I worked with former Bears linebacker Ron Rivera at WSCR radio in Chicago in the early 90s when he was the football contributor for the station and sat in for vacationing hosts.
Rivera has always been a solid guy, and when he decided to coach he became a volunteer quality control coach for Dave Wannstedt’s staff and the Bears. Now he is the head coach for the second seed Carolina Panthers in the NFC.
Here is a guy who was dead man walking with Carolina and yet is on his way to the playoffs. I’m rooting for Ron to make it all the way to the Super Bowl because he did it the old-fashioned way – he earned it.
My grade for the NFL season is D+. There was bad tackling, bad coaching, horrible officiating and more bad teams than good making this season quite forgettable. I feel the playoffs will be a different story, though, because postseason play cures all.
Can Peyton Manning get Super Bowl ring No. 2 or will his legacy be beating Rex Grossman and the Bears in 2006? Tom Brady hasn’t tried a new ring on for over six seasons – maybe this is his year again. Did Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers peak at the right time?
How about a Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers Super Bowl? The league probably wouldn’t like it but it would be cool to see these two small market teams. Seriously, I think it might be San Francisco and New England. Hey, your guess is as good as mine.
Mike North has been in sports radio broadcast for over 20 years and is currently heard weekly on the FoxSports Radio network out of Chicago. He also writes a daily sports column for the Chicago Daily Herald newspaper. Listen to his podcasts at http://www.foxsportsradio.com/podcast/mikenorth.xml. You can follow him on Twitter @North2North. Contact him at [email protected]