Michael McCaskey Stepping Down as Bears' Chairman of the Board


What do you call Michael McCaskey’s retirement or 100 Lawyers at the Bottom of the Ocean?  A good start!  Sorry, a bad lawyer joke to get this post rolling.  Now if only the rest of the family would take the lead and sell that team, that would be something.  I’m afraid to say this is pretty much a non-news story.  Out with one puppet, in with the next.

Michael “Woof Woof” McCaskey will retire as the Chairman of the Chicago Bears after the 2010 season.  Start chilling your champagne bottles now.   This is the guy who fired Da Coach after all.  This from Moon Mullin’s blog:

Ditka’s tenure was marked by frequent clashes with Michael, who grudgingly gave Ditka an extension in 1984 but ultimately rid the organization of Ditka after a 5-11 record in 1992 following disappointing playoff losses the previous two years.

McCaskey left on a family vacation after the season, however, and let the decision and Ditka hang for the better part of two weeks. When he returned, Ditka was fired.

But if that wasn’t enough, after Dave Wannstedt, McCaskey’s hand-picked replacement flopped, Michael sealed his fate as then-team president when he totally botched the Dave McGinnis hiring:

The Michael regime was then rocked and effectively brought down in January 1999 by failed negotiations around the attempted hiring of Dave McGinnis as head coach to succeed Dave Wannstedt, who was McCaskey’s hire to succeed Mike Ditka in 1993.

Contrary to some reports, the McGinnis debacle was not brought on by a press release prematurely announcing McGinnis’ hiring.

McGinnis was angered by the presumption behind the release primarily because no contract or salary was in place. But talks went forward and in fact succeeded in arriving at a four-year contract with escalating salaries.

The entire business came to a crashing close, however, when McCaskey asked for a buyout option after two years. When McGinnis argued that it would then be effectively just a two-year contract, and that McGinnis could not ask assistants (including Mike Martz as offensive coordinator) to move their families to Chicago with that slight security, McCaskey lost McGinnis forever when he asked, “But do they [the assistants] have to know?”

Attempts were made overnight, including a call from then-chairman Ed McCaskey to McGinnis, trying to persuade McGinnis to reconsider. All failed. By noon, McGinnis was gone.

Dick Jauron was subsequently hired by primary shareholder and Michael’s mother Virginia removed Michael as president and installed Ted Phillips.

I’ve never been a fan of McCaskey, so I say good riddance and one last “Woof! Woof!”  Michael will be succeeded by brother George, while the day to day football operations will continue to be fouled up run by Team President Ted Phllips.

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Tags: Chicago Bears Dave Mcginnis Dave Wannstedt George Mccaskey Mccaskey Family Michael Mccaskey Mike Ditka Retirement