By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Ugh, the Bears bye week. It’s like that point in time on Christmas morning as a kid after you’ve opened all your presents and are jacked as hell to get to playing with them, but before you can your parents make you clean up the mess of paper and ribbon and blood and crying little brother who got the blonde Barbie instead of the brunette (don’t ask).
With the Fantasy element and our natural lust for carnage in play regardless, your NFL team’s bye week isn’t as bad as, say, the All-Star Break for baseball fans where they’re subjected to getting nothing but a steroid contest that Chris Berman manages to turn into a tire fire as well as an exhibition game that affects the playoff outcome because the league’s commissioner is a bumbling fool.
So, yeah, having no Bears this weekend sort of sucks, especially coming off the high of the last two games. And this also is the annual Fall Sunday that most ladies who aren’t a Stepford Wives make their husband or boyfriend fix that leaky faucet or have brunch at her mother’s house because for some reason she can’t comprehend how, even though the Bears aren’t technically playing today, the Giants vs. 49ers game is of crucial importance to the NFC playoff seeding shakeout later in the year, so it kind of is a need-to-watch game, just like while our son isn’t old enough for school yet we should still keep tabs on the goings on of the local school board and the new cutbacks our district is making particularly in the arts and you always said you want your son to play an instrument maybe even the clarinet but maybe now he won’t be able to play the clarinet but how will we know if we don’t keeps tabs on the funding issues in the district do you have something against the clarinet and are you trying to tell me brunch is more important than our son’s future is that what you’re telling me I certainly hope not and it’s not like we won’t see your parents at Thanksgiving and your dad can ask me again if people take seriously someone who “writes for the computer” and are you willing to compromise our kid’s well-being in school? You go to your mother’s today. I’ll stay home and plan for the future.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.
Is there a single cogent argument as to why I should give a fat friar’s fart about Cutler’s sideline demeanor? #TFMB—@MOutfielder
Until a coach or teammate explicitly says that Cutler’s attitude is having a tangible effect on the team’s performance, i.e. causing them to lose, then having a problem with his indifferent looks is just so completely stupid. The Bears are 28-18 in the regular season with Cutler at the helm, and his facial expressions and posture on the sidelines have zero to do with that.
What’s important is winning games and the trust of fellow Bears. In fact, his teammates love the guy, which I know infuriates the dumb fans who want a specific narrative that just isn’t going to happen in the same way they want it for Lovie Smith not being fiery on the sidelines. The best part is Cutler doesn’t care about what fans think of him, and he’s not going to change a thing, and I enjoy that that bugs the hell out of people.
Okay, who’s the better Sloan(e): Sabbith or Peterson? #TFMB—@MrElliot
I will always have a spot in my heart for Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She was maybe the first girl I saw on screen and thought to myself, “I want that,” even if I didn’t know what “that” was. (I’m still not sure if I know, actually.)
As I grew older, though, I always knew I could never have a Sloane Peterson. While I shared many Buelleresque qualities such as the ability to charm adults, talk my way out of problems, and give well-timed witty retorts, I didn’t have a shred of the confidence Ferris had. Ditching school like that? My parents had done a good enough job of putting the fear of God into me to never try something close to what Ferris did. But that is totally what draws an ubercool, uberhot Sloane to an otherwise ferrety nonjock like Ferris.
And then Mia Sara did Timecop and left a bad taste in America’s mouth.
Now, Sloan Sabbith. Hot nerd lady. Yes, please. The best part about her is that she’s so outwardly unconfident. Outwardly unconfident hot women are the best because those are the hot women that will talk to me.
And Olivia Munn scores bonus points because she used to be a member of The Daily Show. So, yeah.
I read your columns weekly, enjoy your perspective, and wanted to shoot you a note in response to your recent “Talk More Hockey” post. I’m a huge Blackhawks fan. I remember listening to games on the radio when I was a kid (because the games weren’t televised) and 6-8 years ago my buddies and I were the goons still going to 15 games a year when the team sucked because we could sit in the 300s for $8, bring flasks of whiskey and kick each other in the shins whenever the Hawks scored a goal. Heck, we’d throw elbow jabs at my one buddy whenever there was a fight just because it was fun.
Over the last 5 seasons, I can’t express how happy I’ve been to see not only the excitement surrounding the Blackhawks in Chicago shoot up like a hockey stick, but the popularity of hockey as a whole. Sure, now I can only get to 1 or 2 games a year because face value for a Wednesday night game against the Panthers is $92, but that same group of friends will meet up for 2 or 3 games a week at Four Shadows or another spot airing the game and sit on the edge of our seats along a long wooden bar.
Chatter is constant, ESPN has finally come around on covering hockey and not just sports Jay Z and LeBron are interested in, and TV ratings for regular season and playoff hockey are through the roof. But fans may have just had enough. After the last lockout, the regulars welcomed NHL hockey back with open arms. Shortly after, the casual fans came around followed by the newbies who were just discovering the most exciting live sport in the country. We understood the league was broken, and needed help. There was expected disappointment that comes with the loss of an entire season, but what has followed more than made up for a lockout which has become a distant memory.
Until now. Camp should be closed, preseason games ought be airing and the regular season should be primed to start, but there is nothing. The outlook is bleak, chatter is low, and the fans might just be fed up with it all. Is this how it works? Collectively, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars in support of these teams and every 7 years we’re going to have to deal with a missed season? Gary Bettman and every owner in the league are fools if they have not realized that hockey is the most popular it has been since the golden age in the 1960s, and they are jeopardizing that popularity by publicly arguing over a few percentage points of how to divide the money fans are paying. Not their money, the fans money. Certainly it’s not cut and dry, there are issues with max contract lengths and durations, league revenue sharing, etc. But at the bottom line the perspective is that there are billionaires and millionaires in a standoff of how to divide the money they get from people who make $50,000 a year.
And frankly, I think the fans have had it, and that’s why you don’t hear the chatter. I want nothing more than to be sitting at a tall bar table arguing about who should be paired together on the defense, who our 3rd line center should be and how quickly into our first matchup with the ‘Yotes someone should take off Raffi Torres’ head. Answer: within the first 10 seconds he’s on the ice, in case you were curious.
I certainly hope they get this resolved, sooner rather than later, and we have something that resembles a hockey season. Sooner would be better as I snagged seats to the Nov 2 game vs. Nashville. Can’t beat Friday night hockey.
Anyway, just wanted to toss over my opinion, and in plug of shameless self-promotion, check out the Bears blog a couple friends and I started this year.
Fair enough. I take exception with believing ESPN has “come around” to covering hockey. They haven’t. Also, basketball is a more popular sport domestically and globally, hence the Leader’s coverage of it (besides also having broadcasting rights to games, which they don’t have with the NHL, so some bias on their part has to be expected). No need to compare hockey to basketball, though, in that tired, unwinnable debate.
Before I thankfully leave you all for the week, I need to be thankful to someone leaving for a while. 670 The Score’s Jason Goff is leaving the station after today to take a job hosting a show on a new sports talk station in Atlanta. I’ve said it already on social media and to him, but truly I couldn’t be happier for a guy I don’t know as well as most at The Score but know well enough to honestly say what a good person he is, and I can think of nobody else at the station that deserves it more than Jason.
When I was in the running for this gig, I was asked on a questionnaire which Score personality I admired most. Without hesitation I wrote down Jason Goff, and that was before I had anything more than a random meeting in passing with the guy. Since Day 1 Jason has been nothing but supportive of my strange little contribution to CBS Chicago’s page, and while he probably never considered something like mentioning one of my columns on air or doing a simple retweet of one online to be anything major, it was major to me, and I will always be appreciative of such things, as well as what a good guy he has always been to me privately (on the air—total jerk, though).
For selfish reasons, I hate to see him move on and move up because I really am one of his biggest fans. But I am far more excited than I am sad to see a talented, funny, genuine man who has worked hard get his due. Good luck to him in Hotlanta, and I eagerly await hearing online the day he starts referring to Chicago teams as “a bunch of bums.”
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at email@example.com. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.