The Chicago Bears hired Ryan Pace as its new general manager – making the 37-year-old the youngest GM in the NFL. Pace is all about football. He was a defensive end at Eastern Illinois University (a teammate of Tony Romo), was senior team captain, and married his college sweetheart, Stephanie, who was a cheerleader. Pace then went to the Stanford Business School’s Executive Education NFL program for Managers. He joined the New Orleans Saints as a marketing intern in 2001, and climbed up the ladder to the front office as director of player personnel.
Chicago is different than New Orleans, on many accounts. Some would argue that the media is tougher in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune, for example, welcomed Pace to the Windy City with a translator. Tribune writer Phil Thompson put Pace’s comments from his first press conference as GM through the “translator.” Thompson wrote: “no matter how straightforward he tried to be in answering reporters’ questions on Friday, a few of his responses seemed measured, pre-packaged and wrapped in that old fall-back for personnel executives: GM-speak.” The translator also picks up on body language. When Pace was asked about Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Pace shifted from side to side “—and, really, who wouldn’t want to sidestep that question?”