Check out the Meet the Rookies 2021 trailer! And other bear balls

The Bears trailer Meet the recruits the series is OUT …

And I can’t wait to experience it all with you!

• As we prepare for another NFL season, which expects to be on the more “normal” side, I remember we will have to get used to a new normal. Let’s be realistic with each other and recognize that COVID-19 will always have an impact (at some level) on the US sports scene. For example, The Associated Press reports that the Colts and the Washington football team are the only teams in the NFL that have yet to achieve a 50% vaccination rate. The NFL is cheering the devil on vaccination, so this is encouraging news for most teams in the league being above 50%. Small steps towards progress always count as steps towards progress. However, until teams achieve an 85 percent vaccination rate, they won’t fully experience what it’s like to have fewer restrictions on team facilities.

• We’ve seen how COVID can still throw some wrench into things, like the Yankees-Red Sox postponement last Thursday. Hopefully lessons are learned from that and we don’t have to relive periods of 2020 when the NFL turned into a pretzel in order to cut back on games to avoid turning postponements into cancellations.

• Sometimes I still can’t believe we have such a cool quarterback:

• I’m totally here to make Justin Fields push Ohio State fans to be Bears fans. More the merrier, the merrier. Maybe there can be an exchange program? I have only heard good things about the college football experience in Columbus, Ohio. Not that the Buckeyes need more fans. But, hey, I’m totally ready to support the team if Fields becomes anything special. I’m pretty sure Michael Jordan’s excellence with the Bulls as a kid made me watch North Carolina basketball as a kid. Well, that plus the Jerry Stackhouse and Vince Carter dunks. Either way, fans will flock to entertain football. Hope this is the start of something special.

• According to The Athletic’s Bears fan poll, there is a general belief that the 2021 team can hang around and compete for a playoff spot this winter. It’s a bit surprising, especially considering the end of the last two seasons. Then again, hope is eternal with Justin Fields waiting backstage. In fact, a majority of Bears fans believe Fields will start sooner rather than later. Faith in Fields instills confidence in the team around her. Heck, even general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy performed better than I expected. Imagine how much better the perception of the fans can be if Fields can navigate through a winning season.

• Another notable nugget is that there is a lot of confidence in Eddie Jackson and Khalil Mack’s rebounding seasons. Jackson, 27, is still at the peak of his career and has a track record that suggests a rebound year may be on the horizon. There is a real possibility that the 2020 season has been a fluke for a player who came away with 10 interceptions and 5 defensive touchdowns in his first three seasons. As for Mack, I’m curious what a “rebound” season looks like for someone PFF considers their second best defensive player right now.

• Magnetic tiles, beard trimmers, cameras, charging gear, subscription boxes and more are your daily deals on Amazon. #a d

• If the Cubs had lost 6-5 in that terrible 11-game losing streak, I would feel better about the state of the team. Instead, reality being what it is, we are here:

• Drool:

• Here is the collection of Blackhawks players to choose from for the expanding NHL Seattle franchise:

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