Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shame and Blame The Name of the Game

For every mistake
There is a reason

But all we ever get
  Are excuses.

For instance...

BYE BYE STEPHEN STRASBURG: The Washington Nationals say they're gonna' shut down Stephen Strasburg. Protect that "Tommy John'd," surgically repaired arm. They're also preparing the press release that says even though they didn't make it to the World Series this year without him, they're confident they can also miss the World Series in years to come with him.

HOCKEY LOCKOUT: The National Hockey League is no doubt bracing for yet another work stoppage when it fails to reach a collective bargaining agreement with its players. The official deadline is Sept. 15. As if you cared, right? Will you really miss those goons making believe they're playing hockey? And look at it this way: Patrick Kane is available for party appearances.

MINOR LEAGUE BLUES: The independent, Class A Schaumburg Boomers in suburban Chicago issued a press release in mid-August announcing they'd won as many games this season as the Cubs. Yeah, sure, but call me about that again in 108 years.

DEAR ESPN: Is it really smart to use Mark Schlereth to analyze the Denver Broncos and Matt Millen to comment on Penn State's situation? What's next? How about using Mike Golic to comment about Notre Dame being the only school without a conference membership to be unfairly seated at the BCS table?

No, wait...

MY CUB RUNNETH OVER: So the Chicago Tribune reported that Cubs' baseball head Theo Epstein has spent $49 million so far trying to clean up the Cubs mess. In less than a year.

Who does he think he is, Magic Johnson?

THE PRINCE IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE PRINCE: Which came first, the hot-tub hazing or the high ankle sprain for NY Giants defensive back and former No. 1 draft pick Prince Amukamara? Or were they simultaneous?

Grown men, still hazing. It's a harmless prank. But when high school and college kids do it, it's a suspension, a penalty, a dismissal, an expulsion, a bootlegged You Tube video and a branding for life.

Seems fair.

BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? for Bears fans who still blame last year's collapse on backup quarterback Caleb Hanie, think again. Obviously, he was going to have problems running an offense he rarely got to run in games, especially one designed by Mike Martz. So what did the Bears do to help him out?

Did they simplify things? Didn't appear so. Did they shorten the playbook? Didn't appear so. Did they have a respectable running back to go with him after Matt Forte went down? Not.

What they could've done was charge up the defense. A few more blitzes. A few more gambles. A few more turnovers would've made life easier for Hanie and an offense that suffered, expectedly so, after its No. 1 QB went down. Nope, the Bears did nothing above and beyond with the defense to help make up for the many offensive shortcomings caused by the injuries.

The old Tampa 2 became the Chicago 5 - 5-game losing streak, that is. Anyone looking to Hanie to imitate Jay Cutler was sadly disappointed and overly expectant to begin with.

So this year, the two words Bears fans should fear most are: Jason Campbell.

JUVENILE INTEREST: Congratulations to Dane Claussen, editor of the Journalism and Mass Communication Educator publication of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication ( He published an article in his latest edition about sports, which by his own words in an essay in the previous edition is a "juvenile interest" for those who write about it and still call themselves journalists.

Hypocrisy is a beautiful thing.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the 
Journal of Sports Media. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the award-recognized Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.