ROSEMONT, Ill. — To Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, the Chicago Bears sure have the look of a champion.
Dent sees striking similarities between the current team and the 1985 shufflin’ crew that brought home the founding NFL franchise’s lone Super Bowl championship. That team dominated like no other, and the current group still has some climbing to do to reach the same level.
“To me, this team looks just like us in ’84, ’85,” he said. “We really started to jell, to be the best that we can be. We beat one another, and when you beat one another, no one else can beat you but yourself. That’s what drove us to be the best that we can be.”
How high the Bears can go remains to be seen. But in Chicago, optimism is soaring.
The Monsters of the Midway re-emerged last season, winning the NFC North at 12-4 in coach Matt Nagy’s first season and making the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The defense, led by All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack, ranked among the best in the NFL.
The Bears thought they were in position to make a run, only to have the season end on former kicker Cody Parkey’s double-doink miss off the upright and crossbar in a wild-card loss to Philadelphia at Soldier Field.
As the Bears celebrate their 100th anniversary this weekend, the past and present are colliding.
Six Hall of Famers and 230 former and current players and coaches were on hand for the opening ceremony on Friday. The festivities continued Saturday with panel discussions featuring past and current Bears.
The Bears naturally are shining a bright light this weekend on a past that includes nine championships. They have 28 Hall of Fame busts on display as well as the Super Bowl XX Lombardi Trophy.
It’s been a long wait for another one. But the jump the Bears made last year under Nagy no doubt energized their fan base as well as their alumni.
Can these Bears win it all?
“Don’t know,” Singletary said. “Do they have the players? Yes. Do they have the talent? Yes. Maturity is going to be the thing that has to be there. Hopefully, they can do that.”
Brees, wife suing jeweler over diamonds
SAN DIEGO — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wife Brittany are battling a California jeweler over the value of diamonds they claim they purchased for more than $15 million as an investment.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the diamonds were displayed when trial of the couple’s lawsuit against Vihad Moradi and CJ Charles jewelers began Thursday.
The Breeses’ attorney, Rebecca Riley, said in her opening statement that Moradi agreed to obtain the diamonds, sell them to the couple at wholesale prices and be compensated by the original seller.
Cardinals place Gyorko on IL, recall Edman
CHICAGO — The St. Louis Cardinals placed infielder Jedd Gyorko on the 10-day injured list with a strained lower back before Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs and purchased the contract of infielder Tommy Edman from Triple-A Memphis.
The Cardinals also designated right-handed reliever Merandy Gonzalez for assignment.
The 30-year-old Gyorko said he first felt his back spasm in the third inning of Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Cubs when he fielded Anthony Rizzo’s grounder at third base. Gyorko grounded into a force to end the fourth, then left the game in the fifth.
Rays lose prospect for another year
BOSTON — Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell has fractured a bone in his right elbow throwing a pitch during a bullpen session and will miss another season.
The Rays made the announcement Saturday between games of a doubleheader in Boston.
The 24-year-old righty was at the team’s spring training complex in Port Charlotte, Fla., working his way back from Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2018. He was sidelined for the entire year.
Series leader Reddick earns 3rd Xfinity win
BROOKLYN, Mich. — Tyler Reddick trailed Cole Custer and Christopher Bell during the latter stages of this NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
There was no need to try to pass them. Sure enough, Custer and Bell had to make pit stops, and Reddick took the lead with about 10 laps remaining. It was smooth sailing the rest of the way for Reddick at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. He won for the third time in the past five races and the sixth time in his career.
Reddick increased his series points lead to 89 over the second-place Bell.
Noah Gragson battled to a second-place finish, followed by Michael Annett and Paul Menard.
McIlroy shares Canadian Open lead
ANCASTER, Ontario — Rory McIlroy added the Canadian Open to his schedule as a tune-up for next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Now he has a chance to add another national championship to his already impressive tally.
The Northern Irishman shot a bogey-free 6-under 64 on Saturday to move into a share of the lead after three rounds at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
Seeking his second victory of the season, McIlroy surged into a tie with Webb Simpson (67) and Matt Kuchar (69) at 13-under 197. McIlroy’s round was tied for best on the day with Jonathan Byrd, who was tied for ninth at 8-under. Kuchar, who also shared the second-round lead, has a shot at his career-best third victory of the season.
U.S. loses to Ecuador in Under-19 World Cup
The United States was knocked out of the Under-20 World Cup in the quarterfinals for the third straight tournament, losing to Ecuador, 2-1, Saturday at Gdynia, Poland.
Jhon Espinoza scored the tiebreaking goal in the 43rd minute for Ecuador, which next plays South Korea on Tuesday. Italy meets Ukraine in the other semifinal.