Vegas odds say Flores but Bill Polian’s final pages are much closer to Super Bowl XX

THIS MAY BE JUST FOR WAY NEWTON FANS, but some Las Vegas gods say the favorite to be the Bears’ next head coach is Brian Flores.

Betting on the recently fired Dolphins coach on the cheap means ignoring a major caveat.

And it’s:

Has Bill Polian already made up his mind on what ‘special advice’ he’s going to give George McCaskey regarding who the Bears’ next HC should be?

And the Polian tea leaves say it’s not Flores.

FIRST, THE TOTE BOARD:

According to BetMGM — ironically an online service not available in Illinois — Flores is chalk 8-5 (+160) to be the next transit whistler in Lake Forest.

Just below the surprise 40-year-old free agent are:

• Ex-Bear and current Buffalo DC Leslie Frazier, 6-1;

• Bills OC Brian Daboli, 13-2;

• Colts DC Matt Eberflus, 13-2; and,

• Underemployed Super Bowl 52 Philly Cheese Champion Doug Pederson, 8-1.

A ranking of competing odds puts Jim Harbaugh as the second choice behind Flores at 4-1.

EITHER ORDER LEAVES A few significant statements and past actions by Polian extolling the merits of Frazier.

Most notably, during his 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, Polian cited dozens of people as “valued colleagues and friends.”

One of them was Frazier.

Their professional interface culminated in February 2007 when Frazier served as assistant head coach and defensive back mentor on Tony Dungy’s team as the Polian Colts defeated Lovie Smith and the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, 29-17.

FRAZIER’S AS A BEARS DB RACE sadly ended amid all the pomp and glory that was SB XX in New Orleans.

On an insane backhand commanded by Mike Ditka and special teams ace Steve Kazor on a second-quarter punt return, Frazier took a flip from Keith Ortego and blew out both of his knees.

The play was a “no go” before the trade as Ortego forgot the play call and illegally signaled a fair hold.

The Bears beat Tony Eason and the Patriots by that unforgettable 46-10.

Frazier has never played another down in the NFL.

THE ALCORN STATE ALUM also checks another intriguing box in terms of what makes a contemporary Super Bowl coaching winner.

As head coach of the Vikings from 2011 to 2013, Frazier technically “failed”, posting seasons of 3-13, 10-6 and 5-10-1 before being quickly snagged by general manager Rick Spielman , recently dethroned.

Of the eight men who have coached an SB champion in the past decade – Bill Belichick winning the Lombardi Trophy three times in that span – six have also ‘failed’ one last stop elsewhere before delivering the charm the most golden in the NFL.

This list includes: Belichick (Patriots after Art Modell’s latest iteration of the Browns), Bruce Arians (Bucs/Cardinals), Andy Reid (Chiefs/Eagles), Gary Kubiak (Broncos/Texans), Pete Carroll (Seahawks/Patriots) and Tom Coughlin (Giants/Jaguars).

Only Pederson (Eagles) and John Harbaugh (Ravens) were up, up and away on the first task.

SO THE ODDS OF VEGAS says Brian Flores will be the Bears’ next head coach.

This might turn out to be a lure only for goons going to see Wayne Newton.

Because Bill Polian’s tarot strongly suggests that there’s a burnt orange and blue ghost in the machine.

STREET-BEATIN’: The Bulls’ Vertical Velocity Week confirms at least three things: 1) The roster is slim and “in progress”; 2) Billy Donovan is a prime candidate for Coach of the Year; and, 3) This “Curse of The Breakup” is going to be a bad duster to overcome. …

Retrenching Hawks fans got a rare chance to ooh and aah with Lukas Reichel’s NHL debut. The 19-year-old fleet wing has speed, skill and pedigree and will return to Rockford to allow the organization to maximize his entry-level contract. …

Jimmy Garoppolo could make his final start as 49ers QB when SF wild cards in Dallas on Sunday (CBS; Jim Nantz, Tony Romo; 3:30 p.m.). If he never plays another, the Arlington Heights native has raised every football group he’s been associated with and is a tremendous tribute to parents Tony and Denise Garoppolo. …

Broncos general manager George Paton is in Green Bay this weekend to interview HC candidates Nathaniel Hackett – the CO of the Pack – and Luke Getsy (quarterbacks coach). All of this only further fuels Rocky Mountain’s “Hi” aimed at Aaron Rodgers. …

Lyndsey Coppock-Connolly and Mark Connolly welcomed baby Dorothy Frances Connolly. “Dottie” is the first grandson of Chet Coppock and Anna Busalacchi. …

And Teresa Hanafin, on Novak Djokovic and the greater good of Australia: “Narcissists can’t read the room because they always think they’re the only one inside.”

• Jim O’Donnell’s Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Contact him at [email protected]


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