Helicopters? Perhaps the Chicago media went too far in their coverage of Cody Parkey.
In a way, Cody Parkey picked the right day to have the worst day of his career.
The Chicago Bears flattened the Detroit Lions on Sunday, so Parkey’s two missed field goals and two missed extra points didn’t make an impact in terms of the outcome of the game.
What was more amazing about Parkey’s day is that he didn’t miss the kicks by much, he was just a few combined feet of making all four of those kicks as all four of those missed kicks hit the upright.
As the Bears record improved to 6-3, suddenly it wasn’t just about a kicker that had a bad game, it was about a kicker that had a bad game, missed a huge kick against Miami, and now might be a liability on a team that appears headed to the playoffs.
While it wasn’t a shock that the Chicago media made a big deal out of Parkey and his issues at Soldier Field, but when local media send helicopters to watch him practice, did they perhaps go too far?
The idea of having Parkey practice at Soldier Field is a good one. The winds there are tricky. Say what you will about Parkey’s season (or the contract he received), he’s always been pretty accurate and the game against the Lions was unlike him.
It may just have been that Parkey didn’t negotiate the winds properly and that some extra practice at Soldier Field could help him get his kicking squared away. But, is it over the top for WGN to send a helicopter to Soldier Field to watch him practice?
I don’t buy into the “that type of coverage is unfair to Parkey” mindset. If Parkey is going to be bothered by helicopters overhead during a night practice, he certainly isn’t going to be able to handle Soldier Field’s swirling winds with the game on the line in December.
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However, there is something to be said about it being practice, technically a practice that’s not open to the public, and crossing lines for a few seconds of video for your newscast.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Bears told WGN (and also WLS who sent a chopper) that they could not use the footage. Honestly, I don’t blame the Bears.
The Bears reportedly told the media outlets that these practices weren’t open to the public or media and therefore the footage isn’t allowed for use. Plenty of media supported WGN and WLS and said the Bears overstepped their bounds, but did they?
Odds are, any of the footage that would be displayed publicly would not help the Minnesota Vikings or other opponents get some extra tape on Parkey, but what if it did? What if they can use the footage to realize that Parkey is still struggling (or isn’t) or is dynamite inside a certain yardage but struggling beyond a certain yardage. Could they use that info to strategize against the Bears’ offense and put Parkey in a position to fail? It’s absolutely possible.
Bottom line, teams have rules that the media must follow and in this case, it’s no different. Would it have killed the Bears to let some of this footage out for local media coverage? Probably not, but when you let the media cross one line, it’s not going to take much longer for them to start crossing other lines and seeing how far they can push past it.
The Bears are becoming a big story, but it’s not asking too much to keep the traffic copters on the helipads.