Imrem: What Jackson, other Chicago champs had that Hoiberg doesn't

  • Phil Jackson laughs with a bottle of champagne in his hand in the locker room after the Bulls won game 6 against the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals for their sixth NBA championship. He also shares something in common with all of Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: facial hair.

    Phil Jackson laughs with a bottle of champagne in his hand in the locker room after the Bulls won game 6 against the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals for their sixth NBA championship. He also shares something in common with all of Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: facial hair. Daily Herald File Photo, 1998

  • Blackhawks coach Joe Quenneville celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime. Quenneville shares something in common with all of Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: facial hair.

    Blackhawks coach Joe Quenneville celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime. Quenneville shares something in common with all of Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: facial hair. Associated Press file photo

  • Mike Ditka reaches to shake hands with Pats coach Raymond Berry after the Bears won Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. Ditka shares something in common with Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: a mustache.

    Mike Ditka reaches to shake hands with Pats coach Raymond Berry after the Bears won Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. Ditka shares something in common with Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: a mustache. Associated Press file photo

  • White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen celebrated his team's World Series title in 2005. He also shares something in common with all of Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: facial hair.

    White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen celebrated his team's World Series title in 2005. He also shares something in common with all of Chicago's championship coaches of recent vintage: facial hair. courtesy of Public Communications Inc.

 
 
Posted6/1/2015 5:31 AM

On the face of it -- especially the upper lip of it -- the Bulls are about to mess up again.

All indications are that they will replace the clean-shaven Tom Thibodeau with the cleaner-shaven Fred Hoiberg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

When will this franchise ever learn?

Let's consider the credentials that the Bulls' next head coach better have, some of which John Paxson and Gar Forman cited last week and some of which are suggestions.

Expertise on both sides of the ball … fresh breath … communication skills … the dexterity to drive stick shift … hard worker … a closet full of knickers and ascots … leadership qualities …

And a mustache.

Come to think of it, Cubs manager Joe Maddon better grow one fast. Whoever will be the White Sox' next manager better arrive with one. John Fox still has time to pick from among the handlebar, horseshoe and Fu Manchu before coaching his first Bears game.

It's how winners win around here.

Phil Jackson won six NBA titles in Chicago with a mustache. Joel Quenneville is on the cusp of winning his third Stanley Cup with one. Ozzie Guillen won a World Series with one. Of course, Mike Ditka won a Super Bowl with a signature 'stache.

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The mustache is as legendary in Chicago sports as is, say, Dick Butkus -- who, by the way, is mustachioed.

Yet the Bulls are intent on committing the gaffe of the new century by replacing Thibodeau with a barefaced 42-year-old from Ames, Iowa. Fred Hoiberg looks like he would have as much trouble growing a mustache as Heidi Klum would have growing a full beard.

Despite Thibodeau's impressive won-lost record, the Bulls fired him after five years and being clean-shaven is the only explanation many can imagine for his fall.

Oh, and there was the secondary matter of Thibodeau's inability to get along with management and GarPax' inability to get along with him.

This was destined to blow up from the day Thibodeau arrived in Chicago intending to shave on most days.

Theirs wasn't so much a professional relationship as a Hollywood marriage between petulant screen stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Divorce always seems to be inevitable between Bulls' coach and management.

Line them up since the days of Jackson's hairiness: Tim Floyd, Bill Cartwright, Scott Skiles, Vinny Del Negro and Tom Thibodeau.

Not a mustache among them. None of them would even consent to wearing Groucho glasses/eyebrows/schnoz/mustache disguises.

Look, maybe Hoiberg will break the mold and become the first Chicago coach/manager to win a championship with a clean lip since Papa Bear Halas in the straight-razor era.

But wouldn't it be safer for the Bulls to hire somebody with serious facial hair?

All Forman and Paxson would have to do to come across qualified coaching candidates is Google "Famous Mustaches."

They'd find Rollie Fingers with the handlebar, Sam Elliott with the western walrus, Ron Burgundy with the pushbroom, Tom Selleck with the Selleck or the Monopoly Man with the Monopoly Man?

If none of those guys appealed to GarPax, they could have looked for a lookalike for the late Che Guevara, Charlie Chaplin, Kaiser Wilhelm II or Clark Gable.

Instead, it appears the Bulls really are going with the boyish-looking Fred Hoiberg.

Hopefully for them, the young man will grow into the job and grow a mustache while he's at it.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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