Minnesota) to attempt to capitalize on the Bears’ historic Monday night woes. Avoiding a Monday night road game (always trouble for Chicago) is one example of how their schedule looks very promising. brian-urlacher

“Bear Weather” is essentially a myth, no matter how many meatheads tell you otherwise, as the Bears’ December record is far from superlative compared against the rest of the season. But this year, the only extremely difficult game on paper is December 20th, when they visit the Baltimore Ravens.

But it wasn’t the easy 2009 schedule or the fruitful off-season that was on orange and blue minds when the preseason started. It was a non-story surrounding a case of “he said, he said.”

Minnesota Vikings receiver Bobby Wade stated on a Twin Cities radio station yesterday that while spending last weekend in Las Vegas with Bears star LB Brian Urlacher, the Bear used a disparaging word in describing Cutler as soft.

Cutler responded thusly: “We laughed about it. I didn’t put any stock into it. I know Brian didn’t. I think he was just sorry it even came out like that. Me and Brian have been on a good relationship since I got here, and I expect it to continue that way.”

Urlacher said he was simply misquoted by Wade. “I saw Bobby at a place somewhere, and I was talking to him, but I never said what I was quoted as saying. I have a lot of respect for Jay, and I think Jay knows that. There’s never been an issue about Jay and I. We have no problems. I’m excited about football starting, and I’m excited to have him as our quarterback.”
I know training camp can certainly be boring at times, especially when no one has even taken a snap, so this exchange seems to be nothing more than a way to give starved NFL fans (that just finished enduring a long off-season) something to talk about on a very slow football news day.