The Doors obviously would not have been the special band they became without Jim Morrison, but it’s equally valid to say that, without keyboardist and musical director Ray Manzarek, the Doors would have been little more than Big Brother and the Holding Company to Morrison’s Janis Joplin (which is in no way to disparage that still-underrated band). Manzarek gave the Doors a distinguishing sound as a keyboard-led group, rather than a guitar-first group, and he brought and integrated jazz and blues influences more directly than most in his field. Manzarek died this week, and we remember him with this Jam (the genesis of which the group explains here):
The Chicago Bears are off to a great start this season with a 7-1 record, good enough for first place atop the difficult NFC North division. Their offensive attack has become much more balanced, and some younger players are rising up to keep their stalwart defense sharp. Players like Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Charles Tillman rightly are receiving lots of attention and credit for success.
There’s one name I haven’t heard or seen mentioned even once across the media spectrum, though, and it belongs to the Bears’ head coach, Lovie Smith. I don’t know whether Smith deserves any credit for the Bears success this season, but as the head coach, it would seem like he does. As far as I can tell, though, no one is talking about him at all.
People sure were talking about Smith when things went south for the Bears during the last couple seasons, though, and the image we were given of him was that of a quiet coach who maybe didn’t have that strong a grasp of the game or that much control over his team. Someone had to be blamed for the losses, though, and after everybody was done ripping Cutler and his perceived attitude, they turned the spotlight on Smith.
I don’t have WGN on 24/7, but I have heard more in the national media about all of the former Vanderbilt Commodores who now play for the Bears than I have about Smith, which, again, is nothing. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this. I’m just making a note of it.