Thursday, February 15, 2018

Chicago Bears Hire Former Chiefs Offensive Coordinator as Head Coach

Mike Loftus is the founder, owner, and president of MLE, Inc., a nationally recognized brand services company based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. When he's not busy with his responsibilities at MLE, Mike Loftus enjoys following the Chicago Bears.

Following a disappointing 2017 season in which the team finished 5-11, the Chicago Bears announced on January 8 that they had hired Matt Nagy as head coach. Nagy replaced John Fox who was let go one week prior to the announcement.

Nagy previously served as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. Under his direction, the team finished fifth overall in offense over the 2017 NFL season. Nagy’s offensive prowess was particularly apparent after the Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid, handed him play-calling duties with five games remaining in the regular reason. During this time, scoring jumped by 10 points per game, and Kansas City finished 4-1.

Nagy looks to bring similar results to the Bears team who finished last in passing in 2017. His efforts will notably involve developing quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who is entering his second year in 2018.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Expansion of NCAA March Madness Field Remains a Possibility

For more than 15 years, Mike Loftus has led operations at MLE Merchandising and Sign Solutions, Inc., in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, as company president. Beyond his work at MLE, Mike Loftus enjoys following professional and collegiate sports, including the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.

In 2010, the NCAA opted to expand March Madness from 65 to 68 teams through a series of play-in games. The organization had considered expanding the field to 96 teams as part of a 14-year deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting, valued at nearly $11 billion, but the concept was met with derision from coaches and fans alike. The smaller 2010 expansion was the first since 2001, when the field grew from 64 to 65 teams.

However, the current broadcast deal continues to provide the NCAA with the option of expanding the tournament at any point, and the attraction of a 96-team field, which would mean more games and increased participation at college campuses around the nation, remains on the table. Critics, meanwhile, point out that expanding to 96 or 128 teams renders the conference tournaments, which are currently very competitive and dramatic, essentially pointless, as virtually every moderately talented team in the nation would qualify for March Madness. 

For now, the NCAA has no immediate plans for growing the tournament outside of continuing to televise every game over the course of the competition, though a middle ground, such adding four more teams for a total of 72 colleges, might be an option.