It’s July, and all I’ve got on my mind is football.
Yes, the weather these past few days has seemed more fall-like than middle-of-summer. (Overnight temperatures regularly in the 50s? In late July? Are you kidding me?)
And neither the Cubs nor Sox are giving area baseball fans reason to pay attention.
But that’s not why I’ve been eating, drinking and sleeping football.
Training camp opened for the Bears on Friday, and for these past few weeks, I and other Northwest Herald journalists have spent countless hours working on an exciting new project.
In case you haven’t noticed in our Sports pages recently, we hired longtime Pro Football Weekly editor and publisher Hub Arkush to lead our Bears coverage this season.
Arkush, who also appears on WSCR 670-AM The Score in Chicago, is considered one of the top NFL analysts in the country. Now, he’s analyzing the Bears fulltime for the Northwest Herald and other Shaw Media publications.
As part of the project, we launched a new website, HubArkush.com, just last week.
For Bears fans who can’t get enough of their favorite team, HubArkush.com is the place to go to satisfy your fix.
“Our plan for HubArkush.com is to bring football lovers everywhere the best of what I’ve done at Pro Football Weekly for the last 35 years with a hyper-local focus on the Chicago Bears and the NFC North, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Arkush said when we launched the site. “If you love football and you love the Chicago area, you’ll love HubArkush.com.”
In just the first few days, we posted more than 120 stories and a dozen videos.
Here’s an excerpt of Arkush’s column after meeting new Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman:
I said Pro Football Weekly and he smiled a little wider and said “Of course, Hub,” and we actually talked a little football for 60 seconds. Forget a breath of fresh air, this guy Trestman was a windstorm.
I also really like how comfortable he seems to be in his skin right now, because it’s that skin that raises the biggest questions about Marc Trestman, head football coach.
Is he a football coach or a doctoral candidate for a degree in how to turn heathens into pigskin practitioners? For example, consider his response when asked how he feels about his offense right now.
“We’ve got an offensive group that has really assimilated this football and this verbiage very, very quickly,” he said. “We threw a lot of volume at them. We talked about it over the OTAs, a lot of volume at them each and every day.
“We’re excited as a staff because our players appear to get stimulated by the volume of plays that we have given them. They like the football, they like the formations, they’re enjoying the process.”
I wonder if all of the Bears players can spell all those words, let alone know what they mean.
I’m not trying to make fun of anybody, I’m trying to ask a very important question. Will this coach and his players be able to speak the same language? Personally, I’m really enjoying Trestman because I know he is smarter than me.
Arkush is joined by another Pro Football Weekly alum, Kevin Fishbain, and Northwest Herald Chicago sports columnist Tom Musick, in covering the Bears.
In addition to following them in our Sports pages and at HubArkush.com, you also can follow them on Twitter as @Hub_Arkush, @kfishbain and @tcmusick.
We’re not even a week into training camp, and I’ve got football fever.
I hope you catch it with me.
• Dan McCaleb of Crystal Lake is group editor of Shaw Media’s suburban publications, which includes the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at 815-526-4603, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Dan_McCaleb.