NBC Sports cousin Mike Florio got to the Bears on Tuesday as part of his “Faces of the Franchise” in the Bears’ Mt. Rushmore. He did OK.
Mike went first with Walter Payton. “Walter Payton, just one of the all-time greats, gone too soon,” Mike said.
Then George Halas. The face of the NFL. OK.
Dick Butkus. So far Mike is three-for-three with CSNChicago.com’s Bears’ “Rushmores.”
Mikey, Mikey, Mikey.
Actually, he was close with his No. 4. Gale Sayers. The Kansas Comet was No. 5 on CSNChicago.com’s list. “Gale Sayers was the guy,” Mike said. “He was the man before Barry Sanders.”
[BEARS OFFSEASON: Rodriguez to the Dolphins after release]
But fan voting and CSNChicago.com last month chose Mike Ditka over Gale Sayers. Mike (Florio) felt that Ditka gets enormous credit for winning a Super Bowl as a coach, but he cited the comment Richard Dent made to me: “Ditka is the reason we won one Super Bowl and the reason we didn’t win three.”
Mike takes Ditka down one peg partly because he was given a legendary collection of talent. “He’s No. 5,” Mikey said. He’s not No. 4.”
“Pro Football Talk” host Erik Kuselias was with the program, wondering how Ditka could be left off.
What Mikey doesn’t account for was that Ditka’s Bears had the misfortune of being in an NFC that had the Parcells Giants, Walsh 49ers and Gibbs Redskins. If the Bears stumbled even a teeny bit, that pack was on them and they were. And how do you really downgrade someone for what they didn’t do? Grade them on what they did.
The process culled from 12 finalists, including Sid Luckman, Bronco Nagurski. Fan voting had Mike Singletary No. 6 behind Sayers. Notably perhaps, Brian Urlacher finished up the track at No. 9.
[OFFSEASON: Bears tweak roster again, sign DT Ellis]
When Mike mentioned that to me, the reason seemed obvious: Fans right now are still a little chafed over 54’s comments last season and somewhat unseemly exit. It doesn’t take a lot to drop a little ad that’s what happened to Urlacher, who was my choice at No. 6.
Mike posed an interesting conundrum to me when I jumped on “ProFootballTalk Live!” earlier on Tuesday: If you had to pick one individual to be the face of the franchise, would it be Halas or Payton?
Difficult call. One was about on the field, one was more off it, or at least on the sidelines. Forced to choose, I went with Halas, who should be the face of the NFL. The trophy for winning Super Bowl should be “The George Halas Trophy,” not “The Lombardi Trophy.”