McGRATH: At long last, Bears have embarrassment of riches at quarterback
BY DAN MCGRATH For Sun-Times Media December 14, 2013 12:08AM
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 29: Snow covers a goal marker before the New Era Pinstripe Bowl between West Virginia Mountaineers and the Syracuse Orange at Yankee Stadium on December 29, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Updated: December 14, 2013 5:58PM
The man doesn’t tweet, but if he did . . .
◆ How is it that the Bears, after wandering through most of their existence with no quarterbacks, suddenly have two? Those clamoring for Josh McCown to supplant Jay Cutler might heed the words of football sage John Madden: A team with two quarterbacks really has none.
◆ McCown is 34, and the Bears are his fifth NFL team, so it’s fair to wonder where all this has been. Then again, McCown hasn’t played for the Quarterback Whisperer before.
◆ That criticism of Marc Trestman’s second-down field-goal try against the Vikings sure went away after the Bears’ 45-point, 490-yard, no-punt evening against the Cowboys.
◆ McCown was 3-2 starting in place of Cutler. Antti Raanta is 5-0 spelling Corey Crawford, and there’s no groundswell for him to replace Crawford as the Blackhawks’ No. 1 goalie.
◆ Curious to see whether the Bears retiring Mike Ditka’s number will provide a little nudge to Da Coach’s marketing career. You know, maybe he picks up a product endorsement here or there.
◆ Notre Dame knows this Pinstripe Bowl it signed up for is later this month, right? Most people rather would visit Yankee Stadium in June or July than in late December. Just sayin’.
◆ Mike Shanahan was 47-17 (.734) with John Elway as his quarterback and is 123-118 (.510) with everybody else. Not sure the line to hire Shanahan will be all that long after he and patient, levelheaded Redskins owner Daniel Snyder inevitably part company.
◆ It’s just not a good day unless it starts with a radio sports minute from Boomer Esiason and ends with one from Doug Gottlieb. Intelligence, wit, insight — none out of three is pretty bad.
◆ The Cubs offered a seat-upgrade opportunity to season-ticket holders this month, and a wise guy asked a staffer if there were any seats available facing away from the field. That was before the Cubs signed Wesley Wright, obviously.
◆ I know, the Bulls didn’t look good losing back-to-back games to the Bucks and Knicks, but the East is so bad they probably would make the playoffs even if they tried to tank the season for a shot at Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins in the draft lottery.
◆ If it were to happen, who gets to tell Tom Thibodeau that the plan is to tank the season? You’d have to be impervious to having your head bitten off — literally. Thibs is one of those uber-competitors who goes for the jugular in H-O-R-S-E.
◆ Anybody see the Blackhawks outscoring the Bulls one of these nights?
◆ Nice of Coach K to attend the Northwestern-Western Michigan game Dec. 7 and catch up with protégé Chris Collins. Too bad he didn’t bring along a few players. Collins’ Wildcats look a little short heading into the Big Ten season.
◆ Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to wind up with Alfonso Soriano or Albert Pujols. The Mariners will be paying Robinson Cano $24 million when he’s 41 years old. And his Mariners uniform will be as spotless as his Yankee pinstripes always were. The man doesn’t dive.
◆ Any disappointment about Hawk Harrelson being bypassed for Hall of Fame enshrinement seems minuscule compared with the angst expended over Ron Santo’s protracted wait. Then again, Santo played here. All Harrelson has done here is talk — at some length and in a style that’s distinctive, but not everybody’s bowl of oatmeal.
◆ Tony La Russa is elected to the Hall the very week Harrelson is denied. There’s a message in there somewhere.
◆ No disputing the Hall of Fame worthiness of La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox. Yet they saw, heard and spoke no evil in the matter of their players’ steroid use.
◆ A columnist (me) who’s as windy as Candlestick Park took some shots at the soon-to-be-demolished ballpark in a recent piece. What he neglected to mention was that on Oct. 17, 1989, while the rest of the Bay Area was shaken like a James Bond martini by the Loma Prieta Earthquake, no harm befell any of the 60,000 souls on the grounds at Candlestick for Game 3 of the World Series. The much-maligned yard was built well, if not wisely.