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Football is Coming!

We are less than a month away from regulation football, everybody!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL, CHICAGO?

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL, CHICAGO?

Training camp is hot and happening in Bourbonnais! With a week and a half until preseason begins, the Bears face many obstacles that must be cleared in order to prepare to face-off against another team. The loss of Lovie, the departure of Urlacher, and the shaky consistency of Jay Cutler are all things that the Bears must improve in order to have a shot at the playoffs.

Steppin up!

Steppin up!

The Bears solid defense is something that needs a bit of work as they are adjusting to working without their former leader, Brian Urlacher. Tillman is looking good, Peppers is in the quarterback’s face, and Jennings is keeping himself near the ball to keep near the action. With so much speculation about how the defensive line would shape up after the losses of Urlacher and Lovie, they seem to be picking up where they left off and building on their solid foundation. Lance Briggs is stepping into Urlacher’s legendary shoes and calling plays. Mel Tucker, first year defensive coordinator for the Bears, says “[Briggs] is doing a great job with checks and the adjustments.” Maintaining solid work will definitely help the Bears on their journey to the postseason.

Bear Down, Cutler, or Bow Out

Bear Down, Cutler, or Bow Out

ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright notes that Jay Cutler’s problem is not his arm. Cutler struggles with his dropbacks, delivery, and footwork. While Cutler is definitely showing signs of improvement, when asked if he could maintain his momentum, Marc Trestman said, “We’ve got to come here and remind each other each day, ‘If we’ve got two willing guys that are willing to work with each other to do it, we’ve got the best chance.” Trestman knows there is no magic bullet with Cutler; Cutler must evolve. Evolution is a slow process, but if Cutler is already showing signs of improvement, he may have a chance of keeping his job. Along with his own performance, he must teach himself not to rely heavily on Brandon Marshall. Marshall missing a few days of training camp due to a hip injury gave Cutler a way to refocus on other receivers and allowed for other receivers to give Cutler a chance to trust them on the field. If the Bears are going to work, they must work as a team, not as a dynamic duo.

Only one dynamic duo can win a Super Bowl, and you're not Batman, Jay Cutler!

Only one dynamic duo can win a Super Bowl, and you’re not Batman, Jay Cutler!

The breakout star of training camp is Kyle Long. Reports coming from Bourbonnais say #75 is an amazing defender and a great asset to the team. He spent the offseason working on mixed martial arts fighting techniques to improve balance and stamina. He still has a lot of work to do to beat out James Brown for the starting right guard position, but he remains optimistic and focused. “I’m playing a game that kids play for fun,” Long said, “We’re blessed enough to be able to get paid. It feels great.” Training camp is fantastic, but he must really shine bright when the preseason begins August 9th.

HOLY PRIZES, BATMAN!

HOLY PRIZES, BATMAN!

We are excited for preseason and excited for the official return of the Chicago Bears on August 29th! We are so excited, in fact, that we are having a Chicago Bears Tailgating Giveaway! Head over to our Facebook page and enter to win the contest. Click here for details, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for other opportunities to enter! Bear Down, Chicago! Football season is almost here! SPORTS IS GOOD!

 

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WE ARE READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!

Okay, so winter shows up in Chicago and overstays its welcome. Around New Year’s Day, Chicago is completely done with snow, slush, cold, wind chill, poorly-heated apartments, waiting on the bus, and generally any activity that requires being outdoors. Being excited for football means, yes, we are accepting that football means winter–long, seemingly endless winter. It’s not that we want summer to end; we love pools, the beach, ice cream, sunshine, and not having to wear eight layers of clothes when we leave the apartment. However, baseball is just not doing it for us. This baseball boredom is not just sweeping Chicago, but it’s spreading throughout the country like wildfire (http://tinyurl.com/olrnon2). So, one must look ahead to the future in sports and see that the wave of the NFL is visible from the shore.

Also, the wave has a shark in it because football is totally hardcore like that!

Also, the wave has a shark in it because football is totally hardcore like that!

Training camp for the Bears starts in a week and a half and the Bears have a lot to work on to prepare for the upcoming season. With a new coach, Jay Cutler facing the end of his contract, a batch of new players, and the absence of Brian Urlacher, the Bears have a lot to adjust to before facing the Panthers on August ninth.

We loved Lovie, now we have to trust Trestman.

We loved Lovie, now we have to trust Trestman.

Of course, the first major adjustment will be to the new head coach, and possible middle-aged John Boy Walton, Marc Trestman. Lovie Smith had the ability to focus veteran players while inspiring rookie players to stand up to the challenge of becoming a part of the solid Chicago Bears roster; we do not know what Trestman has in store for the Bears. His first, and most important challenge, will undoubtedly be to whip Jay Cutler into shape. This should prove a successful task for Trestman as he was the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders in 2002 which resulted in Raiders’ quarterback, Rich Gannon, winning that year’s NFL MVP Award, even though the Raiders lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. Gannon’s 2002 season saw shattering records, throwing 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns. If Trestman could turn Gannon into a cannon, he could certainly bring out the same success in Jay Cutler.

Jay's back!

Jay’s back!

Jay Cutler, though, must be responsive and open to the changes and work hard to maintain his position on the Bears roster. This is the last year on his contract, so he must be willing to do what’s necessary to lead the Bears to the playoffs in order to keep his job. One of the main things he needs to focus on is to stop relying heavily on Brandon Marshall. Though their chemistry on the field is overpowering, his crippling reliance on Marshall is only hurting the team. Last season Marshall ended the season with 118 receptions; behind him were Earl Bennett with 29 receptions and Devin Hester with 23 receptions. Cutler needs to focus on the other players as Marshall may not always be open or may get hurt. Cutler needs to learn to keep his options open this season before the Bears decide to open up their options in next year’s off season.

This is what it sounds like when the Bears cry.

This is what it sounds like when the Bears cry.

Of course, a new coach and a quarterback in need of repair are two things that the Bears must adjust to, but one of the biggest changes is the absence of the king of the defensive line, Brian Urlacher. The Bears picked up DJ Williams and Jon Bostic in hopes of filling the big shoes of Urlacher. However, Urlacher didn’t just leave a gap in the physical defensive line, the Bears lost a leader on the field. The defense worked because Urlacher was an upstanding leader on the field. This would be the best time for Lance Briggs to step up into that role as he has the seniority, the experience, and the energy to rebuild the tight nucleus of the Bears defensive line.

Because this guy will get you pumped about football!

Because this guy will get you pumped about football!

Though the tight defensive line is in need of some minor adjustments, the offensive line needs to be fiercely restructured and refocused. The Bears are notorious for having the sloppiest offensive line in the NFL. Over the past three seasons, Jay Cutler has been sacked 113 times. You don’t have to be a football coach to know that lying on the field is not the best way to throw the ball to a teammate. It’s also not the best way to keep your quarterback in a good condition to play. Offensive linemen Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Kyle Long, J’Marcus Webb, and Roberto Garzo have a lot of work to do and a lot to prove.

"No, guys. I'll just sit here until you figure out how to keep me from getting tackled. Thanks."

“No, guys. I’ll just sit here until you figure out how to keep me from getting tackled. Thanks.”

All of these tweaks, adjustments, and changes should be focused on one goal: the playoffs. Chicago is hungry for another playoff and baseball is not providing any satisfaction for anyone on the North Side or the South Side. The Bulls made the playoffs without Derrick Rose this year, and they fought long and hard to the bitter end. They fell to the Heat but vowed to return next season to claim the Larry O’Brien trophy. The Chicago Blackhawks skated through the competition and brought the Stanley Cup back to the Windy City. No one has any hopes for baseball, but everyone has put their faith in the Chicago Bears. If Jay Cutler wants to keep his job, he has to get the Bears to the playoffs this year. If he doesn’t, the townspeople will finally revolt against the quarterback instead of sitting on their barstools and blithely bitching about his performance. Chicago is hungry for another exciting round of playoff sports and, though the NFL playoffs are a ways away, getting there takes time, focus, and practice. The Bears have ample time to get their eyes on the prize and make sure they have what it takes to get them to that goal.

Bring It On!

Bring It On!

There are a few more weeks until preseason kicks off, so be sure you are prepared with the freshest Chicago Bears gear you can get your hands on! Find this original “Bring It On” tee here (http://tinyurl.com/lshblom), or browse our vast selection of Bears gear on our website (www.clarkstreetsports.com). Get prepared for football season, and get ready to BEAR DOWN!

 

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Where Do We Go From Here?

HEY, REMEMBER WHEN THE BLACKHAWKS WON THE STANLEY CUP?

IT LOOKED LIKE THIS AND IT WAS AMAZING!

IT LOOKED LIKE THIS AND IT WAS AMAZING!

Right now, life is all parties, parades, and passing out. Chicago has the parade coming up on Friday which is already drawing a large out-of-town crowd. This week promises to be a sea of red shirts and jerseys passing through the streets making Chicago’s infrastructure look like arteries crammed with red blood cells. However, after the remnants of the parade have been swept away and July brings patriotic parties and barbecues, we must make sure we are not still clinging desperately to the Blackhawks win. Next week many of us will find ourselves in a food-stained Shaw jersey, surrounded by empty beer cans, watching Dave Bolland’s game-winning goal on repeat on YouTube, and looking to see if anyone else still has any energy to party for the Blackhawks.

Where do we go from here? In a week or so, your boss will not accept that faded Toews shirt as acceptable work clothing and your fatigue as the norm (this window of time is even shorter for those of you living outside of Chicago). At some point in the near future, after the parades and parties, we have to figure out how to get back into normal life. We’ve spent two months in playoff hockey rooting against the Wild, chanting “Detroit Sucks!”, dethroning the Kings, and taking down the Bruins that our brains are programmed for drinking and adrenaline at seven o’clock at night. Without Shaw beating up the opposing team, how are we supposed to figure out how to exist? Is there life beyond playoff hockey?

1. Hey, Did You Know Baseball Is Happening?

No Jumbotron!

No Jumbotron!

 

Hey, did you guys know that baseball is still a sport? Did you know that it’s been happening since, like, April? Now, we know that suggesting switching over to baseball from playoff hockey is like telling you that drinking sips of Sprite will get you just as drunk as slamming shots of tequila.

"No, Sprite's gonna get you tore up. Look at how faced this lamb is!"

“No, Sprite’s gonna get you tore up! Look at how faced this lamb is!”

 

So, more has been happening at Wrigleyville than an argument about a ridiculous jumbotron. It turns out that this team known as the Chicago Cubs has been playing a game known as baseball there for, like, three months. Their 31-43 season is hardly surprising because these numbers reflect the Cubs playing baseball. As usual, the Cubbies have some outstanding winners and some abysmal-looking losers. Nate Schierholtz is killing it this year with a line of .296/.347/.558 and has ten homeruns under his belt with 29 RBI. However, Carlos Marmol is killing the Cubs by allowing 26 hits, reeling in 21 walks, and letting six home runs get pitched right out of the park. Statistics like this reflect why he’s the perfect closing pitcher; he’s the best bet the Cubs have for screwing up a lead and losing it all in the ninth which is pretty much their baseball superpower.

Replace flying and super strength with errors and losing in the final moments and this is what the Cubs look like.

Replace flying and super strength with errors and losing in the final moments and this is what the Cubs look like.

 

The Cubs are expected to trade major assets Nate Schierholtz, Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, and Kevin Gregg. This is perfect because the Cubs’ offense is terrible, so trading their best offensive players seems like a really good idea.

Surprisingly, down at Comiskey (or, if you’re new, US Cellular Field), things are fairing a little better but not by much. Their 29-41 season is a smidge more successful than the Cubs, thus far. After being swept by the Cubs in the Crosstown Classic, the White Sox haven’t fared better than their North Side rivals and will not be getting to the playoffs this year. At 10.5 games behind the Tigers and looking a losing hot player, Jesse Crain, the White Sox need to focus on playing with new ways to spice up their game for next season or admit that they’ve just stopped believin’.

Hmmm…perhaps baseball isn’t the best thing to follow a successful hockey season with. Whereas it is a good excuse to drink, it may just be a good way to pass the time until August.

2. Bears Football Is Only 74 Days Away!

But who's counting?

But who’s counting?

On August 9th, the Chicago Bears pre-season games begin in Florida against the Panthers!

This season promises to be interesting as a lot has been shuffled. First, Lovie Smith has been replaced by new head coach, Marc Trestman. He has yet to have to prove himself, but he has had a successful track record of focusing quarterbacks. Quarterbacks need to be focused, and they need someone they can connect with who can run the ball. New to the roster this season is former New York Giant, Martellus Bennett. This tight-end had fifty-five receptions and five touchdowns with the Giants next year; hopefully, he will take pressure off of Brandon Marshall. This will also be the Bears’ first season without Brian Urlacher leading the defensive line. We have seventy-four days until we see how this new line-up performs on the field; once that starts up, it’s only a short time until hockey begins again.

3. Just Wait for More Hockey

We just need a short break!

We just need a short break!

 

With no lock-out looming like storm clouds in the distance, we won’t have to wait as long for hockey season! Give the boys a break, they’ve had a long short season of kicking ass and taking names.

4. Look Good For Lord Stanley’s Cup

Peep This Champ Shiz!

Peep This Champ Shiz!

 

Okay, you don’t have to stop the party for the Blackhawks. The Stanley Cup is exciting, and there will probably be a lot of babies born in Chicago nine months from now. However, though your ratty Kane shirt has brought the Blackhawks a lot of luck, it’s time to freshen up your look with some new Blackhawks threads because the Stanley Cup is in Chicago and it demands some fine threads and accessories. Luckily Clark Street Sports has a lot of Stanley Cup Championship gear to choose from, so you can add to your already extensive Blackhawks-themed wardrobe. Whether you’re going to the parade or just keeping the summer going strong with endless Stanley Cup parties, you’re going to need to show your love for the hard work the Blackhawks did this season. So visit http://www.clarkstreetsports.com for all of your sports attire.

We’re going to get through this time without hockey together because there are so many other teams to scream yourself hoarse over because sports is good!

 

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Could the Bears hire Marc Trestman on his birthday?

Today’s Montreal Alouettes Head Coach Marc Trestman Birthday. So, could the Bears hire Marc Trestman on his birthday?

Marc Trestman

Marc Trestman

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