Dietz: Time for bumbling Bears to clean house
What a weekend in the sports world.
From big news and announcements to huge games, our heads were spinning to keep track of it all.
Here are my thoughts on the bumbling Bears, the surging Blackhawks, the college football madness and more ...
Turn out the lights
After a 33-22 loss to Arizona Sunday, the Bears' season is all but over. Not that we didn't know that before kickoff.
As usual, this team doesn't have nearly enough star power -- something almost all title-contending teams must possess in spades.
Sure, they've had some nice players, but where are the true game-breakers like the Bucs' Tom Brady, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski; the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill; the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones; the Cardinals' Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green; and the Cowboys' Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Cee Dee Lamb and Amari Cooper?
Who was the last true game-breaker on the Bears? Sure, David Montgomery and Allen Robinson are nice players, but they aren't exactly a home-run threat every time they touch the ball. High-end offenses stymie defenses with three or four scary players every year.
Defensively, things looked good for a while, but injuries and old age have caught up to Matt Nagy's squad.
The Bears have 4 playoff wins in 30 years and 6 postseason appearances since 1995.
It's time to clean house top to bottom. The very top.
Until that happens, it's complete insanity to expect anything will change -- today, tomorrow ... or ever.
I like to think the Baseball Hall of Fame normally gets things right. But that's not always the case and I'm starting to wonder if Cooperstown hasn't become the Hall of Very Good while leaving out some of the game's most remarkable talents.
The announcement Sunday that Minnie Minoso, Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva were voted in by the Hall's Golden Days Era and Early Baseball Era Committee only helped reinforce those beliefs.
All three had very solid careers. Minoso was a .299 hitter and a career .848 OPS. Still, he had just 2,110 hits and had only five 90-RBI seasons. Oliva was also an impressive hitter, leading the AL three times, hits five times and doubles four times. Yet, he had 1,917 hits and 220 HRs.
Kaat's a tough one. On the one hand, it's difficult to ignore his 283 victories, 180 complete games and 4,530 innings pitched. On the other, his career 3.45 ERA doesn't exactly scream HOFer.
Meanwhile, Pete Rose and his 4,256 hits, Barry Bonds and his 762 home runs, Roger Clemens and his 354 victories, and Joe Jackson and his career .356 batting average all remain on the sideline.
Make sense? To some, yes. To me, not as much.
Final four set
Growing up in the 1980s, there was something magical about Jan. 1, when the best bowl games with the best teams were played.
One after another they came, a tidal wave of excitement and edge-of-your seat action.
When it was over, a national champion was crowned by the voters in the AP and coaches' polls. It was far from a perfect system as the Nos. 1 and 2 teams rarely faced off.
For today's kids and young adults, this past weekend gave you a small glimpse of what those days were like. If Cincinnati or Michigan had fallen in their conference title games, they would be out of the national championship hunt. And what if Alabama lost to Georgia? It's also possible the Crimson Tide would have been out.
The selection committee -- much like the voters back in the day -- has the final say in which four teams play in the semifinals.
Just like before it's not a perfect system. But it's a pretty good one and it brings great excitement and drama to games in early December.
So please -- for the love of God -- do not extend the field to 8 or 16 teams.
Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone.
Hackin' it around
It was heartening to see a professional golfer look like a 15-handicapper for once. Facing a short-sided shot on the 14th hole at the Hero World Challenge Sunday, Sam Burns tried one of my favorite moves -- the bump-and-run hybrid/wood chip.
One problem: He didn't hit the ball hard enough up the hill, sending it back to his feet. Same thing on the second try. And the third.
Disgusted, Burns tossed the wood aside and grabbed his wedge. That shot barely made it to the top of the hill and miraculously stayed put.
Burns then drained the triple bogey putt en route to 3-under par 69. He finished in third place, 3 strokes behind winner Viktor Hovland.
After a 1-9-2 start that cost coach Jeremy Colliton his job, the Blackhawks have righted their listing ship by going 8-4 under interim coach Derek King and associate coach Marc Crawford.
The Hawks desperately need more scoring across the board, but they've locked things down defensively and are getting fabulous goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury and Kevin Lankinen.
They've still got a big hill to climb, but if they keep winning two of every three games they'll finish with 97 points.
While the Bears are toast, don't turn the lights out on the Hawks.