Goddamn, Chicago loves Phil Emery.
Between his decision last week to fire Lovie Smith after a 10-win season and the most exhaustive head coaching search in the history of professional sports, the Chicago sports media has fallen in love with his tidy haircut and professorial manner. In fact, it was precisely his hour-long press conference last week that cemented his status as Chicago’s new sports crush. You would be forgiven if you thought he had danced Swan Lake rather than explained exactly how he intends to rebuild the Bears as a competent franchise, given the reaction to his question and answer session.
To commemorate Chicago’s new favorite son, we present “The Week in Gushing About Phil Emery.”
“The top rant topic in my mind is the Bears, a team that I am suddenly seeing in an entirely new light after being transfixed by GM Phil Emery’s amazingly transparent 53-minute press conference on New Year’s Day at Halas Hall. Talk about hitting a home run.” — Dan Arkush, Pro Football Weekly, posted Jan. 3, 2013
“An absolute star turn.” — Dan Bernstein, Boers and Bernstein, Jan. 2, 2013
“The only bizarre aspect of Phil Emery’s press conference on the firing of Lovie Smith was how un-Bear-like it was. How un-Lovie-like it was. How rational it was. It was like a real press conference—with substantive, detailed answers to legitimate questions. Instead of being insulted by a question about the offensive line and making us feel stupid for asking about it, Emery provided a step-by-step analysis of the line’s performance and why he did not address it in last year’s draft—the only thing missing were charts and graphs. He gave us more information we didn’t know in one 10-minute answer than Lovie Smith did in nine years. I was tempted to ask Emery ‘What time is it?’ just so I could learn how to build a watch.” — Mark Potash, Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 2, 2013
“Dear Phil Emery: Four words: Best. News. Conference. Ever.” — Mike Spellman, Arlington Heights Daily Herald, Jan. 4, 2013
“Phil Emery will hire the right head coach for the Bears… Emery gave the Bears every reason to believe that positive result was likely after a virtuoso performance on the podium Tuesday at Halas Hall. In a thoughtful 54-minute session with reporters, Emery used refreshing honesty and rare transparency to instill the kind of confidence in a job search we are not used to seeing at 1920 Football Drive in Lake Forest.” — David Haugh, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 1, 2013