Are you tired of having your character built in another Antarctic Chicago winter? Thought so. Fortunately, we have so much to keep us feeling warm and fuzzy. - Bears coach Lovie Smith talked Tuesday about having more of a voice regarding his team's defense.
Let me get this straight. The Bears hired Smith, who earned his NFL stripes as a defensive assistant, and five years later, he now is ready to have an opinion on defensive strategies.
I'm curious about that voice. Seems to me the Motorola microphone bar that wraps around his headset is merely a prop. The Bears coach never speaks on Sundays.
- With the Blackhawks playing so well at the United Center this season (14-1-4) and the Bulls not (12-7), perhaps this is a good year for the Bulls to employ the Wirtzian philosophy and not televise their home dates.
- Even after seeing so many professional athletes go down in flames the last few years -- from murder to dogfighting to deadbeat dads -- I'm not buying the harassment charges filed against New York Knicks center Eddy Curry by his former limo driver, David Kuchinsky.
The New York Post reported earlier this week that Kuchinsky alleges Curry barked anti-Semitic insults at him, made advances at him, displayed his private parts and masturbated.
The story is fishy for two reasons. As an ex-convict, Kuchinsky lacks credibility. Second, Curry just never struck me as the kind of guy who possessed that much energy.
- Sight seen: former Bears great Dick Butkus, in a traditional Blackhawks red home jersey with No. 51 on it, shaking hands with players in the Hawks' dressing room Sunday night after their 3-1 victory over Nashville.
Interesting that the Hawk who gravitated to Butkus the most was Dustin Byfuglien, whose play least resembles the ruthless Butkus. Maybe Butkus can take the burly Minnesotan under his wing.
- I haven't seen enough of Comcast SportsNet's ''Monsters in the Morning'' yet to recommend it or suggest staying away, but I do have a thought on the set.
As we watch in our kitchens, take us inside yours. Lose the bobbleheads and typical sports-show look.
I want Mike North and Dan Jiggetts sitting at the kitchen table. Northy can drift over to the range, flipping sausages like Paul Cicero in ''GoodFellas.'' Bathrobes and coffee. Gimme da Monsters and make it less ''broadcasty.''
- Another former Bear has found his way into the NFL coaching ranks. Al Harris on Wednesday joined Mike Singletary's staff in San Francisco. Harris will be the 49ers' ''pass rush coach.''
Sounds like a business card somebody should have in Lake Forest.
- Have you ever heard a local media type begin an assessment of Bulls general manager John Paxson without using the qualifier ''Pax is a great guy'' or ''I like John''? Those aren't the questions.
The query still stands: Do we have any reason to believe Paxson is the right man to generally manage the Bulls? My answer is no. This is the sixth season for Johnny Jump Shot, and his team is falling off the radar screen at a meteoric pace.
- Can't remember the last time the White Sox have been this quiet for this long. Maybe Ozzie Guillen can drop by the Cubs Convention this weekend and offer thoughts on why he hates Wrigley Field.
Dan McNeil hosts the ''Mac, Jurko & Harry'' show from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays on WMVP-AM (1000).