Support my attention-whoring ways by following us on twitter!

Get the SKOdcast imported directly into your brain!

Friday, October 31, 2008

That is the look perpetually fixed to Ron Zook's face. It says it all really.

"Why do I suck even though I have more talent on my team than the Detroit Lions?"
Let me explain, Ron. When you're a COACH you have to COACH, not just recruit. This means making good decisions during actual live football games. This means drawing up a playbook that makes more sense than 4th grader Timmy's trigonometry test. This means not accepting penalties on 3rd down plays when the other team would have had a 4th down had you declined (like he did last year against Iowa. Iowa converted their second 3rd down attempt).

"Why am I 0-4 against Kirk Ferentz?"
Because Kirk Ferentz is the exact opposite of your dumbassedry, Zook. Kirk grinds his 3 star players until they become Shonn Greene, Pat Angerer, and Rick Stanzi. Zook lets his 5 star players rot and never teaches them anything. Their talent essentially drops to that of a 3 star because they aren't being utilized properly! You want to know the reason Phil Jackson is the best NBA coach ever? It's because he can take any number of talented guys and make them mesh. Ron Zook couldn't make white and rice mesh. Juice is standing out there all alone, trying to turn Zook's shitty plays into good ones through his sheer will. Kudos to Juice for maturing into a badass, by the way. He'll be a good NFL player. But he's fucked.

He's fucked because Kirk Ferentz actually gameplans against Zook, and not the Illini. He knows what that dumbass is going to do and he counters it. It's like appealing to the jury when you're a defense attorney instead of proving your client innocent. It may not be the most straightforward way to beat somebody, but it's more than enough for Zook.

"Why is Shonn Greene lighting me up for over 200yds rushing?"
Because you have no defense, Ron. And because Shonn Greene just doesn't go down. He really does look like an NFL running back playing against college kids. There is zero give up in Shonn. And that's what Kirk Ferentz teaches. Fuck you, Ron Zook. Bask in the glory that is good coaching.

-Also, in closing, I accept the idea that Kirk Ferentz is Hitler. Because Zook sure as hell isn't Churchill. Zook is a fucking Communist. I'll take the extreme conservative over the extreme liberal any day. Prepare for the blitzkrieg you junksluts.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In Contrast To Whom, Brian?

This recent comment from Bears superstar linebacker Brian Urlacher :
“The thing I like about Kyle, he’s not stupid. He’ll take a sack. A sack’s not going to kill you. You’re not turning the ball over. You’re not throwing the ball up there, letting someone else go get it. He’ll take a sack, and we’ll punt the ball and see if we can play some good defense.”

One wonders why Brian felt the need to point that out, I mean that's common sense for quarterbacks right...




Yeah, Brian, I'll take a sack. Or drop a 48 point Bomb on Minnesota.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

College Football Roundup and Code Red Rankings 10/28/08

How the AP Top 25 fared last week:

#25 Minnesota 17, Purdue 6-
7-1 Minnesota just seems wrong and dirty in all the wrong places, but perhaps in a few years, their coach, former Illini tight end Tim Brewster can be induced to coach the ole Alma Mater.

#24 Florida State 30, Virginia Tech 20-
I really hate that Florida State is ranked again. Is anyone surprised that the ACC sucks yet again?D Does every good offensive recruit on the east coast go to the SEC?

#23 Boston College 24, North Carolina 45-
Butch Davis has UNC at 6-2 and making the most noise they've made since Mack Brown left for Texas. Its still the ACC.

#22 Tulsa 49, UCF 19-
I watched this beatdown on ESPN2 just for the hell of it, and 8-0 Tulsa's offense remains as fun and glitzy as ever. This program's rising, hopefully someday they'll rise out of Conference USA.

#21 Georgia Tech 17, Virginia 24-
This game used to be the most maddeningly frustrating matchup of ex-NFL turned college coaches, Chan Gailey and Al Groh. Only Al remains. Paul Johnson and his throwback triple option offense are easy to root for, but they stumbled here against the Cavaliers. I still like them most of all ACC teams.

#20 Ball State 38, Eastern Michigan 16-
Ball State is ranked?

#19 Kansas 23, #8 Texas Tech 63-
Air Raid. Air. Mother fucking. Raid. If you aren't rooting for the Red Raiders to run the table and give Mike Leach a national title, you are fucking heartless.

#18 BYU 42, UNLV 35-
I've always found it strange that the pioneers of the spread offense and the most progressive offense in history are staid, fastidious mormons.

#17 Pittsburgh 34, Rutgers 54
Ha! Greg Schiano earns himself an SKO stamp of approval for whacking Wannstedt's team out of the rankings.

#16 Missouri 58, Colorado 0
Dan Hawkins begininning to think that his team Did go play intramurals.

#15 TCU 54, Wyoming 7
Well, that's nice.

#14 South Florida 20, Louisville 24
Anyone who read my weekly rankings last year knows my inexplicable hatred of South Florida, it'd be nice to see Lousiville get back to where they were under Iggins! favorite coach, Bobby Petrino. (Seriously read that link. Its Iggins! finest rant ever, because he actually uses research and stuff. That's not typically his game)

#13 Boise State 33, San Jose State 16
Boise State begins their march back to a BCS bowl game, which can only disappoint the memory of their thrilling win against Oklahoma in their first.

#11 LSU 38, #9 Georgia 52
LSU's vaunted defense from last season further detoriates, this coming not long after hemorrhaging 51 points against Florida.

#10 Ohio State 6, #3 Penn State 13
Terrelle Pryor finally shuts up ESPN by proving he hasn't quite arrived at Vince Young's level. And god there's no hope of Penn State representing the Big Ten well in the national title game.

#7 Oklahoma State 24, #1 Texas 28
Texas sets up their inevitable glorious loss at the Air Raid's hands. Also, I still don't like Colt McCoy, his fancy 81.8% completion percentage not withstanding.

#6 USC 17, Arizona 10
The scary part is that USC is winning with defense this year.

#5 Florida 63, Kentucky 5
Kentucky's regressed pretty miserably without graduated QB Andre Woodson, and will have a tough time making it to a 3rd bowl in a row. TEBOW and Co. look dominating and a victory over Georgia next week would make them a near-lock for the SEC Championship game.

#4 Oklahoma 58, Kansas State 35

#2 Alabama 29, Tennessee 9
When Nick Saban faces off against Phil Fulmer, America loses.

Code Red Rankings!
1. Texas Tech
2. Texas
3. Alabama
4. Florida
5. Oklahoma
6. USC
7. Penn State
8. Georgia
9. Oklahoma State
10. Missouri
11. Boise State
12. Ohio State
13. TCU
14. Utah
15. LSU
16. BYU
17. Minnesota
18. Tulsa
19. North Carolina
20. Michigan State
21. Oregon
23. South Florida
24. Vanderbilt
25. South Carolina

Prognostication Bukakke! Results Round 1

After 1 week the standings of in the Prognostication Bukakke! are as follows:



Code Red- 8-6


A solid weekend for Iggins! and the father, mediocre efforts from myself, and surprisingly good results for blind chance on the Girlfriend's part. (She did pick the Lions after all).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lou Holtz Says Hold On a Minute

Hey gang, Lou Holtz here. Now the last few weeks there've been some unfortunate incidents of which I have been a part, and Lou apologized sincerely for them. Yesterday here on Start Kyle Orton, my dear friend Code Red may have made a few unfortunate references to two 20th century dictators when attempting to make a point about the Iowa Hawkeyes coach, Kirk Ferentz. Code Red is distraught today over the pain this has caused. He swears that the alleged MS Paint jobs in question were not premeditated and were a heat of the moment slip of the cursor. I personally believe him, and I the old coach hopes you will too.

But seriously, Kirk Ferentz is Hitler

Consider the 2008 Iowa Hawkeyes Motto: Arbeit Macht Frei

Sunday, October 26, 2008

SKO Civil War Week 2008

Kirk Ferentz, center, at an Iowa Pep Rally

2000- Illinois 31, Iowa 0

2001- DNP


2003- Iowa 41, Illinois 10

2004- Iowa 23, Illinois 13

2005- Iowa 35, Illinois 7

2006-Iowa 24, Illinois 7

2007- Iowa 10, Illinois 6

And that's what I've had to fucking deal with the last 8 years. 5 straight wins by Iowa in the rivalry. Iggins! is a maniacal fanatic who'll shlop up anything Iowa throws at him and then spit it out the moment it goes sour. Drew Tate was his idol and he was willing to carry his man child until Tate struggles his senior year and "Iowa'd fuckin win if they'd put in Christensen! Did you see his fucking arm!" was his battle cry. Last year "With Christensen we're going At least 8-4!", he buys his nice little number 6 jersey and they promptly go 6-6. Christensen becomes a swear word in Iggins! household. Next up? "Ricky Stanzi is a fucking Golden God!" Peaks and valleys, friends, peaks and valleys for this "what have you done for me lately?" blasphemer. I won't even get started on how many times I heard "Ferentz is a fucking moron! Run Albert Young!" followed ten minutes later by "WE CAN'T FUCKING RUN WITH ALBERT YOUNG! HE SUCKS! DAMIEN SIMS IS TEH SHIT!"

But I? Oh I have weathered the fucking storm my friends. I was there watching Illinois football when we had Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy and the best defense in the Big Ten, if not the country (the two went #2 and #3 overall in the 1996 NFL draft), and yet couldn't make a damn bowl game because we tied the last game of the season 3-3. Yeah, the offense was that bad. I suffered without complaint as Ron turner went 5-25 in his first three years, enjoyed the 8-4 season that culminated with the raping of Virginia in the Micron PC Bowl (yeah, THE Micron PC Bowl), I saw the rise of Kurt Kittner, who forever holds a place in my heart. Oh did I thrill at the 10-2 Big Ten Championship of 2001, and yes, I still poke pins into my Rohan Davey voodoo doll with regularity. What followed that Big Ten Championship? Ohh, how about a 13-45 record from 2002-2006. I had to watch Jon Beutjer, Chris Pazan, Brad Bowers, and Tim f*&king Brasic play quarterback. Yet I watched every single game that was televised, which mercifully was never more than 4-5 a year with records like that. But oh did the corner seem to turn in 2007! Juice! Rashard! Rejus Benn! Jay Leman! Vonte Davis! Oh the talent ooozed from that team, and at 5-1, having knocked off ranked teams the previous two weeks, Illinois wandered into Kinnick determined to bust their streak against 2-4 Iowa.

And failed. Miserably. How do I describe the effort of a vastly superior Illinois team against the inferior Hawkeyes last year? Imagine you're in love with this extremely attractive girl. She's kindly, but with emphasis, turned you down year after year. Finally she relents and gives you one date to prove yourself. So you think, "Hey, I'll cook her a nice romantic dinner. Women love sensitive guys who can cook!" And you invite her over. But while you try to talk to her you stumble over your words, start flop sweating and ignore the roast, which burns to a crisp in the oven, setting off the smoke alarm. As you fan a towel in front of the smoke alarm to get it to turn off you accidentally elbow the girl in the head and knock her out cold. You panic so badly you piss yourself. You reach to help her and instead slip and wind up headbutting her in the crotch. She wakes up with your head in her crotch and piss stains on your pants. She calls the cops, you get hauled off for attempted date rape and, having realized that you forgot to turn the oven off, watch as your house burns down. That, my friend, was Illinois' effort against Iowa last year.

This year? The situation looks grim. An Illinois team that seems more and more to consist solely of Juice Williams on offense and Vonte Davis on defense has blown to games in which it was favored, against Minnesota and Wisconsin. A resurgent Iowa has shot out to 5-3 (though thats a weeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit deceptive when you factor in that three of their wins have come against AA Maine, 3-4 (in the Sun Belt!) Florida International, and 2-6 Iowa State) behind demi-God Shonn Green (1154 yds, 10 tds rushing) and the typically stout if boring Ferentz defentz. Iowa will most likely be favored heading into Saturday, even though the game will be played in Champaign.

Is there hope? I doubt it. The milquetoast assassin that coaches the Hawkeyes knows how to dominate Illinois consistently and ruin my lunch every single fucking year. Iggins! and I discussed yesterday the uniquely opposite natures of Zook and Ferentz. Zook can take a brilliant recruiting class that should be spotted 10 wins on talent alone and go 7-5, as he did at Florida and is doing this year. Ferentz can throw together five tubby white kids on the offensive line, pick a kid out of the crowd and win 8 games with a team that should win 4. His teams do tend to struggle in years in which they're burdened with huge expectations, but even that can't help Illinois this year as no one but Iggins! (and he says they'll go at least 8-4 every year regardless) thought they'd be impressive.

I'm not going to pray for one more win as epically as Iggins! did last year. I'm not gonna throw up false bravado and act like I expect Illinois to win. They're more talented than Iowa. They were more talented than Wisconsin, Minnesota, and possibly even Penn State too. But talent and coaching are the yin and the yang of the game, and coaching tends to weigh just that tiny bit more heavily, and if that's the case, get ready for at least one more year of this man standing on the sidelines victorious. If he'd even gloat about it I'd actually like him more. But he won't. He'll curl the tiny little corners of his mouth into a smile practically undetectable, credit his line of fat white kids, button up his shirt and go home and make sweet, lights off, God-fearing, missionary position love with his wife.

There is no room for personality in the classless utopia Iowa Football shall create!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Someday I'll Make Up My Mind

Hey, You!


WTF was that?

Seriously man, WTF WAS THAT?

Wisconsin loses three in a row, they fail to move the ball with any consistency other than with the ridiculous field position we gave them through turnovers and ungodly stupid penalties. Look, some of this shit's just getting ridiculous. If stupid penalties and bad calls that cost games are the mark of bad coaching..let's recap-

2008- Wisconsin 27, Illinois 17

-Twice the right tackle was whistled for lining up behind the line of scrimmage. Twice. Both cost us first downs. It shouldn't be that hard to find the line of scrimmage. It's painted on the field. You should point that one out at practice, Coach.

-8 overall penalties for 47 yards, many of which cost Illinois first downs, or turned the 4th and 1 on Illinois' last offensive possession into a 4th and 6th. Fuck nuts.

-The option/outside runs. As in running Juice outside 8 times for 4 yards. Or running the option god knows how many times despite Wisconsin constantly shutting it down. The only yards Illinois gained up the ground were straight up the middle, but those playcalls were lacking.

2008- Minnesota 27, Illinois 20

-This one's really mostly because I can't believe Minnesota's 7-1, but I can blame you inadvertently because their coach interviewed for your job.

2007- Michigan 27, Illinois 17

-This one was ungodly frustrating. Michigan loses their quarterback, runningback, and top wide receiver and we still lose because of 10 penalties for 107 yards, two of which sustained Michigan scoring drives.

-Playing rotating quarterbacks with Juice Williams in Eddie McGee keeps both of them out of synch and leads them to throw for just 106 yards.

2007- Iowa 10, Illinois 6

-This game, of course, led to this. But it was also another example of beating the option into the ground despite zero success. The thing that pissed me off most about this one was TWICE accepting penalties that gave Iowa third down instead of declining them and giving Iowa fourth down. Iggins! will tell you that Kirk Ferentz is not exactly Mike Leach. Gambling's not his business, pink shirts are. Chances are the fucker was going to punt. But no, you had to put them in third in long each time and allow Jake Christensen to complete the only two 10+ yard long passes of his career (possibly an exaggeration, but not by much).

Such a nice man..

- It was Iowa, and even Iggins! predicted an ass-whooping, and you let it through our fingers.

So really that's 4 losses due to poor coaching and preparedness. I respect everything you've done in recruiting and rebuilding this terrible program, but, you know, you could at least work a bit on the x's and o's rather than spending all day txting some blue-chipper "OMG! ILL-INI! BetR n BetR!" Until then, I remain blasé about your very existence.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This week in sports: the bye weeks are for pussies edition

What the hell? Why do both the Bears AND the Hawkeyes have byes this week? What cruel God-Creature would do this to me? Now I don't have an emotional investment in a football game on Saturday OR Sunday! What did I used to do when there was no football on... what happened in the offseason...?...

...OH GOD...


GOD that hurt.

- The Elite XC, the MMA organization best known for allowing a deranged street fighter who has no business in a ring, in a ring, folded yesterday. This means nobody will be able to see Kimbo or Gina Carano fight until they get signed by another fight organization. And if you think that's going to be the UFC, you're a moron. I imagine that conversation would go something like this:

Dana White, UFC President: "EliteXC just folded guys. While that organization WAS overall terrible, gimmicky, probably fixed, and run by an overweight chimp who thought he was a mobster, they still have a few good fighters. Who are we thinking about signing?"

Random Middleman: "Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano seem to get good ratings. How about them?"

Dana: "... leave. Now."

In all seriousness, however, there are a few fighters who will warrant UFC attention. These include Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler.

- The Iowa Hawkeyes look a lot like they did Drew Tate's first year as QB. I ain't sayin, I'm just sayin'. Also, 5-3 (2-2) is MUCH better than that shitty team across the river's 4-3 (2-2). Because fuck the Illini. FEAR SHONN GREENE.

- How is it that Tom Brady keeps making it into the news? He hasn't played since week 1! Is there really nothing more interesting than which doctor did what to his knee and how many times he's had to have it done? Honestly? People do realize that there are actual games being played? There's this whole World Series thing...? No? Oh that's right, because there are no Boston teams playing in it ESPN magically forgets it even exists...

"Where the fuck is Tampa Bay?"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bobby Wade's Quarterback Carousel

Those that know me and have read this site know I have a perverse fascination with the crappy quarterbacks the Bears have trotted out in my life time, so its no surprise I'm absolutely thrilled with this article by Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune in which he discusses the 17 (!) quarterbacks he's played with in only a 6 year career. Now, one could argue that these quarterbacks sucked partially because they were throwing passes to Bobby freakin' Wade, but his comments are insightful and valuable nonethless.

On Kordell Stewart:
"2003 Bears: " The Bears had just brought him in and everyone was excited about him, but it was a flop. That was the end of his career, no doubt. But he was a great leader."

Kordell Stewart a great leader? That's why, 6 years into his NFL career, this guy was remarking on how he couldn't remember any time Kordell's leadership had been praised, that this guy said quote "Add into this mix of incompetence that Stewart's leadership skills have long been in question and that he is perhaps the opposite of a crafty field general. It's all enough to project Stewart as a quarterback who, at the least, should have a challenger to stave off in camp." And don't be so quick on thinking that's the end of Kordell's career Bobby, he has potential as a punter.

Chris Chandler:

"2003 Bears: "One of the savviest quarterbacks I played with. He taught me a lot as far as understanding the game and being where quarterbacks expect you to be."

Chris Chandler, for instance, expected you to be there helping him find the stretcher when he left the game with his 355th injury of the year.

Rex Grossman:

"2003-2005 Bears: "He really competed, and was kind of a maverick. I remember in a preseason game he used a check we didn't have. He completed the pass to me for a first down, but he really caught it from [then-offensive coordinator John] Shoop. That's Rex."

I'm voting for McCain, and yet I too am tired of hearing the word maverick. Also, he probably caught it from Shoop for showing him up by completing a pass for a first down. That ain't Shoop's game baby.

Chad Hutchinson:

"2004 Bears: "We literally picked him up off his couch. I think he was surfing somewhere. But he was a competitor."

If he was on his couch, how could be surfing? And I bet he's right back there now.

Jonathan Quinn:

"2004 Bears: "He was a basket case in the huddle. He had a hard time getting the plays out of his mouth. A heavy-footed guy, with no mobility at all."

That's just fucking hilarious.

Craig Krenzel:
"2004 Bears: "A quiet guy who never really said much. He had a beautiful deep ball. He could throw it over your shoulder really well."

Yeah, beautiful deep ball. Thats why he was 30-67, .45% comp., 465 yds, 2 tds, 3 ints, and had a 59.6 rating on passes over 10 yards. Woof.

Kyle Orton:
2005 Bears: "Our offense was so simple when he was in the game. Ron Turner wasn't comfortable throwing more than about 10 passes a game. He has a big arm and is smart. He doesn't make any mistakes. But he's more of a rhythm guy who drops back, hits the guy he's going to with accuracy, and that's all you're going to get. He isn't the kind of guy to create something if the first read isn't open."

Obviously this isn't true anymore, but in Bobby's defense that was back in Kyle's rookie year. I wonder if Bobby's Vikings still think he can't create something. And God forbid all we get is a quarterback with a big arm who is smart, doesn't make any mistakes, and hits the guy he's going for with accuracy.

Jeff Blake:
2005 Bears: "He would tell you he threw the best deep ball in the NFL. He was a good player who I caught at the end of his career."

I bet most of you forgot Jeff Blake was a Bear. But I agree he was a great player.

The other nine quarterbacks are Titans and Vikings, and you can read the article and make up your own snarky remarks if you want to hear about that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Prognostication Bukakke!

Many of you who have read this site since the beginning know that it started as the joint effort of myself and my friend since 7th grade, Iggins! While we've rarely both posted at the same time, in fact going whole months where only one or neither of us was posting, this site was originally conceived to provide a showcase for our opinions and frequent head to head clashes over various subjects. From the epic Civil War Week the week of the Iowa-Illinois football game, to the Tim Tebow vs. Dennis Dixon Heisman debate (Bam! Torn ACL! No victory as sweet as the victory by default), Iggins! and I headbutted via internet last year as we had in person the previous six years. This year I've decided to up the competition a notch and add a few competitors. So from here to the end of the NFL season, Iggins!, myself, The Girlfriend, and my father will all compete to pick the winners of each game. Whether my obsessive stats research, Iggins! mostly hate-fueled gut instincts, my father's bitter outlook on...everything, or The Girlfriend's completely blind luck shall prevail, no one knows. So without further ado..our picks for week 8 of the NFL season....

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Code Red: Bills
Iggins!: Dolphins
Girlfriend: Bills
Father: Bills

Washington Redskins vs. Detroit Lions
Code Red: Redskins
Iggins!: Redskins
Girlfriend: Lions
Father: Redskins

San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints
Code Red: Saints
Iggins!: Saints
Girlfriend: Chargers
Father: Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Code Red: Cowboys
Iggins!: Buccaneers
Girlfriend: Cowboys
Father: Cowboys

Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens
Code Red: Raiders
Iggins!: Ravens
Girlfriend: Raiders (quote: "whats a bird going to do against a pirate in a football game??")
Father: Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets
Code Red: Chiefs
Iggins!: Jets
Girlfriend: Jets
Father: Jets

St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots
Code Red: Patriots
Iggins!: Patriots
Girlfriend: Patriots
Father: Rams

Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
Code Red: Panthers
Iggins!: Cardinals
Girlfriend: Panthers
Father: Panthers

Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Code Red: Eagles
Iggins!: Eagles
Girlfriend: Eagles (quote: "because an eagle is a more patriotic bird than a falcon")
Father: Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans
Code Red: Texans
Iggins!: Texans
Girlfriend: Bengals (quote: "because the Texans have a stupid, unclever name")
Father: Texans

Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Code Red: Browns
Iggins!: Jaguars
Girlfriend: Browns
Father: Jaguars

New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Code Red: Steelers
Iggins!: Giants
Girlfriend: Giants (quote: "They won the Superbowl last year, right?")
Father: Giants

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Fransisco 49ers
Code Red: 49ers
Iggins!: 49ers
Girlfriend: 49ers (quote: "The Mariners sucked this year, so so should the Seahawks")
Father: 49ers

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night)
Code Red: Colts
Iggins!:Titans. Emphatically.
Girlfriend: Titans. (quote: "they were in a Superbowl once, right? I remember that one")
Father: Colts

So there you have it. We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Awakening from Kyle's Greatness.

Leave it to our hero to stir me out of my post-Cubs depression. Its been difficult the last few weeks. I've had to slowly let myself shake loose the disappointment of baseball season and immerse myself wholeheartedly in football and a Bears team that's been anything but reassuring this season. The point I must touch on is one thats slowly been pointed out in the media the last week: Kyle Orton is good. Damn good, even. This is being thrown out in whispers and hushes, because the last time we saw a quarterback play this good (143-230, 62.2% compl., 1,669 yds, 10 tds, 4 ints, 91.4 rating) over the first two months of the season it was this guy:

and it was the two months of his career that tantalized us and made it so hard for many of us, me foremost of all, to give up on him. At this point Kyle's numbers look extremely similar to Rex's before the Arizona game in 2006:

93-152, 61.1% comp., 1243 yards, 10 tds, 3 ints, 100.8 rating.

These numbers earned Rex the Offensive Player of the Month Award for September 2006 and an article in Sports Illustrated on his rise as Bears quarterback. His decline thereafter is well documented, and we will not touch on it here.

Given the epic decline of Rex, its no surprise that the press and many Bears fans are slow to buy Kyle's success. But there are many reasons to believe that Kyle is not Rex, and here are just a few.

1.) There are two schools of thought in the NFL on how to develop a successful quarterback. Many argue that the quarterback should be thrown into the fires as a rookie and learn on the run, like a Ben Roethlisberger. Others feel he should sit the bench a few years before starting with a complete grasp of the offense, like a Phillip Rivers. Kyle is fortunate enough to have done both, and is in his fourth season, the year when most quarterbacks first put up a break out season (Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Roethlisberger, Tony Romo). Rex sat for all but three games as a rookie, and was injured in his second and third years and unable to gain the grasp of the offense and experience that Kyle earned on the practice field.

2.) Kyle's turnovers have decreased with his playing time, not increased, as Rex's did.

3.)The late game prowess Kyle has shown this year (91.3 rating, 0 turnovers in the 4th quarter), far eclipses the late game shenanigans of Rex in 2006 (43.5 rating, 2 tds, 5 ints in the 4th quarter). Kyle's performances late in these games is crucial to the Bears 4-3 record this year, though his performance in all three losses (especially the Atlanta game) should have been rewarded with a 7-0 record.

4.) Kyle has never had the unequivocal support that Rex once had, and has had to earn his playing time. Rex was frequently criticized for not being able to handle the pressure of competition, Kyle has clearly thrived upon it. Simply put, you appreciate more what you earn through your own efforts, rather than those opportunities which are handed to you.

5.) Kyle has this website.

Many of you are probably asking yourself...wait, Code Red, didn't you yourself advocate starting Rex as late as this summer? To which I must answer: yes. I did. But for reasons other than you may think. Its true I've been seduced by Rex's talent since he was a freshman at Florida. But I too followed Kyle's career at Purdue. My late uncle was once head of maintenance of the sports facilities at Purdue and the free tickets and perks that that job provided us has formed a tight bond with Purdue sports. If you'd asked me as late as 2004 who the two quarterbacks I most enjoyed watching in college sports were I'd have said Rex and Kyle. I've never doubted Kyle's ability. I did believe, however, that Lovie Smith and Ron Turner did. The reason I had hoped Rex would win was my fear that the competition between the two was Rex's to lose, and Kyle was Lovie's second choice. If Kyle won, that meant the playbook would be scaled back and we'd be back to watching John Shoopesque offense. My fears were nearly realized in the Carolina game, when Lovie seemed to take the game out of Kyle's hands and the defense blew a 17-3 lead.

Kyle must have shown Lovie something, however, in those first two games, because Kyle has been in complete control of the offense since week three, and has guided it in a cool, calm, and efficient manner. It's with great pride that we of Start Kyle Orton have seen our mission validated, with results greater than even we dared dream when this quest began last October.