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Chicago Bears reporters power rankings; which Bear would they be?

Just for funsies, an attempt to rank the writers who cover the Beloved. If they were Bears, which Bear would they be?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After this spectacular piece of sports journalism following the Bears' loss to the Patriots - no, it's fine to go check it, we'll still be here - I half-jokingly said Mike Imrem had been at the top of my Worst Chicago media Bears writer power rankings for some time (the joke part being that such a thing would exist), and WCGer jlern asked to see an annotated list.

I try not to prejudge an article before clicking on it but, after 31.5 months encompassing a shade under 750 Dens and - at a conservative estimate of an average of 20 articles per Den - at least 15,000 articles, it's hard not to form an opinion on where best to allocate my time.

Obviously such an exercise is going to be highly subjective and depend upon what criteria are used.  There are two basic assumptions from which I begin when reading an article:

1. My level of knowledge about the Bears and the sport is quite basic; an article should inform me of and/or teach me something.  I don't particularly want to be told what to think, and on this basis shock-columnists fare badly.  I can fill my brain with uninformed and badly-cogitated thoughts on my own, I don't need to read a column for that.

2. Larry Mayer forms the baseline.  His role with the Bears is to disseminate the party line; if a writer can't outperform Mayer with regard to #1, that's Not A Good Thing (Tm).

I've left Fred Mitchell off as he only occasionally seems to contribute on the Bears, and then it's usually Bears history; Dan Pompei, Greg Gabriel and Matt Bowen aren't considered either, as they're not regular enough or no longer specific to the Bears.  No national media guys are included because I'd like to get some sleep this week and, in any case, Mike Florio and Jason La Canfora perpetuating the stupid while trying to be all things to all teams makes me want to punch babies.

For poops and giggles, I've also had a stab at whom each reporter would be if they were a Bear.  From best to worst, bearing in mind the systematic weaknesses of ranked data, here goes...


1. Dan Durkin - A recent mover up the table, Durkin combines some quality X&Os analysis with detailed breakdowns of Bears' opponents and a levelheaded approach to covering the team.  There have been plenty of articles recently that tell you how awful everything is, but Durkin's was the one that actually explained why the issues were there and what the failings were that caused them.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Marc Trestman on a really good day, only consistently good.

2. Brad Biggs - Biggsy was my #1 for a long time; he was informative and professional about his job without injecting his own opinion into proceedings.  It feels like he's slipped a little in that regard, and I do wonder if having to take on Dan Pompei's old role with the Tribune's Bears mailbag hasn't contaminated that neutral outlook.  Still, for my money he's still clearly in the top category as one of two guys who stand head and shoulders above the rest, and he comes up with Bears-related information that nobody else does.

If he was a Bear, he would beJeremiah Ratliff.

3. Adam Hoge - Hoge is a more lightweight version of Durkin, in my book.  I'm trying to think of a way to rephrase that without making it look like such a backhanded compliment, and failing.  He's top-5 in my world, how about that?

If he was a Bear, he would beAlshon Jeffery.

4. Jeff Dickerson - I'm probably a little biased because, until this week, I used to catch Dickerson regularly on ESPN 1000 podcasts (I've stopped after 3.5 years after absorbing far too much stupid from Silvy) and always enjoyed his live Bears updates and wry humour.

If he was a Bear, he would beCharles Tillman.

5. Adam L. Jahns - The Sun-Times perhaps suffers from having too many cooks but, for me, Jahns is the best of the bunch.  He's an information guy who keeps his cool on SportsTalk Live when they have idiots like Peter Brown shouting people down, or Jason Goch repeatedly and repetitively ignoring the facts.

If he was a Bear, he would beMatt Forte.

6. Mark Potash - Potash is somewhat inconsistent.  There are times when he comes up with insightful articles that I put into the Den headlines because I think they could provoke some interesting discussion in the comments.  At other times, he seems to let his emotions get the better of him and he gets overly negative.  Also has an air of the creepy uncle about him when he's doing SportsTalk Live.....

If he was a Bear, he would be: 2014's inconsistent, emotional Brandon Marshall.

7. Dan Wiederer / Rich Campbell - I'm going to lump them together as they're relatively new and, to be honest, I've yet to discern much about their styles.  They do their jobs well enough without being annoying.

If they were Bears, they would be: Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton.

8. Not-Hub - The Not-Hub crew, of which Kevin Fishbain seems to be the most prominent, are too new to my consciousness for me to have formed much of an opinion of them other than that they update Bears-related news, and occasionally drop a more extensive story into proceedings.

If they were Bears, they would be: Whatever combination of offensive line gets trotted out for a given game.  Fishbain is probably the Jermon Bushrod of the unit.

9. Patrick Finley - Finley is ok.  He sometimes seems to mail it in with entire articles based on what a bunch of amateurs from Ireland are telling him though, which doesn't inspire confidence, but redeems himself with the occasional nice in-depth piece which edges him to slightly ahead of average.

If he was a Bear, he would beJared Allen.

10. Michael C. Wright - Wright's a little bland in his reporting but, as a #2 to Dickerson, he's decent at what he does... just don't expect too much.  I wish he could turn his microphone up when he does video segments.  Maybe the sounds guys are messin' with him.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Dante Rosario.

11. David Haugh - I'm not as down on Haugh as some, though he can get preachy at times and go "all in" with one side of a story if it coincides with his personal beliefs and/or suits his purposes (I don't pretend to have an insight into which it is).  Still, there are times when there's something to be gained from his articles, even if he does rub some people the wrong way.

If he was a Bear, he would beJay Cutler.

12. Is-Hub - Hub is difficult to place.  He may well come up with valid points but they're often buried in the general morass of overwhelming criticism that he churns out, such that they're difficult to spot and their impact is diluted.  People tend to gloss over what he has to say, in any case.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Retired Brian Urlacher.

13. Chris Boden - Boden doesn't manage much in the way of articles, but there's often a nugget of information buried away in them that I have reason to use in the link synopsis.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Jon Bostic.

14. Bob LeGere - Bears generalist who doesn't do anything bad, but doesn't offer much that's special, either.

If he was a Bear, he would beCraig Steltz.

15. Dan Bernstein - Bernstein's relatively new on my radar (I don't listen to his show).  Could move up or down as I get more accustomed to him, so this is a provisional placing relative to the people below based on what he doesn't do, that I'm aware of.  Seems to be a bit of a negative nancy but I'm not all that familiar with his output.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Robbie Gould - "Intelligent, usually has some strong opinions on things, backs them up, but sometimes doesn’t know when it’s best to keep his mouth shut." [Hat tip to Mike Ditka's Cigar]

16. Moon Mullin - Moon Mullin comes up with Bears facts and nuggets of Bears history (albeit often of questionable relevance) but I wish CSN Chicago would stop trying to string out his material quite so much, or that they have him tighten it up a bit.  As it is, one decent article's worth of material might get spread over three or four.  You're usually better off listening to his video reports as, with those, he has to get to the gist of what he has to say in a concise manner.  He gets marked down a few spots for subjecting me to Mike Florio.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Martellus Bennett on an overly-verbose day.

17. James Neveau - He's not Maggie Hendricks, whom he replaced.  So there's that going for him.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Isaiah Frey.

18. Mike Mulligan - Doesn't appear often but is less annoying than Greenberg.  I don't listen to his radio show, however, so he's largely an unknown to me.

If he was a Bear, he would beCornelius Washington.

19. Larry Mayer / Mini-Larry - Larry and his sidekick form the baseline for this list.

If he was a Bear, he would: Still be Larry, of course.

20. Jon Greenberg - Greenberg vacillates between average and mailing it in.  He also looks like a serial killer with cannibalistic tendencies on video when he's not actually speaking to the camera.  Seriously, watch the way he licks his lips and looks at Jeff Dickerson while waiting his turn to speak.

If he was a Bear, he would be: J'Marcus Webb: visible by prominence of where he plays, doesn't produce.

21. Barry Rozner - Rozner turns up once or twice a week along with Imrem and doesn't make much impact, other than "At least he's not Imrem".

If he was a Bear, he would be: Whomever Phil Emery signs from the practice squad to be the 53rd man on the roster for any given game.

22. Rick Telander - Telander's overblown style masks a lack of substance.  Not well, as it turns out.

If he was a Bear, he would beRoy Williams being coordinated by Mike Tice.

23. Tim Baffoe - So-so opinion pieces which never really contribute anything worthwhile.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Some nameless addition to the practice squad.

24. Rick Morrissey - Whatever the sports journalism equivalent of Backpfeifengesicht is, Morrissey's articles are that.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Brandon Meriweather at his most undisciplined.

25. Mike North - Mike North is the Silvy of the Bears writers.  If I want kneejerk reaction without the burden of information or thought, he's where I go.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Off-the-field Devin Hester threatening to retire after Lovie Smith's dismissal, then thinking he's worth $4M/year.

26. Steven Rosenbloom - You know the fans who take great glee in things going wrong for the Bears so they can moan about them?  This is their god.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Cade McNown.

27. Mike Imrem - I might find an actual football thought in 1 in 10 Rosenbloom articles if I can get past the snide.  That's more than I get from Imrem.

If he was a Bear, he would be: Ted Phillips, minus the personality.


That's my attempt and doubtless you'll have your own opinion on who's better than whom, and which Bear they would be.  Leave your comments, remember it's not an open thread, and any better suggestions for the latter may end up being used (credit will be given)!