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One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 7

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The Bears win over another reeling franchise.  We celebrate with three fine drinks.

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.

DJ Moore quietly amassing 54 yards receiving and still being on track for a 1500 yard season is beyond impressive.  The coaching staff putting together a gameplan that made sense for the available personnel also deserved a mention. Jaylon Johnson’s 2 picks may help him lock down an extension.  For me, it has to be Special Bagent Oso for whom we lift our Bearbon this week.  He wasn’t spectacular but he made the throws when it counted and even did his best JF1 impression with 24 yards on the ground. You’ll hear how this offense fits him better than Fields but I find that’s just an indictment on the coaches.  Here’s to the kid.

A win tends to hide flaws.  Eberflus carrying two timeouts into the locker room at halftime showed he’s just too conservative at times.  He’s playing to avoid losing rather than for the win.  An even bigger strike against the coaches are the 9 penalties for 110 yards.  The Raiders managed 244 yards of total offense.  The Bears handed them almost 50% of their production for free.  Borom stands out as a player who has developed a reputation.  The last holding call on him was weak but he won’t get the benefit of the doubt.  We drink a Balvenie 12-year old neat as we ponder the coaching staff’s future.

We raise a beer this week unquestionably to the Bears’ strongest position group, running back.  Foreman had 3 housecalls on Sunday while Evans chipped in 48 yards.  These are the 3rd and 4th string backs.  Travis Homer made a cameo but didn’t figure on the stat sheet.  Most teams would be happy to have two decent backs while the Bears’ wake up everyday with 5 of them.  We lift a Lone Star to honour Foreman and his Longhorn past.    

I lived in Cali for a very short time in the 90’s.  It happened to be right around the time this song came out.  I was so sick of the song and the band that I avoided them.  I’m here to say I was wrong.  If you ever get the chance to see the Peppers live, run don’t walk.  With the Chargers up next in primetime, I leave you with a tribute to my Cali past. 

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 6

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Justin Fields gets hurt.  The Bears lose and the franchise reels once again.  Step up to the bar, let’s drink the sadness away.

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 deserves it.  Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

DJ Moore once again deserves mention for our Bearbon.  He took a beating catching 5 balls for 51 yards including 2 at a time when the rookie QB really needed them.  T.J Edwards would not be a bad choice either with 6 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.  We’re drinking Bearbon to Foreman and Evans who combined for just under 100 yards in relief for the 3 backs ahead of them.  Running Back is not one of this team’s problems.    

My staff researchers have told me Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled whiskey is the highest-proof single malt ever made.  We’re drinking that to the state of the Bears franchise.  Fields gets hurt possibly giving him less time to solidify his position as QB1 beyond this year.  It looks like the franchise will place its “we don’t fire coaches in-season” mantra above doing what most of us see as obvious.  Finally, my biggest fear is that organizationally, they may be heading to a second tank season.  Two high picks and an almost unavoidable coaching change means contention is once again a long way away. 

We raise a beer this week to Special Bagent Oso.  He came on in relief and put together a TD drive that raised my spirits and almost made me believe a win was possible.  I know he fumbled and threw the game-clinching pick but he’s a backup for a reason.  Bagent’s dad is apparently a 19-time arm wrestling world champion.  A Miller Lite to the kid with a championship pedigree. 

The Raiders are up next.  Interestingly, they will be one of the possible trade partners for any high draft pick.   McDaniels is unlikely to be around next year and Garoppolo hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.  They may be close to resetting as well.  Vegas is Vegas though so let’s imagine ourselves on the strip rolling nothing but 7’s on the come-out roll with a young Ann-Margret (google it).

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 5

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For one half on Thursday, Bears fans saw what this team can be.  Halftime brought adjustments from Washington and regression from the Bears.  Surely, all of us have amazing booties by now from all the butt clenching we’ve done.  Let’s drink to the win.

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 deserved it.  Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

Last season for the Bears to win a game, Fields had to be the best player on the field.  Against Washington, Fields passed any eye test with accurate passes and his trademark athleticism.  At 15/29 passing however, this was not his best, meaning he can still play better.  We’ve lifted a Bearbon to DJ Moore before but with 8 catches for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns, there is no way we’re not doing it again here.  On a 1-4 team, he’s already at 531 yards and 5 TD’s, on pace for career highs. 

The defensive performance in the second half merited consideration for our burning scotch.  I don’t know if it’s going conservative, if the players have a letdown or if Eberflus fails to adjust his counterparts but after the Denver collapse, it was scary times for the Bears.  As the game went along though, injuries took the win for the burning scotch.  At kill the clock time, the Bears had only Blasingame available to carry the ball.  Add Lucas Patrick going down and yet more secondary injuries and this 10 day break could not come at a better time.  Let’s partake of the healing properties of highlands Scotch.

I became a Bears fan because of the ’85 Bears with Sweetness.  As I looked into the history of the team, I learned about Red Grange and Gayle Sayers but eventually I learned that Chicago is a defense sort of town.  No one personifies toughness and being a monster than Dick Butkus.  This site is called the Monsters of the Midwest for a reason.  We raise a Pabst Blue Ribbon to the original monster; may he rest in peace.

If you love music, as I do, there are seminal albums and songs that stick with you.  A ten-day break for the Bears brings you my favourite song from Pearl Jam’s Ten album.  Hit DJ2 on the jukebox for a modern-day classic.

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 4

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My Pops tells a story about playing volleyball in school.  One game, he was playing so bad that one of his teammates walked over to him, grabbed him by the hand and suggested he would help the team more if he just got off the court and prayed for them to win.  I wondered this week whether Bears Coach Eberflus is a praying man. 

Every week I’m serving 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.

To quote the great Crash Davis “Relax, this game is fun, let’s have some fun out here”.  This is what I was thinking as I watched the Bears offense look unstoppable.  A 300-yard passe and both a 100-yard receiver and rusher are usually a recipe for winning games.  For the purposes of our Bearbon, I’m going to ignore everything that came later and drink to those fun times.  It was long after the game that I saw the clip below showing some of the players were having a good time too.  

The obvious place to start our burning scotch is the decision to forego the 35-yard field goal in the 4th but I want to take you somewhere else.  The Bears had 3 quarters of the defense giving up 7 points. I went back and checked every Broncos drive where they kept scoreless, they had at least one and usually more than one penalty.  The Bears defense is entirely dependent on the opponent beating themselves.  The Broncos stopped doing it and pulled out a win.  A competent coaching staff would have considered this a reason to accrue points over everything.  A scotch for all of us who believed a defensive minded head coach would be better than this.

I have not given up on Fields.  There is no way he was going to have his biggest passing day and an 80% completion percentage without me raising a beer to him.  The young man showed up.  Yes, I am aware it was the Broncos but you play the teams they put in front of you.  A crisp, cold Miller Lite for QB1. 

The commanders are up next for the Bears.  I learned a while back that Dave Grohl grew up in DC and started playing drums there.  Dave and the Foo Fighters did a series of documentaries with one featuring my favourite US city, with my favourite blues style and my favourite football team.  Dave wrote this song for that documentary.  Hit 312 on the jukebox and turn it up. 

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 3

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The Bears lose big to Kansas City after a tumultuous week.  Step up to the bar and let’s drink away the sorrow.

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 deserved it.  Lastly, I’ll leave you with a song from the Jukebox.

I could sugar coat it and tell you that there were lots of good things during that game in KC.  There was really just one so that’s our Bearbon for the week.  Despite everything going on around the Bears, DJ Moore is on pace for 960 yards.  Coming close to a 1000 yard season on this team would be an amazing accomplishment.  We drink a Bearbon to his TD. 

Unlike our Bearbon, there were lots of candidates for a burning scotch.  Another inept coaching performance, getting blown out by more than 30 points and a sub 100 yard passing day for Fields were leading candidates.  I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say the entire culture around the Bears is what has fans drinking hard liquor.  Alan Williams resigning under a cloud of mystery and beat writers stirring the pot over Fields’ comments on coaching are things that just don’t happen around competent organizations.  This team doesn’t need a band-aid.  It needs surgery, preferably removing some dead wood. Three fingers of 18-year-old scotch for all of us. 

Like most Bears fans, I fall back on history very often.  With the absolute butt kicking the Vikings took on the weekend, there was another chance to celebrate what this franchise can be.  We raise a beer to the 1940 Bears who hold on to the record for most points ever scored with 73 to win the NFL championship.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s put a divisional rival into a tailspin.

1% of a billion is 10 million.  Forbes estimates the Bears had operating income of $203 million last year along with having the 2nd least amount of debt in the league.  They are valued at 6.3 billion dollars meaning a 1% increase in value represents 63 million dollars to the McCaskeys.  Their valuation grew by 9% last year or over ½ a billion dollars.  All this to say, that you would have to be an incredibly bad business person to sell the team.  I think of this every time I see a suggestion that the only solution to the franchise’s problems is for the owners to sell.  Trust me or math, either way, it’s not happening.

https://www.forbes.com/lists/nfl-valuations/?sh=2503d7011738https://x.com/bbrech/status/1706071348483588352?s=20

Place your quarter in the jukebox for the perfect baseline to accompany this economics lesson.

One Bearbon, One Scotch and One Beer – Week 2

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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

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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.