Thursday, February 2, 2023

Column: George McCuskey’s press conference on the firing of Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy from the Chicago Bears was destined to be a classic.

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In terms of performance, George McCuskey’s one-man show on Monday afternoon will be hard to beat in 2022.

Playing the role of a corporate executive wagging his fingers during a 59-minute videoconference with the media, McCuskey criticized high school students for chanting “Fire Matt Nagy” at Nagy’s son’s soccer game, hinting at former All-Pro center Olin Kreutz. was a liar, told us that his 99-year-old mother, Virginia, was “very, very disappointed” with the Bears season and ended with a half-hearted pronouncement of “Go Bearsss.”

Whatever you say about the McCaskey family and their mismanagement with the Bears, she has maintained an overwhelming sense of self-confidence, at times bordering on arrogance, despite her apparent lack of success under her leadership.

McCuskey’s press conference on the firing of general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy was not televised, which is a shame for a city like Chicago that cherishes its football and theater scene. But at least the Bears were kind enough to stream it on their Twitter app, perhaps knowing it would be an instant classic for both baby boomers and TikTokkers.

And McCuskey did not disappoint. He was slightly belligerent and condescending, while at the same time constantly bearish towards the skeptical audience of fans who had been looking forward to Black Monday for months. He never changed facial expressions or raised his voice in anger or disappointment, behaving calmly, coolly and collected. If anyone creates a reality show featuring Real Lake Forest Executives, look for McCuskey as the star.

We’ve seen some of the classic Chicago press conferences. Former Cubs host Latroy Hawkins once called one in 2004 to announce that he was not speaking to the media. George’s brother, former Bears chairman Mike McGinnis, was running the club in 1999 when the team issued a press release announcing that Dave McGinnis would be the next head coach – before McGinnis agreed to do so. “The announcement was made even before we agreed to any terms,” McGinnis said at an impromptu press conference in O’Hare. “And from there it all went down.” McGinnis said he was hurt by the “lack of honesty in the process.”

Maybe George McCuskey’s press conference on Monday about the layoffs won’t live up to that memorable fiasco, but it should stand the test of time for his show of strength.

When you only have one press conference a year, you have plenty of time to rehearse your answers. The only question that baffled McCuskey was when someone asked if he was saying Kreuz lied when the popular former Bears center claimed that the team once offered him $ 15 an hour to help him coaching. lines of attack.

“Uh, it’s like that with Olin,” McCuskey replied after a long pause. “You don’t understand the whole story, but Olin knows the stories.”

Kreuz was predictably upset and told Tribune’s Brad Biggs on Monday afternoon.

“I always had the feeling that George didn’t like me, and I confirmed that today,” Kreutz said. “It’s okay. I’m not worried that he doesn’t like me.”

Kreutz probably took the hit for the rest of the former Bears players turned into media outlets too many to mention. They all fell under McCuskey’s skin and deserve at least partial credit for firing Pace and Nagy.

Their criticism of Bears’ actions has been loud and clear over the past few years and has certainly influenced fans who tune in to radio or post-match TV shows. Former Bears Ed O’Bradovich and Doug Buffone set the template on their shows after playing the WSCR-AM 670, showing how it is done. Buffone died in 2015, but O’Bradovich continues to gut the Bears executives and the weekly coaches’ oversights at WGN-AM 720, along with his outspoken Hall of Fame partner Dan Hampton.

Kreutz, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Tom Waddle and Patrick Mannelly are among the other former Bears players who often preferred to bite the hand that once fed them.

Bow down, ex-bears. The fans listened, and so did George McCuskey.

While McCuskey was mocked by many on Twitter, he deserves a round of applause for his bold denial of reality. He remains a firm believer in President Ted Phillips, despite evidence that Phillips left marks in all coaching and management decisions that did not work.

But McCuskey finally realized that any self-respecting general manager the Bears should have hired would not take the job if he or she had to report directly to Phillips. Thus, McCuskey wisely stated that Phillips would be preoccupied with details regarding a potential stadium site in Arlington Heights for the foreseeable future, and confirmed that the new general manager would only report to him.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts made a similar call in 2011, appointing Crane Kenny as his president of business operations so that Theo Epstein would come from Boston and take over baseball operations without any interference.

Epstein reported only to Ricketts. Now all McCuskey has to do is find Theo Epstein of the NFL Grandmasters, someone with a proven track record who can shake the franchise from its founding and help turn the Bears into winners.

It’s weird that McCuskey left Phillips on his GM search committee, but you have to believe it’s out of sheer loyalty and Phillips won’t really get involved. Phillips’ only real duty on the search committee is to say, “Great choice, George.” Collaboration has its limits.

Now the search begins, and we may not hear from McCuskey for another year.

We can hardly wait.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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