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Good morning, frents!
So which non-sports Chicago media person will break big Bears news today? Cheryl Scott? Steve Dolinsky? Walter Jacobson dressed up as a homeless person?
My money's on Tik Tok star Shermann Dilla Thomas. That dude is everywhere.
Flames 5, Hawks 2
Western Michigan 42, NIU 21
Northwestern 78, Georgia 62
Illinois 71, Kansas State 64
Loyola vs. Michigan State (11 am, ESPN)
Bulls at Rockets (7 pm, NBCSCH)
Matt Nagy, this is your life
A third Matt Nagy newsletter in as many days?
Hey, I'm as fatigued over all of this as the rest of you. My initial plan for today was to roll out the Bears-Lions pregame newsletter, make a few jokes about being thankful for the Lions and start getting limber for the Turkey Trot.
But there's no way I'm letting Tuesday's carnival at Halas Hall pass without recording the insanity for posterity. The Lion laughs will have to wait as we marvel at what we saw.
Let's recount the events, shall we?
• The day began when Patch columnist Mark Konkol sent the city spinning with a mid-morning tweet reporting Nagy will coach his last Bears game on Thursday, according to a "top source." Konkol's news created more questions than it answered. Why would the Bears let Nagy coach another game if he was already fired? And why was a news-side Pulitzer Prize winner breaking what could be the biggest Bears story of the season? Was it possible the Bears were bungling the firing of a deeply unpopular coach, their lone layup of the season?
• We did a lot of running around and shrieking on Twitter for the next two hours, stopping only to read a press release from the Cary-Grove principal apologizing for the school's student section chanting "Fire Nagy" during a game Nagy's son was playing in over the weekend. We remembered a time an hour earlier when this looked like it would be the story of the day.
• The day's slate of press conferences at Halas Hall started not with a statement from the team or appearance from someone higher than Nagy on the food chain, but special teams coach Chris Tabor. Having the guy in charge of the kicking tees as your crisis specialist is just PR 101, really. If I'm Tabor, I'm asking for a raise this week. Not only did the front office turn Cordarrelle Patterson into Jakeem Grant, but he also filled in as head coach during Nagy's COVID week and can now add "human shield" to his resume. "To me, there's no story," Tabor said when asked about the Nagy report and the entire controversy ended right there.
• Nagy was late for his 11:45 a.m. press conference, leading us to wonder if he was tunneling out of Halas Hall or dreaming up some Theo Epstein-in-a-gorilla-suit escape.
• When he finally arrived, Nagy assured us that Konkol's report was "not accurate" and did so with the same eye contact and body language Aaron Rodgers used when he told Green Bay reporters he was "immunized." The press conference was a hard one to watch if you like Nagy the person (which I do) and shame on the Bears for having him handle it solo without any higher support. Then again, it's what Nagy has been doing for four years as Ryan Pace hides during each regular season.
• Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor shared a story about a time when one of his head coaches was reported to be fired (sleuths said it was Marvin Lewis), only to have that coach receive a multi-year extension a few weeks later. Spoiler alert for Bill: The Matt Nagy experience will not have a similar ending.
• Thursday's starter Andy Dalton stopped by to tell the media "maybe don't click on things you shouldn't be clicking on." Gotta say: I didn't expect the Red Rifle to offer advice that would have saved the republic had he offered it before most Americans signed up for a Facebook account.
• Allen Robinson said podcast partner Jordan Schultz put him in a "vulnerable position" by reporting a Bears locker room mutiny that was only ever going to be traced back to him. A-Rob denied he was the source and said he didn't need to hide behind anyone to get his message out. If Schultz did do A-Rob dirty, it wouldn't be his first time this year. He also blew the cover off the Phoenix Suns investigation that his old co-workers at ESPN had been working on over the summer.
• The Tribune's Brad Biggs closed out the day with some stellar reporting, detailing that Nagy had met with ownership in the afternoon before canceling meetings for the rest of the day. Biggs' source said Nagy didn't address the report with his team (which left some players angry) and the source wondered if Nagy was simply resigned to his fate after an utterly exhausting day.
So where does that leave us?
Well, if you somehow didn't know that the Bears' dysfunction goes much deeper than Nagy, you do after an all-timer of a day in Lake Forest. Given Biggs' report, I wouldn't be surprised if you close out this newsletter and see actual news of Nagy's firing after they made him go through all of that on Tuesday.
I also wouldn't be surprised if the McCaskeys decide to delay the firing so the first line of Konkol's obituary in this town isn't about his Pulitzer Prize with the Sun-Times, but the time he was wrong on Bears news by a few weeks.
Here's the key takeaway for now, though: There's never a dull moment with the Bears.
But god knows there are plenty of dumb ones.
Know a Bears fan who would enjoy reading this? Forward it to them!
News and results
Sox: Kendall Graveman headed to the South Side
Rick Hahn is giving big money to another reliever, signing the 30-year-old righthander to a three-year deal worth $24 million. Graveman is a former starter who has excelled after moving to high leverage innings in the bullpen at the end of 2020. Graveman is coming off an excellent 2021 with the Mariners and Astros, posting a 1.77 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 56 innings of work.
Hawks: Loss in Calgary ends road trip
They were in this one late despite being outshot, but a Matt Tkachuk goal with 5:35 left and two empty-netters broke things open in the third. The Hawks went 2-2 on this road trip and are now 6-11-2. Next: The Hawks return to Chicago and play the Blues during a Friday matinee.
NIU: No Rocky, no victory
QB Rocky Lombardi sat out the season finale with the MAC West already clinched and it cost the Huskies in a 42-21 loss to Western Michigan in DeKalb. Fun highlight, though! Clint Ratkovich scored on a 96-yard fullback dive, the longest touchdown run for NIU since the 1930s. Next: NIU will play the winner of Saturday's Miami-Kent State game in the MAC championship in Detroit on December 4.
1. Mark Lazerus gets the ball rolling on the Toews/Kane extension speculation. I plan to write on this soon because I have ... thoughts. The Athletic
2. Alex Shapiro with five possible replacements for Nagy. NBC Chicago
3. Logan Whaley thinks the Cubs are targeting a distinct offensive profile with the Harold Ramirez signing. Cubbies Crib
4. Kyle Beach and the Blackhawks have agreed to mediation as they seek to settle the sexual assault lawsuit. ESPN
5. An interview with King Kemo, the Chicago choreographer behind Iman Shumpert's win on Dancing With The Stars. The Triibe
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