Thursday, September 8, 2016

2009 is the Year of Chicago's Bears

I grew up in Chicago consuming vast quantities of Italian beef, Italian sausage, combinations of the two, pizza and, of course, Polish sausage before it became fashionable or faddish to do so. Every Sunday I would turn on the television or the radio watching in amazement or apprehensively listening to my favorite team – the Chicago Bears. The Monsters of the Midway, as they were once touted, before crass commercialism turned them into ‘da Bears. Even after my departure from Chicago, I remained a Bear fan.

Defense has always been the mainstay of the Bears. Bill George, Doug Buffone, Doug Atkins, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, William “the Refrigerator” Perry often come to mind when I watch the current team play. For the Bears to hoist the Super Bowl trophy over their heads again, the defense will have to improve. The Bears finished the 2008 season 9-7. While the defense held against the rush , allowing only 93.5 yds per game (5th), they failed to stop opposing quarterbacks in the passing game. The Bears finished 30th in the League allowing 241.2 passing yards and giving up 334.7 yds per game to end in 21st place. The road to success is the path to the opposing QB.

Brian Urlacher is coming off a lackluster ’08 season and will need to kick it up a notch to provide the impetus for the Bears to excel. The addition of Pisa Tinoisamoa at OLB should prove favorable. He led his former teammates, the St. Louis Rams, in tackles for four straight years. What he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in determination and gutsy play. DE Adewale Ogunleye and OLB Lance Briggs have proved in the past that they possess the ability to dominate defensively.

The Chicago Bear QB controversy has been resolved with the acquisition of Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos. Cutler passed for 4500 plus yards and should provide the zip needed to revamp a mediocre offense. With opposing teams focusing on Matt Forte, grinding out the yardage coupled with his ability as a receiver, TE Greg Olsen and WR Devin Hester could go undetected into the secondary to make the big plays.

The first two exhibition games may set the tone for the season. The Bears play the Buffalo Bills on August 15 and then the New York Giants a week later. Both games are crucial in circling the wagons and finding the depth necessary for a successful season. Likewise, the first two games of the regular season find the Bears pitted against their fiercest rivals, the Green Bay Packers, and the 2008 Super Bowl Champs, Pittsburgh Steelers respectively. Both games are critical, not in the sense of win or loss, but to determine the tenor of their desire to be champions.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict the Chicago Bears to finish 12-4 for the season and defeat the Steelers in a defensive struggle , 13-10, for the Super Bowl win.


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2009 will See the Ultimate Call for Action on the Internet

It’s raining down on us in a relentless onslaught. Gas and grocery prices up, a mortgage crisis, bankruptcy woes, affordable health insurance, Social Security problems, global warfare threats, the whisper of food shortages and budgets in the red. Add to that the fact that this has been a record year for tornadoes and major earthquakes.

What’s next? The ultimate call for action. What better way to put out the call than using the Internet for our vehicle for ideas.

The Internet is the nexus of community. It connects people from all occupations, and it offers a huge pool of knowledge and ideas. There are many smart and creative people from all over the world, with problem solving skills, and we are just a click away from each other.

This is presidential election year. The candidates have raised and spent millions of dollars, in hopes of becoming the next leader. No doubt, each candidate will give it his or her very best. However, the real movers and changers will have to be you and me. The farmers, teachers, factory workers, neighbors and survivors of sickness and problems.

How will we do that? Turn on your computer and get connected. There are thousands of sites and resources covering whatever you might need to know. There is a common saying that “one person can make a difference.” At this stage we don’t have time for just one. We need to all link together to get things done.

Let’s figure out how to get by without gas guzzlers. Cheap oil is gone, and we must all quit acting as if it isn’t. When gas consumption changes other things will began to level out. We are the ones who will fix the budget, and I am talking about our own budget. Stop purchasing homes and cars that we can’t pay for. Start by taking less and giving more.

Now is the time to throw your ideas in the Internet pool. Now is the time for our leaders to start listening to those ideas. Now is the time for the common sense of the common man. Men and women who are not influenced by rules and regulations. How many big enterprises have succeeded because the leaders listened to ideas from all levels?

If each one of us just solved the problems closest to us and passed the know how along to others, we could began to turn the tide. There are thousands of internet sites and resources covering whatever you might need to know, about doing your part to make a difference.

Every generation will reap what the previous generation before them has sown. Let’s start sowing!

It’s the ultimate call for action.

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2009 World Series Picks and Predictions

A 2009 World Series pick or prediction is definitely tougher than most. This year two goliaths are battling for the right to win it all. Philadelphia, the defending World Series champion, will face the tradition rich New York Yankees. The series could go either way. It could be a World Series Game 7 classic in 2009. But I’m going to take a stab and say the Yankees will win before that. Yankees in 6. And here’s why.

My first reason? C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia is one of the most dominant performers in the game. Sabathia has been lights out in the postseason and I think he’ll be tough to beat in either appearance. It’s true that Sabathia will face the red hot Cliff Lee in game one. But Lee will have to be Mr. Perfect once again on the road. He’ll also have to find out a way to cool off one of the hottest postseason bats ever in Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been clutch during the 2009 Postseason.

My second reason? Thanks to the goofy All Star contest rule the Yankees have home field advantage.
The Phillies will have to go in and battle the elements. And by that I don’t mean weather. Sure it might rain for Game 1 or Game 2. That could be an issue to at some point within the series. Philadelphia doesn’t go as deep from a pitching perspective and I think that could cost the Phillies. Especially when potentially 4 of the 7 games will be on the road in New York.

This series could be one of the best of all time. Two major media market teams battling it out. The ratings for the 2009 World Series could be very very strong in comparison to other years when small media market teams made it to the finals of the Fall Classic. Look for the 2009 Fall Classic ratings to be the highest of the decade.
FOX will enjoy the benefits of such high ratings between two big name MLB teams.

My 2009 World Series prediction is that New York wins in 6 games. The Yankees will win 2 of the first three and Philadelphia will be on their heels early. Sabathia is a likely favorite to win the MVP if he continues pitching like he has.

The Phillies also have to worry about the best closer ever in Mariano Riviera. Riviera is my third solid reason I am predicting the Yankees will win the 2009 World Series. If you can’t get on the Yankees starters early then you won’t have a chance against the Yankees bullpen. Although if any lineup is capable of hitting strong pitchers it’s the Philadelphia Phillies. Utley, Werth, Howard and Rollins are just the start for this hard hitting baseball team.
Brad Lidge has been strong out of the bullpen for the Phillies during the postseason but he might not be as strong in New York against the Yankees. Watch for Lidge to struggle and the Yankees to claim another World Series in 2009.

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