Hester’s Ridiculous Wait, Germany on the Horizon? Rooting For Mongo, Arlington PILOT Plan, and Other Bears Bullets
The NBA has had more compelling stories this week than the NFL during Super Bowl week.
I said what I said.
- Devin Hester, The Greatest Return Specialist in the History of the World, was once again snubbed by Pro Football Hall of Fame voters. And, no, I’m not happy about it. Not one bit. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t like it when Hester didn’t get in on the first ballot, but I understood why that was going to be the case. However, Hester not getting the knock and the invite to Canton this time around irks me. As does this trend:
- Hester’s résumé speaks for itself. But he is trending in the wrong direction after Year 2. So while there is precedent for a step back to come before a jump into the Hall, it isn’t something I’m banking on in 2024.
- More on Hester not getting the call to the Hall from Jack M. Silverstein (Windy City Gridiron), Alyssa Barbieri (BearsWire), Dan Wiederer (Tribune), and Patrick Finley (Sun-Times).
- Perhaps there is a chance that Hester can slide in with this class:
- Julius Peppers is a YES for me. Antonio Gates’ accomplishments should have me as a YES, but I’m not sure how voters will feel about the late-in-his-career PED suspension. We know how seriously baseball HOF voters take it, but that is a horse of a different color. In the end, attempting to predict human voting patterns is a chore. And one I’m not willing to dig into at this time. I’m hoping Hester gets a better ending next go-around. It’s not as if he isn’t deserving.
- On the bright side, this gives me a full year to potentially plan out a 2024 trip to Canton with friends who have an interest in making the trek. I had so much fun going in 2018 for Brian Urlacher’s induction. Fun times were had by all. Plus a summertime road trip is just good for the soul. If you haven’t already gone, I’d highly encourage you to give it a shot.
- Speaking of the Bears being on the road, there is a real possibility that this team is playing in Germany next year. Don’t worry, Arlington Heights fans. The Bears are probably heading to your town in due time. And we’ll touch on that momentarily. But first, some chatter:
- A trip to Kansas City has been on my bucket list for a while. Getting world-class BBQ, a trip to the Negro Leagues Museum, and a Bears game was the dream. But part of me felt like the NFL wouldn’t pass on putting Justin Fields and Patrick Mahomes on an international stage. Fields (an up-and-coming quarterback for a heritage franchise with an international following) against Mahomes (the current face of the NFL and its reigning MVP) is the stuff league scriptwriters dream of when they go to bed at night. So, are the Bears heading to Germany in 2023? The answer is quite possibly yes.
- On the one hand, I feel like a hypocrite in not being “in” on a Germany trip after being so geeked up over getting my new passport. But on the other hand, the Bears have some domestic trips that pique my interest. This team has destination road games in Los Angeles (Chargers) and New Orleans (Saints). It also has away games against the Browns (Cleveland is one of my favorite beer cities) and Commanders (I haven’t been to D.C. in forever and I’ve been meaning to change that). Should the Bears (1) spend wisely in free agency and (2) put together a strong draft class, then I’ll make travel plans when the schedule comes out in May.
- Closer to home, NBC Chicago reports Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says a proposed bill that could impact the Bears’ move from Chicago to Arlington Heights has a long way to go. The proposal from State Senator Ann Gillespie would freeze property tax assessments for the Arlington International Racecourse property for up to 40 years. And it would require the Bears to invest at least $500 million in the site, per the Tribune. The PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) plan has my attention, but feels like something that needs work. Even still … we’ll continue monitoring the situation. We’re not out of the woods yet, folks.
- The Bears shared details about a pair of fundraisers for legendary defensive star Steve “Mongo” McMichael, who continues to battle ALS:
- We’re rooting for you, Mongo!
- I’ll never forgive the Jaguars for passing on Aidan Hutchinson and letting him fall into the Lions’ laps. That decision is almost as egregious as the Eagles taking Jalen Reagor when Justin Jefferson was right there for them (ultimately leading to JJettas going to Minnesota). Hutchinson was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year and is going to be a major problem for Bears blockers moving forward. (BN NFL)
- The NBA’s trade deadline came and went without the Bulls doing diddly poo at the deadline. And then they went on to lay an egg against a Nets team that went into sell mode. This is unbelievable:
- Next time, I’ll be more specific when openly hoping the Bulls pick a direction and stick with it because the lane they’re currently riding in ain’t it.
- WELP. So much for the Rangers as a Patrick Kane landing spot:
- I’m taking my talents to South Beach to watch Puerto Rico during that first series of games. Although, I’m unsure if I’m going to dye my hair blonde like my dudes on the squad:
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