I’ve been looking forward to this: My friend Ryan released Episode I of his new podcast “Everyone Is Stupid Except Me” with guest Evan Altman of Cubs Insider. I’ve been wanting to get into more podcasts, and I figure the best way to ease into further consumption is to listen to people I know and like.
But also, I’m totally here for the Star Wars and Simpsons references that are on the horizon. If you have podcast recommendations for me, I’m all ears and open for suggestions.
- The wagering public is showing the Bears a ton of love:
- The Bears are the most popular team to bet on winning Super Bowl LIV at Ceasars Palace, and it totally makes sense. Chicago is coming off a 12-win season, employs the NFL’s reigning Coach of the Year, the GM who was voted as the league’s Executive of the Year by his peers, and 19-of-22 primary starters from last year’s top-ranked defense. Sprinkle in some fresh faces via the draft and free agency, as well as some natural progression from third-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky, and you can see why the Bears are a popular bet.
- I also see the Bears’ popularity from a betting perspective as a sign that fans are buying into their team. Bears fans are in every corner of this country, so it’s no surprise that one of the most highly-frequented hotels on The Strip in Las Vegas is getting waves of pro-Bears bets. When fans feel good about their team, odds are they’re going to back it up by putting their money where their mouth is (as the saying goes). Please do not put money in your mouth. You don’t know where it’s been.
- It’s also worth noting three of the other four top-5 teams here are on the Bears’ schedule in 2019. That’s neat. Does that mean tough times area ahead for the Bears? Maybe. But tough times don’t last … tough teams do!
- Time for a smooth and topical transition. The Illinois Senate voted 46-10 to approve SB 690, which will usher in an era of legalized sports betting in the state. The bill (which was also passed by the House) also allows for sizable gambling expansion in Illinois and includes for construction of new casinos in the Chicagoland area. It’s possible that legalized sports betting in Illinois could be up-and-running by the time football season starts, but I wouldn’t hold my breath because things like this take time. But better late than never I suppose.
- From the perspective of an Illinois resident, I hope this wild week for Illinois lawmakers is one that helps make the state better over the long haul. *crosses fingers and toes*
- There are 94 days until the Bears’ season kicks off, so let’s enjoy some Leonard Floyd highlights:
- Jon Greenberg of The Athletic catches up with Taylor Gabriel, one of the Bears’ best route-runners and a favorite target of Mitch Trubisky:
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) June 3, 2019
- Trubisky completed 73.1 percent of his passes and posted a 94.1 passer rating when targeting Gabriel last season. Yes, there were a chunk of passes from Trubisky to Gabriel that were short and easy connections that turned into bigger gains because of the receiver’s speed, agility, and tackle-breaking skills. But also, Trubisky threw some bombs to Gabriel. That ability to be a big-play maker on deep passes, while also posing a threat to take a short pass a long way makes Gabriel one of the most fun players to watch in this offense.
- Nothing like adding fuel to the fire of the narrative that Pro Football Focus simply doesn’t like the Bears. The site shared its top-100 best-graded games of the PFF era, and no Bears players made the cut. HOWEVER, there were six occasions in which Chicago’s football team was on the short end of an epic PFF performance.
- The Jets’ GM search rolls on:
Jets announce they’ve finished interviewing Eagles exec Joe Douglas.
He is Adam Gase’s choice to be next Jets GM. Unless Douglas disappointed in interview, he’s in line to take over.
Fair contract: 5-year deal for $2-2.5M/yr
Bears exec Champ Kelly scheduled to interview next
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) June 2, 2019
- Part of me loves that Bears front office executive Champ Kelly is slated to get an interview with the Jets. Kelly’s involvement in this race shows that the league is respecting what Bears GM Ryan Pace and his staff have done in rebuilding the Bears. But the other part of me hopes Joe Douglas (an ex-Bears staffer who worked under Pace before heading to Philly) gets the gig and Pace can keep his band together for another year.
- This *IS* a good deal:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) June 3, 2019
- Pre-Draft surgeries are all the rage:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 2, 2019
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 1, 2019