WBEZ | NFL http://www.wbez.org/tags/nfl Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Are you ready for some football, in Northwest Indiana? http://www.wbez.org/news/are-you-ready-some-football-northwest-indiana-111377 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/NWI Football.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bears may have hired a general manager, but they&rsquo;re still looking for a new coach to turn things around. Since the team failed to make the postseason &mdash; again &mdash; Bears fans have to get their playoff fix elsewhere.</p><p>But what if there was another team to root for...in the Chicago market?</p><p>Indiana state Rep. Earl Harris (D-East Chicago) plans to introduce a bill in the Indiana General Assembly to lure a new NFL team to Northwest Indiana to spark development.</p><p>Call it Harris&rsquo; version of fantasy football.</p><p>&ldquo;I want to talk about it. I want to create enthusiasm. I want to get some of the people that I call shakers and movers involved in it and we&rsquo;ll see where it goes,&rdquo; Harris said. &ldquo;The idea of having three football teams, I think it would work. I think it would be an economic boon especially in Northwest Indiana.&rdquo;</p><p>Northwest Indiana resident Tom Byelick says even though he&rsquo;s a Bears fan, he could root for another team that plays in his backyard.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a great idea,&rdquo; Byelick said at Rodney&rsquo;s Sports Bar in Highland, Indiana. &ldquo;Look at it this way, at least 70,000 people coming in here six or eight weekends out of the year bringing in a lot of money, buying tickets and souvenirs and drinks things like that. I don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s any way to lose.&rdquo;</p><p>As it turns out, this wouldn&rsquo;t be Northwest Indiana&rsquo;s first football team.</p><p>Nearly a century ago, the Hammond Pros played for six seasons during the early days of the NFL.</p><p>Coach Fritz Pollard would later become the first black coach in the NFL. And future Bears owner George Halas was originally a wide receiver for the Pros, whose &ldquo;home&rdquo; games were played at Wrigley Field.</p><p>But before you get too excited, here&rsquo;s where fantasy meets reality.</p><p>&ldquo;Never say never but there&rsquo;s almost no chance there&rsquo;s an NFL team relocating to northern Indiana,&rdquo; said Daniel Kaplan, a writer for the Sports Business Journal. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no way [the Bears] would stand for a team there. And secondly, the NFL doesn&rsquo;t have any interest in relocating there.&rdquo;</p><p>Of course, 20 years ago it was the Bears who considered relocating to Northwest Indiana.&nbsp;</p><p>The team flirted with the idea of building a new stadium in Gary as a way to get Chicago to renovate Soldier Field. The proposed stadium was called Planet Park &mdash; and featured a futuristic, space-ship-looking design.</p><p>Sound familiar?</p><p>Speros Batistatos, head of the South Shore Convention &amp; Visitors Authority, says Northwest Indiana needs to give visitors more reasons to pull off the expressways.</p><p>&ldquo;If we&rsquo;re going to compete in the global marketplace, we&rsquo;ve got to start spending some money creating venues that people are going to want to go to,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it should be limited to just the chase of an NFL team.&rdquo;</p><p>Tom Byelick believes an NFL team is worth chasing, but first residents have to believe in themselves.</p><p>&ldquo;Northwest Indiana in particular got some what of an inferiority complex,&quot; Byelick said. &quot;We&rsquo;re that part of the state that Indiana doesn&rsquo;t really want and Chicago doesn&rsquo;t really claim us either. We have a tendency to kind of downplay our own virtues. I mean why not aim high?&rdquo;</p><p>Especially after a season that had Bears fans feeling so low.</p></p> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 15:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/are-you-ready-some-football-northwest-indiana-111377 Morning Shift: Assessing the value of a college education http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-10-23/morning-shift-assessing-value-college-education-110981 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/CARLY.DEYLE_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We tackle some of the issues facing higher education and discuss how to stay above the debt. And, we look at what we learned from SARS when it comes to epidemic panic. Plus, we examine the characteristics of young extremists in the United States.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-79/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-79.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-79" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Assessing the value of a college education " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-10-23/morning-shift-assessing-value-college-education-110981 Morning Shift: Can celebrity endorsements help on the campaign trail? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-10-20/morning-shift-can-celebrity-endorsements-help-campaign-trail <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Kevin Gebhardt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at whether a political candidate really benefits from getting a noteworthy someone to stump for them. Plus, we get a preview of the 25th Chicago Humanities Festival with program director Alison Cuddy. The theme for this year is &quot;Journeys&quot;.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-76/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-76.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-76" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Can celebrity endorsements help on the campaign trail? " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-10-20/morning-shift-can-celebrity-endorsements-help-campaign-trail Morning Shift: Chicago Fire Festival lands in the hot seat http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-10-06/morning-shift-nfl-continues-efforts-improve-domestic <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/NATASHA J PHOTOGRAPHY.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk about the new podcast from This American Life called &quot;Serial.&quot; It will tell one story over an entire season. Plus, a young, acoustic act shares songs filled with wisdom.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-nfl-continues-efforts-to-improve-dom/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-nfl-continues-efforts-to-improve-dom.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-nfl-continues-efforts-to-improve-dom" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: NFL continues efforts to improve domestic violence policies" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-10-06/morning-shift-nfl-continues-efforts-improve-domestic Does Marc Trestman hold the Bears' Golden Ticket? http://www.wbez.org/news/does-marc-trestman-hold-bears-golden-ticket-108783 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Trestman AP Photo_Don Wright.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-7fcd7129-5c84-6b53-f704-d4025a62f3f1">Marc Trestman is a former college quarterback who was certainly known in and around football. He had 17 years of experience in the NFL with eight different organizations. He worked as a running backs&rsquo; coach, a quarterbacks&rsquo; coach and an offensive coordinator; he coached college ball too. He was a football savant but rubbed people the wrong way. And then...he disappeared.</p><p dir="ltr">The football world knew he was in Canada but didn&rsquo;t pay too much attention to that, according to Yahoo! Sports writer <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/football-thursday--bears-coach-marc-trestman-needed-exile-in-canada-to-overcome--doesn-t-relate-well--reputation-174051955.html">Les Carpenter</a>. Trestman had spent the last five years in Montreal coaching the Alouettes; he led the team to back-to-back Grey Cup championships, that&rsquo;s Canada&rsquo;s version of the Super Bowl. He was the CFL&rsquo;s Coach of the Year in 2009.</p><p dir="ltr">So what changed? Why after years of being bounced around the NFL was he suddenly this successful head coach? Carpenter traveled to Canada to find out.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think he went up there and he realized, &lsquo;I need to understand people. I need to deal with football players as people--not as names on a roster sheet or numbers in front of me on jerseys.&rsquo; And I think a lot of the players really embraced that. They felt, &lsquo;gosh, this is a guy who really cares about me,&rsquo;&rdquo; Carpenter explained.</p><p dir="ltr">That&rsquo;s certainly how Alouette wide receiver Brandon London felt&hellip;eventually.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think that we were going to get along...because I was thinking in my head, here&rsquo;s a coach that&rsquo;s going to try and change me. But after that three years of being together, Coach Trestman&rsquo;s become a really good friend of mine, (a) really good mentor of mine,&rdquo; London said.</p><p dir="ltr">And London&rsquo;s not starving for football mentors. His father&rsquo;s Mike London, a former NFL player and the current head coach at the University of Virginia.</p><p dir="ltr">But, London said Trestman made him think about football in a very different, very detailed way. Or as he put it, &ldquo;obsessive.&rdquo; And Carpenter concurred.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He wants things to be very meticulous...almost to the point where there can&rsquo;t be typos in the schedule that they put out every day for the things that they&rsquo;re going to do,&rdquo; Carpenter explained.</p><p dir="ltr">Trestman&rsquo;s current players had even more to say about his character.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I always say Coach Trestman reminds me of the first Willy Wonka...not the Johnny Depp one, the Johnny Depp one&rsquo;s really cool...but the first one. Cause if you really look at coach, he&rsquo;s a genius...I thought Willy Wonka was brilliant,&rdquo; tight end Martellus Bennett said recently.</p><p dir="ltr">And, the candy man, like Trestman, for those who don&rsquo;t remember, had an eye for detail.</p><p dir="ltr">It makes sense that Trestman is a meticulous guy. He is, after all, an attorney. He got his law degree while working as an assistant coach under Jimmy Johnson at the University of Miami. &nbsp;Between NFL gigs in the &lsquo;90s, Trestman also spent a few years working as a stockbroker, selling municipal bonds and managing investment portfolios.</p><p dir="ltr">Oh...and he <a href="http://www.coachmarctrestman.com/">wrote a book</a> about perseverance and leadership and he is frequently referred to as a genius. But Carpenter said that Trestman&rsquo;s smarts often rubbed people the wrong way.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it was some of the bookish look, the lawyerish look as somebody described it to me...I think some of it was that idea that he wasn&rsquo;t going to come out drinking, he wasn&rsquo;t going to hang out in bars with other coaches,&rdquo; Carpenter surmised.</p><p dir="ltr">That seemed to be something Trestman was able to work through in Montreal. Because London called him a friend and Bears tight end Martellus Bennett now says the Bears look at their coach as one of the players.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s just like of the guys out there...he&rsquo;s like a teammate to us, he&rsquo;s not just a coach...he&rsquo;s part of this team,&rdquo; Bennett explained.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout has covered the Monsters of the Midway for the better part of three decades. She wasn&rsquo;t sold on the Wonka analogy but said, &ldquo;If they [the Bears] could make the playoffs, then the Golden Ticket I think would be punched then.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She said the surest way to do that is to get Jay Cutler to buy in--and that shouldn&rsquo;t be too difficult for Trestman. He coached some of the NFL&rsquo;s best quarterbacks. He coached Steve Young and Rich Gannon; Gannon won the NFL MVP during Trestman&rsquo;s time with the Oakland Raiders.</p><p dir="ltr">And, Raye-Stout said, Trestman has already put in extra time with Cutler.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Trestman took all of every negative play that Cutler had last year...all the sacks, all the interceptions, all the bad plays and showed it to him. To kind of show him, this is what we&rsquo;re gonna work on. Jay was taken aback at first and then realized, he was dealing with someone that was not just on his level but above his level,&rdquo; Raye-Stout recalled.</p><p dir="ltr">At the end of the day, Bears fans won&rsquo;t care if Trestman is Willy Wonka, a lawyer, a quarterbacks coach, a stockbroker or a genius...so long as he&rsquo;s a winner.</p><p>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez.</a></p></p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 18:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/does-marc-trestman-hold-bears-golden-ticket-108783 What Phil Emery needs to get the Chicago Bears in the draft http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/what-phil-emery-needs-get-chicago-bears-draft-106790 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_phil_emery_pre-draft_jim_prisching.jpg" style="float: right; height: 222px; width: 300px;" title="Phil Emery addresses the media before the draft. (AP/File)" />Thursday is every holiday rolled up into one for Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery: the start of the NFL draft.</p><p>Several free agent signings in recent months have peppered this team with some needed help.</p><p>But the loss of some players to free agency and the decision to go in an alternative direction has re-shaped the Bears. There is also the desire to find replacements for woeful players.</p><p>Emery is talking all calls to move out of the first round with the team&rsquo;s 20th pick for the right deal. If the Bears GM could grab two more selections and fill positions like offensive guard and linebacker, a trade would be welcome.</p><p>This will be the first draft in a long time without Lovie Smith involved. Emery now has his handpicked head coach Marc Trestman.</p><p>There is no doubt Emery is focused on what this team needs.&nbsp;</p><p>When former number one draft pick Gabe Carimi is moved from tackle to guard and still has to compete with new free agent signee former Jets guard Matt Slauson and second year player (undrafted) James Brown you know the Bears feel that position may still be inadequate.</p><p>Offensive coordinator coaching guru Aaron Cromer says he doesn&#39;t care where a player is drafted. He will start the best five to protect the quarterback.</p><p>The only returning starting linebacker is 32-year-old Lance Briggs. Brian Urlacher is still waiting by the phone for a NFL roster spot. Nick Roach signed with Oakland.</p><p>Emery didn&rsquo;t hesitate to sign a couple of linebackers to one year deals: former Denver bronco D.J. Williams and former Carolina Panther James Anderson. Williams has a checkered past. Maybe a new team will help him settle down.</p><p>You can&rsquo;t forget last year the Bears dealt two third round draft picks for troubled Brandon Marshall. That deal not only worked out, it showed the Emery has guts.</p><p>The Bears have a couple of back-up quarterbacks on their roster: Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard. Neither is the future (or the present).</p><p>Jay Cutler will likely enter the season in the final year of his deal without a contract extension and the Bears would love for him to have a monster year.</p><p>The Super Bowl Champions in Baltimore had the same scenario last year with Joe Flacco. They are paying Flacco a ton of money now and their salary cap was decimated. But they will get their championship rings in a few months.</p><p>Sometimes you have to gamble and gladly win in the end.</p><p>The Bears should look for a quarterback in the draft. Seattle found Russell Wilson in the third round last year. Maybe there is another gem hidden in the middle rounds.</p><p>Emery addressed the offensive line&rsquo;s biggest need by signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod.</p><p>Getting tight end Martellus Bennett adds another weapon for Cutler. But if another quality tight end is available the Bears would likely make that selection.</p><p>The Bears may need to look for some youth at cornerback. Charles Tillman is 32 and injuries are a factor. Both starters Tillman and Tim Jennings were Pro Bowlers last season, but the league is full of talented and big wide receivers. Another cornerback could be necessary.</p><p>After the draft, the Bears will likely continue to fill out the roster with undrafted players, free agents and unsigned veterans.</p><p>One Bear who is still sitting waiting for a team is defensive lineman Israel Idonije. The NFL salary cap has hampered most teams. Veterans like him will either take a big pay cut or may be forced into retirement. Urlacher is in the same boat.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/what-phil-emery-needs-get-chicago-bears-draft-106790 NOM caught in lie about Chicago Bears' donation http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/nom-caught-lie-about-chicago-bears-donation-106514 <p><div><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1337256000000.cached.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="File: From left, Martha and Stan Harper hold signs in support of the National Organization for Marriage on Aug. 10, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP)" />On Wednesday, <a href="http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/04/03/another-homophobic-nfl-team" target="_blank">Dan Savage</a> and Equality Matters gave Chicagoans a <a href="http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/nom-bears-false-witness-chicago-bears-call-nom-claims-about-support-false/marriage/2013/04/03/64368" target="_blank">heart attack</a> when they informed us that our beloved Bears (the sports team kind) may be collaborating with a hate group. Equality <a href="http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201304030002#.UVyLtJG0-FZ.facebook" target="_blank">passed along</a> an email from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage, who runs NOM&rsquo;s Ruth Institute Gala. The &ldquo;esteemed&rdquo; doctor (probably a mail-in thing) specifically trumpeted coveted donations from the Bears organization, which included signed memorabilia from Brian Urlacher and Walter Payton.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dr. Doom wrote:</div><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This year, we&#39;re planning on sending our graduates off with a bang! And we&#39;ve got some help! Several donors have stepped up and donated terrific items for us to raffle as prizes in an effort to raise funds for ITAF &#39;13...</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;For now, you should know that we have two fabulous raffle items from the Chicago Bears Organization (and a huge THANK YOU to the Bears for supporting our message).&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">It was news to the Bears organization, who had no idea what Roback Morse was talking about. When WBEZ contacted the Bears for comment, we received the same message that went out to the rest of the press:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The two items featured in The Ruth Institute gala invitation were personal donations to (President) Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. Neither was a club donation, nor do they represent the team&#39;s view on any social issues. Any remarks stating otherwise are false.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-chicago-bears-same-sex-marriage-20130403,0,4979361.story" target="_blank">Chicago Tribune</a> backed up the team&rsquo;s assertion that the relationship was in Roback Morse&#39;s head:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&quot;I sign a lot of stuff for charity and I don&#39;t always know where it goes,&quot; Urlacher told the Tribune. &quot;If I would have known it was for this cause, I wouldn&#39;t have done it.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Payton&#39;s older brother Eddie Payton said he did not know of any memorabilia regarding his brother used to support an anti-gay marriage group.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;This is the first I&#39;ve heard of it,&quot; said Payton, a former NFL kick returner. &quot;Walter treated everybody equal. Â…Only Walter could speak for himself, but it&#39;s a touchy subject. It should be a non-subject.&quot;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Before the explosion got too big, Roback Morse decided to walk away from it slowly and coolly, like in a Michael Bay movie, lest anyone realized what had happened. To minimize damage, the goodly doctor issued a complete retraction:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&quot;The Ruth Institute is not working with the Chicago Bears organization or any of its players past or present to promote our upcoming auction. The memorabilia we are auctioning off was acquired by me personally, not through the team or players. We understand that the Chicago Bears organization takes no position on social issues, and we regret any confusion we may have caused on this point.&quot;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">But what did happen here? If you translate this email from PR doublespeak into plain English, it comes out to:</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Ruth Institute lies lies lies lies lies lies lies. Et cetera, et cetera. Clarification of previous lie. Deeply sorry, et cetera. Never do it again, et cetera. Didn&rsquo;t mean to cause harm, et cetera. America, et cetera. Love football, et cetera. We&rsquo;re still bigots, et cetera.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The Latin roots can be a little misleading, but according to my scholars fluent in hate, that&rsquo;s the gist.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicagoans have taken solace in knowing that the Bears were completely let off the hook here for any wrongdoing. But the reality of NOM is still sick and depressing. The <a href="http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pro-family-leaders-warn-that-hate-group-label-defines-christianity-as-bigotry/" target="_blank">National Organization for Marriage</a> is a <a href="http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/03/26/national-organization-for-marriage-has-a-rough-start-to-2013/" target="_blank">notorious hate group</a>, as measured by the <a href="http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/summer/shading-the-truth" target="_blank">Southern Poverty Law Center</a>&rsquo;s &ldquo;Flaming Bigotry Meter.&rdquo; (Their hate <a href="http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/summer/shading-the-truth" target="_blank">goes up to 11</a>.) <a href="http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201304030002#.UVyLtJG0-FZ.facebook" target="_blank">Equality Matters</a> surveyed the organization last year only to find that <a href="http://www.hrc.org/nomexposed" target="_blank">NOM</a> conferences &ldquo;peddled&rdquo; anti-gay propaganda to attendees.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: justify;">According to <a href="http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201304030002#.UVyLtJG0-FZ.facebook" target="_blank">Equality</a>, this is what everyone&rsquo;s favorite Dirty Bigot Liars were telling people:</p><ul dir="ltr"><li style="text-align: justify;">&quot;Same-sex parents are more likely to molest their children than heterosexual parents</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Children raised by gay parents are more likely to identify as gay</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Homosexuality is a sin akin to polygamy or incest</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Same-sex relationships are &ldquo;dysfunctional&rdquo; and &ldquo;inherently unstable&rdquo;</li></ul><p dir="ltr">In addition, one of the speakers at <a href="http://www.ruthinstitute.org/ITAF12/" target="_blank">ITAF</a>, Robert Gagnon, <a href="http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201304030002#.UVyLtJG0-FZ.facebook" target="_blank">once compared</a> high schools&rsquo; Gay-Straight Alliance groups to &ldquo;Nazi skinheads&rdquo; and opines that LGBT people are &ldquo;worthy of death.&rdquo; Gagnon will be presenting at the conference again this year, because one good hate speech deserves another.</p><p dir="ltr">This might not be surprising to anyone familiar with NOM&#39;s radical, exclusionary politics, nor will it be a shock that opponents of marriage equality are willing to lie and spread false propaganda to curtail the nuptial rights of queer people. We&rsquo;re seeing that in Illinois. Remember those robocalls about &ldquo;homosexual money?&rdquo; If it was a promise, I&rsquo;m still waiting to receive mine. I&rsquo;m hoping they show up with a big, gay million dollar bill like Ed McMahon.</p><p dir="ltr">However, despite what the organization&rsquo;s name suggests, it&rsquo;s not just about marriage. It&rsquo;s about keeping queer people afraid. It&rsquo;s about maintaining a system that works against queer families, lives and livelihoods and rolling back the hard-earned rights we&rsquo;ve fought for. It&rsquo;s about ensuring that it will never get better, ever &mdash; no matter how many people die to get there.</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s particularly pathetic that NOM is trying to bring the Chicago Bears into their anti-gay politics, especially at a time when the NFL is attempting to fight its own history of homophobia and queer exclusion. Last week, the NFL players&rsquo; union came out to <a href="http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20130326/OPINION05/303260002/NFL-union-weighs-same-sex-marriage" target="_blank">support same-gay marriage</a>, a huge step forward for an industry that&rsquo;s been afraid to even acknowledge the existence of queer people. Slowly, the NFL is coming out of the closet, and NOM is trying to shove them right back in.</p><p dir="ltr">Other than their right-wing supporters, few take NOM seriously. Who cares about Roback Morse or what she thinks? No one even knew who she was until this week. Luckily, they won&#39;t know next week, either. Obscurity is a beautiful place.</p><p dir="ltr">However, a great number of people care what the Bears think. Locally and nationally, the Bears are a symbol of masculinity and part of how the culture teaches young boys to be men (which, apparently, means covering your body in orange and blue paint and yelling &ldquo;Woop! Woop!&rdquo; in the cold).</p><p dir="ltr">As a kid reading Sports Illustrated, I looked up to my sports heroes to teach me what brotherhood and leadership were. Teams throw around these concepts but so often don&rsquo;t live up to them.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicagoans hoped that the Bears would come out on the right side of history and show queer and allied fans that everyone&rsquo;s support matters. By speaking out against NOM&#39;s claim, the Bears have sent a great message about what teamwork means to them: that a team means all of us, Bears and Chicagoans alike. If they could show their support by one day having a gay player on the team, all the better.</p><p dir="ltr">In the meantime, the Bears have exposed NOM&#39;s hate for what it is: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang covers LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can follow Nico on <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or find them on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/nom-caught-lie-about-chicago-bears-donation-106514 App will help parents, kids map routes to new schools http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/app-will-help-parents-kids-map-routes-new-schools-106278 <p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><a href="http://cps.go2school.org/" target="_blank"><img alt="Go to School!" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Go%20to%20School%21.png" style="border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; height: 508px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="cps.go2school.org/" /></a><strong>&#39;ATTENDING A NEW SCHOOL COULD BE A DANGEROUS PROSPECT.&#39; </strong>As Chicago prepares for its largest-ever round of school closings, Tom Kompare, a member of Chicago&#39;s vibrant <a href="http://www.meetup.com/OpenGovChicago/" target="_blank">Open Government Chicago</a> programming movement, has created a new Web application called <strong>&quot;Go to School!&quot;</strong>&nbsp;-- to help families across Chicago gauge &quot;their travel options.&quot; That includes, as he explains in an email to the group, &quot;locations of police stations, fire stations, and hospitals.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">He says&nbsp;it started out as a selfish exercise: &quot;I sometimes get to work from home and get to pick up my daughter after school. I need to hop on the L do so, and was wondering when I had to leave in order to get there on time.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">The app&#39;s up and running now, with maps showing which schools are closing or relocating. By this fall, he expects to add so-called &quot;safe haven&quot; businesses and crossing guard locations. It works on smartphones or desktop browsers. Check it out at <a href="http://cps.go2school.org/" target="_blank">cps.go2school.org</a>.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Meanwhile, Kompare is making <a href="https://github.com/tkompare/go2school" target="_blank">the source code available here</a> to anyone who wants to adapt it for use by other school districts.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">* <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/cps-school-closing-fight-_n_2950921.html" target="_blank">Student protests escalate</a>, along with fear over violence.<br />* Chicago putting <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-police-foot-patrols,0,7096814.story" target="_blank">more cops on foot patrol</a> along dangerous blocks.</span></p><hr /><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 18px;"><em><span style="color: rgb(128, 0, 0);">Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;</span><a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.</em></span></span></p><hr /><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>A MILLIONAIRE AT 17.</strong>&nbsp;British teenager&nbsp;Nick D&rsquo;Aloisio has sold his news-reading app, <a href="http://summly.com/" target="_blank">Summly</a>, to Yahoo for a figure <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/business/media/nick-daloisio-17-sells-summly-app-to-yahoo.html?_r=0" target="_blank">reportedly in the tens of millions of dollars</a>. And how was your Monday?<br />* <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/spotify-plans-to-take-on-netflix-and-hbo-with-streaming-video-service-2013-3?op=1" target="_blank">Spotify targets Netflix, HBO</a> with streaming video, including original content.<br />* <a href="http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2013/03/25/facebook-improves-its-commenting-system-bringing-threaded-comments-and-replies-at-last/" target="_blank">Facebook finally adds &quot;Reply&quot; option</a> to comments.<br />* Facebook founder Zuckerberg creates <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/facebooks-zuckerberg-push-immigration-reform" target="_blank">organization to promote immigration reform</a>.<br />* Mayor Bloomberg seems to suggest <a href="http://politicker.com/2013/03/did-mayor-bloomberg-warn-rupert-murdoch-to-stop-twittering/" target="_blank">Rupert Murdoch stay off Twitter</a>.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>&#39;HI, IN THE PAST 2 YEARS, YOU HAVE ALLOWED ME TO KILL 70,000 PEOPLE.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;<em>The Onion&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/hi-in-the-past-2-years-you-have-allowed-me-to-kill,31805/" target="_blank">makes fun of&nbsp;Syria&#39;s president,&nbsp;Bashar al-Assad</a>. Or is it making fun of everyone else?<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-un-syria-20130325,0,6661725.story" target="_blank">UN pulls staff out of Syria</a> because of deteriorating conditions.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>NFLer OUT OF THE CLOSET?</strong>&nbsp;CBS Sports reports <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/mike-freeman/21946093/some-believe-atmosphere-is-safe-for-gay-nfl-player-to-come-out" target="_blank">a current NFL player is considering coming out publicly</a>. His main concern, the report says, is that <a href="http://deadspin.com/report-a-gay-nfl-player-is-strongly-considering-comi-458750903" target="_blank">he&#39;ll be in jeopardy from homophobic fans</a>.</span></p><hr /><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Get this blog by email, free. <a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">Sign up here</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* Looking for the most recent WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/news-quiz" target="_blank">Here you go</a>.</em></span></p></p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/app-will-help-parents-kids-map-routes-new-schools-106278 Bears and Urlacher part ways http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/bears-and-urlacher-part-ways-106198 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rsz_brian_urlacher-seattle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There should be no surprise that the Bears and Brian Urlacher parted ways, it is unfortunate that it had to come about this way.&nbsp; The Bears released the news Wednesday evening; the decision was made by General Manager Phil Emery.</p><p><em>&ldquo;We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,&rdquo; Bears General Manager Phil Emery said. &ldquo;Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.&rdquo;</em></p><p>Urlacher was the Bears number one draft pick in 2000. (9th overall) He was a safety from the University of New Mexico, but his conversion to middle linebacker put him on a path to become an eight-time Pro-Bowler and a future Hall of Famer. He flourished under former Bear head coach Lovie Smith&rsquo;s Tampa-2, utilizing his speed and quickness. Urlacher was a leader on and off the field for the Bears. His play-calling on defense was credited for the team&rsquo;s success during his thirteen years in Chicago.</p><p>Urlacher sustained a severe knee injury during the final game of the 2011 season. This past season he missed all of training camp, though he was able to start the first 12 games of the season. Urlacher intercepted Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown in week 9, but in week 13 he injured his hamstring against Seattle and was sideline for what would be the final games of his Chicago career.</p><p>Urlacher leaves the Bears as the all-team franchise leader in tackles with 1, 779. His 22 career interceptions are two behind Dick Butkus for Bear linebackers. He started 180 games as a Bear, which is third behind Walter Payton and Olin Kreutz.</p><p>The loss of Nick Roach to free agency and the inability to reach a deal with Urlacher leaves only Lance Briggs as a starting linebacker for the Bears.&nbsp;</p><p>With the NFL salary cap making such an impact on team rosters, it is difficult for teams to retain older players, like Brian Urlacher. With his 35<sup>th</sup> birthday in May and his physical abilities seemingly diminished, the new Bear regime could not offer a contract that would satisfy the now former &ldquo;Face of the Franchise.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 19:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/bears-and-urlacher-part-ways-106198 New faces shine on Bears' coaching staff http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/new-faces-shine-bears-coaching-staff-105553 <p><p>It&#39;s been nine years since the Bears had this much upheaval with its coaching staff. Last week, new head coach Marc Trestman made the new staff available to the media for the first time since they were hired.&nbsp;Here are some of highlights from the session:</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_marc_trestman_jim_prisching.jpg" style="float: left; height: 445px; width: 300px;" title="Bears head coach Marc Trestman has assembled his staff. Now the work begins. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)" />Trestman&#39;s main buzz word is <strong>teaching</strong>. Like a newly-assembled band, some of these coaches have worked together before, but others are still trying to blend their talents.&nbsp;A wide receiver coach is the only vacancy.</p><p>Since the majority of&nbsp;staff has been together just a few weeks, <strong>getting the play book</strong>, not evaluating players, has been the focus.&nbsp;</p><p>Quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh briefly spoke of his main pupil, Jay Cutler. Explaining why he has not yet evaluated the Bears&#39; quarterback, Cavanaugh said, &quot;It&rsquo;s not fair not to get to know the person, not to get to work with him personally and base everything from film.&quot; But Cavanaugh has worked with Trestman in the past, and said they are on the same page with most of the offensive schemes.</p><p>Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker may have the most difficult job ahead. But he&#39;s confident that once players see the plan they will be on the same page. Tucker also stated there are <strong>no plans to change the Bears defense </strong>from a 4-3 to a 3-4.</p><p>Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has a tough job ahead. He wants &ldquo;five guys that can play together with a couple of back-ups&rdquo; on the line. There were no specifics about the players he has to work with from the present roster, but the new coach said he will work them out to&nbsp;find&nbsp;their attributes. As a whole, they&#39;ll use <strong>an attacking style offense</strong>&nbsp;with multiple formations and quick passing. Kromer likes to use the tight end in this offense. Of course, they need to find one first to make it work. . . .</p><p>Assistant line coach Pat Meyer may be new to the Bears, but not to Marc Trestman: They worked together in Montreal and at NC State. Meyer talked about what to expect from the new Bears coach. &ldquo;He is going to be very player-friendly, [and] he is very intelligent &ndash; smart with schemes for both pass and run,&quot; Meyer said. &quot;[Trestman&#39;s] &nbsp;excited and likes to bring emotion to the game.&rdquo; Meyer also said Trestman likes to have his staff &ldquo;share their knowledge.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, former Bear Chris Harris is starting his transition from the playing field to coaching staff. Trestman was impressed that Harris was willing to start at the bottom rung in defensive quality control. He will be spending plenty of time at a computer rather than hitting a receiver. There is still no clear picture of Brian Urlacher&rsquo;s status; he&#39;s talked with Trestman but that&#39;s the extent of it.</p><p>Next up: In a few days, the Bears staff will travel to Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine. There&#39;s still a lot of work to do in the weeks and months to come.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="http://&lt;https://twitter.com/Crayestout&gt;">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/new-faces-shine-bears-coaching-staff-105553