Why Zygi Wilf Trumps Virginia McCaskey as an Owner - NBC Chicago
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Why Zygi Wilf Trumps Virginia McCaskey as an Owner



    Lovie Smith says he's "very surprised" Brad Childress got the axe. 

    We expect he said it in the same tone of voice as "Casablanca's" Captain Renault - "I'm shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here!"

    Or maybe Lovie really is surprised.  After all, he works for one of the biggest hands-off franchises in the NFL.  When asked for comment, Virginia McCaskey said, "I have a football team?"

    To McCaskey, the Bears are like that shirt you bought on sale, then shoved to the back of your closet.  It's a bauble just sitting there, collecting dust.

    Compare that to Minnesota's Zygi Wilf.  He bought the team in 2005, kicked Mike Tice to the curb and brought in Childress. 

    Now Childress is meat. And this was a team one errant pass away from the Super Bowl last year.  During his ownership, the Vikings have made big, splashy moves - spending for Steve Hutchinson and Jared Allen, luring Favre out of retirement and even pulling the trigger on a month of Randy Moss.  Yes, maybe that's a bit too hands-on, but you can't fault a guy for trying.

    And then there's Virginia.

    Last year, McCaskey was named the third worst owner in the NFL by Yahoo Sports.  Detroit's William Clay Ford was ranked higher.  And his team went 0-16 in 2008.

    Teams don't benefit from meddling owners like Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones.  We don't need someone to run out and overpay for a free agent or hot new coach.  We need someone who's going to grow the Bears from the inside.  Look at a team like the Steelers or the Ravens.  Those teams are competitive year-in, year-out.  They draft well, they grow talent and they don't miss on coaches.

    Don't mistake being hands-off for patience.  A patient franchise is good.  But after three years or so, you should see your team on an upswing.  The Bears are perpetually hovering.  The outcome of this season remains to be seen.  Heck, we could win it all.  But do you have one-tenth the belief in this team that you had in the '85 squad?

    You almost wonder, if someone else started running the franchise, would McCaskey even notice?