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Volume 25 No. 177
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Icing The Coverage: Bears Nix Local TV Footage Of Kicker Practicing

Parkey last week missed four field goals in the Bears' win over the Lions at Soldier Field
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Bears "squelched coverage" by WLS-ABC and WGN after the TV stations "dispatched helicopters" over Soldier Field while K Cody Parkey practiced, according to Phil Rosenthal of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Parkey was at the outdoor site to "better acclimate" to outdoor conditions ahead of Sunday night's Vikings-Bears game following "four botched kicks" last week at home against the Lions. WGN managed to "air a live shot of Parkey working on the turf with a long snapper and holder as part of a prime-time special featuring its morning news team before the Bears intervened." Invoking its restrictions on practice video, the team "effectively prohibited the stations from sharing their aerial coverage on the air or online, including via social media." A Bears spokesperson said the team acted "after calls (Wednesday) night from competing local media complaining that we were not enforcing" the policy on practice coverage. The spokesperson "declined to identify the rival outlet -- or or outlets -- that objected." It is "not clear what strategic advantage an NFL opponent could gain through seeing Parkey practice" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/16).