Cubs Social Media Night is one of my favorite days of the year, as it brings together a bunch of internet friends to watch baseball at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has kept fans from gathering at baseball stadiums. But thanks to technology, we were able to get the gang together over a video chat. It wasn’t perfect, but it was exactly what I needed.
• Close your eyes, make a wish, and blow out some candles. The Chicago Bears turn 100:
• Some of you might be thinking: “Didn’t we do this last year?” And my response to that is: “Kinda.” The Bears franchise was founded in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys. HOWEVER, they did not become the Chicago Bears until this date in 1920. Yes, I realize it’s a technicality. But it’s also one that’s worth pointing out. I mean, could you imagine the alternate universe where the Staleys never leave Decatur?
• Jack Silverstein – a must-follow on Twitter – came through with an awesome NFL history thread as the league also turns 100 today:
100 years ago today — Sept. 17, 1920 — representatives of 11 gridiron clubs met in a car dealership showroom in Canton, Ohio, at 8:15 p.m., and organized what would become the National Football League.@WCGridiron @gridironborn @cdwillis83 pic.twitter.com/Fg3h0UIQcq
— Jack M Silverstein (@readjack) September 17, 2020
• It’s wild to think about the cities originally represented in the NFL including Akron, Canton, Dayton, Massillon (in Ohio), Decatur and Rock Island (in Illinois), Hammond and Muncie (in Indiana), and Rochester (in New York). And to think, the only teams remaining from that group are the Bears (who we’ve established were once the Decatur Staleys) and Cardinals (who have been the Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix, and now, Arizona Cardinals).
• A B1G decision has been handed down:
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols and has voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020: https://t.co/b5yHShGb1D
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) September 16, 2020
• Big Ten football is back, and it gives me mixed emotions. On one hand, I have long enjoyed watching the conference battles between some of the midwest’s most prestigious universities. Charles Woodson is my favorite player to never wear a Bears uniform, in part, because of his excellence every Saturday when Michigan showed up on my television as a national game of the week. Then again, I can’t shake the feeling that the return to football is more about money than it is improving conditions during a global pandemic. The optics of reversing course to open up the football season while campuses are shut down and many students are learning remotely just doesn’t line up. Hopefully, the Big Ten takes all necessary safety precautions and can get through this season without any issues. I have my doubts, but I’m rooting for a completion of an entertaining season.
• At least we can agree that this is pretty funny:
• Some big winners from the Big Ten deciding to return to football include prospect we’ll probably want to keep tabs on:
Big Ten draft prospects that benefit most from having 2020 tape (by position):
DL- Earnest Brown, N’western
EDGE- Jonathon Cooper, OSU
OLB- Baron Browning, OSU
ILB- Paddy Fisher, N’western
SS- Brad Hawkins, Michigan
FS- Deontai Williams, Nebraska
CB- Raheem Layne, IU pic.twitter.com/PlQqTjP48x
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 16, 2020
• Also, this guy:
I’m on a new level.. pic.twitter.com/yZErhNQEPX
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) January 30, 2020
• If we’re going to make note of Trevor Lawrence’s pending entrance into the 2021 NFL Draft waters, then we should also keep up with Justin Fields, who is arguably the second best draft-eligible QB prospect in next year’s class.
• Mitchell Trubisky’s throw? Awesome. Anthony Miller’s catch? Ridiculous. Allen Robinson’s sixth sense telling him a touchdown was about to happen? That’s otherworldly:
Was just mentioned on @gmfb in their Anthony Miller interview, I totally missed this. Allen Robinson is celebrating the game-winning TD with Miller still at the 10 yard line pic.twitter.com/HYYYMQNN4Y
— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) September 17, 2020
• You better recognize:
Joe Judge on Anthony Miller: "This dude plays with a high motor. I can't find a snap on the field where this guy ain't going 0 to 60 in two steps. He plays fast. He plays explosive. I'm talking to our players about every snap (with him). You better bring it on every snap."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) September 16, 2020
• Heads up for you sports bettors in Illinois: PointsBet is doing the Bears +89 points(!) this weekend. I’m not gonna say that’s a free win, because I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but yeah, I’m pretty sure the Bears aren’t going to lose by 90 points.
• A side-by-side look of something we brought up the other day:
• Look who’s running wild:
Most Expected Rushing Yards per Attempt
Team Offense, Week 1
1. Bears (5.6)
2. Titans (5.0)
3. Jaguars (4.7)
4. Eagles (4.7)
5. Steelers (4.7)
These offenses created the most opportunity for rushers at the moment of handoff according to our new Expected Rushing Yards model.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 17, 2020
• An internet poll listed Matt Nagy as a possibility to be the first coach fired this year because people will do anything for internet clout. I already gave them the quote tweet they likely desired when they made said poll in the first place. But also, the Bears have never fired a coach in season during my lifetime. And I can’t imagine they’d do so now with a coach who is 21-12 at this point of his coaching career. I mean, they didn’t push John Fox out the door when his teams took a tumble. Marc Trestman didn’t get the boot when the inmates were running the asylum during the second year of his brief tenure. Through hat lens, Nagy’s gig feels safe.
• Moreover, Nagy is 21-12. He staved off a potential mutiny last year when receivers anonymously voiced their displeasure with Mitchell Trubisky. Like … c’mon, now. Let’s not be foolish for the sake of clicks.
• The Bears had some visitors:
Hakeem Butler visiting Panthers
Devante Bond, Dieter Eiselen visiting Bears
Abdullah Anderson, Breeland Speaks visting Vikings
John Battle, Christian Kuntz visiting Steelers
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 16, 2020