Thursday, November 19, 2009

What He's Really Saying

For the last few days, the radio talk shows have talked about little else than what Dr. Dan Grossman, ophthalmologist from Bloomington, IN, had to say about Jay Cutler, Rex Grossman and the sad state that is the Chicago Bears:

"You know this young man can really play the sport and that position. It borders on the ridiculous. And the media wants to continually rip the player. And they are missing the point. It's not the player. It's the organization.

I'm not even going to rip the coaches. It's not even the coaches. The coaches are given a clear, strong message: 'We're not building an offensive passing team; we're building an offensive running team.'"

What the media has focused on are the direct points Dr. Grossman made (why is Jay struggling and why did Rex struggle) and the "journalistic" angle (why did Fred Mitchell even go and contact Dr. Grossman).

There is some merit in the journalism angle. Is it good for society to have newspapers, in this specific case the Chicago Tribune, continue to try to stave off extinction by creating stories and not simply reporting them? Does it even matter in something as trivial as sports? If this practice is accepted for sports, does it have ramifications for how news organizations will cover hard news?

All good discussions to have.

But Dr. Grossman makes an accusation that fans of sports teams need to understand. Dr. Grossman has directly accused the McCaskey family of directly controlling the style of on field play to the detriment of the product. Listen to what he says:

"I believe that the NFL is a passing league. It has been for the last 20 years. Chicago continues to use the phrase, at least Lovie Smith continues to use the phrase, 'We get off the bus running.' They need to abandon that concept. Running is obviously a very important part of the offense. But the best teams in this league are prolific passing teams."

The good doctor is saying that ownership is guiding the "run first" mentality when the league has moved on to become a passing league.

No one in the professional media has asked Mike McCaskey to comment on this as far as this page knows.

Do the Bears make general manager and coaching hires based upon on-field styles as directed by ownership?

Does ownership get involved in game decisions in other ways?

Are player personnel decisions still influenced by ownership?

This is what Dr. Grossman is saying. About time someone asked if his accusations have merit.

And, Cub fans, let's hope Tom Ricketts is paying close attention to this as well.

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