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I Can't Stop Thinking About George McCaskey Spending His Free Time As A Little League Umpire

SYCAMORE, Ill. -- Sycamore High School athletic director Chauncey Carrick saw the umpire schedule for his school's baseball doubleheader on April 27, and he knew there would be a conflict.

One of the umpires that day would have more on his mind than calling balls and strikes. Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey has been officiating youth sports since his football coach at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Illinois, asked if any players wanted to ref Pop Warner football.

About 50 years later, McCaskey was working home plate for a high school baseball game in a small town a little over an hour west of Chicago. But McCaskey had something else going on that morning: It was the third day of the NFL draft.

I've been thinking about this story since it broke. Can not get it out of my brain. I was sitting outside last night on the deck grilling dinner with a Miller Lite in my hand and it popped in my head again. I didn't even want to blog it because he seems like a perfectly nice man and the vibes around the organization are so positive right now (with the exception of the new stadium circus) that I just wanted to use the old "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all" rule. 

George is a fascinating character. Imagine being the owner, de facto face of the organization, on the biggest day for your franchise in decades and choosing not to be there when your team selects 1st overall because you have to ump a youth baseball game in Sycamore. Mind boggling, but...I kind of like it. That's where I am now. I'd rather have George 400 miles away checking his phone for updates than have a Jerry Jones situation where you have to tackle him to prevent him from drafting Johnny Manziel. 

So that's it. George is just a nice guy who loves sports. I guess he also refs soccer games too. He just doesn't love being involved with the Bears, perhaps. Maybe he feels he's not qualified. Self-awareness is a good trait. It's a weird place to be because he is, ya know...the Chairman. It sounds like he doesn't even operate with a light touch. It's more of a self-enforced restraining order. The other side of that is that he rejects any thought that the McCaskey family would sell the team at some point. 

I need an episode of Hard Knocks that is just zeroed in on George. Follow him around for a week. See how often he goes up to Lake Forest during training camp. See if he has a good strike zone. In my head he eats a lot of oatmeal. I'd like that confirmed. I want to get to know George. I want to understand him. He's a mystery man. Long criticized, which is definitely warranted, but not a villain. I need to know the man because this story is that outer layer of the onion. The skin. That's as much as we know.