Friday, July 05, 2013

Chris Zorich and The Angel

Chris Zorich in less ugly times . . . for him.

Chris Zorich's lawyer noted that the ND Hall of Famer, NFL Star of 1990's Chicago Bears. 'Must Have' Charity Draw and Urban Prep Board Director is more than flat-broke.

Chris Zorich — the former Chicago Bears star whose tax problems landed him in federal court — is broke, his attorneys said Wednesday.
Zorich, 44, has a net worth of $302,000, but owes $348,000 in a case the Illinois attorney general brought over the questionable finances of his charity — and likely more than $90,000 more in IRS interest and penalties, his lawyers said in a court filing.

The comments about this great hearted and obviously very trusting young man are about as mean-spirited and thoughtless as one can expect from unhappy people.  They read about the serial killing New England Patriot and the other twenty seven felony raps garnered by NFL this post season and mold the identical pecksniffing meme.

All of this ugly information makes people, with nothing much else to do, want to sleep-out on sidewalk until the Federal courtroom opens on July 12th when Chris Zorich is sentenced for misdemeanor tax-evasion.  The Angel whom Zorich helped is invisible, because the Chicago media only looks at what it is told to look at and goes stone-cold blind on command.

Who served on the board of directors for the Christopher Zorich Foundation?

I think that Chris Zorich had a job done on him, because a protected angel took advantage of his good nature, but that's just me.

I remember Chris Zorich when Lou Holtz commanded Notre Dame football.  Lou Holtz did not use athletes, he educated them.  Chris Zorich was a powerful athlete with a puny CPS education K-12.  Had Chris Zorich been a lither, nimbler and much taller athlete he would have had an outstanding career at Simeon and University of Miami and with NBA. He played football.

Lou Holtz ensured that his players were tutored, if they were deficient.  Chris Zorich was tutored, by an ex-Navy officer and PhD candidate in English literature.  Chris Zorich graduated with a degree from University of Notre Dame - that still means something even in our idiotic gladiator culture of sports.

Chris Zorich was not a Mongo, nor was he a Gary Fencik.   He was a gentleman-athlete who behaved like a gentleman.  He was not arrested on gun charges, or for beating women in Clubs on Lake Street.   Chris Zorich had no diamonds in his teeth to go with a recreational drug and vodka habit.  Evidently Chris Zorich managed to leave the violence on the field on any given Sunday and avoided larceny seven days a week. He made a pretty good buck as a pro.  Chris Zorich's football injuries ended his pro career. He took care of his Mom and created Christopher Zorich Foundation. 

With his NFL salary and benefits Zorich seemed to try and do some good for other people.  When  any one tries to do that, the grifters, creeps and frauds crawl out of the societal and social woodwork.

Chris Zorich, like many other pro athletes, wanted to do some good for poor kids and philanthropy always produces charity lamprey eels. They are always media protected and affiliated hipsters who always seem to have powerful political friends of family.

I noticed, at the turn of this century, that Chris Zorich had become associated with a guy who had run the finances of Hales Franciscan Prep into the ground  in five short years, but managed to avoid any public inquiry concerning his mismangement. Oprah called the guy 'an angel.'

Well this Old Divil got up in the Angel's Grill, as the lads at Leo are wont to say.

In 1996, I was asked to attend a meeting of Catholic high schools that serve the inner city to discuss a strategy for sustained support, hosted by Oprah's little angel himself at Hales.  The stategy was this -" Share your data base with us."  There thoughtful nods, and murmurs of ascent from my colleagues.  I looked and Pete Doyle, Leo Principal' for the go ahead nod and offered, " Are YOU out of your @#$%ing Mind? ( GASPS ALL AROUND!!!)  Leo gives its Alumni list to no one. Not only is that just stupid, but complete abrogation of fund-raising principles."

Waxing full Franklin with a direct quote The Angel cried " If we do not hang together, we will all hang separately!"I laughed, " Hang and be damned! Let's blow, Pete."  And blow we did.   Hales suffered the Angel's lifestyle and legacy to Hales finances only because of the heroic efforts of Talk Show host Jenny Jones, the late Don Hubert and especially The Big Shoulders Fund. The Angel flew off before the rope could be made available with announcement of his 'retirement' on WBEZ. In 2000 Hales Franciscan with The Angel's flight to greener clouds, was in the hole . . . .a very deep hole. Everyone agreed that the Catholic high school for African American boys was under water, but no media questioned just how the ship was scuttled.

The Angel even took Hale's colors, dress code and student handbook with him, but no blame for its perilous condition. Hang separate!

That financial jackpot became an urban mystery.  Jenny Jones helped Hales.

Who's Jenny Jones?  Chicago Trib:  "Talk show host Jenny Jones continues her quest to keep Hales Franciscan High School . Jones has donated another $125,000 to the school."

The Angel attached himself to the Charter School Movement and Chris Zorich. Zorich coached football for The Angel, hosted poker tournaments with D-List celebrities like Richard Roeper and golf tournaments that attract celebrity wannabees and photo dopes. Kewel!PhotoMade some money. An anonymous gift that was to be matched up to the amount of $1M pops up all the time in annual reports. I wonder who that might be, or have been, but that is a matter fiduciary confidence. We won't know and none will wonder.

A foundation is tough to manage - especially with every mission competing with every grift in its proximity.  With an Angel whispering in the ear of a trusting soul it gets even tougher - even Federally tougher.

I'm no angel, but I suspect that Chris Zorich's foundation problems just might have a lot to do with the Angel in his wallet. That particular Angel will disappear and scrub his association with Chris Zorich as much as he did with Hales, in my simple man's opinion.

The Angel will be fine because no one looks at him.  Chris Zorich will be sentenced on July 12th and that is sad.  Chris Zorich will remain a good, trusting man.

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