Slideshow: ‘Just Wright’ Red Carpet, Phoenix Phenom, Chicago Bears

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Israel Idonije, Defensive Tackle, Chicago Bears

CHICAGO – Rapper and lead star Common wasn’t the only one to walk the red carpet for his film “Just Wright.” Bobby Simmons, a real New Jersey Net who appeared in the film, Phoenix Phenom, songwriter and members of the Chicago Bears were also in the house.

“Da Bears” included “Mama’s Boy” Otis Wilson, member of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Bears, current team running backs Matt Forte and Garrett Wolfe, defensive tackles Israel Indonije and Jerron Gilbert, plus wide receiver Earl Bennett. interviewed Phenom, Simmons and the Chicago Bears, which appears below the sideshow. Photography is from Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto.

Click “Next” and “Previous to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below.

  1. JustWrightCarpet1: Songwriter Phoenix Phenom
  2. JustWrightCarpet2: Bobby Simmons of the New Jersey Nets
  3. JustWrightCarpet3: Otis Wilson of the 1985 Chicago Bears
  4. JustWrightCarpet4: Matt Forte, Running Back, Chicago Bears
  5. JustWrightCarpet5: Garrett Wolfe, Running Back, Chicago Bears
  6. JustWrightCarpet6: Earl Bennett, Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears
  7. JustWrightCarpet7: Israel Idonije, Defensive Tackle, Chicago Bears
  8. JustWrightCarpet8: Group Shot: Earl Bennett, Garrett Wolfe and Matt Forte

Star Phoenix Phenom, Chicago Songwriter, Performer

Phenom has been in the news recently, having brought a lawsuit against the Black Eyed Peas, alleging that the group’s recent hit, “Boom Boom Pow,” sounds much like one of Phenom’s songs, “Boom Dynamite.” When you are sitting down to write songs, what are your specific inspirations, is it perspective, environment or ideas? In other words, what is your process?

Phoenix Phenom: My process is actually very weird. In my bed I have books, crayons, markers, you name it, it’s like a big circus of paper. And sometimes it comes like an epiphany to me, and I pop up and say ‘I have to write this down.’ It can be about anything – a piece of clothing, the environment, love, I could be upset – it’s very random.

Star Bobby Simmons of the New Jersey Nets

Chicago native Bobby Simmons is an actual NBA star, playing on-court in the film ‘Just Wright’ with Common’s New Jersey Net character, Scott McKnight. Having played for four teams in your NBA career, how do you deal with the ups and downs of professional sports? To what do you attribute your endurance and success?

Bobby Simmons: Ups and Downs is the business. I try to channel that in the most positive way possible and motivate myself everyday to be the best person and the best athlete as I can be.

HC: Of all the uniforms you’ve worn, from grade school to the pros, which one do your think you looked best in and why?

BS: My high school uniform, the blue and gold of Simeon High School in Chicago, probably was the best, because I was lean and trim. [laughs]

Star Bear Down, Chicago Bears. Otis Wilson of the ‘85 Super Bowl Bears, and current players Matt Forte, Garrett Wolfe, Earl Bennett, Jerron Gilbert and Israel Idonije

Da Bears hit the red carpet and answered some questions about the past, present and future hopes in the upcoming 2010 season. Otis, will you be participating in the 25th Anniversary celebration of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears?

Otis Wilson: I probably will. It was a momentous moment in my career and my teammates are brothers for life. If something is going down, we’ll get together and figure it out. I’m looking forward to it.

HC: Matt, are you excited about the new potential for the offense with new coordinator Mike Martz? Have you started the orientation process?

Matt Forte: Yes, we started, and we’re definitely excited about it, that’s what we do when we go in during the off-season, learn the plays and watch the film. There are a lot of chances in this offense to make big plays and score a lot of points.

HC: How are you feeling about it, Garrett?

Garrett Wolfe: The opportunities are endless. The possibilities of what could happen, the personnel we have and what the plays can be called, the sky is the limit. Anything is possible.

HC: Earl, who was your sports idol growing up and how do you honor them in your play?

Earl Bennett: Jerry Rice, he was just a great receiver. We wear the same number, because that is the one guy I grew up idolizing.

HC: Jerron, after your rookie year, and being in the mosh pit of the defensive line, how was it different from a college game to a pro game?

Jerron Gilbert: It was completely different. There was a whole lot more to learn and the game moves much faster. In college, since you’re going to school, they can’t throw as much at you. But if football is your full-time job, the expectation level is much higher.

HC: Israel, what do you observe as the most negative aspect of the amount of money in professional sports today?

Israel Idonije: We have to do a better job of educating young athletes on how to handle their money and how to handle that new status. When I got into the game at 21 years old, and I received a lot of money and didn’t have an advisor, but the league doesn’t give you the education to handle that business. We have a lot of people to run our business, but no one to say ‘here’s how you handle your business yourself.’

”Just Wright” opens everywhere May 14th. Featuring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, James Pickens Jr., Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier, written by Michael Elliot and directed by Sanaa Hamri. Rated “PG senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2010 Patrick McDonald,

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