Hunter Bailey
Evanston Township

The coaching carousel of the NFL has seen numerous changes in recent weeks. This is the norm for this time of year, as teams that aren’t fortunate enough to still be playing in January look to mix things up and improve for the future. However, in some cases it seems that teams make coaching changes just to avoid complacency.

Bears fans witnessed this first hand this year. Whether you were in support of Lovie Smith or wanted to see him go, it’s hard not to appreciate what he’s done for the team over the past decade. Lovie’s teams have been some of the best in the league defensively, and his calm demeanor (while irritating to some) provided good, steady leadership for the team.

New coach Marc Trestman will bring a more offensive-minded approach and could turn out to be a success for Chicago. Still, Lovie has done a lot for this franchise and deserves appreciation for that.


Rants and Raves
Rants: Carmelo Anthony has returned from a one-game suspension, which was issued after he waited outside the Boston Celtics’ team bus visibly upset with Kevin Garnett. Come on, Melo, what was your plan? Attacking KG doesn’t seem like a great idea. … Peyton Manning’s career playoff record fell to 9-11. Although he is an all-time great quarterback, a losing record when games count the most makes it hard to compare him to the likes of Tom Brady.

Raves: With the NHL season finally underway, the Blackhawks have a big contest coming up right away when they face the rival Detroit Red Wings at 6 p.m. Sunday at the United Center. If you’re not lucky enough to score tickets to that one, the intense matchup can be seen on Comcast SportsNet. … The Winter X-Games start Thursday (2 p.m. and 8 p.m., ESPN), which are always fun to watch. Something about snow sports is just plain fun, especially since Chicago hasn’t seen much snow this year.


Winners and Losers
Winners: Big Ten hoops. With an abundance of highly-ranked teams and exciting upsets such as Wisconsin beating then-No. 2 Indiana and Ohio State beating then-undefeated Michigan, it has been the best basketball conference by far this season.

Losers: Major League Baseball. It was disappointing to see the writers elect no one to the Hall of Fame. First of all, ignoring the steroid-tainted careers of some candidates, Craig Biggio should have gotten in. He was closest to the 75 percent threshold with about 68 percent of the vote, but a guy who racked up more than 3,000 hits and played the game the right way deserves to be in the Hall. Secondly, it doesn’t make sense that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens received roughly 35 percent of the vote, while Sammy Sosa received only about 12 percent. Clemens and Bonds are clearly a tier above Sosa as far as career accomplishments go, but that’s not the point. If a player shouldn’t be in the Hall because of using steroids, then all three should be out. I don’t see how a writer could vote differently on two of those guys than the other.

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Maura Wall Hernandez is digital editor of The Mash.

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