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George McCaskey talks Matt Forte, NFL draft, daily fantasy and more
Bears Chairman George McCaskey shuddered at the thought of Matt Forte in a Green Bay Packers uniform, explained his reservations about the show “Hard Knocks” and tackled several other subjects during a radio interview Friday.
On whether he’d root against ex-Bears running back Matt Forte if he joined the arch-rival Packers:
“Oh, geez, don’t even go there. Any other team. And we wish him the best. He’s still got some production in him, I’m sure. But, um, geez, not the team up north.”
On spending money on free agents:
“Not at all. We like to spend to the cap, sometimes a little carryover from the previous season, but even if you’re well under the cap, you can spend poorly, you need to spend prudently. And I’ve got no problem with rewarding guys for what they’ve done and what you expect and hope that they will do for you. But you have to have the right chemistry. I disagree with the notion that you can buy a championship. You’ve got to spend prudently, you’ve got to spend smartly, and you have to have the right mix of players on a championship team.
On whether the Bears take lessons from Cubs and Blackhawks:
“You saw both the Hawks and the Cubs go through tough times. Firing your coach four games into an 82-game season, that’s a big move, that’s a dramatic step. That turned out great for the Hawks. The Cubs, three years before last season, it was brutal, but they knew what they were doing. They stuck with the plan, and I think those are important .
lessons”When you’re convinced you have the right people and the right approach, you’ve got to stick with it through tough times.”
On the team’s reticence to be featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” TV series:
“We wish that program all the success in the world, and if we’re never on it that’s just fine with us. I haven’t seen a lot of it but the shows that I did see — and I can’t remember which team they were featuring at the time — I was — and I’m no prude, I grew up around locker rooms, I’ve heard all kinds of language — I was shocked at the language. There’s an intrusive element. When you’re telling a kid that his life’s dream is ended, at least as far as your team is concerned, we think that should be a private thing.”
On the team’s relationship with the Mara and Rooney families, which dates back to George Halas:
“We go back with the Maras to when they joined the league in 1925, we go back with the Rooneys to when they joined the league in 1933. And you didn’t mention the Cardinals, but the Bidwill family. Michael Bidwill, the president of the Cardinals, his grandfather was a part owner of the Chicago Bears and on the Bears board and helped bail out George Halas during the (Great) Depression when my grandfather almost lost the team.
“It went down the wire I’m told. I don’t know how much drama has been added to the story over the years but it was the middle of the depression, he was borrowing money from his mother and his mother-in-law. And I keep asking people . how many of you have gone to your mother-in-law and said I have this great business idea, I just need a few thousand bucks? There aren’t many people that you could say would do that? The way my mom explains it to us is, that her mom didn’t know that much about football but she believed in George Halas.
Bears Chairman George McCaskey appeared on "The Mully and Hanley Show" on WSCR-AM 670.