Bears mourn passing of VP Tim McCaskey

Bears mourn passing of VP Tim McCaskey

Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011
Posted 7:59 p.m. Updated 8:50 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Sad news out of the Bears late Sunday, that Tim McCaskey, second-oldest of Ed and Virginias 11 children, had died of cancer.

Tim was sick for the past 17 months and somehow the Bears light is just a little bit dimmer tonight with his passing. Tim was a character, a certified character, and I think his default setting was imp, with a laugh and laugh lines that were signature.

So, a story he shared with me, one that was happening almost exactly 25 years ago:

After the Bears won Super Bowl XX, Michael McCaskey was celebrating with everyone else afterwards. Trouble was, Michael was being your basic older brother, had the Lombardi Trophy, and he wasnt letting it get too far out of hand. Tim wanted a piece of that action.

So Tim waited til Michael had to put the trophy down to use the rest room. Gone. Tim spirited it away behind some curtains for some pictures with his family. Michael was frantic searching for the lost Lombardi Trophy.

When Tim was done, he poked his head out through the curtains to be sure the coast was clear. He spied a backup player walking by and called him over.

Do you know me? Tim asked the player.

No, the player answered.

Good! Tim said, quickly thrust the trophy through the curtains and into the hands of the slack-jawed player, and ducked back behind the curtains.

That was Tim. The imp.

My feelings go out to Virginia McCaskey tonight. Our children arent supposed to pre-decease us, and this has to have been awfully painful for her, and for the rest of the family.

Tim was dedicated and took great pride in working for his familys business, the team said in a statement. He was proud to be part of the Chicago Bears family, and to him it was family.

Despite battling cancer over the past 17 months, Tim never allowed the illness to dampen the spirit and sense of humor he was known for at Halas Hall.

Tim, first and foremost , was a fan as passionate, loyal, critical, analytical, committed and devoted a Bears fan as there ever was, said the McCaskey family. The tenacity and dignity with which he fought this dreaded disease is an inspiration to all of us.

Tim was named to his vice president position in 1993 after a four-year, part-time affiliation with the club. He spent 18 years working for IMC Fertilizer Inc. and its predecessor along with a seven-year span with Ernst & Young prior to joining the Bears. He is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame University.

Tim is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, 10 siblings and Virginia.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

The Bears try to get a third win in 2016 when they host the 49ers, and CSN has you covered.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Jim Miller and Chris Boden airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

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The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

Insert title of this "Bowl" game here...

Two teams. Three wins combined. December. So much for holiday cheer. The snow may provide a certain Christmas element on the lakefront Sunday. But something different has to happen for the Bears defensively. In their spirit of giving, the 49ers have allowed a league-high 76 points off their turnovers. Problem is, the Bears have just eight of them in eleven games. If that San Francisco generosity doesn't change – either by Vic Fangio's defense finally making plays despite the core of their defense missing, or by the visitors finding a way to protect the ball in those conditions after practicing in Orlando all week – it's a golden chance for the Bears to gain a smidge of momentum before becoming a factor in the division race (because they face all three other NFC North contenders in their final four games).

1. Read zone read

Colin Kaepernick has grown much more comfortable with time in Chip Kelly's offense. He had the Dolphins hanging on for dear life until the clock struck zero last week. He became just the sixth quarterback in league history to pass for three touchdowns in a game while rushing for over 100 (no, Bobby Douglass isn't one). The challenge becomes greater minus the talented inside linebacker tandem of Danny Trevathan (injury) and Jerrell Freeman (suspension). It becomes even greater if Leonard Floyd's quickness and speed is taken away as a shadowing option as he recovers from being carried off the field on a flat board two weeks ago. He's listed as questionable. So that makes it imperative for inside replacements John Timu and Nick Kwiatkowski to find a way to be instinctive while remaining disciplined enough to contain the league's best rushing quarterback by yards per attempt (8.1).

2. Don't stray from the run

Give this Niners defense without NoVorro Bowman and Eric Reid enough opportunities to be gashed, and they'll let you. Too many times the pregame formula has been for Jordan Howard to get the ball, only to find reasons not to – whether it's looking at the clock while trailing by double digits, too much traffic at the line of scrimmage or panic after injuries up front (to name a few). The 172 rushing yards per game allowed by San Francisco is the worst in eight years (Detroit).  Howard's 5.14 average gain per attempt is fifth in the NFL. Enough said.

3. Catch the ball!!!

Okay, Marquess, Josh and Deonte. Okay, Cam, Jordan and Jeremy. Okay Daniel (and/or Eddie?). We know conditions might be a little slick if it's snowing/sleeting/raining. You're supposed to be among the best in the world at what you do, even if you're down the original depth chart. Can you get your mitts on the football and hang on to it this week? Help your guy Matt out a little bit? After all, if you cut last week's nightmare in half, and maybe you're shooting for (oooh!) a fourth win Sunday, not a third.

Get set for Sunday's noon kickoff at 11 a.m. on CSN as ex-Bears Jim Miller, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Chris on "Bears Preagme Live." Then as soon as the second quarter ends, come back here to CSNChicago.com, where Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments. And finally, when the game goes final on Fox, switch immediately back to CSN as Chris and the three former Bears give you 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live."