O'Donnell: Kmet heads the November "In" crowd but why don't Bears shut Fields down?

  • Bears tight end Cole Kmet catches a 50-yard touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions.

    Bears tight end Cole Kmet catches a 50-yard touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions. Associated Press

Updated 11/21/2022 11:14 AM

CLOWNS TO THE LEFT, turkeys to the right, stuck in the middle of a frosty November weekend with the latest monthly installment of Ins and Outs:

• In -- Cole Kmet -- Way in, as in echoes of "Mike Ditka the superstar TE" in. ... Finally being utilized more correctly than not. ... Intelligent, athletic and competitive -- his apprenticeship lasted too long. ... With enough touches, he will one day be recognized right alongside Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and George Kittle.


• Out -- Not shutting Justin Fields down sooner than later -- No. 1 is proving that he is the keystone to any quick ascent by the Bears. ... They are in the midst of a 34-game sequence that should culminate with a playoff spot next season. ... At what point in this tilted campaign is the risk of The Gale Sayers Moment greater than any transiting Fields glory?

• In -- Continuing to chortle at the madcap meanderings of the Blackhawks -- Ownership now can't even get the stripping right to tank. ... With sound goaltending and Max Domi augmenting Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, was the 6-6-3 start any surprise? ... Absolute must-flee incompetence on West Madison Street. ... Maybe Jenner & Block can step in and say everything's OK.

• Out -- Holding any torches for a big season from the Bulls -- This is a middle-of-the-pack team with a middle-of-the-pack organizational mindset. ... Zach LaVine's big contract remains Exhibit What? for an outfit with some razzle and little capacity for sustained dazzle. ... Currently, a 45-win campaign only happens if Billy Donovan's lucky charms can be cashed in.

• Out -- Sneering at the impending departure of David "Chatty" Kaplan from NBC Sports Chicago -- Eleven years ago, Kaplan was wide right on a golden three -- TV gig, prime radio slot and a regular column in the Chicago Tribune. ... Now he says he's accepting "a buyout" at the end of December from NBCSCH and will be down to driftwood AM-1000 only. ... He is to be toasted as the poor man's Chet Coppock, with all of the pluses, minuses and swollen verbosity that entails.

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• In -- Actually looking forward to Sunday's Vikings-Cowboys game (CBS, 3:25 p.m.) -- Part of the reason is that America cannot get enough proof that's actually Kirk Cousins QBing an 8-1 Minnesota ... He is simply not tailored to do things like that. ... Vikes' WR Justin Jefferson alone is worth the 3 -hour viewing commitment (less than 75 minutes with facile DVR-ing and a 5 p.m. self-start). ... MINN stays in the national spotlight vs. New England Thanksgiving night.

• Out -- Moving the Bills-Browns game to Detroit (CBS, noon, to 7% of the nation not including Chicago -- Are they going to load the sideline hydration bottles with mimosas for this soft-serve ? ... As Bronko Nagurski and Cookie Gilchrist understood football, part of the game's unpredictable allure could be "Yellowstone" winter weather. ... Four feet of snow in Buffalo and suddenly this contest goes vagabond. ... It now has all the seasonal trappings of a Taylor Swift concert inside of a large, climate-controlled warehouse in downtown Detroit.

• In -- Dreaming of Aaron Judge in a Cubs uniform -- Key word: "dreaming." ... But it's Thanksgiving Week, so quixotic visions are in play.

• Out -- Dreaming of Tony La Russa's number being retired by the White Sox -- Yeah, sure ... Maybe Terry Bevington and Miguel Cairo too.

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports and Media column appears Sunday and Thursday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com. All communications may be considered for publication.

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