By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) On Sunday the Chicago Bears will beat the St. Louis Rams. I want you to read that statement again. And a third time. Then I want you to say it aloud. Ten times. Then take your lady’s lipstick—or yours if you are a lady or just kinky as hell—and write it on the bathroom mirror. Get some post it notes and write that statement on several and stick them around the house and in your car.

All week I’ve heard too much damn Bears freakout stupidity. Over one game against a very good team. Perish the thought that maybe, just maybe, the Bears aren’t as good as their Colts game, the Packers aren’t as bad as their 49ers game, and losing in Week 2 to the team most logically picked to win the division anyway does not define the Bears season, nor does it change the fact that they’re a top six team in the NFC.

Deep breaths, folks. This coming Monday it will feel just like “OhmygawdtheykilledtheColtsandaregoingtotheSuperBowl” Monday again.

On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.

Would you compare [the replacement referees] to substitute teachers?—@Bshrimp1982

No, and the constant reference to that by media and in-game commentators sort of bothers me. Most subs are at a school for a day or two, and they really don’t teach. They pass out/assign whatever the classroom teacher left in the sub plan and then babysit, kind of like what uninformed jackasses think real teachers do.

The point is that a sub so rarely has an impact on actual learning, whereas a replacement ref does have an impact on gameplay, flow, clock time, strategy, and likely the outcome or at least final score. Those subs you see in the movies like School of Rock or Kindergarten Cop (the greatest teaching-related film ever made, in my humble opinion) are anomalies. Very rarely does someone have to take over for a teacher for an extended period of time, and in cases like maternity leave or an unfortunate circumstance that would keep a teacher out of class for the duration of a semester/year, the “substitute” ceases to be a substitute and is now the teacher.

While they won’t lose the name in the media or public no matter how long they work, if the NFL and referees union don’t reach an agreement this season—and you should probably be prepared for them not doing so—the “replacement” guys are the refs, for better or for worse.

November 20th right around the corner. Need to do an extra set of lunges in the gym to get ready. cc @Ten_Foot_Midget—@Cyrus_T_Virus

See, now that’s just not nice. And you’re perpetuating hate crimes. At least Wikipedia refuses to acknowledge it.

How many Cy Young awards does Sale win this year? How about lifetime?—J. Edgar Mehelic

Likely zero this season. When it comes to handing out baseball hardware like the Cy Young or Gold Gloves, the voters tend to lean toward the sexier names because most baseball writers are awful people, and most writers just aren’t ready for Chris Sale’s jelly. Also, Sale isn’t having the best pitching season in the American League, mind you.

As of right now, the leaders in the clubhouse for the AL award are David Price and Jared Weaver, both sitting on more wins and better ERAs than Sale at the moment. Names like Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander, the two most recent winners, likely resonate more with voters, too. Also, Hernandez, the 2010 winner, showed that writers are starting to not penalize a guy for being on a bad team, so don’t bank on the White Sox likelihood of a division championship being a deciding factor in Sale’s favor.

I do think Sale gets at least one Cy Young Award in his career, though, barring any career-altering injury. The guy can only get better, especially working under Don Cooper, one of the game’s best pitching coaches.

The thing to remember is no lack of an award in baseball invalidates a player’s contribution. Sale is certainly the Cy Young of the White Sox this season, and without him there is no playoff appearance. That’s what matters most. A chance at a World Series trophy is far more important than any individual award, right?

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 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 small Ten Foot Mailbag: Replacement Refs And A Sale Cy Young

Tim Baffoe

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, 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 To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.

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