It’s the Friday before the Super Bowl and I’ve finally figured out what I’m cooking and bringing to the party I’m heading to where I’ll watch the game. If you’re still undecided about a dish, might I suggest my friend Jim’s short rib chili recipe? I made it a few times during the football season and even my pops was impressed … and he’s not an easy one to win over. So if you want to make some new friends over food, that’s the play this weekend. And if chili isn’t your thing, there are other recipes that might be in your wheelhouse here.
Sweet Home CHICAGO! https://t.co/Dg5G6HYSZD
— Robbie Gould (@RobbieGould09) January 31, 2019
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) February 1, 2019
— Robbie Gould (@RobbieGould09) January 31, 2019
- The idea of Chicago bringing back Robbie Gould went from something your friends said in rage after every missed Connor Barth, Cairo Santos, Mike Nugent, and Cody Parkey kick to something that feels somewhat realistic. Gould has an unrivaled love for Chicago and dropped a more not-so-subtle Chicago love when randomly running into ex-teammate Earl Bennett. There is a storybook ending here that could be written for the Bears and Gould, but it can’t be put in ink for another 40 days when the new league year begins.
- File this in the captain obvious folder: CBS Sports NFL/special teams analyst Jay Feely tells Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune that Gould should be at the top of the team’s offseason wish list. He doesn’t believe the Patriots will allow Stephen Gostkowski to walk away as a free agent, which leaves Gould as the top free agent option. Feely says Belichick knows the value of kicking excellence and views special teams as “the foundation of everything they do” which feels like a stretch … but I’ll allow it. Bears fans have long known how special teams can win or lose a game, and that was before Parkey was doinking uprights. Now that GM Ryan Pace and these Bears have experienced it, it’s only a matter of time before change comes.
- No matter who joins the Bears next season as their new kicker, they’ll be teaming up with a squad led by a coach who has been universally praised for what he did with the team last year. Bleacher Report’s panel of NFL experts named Matt Nagy their Coach of the Year for leading the Bears to a 12-4 season and NFC North title. Nagy was a near unanimous choice, with Bill Belichick (Patriots) and Anthony Lynn (Chargers) also receiving one vote. The postseason ended abruptly, but in no way can you take away what what Nagy did to change the culture and attitude of a franchise that was suffering through four consecutive losing seasons before his arrival.
- Quarterback Mitch Trubisky didn’t win BR’s vote for Most Improved Player, but he received a vote and that means something. There is no denying the improvements Trubisky made from his rookie season to Year 2, so it’s good to see him get some acknowledgment from outside the room – even if it’s one single, solitary vote. Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith was the leading vote-getter, but it was a tight race with Colts tight end Eric Ebron, Rams quarterback Jared Goff, and 49ers tight end George Kittle getting some love in the process.
- If the Bears’ Pop-Up Video re-boot has to hold us over until football season, then I’m here for it:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 31, 2019
- More on Julius Peppers in a bit, but I remember this being a popular sentiment too:
What a career for @juliuspeppers_ I remember the Packers signing him after the Bears thought he was done. Five years ago.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) February 1, 2019
- What made Peppers’ departure worse was that he took to the 3-4 defense in Green Bay really well. Meanwhile, the Bears replaced Peppers with Jared Allen, who spent his entire career as a 4-3 pass-rusher who wasn’t equipped to handle the duties in a 3-4 front at the tail end of his career.
- And because Carolina’s style of basketball had me hooked as a kid, let’s enjoy the ultra-athletic Peppers catching lobs on the hardwood:
"Curry and Peppers turning out to be quite a spicy dish"
Remember when Julius Peppers was catching lobs from Ronald Curry at UNC? pic.twitter.com/HvKzT2grUH
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 1, 2019
- Golf at Soldier Field? Fine. Just don’t tear up the green stuff too badly:
First, golfers got the chance to tee it up at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Come April, they'll have an opportunity to do the same at Soldier Field.https://t.co/tlke9YCFkV
— Chicago Sports (@ChicagoSports) February 1, 2019
- This is touching stuff here from Zach Miller and the Bears, who help a Wisconsin family honor the life and memory of their 18-year-old son Cameron Nahf, who died in a car accident while driving himself and his younger brother to school:
- We have a new episode of Talkin’ Toros, in which I explain to Myles and Adam my gambling strategy and explain why the Bulls’ stubbornness in rebuilding is unacceptable:
— Talkin' Toros (@TalkinToros) February 1, 2019