As the performing arts progress, George McCaskey’s Monday afternoon one-man show will be hard to top in 2022.
Playing a finger-wagging corporate executive over a 59-minute video conference call with the media, McCaskey reprimanded high school students for chanting “Fire Matt Naegi” at Nagy’s son’s football game, once an All-Pro Inspired Kendra Olin Kreutz was a liar, informing us that her 99-year-old mother, Virginia, was “very, very disappointed” with the Bears’ season and wrapped things up with a half-baked delivery of “Go Bears.”
Say what you will about the McCaskey family and Bear’s mismanagement, but its leadership has retained a surprising sense of confidence, at times bordering on arrogance, despite its apparent lack of success.
To explain McCaskey’s news conference General manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagyo fired Wasn’t broadcast on TV, a shame in a city like Chicago that cherishes its football and theater scene. But at least Bear was kind enough to stream it on his Twitter app, perhaps knowing it would become a classic with Baby Boomers and TikTokers alike.
And McCaskey did not disappoint. He was mild combative and kind While “bear-plain” to the skeptical audience of fans who’ve been eagerly waiting for Black Monday for months in a row. He never changed facial expressions or raised his voice in anger or frustration, acting calm, calm and collected. If anyone makes a reality show featuring “the actual executive of Lake One,” look for McCaskey to star.
We’ve seen some classic news conferences in Chicago. Former Cubs reliever Latroy Hawkins once made a call in 2004 to announce that he was not speaking to the media. George’s brother, former Bears chairman Mike McCaskey, was in charge in 1999, when the team issued a press release announcing that Dave McGinnis was the next head coach – before McGinnis agreed. “There was clearly an announcement made before any of the terms were agreed,” McGinnis told a quick news conference at O’Hare. “And from there he went downstairs.” McGinnis said he was hurt by the “lack of honesty in the process.”
Maybe George McCaskey’s news conference on Monday to explain the firing won’t match that memorable debacle, but he should stand the test of time for his Tour de Force performance.
When you only have one news conference per year, you have plenty of time to rehearse your answers. The only question that stumped McCaskey came when someone asked if he was saying Kreutz lied when the popular former Bears center claimed the team once gave him $15 to assist with offensive line coaching duties. was offered per hour.
“Uh, that happens sometimes with Olin,” McCaskey replied after a long pause. “You don’t get the whole story, and Olin knows the stories.”
Kretz was predictably upset and Told the Tribune’s Brad Biggs as much Monday afternoon.
“I’ve always felt that maybe George doesn’t like me, and I confirmed that today,” Kretz said. “Never mind. I’m not worried that he doesn’t like me.”
Kreutz was probably taking a hit from the rest of the former Bears players to members of the media, of whom there are too many to mention. They all got under McCaskey’s skin and deserve at least partial credit for the dismissals of Paes and Negi.
His criticisms of how the Bears operate over the years have been loud and clear and certainly impresses fans who tune into the radio or postgame TV show to talk. Former Bears Ed O’Bradovich and Doug Buffon set the template on their postgame show on the WSCR-AM670 back in the day, showing how it’s done. Buffon died in 2015, but O’Bradovich continues to churn out Bears management and coaching gaffes weekly at WGN-AM 720, along with his vocal partner, Hall of Famer Dan Hampton.
Kreutz, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Tom Waddell and Patrick Manly are among other former Bears players who have often chosen to bite off the hand that once fed them.
Take a bow, ex-bear. The fans listened, and eventually, George McCaskey did too.
While many were mocking McCaskey on Twitter, he deserves some praise for his bold denial of reality. He still believes strongly in President Ted Phillips, despite evidence of Phillips’ fingerprints on all coaching and management decisions that have not panned out.
But McCaskey eventually realized that any self-respecting general manager hiring Bear had to report directly to Phillips. So McCaskey wisely declared that Phillips would be busy with details concerning a potential Arlington Heights stadium site for the foreseeable future and confirmed that the new GM would only report to him.
Cubs president Tom Ricketts made a similar call in 2011, making Crane Kenny their president of business operations, so Theo Epstein would come from Boston and take over the baseball operations department without interference.
Epstein only reported Ricketts. Now all McCuskey has to do is find NFL GM Theo Epstein, someone with a proven track record who can shake the franchise from its foundation and help turn the Bears into a winner.
It’s strange that McCaskey left Phillips on his GM search committee, but you have to believe it’s out of sheer loyalty and that Phillips won’t really be involved. Phillips’s only real task on the search committee is to say: “Good selection, George.” Collaboration has its limits.
Now begins the search, and we may not hear from McCaskey again for another year.
We can hardly wait.