It’s been a long time since my family has exchanged gifts on Christmas Day. All the kids on my side of the family are grown up and as adults we either don’t exchange gifts or let Santa Amazon ship them directly to our homes. Mix in some family squabbles and estrangements and let’s just say our family get together is best done over Facetime.

However, being married means you get a new family and a new set of traditions.

By the way if you forgot to send me a gift, it’s not too late to click here and like Mysteries of Life’s Facebook Page. You can also subscribe to this blog and get an email notification whenever a new post is published. The latest Facebook algorithm changes might cause you to miss some of my posts and you don’t want Facebook deciding what you can and cannot see do you? Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. !”

 

Now for the things I re-learned.
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Holidays

8 things I relearned about Christmas presents

Gallery
Chicago Sports, Tuesday Armchair Quarterback

Chicago Bears Interesting Statistic for 2013 Season

When I was a young lad, I wanted every team that beat the Bears to miss the playoffs that year. Some years, that would have required canceling the post-season. With today’s Bear’s game against the Green Bay Packers putting it all on the line, let’s look back at the season so far.

Teams that beat the Bears

St Louis                    Washington
Lions                         Lions again
Philadelphia            New Orleans
Minnesota

The Rams and the Deadskins* slim playoff hopes were mercifully put to rest before December. Detroit beat the Bears twice and what did they get for their trouble? Eliminated from the playoffs via their own self destruction.

What to say about the Vikings. They split the series but any playoff shot they had got buried in their quarterback by committee controversy.

Philly em-Bear-assed the Bears on National TV and New Orleans did a good job too, especially when Drew Brees drew veteran Lance Briggs offsides on 4th and 1, extending a drive and essentially ending the Captain Comeback reputation Jay Cutler was starting to create. Both these teams could miss the playoffs if they don’t win today.


Teams that Bears beat

Bengals            Pittsburgh
Baltimore        Dallas
Giants              Cleveland
Minnesota

Cincinnati lost on opening day but then went on to have a stellar season, securing a playoff berth by winning their division. Don’t get me started on the Playoff System.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore, somehow, are surprisingly still in the playoff hunt. Although a lot of things — like the cure for cancer, production of cold fusion and co-operation of Congress — have to happen in order for one of them to make it.

The Giants lost to the Bears though it was one of their best loses up to that point. They then went on to start winning and even looked like they might do a playoff run like they did in 2008.  Alas, they just couldn’t overcome their own demons.

Even Cleveland was mathematically still in the playoff hunt until the refs decided that the Patriots needed a little extra help.

And Dallas has a shot to make the playoffs if they can knock off Philly, which would help prove my theory, which is that statistically speaking, it is better for your playoff hopes to lose to the Bears. Hear that Green Bay**?

* — I refuse to use the team name.
** — yeah I also know the season ends today.

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Holidays

Holiday Cards, Christmas Ghosts and lost opportunities

She waits for the postman each day this time of year.

In her twenties she got tons of cards. There were too many to fit on her faux fireplace mantle.  Post-college friends keeping their promise to keep in touch from various far away cities.

In her early thirties she syoung womantill got a steady supply though more and more the college friends only wrote around this time of year and her birthday.  Electronic Mail (e-mail) was the new thing.  Still the real cards would signal that the holidays had arrived.

In her late thirties the cards leveled off a bit, friends had got married and started families, no one had time to write, electronically or otherwise.  Jokes might be forwarded and sometimes a one-day conversation would occur if you replied back.

In her forties she got a resurgence of cards from all her friends children…her adopted grand children…

In her fifties those trailed off as these grand kids got older and spent less time writing…

Now she waits as the days go by, Christmas quickly approaching. there is one particular card she waits for.older woman

A card from Him — Her missed opportunity.

 

 

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Tuesday Armchair Quarterback

NFL Playoff System needs some tweaking

Before we can address the fix for this problem, we have to first agree that we do have a problem.  Namely, weaker teams are getting into the playoffs while arguably superior teams are sent home to watch the playoffs on TV.  If you truly believe that the current NFL playoff system is fine the way it is, please stop reading now.  Seriously, stop reading.  I’m not kidding, go look at Dilbert or Buzzfeed or play on Facebook.  If you don’t think there is a problem, I’m not gonna be able to convince you that there is and I don’t want to waste your time with a solution.

Okay now that that is settled, let me re-state the problem.  It’s really two problems but they are intricately related:

1)  Teams with better records can sit home while teams with fewer wins get to go to the playoffs
2)  Teams with better records play away games while a team with few wins gets to host the playoff.

By definition, the playoffs should be between the best of the best teams in the conference. Is a team that started out strong at the beginning of the season then faded as good as a team that got better as the season wore on? It’s not an easy question to answer. First there are all the usual issues – differences in the opposing defenses week to week, injuries to key players on either team week to week, etc.

Let’s look at an 8-8 team and a 10-6 team from an analytical standpoint. Generally speaking, all you can really know from this comparison is that the 10-6 team won two more games than the 8-8. I know, no kidding Sherlock, bare with me a moment. We don’t know if the 10-6 team had a “softer schedule” or the 8-8 team had more injuries, or if the 10-6 team won every game by two scores while the 8-8 team lost their games by 3 points or less. When using statistics to draw assertions about sports, one needs to be careful to exclude as many variables as possible, and interpret the data in light of its limitations.

If there are more games played over a season, the one-off anomalies should cancel themselves out and the superior team will usually if not always prevail. However, football at the National League Level is a very violent, demanding game. A longer season would all but assure that the teams that make it to the playoffs would injury riddled.

At the end of the day, we have to take it on face value that the team with the better record is the better team. And our current playoff system often punishes the better team.

One feature that might be a bug is that winning your division automatically gets into the playoffs and home field game.  Look at 2010 for instance.  How could either a 7-9 Seattle or an 8-8 St. Louis not only qualify for the playoffs, but also host a game? Meanwhile the 10-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers stayed home.

Advocates of not changing the system will point to the need for having meaningful regular season division races. We need those divisional rivalries to stay strong, and why shouldn’t fans of a division winner be rewarded with a home playoff game? Well, because now that there are only 4 teams per division, it’s not as essential to consistently beat the teams in your division to make the playoffs as it once was.

On the other side of the issue are those who just can’t see why a 7-9 team or even an 8-8 team should make the playoffs when at least one 10-6 team won’t be invited to the dance.  Why cannot we have both?

Okay now for the solution.

The simplest solution could be a rule tweak.  Remove the entitlement reward of home field for winning your division.  Teams with the top two records will still earn byes, but after that, the division winner should not automatically get to host their wild card opponent.  If a division team faces a wild card team with a better record, the WC team hosts.

Of course this is more of the exception to the rule like the one in baseball where teams from the same division cannot face each other in the first round.  I hate that rule.

A better rule — a more fair rule change — would be a seeded system.  The top 6 teams go to the post season, with wild card rules existing for tie breakers.  This changes things and a division winner could end up missing the playoffs, but it would be a division leader with a weaker record.

Another option would be to expand the number of playoff games.  In an interview with NFL.com’s Judy Battista, commissioner Roger Goodell said he would not be opposed to adding more contestants into the league’s annual postseason tournament.

I’m putting at the end of this post because the trolls who skim through this will sum up my solution as “expand the playoffs” without reading the nitty gritty above.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, football is a dangerous sport. While I’d love to see more football games per year, I know that it just isn’t realistic unless I want to see more of the second and third teams playing each other toward the end of the season.

Expanding the playoffs without making the suggestions above will only exasperate the problem. You could potentially have more 8-8 or even 7-9 teams hosting playoffs. And with an expanded playoffs under the current system, you’d theoretically have a bunch of better teams playing lesser teams in the first couple rounds which amount to a bunch of boring blowouts. Certainly no one wants that.

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Current Events

Duck Dynasty backlash could go a little too far

Unless you actually live in the Louisiana backwater that the Robertson Clan resides in, by now you’ve probably heard about the big Duck Dynasty Controversy. Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson uttered his opinion about gays (among other things) during an interview with GQ.

In a likely damage control move, A+E then suspended him from the popular cable show indefinitely. And if that wasn’t enough, civil rights groups chimed in. And then more conservative figures also weigh in. Soon they all sang a Katy Perry Christmas carol cover while dancing in a style that is a little Bollywood and a little Hip-hop. Okay that last part didn’t happen. Here’s what did:

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT civil rights group in the U.S., is demanding an apology from Phil Robertson and for A+E Networks to denounce his comments. “These remarks go beyond being outlandishly inaccurate and offensive,” the group said in a long and detailed statement. “They are dangerous and revisionist, appealing to those in our society who wish to repeat patterns of discrimination. We urge A+E to immediately denounce and repudiate Robertson’s comments. Furthermore, we call on you to see that Phil Robertson apologizes for his vitriolic comments. —source

While I don’t get the appeal of Duck Dynasty, somebody – a lot of somebodies since it is one of the most popular cable shows out there with 14 million fervent – does. I also don’t think Robertson should have been suspended by A&E**. The guy voiced his opinion about something he admittedly knows nothing about. (He also paraphrases the book of Genesis from the Bible I must have missed the part about everyone being a vegetarian until the Flood in my Sunday school learnins’).

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” —Source

Was this an ignorant statement.  Of course.  Is he in need of some enlightenment and perhaps a homophobic reality check? No doubt. But we shouldn’t have a society where someone is punitively punished by their employer for voicing their opinion especially outside the confines of that employment.   Even if that opinion doesn’t reflect the majority (or growing majority) or popular belief. He didn’t call for the gay people to be executed or hunted like ducks or even treated differently. He even went on to say in a statement to Fox News:

“…I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

Now for a quick Civics review for those saying his first amendment rights are being violated. The first amendment protects you from having the government come in and arrest you for something you said. It doesn’t grant you impunity from breaking the law, such as committing slander or Defamation. It also limits obscenity and pornography, but doesn’t outright restrict them. One other thing the First Amendment doesn’t do: prevent someone else from speaking out or acting within the law against you.

In other words if you say you don’t like the color blue, the government isn’t going to knock on your door and arrest you. But they also aren’t gonna do anything if I decide I hate people who don’t like blue and I don’t buy your kids girl scout cookies, or loan you bus fare or do any of the thousands of minor passive-aggressive things I can to make your life more difficult if I have the power to do so.

So when Sarah Palin Sarah Palin tweeted: “Free speech is endangered species; those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all.”

She was being her usual combination of dramatic and attention whoring. The United States Government, even the one with so-called socialist Barack Obama, isn’t going to endanger Robertson’s freedom of speech. In fact, I doubt Obama even watches Duck Dynasty and if he does, it’s probably to feel better about himself. [Hey that might be the draw of the show after all!] There is however, nothing stopping A&E from deeming Robertson’s comments a threat to its brand and executing any contract clauses Robertson and A&E agreed to for the $200K per episode.

Here’s where the Human Rights Campaign might be going a bit too far:

“We urge A+E to immediately denounce and repudiate Robertson’s comments. Furthermore, we call on you to see that Phil Robertson apologizes for his vitriolic comments.” — source

Translation: we don’t like what he said, make him stop and make him believe what we believe. This is a dangerous path to go down.  It’s one thing to solicit an outfit like A+E to limit Robertson’s access to an audience to share his opinions.  It’s quite another to try and force him to revise his belief system and apologize for it.    At best you’re gonna get one of those non-apology apologies where the person says “if I did anything to offend anyone I’m sorry for that.”

Here’s the thing though: you don’t want a world where people like Robertson feel they cannot say what they believe. I’d rather know who these people are from the get go so I can avoid them and the only way to know that is to let them spew their garbage.  Because restricting them from saying it isn’t the same as getting them to reconsider their belief system. All The Human Rights Campaign will accomplish is getting people LIKE Robertson to keep quiet while secretly harboring ill will toward homosexuals.

**Personally, I kinda think this is one of those No Such Thing as Bad Publicity scenarios where Star/Celebrity/Public Figure says something controversial, there’s backlash, there’s backlash to the backlash. There is clarification or apology for the comment and then everyone goes back to what they were doing but now you have even more viewers and fans than you did before.  But that is just my opinion and hopefully ChicagoNow won’t suspend me for it.
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Marathon Monday

Shorter workouts in winter can help maintain, lose weight

One month ago I contacted fellow ChicagoNow blogger Tracie Danielson Mitchell to ask a exercise related question.  That inquiry led to a new workout to incorporate in my exercise routine.  She recommended I try this routine.

In a nutshell, I was going to do the following routine when I run:

Warm up for 5 to 15 minutes
1-minute sprint
1 minute easy
90-second sprint
1 minute easy
2-minute sprint
2 minutes easy
90-second sprint
2 minutes easy
1-minute sprint

She suggested 5 to 10 intervals 3 times a week.  I’ve done intervals before — we call it speed work in the running community — and I know that I would have to build up to three times a week.  I wondered if this workout was designed to be done on a treadmill.  Since I prefer to run outside I asked Traci what she thought.  She suggested using city blocks instead of time as my gauge.  run three blocks at a comfortable pace, run one block hard (repeat x 10…since they’re short intervals).

In the month since our conversation, I’ve done this workout 8 times over 4 weeks and if my bathroom scale is accurate (it isn’t’) I’ve lost 4 pounds.  Or more correctly, my weight has bobbled up and down 4 lbs.  I have a very unscientific theory that the winter months are the hardest to lose weight because we’re designed to store fat for the winter.   On top of that, we go to all these holiday parties and eat sugar laden foods and drink calorie laden alcoholic drinks…just like our cavemen ancestors!

Here’s what I learned using this workout along with some tips:

1)  Of those 8 workouts, I did one on the Dreadmill and found that it didn’t seem like a quality enough workout to me.  That could be my own treadmill bias or it could be that it is just harder to sprint on a treadmill.

2)  It is up to you to figure out what your “easy” and “sprint” paces are.  Consistency is the key because goal is for your 5th sprint to be within 10 seconds of your first sprint pace.  being the geek I am, I used my Garmin to record the splits each time i switched between sprint and easy.  I found that my splits were more consistent after doing this routine a few times. Garmin Intervals

 

3)  It helps to have a piece of paper with the workout typed out on it.  Don’t sweat it if you sprint for 75 instead of 90 seconds but don’t cut your easy interval short to make up the time.

4)  If you add it up, it comes to 13 minutes of intervals along with a 5-15 minute warmup.  you should also do a cool down.  So you’re talking about a 20-30 minute workout plus cool down.  In other words, this is a very easy workout to fit into your day (though it’s not necessarily an easy workout!)

5)  When you first start doing these intervals, it’s okay to walk one of the easy leg, especially the last two minute one.  When running outside it’s a good opportunity to tightened your tights, tie your shoes, blow your nose and check in with your body.

BTW: the original question I asked about:

Me:  I suspect everyone’s mileage may vary but would you say generally speaking, a person will burn more calories in a 40 minute run than a 20 minute run with the caveat that the longer run is done at a slower pace?

Traci Danielson Mitchell:  If you take one person and had them run at 40 min, then again at 20 min at the same PACE, they’d burn more in 40 than in 20.  If the 20 minute run was significantly faster than the pace of the 40 minute run, then PER MINUTE, the faster run will burn more.
However, the best bet is to run fast for 20 than run slow for 40 – maybe you won’t burn as many calories, but you’ll increase HGH, boost your metabolism and burn more fat. Does that make sense?

sure does.

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Okay when I say Life Hacks, I really mean changes that need to be implemented in this world that would make my our lives easier.  And when I say quick and easy I mean there’s a two part process involved but the tools, infrustructure or just plain “we put a man on the moon, we can do this” already exists.  It just takes someone high enough on the corporate food chain to say “make it so” and the possible implementation of technology that already exists.

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Evergreen Content, Life Hacks

6 quick and easy Life Hacks we need right now

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Uncategorized

TRIsterzas.com is a scam

So last month I was shopping around for an ice maker. Our bar is in our basement but the refrigerator with the ice is upstairs and it was starting to become a drag having to schelep ice downstairs like cave people for our Manhattans. I did the usual Google search and found a plethora of options. I also had a zillion of those Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons along with dozens of other retail stores offers.

But nothing could compare to the offer I found at TRIsterzas.com. A NewAir AI-100R 28 lb. portable Ice Maker in Red. This puppy sells for close to $200 at most places.

TRIsterzas.com was offering it for $50 and free shipping!

Perhaps that should have tipped me off that something was wrong. However, I figured it was simply an inventory clear-out of an older model. I’ve seen that many times, a manufacturer produces something, then the next model has a better feature and no one wants the older one. Just like with child movie stars when they hit puberty.

So I went through the ordering process. First you have to create an account.  After doing so, I got an auto-generated email from Store Owner Jeffrey J. Burke.  I placed my order and got another auto-generated email telling me that my TRIstezas.com Customer Service was Helen T. Armstrong. Wow, what a personal touch.

The next thing that happened should have alerted me that something wasn’t on the up and up.  I got the following email:

Hello,

Thank you for your order. Once payment is received, we will process it ASAP.

Payment instructions can be found at: http://tristezas.com/checkout.html

If you already followed the checkout instructions, please be patient as we will update your order status soon.

Warm Regards,
Helen T. Armstrong
TRIstezas.com Customer Service
This email address was given to us by you or by one of our customers. If you feel that you have received this email in error, please send an email to office@tristezas.com
This email is sent in accordance with the US CAN-SPAM Law in effect 01/01/2004. Removal requests can be sent to this address and will be honored and respected.

The link is no longer up but it went to a page that indicated your purchase will show up as a a Sony PlayStation Network Card – $50 [Online Game Code] on your credit card so you won’t have to pay sales tax. “This is normal and will allow us to process your order without any taxes and you’ll receive an additional 1 cent discount from Amazon.”

Blinded by my desire to get a $200 ice maker for fifty bucks, I rationalized that this 3rd party vendor is probably working with Amazon in some way to reduce costs. I ordered the item and got an email saying it would ship in 5 – 8 business days and my tentative date of arrive was Nov 27 or 28. I really didn’t think it was going to arrive on Thanksgiving but figured it would either get there the day before or the day after. Yay, Manhattans for everyone.

When it didn’t arrive that Friday, Saturday or the following week, I final got bothered enough to look into it. First, I emailed them. Then I tried the contact us on the website. I looked around for a phone number but there was none. Then I noticed they didn’t have a phone number nor did any of my inquires receive even an auto-generated response. Then I noticed that every single product on their website is $50 and has free shipping.

How they get you:
This is when it started to occur to me that something was rotten in cyberspace. Actually, I suspected earlier but this is when I finally eliminated all the other possibilities. After all, Tristeza is apparently Spanish and Portuguese for Sadness. Then I did some Google-fu and found a few websites like Yahoo Answers and Reddit devoted to this scam. I quickly contacted my credit card company and requested a refund.

And this is probably how they get you. By the time you realize your order is never gonna arrive, by the time you realize you didn’t get even an auto-generated response to your email inquires…so much time has passed that you cannot expect ot get your money back. So someone ends up with a bunch of PlayStation network cards.

There is a silver (or perhaps red) lining to the story. First, I am receiving a credit from my Chase Card. Second, I did find a nicer ice maker on Sears. It was listed as $149.99 but was on sale for $134.99 and with my Rewards Points got it down to $117.14 though tax knocked it back up $7.32.

Manhattans just like the cave men had!

Manhattans just like the cave men had!

But then while checking for this post, I see that Sears is now selling it for $121.49. While deciding what to do next, the onsite ChatBot asked me if there was anything she could help me with. Hell to the YEah!

“I have made the $13.50 sale adjustment. You will receive an email notifying you of the refund. It will take 5-7 business days to post back to your account.”

Everything takes 5-7 days in the e-commerce world.

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Holidays, Social Maintenance

Holiday PSA: Evite Etiquette

Quick Quiz:  When you get an invitation that requests an RSVP, do you:

  • Immediately check your calendar and respond accordingly,
  • Wait until the last minute to make sure something else doesn’t suddenly pop up,
  • Something in between depending on who/what the sender/event is.

Most of us fall in that last category myself included. But I always strive, though sometimes fail, to be classy and graceful in my response, especially when the answer is “no.”  Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time to be considerate of the hosts feelings when it comes to responding, or not responding, to an invitation.

EVITE Pet Peeves

Some people receive an EVITE, click on the URL, check their calendar and RSVP appropriately. These are healthy, well-adjusted people and I fear I don’t know many among the legions of people I call my friends. For others, responding to an EVITE seems to require an act of Congress.  As if responding too soon  might be perceived as too available.

Some people RSVP’ing by not RSVP’ing.   They figure you’ll figure it out when they don’t show up.

Others like to play the I’m too busy to even open the EVITE (probably because they know or EVITE lets the host know when someone has viewed the invitation). Unless you are working on the cure for Cancer, putting the finishing touches on your cold fusion generator, or solving World Hunger, your busy isn’t any more important than anyone else’s busy, Chester.

Finally there is the too-good-for-EVITE person. They get the EVITE, click on it but instead of just saying yes|no|maybe they send you an essay about why they cannot attend. Seriously, please get over yourself and quit being a drama queen.

People tend to overshare on their No-RSVPs. In some cases, they feel the need to come up with a good excuse like the dog ate their homework. In other cases, I would say they were raised by wolves, except that would sully the good reputation of wolves.  Listen, I know your probably thinking that it’s just a stupid invite to a dumb party and you don’t owe the host anything.   But that is what is wrong with society today.  This cavalier attitude.

Actually, you owe them a modicum of thoughtful consideration for their effort.  And not just the kind that doesn’t require getting up off the couch.  Even if the invite is from someone you barely know, who perhaps just invited the “whole group” so as not to leave anyone out, the polite, gracious thing to do is to decline without hurting the hosts’ feelings or insulting their intelligence.

Look at the following two responses:

Sorry, we can’t make it. Dennis is off hunting this weekend and my family and I are celebrating my grandmother’s 92nd birthday. Have a fabulous party and thanks for the invite!! Happy holidays!!!

Would be fine if she skipped the part from Dennis to birthday. It’s extraneous, unnecessary and a much classier response without it.

Sounds like fun, unfortunately I’ll probably be packing for my end of year getaway. Hope the tree turns out fantastic!

Okay so you’re missing a party because you have to pack? What he’s really saying is that he’s so busy that the only time he has to pack a suitcase is this particular evening, it’s very understandable but at the same time, you’re saying a suitcase outranks a party.

Sorry,  can’t make it. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

This one is perfect. Can’t make it, no need to mention why not. Wishing you well.

Here’s a clue hint: Unless you are trying to not-so-subtly send the message that you want to be left off the invite list next year, simply say something like “thank you for the invite but unfortunately I cannot make it” or “so sorry to miss it.”

Unless you are out of town, posting what you are doing instead of attending someone’s event isn’t cushioning the blow, it’s insulting the host. You’re basically boasting that you are choosing to do something else. Hey, if you want to stay home and masturbate that’s your prerogative, but you do not need to share it with everybody on Evite.

And the 11th hour cancellations! Please.

We live in a Don’t have a Good Excuse so I’ll Make you listen to a Bad One Society. When you decline an invitation you’re not obligated to provide a reason. If you must, be polite, considerate and graceful. Don’t say you’re just gonna stay in and get some things done or go see a movie. Simply say that you aren’t able to make it.

…but thanks for the invite is invitation-ese for “please don’t invite me to anything else.”

Let me know when your next event is” is invitation-ese for “I’m sorry for being such a donk, please invite me next time and I’ll do a better job of making it.’

I’d write more but I have a stack of EVITE to look through!
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Chicago Sports, Tuesday Armchair Quarterback

Jay Cutler here to stay and that’s a good thing

Alright, I’ve finally got enough of the bad taste from Sunday’s Bears loss to vent my spleen about Jay Cutler. He’s not going anywhere Chicago and that’s probably a good thing. I know a lot of people here think they’ve seen enough of the Good Jay/Bad Jay show to think it’s time to look elsewhere. What everyone fails to remember is the quarterback by committee years of 2002-2004 and the decade of mediocrity before that.

Here’s the thing. His first couple years here, he was running for his life because the O-line was as weaker than a marinara sauce made from Ketchup. And all those interceptions? Yes some were poor judgment and forcing something to happen. But a good number were also receivers not running the correct route or coming back to the ball when a play broke up (see running for your life).

Now that he finally has a better O-line that is young and will hopefully only improve, and he has legitimate receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. This hasn’t been seen in Chicago since the Conway Engram days. And let’s not forget we have a tight end that can block and catch…on the same play!

If there were any chance the Bears would let Jay go before, the current state of the Defense as seen the last two Sundays make the case for locking Jay up before he has the good sense to go anywhere else.

The way I see it the Bears can franchise tag Jay and keep Josh McCown around for insurance without blowing the budget. Then they take a QB in the draft and develop him the way Green bay use to develop qbs behind Fayre. Not give him the car keys like they did to Cade McNown.

The things Cutler can do well (throw deep and make the difficult passes) outweigh the things McCown can do well (be mistake-free). Sure, McCown made some tight throws and deep passes on Sunday but that was against a Vikings Defense that was DOA.

Josh McCown would work well in the type of team of old. A stingy defense. A no non-sense offense with a durable running back or two. And a consistent special teams that is the whole package. I’m not talking just a Highlight-tape Hester like returner. I’m talking about a special teams that consistently wins the field position battle by pinning opponents back while achieving enough yards of their own to spot the no-name quarterback a short field.

Oh come on, just one more week

Oh come on, just one more week

In fact, I predict this type of team will make its way back into fashion within the next 3-4 years. There are 17 quarterbacks under contract to earn more than $13 million in 2014. And the 2014 draft is predicted to be extremely deep at the quarterback position. That means a lot of teams will be spending money on QBs. Which also means some teams will have to find other ways to make it work. For all we know, McCown will be the next Kerry Collins making a Super Bowl run on his way to retirement, but not for the Chicago Bears.
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