Before you lose patience with the Bears' general manager search, consider how high the bar's been set for sports brass in this city.
Seriously. Chicago has (mostly) figured out that success starts at the top.
Kenny Williams, White Sox
Give Williams this: He always goes down swinging (insert Adam Dunn joke here). While acquiring the criminally underachieving Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios has come back to haunt him, Williams still has his 2005 World Series trump card. He also weathered Hurricane Ozzie for eight years, which earns him baseball's version of the Purple Heart.
Theo Epstein, Cubs
Everyone's favorite guitar-playing, Starbucks-drinking wunderkind has been here only three months, and he's already traded malcontent Carlos Zambrano. If Epstein can produce that minor miracle, ending a 104-year title drought seems less impossible. Just ask Red Sox Nation.
Gar Forman, Bulls
How do you survive without Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, as the Bulls did Saturday? Two words: Mike James. OK, so Forman's reputation has been built mostly by signing guys like Tom Thibodeau, Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton. However, I wouldn't deny the GM a victory lap after watching James, aD-League unknown until recently, drop nine points and 10 boards in a six-point win Saturday. Mike. Freaking. James.
Stan Bowman, Blackhawks
Yet another GM with championship hardware (ahem, detecting a pattern here?). In addition to locking up several of the Hawks' stars with long-term deals, the early reviews of rookies Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw are solid. Not a bad backup plan when Patrick Sharp and Dan Carcillo are injured.
Meanwhile, I'm hoping the Bears are secretly interviewing Bill Cowher. Or Bill Parcells. Or Peyton Manning—as general manager/backup quarterback. (Just think: He knows what it takes to protect the QB, plus he'd give the Bears someone who could mentor Jay Cutler AND make hilarious commercials!)
All right, so that's like wishing for trashy reality TV to disappear overnight. Regardless, I have no problem with the Bears taking weeks or months to figure this out. They need a decision-making all-star to replace their aging game-changers.
Or, seriously, Soldier Field will get a whole lot emptier.
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