Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. (or how Pat Finley’s set of “toddler-ish” drawings shed light on the Chicago Bears’ pointless media policy)

For the past week, Sun Times journalist Patrick Finley has covered the ins and outs of Chicago Bears’ training camp. Entering his fifth year on the Bears beat, Finley has provided readers with an abundance of copy since camp opened on July 27. He has discussed the issues QB Mike Glennon has in throwing deep and the promise associated with rookie Mitch Trubisky. He has conducted one-on-one podcasts with linebacker Danny Trevathan and running back Jordan Howard. He has also filed feature pieces like his look inside the wide receivers’ room and his story about three players who got a second chance thanks to the Bears.

However, it has been his use of awkward artwork in response to the Bears’ restrictive media policies that has fans and journalists alike paying the most attention to him.

Finley said the Bears allow journalists and fans to watch all of the training camp work, but journalists can only take photos and videos during the first 20 minutes of the day. On the other hand, fans can shoot whatever they want, whenever they want and post it wherever they want.

To provide a touch of levity regarding the absurd double standard, Finley did what journalists have done in court for decades: He created artist’s renderings of what he saw.

The only problem? He can’t draw:

Finley’s “live look at (rookie QB Mitch) Trubisky.”

“I wish I could say I planned it out, but it made my giggle the first day I drew one,  so I kept doing one a day,” Finley said in an email interview Friday afternoon. “I knew it was silly, but also subversive. Also, that’s the way I draw; I didn’t make it look toddler-ish on purpose.”

Over the next several days, he kept adding to his portfolio with drawings of punt return drills:

The innovative use of tennis racquets and volleyballs as training tools:

And even a fantastic TD hookup today between Trubisky and wide out Tanner Gentry:


WGN-TV has even made a point of featuring Finley’s work. Finley said his sketches are among the most-viewed tweets he has published all week and has even drawn the attention of some of the Bears’ PR folks:

“In the last couple days, some PR staff members have asked me about it, but not in a threatening way, and certainly with no request that I stop,” he said.

Finley said he hopes his subversive sketches will draw some much-needed attention to the bigger picture: Why is there one set of rules for journalists and another for the general public?

“You’d think that this would help them realize the policy is silly,” he said in an email. “I mean, fans can post videos and photo online all day! — but we passed that point years ago, I think. If anything, it’s been interesting to watch the public’s reaction (on social media at least) to the media policy.”

To see more great writing and interesting artwork from Finley, follow him here on Twitter.

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