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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

There was an actual NFL football game on TV last night! It wasn't very good football, but it was still football. Check out my NFL Thoughts this week and be sure to add a few of your own in the comment section!

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1) There's a generation of football fans that probably has nothing more than a vague idea of who Frank Gifford was.

Then there's my generation that knows him best as the voice of Monday Night Football for nearly 3 decades.

Then there's the generation that got to see one of the greatest football players of all time play the game.

I've always considered myself knowledgeable about the history of the NFL. But after reading and hearing the stories about him since his death of natural causes yesterday at the age 84, I was surprised at just how good of a player Gifford was.

The former New York Giant is not only a member of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, but the College Football Hall of Fame and the Sports Broadcasting Hall Of Fame as well.

He was an eight time Pro Bowler, and he made it at three different positions, defensive back, running back, and wide receiver. Gifford retired from football before the 1961 season after a severe head injury caused by a devastating and iconic Chuck Bednarik hit. But after 18 months away from the game, Gifford returned for the 1962 season. He made his 8th and final Pro Bowl in 1963 and retired after the 1964 season.

He still holds the all time Giants' record for touchdowns scored (34 rushing, 43 receiving, 1 interception return). He also threw 14 touchdowns in his career and holds a career passer rating of 92.5. He's still 2nd in receiving yards for the Giants and he was the NFL's MVP in 1956 while leading the Giants to the Championship.

2) After the will-they or won't-they controversy surrounding the Hall Of Fame allowing Sydney Seau to speak at her father's induction, the NFL Network spoke with her and allowed her to address the crowd Saturday night. In case you missed Sydney talking on stage about her father, the late, great Junior Seau, here's a link to the video.

3) Last night's Hall of Fame Game pitted the Minnesota Vikings against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Vikes won, if you're the kind of fan that's concerned with preseason records, but the biggest winner was NBC, which won the TV rating title for the night with a 6.9 overnight rating.

To put into perspective how good a 6.9 overnight rating is, here's a sample of sports programming that has had a lower overnight rating in the last year:

Stanley Cup Final Game 6: 5.6.
NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1: 5.6.
NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1: 5.4.
Indy 500: 4.3.
American League Championship Series Game 1: 4.0.
National League Championship Series Game 1: 3.5.

The NFL is King.

Long live the King.

4) Buffalo Bills' offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who was investigated for bullying a few years ago, is back in the news. But this time he's taking shots at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"I just think it's bogus, the whole system in how it's set up with Roger and the complete, absolute power he has," Incognito said. "He has so much power and he hires independent investigators who come in and are obviously not independent. They come in with an agenda and they come in looking to find facts to back up their argument. All the facts are slanted in their favor."

Whether you think Incognito is an ass-hat or not, he does have a point. The disciplinary system in the NFL needs an overhaul.

5) Speaking of Goodell, it's good to see he still has a sense of humor.

Hopefully this Tom Brady/deflated balls story will be over soon. This Wednesday both parties will be meeting with a U.S. District Judge in New York City, and maybe, just maybe, both sides can come to a settlement that stops this never-ending drama.

6) Just today, Baltimore Ravens wide out Steve Smith announced that 2015 will be his last season in the NFL. This will be Smith's 15th year and 2nd as a Raven after spending 13 years in Carolina. The five time Pro Bowler is 14th on the all time receiving yards list (13,262) and 18th in receptions (915).

Smith will eventually make it into the Hall Of Fame right?

7) Has there ever been a team that has gone through a more tumultuous offseason than the San Francisco 49ers? The latest is them releasing 2 time Pro Bowler Aldon Smith after another arrest.

I know I'm not the only person that is perfectly OK with the 49ers going through such a tough time.

8) Would this tackle be credited to Vince Wilfork or to the offensive lineman he abused?

9) Tennessee Titans' rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was linked to numerous teams before the draft (including the Chicago Bears) has yet to turn the ball over in training camp.

You know what this means don't you?

Absolutely nothing.

10) Sports Illustrated and the MMQBs Peter King spent some time at Bears camp last week and one of the things he came away with was that Bears brass has decided that Jay Cutler is essentially receiving a 2 year try out.

Financially speaking this actually makes sense, as a large portion of Cutler's 2016 contract is already guaranteed. King goes on to talk about offensive coordinator Adam Gase being able to get the most out of his roster and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio being a real key to the Bears 2015 season.

Here's the full video with King's thoughts.

10a) Is it pronounced Vic FAN-Gio or Vic Faun-Gio?

Former Bears QB Jim Miller does local radio and he goes with the later, even though everyone else goes with the former? Does he know something no one else does?

What are some of your thoughts on the NFL?