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One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 2


Bears fans are understandably upset after another loss.  It’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel with the Kansas City juggernaut up next.  Still, step up to the bar and let’s close off week two.

Every week I’m serving one Bearbon for the best thing I saw during the week.  One Scotch that burns the back of the throat but doesn’t stop you from loving it.  We’ll then raise a beer to a player, play, incident or whatever else I feel deserves it. Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

It’s easy to look at the game on Sunday and find no positives at all.  Surprisingly, I saw some praise for Braxton Jones who, if you ignore the penalties, blocked well.  Darnell Wright also earned some praise as the one solid piece on the offensive line.  It was obvious that the best thing this week was Fields’ throw and Claypool’s attempt at redemption to make it a one score game in the 4th.  It’s exactly what the Bears need to see much more.   

There were many candidates for a burning scotch this week.  A defense that seemingly only stopped the Bucs with the help of penalties.  Getsy’s continued incoherent play calling that some speculated saw the same screen pass called on 3 consecutive plays.   One of those plays led to the dagger touchdown and a Bucs soundbite stating they knew exactly the play that was coming.  It’s with a heavy heart that we drink a scotch that burns for QB1.  Fields had a really poor game ending with two interceptions on 55% passing and very worryingly some genuine deer in the headlights moments.  He hasn’t been helped by poor line play and horrid coaching but now he’s not helping himself. 

We gotta raise a beer.  It’s the rules.  Roschon Johnson looked the part as he has through preseason and 2 games that count.  He finished with 42 total yards on only 6 touches.  We drank to him before though.  Wright holding his own is a possibility.  I looked at the stats at the end of the game and was surprised to see one of the guys who is supposed to impress actually impress.  DJ Moore had 104 yards catching 6 of his 7 targets.  I’ve seen very little praise for his performance, so we’ll give it to him here and raise a Miller Lite with a cheesesteak for his Philly roots.   

KC hosts the Bears next week.  I fear it won’t be a pretty score, so I wanted to leave you with something good that came from KC.  Janelle Monae, Charlie “Bird” Parker and even Puddle of Mudd for a certain crowd would have qualified.  Around here though, the blues rule.  I leave you with the original recording of this song from a KC native. 

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 1


When I started this, I designed it to be optimistic about the Bears each week.  I never thought week one would be the test of that optimism. Stick around to see how it turns out.

Every week I’m serving one Bearbon for the best thing I saw during the week. One Scotch that burns the back of the throat but doesn’t stop you from loving it.  We’ll then raise a beer to a player, play, incident or whatever else I feel deserves it. Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox

Early on Sunday, I thought Mooney would be a candidate for our Bearbon. He made a nice catch for 23 yards to start the response drive from the Packers’ first touchdown but ended up with just 4 catches for 53 yards. In a game with little to like, Roschon Johnson stood out.  He showed some fight and produced 20 yards rushing on 5 touches along with 35 yards on 6 catches. Most importantly he gave me the biggest smile of the day with an absolute trucking over a hapless Green Bay defender.  Happy to drink to him again as we did in preseason.

The candidates for that burning scotch were many but let’s stay specific on two.  Chase Claypool was called out, though not by name, by national media.  If you were on any of the socials, you may have seen the reel with his missed blocks and apparent disinterest.  I’ve been hopeful on Mapletron but hope is running out.  St. Brown was inactive for week one but we know he makes those blocks.  The blocks were there to be made only because Luke Getsy called another stinker.  During the game, I played the over under 2.5 screens over the next 5 plays and I almost hit it more than once. DJ Moore had just two targets and was inexcusably down 18 points, Getsy called a designed run for Fields.  Throw in the Kmet sneak that fooled no one and Getsy must shoulder much of the blame for a lousy game. I’m not raising a scotch for him. I’m raising it because of him.    

We’re raising a beer for every fan who had to sit through that game and still wore Bears gear on Monday. They’ve had to do it way too often. Watching the first real pressure of the game come with just 3 minutes left in the half and the continued inability to stop the run would be enough to end some fandoms. So we raise a glass to the hardcore, may they see better days.

I had the Bears winning 8 games this year. I have to bring that down after what I saw on Sunday. I’m down to seven. Thankfully, in the tradition of the blues, seven is a lucky number. Something we could use more around here. In this tradition, hit B23 for Roschon and this classic.

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Pre-season Week 3

Every week I’m serving one Bearbon for the best thing I saw during the week, preferably smooth with a nice finish.  One Scotch that burns the back of the throat but doesn’t stop you from loving it.  We’ll then raise a beer to a player, play, incident or whatever else I feel deserves it. Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

I was hoping to serve a Bearbon in honor of Justin Fields and the 1’s on offense this week.  No such luck.  They looked flat but it may be the result of facing a quality defense. There were flashes like Justin’s run for 13 yards followed by Moore’s catch and run for 40 yards.  Ngakoue making a tackle on a run play contrary to every criticism we’ve seen about him deserves consideration. Last week, I said Special Bagent 17 had earned a chance. This week we drink Bearbon to him making the team.  

The scotch burning my throat for the second week in a row is injuries but before that let’s talk Tyrique Stevenson.  Last week, he had a poor penalty and missed the pass break-up on a TD.  This week, his physicality cost him again with a bad penalty.  Stevenson must rein it in before teams take advantage of him for easy penalties and I’m not even one of those who object to the constant talking.  The brutal tackling on the Bill’s 3rd TD is also worth mentioning here.  Kramer along with two expected contributors, Sewell and Foreman went down with injury.  Add to those the Jenkins injury and the Bears have a limp going into week 1.  The next two weeks have to bring some good news on this front if the Green Bay game is going to be competitive.  Meanwhile, we drink a 12-year-old Lagavulin to their health.

I want to raise a beer, and possibly a forkful of haggis, to Robert (Robbie) Burns.  He had a great catch on the Bears’ second TD then threw in a nod to Sweetness history for the 2-point conversion. Along with his kick return, he looked good during his limited opportunity. I like to see the young guys put good stuff on film.

Burns’ 8-point scoring outburst sent all kinds of endorphins through this long-suffering fantasy owner.  Over the next few days, many of us will hold our drafts.  Good luck to you on all your leagues and a reminder that the guys at Juice Time podcast had their 2023 fantasy extravaganza on their episode this week.  Hit the FF button on the jukebox for my favorite cover of this song

One Bearbon, One Scotch, and One Beer – Pre Season Week 2

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Pre-Season week 2 It’s still preseason so let’s review before we begin, after every game I’m serving one Bearbon for the best thing I saw during the week, preferably smooth with a nice finish. One Scotch that burns the back of the throat but doesn’t stop you from loving it.  We’ll then raise a beer to a player, play, incident, or whatever else I feel deserved it.  Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

Our Bearbon contenders this week included Daurice Fountain who finished with 86 yards receiving.  He looked great giving a poor Colts defender a pretty stutter move for his touchdown in the 4th quarter.  To be fair Peterman’s throw on the same play probably deserves a mention.  It would not be preseason if there wasn’t a player being overhyped on the socials.  This year’s man is Tyson Bagent (who is screaming for a great nickname, by the way).  He drove the offense 92 yards for a touchdown, showing speed on rollouts and on scrambles including the score.  Bagent even showed some accuracy as a thrower while on the run and on a short slant in the red zone.  I’ll raise a Bearbon to him even if I’m not ready to crown him QB2 like a lot of other people.  For me, he has earned some playing time next week and a definite chance to stick around after cuts. 

The scotch burning my throat was not the loss as you might have expected.  Due to where I live, I had to watch the Colts feed.  The commentators made a point of saying that Ehlinger was Mr. August.  Sure enough, he led the Colts to 2 scores in the 4th for the win.  I’m not going to worry about preseason losses.  Tyrique Stevenson committing a terrible penalty and then letting the Colts touchdown go right through his hands on the same drive was a contender.  It was long after the game that the burning began. Tevin Jenkins picked up a leg injury that will keep him out for weeks.  I had high hopes for a great season from him and this is not a great start. 

I debated raising a beer to Bagent but as I said, I don’t expect to much of see him during the regular season.  On the other hand, I do expect to be seeing Roschon Johnson.  I’ve seen enough to believe he’ll be part of the committee in the backfield.  In his limited action this week, he showed decisiveness and an ability to gain yards where none could be expected.  His catch for a nice gain of 11 looked better than most passes out of the backfield that Bears fans have seen in the past few years.  Definitely raising a cold one for the rookie.  Let’s face it this game was not pretty to watch.  In fact, some of it looked a lot like last year’s play with dropped passes, sacks on two consecutive plays, and four special teams penalties (one was offset).  Justin Fields must have been on the sideline thanking his lucky stars he’ll have some help around him.  I’m not an Elton John fan but Justin might be, so hit B17 (for Bagent) on the jukebox.  The Bears are still standing.

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Pre Season Week One

We started something last week but for new readers, after every Bears game I’m serving One Bearbon for the best thing I saw during the week, preferably smooth with a nice finish.  One Scotch that burns the back of the throat but doesn’t stop you from loving it.  We’ll then raise a beer to a player, play, incident or whatever else I feel deserved it.  Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

This week’s Bearbon is obvious but let me give you some other contenders.  Go back and watch every time Rodgers up in GB or Brady stepped on the field.  The first thing they did was start a chat with the zebras.  What do you know there was Fields doing the exact same thing to start the first Bears drive. It’s not a big thing but it’s something he wasn’t doing before.  Herbert’s housecall on a simple screen was definitely in the running.  In the end, the Fields to Moore TD for hopefully the first of many takes the week.  You’ll hear how Justin had nothing to do with it and how that’s a bad thing.  Fields had no run attempts at all but used his elusiveness to make plays that, unlike last year, were rewarded by his teammates making major plays.  That’s the biggest lesson of the week. 

Th first drive from the Titans brought back some bad memories from last season. A 32 yard completion and several backfield and QB runs exposed an inability to stop the run and a propensity to give up big plays.  Down near the goal line, there was the hint of a backbone but not enough to stop the score.  I always hear about preseason having no schemes and defenses being exposed but the upgrade on talent should have been enough to at least look better.  I know it’s a pessimistic view but it’s only the first game and hopefully just some growing pains.  We’ll see over the next month but for now this is the scotch burning my throat.

As we get to know some of the new faces for the Bears, let’s raise a beer for two rookies.  None of them had a breakout or anything but Stevenson did not look out of place in coverage and made 7 tackles.  Roschon Johnson ended the day with 44 yards on 12 carries along with 3 catches.  Johnson double clutched a catch but he also turned a potential loss into a small gain.  All in all the rooks showed they’re working towards being contributors.   

Roschon Johnson goes beast mode on way to 24-yard run (chicagobears.com)

Coming into this season, fans and the front office were looking to find a reason to believe in Velus Jones.  Out comes Jones in the 1st to let a punt bounce in front of him only to muff it and give the ball away much too cheaply.  Contrast this to other guys on the bubble, Vildor was making tackles and defending in the 4th while 5th string Trevis Gipson had a sack several QB hurries and hits in winning player of the game on the broadcast.  Camp and preseason for these players is about winning your spot and making the team.  So hit G99 on the jukebox to play some Eminem that cued correctly would have sounded great during the 2 TD’s as well. 

1 Bearbon, 1 Scotch and 1 Beer – Training Camp


Full Disclosure:  I love Blues music.  As we get ready for a new Bears season around here, let me introduce you to what you’ll see from me after every game. 1 Bearbon for the best thing I saw during the week, preferably smooth with a nice finish.  1 Scotch that burns the back of the throat but doesn’t stop you from loving it.  We’ll then raise a beer to a player, play, incident, or whatever else I feel deserved it.  Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox (did I mention I’m old?).  I’m also looking for your songs on our socials and will feature some of your suggestions during the season. 

Let’s get started.  Our Bearbon this week is an obvious one: Justin Fields and DJ Moore.  Every comment and video coming out of camp shows us a connection that can only make every Bears fan excited.  It looks like Justin has a number one that is earning his trust and can make plays no one on the roster from last year could make. 

Up until a couple of days ago, the scotch burning my throat was the lack of pass rush.  Now the burning is relatively mild with O line depth.  The two young tackles will struggle at times and having depth or solid veteran presence around could help them.  Cuts around the league may set up a few options here.

I debated for whom or what I should raise a beer.  Claypool playing well and with intensity (see the scuffle with Ejax) could have been it.  The pickup of Ngakoue was definitely a contender.  But in the end, I settled on Ryan Poles finally going out and getting the much-needed pass rusher.  I have contended that Poles’ process matters more at this point than his results.  With this signing, he has attempted to plug every hole from last season.  I know they won’t all work out and a Super Bowl is not in the cards but the process of self-scouting, saving resources for 2024 and a little luck should see Chicago contend for at minimum the division next year.  At the very least, Poles looks to have assembled a team we’ll want to watch every week this year.

The jukebox this week introduces you to the song this column is named after. I’m also looking for songs that represent your win total prediction for the year.  Put me down for 8 but hit us up on any of our socials with your own prediction.

Three Players To Watch: Week Two of Training Camp


The Bears have began their run with some expectations that are much higher than last season. General Manager Ryan Poles and Head Coach Matt Eberflus have brought in many talented players from free agency and through the draft that will helps the Bears moving forward. It was a roster that needed some talent and when they take the field you will see the difference. There are a few players that I have been keeping an eye on at camp. One of these players are in a contract year and have a ton to prove and two others that are draft picks that would not surprise me if they are day one starters.

The first player I want to talk about is wide receiver, Chase Claypool. The veteran was traded to Chicago during the middle of the season last year for a second-round pick. A player that Ryan Poles is taking a chance on since he traded the top pick of the second round. Claypool has all the talent in the world to be a very productive player and help quarterback, Justin Fields. During his rookie season, he posted 11 touchdowns with Pittsburgh but ever since, the numbers and productivity has gone down. Yes, Claypool came in at a weird time last season and learning the new playbook is difficult. Yet, questions still remain about his lack of motivation and being a team player. I look for him to take a big step and try to get to where he was during his rookie year. The Bears already have two solid wide receivers in DJ Moore and Darnell Mooney. Adding a productive Claypool will help the offense a ton.

The next player I am keeping my eye on is the second-round draft pick from this past draft cornerback out of Miami, Tyrique Stevenson. This is a draft pick that Ryan Poles moved up to grab. The Bears have not been able to put together a good duo at cornerback for some time. Hopefully Stevenson can help change that. The rookie has all the intangibles to get the starting job. Corners are not very tall and surprisingly Tyrique is a good size. During OTAs, there were rave reviews about him and his playmaking ability. So far so good in the early stages of camp.

The third and final player is former Florida Gator, Grevon Dexter that plays defensive line. Dextor was also a second-round pick this past draft. Grevon is a big body but can move with the best of them. Along with Stevenson, Dexter has had a lot of high praise. Another position on the Bears where they hav been pretty weak since Akheim Hicks was in Chicago. Dextor can be a guy that can plug the hole but do not be surprised if he gets after the quarterback.

There will be a lot of buzz these next six weeks at Halas Hall with the additions they have made and optimism around the organization. It’s going to be fun as camp continues to roll on.

4 Storylines From The Bears’ Schedule

4 storylines stood out when I looked at the Bears’ schedule.  Some are about where they’ll be by that point in the season, while others are literally a century old.  Here’s how I think they’ll turn out. 

Packers Bookend the Season

The longest rivalry in the league finally takes a turn from Bears fans being annoyed by Aaron Rodgers twice a year.  There is real mystery around what Jordan Love can be.  If you ask Packers’ twitter, he’ll be walking on water and delivering sermons from mounds by week 3.  The logical answer is he’s essentially a first year QB who will have first year struggles even if he’s a future hall of famer (author’s note: he’s not!).  If the Bears’ defense can make things difficult for him, he could really struggle.  Unfortunately, with all the new faces at Hallas Hall, there is some gelling happening there too.  Verdict: Bears keep it close week 1 but come up short.  Justin Fields leaves us with sweet treat at the start of the season.

Chiefs week 3, Chargers Week 8

Even the most optimistic of Bears fan, can’t expect that a win against KC is a lock.  After 2 weeks of the new look squad, this will be the measuring stick for progress.  The next big test comes 5 weeks later with the Chargers who many expect to be around deep into January.  This second test will be crucial in telling us whether things are working or not.  A blown out by KC won’t be shameful, not competing in week 8 will say the progress hasn’t gone well.  Verdict: Bears lose by double digits week 3. They cover the spread in week 8. 

Panthers week 10

The successful tank from last season and the offseason trade brings this gem of a scenario: a double win.  If the Bears win, it adds to their W column and brings them closer to a higher draft pick.  Add to that, DJ Moore revenge factor and a primetime slot and you’ve got a feature stage for the Bears to ball out.  Verdict: Bears win with Moore seeing the endzone at least once.

Post Bye Week Opportunity

The bye week for the Bears comes in week 13.  Coming out of the bye, opponents are the Lions, Browns, Cardinals, Falcons and Packers.  The hype on the Lions is as high as ever but the other 4 teams do not appear to be world beaters. Arizona is a mess and may be a competitor for a top 5 pick.  The Browns may be good but by this point the Ravens will have broken them.  Atlanta will struggle all year. As I said above, I expect the Bears to be a competing squad by then that beats Green Bay.  Verdict: I look at those five games and see a floor of 3 wins with upside all the way to 5.  I don’t expect this will be a playoff year but look for that Bears logo during the “In The Hunt” segments.

Poles Spoke Through The Bears’ Draft

We didn’t hear much from GM Ryan Poles directly during the Bears’ draft weekend, but his actions spoke pretty loudly.

First and foremost, Poles told us the Bears are not Super Bowl contenders, yet.  In reviewing what experts had to say about the draft class, it stood out that Wright, Dexter, Stevenson, and Pickens all have a high potential ceiling.  They are not finished, ready to be perennial all pros.  In other words, they’re not finishing pieces to the meal.  They’re the prep work you do the day before the banquet.

Confidence is high in the coaching group.  If you pick unfinished players, you have to have the staff to help them meet that high ceiling.  Poles had to see players like Kyler Gordon and Braxton Jones and been satisfied with their growth from week one to the end of the season.  I’m sure he saw the “misses” like Velus and Borom but counted them as the price of taking the high-ceiling prospects. 

Poles showed discipline to a T.  Poles has a type I want to coin as measurably athletic with no character issues.  Using RAS (Relative Athletic Score), the Bears’ entire draft class was judged to have elite grades.  The days of going by feel on a player who didn’t test well are going if not gone. Bears coaches saw Jalen Carter’s film and met with him.  I can only assume but the character had to be the determining factor in passing on him. 

Kirsten Tanis on Twitter: “Here are RAS for the NFC North draft classes. https://t.co/PXNzhr6pUV” / Twitter

He feels solidly entrenched as the Bears’ GM for a long time.  What Poles has going is not a short-term project but it’s obviously one Bears’ executives are buying into.  2 first-rounders will bring another shot of high-level talent next year along with some of the cap space rolling over from this year.  My best guess is that 2024 is when he sees contention as a goal.

Most importantly, Poles showed us that there is a concerted plan in place.  There is no panic when mistakes are made.  There is no reaching for players. There is no listening to the criticism of the “experts”. There is no spending cap space or draft capital before it’s time.  Poles has a vision for the franchise that he’s going to see through and all of us fans will go along for the ride.  Hopefully, it’s not one that has us regretting the Miller Lite and hot dogs at the end.

XFL Week 2: Battlehawks vs Sea Dragons Preview

St. Louis Battlehawks Quarterback A.J. McCarron (Ronald Cortes, Getty Images)

The St. Louis Battlehawks mounted a miraculous comeback on Sunday led by quarterback A.J. McCarron, who threw two touchdowns and converted a three-point attempt to wide receiver Austin Proehl in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. St. Louis took advantage of a rule that allows teams to attempt an offensive play on fourth-and-15, as opposed to kicking an onside kick after a touchdown. By converting on that fourth and forever, the Battlehawks managed to keep momentum in their favor, and wound up with an 18-15 victory in their season opener on the road. St. Louis struggled to contain quarterback Jack Coan and the San Antonio Brahmas from completing intermediate throws downfield, but the defense proved to be stout in red zone territory.

Seattle Sea Dragons Wide Receiver Josh Gordon (Scott Taetsch, Getty Images)

Quarterback Ben DiNucci of the Seattle Sea Dragons solidified a connection with former NFL standout wide receiver Josh Gordon in Sunday’s loss to the D.C. Defenders. DiNucci and Gordon connected six times for 74 yards and a trip to the end zone, but received little to no help from their teammates on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle’s defense allowed two different quarterbacks on the opposing team in D’Eriq King and Jordan Ta’amu to score touchdowns. The Defenders exposed weaknesses in the Sea Dragons’ defense, as King and Ta’amu used their dynamic rushing attack to move the ball into scoring position late in the contest. Despite controlling the game with what was once a double-digit lead, Seattle’s inability to protect the football in the second half led to a 22-18 final score in favor of the home team.

Game Prediction

The Battlehawks are back on the road Thursday night at Lumen Field against the Sea Dragons, who are desperate for a victory in front of a raucous home crowd. Lumen Field is notoriously known for its loyal fan base on Sundays at Seattle Seahawks games, and there will likely be a palpable energy inside the stadium for the city’s first home XFL game since 2020. St. Louis will be forced to shut down a talented wide receiver in Gordon, who is quite possibly the most accomplished professional athlete across the entire league. The Battlehawks proved their ability to fluster San Antonio’s backfield in week one, which should translate nicely to their matchup against Seattle, as DiNucci prevented his team from success by turning the ball over twice on Sunday night. If McCarron manages to connect with his litany of offensive weapons early in the game, St. Louis can cruise into their second consecutive victory before making the trek to our nation’s capital in week three of this young XFL season.

The Pick

St. Louis Battlehawks (+3)