Mar 5, 2020 5 min read

Now serving: Eli Manning to the Bears rumors

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Stop it: Eli is not signing with the Bears

Just when I thought it was going to be a quiet Wednesday night, Chicago twitter started buzzing that Eli Manning was in town having dinner with the Bears.

That couldn’t be true, right? The first surfaced rumor was easy to dismiss because it came from a Barstool account with a dog for an avatar.

But then Cole Wright, a new anchor for the Marquee Network zeroed in on the restaurant with a tweet a few hours later.

Wright would later push off his “scoop” on another Twitter user who went radio silent … but the damage was done. The thought of 39-year-old Manning in a Bears uniform being the “competition” for Mitchell Trubisky began to melt a few brains.

I’m not sure who needs to see this in big and bolded letters, but here goes anyway:

Eli Manning is not signing with the Chicago Bears.

Let’s go ahead and say that Manning was at one of Chicago’s best restaurants with apparently faceless members of the franchise. (And the absence of identity in these “reports” is itself suspicious. Was it Ryan Pace? Virginia McCaskey? Staley Da Bear?  An Uber driver who picked up Eli from O’Hare and decided to claim he was Ted Phillips?)

It still doesn’t mean it was anything but dinner because it literally can’t be anything else. Eli announced his retirement from the Giants at the end of the season, but he’s still technically under contract with the team until March 18. Even if he quickly changed his mind about retirement, he can’t talk to anyone else until that date.

So … do you really think the Bears are going to risk a tampering charge by taking an old quarterback out to a very public dinner at one of the hottest restaurants in the city two weeks before they’d legally be allowed to do so?

The answer is no and it ends the conversation before we get to literally any of the other dozen reasons signing Manning would be a terrible idea. (I do, however, like picturing the awkwardness that would ensue if Eli had to ask Mitch to give up No. 10.)

I’m sure this won’t preclude any of the morning debate shows from wringing what they can out of the random tweets, but hopefully we hear an explanation for Eli’s presence in our fair city sooner rather than later.

If it was even him in the first place.

Need to convince someone Eli isn’t coming to the Bears?

Wednesday’s results

Timberwolves 115, Bulls 108
Jim Boylen is angry, you guys. He really wanted to see more rebounding from the team, even though he was throwing out four-guard lineups on the floor.

At least Coby White — 26 points, 6 assists — has pulled his February into March.

Wisconsin 63, Northwestern 48
’Cats fall to 2-17 in the Big Ten, Badgers win their seventh straight

Spring training
Sox 5, Brewers 1
Dylan Cease was good, striking out five, walking none and giving up one homer in four innings of work. Hotshot prospect Andrew Vaughn continued his impressive spring with contact that sounded like a gunshot.

Cubs 6, Reds 6
Tyler Chatwood had an impressive day too, striking out five over three innings and allowing only one hit, a home run to Josh VanMeter. Craig Kimbrel gave up a home run to Derek Dietrich in his one inning of work, but his velocity was where it needed to be at this point in the spring.

Today’s schedule

Oilers (-105) at Blackhawks (-115) (7:30 pm, NBC Sports Chicago, O/U 6.5)
Illinois (+6.5) at Ohio State, (6 pm, ESPN, O/U 132)

Spring training
Rockies (SS) at Sox (2:05, MLB.com)
Rangers (SS) at Cubs (2:05, Marquee)

Kris Bryant had no reaction to his complete grievance with the Cubs being released a day earlier. Via Paul Sullivan: “I’m moving on. I don’t feel anything. All I feel is that I want to win. I think we’ve been down this road five years now. I’m over it.”

Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer will miss the rest of spring training as he recuperates from the health problems he encountered last season. Andy Masur will work with Darrin Jackson as Farmer recuperates, Scott Merkin reports.

Have a link for Midway Minute? Email me.

The National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame in Troy, Michigan, has announced its 2020 class: AJ Pierzynski, Bronko Nagurski, Mike Krukow and JR Celski. I wondered on Twitter why it took Nagurski so long to get in and got an interesting response.

Just for the record: I’m 50 percent Polish and available for induction immediately.

Former King star Rashard Griffith, the Tribune’s 1993 Mr. Basketball, was honored at Wisconsin’s Senior Night on Wednesday. He’s about to complete his degree in community and non-profit leadership, 25 years after leaving Madison to go pro. A great reminder that it’s never too late to do anything you want to do. (UW Badgers)

I could listen to Jason Heyward talk about the differences between playing right and center field for awhile. (670 The Score)

• Tim Anderson lives in Chicago year-round despite the means to live somewhere warm during the winter. James Fegan asked him why and it turned into a fantastic piece. (The Athletic)

Podcast guest alert! I did a spot talking Chicago sports on The Sky Is Falling Pod with Cody and Tommy. Go check them out! (Sky Is Falling)

• Chicago breathes a big sigh of relief: Tom Skilling’s gastric bypass surgery went well and he’s recovering nicely. (WGN News)

• I’ve said some crazy things after losing a bet, but good lord almighty is there no excuse for the threatening and vile DMs that a losing gambler sent members of the White Sox after they beat the Rays last summer. (Yahoo Sports)

• Finally,  a #frentofthenewsletter passes this news along: Buffalo Wild Wings is turning part of its Lincoln Park restaurant into a B&B for the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Seriously.

So if you’ve ever dreamed of rolling out of bed and into a platter of Caribbean jerk and spicy garlic wings — I assume it’s not just me — you can apply to win a complimentary stay here. Good luck.

That’s it for today. Thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter!

Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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