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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Episode 7 of the Podcast is Now Up!

Episode 7 of the Podcast Live at 6:15

Do not fret, part two of round one of the Worst Bears Players of All Time (Since 1997-ish) is on the way.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Ghost of Lovie Smith, Apparently

I apologize for our lack of content in recent weeks, but after the draft there just isn't much to talk about until actual football starts happening again. Fortunately for me, this doesn't stop the good folks of the Chicago sports media from trying.

Before I start this one, I want to say that I actually respect Dan Bernstein. His radio stuff is pretty good, despite his sometimes inflammatory opinions, and he always offers sources and numbers to back his shit up on air. Plus, his defense of Jason Collins and gay rights in general on the day Collins came out was truly inspiring. He seems like a standup guy and a solid radio host. Unfortunately, whenever he sits down at a keyboard, terrible things happen.

Today's drivel is titled "Briggs' Response Shows Bears' Identity Challenge." And let me tell you now, it is extremely difficult to follow. The essential thrust of the column, if it has one at all, is that Lance Briggs' refusal to answer questions about Brian Urlacher not being signed means half of the team doesn't respect Marc Trestman and will play poorly.

And so, with a heavy sigh, I turn on the italics.

The Bracket, Halfway through Round 1:

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Episode Six of the SKOdCast is Up: The Tournament Begins!

Episode Six of the SKOdCast: The Worst Bears Players of All Time (Since 1997), Tonight at 6:15 PM Listen live as we discuss, tournament style, the worst Bears of players of our recent collective memories, and Brian Urlacher's retirement.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This Week's Episode of the SKOdCast has been Postponed!

Due to conflicts, we'll be seeing you next week. Don't worry, we have something very special planned.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Episode Five of the SKOdCast Now Up:

Episode 5 of the SKO Podcast Tonight at 6:15 PM

Follow along live as we cover:

-The Draft, Part Two: Other teams did stuff, too:
           - Seriously, what the hell is Jacksonville doing?
           - The Plight of Geno Smith
           - Seriously, I'm still laughing at the Jets
           -Oh hey, turns out nobody wanted Manti Te'O

-The Horiffic Condition Afflicting Rookie Quarterbacks on a Yearly Basis

-What did the rest of the NFC North do?

-Goddammit, Bears Fans.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Dead Period Home Stretch: How to Identify the Danger Signs

 photo Danger-Sign_zpse6296670.jpg

It's the worst time of year right now, Bears fans. You got past the February-May lull where the only football news is draft conjecture that (as we especially have seen) is largely completely goddamned worthless. But now what to look forward to? We have May, June, July, and half of August to sit here and think about football without actually seeing any. And you know what that does to people?:

Yeah. So instead of that, most people just start reading the ESPN NFL tab for offseason news. This, my friends, believe it or not, is even MORE dangerous than taking care of a cavernous hotel, infested with ghosts, cut off from civilization, being directed by Stanley Kubrick. Lucky for you, I'm here to attempt to steer you clear of the many Second Dead Period pitfalls. Without further ado:

1. The "I saw this in practice and it is sure to be a focal point!" wave.

Remember every article you ever read about how Devin Hester "finally got it" and he was going to be a "big part" of the offense? File that here! The most important thing to note about this category is that Michael C. Wright and the rest of the guys who watch practices open to the media have exactly as much evidence and insight into the Bears this upcoming season as we do, they just get paid to write about it.

Consider this: You are coaching a football team. You have hundreds of people surrounding you with high-tech video and audio equipment. These people's jobs are quite literally to lay bare your entire operation. Are you going to give anything away? Yes?... should I bring out more Shining videos to show you what you turn me into?

An interesting note: last season before the preseason Michael C. Wright hosted a chat. He had just reported that Hester would be the #2 receiver, with Alshon in the slot and BBE presumably eating Skittles. I asked, why, why would the Bears do that? It makes no sense! His reply: "I don't know, but that's what I saw!"

So, case closed.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

People I Hate: You, If You're Still Whining About the Bears Passing on Tyler Eifert

I'll give Bears fans more credit than I usually do. After an initial panicked reaction by many on the actual night of the first round, the general consensus seems to be a calm, rational "let's see how this plays out" regarding Kyle Long. However, the few people who are still desperately clinging to the idea that this was a wasted first round pick, be they fans or media talking heads (lookin' at you, Kiper and Steve Rosendouche), seem to be basing their complaints less on any perceived shortcomings of Long's and more on the opportunity cost in terms of a player the Bears passed on, namely one Tyler Eifert.

If this description applies to you, well, I warn you, if you read my following reasons as to why you're a moron, they will probably break you. Don't worry, though, I will rebuild you into something better, smarter, and more knowledgeable in the ways of the football, like me.

Without further ado, here's why Phil Emery wasn't wrong to pass on Tyler Eifert:

A #2 Tight End was absolutely nowhere near this team's biggest need:

Quick, write a list of the top three reasons why Jay Cutler has struggled at times as a Bear. I'll wait.

Got it? Okay, if your list had "he really needs a great pass-catching #2 Tight End!" anywhere ahead of: 1. Absolutely shitty offensive line play, 2. Inconsistent and sometimes clueless coaching, or 3. His tendency to fire fastballs to opposing defensive backs when he's frustrated, I'd really like you to go drink a nice, tall glass of battery acid.

I hope that hurt. The Bears have plenty of targets. They have Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, and two very good pass-catching runningbacks, among others. They hope they've address the coaching problem by hiring Trestman. In order to fix #3, they need to fix #'s 1 and 2, and they're hoping to do that by drafting Kyle Long. Literally none of the above problems are solved with a backup tight end.

Yes, I said backup tight end:
Do you know who this is? It's okay if you don't. Mel Kiper and the ESPN crew seemed to quite stubbornly ignore his existence while urging the Bears to take Eifert so that Mel's precious big board would look a little less stupid. This is Martellus Bennett. He's a bit of an odd fellow. He calls himself the Black Unicorn and raps about Cap'N'Crunch.

He's also a damn good tight end. According to Pro Football Focus he's been one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL since he entered the league, and last year, in his first year free from the shadow of Tony Romo's favorite target Jason Witten, he racked up 626 yards receiving and 5 TDs by catching over 61% of the balls thrown his way. He's your starter, and that's a good thing, so you're lobbying for a backup with your first round pick.

"But, but, the Patriots!":

Oh, right, the Patriots have had so much success with Aaron Hernandez and the Gronk. It's the way of the future! EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE TWO SUPER AWESOME TIGHT ENDS!

Well, last time I checked the Patriots had the highest scoring offense in history before they had either of those two on the roster. It turns out that Tom Brady, with time behind a great offensive line (and that's key here, folks), can make any assortment of pass-catchers, regardless of position, into a damn good offense. Doesn't mean that's the only way to fly.

Also, the Bears had two pretty decent pass-catching tight ends with Cutler once, in 2009, and he couldn't hit Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen with his face in the turf.

If the Bears DO want two pass-catching tight ends, well, there's always Evan Rodriguez, the big hulking guy who runs a 4.5 forty and drew comparisons to Aaron Hernandez coming out of college for his great hands, good speed, supposedly questionable blocking ability, and because of the unwritten scouting law that you can only compare prospects to someone of the same ethnicity. It turns out Rodriguez actually blocks really well, and he led all Bears tight ends with 3 catches for 49 yards in the preseason, and Mike Tice's natural response to this surprising upside was to make a fast, versatile athlete into a blocking-only fullback while Kellen Davis kicked all of our hopes and dreams in the testicles. Trestman is on record as saying he sees a lot of potential for Rodriguez in the passing game, provided he can avoid further incidents with the law.

Hey, what if Tyler Eifert's not really any good?

I know, I know, it's unthinkable a highly-touted prospect from Notre Dame could be overrated. Such things have never happened before in the history of football. Interestingly enough, Eifert drew a lot of comparisons throughout his career to Stanford's Coby Fleener, the top tight end in last year's draft who ended up with a whopping 281 yards receiving last year and a spot on the depth chart behind the Other tight end his team drafted. It's also hard to find a single scouting report of Eifer that doesn't criticize his blocking abilities to some extent, so excuse Phil Emery for not falling all over himself to draft the next Greg Olsen (who, by the way, finally surpassed 612 yards receiving for the first time in his career on the sixth try, and we're all super proud, Greg). I mean, if Eifert ends up as just another tight end who is little more than a big wide receiver, that would seem to be of less value to a team that really, really needs blockers than, say, a really talented guard.

We get it, you just really like Notre Dame:

Seriously, just, like, shut up already.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rick Morrissey's Second Apparently Weekly Mental Collapse

Let me first take this opportunity to gloat over the fact that I, and not Rick Morrissey, was totally right about the Bears' first-round pick. However, I can do better than that today because Rick apparently is determined to crank out an even stupider column this week. And he just may have succeeded! 

This week's cannon fodder is entitled "Heredity Made Long Easy Choice for Bears." If you couldn't gather from the title what it's about (in which case, thanks for reading, Telander!), Morrissey is boldly claiming that the only thing Emery saw in Kyle Long was his dad's last name. As ever, his disjointed thoughts are in italics. 

I don’t want to minimize the work that Bears general manager Phil Emery and his staff did in preparation for the draft, the hours they put in and their lack of anything resembling a personal life the last year or so. 

“But I’m going to.”

Episode Four of the SKOdCast Now Up:

Episode Four of the SKOdCast Tonight at 6:15

Follow along live as we discuss:

-The Bears Draft
-Pretty much just the Bears draft
-We ♥ Phil Emery
-Goddammit, Bears Fans and the Stupid Things They Said About the Draft