Guess who spent the fourth quarter of Seahawks/49ers watching Downton Abbey? I did. It was me. Sigh. Oh well, at least I didn’t miss anything crazy…oh…wait. Yes I did. It actually ended in time for me to see the crazy Richard Sherman post-game interview, and while it’s certainly not behavior that I’d want my favorite athlete(s) to display, it was also far less of a crime than Twitter made it out to be, in my opinion. (Shocking that Twitter and the sports media would overreact to something, I know.)
In any case, there are a few Chicago developments to talk about, starting with the title story:
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter cites a source close to Josh McCown who says that McCown won’t retire this offseason. Retirement was an option that McCown himself floated last month in the Sun-Times. It remains to be seen where McCown will be playing; if he wants a chance to start as he nears the end of his career, the Bears are obviously not the best of fits. As Schefter notes, McCown and Mike Vick are the only two free agent starters with any sort of cachet, and it’s very possible that the Bears could be priced out in a bidding war.
- As for my opinion, I wouldn’t begrudge him if he wants to go to a team and get a shot at regular playing time. But as we learned by how he handled this season, he’s incredibly unselfish; I’m not sure that’s how he’ll go about his decision. If the Bears make him a reasonable offer to be the backup for a few more seasons, I think he very well might consider sticking around. (That’s easy for me to say, of course, as I’m not the one hypothetically turning down money and an opportunity to play.)
- The NFL announced Sunday that Charles Tillman was one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Tillman does a lot of great work in the community, which along with his longtime on-field excellence will make it hard to swallow if he does leave this offseason.
- ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright did a Twitter mailbag on Saturday, and he answered a variety of reader questions. Most of them centered around the upcoming defensive rebuild, and they’re well worth the read. Of note, he doesn’t think the team will switch to a 3-4 due to the available personnel, he does think the defense can return to form with a few new players and some added depth, and he thinks the Bears will make every effort to keep Brandon Marshall in the fold despite the emergence of Alshon Jeffery. (Which makes sense to me; you can’t have too many weapons in today’s NFL. Look at the Broncos.)
- Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times has a nice write-up of some prospects the Bears might be scouting at this week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. (His list is defense-heavy, which makes sense considering the Bears biggest needs.) The draft is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to learn some names to watch.
- Finally, and non-Bears, I enjoyed this Alex Prewitt’s look at the world of competitive electric football for the Washington Post Magazine. Yes, the tabletop game, with the vibrations and sliding players. I missed out on that by a generation, but I always thought it looked like fun. (I’d be the first to admit that had I gotten a set, I’d have played with it once and forgotten about it.) It turns out that, as with any competitive hobby enjoyed by more than five people, there’s a national championship convention and everything. It’s a fascinating look at a world I’d never even contemplated.