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View Diary: "The Grand Old Man": Memories of a Famous Season. George Blanda and the 1970 Raiders (70 comments)

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  •  Don't worry about offending Bears fans… (6+ / 0-)

    Hatred of owners is a rich tradition in Chicago, and Halas wasn't exactly revered there, as I recall in my 26 years in Chicagoland. He's just another in the (Dollar) Bill Wirtz, Jerry Reinsdorf mold.

    Carlton Fisk was often abused by Reinsdorf, including blatantly colluding with other owners to not sign him to a lucrative contract when he became a free agent. He was given the bum's rush by Reinsdorf as he completed his hall of fame career of 20 seasons behind the plate. No celebrations, no farewell tour. They gave him a motorcycle. It might even have been in the 7th Inning Stretch of one of his last games. No wonder  he chose  to have a Red Sox cap for his plaque in Cooperstown.

    How in the world Wirtz was able to sustain hockey in Chicago with his piss poor marketing and attitude toward the fans  (zero free games on TV) is beyond me.

    No, you'll get no tears from me in beating up on Halas, and I'm pretty sure from the fans, who nevertheless worship the Bears.

    LRod—UID 238035
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    by exatc on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:00:58 AM PDT

    •  Blanda, Reinsdorf, et al. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patbahn, unfangus, ER Doc

      As a White Sox fan and a Bears fan I found your remarks interesting.
      For one thing, I have encountered both “in person.”
      When Blanda was with the Bears (1957) he played golf at Midlothian Country Club in Suburban Chicago.
      He was a frequent guest there.  I think his former team mate was a member.  That would have been Ed Sprinkle. I caddied for both of them one day (going double as the caddies called it).  Both guys could hit the ball a mile, and both had trouble with control (too many slices).  
      Very nice guys both.  They made sure I knew Blanda was the Bears kicker and were amused by the fact that I did not know much about pro football (I was 13 years old).  They were very generous tippers.

      Now as to Jerry Reinsdorf, not known as a "nice guy."  But in fairness I do not think Sox fans hate him.  At a speech he gave at Elmhurst College in West Suburban Chicago about a year ago,  he had a standing room only crowd thanking him big time for the 2005 World Series Championship.
      Fisk now works for the White Sox and Reinsdorf has a statue of him displayed at the entrance of U.S. Cellular.  So I think ole Carlton is happy camper today.  For all I know he still has that motorcycle.

      "It ain't over till it's over."-Yogi Berra

      by mock38 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 03:44:24 PM PDT

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      •  Also in fairness… (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Keith930, patbahn, TomFromNJ, ER Doc

        …I left Chicagoland in 1999, so I can't speak to the tenor of relations subsequent to that time. Certainly, winning the World Series could have changed some attitudes. But that change didn't exist yet when I left.

        Ah, U.S. Cellular—another example of things fans aren't fond of (at least this one). Whatever happened to "New Comiskey"? By the way, that was another pet peeve of mine. I was at the penultimate game played at Old Comiskey (and as an aside, I was at Disco Demolition Night), and was not happy to see it go.

        When I first went to New Comiskey, I was appalled. True meaning was given to "nose-bleed seats" and the park was the most antiseptic, emotionless place I'd ever been in. The following year, Camden Yards and the Jake in Cleveland were opened and I was furious. The technology for those kinds of baseball friendly stadiums were obviously in existence in the previous year or so, and we got Comiskey. As bad as that was, it's now even worse and don't get me started on Soldier Field.

        If Reinsdorf mended fences with Fisk, I'm glad for that. I was always a huge Fisk fan (despite the Game 6 homer he hit in Boston against the Reds which is in the top five of iconic sports clips). The workman like way he went about his job, even after the collusion episode, spoke volumes about his character, and his stats are still impressive.

        Thanks for the updates. Aside from being a Fisk fan, I was generally more of a North-sider in allegiance, which makes things awkward at holidays as my son is a die-hard Sox fan.

        One other personal note—as much fun as it was to watch those '85 Bears while living in the area,  there was nothing more satisfying to this South Florida boy than to see their "perfect season" spoiled with just the one defeat—to the Dolphins.

        LRod—UID 238035
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        by exatc on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 05:08:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  more fairness (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          exatc, ER Doc

          2005 changed attitudes big time for Sox fans.  That World Series Championship will have to last a while though.
           Cubs have been waiting now over 100 years.  Rickets family paid $845 million for 95% of team.  Now they are proposing rehab of Field and other developments in Wrigleyville costing $500 million.
          2013 Sox disaster with new GM.  He launched his career by letting Fan favorite AJ Piernzynski sign with TX Rangers.  It has been all downhill since then.
          US Cell much improved…Jerry R. put a roof overhang on by lopping off 8 rows of seats in nose bleed section. Lots of nice redesign work.  The original park cost $135 million….Reinsdorf put in $65 million…Total price tag only $200mm.  The new Soldier Field (home of Bears) cost $654 million a few years ago.  
          Fans here love Black Hawks and Bears…. Of course Chi town fans like Bulls too.  Cubs and Sox both really bad this year.  But both teams will stage comebacks down the road…they always do eventually.
          Cub fans are getting desperate for World Series Championship…No other team in MLB besides Cubs have waited nearly as long.

          "It ain't over till it's over."-Yogi Berra

          by mock38 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 06:02:11 PM PDT

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    •  Raider fans gerew to hate Al Davis so I hear ya (0+ / 0-)

      The dis to Marcus Allen and Lester Hayes. The idiotic drafts. The 200 mph receivers with hands of stone. But most of all moving the team to LA. For frickin' luxury boxes.

      Slow thinkers - keep right

      by Dave the Wave on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 05:28:50 AM PDT

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