Carrie Underwood the New Queen of SNF

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Sunday Night Football strikes gold again! Just a few weeks ago we said goodbye to the beautiful Faith Hill on SNF, but on Tuesday we give a big HELLO to Miss Carrie Underwood. My “hot girl role model” slot has officially been filled. I definitely called this one!

Carrie-Underwood-Hot-LegsIt seems as though Sunday Night Football has a type; strikingly gorgeous blondes with super fantastic legs – we’ll call it motivation for the rest of us ladies who tune in each week. The six-time Grammy winning country mega-star has come a long way since her American Idol days, but she’s still the hottest girl next door.

“I am thrilled to be a part of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and am so honored they asked me,” Underwood said in a press release. “I have always loved football season, and it is so exciting to now become part of it every Sunday night!”

Obviously, Carrie was the only option to replace Miss Faith Hill. I can’t wait to hear her new rendition of Waiting All Day for Sunday Night. I hope her hockey hubby doesn’t get too jealous she’s going to be the face of the NFL each Sunday night.

No More Sunday Night Football for Faith

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I am so sad. Faith Hill singing the intro to Sunday Night Football was my weekly motivation to have great legs – now who’s going to inspire me?

After six years of SNF, the country star announced in April that she will no longer be doing the ”Sunday Night Football” theme song. Tear*

SNF executive producer Fred Gaudelli tweeted ”great love and appreciation” to Miss Faith for her participation over the years. There has been no mention of who will replace Faith on the SNF stage. Perhaps Miss Carrie Underwood could take her place so I can fill my “hot girl role model” motivation each week. We’ll see soon enough!

Bears Buzz: Marc Trestman Named Head Coach

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After firing Lovie Smith and a whirlwind of interviewing 13 potential candidates, the Bears finally made there decision Tuesday evening. Marc Trestman will be the 14th head coach of the Chicago Bears. Out of all the available options Trestman seemed the most unconventional choice being removed from the NFL since 2004, but hey when have the Bears ever done things by the books? General Manager Phil Emery is trying to shake things up again; which could prove to be inspiring or completely disastrous.

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The 57 year-old head coach comes to Chicago from the Montreal Alouettes a member of the Canadian Football League (CFL). While head coach for the Alouettes (2008-2012), Trestman led his team to two Grey Cup championships – the CFL’s equivalent to a Super Bowl Championship. The most important thing is Trestman is and has been a winner in the game of pig-skin.

Montreal Alouettes' head coach Trestman holds up the Grey Cup after defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the CFL's 98th Grey Cup football game in Edmonton

In his early years of coaching Trestman did some bouncing around the NFL. His most memorable stints include: offensive coordinator for 2002 Oakland Raiders who went to the Super Bowl, OC for the 1995 49ers in their hey day, and OC for the 1989 Cleveland Browns with Bernie Kosar (when they were good). Trestman knows a thing or two about offense, which is what the Bears need right now. However, he has no experience as a head coach in the NFL. The people may need some convincing.

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In Trestman we trust

Logically the decision is a stunner. The Bears are a charter NFL franchise in the league’s second-largest market and could have hired anybody and we pluck a guy out of the CFL. Bruce Arians – a likely NFL coach of the year candidate – had just interviewed with the Bears on Tuesday. Trestman got the job over Arians as well as other Super Bowl champion ex-coaches.

If Trestman was as talented as the Bears front office believes, why haven’t other NFL team’s gone after him? Is Emery a mad-man or were other factors involved? Was it money? It’s said that Trestman had agreed to keep much of the defensive coaches in tact during his interview, while Arians had intended on bring his own defensive coaches.

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It all seems a little crazy, but if Brandon Marshall is excited for the Bears’ choice, so am I. In Trestman we trust – at least for the first season. There will be a press conference at Halas Hall at 11 AM on Thursday where Trestman will address the media for the first time as head coach. #beardown

BEARS: Lovie’s Out, Who’s In?

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After nine years as the Chicago Bears head coach the soft spoken and level headed Lovie Smith is OUT. It wasn’t the best way to ring in the new year as Smith was fired by the Bears on Monday after a 10-6 season. Smith did quite a bit of good for the Bears in his time with Chicago, but his downfall was the part of the game in which he had no experience; the offense.

Chicago is now on the hunt for a new head coach and guess what they’re looking for…an offensive minded guru. Bears General Manager Phil Emery described his current head coach search as “fast, furious and thorough” on Thursday after conducting the initial round of interviews with prospective candidates. He held a press conference to discuss Lovie’s firing on Tuesday and was jet-setting to Atlanta for interviews almost immediately after.

Who are the Potential Candidates?

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It’s not required to have an offensive minded coach to be successful in the NFL. We’ve seen the defensive minded coaches get the job done as well, for instance Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick and John Fox, even special teams guys like John Harbaugh. But if offense is the reason Lovie was booted, offense is what the Bears are looking for. Our defense is solid for at least another year with Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings all still under contract.

There are definitely other head coach openings around the league, but hopefully the Bears position is the most appealing to the potential candidates. Sometimes coming into an organization who believes they already have their “franchise quarterback” (Jay Cutler) and other star players in Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte takes some of the fun out of the job. Instead, we can only hope the large market, fantastic city and impenetrable fan base will lure the best of the best to lead the Bears.

Is Urlacher’s Injury Potentially the End of an Era?

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Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has been sidelined indefinitely with a Grade 2 hamstring tear. An injury to this extent generally keeps players out 2-4 weeks, meaning Urlacher will likely miss three of the Bears final four games. It is possible Urlacher could return come playoffs, but at the age of 34, which is basically ancient in NFL years, we’re just not sure how quickly his body will recover. It’s also very possible that without their fearless defensive leader on the field, the Bears could miss the playoffs all together – I’m going to try and keep things positive here.

urlacher-bears-apInjuries happen so frequently in football, I feel as a society of fans we’ve almost become numb to them, but when a player of Urlacher’s caliber goes down it’s like a dark storm cloud looms over Bears football.

With a potential season ending injury, I can’t help but wonder, could this be the end of number 54’s era in Chicago?

Urlacher’s contract is up at the end of the season and there haven’t been any rumblings of contract negotiations for the 8-time Pro-Bowler. We know the NFL is a cold, hard world where performance is everything and although his numbers are still impressive, Urlacher seems to have been playing in the shadow of himself this season. He’s been called for hoarse collar penalties in his last two games, which seems very unfitting of the biggest tackling monster in the midfield.

Who knows what the future will hold for Urlacher and the Bears, but I hope his last game in a Bears uniform wasn’t the loss against the Seattle Seahawks. The future Hall-of-Famer deserves better than that. Get well Mr. Urlacher!

Brian Urlacher

 

Injuries Continue to Plague Bears – Good As Gould Placed on IR

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It seems like injuries have yet again put the Bears in a sticky situation as the season dies down and the crucial final games approach. As the injuries pile high, our playoff hopes begin to dwindle. Chicago was forced to place the most reliable player on their team, Robbie Gould, on injured reserve Tuesday after he suffered a left calf muscle injury during the pregame warm-up against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. Since the Bears are battling it out for the top spot in the NFC North this is not the time for a season-ending injury. Bah, humbug I say.

Panthers training camp16-year veteran, Olindo Mare was signed by the Bears after he won a tryout at Halas Hall Tuesday. Mare has some big shoes to fill as Gould is the fourth-most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history at 85.6 percent. Mare has moved around quite a bit in his career playing for the Carolina Panthers last season, as well as the Seahawks, Saints and Dolphins. He’s not a terrible kicker, with an 81.2 percent rating over the last 15 seasons, but as we know our Bears offense can sometime struggle with the whole “touchdown” idea and we heavily rely on our kicker to produce field goals from 35-50 yard range.

The injuries are really racking up for the Bears as the season winds down. We lost the heart and soul of the defense when middle linebacker Brian Urlacher tore his hamstring. Cornerback Tim Jennings is still recovering from a dislocated right shoulder he suffered against the Seahawks, but he’s optimistic about the Green Bay Packers game this weekend. The list doesn’t end there, defensive tackle Stephen Paea has an injured foot, defensive tackle Henry Melton injured his shoulder against the Vikes, defensive end Shea McClellin suffered a sprained MCL in the loss to the Vikings as well, but hopes to return soon. Just a few more to go, reserve safety Craig Steltz has a chest injury and cornerback Sherrick McManis injured his knee. Both Steltz and McManis are joining Robbie on the IR. *Fun fact: When placed on injured reserve a player must remain there for eight weeks before returning. Thus, none of the Bears players will be returning this year since their injuries happened too late in the season.

Basically, the Bears special teams and defense are in shambles heading into week 15 against the Packers. Hopefully Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Peanut Tillman can hold down the fort against the Pack.

Tillman Welcomes Another Peanut to the Family

Congratulations are in order for Bears stud cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman again. This time it’s not football related, he and his wife Jackie welcomed a baby girl to their family on Monday.

Peanut announced their fourth little nugget’s arrival by Tweeting:

The actual date of the baby’s birth caused a bit of a ruckus in Chicago earlier last week when Tillman said he could potentially miss the Texans game if his wife went into labor. Teammate and proud papa Jay Cutler had Peanut’s back explaining he wouldn’t have wanted to miss his son being born either because it’s such a special moment. In the end, Tillman was able to play in the most boring game of the season AND make the birth of his little girl.

Peanut has been terrorizing the offenses of the NFL this season. He’s currently in a postion to be slated for Defensive Player of the Year.