A safe and happy July 4th to all.
Nothing like taking in a history lesson with a tweeting of the Declaration of Independence.
• My favorite fireworks are Darnell Mooney deep target highlights:
• Admittedly, I knew nothing of the Rock Island Independents before today. But that’s the thing about living in a world where endless information is at your fingertips. You can always learn something new every day:
The Rock Island Independents:
👉NFL charter member
👉Played in the first NFL game
👉Won the disputed 1919 world title
👉Developed the NFL’s first great rivalry with the Chicago Bears
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) July 4, 2021
• I realize they were one of the Bears’ first rivals, but we Stan a franchise that beats the Green Bay Packers at a 60 percent clip.
• Back to current times, we knew the Bears’ schedule would have it’s rough patches. But Cynthia Frelund’s framing of Weeks 6-9 simply isn’t nice:
Bears. Lions. Packers. Vikings.
— NFL (@NFL) July 3, 2021
• That stretch of games could be a make-or-break run for a Bears team whose QB situation could be up-in-the-air by the time that quarter of contests kicks off. Then again, I suppose we could say that about Green Bay in Week 6 and San Francisco in Week 8. Do we have any certainty about how Ben Roethlisberger will hold up nine weeks into his age 39 season? We don’t. But we do know the Packers, Bucs, Niners, Steelers stretch has potential to be problematic. Because if all things are equal, it’s three Super Bowl winning quarterbacks and one who was a starting QB1 in a Super Bowl two seasons ago. It’s pretty daunting, to be sure.
• Looking back at it, that Bears schedule has some quirks. Seven of eight home games are at noon on Sunday, which is how the Football Gods want it to be. Five standalone games on national television. The defending Super Bowl champs are among the seven 2020 playoff teams the Bears will see. In fact, because they’ll play the Packers twice, it means they’ll get 8 games against last year’s playoff teams. Tack on a game against the Cardinals (who would’ve made the postseason had they beaten the Rams in Week 17 last year) and 49ers (who are a year removed from a Super Bowl appearance) and it looks even tougher. But nothing worth anything comes easy.
• Khalil Mack is truly one of the wonders of the world if you sit and think about how a man of that size and stature does what he does:
Nobody has used hesitations & stutters to set up their moves better than Khalil Mack did in the 2018 season. Absolutely unreal how silky smooth he was at manipulating his speed & fooling OL before he even executed a move.
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) July 2, 2021
• The grind doesn’t stop after hearing your name on NFL Draft weekend. Nor does it stop after you establish yourself with a solid rookie season. Hence, I love watching young players grind on their way up:
Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson is working this offseason!
CB1 isn’t messing around!
(Video via footdoctor_moe/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/s7P5vCLaMl
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) July 2, 2021
• Unsure what to discuss while standing around the grill today? How about how much you enjoy watching the Vikings trip over themselves. But first, watch this:
• See you in Week 8, Jimmy:
Jimmy G walking around Wrigley. pic.twitter.com/QiuxhpipfE
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) July 3, 2021
• That’s neat. Just wait until Justin Fields owns a team:
As minority stake owners of both teams in the NBA Finals, it’s now Aaron Rodgers’ Bucks vs. Larry Fitzgerald’s Suns for the championship. pic.twitter.com/qZ7Nl5qlCq
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 4, 2021
• There will be some notable exceptions later this summer, but for now, NFL rosters seem pretty set ahead of training camp. So here’s a hockey rumor roundup to hold you over:
Rumor Roundup: Not Trading for Eichel, Keith Looking to Move Closer to Home, Zadorov Contract Talks, Morehttps://t.co/TSej0iDNin
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 3, 2021
• An important reminder:
Just a reminder that the NBA is better when the Bulls are good.
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) July 4, 2021
• The Cubs haven’t won since throwing their combo platter no-no, but their everyday second baseman is back:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 4, 2021