Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fair-Weather Farts

Sitting in a bar, watching the fair-weather Blackhawks fans fill the place and watch the 'Hawks win. Fans sighing and dying with every shot on goal.

Where were they when then 'Hawks were struggling? Once thing about the 'Hawks, as long as Joel Quennville is the coach, the 'Hawks will never get outhustled, never get beat by a team that plays harder or with more heart.

Quennville won't allow it. It's why the 'Hawks dominate at game's end or rally from ridiculous deficits. You can't coach heart. You can demand it.
From the "Really?" department:

The NFL fines Colin Kaepernick for wearing non-authorized headphones. Really? The Jacksonville Jaguars mascot runs around with a sign saying, "Towels Carry Ebola." Really? And Danny Green of the Spurs tweets a selfie at the Berlin Holocaust Memorial and says, ", @Holocaust." Really?
Jerry Angelo tells USA Today that hundreds and hundreds of domestic-abuse cases were swept under the rug, including his own team's.

Really? He has since backed off from and modified his remarks. Guess he got a phone call from the league reminding him that if he ever wants to work in the NFL again, he better shut up.
A New Jersey powerhouse high school football team has suspended the rest of its season in the wake of hazing allegations that include inappropriate sexual contact.

Or, a case of the next class of high school kids who think they're smarter than the previous classes that got caught.

They're not.

Parents are incensed that the season has been suspended. Too bad. Hello, those are your kids doing the hazing.
In St. Louis, Cardinals' fans are being pointed at by Ferguson-shooting protesters as the demographic majority responsible for turning a blind eye to the racial divides in the area that caused the shooting death in the first place.

Maybe. And maybe NY Giants fans are the reason that Sayreville War Memorial High had its season suspended over a hazing incident.

Michael Brown, the Ferguson shooting victim, was wearing a Cardinals' hat when he was shot.

Maybe the Ferguson prosecutor should get the grand jury off its butts.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nick This ... And That

Nicknames are all the rage these days. Y'know, those hip-hop handles that just shorten what mom and dad gave you when you popped out.

D-Rose. D-Wade. LBJ (The King, not The Prez). Even A-Rod, or is it A-Roid? Of course, celebs have J-Lo and The Biebs.

Not so much in football. A-Rod is already taken. P-Man? I don't think so. Nor little brother E-Man. T-Bra? Gisele won't like that. And would it be J-Man or J-Foot? How about J-Bench?

Oh for the days of R-Moss, T-Aik and T-Brad (Pittsburgh, not New England). Instead, we have the legacy of The Playmaker, Peanut and if you can remember back far enough, we had Jolly Roger, Fran the Scram and Bambi.

How boring. Well, we'll always have O.J. Whatever that stands for.
Reporters who cover football just don't get any love, from the players and coaches, that is.

You've seen it. Jay Cutler dissed every football beat writer when he told Chicago Bears media that they would be negative and wouldn't understand if he explained to them what happened, precisely, on the plays where he threw interceptions in the season opener against Buffalo. It was a loss, by the way, almost directly attributable to the pair of picks.

Sure, Jay, we cover football because we like the insults. And the overt insinuation that we are stupid.

And let's not forget Ryan Leaf practically jumping down a reporter's throat over what he wrote or might write about him. Very mature, Ryan. How are you doing, by the way, since washing out of the game?

Now comes Bill Belichick, and not for the first time, making sure to dis reporters with a snarky laugh at the question over his team's quarterback play in the Patriots' one-sided loss to Kansas City. Maybe he forgot about Spygate and how he shrugged off questions about it to invite inquiries about that week's opponent, about whom nobody in the public or the media could've cared less.

And let's not forget the Oklahoma State football coach who encouraged a reporter to talk to him and not his players because he's "a man." I guess his players aren't. Hey, he recruited them. If that's how a man behaves, then all is not OK in Oklahoma.

Hey, Mike, the reporter offered to go over her story with you line by line for accuracy. You refused.

And now Jim Harbaugh is saying Deion Sanders' report is preposterous, even laughable, that 49ers' players are getting fed up with him and want him out.

Haven't seen too many 49ers players laughing.

Even Kirk Herbstreit said this morning that the public assumption is absurd that he, an Ohio Stater, is gleeful about the situation at Michigan. He's actually sad about what it says about the mindset there and the mindset in the general public.

That might be a product of too many fans drinking too much beer. And Herbstreit being a Buckeye.
If anyone thinks the NFL is not about bad boys, very bad boys, then think again.

It has never been more clear that the league is all about keeping its best players on the field, no matter who they abused, beat up or hit.

The investigation into what's going on in league offices over the Ray Rice video will likely reveal everything but that.

In other words, that the real bad boys are the billionaires.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Don't Believe This

Are you still standing in line for a new iPhone? You're an idiot.
Is Jameis Winston still on the Florida State roster? Why? He's an arrogant bastard. He is everything that is wrong with college football, especially at Florida State, where winning comes before discipline, appropriateness, ethics and, perhaps most importantly, education.
The New York Giants won twice, which means there is are teams with a worse offensive coordinator than theirs. 

I think.

Or else the Redskins were still so made about their brawl with the Eagles that they were totally drained from it or just plain forgot to show up for the Giants.
One more thing about Jameis Winston: he could never play for my pro team, never. Would never draft him. I don't care how many Heisman Trophies he wins.
If you're still in line for a new iPhone, hey, guess what? They ran out.
Did Jameis Winston really deliver the pregame pep talk against Clemson, a game for which he was suspended? Does anyone at Florida State understand the meaning of "suspended?"

Dumb question.
If you know math, what does 6 + 8 equal? Trouble for Apple, that's what.
Did the New England Patriots really only score 16 points against Oakland? They are looking awfully vulnerable, awfully ordinary.

As are the 49ers. Very pedestrian. Too many guys suspended, hurt or have just tuned out Harbaugh.

Or is Colin Kaepernick back to Earth? Alex Smith had a heck of a game for the Chiefs in their win at Miami. The same Miami that beat New England.

There is a reason teams trade for someone else's starting quarterbacks (Smith, Matt Cassell, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer). Somebody else didn't want them. Or they can't win the big one. Or one good year does not a good career make. Or they had one lucky year and otherwise suck. Or they were way overrated coming out of college (especially if it was Oregon - i.e. Joey Harrington, Akili Smith).
It's been a good week in the NFL. No one arrested. Yet.
Oh lord. Just passed an Apple Store. People still in line. Yikes...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Were those really the Green Bay Packers today against Detroit? They sucked. They're 1-2 and have played, in essence, two good quarters of football in three games and are lucky not to be 0-3. Should've lost to the Jets. Where are the real Packers? You've got to be kidding me.

And did you see the arrogance, the play-not-to-lose attitude of the Rams against Dallas after building a 21-0 lead? They crumbled. Arrogance lasts one play. Wins last all week. All season. You've got to be kidding me.

Couldn't help but notice, watching the Mississippi State-LSU game, how the refs decided to keep a one-sided game closer than it should've been. Called a holding penalty on Mississippi State on a dive play from the LSU 1 on which they scored. I swear, he had the flag out and was running in to make the call as the ball was snapped. You've got to be kidding me.

Did the Giants fire Ben McAdoo? Because they scored 30 points today. They've been pathetic on offense until today with this guy calling the shots. Then again, the Packers have been pathetic on offense without him so far this season. Hmmm... makes you wonder. Two teams, one without him, one with him, both suck. Can't have it both ways, can you? You've got to be kidding me.

My NIU Huskies got destroyed by Arkansas. Destroyed. They thought they were worthy of a national ranking after beating Presbyterian. You've got to be kidding me.

The U.S. Men's National Basketball team beat everyone by about 30 points at the FIBA World Championships. Looks like we really needed the NBA all-stars there, huh? You've got to be kidding me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life In The Slow Lane

The Eagles, God bless 'em, sang about "Life in the Fast Lane."

Today, it is life in the slow lane. At the Starbucks near my office, everyone from CNA Insurance and DePaul Law are in there. Everyone. The line double-curls around the service counter and almost out the door. It blocks the revolving door in.

The line isn't moving because people are not watching it - they're glaring at their little smartphone screens as if life itself depended on it, as if their text messages and emails are the most-important things in the universe.

"Did my boyfriend like the dinner I made for him last night?" "What time are me and the bff meeting for a drink?" "Ugh, I am not ready for this exam. Are you?" No, wait, "Uh, i am not reddy 4 this exam, r u?"

There. That's better.

Me, I want my hot cocoa and chocolate croissant (mmmmmm ... good). So I can get to my office and babble about these idiots.

The baristas and cashiers do work hard and hustle. Gotta' give 'em credit (and a nice tip). They keep it moving. Their customers don't.
 Everyone in line at the Metra train station ticket window has to have a conversation with the booth clerk. Everyone.

Updates on grandchildren, children and golf game, Gripes about the weather, the Cubs (what else is new?), the White Sox and skepticism about the Bears mysterious win at San Francisco.

How about swiping your credit card and buying your freakin' ticket? Geez.

Train's pulling in. Ain't gonna' make it now. Thanks, slowpokes. Thanks for nothing. And that picture of your grandkids, it's not Facebook worthy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Say Yes To Michigan (State)

Last year, three quarterbacks from North Carolina State wound up starting in the NFL (Wilson, Rivers, Glennon). Two made the playoffs. One took the Super Bowl.

Yesterday, three quarterbacks from Michigan State played at the very least in starter roles  (Hoyer, Stanton, Cousins). All won. An omen?

And they say the SEC is the best conference. Hah!
The refs are figuring far too much in NFL outcomes so far.

Too many flags yesterday in the NFL. Sixteen against San Francisco alone in their come-from-ahead loss. Three against the Bears on one special teams play in that game.

And the ref who didn't see who called timeout in the Jets-Packers game and granted it even though it wasn't by the head coach and even though the assistant who did it was telling the head coach to do it and not doing it himself.

Because, by rule, he can't.

Got all that?

The refs in general are hesitant to make calls and pretty much turn anything close over to the replay booth. It's time to take replay out of the game.

It slows everything down, drags it out and doesn't always get it right anyway.

Give the game back to the refs. Watch them get things right without big brother peering over their shoulders.
A lot of guys got hurt yesterday. A lot.

It's time reinstate hitting in training camp. Guys are getting babied in camp and then injured in games.

Stop it. Now. Stop it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Age of Forgiveness

Apparently, we are living in the age of forgiveness.

Penn State has been reinstated after one of the most-egregious scandals I can think of. Ever. Former head coach and current Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is being politically correct but you know he's saying, "Hey NCAA, thanks for nothing."

Now, it appears Josh Gordon of the Browns and Wes Welker of the Broncos could be reinstated from substance-related suspensions. There's nothing like resetting the bar so guys convicted of infractions can play anyway. How low can our standards go? Maybe all the steroid-era guys in baseball should get into the Hall of Fame and Pete Rose should have his lifetime ban lifted too.

Who's next? Ray Rice?

Johnny Manziel is not happy, by the way, about Gordon returning. Could keep Brian Hoyer on the field that much longer.

And the ultimate forgiveness - Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend. Just plain shot her. Could receive no jail time. Could receive lots. Will never receive a max sentence because the prosecution couldn't prove that he meant to do it.

Of course he did. And Pete Rose didn't mean to bet on baseball. And Mark McGwire didn't mean to want to talk about the past.

Michael Irvin is in the Hall of Fame. So is Ty Cobb. But Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, maybe even Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, will never go into the Hall of Fame.

Or will they?

Sure. And Richard Nixon was a great president. And Lindsay Lohan is a role model. Why isn't she in jail? Or the rehab hall of fame?

Age of forgiveness? My ass.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Puzzle That Is The NFL And Those Who Cover It

So, in the midst of all the breaking sports news yesterday, there's Richard Lewis being interviewed on Mike & Mike.

Richard freakin' Lewis. Why? Was he going to offer his dynamic perspective on the Ray Rice situation, let alone on the prospective cover-up in the NFL offices?

Don't get me wrong - I think he's hilarious. But not hilarious enough for what was going down yesterday. Hello, ESPN - reschedule him.
I would once watch Mike and Mike regularly. Love the parade of sports guests, the updates, the laughs, the gaffes. But they are losing me.

Freshen it up fellas. Do not kill the March Madness bet. Make it meaningful. Stop taking yourselves so seriously - Greeny, you are not going to be a rap star nor a major sports commissioner. Your opinion means nothing. How you facilitate the opinions of others means everything. You know how to do that. You were a reporter once,  remember?

Back to basics, guys. Report the news instead of trying to be the news. And Roger Goodell is not your friend, although Golic's lovely wife being on an NFL advisory board of sorts should disqualify the big guy from expressing opinions on NFL matters - conflict of interest.

Just like my viewing habits. Can't believe it, but I'm going to give Fox Sports 1 a morning view and even the local Comcast Sports Net. Or CNN.

They'll get the Ray Rice scandal right. Won't they?

Won't they?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let Me Get This Straight

So, as far as I can tell, Jay Cutler is telling the media he can explain to them what happened on the plays on which he threw picks against Buffalo, but he's also telling them they wouldn't understand it so why bother. OK, Jay, I guess I could never understand how you threw the ball to a 300-pound defensive lineman who you couldn't see.

How could you not see him? He blocks out the sun. I assure you I understand that. And the first pick, to former teammate Corey Graham, I really don't understand that one. You threw it before your tight end had looked back to you on the play. Not smart. I understand that. Oh, sorry, I mean the tight end's not smart.


Maybe, some day, Jay. You can explain the facts of life to all us media types. You know, where babies come from, safe sex,  as opposed to safe throw, and that's why you're so much smarter than the rest of us.

At least you're smart enough to know that you're smarter than the rest of us. Fortunately, I'm only smart enough to write this.

Enjoy it. While you're still smarter than the rest of us and while that lasts.

The NFL Is Back, Way Back, Unfortunately

NFL defensive backs suck. No, they do. Totally.

Can't guard, as the saying goes, their lunches. Can't guard my grandmother.

Who is coaching these guys? They play 90 percent of the time with their backs to the ball and apparently have been coached to stick up a hand in the receiver's chest when the receiver appears to be making his move to catch the ball.

Please, please, what I wouldn't have given to have guys playing defense like that when I was quarterbacking in high school and college. I knew I had 6 every time if a guy was guarding my wide out like that. It's as if they're being taught to play in desperation mode before it's even desperation time in the game.

I know the rules are such that the offense has a distinct advantage now. I know that the refs are supposed to be rigidly enforcing the existing rule on no contact after 5 yards downfield, a rule they failed to enforce with any regularlity for 20 years or so.

But if these DBs, these great athletes and No. 1 draft picks can't guard the guy opposite them straight up without keeping an eye on the QB and the ball while running with them, then they can't play for me.

I would immediately fire every coach who is teaching his DBs to play like that. By the way, they can't tackle worth a damn either. Saw way too many misses this past weekend, with guys easily faked out of their cleats. I always guarded my man straight up, kept an eye on the quarterback and ran everywhere with my guy till the play was over. I rarely got beat. Yeah, I played both ways. And was damn good at it. I beat my opponent with my speed, my positioning, my skills and most of all, my ability to keep the whole field surveyed while doing it.

Hey, NFL defensive backs, what's your excuse?
Somehow, despite Aaron Rodgers sucking against Seattle last Thursday, I still have a chance to win my fantasy match-up this week as my opponent is done and I still have Larry Fitzgerald (please don't be hurt) and Rashad Jennings (please, no fumbles) playing tonight. Don't suck, you guys, don't suck.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

EEEEE yow!

If E! Network doesn't renew its stars, it kills them.

First, Chelsea Handler leaves, bolting for Netflix and taking her foul-mouthed popularity and creativity with her. Now, Joan Rivers,  who riveted viewers to their seats with her highbrow comedy and commentary, has suddenly passed away and Fashion Police will never be the same.

Two ratings winners gone in a flash. What to do. Who to replace them with, if at all? Whitney Cummings for Chelsea? Mary McCormick?

Kathy Griffin for Joan? Ross Mathews? Lily Tomlin? Her daughter Melissa? Eli Manning?

Likely no one for either. Both one of a kind. On to bigger and better things. Well, Joan.
Football starting.  My quarterbacks are gonna' burn me this weekend. So what!

Here Came The Sun

Dark, gloomy. And that's just the mood at work. Everyone dreading the next cuts. And they're coming, to be sure.

Our new boss is nanny negative. No apologies for who's hurt by his missives. Which is good, I guess. Tough guy who walks the walk. I like that. I respect that. Much more transparent than those who tread that path before him. I can dig it.

I've met other people who know him, who have worked with and for him. All good from them. Play by his rules, written or otherwise, and all should be fine. Hopefully, our performance and his leadership will produce what he wants next, what we all want next; a stable environment where we can all be productive and shine.

We will make it happen.
OK, ladies on the train, on the street, at work: I am tired of seeing your bra straps. Really. It is unbecoming. It sullies your look.

If you're the kind of gal who needs to wear a bra, then wear it and cover it up. I've seen enough.
Eli versus Detroit or Rodgers versus Seattle this week in my fantasy lineup. Ouch.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sam I'm Not

I was rooting for Michael Sam, but the Rams cut him and that's that. All the discussion should have centered on how the SEC Defensive Player of the Year didn't make the team, not how an openly gay player didn't make it. Sad that the media wouldn't be talking about him if he wasn't gay.

Even ESPN reduced itself to talking about his showering habits. Really?
OK Subaru, I'm tired of the commercials that promote dads driving recklessly for their kids to "fix" their toys or to just provide a thrill in a parking lot-turned-road course.

Don't even think of trying that with my grandson. I like your product, but will never buy one now.
Somebody help me out -- should I play Eli Manning in week one of my fantasy league against Detroit or play my No. 1 man, Aaron Rodgers, but against Seattle, at Seattle? The NFL always provides surprises and I'm thinking, for one week, Eli might be that surprise against Detroit's defense.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

College football is back. Ugh!

The usual suspects all won in the opening weekend of college football and the bad thing about it is you can probably name the championship playoff final four right now.

Florida State held off Oklahoma State, somehow. Alabama needed some oddball calls to get past West Virginia. It was sickening watching the Mountaineers have to play against Alabama and the refs.

And did anyone really think Navy would beat Ohio State? Or that Appalachian State would pull another miracle win at Michigan? Puh-leeze.

Even Illinois won yesterday, against mighty Youngstown State.

You can bet on anything you want, but take this to the bank: the powers-that-be want Florida State versus Alabama for the national title and that impartial selection committee will make sure it happens.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Grind Behind the Grins

I do not believe everything I hear and only half of what I see. Or is it the other way around?

But after watching the Bears get torched by Seattle last week, 34-6, albeit in an exhibition game, it just seemed they didn't take this seriously enough.

General Manager Phil Emery went on and on after the game about how new No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Clausen looked good directing the offense to field goals against Seattle's No. 3 defense.

He'll be the next member of the former Bears No. 2 quarterbacks club, joining Jason Campbell, Caleb Hanie, Josh McCown and now Jordan Palmer. Like the others, Clausen will get plenty of playing time when Jay Cutler suffers his annual injury.

And Cutler didn't sound too disappointed with the loss and the beating, saying the Bears did a lot of things right and were just a few executions away from being in the game.

I can think of exactly which executions they should schedule.
I keep hearing from all the football pundits on TV that mobile quarterbacks get hurt a lot more than non-mobile quarterbacks, you know, the traditional pocket passers.

Like Joe Namath. No, wait...

Like Phil Simms. No, wait...

Like Matthew Stafford. No, wait...

Like Tom Brady. No, wait...

Like Tony Romo. No, wait...

Like Sam Bradford. No, wait...

Like, screw it. The pocket passers get hurt just as much because they're not mobile enough. Michael Vick has never played a full season, when he wasn't in jail, that is, because he was so mobile he got smacked around. Jay Cutler, on the other hand, has not played a full season since being traded to the Bears because he wasn't mobile enough.


We report, you decide.
So Michael Sam sacked Johnny Football and celebrated with the "money" sign. My question is, if you watched the play, who the heck was the Cleveland tackle he beat so easily who then proceeded to outright pounce on Sam after the play was long dead?

No penalty. Nothing.

The one thing I have noticed this preseason is that the refs are calling different games than I've been watching, that's for sure. And I've only been watching so I can see some of my prospective fantasy draft choices play.

Otherwise, I can live without preseason football. Can't we all?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

No Mo Mo'ne

OK, the Mo'ne story is cute. Cool. She's talented. Composed. And currently plays on the best, most-successful team in Philadelphia (take that 76ers, Phillies, Flyers, Eagles).

But to listen to ESPN's commentators tell it, we have been exposed to her and her fellow Gods at the Little League World Series this year.

Which is the same thing their commentators said about the participants in the X Games. And the Winter 'X' Games. And the World Cup.

Enough, ESPN. Let the event speak for itself. If you have to tell me it's great, it probably isn't. Let the action on the field speak for itself. I'll decide what's great. You just describe what's happening, tell us who the participants are and supply background stats.
Mo'ne was the cover girl on SI this week, and likely deservedly so. But then she got hit with the SI cover jinx, as so many have before her. She got rocked early and got little support against Las Vegas and the Young Philadelphians bowed out of the event.

If only they'd taken Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin and Rick Sutcliffe with them. Normally, I like all those guys, but not the way they slathered all over themselves telling me how great the Rhode Island coach was (he wasn't).

He was hardly inspirational, as they claimed. I watched him time and again delay games so as distract opposing pitchers and get them off stride against his hitters. His language, tone and actions were unsportsmanlike, discourteous and loud.

At ESPN, they call that inspirational. I call it, time to look for my remote.
ESPN isn't the only sports media outlet regularly committing a faux pas. Mo'ne on the cover of SI speaks for itself. This, the same magazine that gives us Kate Upton on the cover. Not complaining about that, but hoping SI isn't thinking like that about Mo'ne. Unless ESPN the Magazine is for its "Body" issue. Oh lord.

I suppose SI could've given us Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer on the cover, side by side, awaiting Cleveland Browns management and coaches to decide their fates. Not that it's going to make the Browns a better team.

Amazingly, the media treated the Browns' QB story as if the whole world was waiting on this decision, by the Browns third head coach in the last three years. The Cleveland Browns suck. Two winning records, one playoff appearance in the 15 years since they were reincarnated. They don't deserve to exist. They don't deserve the fancy stadium Cleveland built for them at the lakefront. They don't deserve Jack.

But they've got Johnny. Football. On the bench.
You know it's coming. Five years from now, here comes Mo'ne, showing up at her beloved UConn to play basketball for Geno and the Lady Huskies, accompanied by the media trail of replays from this year's Little League World Series.

She deserves to live her own life, not the media replay of it. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Personal Personnel Problems

Johnny Manziel fans, he's not starting for the Browns. Get over it.

The city exploded with joy when Johnny Football was drafted by the Browns, on the heels of LeBron announcing he was coming home.

Now, after repeated trips to, parties in and pictures from Vegas, he has yielded the starting spot to a guy who is probably not as good a quarterback as he is and definitely is not as good an athlete.

Plus, his demeanor, his flipping the bird, his lack of leadership and inability to command respect are what really cost him the job. Welcome to the NFL, Johnny Football. This is the new reality. Get accustomed to it.
Ohio seems to be the quarterback capitol of the world.

Ohio State joined the mix when Braxton Miller went down with a reinjured shoulder.

Now, don't get alarmed, Buckeye fans. You will still likely win the Big 10, or at least your division. Your schedule is softer than Ohio's best high school team.

Your athletes are better than anyone else's in the Big 10. You're going to kick ass.

What is most interesting is Braxton Miller already saying he'll be back next year to try to help the Buckeyes win a national title. That has got to be interesting news to the two guys who will be returning quarterbacks and will have taken the team to possibly new heights this year.

Braxton, can you say, "Supplemental Draft?"
The Xfinity commercial, where the gal says she sometimes watches up to three movies a day...

...Lady, get a life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Clean It Up

So, there are these two women at my gym. Always come in together. Never clean off their machines after use - never - despite all the signage that calls for it.

Obnoxious, arrogant idiots. Wipe 'em down. Doesn't take long and spray bottles and rags are all over the gym. This isn't hard. Must think they're too good to have to do it.
ESPN Sports Center spent almost the first 10 minutes last night on Johnny Manziel's performance,  or lack thereof, versus Washington (I too will not say "Redskins" anymore).

Really, Johnny Manziel? It's the freakin' Cleveland Browns. No one cares.
I keep looking at the Chicago Bears schedule and I keep seeing 8-8. Same as last year. They'll beat a team or two they're expected not to and lose to a team or two they're expected to beat. And Jay Cutler, as usual, will likely get hurt and miss a few games.

Yet, local fans and media have 'em in the Super Bowl after their 2-0 preseason start. Not.

By the way, my Giants look like crap at 3-0 so far in preseason and despite that are going to the Super Bowl. So there.

Friday, August 15, 2014


What's up at ESPN?

On SportsCenter, the lead story was an NFL exhibition game between Jacksonville and Chicago. An exhibition game! This, the same day Major League Baseball named only its 10th commissioner ever, and only after a heated debate which allegedly pitted outgoing Commissioner Bud Selig against longtime friend and support Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox.

Then, anchorperson Neil Everitt had the nerve to use a reference to three shots of Jack for a three-homer game by a player in the Little League World Series. Neil, they're 12 years old. Save the "Jack" for MLB. How inappropriate and embarrassing.

On top of that, ESPN's on-field reporter at the Little League World Series asked the 3-homer hitter how many home runs he's predicting he'll hit through the LLWS. Really? Idiotic. The kid was clearly embarrassed and hesitated to answer.

Earlier yesterday, "Let's Be Cops" star Rob Riggle sat in with Mike and Mike. What's up with that? What does he have to do with sports?

ESPN is taking the 'E' in its name a little too seriously. Yes, Sports equals entertainment, but not that much entertainment.

Who's going to be on next, Chelsea Handler? The way things are going at ESPN, why not?
Once upon a time, like seven years ago, Tom Werner dumped American sweetheart Katie Couric. In an email.

Maybe if he still had her on his arm, he'd have been elected commissioner of baseball instead of losing out to Rob Manfred. Don't you think that Katie Couric as the "First Lady of Baseball" no doubt would've struck a chord with the owners as they voted?

Katie Couric throwing out a first pitch somewhere to start every season. Katie Couric repeatedly on camera at big games. Katie Couric having MLB stars on her show regularly instead of occasionally. Especially Boston Red Sox stars, where Werner is a minority owner.

And now Tom Werner knows why he's not the new commissioner of baseball. It's Katie Couric's fault. Sort of.
Why does it take tragedy to force change?

Why does anyone know who Kevin Ward Jr. is? Because he died as a result of being hit by a dirt-track racer driven by NASCAR-immortal Tony Stewart.

Now, NASCAR is forcing changes in collision protocols that will force drivers to stay in their cars until help arrives instead of getting out like Ward did before he was struck.

Same thing happened with other safety protocols after the death of Dale Earnhardt

Football only forced changes after players sued over concussion aftermaths. And several others died, including the tragic suicide of Dave Duerson.

We shouldn't need tragedies to force changes. Yet, we do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two Much Two Think About

I've got two much on my mind lately.

  • Two women
  • Two networks
  • Two idiots
  • Two friends
  • Two jobs
The women are married and available and single and unavailable. Yikes. Accept the one or chase the other. Women are strange animals. Men are stranger.
ESPN or Fox Sports 1? So much ridiculousness on ESPN, I'm thinking about the switch. Then I watch Andy Roddick's insights about all sports on FS 1 and I can't stay there.

It beats the hell out of listening to Mike Greenberg say he'd reinstate Pete Rose, making him Hall-of-Fame eligible. I wouldn't reinstate him in this lifetime or the next. What he did was worse than the steroid guys and to reinstate Rose is to declare the steroid guys into the Hall of Fame by acclimation and bypass the BBWAA voters and Veterans Committee ballots. Except you can't do that because the Hall is not an MLB division of oversight.

Oh yeah, as to idiot anchors Stan Verrett and Neil Everitt, time to lose "ALEXEI" and "I don't wanna' be the Pirate," respectively. Challenge yourselves to come up with something more creative. The occasional pop-culture references are OK, but lose these two fall-back phrases. They're becoming cliche. 

Maybe it is time for FS 1.
But you won't find two bigger idiots than the Sterlings. Donald speaks for himself. Shelly went to some lengths to make sure the $2 billion agreement to sell the Clippers included naming her owner emeritus. Really? If I was the NBA and the Clippers, I wouldn't want the Sterling name associated anywhere with the team.

The Clippers are the new darlings of LA basketball, surpassing a pathetic Lakers team. Yet the Lakers, like the Cowboys in football, despite being irrelevant and full of nobodies, are media darlings. What they don't do, especially win games and make the playoffs, makes news.

And is any team really worth $2 billion? Are the Clippers? Such an overpayment. New owner Steve Ballmer doesn't have to worry about where his next meal is coming from, but I wonder how long it's going to take him to pay back those loans. 

In any event, can the Lakers and Clippers ever be friends? They do share a home. But would the Clippers even be news if the Sterling mess had never happened?

That's like saying, will the investigation into the accident in which Tony Stewart was involved get kid-glove treatment instead of something more intensive if the NASCAR celebrity wasn't involved? Would it already be a murder investigation? Will we ever know?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Knews Values

So this morning, Fox Sports 1 is leading with the Tigers getting beat, yielding first place to Kansas City (yes, Kansas City!), and possibly losing Verlander to injury. ESPN, on the other hand, is leading with the Yankees, yeah the third-place Yankees, as they lose a much less-impactful contest in the standings to an Orioles team they trails by 6 games. I guess New York matters, no matter what, while Detroit and Kansas City obviously don't.

But which game would you have been leading with? In any event, neither network was leading with the ongoing Tony Stewart investigation. Hmmm...

At my gym, there's a tennis player who, every morning, gets on a racketball court, by himself, with his tennis racket and tennis balls, and just stands there and hits. Doesn't move around. Doesn't challenge himself. Just hits a few balls right back at himself for an hour or so. It's scarily monotone. And he pays for the court time too, according to the front desk.

If I had that kind of money,  I'd be spending it on, oh, Kate Upton. Cubs tickets. Trips to Paris. OK, not Cubs tickets. And no chance with Kate Upton, I know that.

The guy, by the way, always wears a nice polo shirt, nicely pressed chinos and premium tennis shoes. I don't dress that nice for work. Or to go see Springsteen in concert. When I can afford the tickets, that is, with money I haven't spent playing with myself.


Watching Greeny debate the Above-Average Micheal Smith on ESPN2 about the merits of baseball, and especially how slowly the game moves. I hate to say I agree with Greeny, but I do. This is why I rarely go to and never watch baseball on TV; it sucks, and very slowly at that.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Can We Get This Right?

So many things are done so wrong. For instance...

Ever watch the ad with the guy who plays goofball agent Dornigan on NCIS? He's walking his dog in a park as the mutt sniffs for an appropriate spot do its business. Dornigan is musing aloud though about wi-fi hotspots and what they, coincidentally for the dog's benefit, smell like.

And mutters, "roast beef," before inviting the dog to go get lunch with him.

I'm not going to ask if you've ever smelled "old" roast beef. Won't go there.


Tiger Woods is done. Sooo over. Can we get past him please and focus on, y'know, important stuff, like, Jerry Jones and the strippers? Strippers, huh? Isn't that where Tiger's problems began?


Cannot wait for the Ryder Cup. Hope to see Rickie Fowler opposite Rory in singles on that Sunday for the Cup. Rickie has a superb record with him, head to head. Can he do it again? It won't be Tiger versus Rory. I hope not. U.S. Captain Tom Watson might as well put himself in, if that's the case.


I never did get into "Modern Family" when it was first on. But now that it's in syndication on USA Network, I can't watch it often enough. Hysterical. So well written. Reminds me of the new year's resolution I never keep: return Sophia Vergara's phone calls.


Will the Cleveland Browns kindly end the mystery and insert Johnny Football at quarterback already? While we're on the subject, watched "Draft Day" on a flight the other day. Short, sweet, put the NFL's underbelly on display, a world of cussing, disrespect, jealousy, envy, backstabbing, rumor-mongering and deceit.

And those are the good qualities. Great fun flick though. And you've got to love at the end how Kevin Costner as the GM of the Browns brings everything back around 180 and walks away a winner. How does he do it? I won't spoil that for you. But Jennifer Garner can play on my team anytime.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lights Out

Getting to sleep in my hotel was an adventure. Couldn't decide whether to risk taking the elevators or walk down 31 floors after power went out in the guest rooms. No TV, no radio and whatever charge you had left on your tablet, cell or laptop was what you had available in the way of communication and/or light.

What would you do? The elevators were somehow running but the phones weren't working and the hotel wasn't answering when you called the desk on your cell. What to do in Montreal, sacre bleu!

Me, I of course went down the elevator and wound up in a less than lively party in the lobby, accompanied by a bar sprinkled with disappointed drinkers and a desk clerk who had already been given a PR statement to repeat.

Instead, I walked outside, noticed the lights in buildings and on streets all around, except the one I was staying in, and took a picture looking straight up the dark tower. Is this a movie plot or a terrorist plot? Or both? I posted in on Facebook and got blasted about it by friend and relatives. Thanks a bunch.

Meanwhile, a ragged-looking woman walked by and asked me for money. Not for sex. Just panhandling. Uh, go away please.

Back inside, I took a bottle of water, one of several left out on the bar, and headed back to my room rather than join the rowdy guy who announced he was from New Jersey who was leading a trek of saloon stragglers over to the establishment next door that had lights on. He was enticing everyone with offers to drink for free ("On me," he kept yelling. "Drink for free."). He shook my hand on his way out and for some reason said, "Thank you." I said, "Pas de quoi." I think that means, "Go to that other bar already, will ya."

Back in my room, sans  HVAC, I somehow managed to fall asleep anyway, only to be awakened an hour or so later when the power popped back on. Did you ever hear power pop back on in French? Smells like old cheese. I turned on the TV just to confirm, but the drone of the air conditioning had already done that.

What a colourful evening. Uh, colorful. I louve Canada. Uh, love.


Speaking of Love, Kevin, that is, he is a Cavalier. Who would've thought that LeBron James, all by himself, could make Cleveland such a cool place to live?

Speaking of cool, Canandians - uh, Canadians - Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the NBA Draft's last two No. 1 picks, are now Timberwolves in exchange for lotsa' Love.

Good luck with that Minnesota. The NBA doesn't care much for small-market teams, no matter what it says. Unless a superstar plays there. Like LeBron. Can Cleveland break though and win a title, thus becoming the champion of small markets? LeBron couldn't do it last time he was in Cleveland and he had some decent talent around him then. We'll see this time.

Besides, the Browns are still there. And the Indians.

As Olbermann would say,"Good night, Felicia."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Parlez-vous French

What a blast today. Did a presentation on Tim Tebow, CBS Sports and ads about gay lifestyle. Yes, I tied that all into one, and did it all in less than 12 minutes on a distinguished panel with colleagues from Anchorage, Alaska and Utica, NY, among other places, who also showed hard evidence that sports and religion do mix and have so much in common. Mostly, that would be that it's always the money.

So, what did we conclude? That religion plays a bigger role in sports than most people think.

For instance, did you know Muhammad Ali, for all his braggadocio about his skills and all his clamoring about his religion being his exemption from U.S. military service (right about the time of the Vietnam War, oddly enough), he never really acted out his adopted religion publicly? Makes you wonder: did he turn to Islam out of deep, religious conviction or to stay out of the service?

I love the guy, but this question will be a perplexing mystery in my sports-and-media life now.

Anyway, the conversation turned in several directions and finally came full circle back to famous, religious character Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, who reminded us all after winning Super Bowl XLVIII that God was a Ravens fan. He had to be because somehow, the Ravens got away with either defensive holding or pass interference on the 49ers final play to preserve the victory.

Remember, this is the same Ray Lewis who dodged murder charges some 14 years earlier (we think he did it but we also think it was defensive holding on the Ravens).

Of course, that was the famous Super Bowl where the lights failed at the Super Dome and there was a 34-minute delay while the Ravens lost their momentum and the 49ers rallied thereafter and the NFL was able to allow the TV ratings to remain high throughhout.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but it was holding on the Ravens, the lights went out for a reason, God is not a Ravens fan and Ray Leis did it!

Otherwise, I'm out.

Till tomorrow, a teur a l'heure.

Monday, August 4, 2014

These Jacks Are Off Target

Sorry, Jack Links, but those ads with creatures coming out of people's stomachs and popping out of their shirts, in public, to depict the degree of their hunger are just not cutting it. "Alien" revisited. Did someone really got paid to produce those, in fact, just to think them up? Amazing. I am soooo in the wrong profession. I have definitely thought up better commercials that never got produced. For instance, the one I created for Victoria's Secret. Uh, forget that...

Anyway, hey, Jerk Link, bring back Sasquatch, please.


Watching a great golfer go south is disheartening. His game is gone, his injuries, post-surgical and mental, are prevalent and he clearly has no confidence, regardless of physical condition.

But enough about my game. Did you see Tiger withdraw from the Bridgestone Invitational?


Speaking of golf, Sergio Garcia offered to buy some female spectator a new diamond after his tee shot strayed, hit her in the hand and knocked the rock from its setting.

There's And then there's sergio dot con.


So, my stylist told me today that my hair looks great. Then she colored it and cut it all off. Huh?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Kinda' Towns

I love where I live (Chicago). I love where I grew up (New York; Brooklyn, actually). Both making news.

Nice to see Cub prospects Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Albert Almora all tearing it up in the minors. Too bad the parent club is still struggling. Note, none of those prospects are pitchers.

Then again, just saw the item about the Mr. Met tattoo executing the Phillie Phanatic. Now there's something two gawd-awful teams can be proud of.

Speaking of Cleveland, which we weren't, the Indians got a win from a pitcher named Atchison. Do they also have a Topeka and a Santa Fe in the farm system? Google it, OK?

And finally, not sure about you, but I absolutely cannot watch replays of the Paul George injury. Too gruesome. Too laden with images of Joe Theismann's spine-tingling, career-ending break. Hopefully, that's not the case for George.

After all, I do like Indianapolis. Well, the city.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Play Me Or Trade Me

Once upon a time, eons ago by today's communication standards, one of my starting fantasy pitchers, Baltimore's Storm Davis, a good-but-not-great hurler, got traded to the National League during the off-season. We were an American League only fantasy group, comprised of guys at the company where I worked at the time, so I got burned on that one.

A few of the guys, a day after the trade, drifted by my office, chuckling and pointing a finger at me, teasing me over losing a key starter off a team that had finished in the money the prior year.

Twenty-plus years later, I got 13 text messages on July 31 from ESPN, notifications alerting me that hardly any players I cared about on any teams I hardly cared about had been dealt as the trade deadline approached. There were so many guys traded on July 31 that you almost had to be insulted if you weren't one of them.

You're not worthy. You're not good enough. You're not desirable. You're not attractive. Nobody needs you, even if you're a good defensive catcher. Especially if all you are is a good defensive catcher.

Big names, big contracts flew all over the place. ESPN was breaking into its broadcast schedule just to announce that Martin Prado had been acquired by the Yankees.

Really? Martin Prado? You broke in for that? Well, they did give up Peter O'Brien to get him. Yeah, that Peter O'Brien.

In all, I think I dug my phone out of my pocket repeatedly for news about baseball immortals like Stephen Drew, Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin, Kelly Johnson, Willy Adames, Eduardo Rodriguez (yes, that Eduardo Rodriguez!), Andrew Miller, Chris Denorfia, Abraham Almonte, Stephen Kohlscheen, Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda.

There were a few players I'd heard of. Gerardo Parra (yes, I've heard of him), Allen Craig, John Lackey, Austin Jackson and of course David Price, Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes.

And, of course, let's not forget Martin Prado and Peter O'Brien. Yeah, that Peter O'Brien.

The nice part about watching so much sports on TV is that you get a peek at the promos for the upcoming fall season of new shows on the networks and cable stations, respectively. Actually, the network stuff looks like it sucks. The cable stuff has a chance.

On the over-the-air networks, the next not-so-great rom/com is getting ready to replace the stale one. The next espionage thriller is getting ready to replace the old one that never achieved good-enough ratings to be kept around.

The next great sitcom is on the way. The most-recent supposed-to-be-next great one is leaving.

The over-the-hill star is coming back for more. More bad ratings, that is (only Ed O'Neill has survived that on Modern Family).

All in all, the new fall season looks like the old fall season. No wonder the cable and premium networks introduce new shows whenever they want to on the calendar with no regard for the "new fall season." They've got the actual quality shows with which to do it that people will stop and watch (and record and watch).

I'm having fun posting this blog again, almost daily. Everything but pro football, which I save for, where Sam, Evan and Joe take good care of my Juice This posts very Sunday morning. Can't thank those guys enough.

Oh, one more thing. I love watching golf on TV. I can't believe those guys hit as bad shots as I do. No wonder I don't get upset about my game anymore.

Yeah, my swing is all good. Can't say the same for my scores though.

And that'll be enough. G'night Gracie. G'night George...

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Is it just me, or does ESPN SportsCenter have more fancy graphics now during its "Top 10" presentation than it has actual top plays?


There must be a lot of desperate sports fans out there. Why else would so much sports programming have so many ads for and eharmony?


Scary thought: NFL preseason games - exhibitions - generate ratings as good or better than regular-season baseball. Yikes!


OK Mets, Mariners, Cubs, Astros, Padres: rebuilding time is over. It's time to win again. Remember that? Try it. You've been stocking everyone else's prospects long enough.


I am really, really tired of the postgame dousings and shaving-cream pies for baseball players. It's one game, assholes. Get over it.


Who says horseracing is dead? In planning for a reunion with my fraternity brothers, I noticed it would cost into triple digits just to get in, eat and drink at a popular track near our old college campus. That's before placing any bets. Looks like we're going to have to run instead with the proletariat, fight for finish line views and wait in long lines to place bets while hoping the tip sheets we bought are accurate.


And finally, I'm reading where ESPN says its soccer coverage of World Cup was second to none (except Univision's, that is). Hello, Mother Ship, Roberto Martinez was the only not-American studio analyst who spoke understandable English (even better than the Brits with their damn plural verbs on singular nouns). And he was the only one bold enough to call out errors. Otherwise, using foreigners to analyze their own countries' games resulted in wins followed by celebratory boasting or losses followed by tear-laden pity parties.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cedric the Entertainer

Yeah, the big guy is my title today, not because I'm a big fan but because we all probably remember the Bud Light ads which he always concluded with, "it's .. it's not so bad."

He was right.

Just listen to Amy Van Dyken talk. The six-time Olympic Gold Medalist did just that on ESPN2 yesterday. And beyond her words of hope and optimism, you can feel her message, literally feel it.

She calls every day "a blessing." She jokes that she's learning to drive again, so "watch out." I will invite her to come speak to my Sports Reporting class at Columbia College. She'd no doubt be the best speaker ever.
I see where Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals is now the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. Yo, Patrick, call me when you win a Super Bowl.
Getting very tired of the hypocrisy of baseball players smashing shaving-cream pies in the face of or spilling water or Gator Ade buckets over the heads of that night's game star during a post-game interview.

Enough. Networks never show fans running in the field so why show this? It's one game and the only reason it's done is to get on TV. Shame on you ESPN for always showing it. Has nothing to do with the game. Save it for the playoffs, World Series.

When I played softball, we slapped high-fives after every game and went and got a beer. Tell these multimillion-dollar babies to grow up, especially the ones who are on mediocre teams. I've already seen enough of you this season. I don't need to see pie throwing or buckets overturned.

Save it for the playoffs, if you're good enough to get there. Which you aren't.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shades of Gray

So the movie opens soon and I couldn't resist getting gray for my annual summer toe-nail coloring. Looks great. Just for summer on the beach. We'll see what kind of hottie reaction we get. Hah! As if...

Anyway, it is all about sex this summer; "Fifty Shades of Gray" in theaters and "Satisfaction" on TV. There's even GQ with Emily Ratajkowski on the cover and in a subsequent spread looking like she's posing for the SI Swimsuit Issue. Speaking of which, SI Swimsuit Dream Girl Kate Upton keeps showing up in movies. Can't miss her.

Meanwhile, was chatting with two friends yesterday about the Donald Sterling court ruling. Can't decide if the judge ruled him crazy, racist or that he has to sell the Clippers. Or all three. And here I always thought doctors declared you crazy, not judges. And Al Gore thought it was presidents who appointed judges and not judges who appointed presidents.

And now comes the controversy over the generalization ESPN's Stephen A. Smith made about women "provoking men" in regard to the Ray Rice case. Next, "Stephen A" is going to tell us his favorite sports role models when it comes to how to treat women are Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger.

Watch out, Micheal Sam, he's probably gunning for you next. Or maybe Tony Dungy.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Every Little Breeze...

...seems to whisper winds of playoff hopes and Super Bowl contention for every NFL team this time of year.

Every free agent acquired and every draft pick is a "perfect fit." Every new head coach brings just the right touch. Every new coordinator will fix last year's 31st-place ranking on either offense or defense.

Puh-leeze. I've had enough. Every article sounds like a rewrittten press release. Can we have some real reporting,  please? And not just the latest Johnny Manziel update from Vegas.

These sound like spring training reports from MLB and training camp reports from hockey and basketball.

Please, it's the dog days of summer,  when baseball alone can't carry the load of keeping up my interest in sports. Three of the four majors in golf and tennis are over. The NFL is in training camp and we all know what that means (see above).

The Tour de France ends today and World Cup soccer is long ago over. The winning rider's Tour de France team is drinking champagne on the route. Yikes!

Stop the madness. Report something important before I start paying attention to real news.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Rant is Back, Starting at the Gym

I'm back. And I'm ranting and raving. About everything except football, about which I rant and rave for, the best sports post out there.

Am going to start feeding this post more often. LIke this morning, when the idiots at my gym dragged fans over to their cross-trainers to keep cool. Except it's on a clearly marked no-fan-use side of the floor.

These are people who don't want to sweat. These are people who are probably afraid to work up a sweat in the bedroom. These are people who don't want to take a shower later and probably don't and then sit down next to you on the commuter bus or train. These are people who have gained weight and blubber over the years despite all those times showing up at the gym.

And a lot of it is in their brain matter. Wake up. Read the signs. Follow directions. Be smart.

Or is that impossible?  Rhetorical question.

Until next time...

Friday, January 17, 2014


Ricky came to town this week in Sports for Social Media (#sasm) class. Ricky O'Donnell, that is.

Somehow, despite himself, he inspired our kids anyway, Inspired them to work through, past and around adversity when it hits. Inspired them to conquer their fears and go for their dreams. Inspired them to achieve.

I'm proud of Ricky. He "...learned from the best," as he put it in addressing the class. Oh, wait, he was referring to me. Wasn't he?

Ricky has helped SB Nation maintain its razor edge in sports coverage. As one of its writers. One of its editors. One of its best, to put it simply.

Ricky got laid off somewhere else. At least it happened to him for the right reasons (pissed off an influential writer who subsequently put the mark of death on him with management). That writer is no longer as influential and has even lost some social-media privileges. Like, his Twitter account.

So just because Ricky suffered the consequences doesn't mean he was wrong.

All the while, the kids are taking notes (well, mental notes). They have to blog about the blogger. They have blogged well so far during this mini-semester course. They've earned their seats at the Twitter/blogger table.

Now can they earn a seat at the over-achiever table, because that's what it's going to take to make it in this industry.

I'm confident they can do it and I'll see the results of such in Sports Reporting and Advanced Sports Reporting classes this spring.

Ricky has outlasted many of his classmates who have given up on the industry. But it's what he knows how to do and he does it well.

See class? I told ya' to take notes.

For a reason.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Pay a visit to Comcast SportsNet Chicago and you come away with a new vision of what's going down in sports coverage.

This is not just television anymore. It's communication, anywhere, anytime, about Chicago's vibrant sports scene and all the characters in it. There's no such thing as a normal day anymore. No 9-to-5 employees. No days off, so to speak. Sports news doesn't break on a schedule most of the time, so neither does coverage thereof take place on a schedule, by necessity.

And the coverage is a two-way street. Viewers/fans/rabid opinion-leaders always have something to say, whether it's about Luol Deng being traded by the Bulls or Adam Eaton being acquired by the White Sox or just how well that Theo Epstein plan is playing out on the North Side.

If fans are talking about it, Comcast SportsNet Chicago wants to capture it and forever capture those fans doing the talking. And capture their buddies and their buddies and their buddies after that.

But even though it says "Dawn of a New Media Age" at the top of this blog, that's almost misleading. It's a constant dawn, a moving-target dawn, an evolution of sorts that is ever ongoing. It will produce the next great platform for everyone to chat on, the next great app on which everyone will post immediate reaction to breaking stories and the next great think piece by the insightful writers, analysts and columnists who comprise Chicago's lively sports community.

Now, about the Cubs and that 106-year-old hole without a World Series title. And the 69-year-old hole with that little curse...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


The Flames got doused tonight in front of a "crowd" of 27, including all 14 of us from "Sports and Social Media" (#sasm) class.

The Youngstown State Penguins' (Penguins, really?) tall guys were too tall for the UIC Flames and hit shots from outside too. The Youngstown State guards were too quick and created too many turnovers for coach Howard Moore's host team (5-11, 0-2 Horizon League).

The Flames fell behind by 1 point on a 3-point buzzer-beater at halftime and never recovered after leading scorer (prospectively only scorer?) Kelsey Barlow got hurt and sat out and by the time he came back it was out of reach and he was playing like someone who resembled Kelsey Barlow but wasn't Kelsey Barlow because of his injury, whatever it was. UIC scored 7 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half and went bye-bye, ultimately by a final of 75-62.

Meanwhile, mascot Sparky flirted with the girls, played around with the kids and kept smiles on people's faces, to his credit, considering the size of the crowd and the temperature outside.

A few blocks away, the Luol Deng-less Bulls were surprising the Phoenix Suns. Much further away, Creighton was handling DePaul.

And if Northwestern played, they lost. Or will lose. Probably.

Tonight was about finding out what the Sports for Social Media kids (#sasm) could do online and in class, what they could write, coherently, and spell and punctuate and tweet. Like what I see so far but much reading to do the next few days.

Tomorrow we'll find out if they can blog. If they can't, they'll learn how, a lot how, next Monday when they blog away 5 hours (hint, hint, kids, write well, write carefully, proofread, spelling and grammar count and I've got the abacus out).

I'd suggest to my kids they study some other Twitter trails and blogs (Columbia grad Graham Couch at the Lansing, Mich., State Journal on Michigan State's game versus Ohio State last night) and my Juice This blog at and David Haugh on anything and everything at the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald sports beat writers like Tim Sassone (Blackhawks) and Mike McGraw (Bulls).

Oh, I work there too.

See you kids at a prep game, well some of you. Remember, grades for J-Term are due the last Saturday in January, so get's get to work. The sooner you write your blog, the better and the more you remember (like tonight or tomorrow, preferably).