Imrem: Game between Chicago Bears, media rages on

  • Bears head coach John Fox isn't one to divulge much, if any, information to the media.

    Bears head coach John Fox isn't one to divulge much, if any, information to the media. Associated Press

Updated 9/8/2015 8:53 PM

The next move is up to local reporters covering the NFL, long known as the National Fibbers League.

Bears head coach John Fox has proved adept at playing a game of "Catch us if you can" with reporters.


Fox sums up his philosophy by saying, "I don't think it serves you well to advertise what you're going to do … personnel or plays."

Consequently, the media have to counter with a game of "Gotcha!"

This by the way is the way it's supposed to be at Halas Hall, throughout the NFL and throughout sports really.

In this corner, Fox, the Bears' new coach, a grizzled NFL veteran protecting his team's classified information.

In the opposite corner, a grizzled gaggle of veteran football journalists thirsting for information, classified or not.

Yes, it's "Catch us if you can" vs. "Gotcha!"

For this Bears regime, including young general manager Ryan Pace, no news is good news. For those newshounds, no news is bad news.

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So let the jousting between the two begin in earnest as the season prepares to open Sunday against the Packers.

The relationship is well on the way toward becoming what it should be: contentious bordering on combative.

For a short while during the winter, Pace and Fox were refreshing.

Pace was like the kid next door that you hoped would ask for your daughter's hand in marriage. Fox was like the uncle who brought you toys instead of underwear for Christmas.

"I'm just me," Fox charmingly said. "I'm not smart enough to be anybody else."

Pace was candid enough to reveal that Jay Cutler's name came up in interviews with every candidate for head coach.

Then Fox, as paranoid as any coach anywhere, obscured news about 2015 first-round pick Kevin White's injury during training camp.

This week Fox declined invitations to reveal anything about Alshon Jeffery's health, Kyle Long's position on the offensive line and the Bears' starting lineup as a whole.


Fox oddly said of Long, "He'll be active for the game, more than likely."

The media don't appreciate how Fox controls information. It's an outrage! How dare he?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the team-media dynamic is supposed to be adversarial.

Caught in the crossfire are fans who have to decide how much Bears news they really want and how soon.

This is so different from the past couple of years when there was little animosity between reporters and Marc Trestman.

The Bears' previous head coach was easy to laugh at and easier to feel sorry for, but Bambi is difficult to scream at during news conferences.

Take it from a leftover columnist from the Eleven Year War with Mike Ditka: Halas Hall is on the verge of becoming a media dreamland.

Unencumbered by sappy sentiment, journalists can proceed without jeopardizing relationships they don't have with Pace and Fox anyway.

Reporters also don't have to worry about retaining Pace and Fox as sources because they aren't sources.

Fox and Pace, if media friendly, could buy a longer grace period in what figures to be a difficult season.

Instead, Bears stories just might have a bit more bark now and commentary might have a lot more bite.

Maybe Fox and Pace will start wondering whether their paranoia is worth having to read news stories based on rumors, speculation and innuendo instead of information.

All right now, let the sniping and snapping resume.

It's the way "Catch us if you can" vs. "Gotcha!" is played in the National Fibbers League.

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