Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey helped break up a fight between Alshon Jeffery and Malcom Butler in the Bears’ joint practice with the New England Patriots.
There are hands on owners and then there’s Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey. It’s not every day you see one of the team’s owners down on the sidelines mixing it up with the players. While the Bears and Patriots conducted the first of their joint practices leading up to their Thursday night matchup, Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and Pats cornerback Malcom Butler got heated and grabbed each other’s facemasks. Tempers flared and before you know it, a fracas ensued.
Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey, grandson of Papa Bear George Halas, happened to be on the sidelines and intervened. You could easily see Papa Bear mix it up with players, so maybe McCaskey has some of grandpa’s traits. Why would he get involved?
"“To protect our guy,” McCaskey said. “I just happened to be standing right there. It was no big deal.”"
I guess it isn’t a big deal for McCaskey, who’s been involved in a tussle with a lowly fan before, so sticking up for the Bears’ franchise player (at least the player carrying the team’s $14M+ franchise tag), is no big deal. If Bears matriarch Virginia McCaskey got involved in a sideline skirmish, that would be a story. Could you picture Ginny whacking players with a cane?
Who knows, maybe Jeffery will take note when contract negotiations resume after the season, noting that ownership “has his back” on and off the field. That and whoever offers the most cash, of course!
It seems like the Bears will lead the league in fighting after training camp in Bourbonnais and now carrying on to New England. I wish they would spend a little more time working on blocking people then pushing and shoving after the whistle. It will be interesting to see if the practice sessions with the Patriots can help the Bears. The offense has nowhere to go but up after posting a goose egg in the exhibition opener against the Broncos. We’ll see if the fire in practice carries over to the field on Thursday night.