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updated: 11/27/2019 3:33 PM

O’Donnell: Giving thanks for the DVR and other holiday options on the sports media spray list

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  • Columnist Jim O'Donnell is calling for seven days in January where no one can say the names of  Ryan Pace, left,  Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky (not pictured).

    Columnist Jim O'Donnell is calling for seven days in January where no one can say the names of Ryan Pace, left, Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky (not pictured).
    Daily Herald File Photo


IF THE PRIMARY LURE of the first Thanksgiving had been a Bears-Lions watch party, there's a very good chance the Wampanoags would have been no-shows.

Then there might not have been any New England and four hundred years later, Bill Belichick would have to be engaged in honest work.

Instead, with the tryptophan from turkey flowing like the techno-trancing words of a Matt Nagy news conference, the NFL pacifies another holiday Thursday.

And even in the tin-cup corner of thought jockeying called "sports and media," here's four reasons to give thanks:

The DVR -- Along with the wheel, the printing press and the marriage of coconut and chocolate chips in Graeter's ice cream, one of man's four transcendent breakthroughs.

A hand-held device that can turn four-hour baseball telecasts into 23 fast-forwarded minutes, marathon football games into elastic 30-minute dramas and free the ear from extended ache given names like Hubie Brown, Booger McFarland and Dick Stockton.

Whomever perfected it -- and most theories run through Al Gore, Elon Musk and the late Don Hewitt -- belongs in every Hall of Fame on the planet.

The 2019 Bears season will end -- Double guaranteed, or as Billy Preston came close to singing, "That's The Way Goodell Planned it."

Four months of pointlessness, inane babble and season-ticket holders looking as displaced as Volkswagens at the 24 Hours of LeMans -- the Bared Bears have had it all.

Now if only by official decree -- princely, papal, Pritzker or other -- somehow the names "Mitch Trubisky," "Matt Nagy" and "Ryan Pace" would be banned from all Chicago-area usage for seven consecutive days in January.

No court in the land can order anyone to watch a Bulls game -- Be it on TV or at the United Center, the choice to intellectually impale still belongs to the pastime challenged.

Unlike the Bears, who get to operate in a quick-fix cabal, the Bulls are stuck in a wasteland of their own making.

They are corks on an NBA ocean, as far from Michael Jordan as guitar-toting Knicks boogeyman James Dolan is from Eric Clapton.

Guess that's what happens when you have a shrewd chairman who was schooled on sports ownership watching the betrayal of his beloved Brooklyn by pioneering bandit Walter O'Malley.

Sports talk radio in Chicago remains an avoidable abscess -- Unless you're paid to do so, you don't have to listen.

What a gas, gas, gas. And what welcome avoidance of aural gas, gas, gas.

In a rabid sports market, even on a dying terrestrial radio band, two listing sports frequencies continue their duel to the drone over roughly 5 percent of a continually aging, male-dominant audience.

And their "target demo" claims are about as plausibly impressive as hearing Rob Schneider and Louie Anderson are teaming up for a two-nighter at The Gag 'n Ale in Stone Park.

As R.L. Burnside forecast, it's bad you know.

STREET-BEATIN': Yes, someone should win Thursday at Ford Field in a game of zero redemptive value as the Bears play push-push vs. Detroit (Fox, 11:30 a.m., Joe Buck, Troy Aikman). The schmocker will mark the 85th anniversary since it all began on T-Day in Motown, when Graham McNamee called the NFL's first national broadcast on NBC Radio-Blue and Bronko Nagurski found Bill Hewitt with a TD pass to cap a 19-16 victory that kept Chicago unbeaten. (The teams played again three days later at Wrigley Field.) ... Eddie Olczyk high tails it up the Eastern Seaboard from an NBC float in The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday (Ch. 5, 9 a.m.) to call color alongside Doc Emrick Friday on the New York Rangers at Boston (NBC, noon). Astronaut Snoop may or may not make puck drop. ... Stephen Bardo and Mike Monaco were notably prepped and prescient on FS1's telecast of DePaul's electric 88-75 win over visiting Central Michigan Tuesday night. (The Blue Demons trailed by 18 at the half.) Charlie Moore, Paul Reed and the unbeatens (7-0) try to keep it going Friday afternoon if they can make it into Minnesota (FS1, AM-560, 2 p.m.). ... Jim Harbaugh can't lose 'em all against Ohio State, can he? Plus, the Buckeyes had to "show" an awful lot against Penn State and the 9-point spot in Ann Arbor could send blue-and-maize backers home fulfilled but not necessarily completely happy (Fox, 11 a.m., Gus Johnson, gabby Joel Klatt). ... Extremely sharp move by the Cubs's Marquee Sports Network in hiring the estimable Bob Vorwald as special adviser to GM Mike McCarthy. Vorwald -- the most prominent keeper of the team's broadcast flame -- will continue as director of sports ops at WGN-TV. ... Also from the Wigglies, no reports yet of offensive holiday emails or greeting cards from Joe Ricketts, but the club has hired Rachel Folden as its first female coach. She'll mentor hitters in the rookie leagues (and next thing you know there'll be women in the press box). ... People who know say Stephen A. Smith's new deal at ESPN actually tops out closer to $10 million per-year than $8 million. (Whatever the number, the estate of Sherman Hemsley -- TV's George Jefferson -- should get a cut.) ... And reader Ryan Petty asks: "When Matt Nagy orders in a restaurant, does he cover his mouth with the menu?"

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at