Friday, December 31, 2010

Will You Remember The UCONN Women's Record? Probably Not....


How impressive is a feat that no one will remember? Now that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has lost their first game since April 6, 2008 after winning 90 straight games shattering the old record held by the same University when the Huskies won 70 in a row from Nov 9, 2001 - March 11, 2003. The loss to the #8 ranked Stanford Cardinal not only was the game that shattered college basketball's longest streak but also reminded us about how much we really do not pay attention to the sport in general. In fact when the UCONN Huskies broke the former mark of 88 wins in a row held by John Wooden's UCLA Bruins, head coach Geno Auriemma spoke the truth about the significance of the record:

"I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a women's record. The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everybody is all up in arms about it."

While I agree that the only reason why ESPN cared about the UCONN streak is because it served their own interests and it was chasing a men's record, the fact of the matter is no matter how many games the UCONN women one considers this streak beating the UCLA mark. It is a very simple fact that the UCLA record held by "The Wizard of Westwood"'s crew cannot be broken by a women's basketball team. So impressive is a feat that no one will remember?


Thursday, December 30, 2010

No Playoffs For Blackhawks Not Exactly A Bad Thing....


Just the other day I saw a promotion for the Chicago Blackhawks latest attempt at cashing in on the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship. A 224 page hardcover book with a DVD included entitled "One Goal Achieve: The Inside Story of The 2010 Stanley Cup Champions" for the low low price of only $39.95. Of course as I was reading the text on the screen, Blackhawks color commentator Eddie Olczyk said the product is temporarily SOLD OUT and get your orders in now so you can receive the product as soon as it becomes available again. I thought to myself two things when I heard what "Eddie O" was telling the viewing audience:

#1 - WOW...sold out. People continue to buy anything associated with Blackhawks.

#2 - What would the inside story of this years' Chicago Blackhawks team be?

Right now the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks would make the postseason but only as the 8th seed. Now in the NHL (for those of you that do not know) it is not about where you are seeded but just getting into the playoffs. For instance, since the last NHL lockout there have been three teams that ended up as eighth seeds and advanced at least one round including the 2006 Edmonton Oilers who made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes. Being an eighth seed is not necessarily a bad thing in the NHL playoffs, but missing out the NHL playoffs is even worse when over half the teams in the league make the postseason.

As magical as the Chicago Blackhawks of 2010 was, it is not a bad thing if the 2011 version does not get a chance to defend Lord Stanley's Cup.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tom Ricketts Delaying The Inevitable For The Chicago Cubs......


Sometimes we just cannot stop the inevitable. It is human nature that everything cannot last forever and sometimes you just have to let go and accept change. For instance people who never wanted a cell phone or a pager insisting that their privacy is of the most importance now own the fanciest IPhone available. Those who hold onto a car they have had for decades because it still runs realize that the day is coming where they must upgrade to a fancier ride with that Sync technology that confuses them. I have never been able to grasp the concept some have in this city for a certain baseball stadium on the north side of town called Wrigley Field.

Now before you say:

"Well Rock, you used to be a White Sox fan so your view is a little biased."

Hear me out.

With the recent proposals by the Ricketts family where they want your tax revenue (Cubs fans) to pay for renovations to their purchased property (Wrigley Field), why cannot we all just admit to ourselves that repairing Wrigley Field is only delaying the inevitable?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Time For Chicago To Embrace These Chicago Bears....


Read it, write it, believe it no matter how much you and I cannot do it.

The Chicago Bears are 11-4 going into the final week of the NFL regular season with a chance at locking up a bye week in the postseason.

When you think about it, look how far the Chicago Bears have come in one NFL year. At this time last year you had Jerry Angelo speaking on the contract status of Lovie Smith saying:

"I don't look at money in those times," Angelo said. "It's not about money. It's about doing what we need to do to be a good football team."

There were rumors of upper management seeking out the cost of bringing in Bill Cowher out of retirement to replace Lovie Smith. The term "bust" was being placed on quarterback Jay Cutler who the spring before was traded for two first round and a third round pick along with Kyle Orton. People were questioning the direction of this franchise from the top down and most (if not all) projections had this team finishing third or at worst last in the NFC North. Clearly, it was not looking good to be a Chicago Bears fan with a new season on the cusp and most rooting for a losing season to see change.

Come honest with yourself.

Call it luck, call it good coaching, call it taking advantage of what is given to you every single week.....the Chicago Bears have proven all of us wrong.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why Does Brett Favre's Streak Mean Less Than Cal Ripken's?


History was made in Detroit yesterday and it had nothing to do with any of the teams that call that city home. For the first time since September 20, 1992 Brett Favre did not start a NFL game for a NFL team. 6,659 days and 297 regular season games (321 counting the 24 games he played in the postseason) in between Brett Favre replacing Don Majkowski leading the Green Bay Packers to a comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals to yesterday as Favre watched his Minnesota Vikings officially become eliminated from the playoffs. 238 other quarterbacks have started a NFL game since Favre's streak started and three different Presidents have been elected (Clinton and Bush twice each). To put it in proper perspective, Favre's streak started when I was a 11 year old kid picking my nose in fifth grade and ends with me as a 29 year old father/husband still picking my nose.

When you throw out the numbers about the length of Favre's streak, it is simply amazing that one man lasted so long in such a violent sport. Sure Favre was not a running back or a linebacker, and the game has changed where the quarterback seems to be more protected by the league each year. Still the grind of what a football player goes through, to tell a story of one man playing a game through injury for 18 years and have the success he had is legendary. There is no doubt that Brett Favre will be in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, and he could be considered the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football.

So how come we do not celebrate this historic moment in our country's most popular game as much as we did for another "Iron Man"?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicago Bears Giving Bears Fans Exactly What They Demanded....


A couple of things came to mind while watching yesterday's Bears' 36-7 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots. I was thankful that I was not one of the 60,000+ out in the 20 degree weather and sub-zero wind chills with snow blowing in my face from all angles. I was excited at the thought of a low scoring entertaining game because there is just something about watching grown men in tights slip and slide all over a snow covered plain. I also hoped the Chicago Bears for the first time all season would beat a good AFC team (no offense to Buffalo or Miami) because this year the NFC is the weaker conference (AFC won 30 of 55 head-to-head match ups this season).

The combination of the extreme elements, playoff positioning on the line, and Tom Brady is town........this is must see television.

However the first 30 minutes of the game left me with an empty feeling inside. The Chicago Bears were down a Scottie Pippen at halftime and the attraction of the game faded away quicker than the red yard markers on the Soldier Field turf. While a loss to the best team in football may seem like a reality check or as some players put it "a butt kicking", this game showed me some things about this Chicago Bears team that I think most fans are overlooking on this Monday.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why Paul Konerko's New Contract Is Not Money Well Spent....

"O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won"
(Walt Whitman - 1865)

The captain of the south side is back. Breaking news this morning that Paul Konerko signs a three year deal worth 37.5 million dollars. According to the White Sox press release on the new deal, "Paulie" will receive $12 million in 2011 and 2012 and $13.5 million in 2013. Of the $13.5 million due in the final year of the contract, he will receive $6.5 million in 2013 and $1 million annually from 2014-2020. The talk of the deal of the last couple of days has been up and down from its a for sure deal to be had to what seemed like the White Sox last chance at signing the 34 year old first baseman. However in what seemed like the final day of possible talks between Konerko and the White Sox, Konerko decides that his home for the last twelve seasons is where he would like to be.

Coming off what could be considered the best season of his career, Konerko was rumored to make anywhere from 13-15 million dollars a year with multiple teams rumored in the mix. However the captain decided to stick with his mates on the south side of Chicago at what seems like a hometown discount with the way this contract is structured. Currently at an estimated payroll of around 107 million dollars and Kenny Williams using the term "all in" as far as how the team will approach the final payroll figure for the 2011 season, White Sox fans should be excited that their team is bringing in high dollar talent to compete with the big boys of the American League.

However with all the spending the White Sox are doing by bringing in sluggers like Adam Dunn and now with the addition of Paul Konerko, is Kenny Williams going about this the right way?


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is Lovie Smith The NFL Coach Of The Year???


The Chicago Bears are 9-3. Make no mistake about it, the Chicago Bears so far in 2010 has proved all the doubters wrong. What nine wins does in this town is switch the conversation from are they legit to how far can they go. When people spoke of the Chicago Bears this time last year it was all about change, who needs to go, and if Bill Cowher would consider coming back to coach in the NFL.

What a difference one year makes.

Now there are still some doubters out in the realm of Chicago sports waiting for the next loss to rehash discussions of old, but the facts are the facts. The Chicago Bears at 9-3 with four tough games left on the schedule are sitting pretty for a very good playoff spot in the NFC. While at times I have doubted the legitimacy of this team myself, they have proven to me that with that defense and outstanding special teams play with consistent balance and no risk taking on offense.....they could make some noise in the NFC playoffs.

The question that has to be asked is who to give credit to this dramatic turnaround of events? Of course you could look at the new additions on the coaching staff as well as players like Julius Peppers. However like last year, the Bears' failures fell on the shoulders of public enemy number one in Chicago in Lovie Smith. While he may get no credit from some skeptics, is Lovie Smith the coach of the year in the NFL?


Friday, December 3, 2010

Ron Santo's Passing Should Not Change Hall Of Fame Status....


Chicago lost a hometown legend today. With the news breaking early this morning that the greatest man ever to man the hot corner at Wrigley Field Ron Santo passed away due to complications from bladder cancer. Santo passes this morning at the age of 70 and will be remembered not only as a great icon in Chicago sports but a great human being. No man did more for diabetes research in this city than one Ron Santo and in the few times meeting Santo as a broadcaster/producer in this town, he was indeed as true of a gentleman as he was spoken of by all you will hear from today.

However in passing I have heard throughout this morning that Ron Santo missed two things in his lifetime, a Cubs World Series and the Hall of Fame. I understand that some people's perception of Santo may change with his passing, but by no means should Ron Santo be inducted into Baseball's Hall Of Fame posthumously.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Julius Peppers Not Worthy Of NFL Defensive MVP Honor In 2010.....


I am truly blessed to have the honor of working with two of the city's great sport minds in Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley producing The Mully And Hanley Morning Show on WSCR 670AM The Score. Both are long time sports writers for the Chicago Suntimes covering each of the five pro teams in town and some of the college programs in our area. This is by no means a "fluff" piece about the show I work on or the radio station I work for, but on occasion Mully pens a piece that gets me thinking, and today is a day that I need to disagree with my colleague.

In today's Chicago Suntimes Mully writes that Julius Peppers deserves the NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Award which is handed out after the conclusion of the Super Bowl. The award which is voted on by a collection of 50 sports writers and broadcasters at the end of the regular season going to the one man who is considered the league's most outstanding defensive player. Winners in the past have included the names of Taylor, Lewis, Singletary and last year Charles Woodson taking home the award.

Although Mully states that Peppers deserves the award, common sense says a different thing.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Derek Anderson Needs Lesson In NFL Professionalism


There is not one job on this planet that is perfect. From CEO's of multi-billion dollar companies to the guy who takes your trash, every single job has some flaw in it that you just do not appreciate. When you go after the job in the interview process, the last thing you ever think about is the small things that will pester you doing the job. It could be anything from extra paperwork to sitting in the cubicle next to the guy who loves his facebook page more than his TPS report. We all have parts of our jobs that we simply hate, and I am no exception.

Yesterday when Cardinals Quarterback Derek Anderson took the podium after his teams' 27-6 defeat to division rival San Francisco, the aspect of being a member of the media that I hate arose again. Being a member of the media who covers and discusses stories, we all hate being part of them.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Chicago Bears........

Dear Chicago Bears,

You may or may not know me but I would like to introduce myself. My name is the doubter, the non believer or what some people would call a hater. I am the Bears fan that you have come to grow up and love because no matter what the outcome of the regular season, we are always around demanding the impossible. We expect greatness from mediocre talent and when we expect the least and results are good, we always find a reason to continue our own personal negativity.

I am writing you this letter because yesterday you showed the doubters/non-believers/haters and myself something we have not seen yet this season. You played an outstanding game from start to finish against what most (if not all) of us considered one of the best teams in the NFC. Although the NFC this season does not have that dominant team that all the experts pick each week to win, yesterday you proved yourselves to be in the argument. Here is why.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Three Things For Chicago Sports Fans To Be Thankful For.....


The holiday season is upon us once again. Sharing good times and good spirits with friends and family reflecting on the year gone past and being thankful for the fruit of our labor and the joys in our lives. We dine on massive amounts of saccharin while drowning ourselves in the cheapest wine known to man all the while being entertained by Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys football games. Some of us get into heated arguments about past troubles or politics and some of us take time out to feed the underprivileged. In the end Thanksgiving is a time where all the troubles of the real world go away and we think about what we are truly thankful for in life.

Since this is a sports blog on ChicagoNow and working in the sports radio business, I feel compelled to express what I am thankful for in our own personal world of sports. In fact The Sporting News this past October named the city of Chicago as the best sports city using factors including each teams' regular-season won-lost records, postseason appearances, bowl appearances and tournament bids, championships, applicable power ratings, attendance and "fan fervor.

So while you tip back that fourth glass of Merlot, here are the top three things Chicago sport fans should be thankful for.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Michael Vick's Latest Triumphs Still Fall On Deaf Ears......


With the arrival of the Philadelphia Eagles in town this Sunday we also welcome in the most controversial figure of the NFL to the windy city in Michael Vick. Not more than three years since Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison on illegal dog fighting charges, the talk surrounding Vick is less about animal cruelty and more about possibly winning the NFL Most Valuable Player award. This rebirth of a career that was marked by flashes of brilliance at one time has turned into what some would consider the best story going in the NFL. Although Kurt Warner's story line had him transform from supermarket clerk to Super Bowl Champion, Vick's chapters are filled with triumph, tragedy and second chances.

Michael Vick is a true American story.

A college superstar drafted number one overall in 2001. Big money and fame got caught up with the wrong people and made some bad decisions in life. Got caught and paid his dues to society but was allowed a second chance. As we stand right now, Michael Vick has turned his personal shortcomings into Hollywood type of material and yet some people are unwilling to forgive him for his past actions. I cannot understand how some are unwilling to forgive when a man admitted his mistakes and paid his dues all while giving up more than 98% of this country will ever have.

Why cannot some people look past Vick's faults and embrace the next chapter of his life?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Roger Goodell's Waiting Game With Brett Favre Must End Now....


Yesterday the Green Bay Packers did so much more than keep pace with the Chicago Bears in the race to win the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers had a his first ever four touchdown game and his one time mentor Brett Favre was left in the post game contemplating what his next action should be. In fact Favre went on to say he plans to "re-evaluate" the situation he is in this week, what that means exactly we do not know. What the Packers did yesterday with their 31-3 victory on the road against their biggest rival was allow Roger Goodell to use that "iron fist" he cherishes so much.

With tidbits of the NFL's investigation into what exactly happened between Favre and then Jets' employee (and former host of The Daily Line on Versus) Jenn Sterger coming out little by little, there has never been a more opportune time to lay down the law against the greatest quarterback in NFL history. The question is will Goodell step up and treat the future hall of famer like any other NFL employee?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blackhawks And Fans Face New Realities/Challenges Together....

The party is officially over!

Welcome to a new season of Chicago Blackhawks hockey and welcome to being the defending Stanley Cup Champions. While the city may have been spoiled with the Chicago Bulls two three-peats, defending a Stanley Cup could be the hardest trophy to defend in professional sports. It has been 12 years since the last back to back Stanley Cup Champion (Detroit 1997-1998), each of the remaining three major sports have had at least one back to back champion in their respective sport since then. The 82 game schedule of a NHL season is much more difficult than any other sport as far as the physicality of it and the dealing with the mental portion of playing in towns where the home team barely has a home ice advantage with small crowds and little fanfare. Face it, the NHL is still the NHL even with one of the Original Six teams winning Lord Stanley's Cup.

Although the memories of the 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks are still implanted in our brains from the final goal by Patrick Kane to the parade/party that lasted all summer long, are the expectations we put on this re-worked/re-done Blackhawks roster too high? Do the Chicago Blackhawks themselves need a reality check, or do we?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Should Allegations Sway Votes For Heisman Hopeful Cam Newton??

Living in Chicago we almost segment ourselves into only being interested in teams that play in the city of Chicago itself. By doing so we ignore the larger stories of the sports that do not come our way by means of the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Blackhawks and White Sox. If NASCAR has an event in town, it's held in Joliet instead of blocking off streets downtown like they do the Chicago Marathon. If the PGA rolls through, it only matters if Tiger Woods is playing but it's held Medinah.

One thing I've found interesting about this city in the eight years working sports radio is that for some odd reason college football has not caught on with sports fans in town like the Bears have for decades. You would figure the same sport that Walter Payton played would have more interest in a football city like Chicago where each play is likely to be scrutinized. However even with the amount of "college bars" around town it is very hard to get people in town interested in college football. So here is a test Chicago.

What if I told you the biggest name in college football could be ineligible? What if the top Heisman Trophy candidate took money to play there, would you care? If you had a vote for the Heisman Trophy, would you still vote for him?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Bears Survive In Lackluster Performance Vs. Winless Buffalo.....

Who knew a trip to Canada could be so much fun? Right?

For the announced crowd of 50,746 who packed into the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto to see the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills play the game was so exciting that you have to look ten stories down on the sports section of to see what happened. A match up of the for sure worst team in the NFL and one of the worst 4-3 teams in the league is not exactly prime time viewing. Interest was so bad for this game that walk up sales for tickets were reportedly being sold below face value. People in Toronto care more about their Maple Leafs, Argonauts, and how the Raptors will move on from Chris Bosh over any NFL game. In Chicago however the Bears 22-19 victory yesterday trumps the Blackhawks losing their second game to the worst team in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers. By the way if you want to read how the Blackhawks blew a lead in the third period to the Bulin Wall led Oilers, story number seven of the sports page on

The Bears did win. The Bears are 5-3 and kept up with the first place Green Bay Packers who destroyed the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. Even with a Bears win coming off the bye week, there is no way possible that this win over the worst team in the NFL is a win to celebrate by any means.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Brian Kelly Should Not Take All The Blame For Declan Sullivan Accident...

By now we all know about the extremely devastating passing of 20 year old Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan. It has been over two weeks now since this tragedy and still the investigation continues to find out exact details of what happened on that day and who did/said what and so on. So far no one has been disciplined, no one has been fired, no one has been awarded any settlement (that we know of) and yet it seems like this truly unique incident has faded away in the scope of sports in this country.

Chicago is not a college football town by any means, but this story has made its way around the country and it seems everyone wants to put blame on someone for this tragic incident. I will say that I cannot remember another incident like this in any sport where a someone is killed filming a practice in a scissor lift during a truly unique weather pattern. Meteorologists stated that this storm was the biggest storm to blast over the Chicagoland area with winds exceeding 60+ MPH and record low barometric pressures, definitely an uncommon weather pattern for the midwest and surely a red flag for anyone who works outside.

For the past two weeks I have noticed people feel the need to put blame on someone for Sullivan's untimely passing, but without all the facts how can you blame anyone? I truly believe we will never know the real story about what happened on that day, but if you feel the need to put blame on someone for this you have to include Sullivan himself.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

POLL: I Need A New Baseball Team To Root For....Choose My Team!

mlb team logos version 3 small.jpg
The word change has been used almost ad nauseam in the past five years. From political parties using the word as a basis of a campaign to self help books marketing the word as new beginnings. Change is defined as to become altered, modified or different....and I feel I have come to an impasse where I believe change is not only necessary but needed.

I need a new baseball team to root for.

Ok! So it is not the most serious change in someone's life, but for me it is somewhat important since I have grown up following/supporting one baseball team my entire lifetime. If you have been a frequent visitor to The Rock Report on (thank you first of all), you know that I have been critical of the Chicago White Sox organization over the past year and a half. I do not support the direction of the organization and some people close to the organization feel I am a little too critical without knowing the whole story.

Whatever you may feel, this morning I had an epiphany. After almost two years of bring frustrated with my baseball team, I have come to the decision that I will change my allegiances to another baseball team until the day where Guillen Inc. is no longer managing the White Sox clubhouse. I do not feel I need to list the reasons why because for far too long the same issues have been present and are magnified even further with each passing baseball season.

However I do have on problem.....

Which team should I choose?


Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicago White Sox Pass Up Future Star To Continue With Losing Past....

Ozzie MLB Photo-thumb-275x235-195645.jpg
Apparently saying goodbye is the hardest thing for the Chicago White Sox to do. A great job of reporting today from Chris DeLuca and the Chicago Suntimes in this morning's edition breaking the story that the Chicago White Sox indeed were allowing other teams (in this instance the Florida Marlins) to talk to Ozzie Guillen about moving on from the south side to their destination. According to DeLuca's major league sources, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was intent on making "The Blizzard Of Oz" his next manager where the talks between the two organizations involved a trade for the rights of Guillen for top prospect and right fielder Mike Stanton.

Of course we know now that the Chicago White Sox have made it official that Ozzie Guillen is indeed coming back in 2011 to manage the White Sox in his final year of an extension he signed in 2007. At the time I did not like the move and even before the season began I stated that if Ozzie Guillen does not make the post season in 2010, that the White Sox need to move on from Guillen. However if this story is indeed true that the White Sox are more interested in the services of a manager over a possible franchise player in Stanton, White Sox fans need to really look at their organization.

Who is really running this team and is the decision to keep Ozzie Guillen really the best move going forward?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't Expect Too Much From Your 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls.....

Tonight the most anticipated NBA regular season in recent memory begins on the local level as the Chicago Bulls begin their 2010-2011 season in Oklahoma City. With new Head Coach Tom Thibodeau at the helm and a roster that is 75% new to wearing the red and white, the Bulls go into the season projected by many to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Of course with any new season fans are going to project where they believe this team finishes in a Eastern Conference and a league that is extremely "top heavy."

By "top heavy" I mean you can look at the NBA and pretty much know exactly which teams will be at the top of the league. More than any sports league, the NBA is the most predictable American sport in the land and I believe to a certain extent that does not help. In the NFL, NHL, and MLB you do not have players scheming to team up with one another to "dominate" the league (see the Miami Heat). You know that the Lakers will rule the west, and the east is a battle among the Celtics, Magic and Heat to see who will lose to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Am I wrong?

But in a league that is so predictable, how predictable are the Chicago Bulls? With a record of 41-41 in each of the last two seasons making the postseason both years, what defines a successful year for the Chicago Bulls?


Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Morning Quarter-Bashing Of Jay Cutler Needs To Stop....

How would you describe Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler?

Cocky? Yeah

Risk-taker? Absolutely

Moody? Maybe

But the next in line of disappointing Chicago Bears quarterbacks since the 1985 Chicago Bears....that's not fair to say. I find it amazing in the 18 months since the Chicago Bears made the trade for Jay Cutler how fans' perception of #6 has gone from savior to villain. Yesterday was not Cutler's best day as quarterback of the Chicago Bears and it has not been his worst either. Yet I find it amazing how people are now starting to question if the trade for Cutler was a good move in the first place. Fans and some media asking if Jay Cutler at the young age of 27 is done as a professional quarterback in the National Football League.

The Monday morning quarter-bashing of Jay Cutler needs to stop.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Players/Fans Need Reality Check On Devastating Hits "Rule"....

When did football fans turn into the Roman Empire rooting for the lions to devour on the criminals of the country? This past week has embarrassed me as a football fan and I feel compelled the scream to the masses of humanity what idiots we sound like. Players and fans alike.

This week the NFL established a new level or fines and suspensions for what was first termed "devastating hits" either to the head and/or neck. NFL football operations executive Ray Anderson has since backed off the vague term "devastating hits" saying it was not his "word" and clarifying that the new rules will adapt to:

"Flagrant and egregious violations of our current rules, we will be enforcing, effective immediately, discipline at a higher level."

In other words the NFL is simply enforcing further what the current rules for illegal hits to the head already are. So why all the fuss over a more strict enforcement of what the rule book already states? Are we (football fans) that protective of a game that violence is only a fraction of what is encompassed in the game itself?

We really need to grow up people.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cubs/Ricketts Takes Another Step Backwards With Hiring Of Mike Quade....

The Chicago Cubs have their new manager! Let's say hello to Mike Quade.

1985-1986 - Manager Macon Pirates
1989-1990 - Manager Rockford Expos
1991-1992 - Manager Harrisburg Senators (Minor League Manager Of The Year)
1993 - Manager Ottawa Lynx (Minor League Manager Of The Year)
1994-1995 - Manager Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons
1996 - Manager West Michigan Whitecaps
1997 - Manager Huntsville Stars
1998 - Manager Edmonton Trappers
1999 - Manager Vancouver Canadians
2000-2002 - Oakland Athletics First Base Coach
2003-2006 - Manager Iowa Cubs
2006-2010 - Third Base Coach Chicago Cubs/Interim Manager (Aug. 22)

Minor League Record: 1,213 - 1,165 (17 seasons)
Triple A Record: 314-248 (3 seasons)

Among all the candidates that were available, the Chicago Cubs chose to go with Mike Quade and his 24-13 record as a manager of the Chicago Cubs before even talking to eventual free agent manager Joe Girardi.

This is the another step backwards in the one year history of the Ricketts regime.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Chicago Bears Not Who We Think They Are....It's Who They Are

"The Bears are who we thought they were!"


So easy to sit back and wait for defeat when a football team is surprising out of the gate winning games they were not supposed to win. We all know the Bears overcame opponents with technicalities (Detroit), bad play calling (Dallas), overwhelming dumb mental mistakes (Green Bay), and just simply a flat out horrible excuse for a NFL team (Carolina) to stand at a record of 4-1 heading home to play back to back games before the bye week. The Bears were not playing great football. The Bears were not dominating teams week in and week out. The Bears were just playing well enough to squeak out wins. All the winning aside as with any team the Chicago Bears flaws are even more glaring week in and week out simply because they have yet to improve on them through six games.

It is not that "The Bears are who we thought they were", it is more "The Bears are what they are." Not good enough.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Mike Ditka Clueless With Comments On Jen Sterger.....

There is something about the old school football male that screams what we have termed in sports radio as "meatball." For example someone who still compares the current-day Chicago Bears team to the 1985 "Monsters Of The Midway". The guy who prefers fire and passion over talent (i.e. Aaron Rowand over Jim Thome). Someone whose attire still to this day mimics the very popular SuperFans skit from the late 1980's early 1990's Saturday Night Live days.

We all know someone like this and we love them for being that one guy we know who is more stuck in the past than concentrating on the future. Referencing the clan of Todd O'Connor, Pat Arnold, Carl Wollarski and Bill Swerski at a table at Ditka's restaurant: the person who that fine establishment is named for is in the news again. Not for a new salsa line or another cover of Cigar Magazine, but his take on Brett Favre and his recent alleged pictures he sent to then New York Jets employee Jen Sterger.

Like many of his fans and followers, Iron Mike is so stuck in the past that someone needs to shut the old "coach" up.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The NFC North Is The Chicago Bears To Lose.....

Few things are certain in the National Football League. Peyton Manning having a great season. A controversial call in which replay does not overturn. Roger Goodell suspending somebody.
One thing that we all do every season experts and fans alike is make predictions on who we believe will win the Super Bowl and how our local/favorite team will fare. With those predictions, certainly most of them will be wrong and that is what makes sports fun. The opportunity after a long NFL season to either puff out your chest and say "I told you so" or to harp on your friends and let them know how wrong their projections were.

Going into the 2010 Chicago Bears season after a winless pre-season with very little to be excited about, most experts and fans had this team finishing the year at a little better than .500 at best. Some choose to predict better and some predict worse of course, but without a doubt very few predicted the 4-1 start that the Bears are off to. Each week and each win the flaws seem magnified even more but the wins keep stacking up.

As I was finding it hard to believe in this Bears team and I believe that lady luck is indeed on their side in 2010, the NFC North is now theirs to lose.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brett Favre Must Face Maximum Punishment If Pictures Are Proven True....

Over the past couple of years there has been a disturbing trend that has developed in sports that as time goes on will become more and more a daily staple of sports conversation on radio, in print and on television. Time and time again the modern day athlete gets caught up in the "TMZ" type culture of the new media forums of today. From Big Ben allegedly forcing a woman to stay in his company to young shirtless superstars of the NHL caught on candid camera in a limo drinking the night after a tough loss.

I am not here to play moral police because I believe at one time or another in our lives we do something stupid that we totally regret and wish would have never happened. The difference between the dumb things we do and the dumb things athletes do is simply their star is larger and their stories make money. From Tiger Woods to Michael Jordan, athletes live in a different reality than the rest of the world and the their reality is what drives businesses like the ones I work for and the ones you listen/watch/read. known for breaking the TMZ side of sports reporting (hence why a TMZ Sports is in the works) published a two minute video including some alleged voicemails and some pictures NSFW of apparently Brett Favre. The NFL is investigating the matter in which Brett Favre allegedly sent this pictures to then New York Jets reporter Jenn Sterger. News of the photos have not only made the rounds of tabloid magazine and newspapers, but now national television and radio shows.

The independent investigation being done by the NFL is reportedly moving at a rapid pace. If indeed these pictures are of Brett Favre and he violates the NFL's personal conduct policy, he should be suspended for the remainder of the regular season.


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Chicago Bears Luck Continues With Win In Carolina....

The NFL season is now five weeks old and we can finally start to weed out the contenders from the pretenders.

At least....we think so!

This has been a most unusual five weeks in the NFL season because almost everything we expected has turned upside down and made some of the best experts look like average NFL fans. Did anyone have the Kansas City Chiefs as the last undefeated team standing in the NFL? Did anyone have the Detroit Lions has the highest scoring offense in the NFC? Did anyone have the San Francisco 49ers with the same record as the Buffalo Bills after five weeks?

Probably the biggest shock of them all is the Chicago Bears are 4-1 and leading the NFC North over the highly powered Green Bay Packers. That and the Indianapolis Colts are only a game over .500 after five weeks, but let's concentrate on the Bears. Looking at the way the Bears have made it to their record however, do we still know exactly how good these Chicago Bears are yet?


Friday, October 8, 2010

Why Expanded Replay Makes No Sense For Major League Baseball....

Every postseason baseball fans have the same debate all over again about how or should instant replay be instituted in Major League Baseball. Every postseason there is a fair/foul call, a questionable hit by pitch or a check swing that was/was not called that lights up the ire of today's baseball fan. Have we not realized by now that its the technology itself that could possibly ruin the game forever?

I never realized till now how much umpires have been the new marked man in sports. We the fans have turned our attention away from players who may be "cheating" the game itself and found ourselves a new enemy not wearing one of the 30 team uniforms of a major league team. Men who do not bat for power or average or run at lightning speeds to steal bases. Technology has made the umpires public enemy number one and it is simply not fair to force them out of a job. That is what "expanded" replay would do because once you expand, no matter the style of expansion, it will never be enough.

Using last nights examples in the Yankees/Twins game and the Rangers/Rays game, these are perfect examples of why "expanded" replay would do no good.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cubs Take A Step Backwards If Mike Quade Is Next Manager...

What a great time to be a baseball fan. 70 Degree weather outside, the leaves start to turn color and once again there is postseason baseball all day long today with no Chicago teams involved. All is well in the world. As exciting as the kick off of baseball's postseason is, there seems to be something missing and once again it is the disappointing fact that no Chicago team is involved.

Some would say if "we" have no horse in the race than why should "we" care. Some root on former players/managers who have made their way through the windy city to their current destination representing that team on the journey to the fall classic. Some just watch baseball because the constant barrage of Chicago Bears coverage gets sickening to a certain extent.

However there is a lot to do here at home in Chicago with both baseball franchises as one tries to decide to give it one more go-round for a shot at a title, and one looks for a new manager. Peter Gammons visited with Mully And Hanley back in early July and warned Cubs fans of the possibility of Mike Quade being successful that it would be tough not to give him the job. With a 24-13 record to finish the year helping spoil the postseason dreams of the upstart San Diego Padres at the end of the season, Mike Quade is indeed the top candidate right now to be manager of the Chicago Cubs in 2011.

He may be the leading candidate, but he cannot be the ultimate winner for the job.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Juice Williams A Quarterback For The Chicago Bears??

As horrible as the Chicago Bears loss to the New York Giants was on Sunday night, the worst part about it could be yet to come. The Giants set a NFL record for most sacks in a half with nine beatings on Jay Cutler ultimately with the Bears' franchise quarterback sidelined for the remaining 30 minutes of the game with a concussion. Judging from what Lovie Smith said yesterday in his press conference with the assembled media, he expects Jay Cutler to be ok and ready to play by game time on Sunday in North Carolina.

What Bears fans should fear the most is if indeed if Jay Cutler is out for any significant period of time, you can simply consider the season over for the Chicago Bears. The Chicago Bears back up quarterback situation is easily one of the worst in the league. Comprised of 38 year old Todd Collins and 25 year old Caleb Hanie, they have combined for a total of three regular season starts in the last ten years. There is no Michael Vick, Mark Brunell, or even Bruce Gradkowski waiting in the wings when/if number six falls to injury.

Or is there......??


Friday, October 1, 2010

LeBron James "Race Card" Nothing More Than Smart Business.....

In an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien, The self anointed "King" LeBron James said that race "played a factor" in the extreme backlash he has felt since "The Decision" aired on ESPN television on July 8th of this year. I am a 29 year old white American so my personal experience witnessing racism in my life is extremely limited. However I will not come out and say that racism does not exist in current day 21st century America. But on the way home from working another week of The Mully And Hanley Show on WSCR The Score, it finally dawned on me what LeBron truly wanted his "race" comments to mean and I sat back and laughed.

As I followed the "LeBron-A-Thon" throughout the seven days where LeBron was an official free agent welcoming teams to come to Cleveland to make their pitch for the two time NBA MVP, we all knew in the back of our minds that if he did not choose Cleveland "The King" would feel some sort of backlash. You can debate the extreme nature of the backlash he has faced since "taking his talents to Miami" if it would have been less harsh if he were to go to New Jersey, Chicago, New York, etc. For LeBron James to insert race into the reasoning why the backlash has been so severe shows his mis-understanding and youthful incompetence of exactly how he acted during the "LeBron-A-Thon" itself.

Or does it? Could this be just the latest in intelligent marketing by "The King" himself?


Thursday, September 30, 2010

White Sox Loyalty Outweighs Baseball Common Sense.....

As the Chicago baseball season comes yet to another disappoint close, I feel compelled to express my thoughts (even though it could be old news by now) on the return of Ozzie Guillen. As I stated earlier this year, I thought that if the Chicago White Sox were not to make the postseason that Ozzie Guillen's time as manager of this club had run out. Of course with the news earlier this week we all found out that the meeting of the minds (Kenny/Ozzie/Jerry) had occurred and the decision had been made to stay status quo and have both Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen return in the 2011 baseball season.

While this was met with excitement by many Chicago White Sox fans, I on the other hand was extremely disappointed in my baseball club. For five years now and only one postseason appearance since winning a World Series, the Chicago White Sox have been a disappointment. Year after year of being good but not good enough to make the postseason after reaching the pinnacle of the baseball world in 2005 is frustrating and has taken it's toll on this lifelong White Sox fan.

Jerry Reinsdorf's (who I still consider the best owner in Chicago sports) level of loyalty to his personnel is almost sickening. However as the Chicago White Sox head into the next decade of the new millennium, Sox fans need to ask themselves the question.

"How much longer of mediocre are you willing to take?"


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

With Each Bears Win, Lovie One Step Closer To Staying Longer.....

Are you enjoying the Chicago Bears season so far?

How can you not?


There are a select group of fans that watch Chicago Bears football, that are punching themselves in the gut with every "W" (lucky or not) that the Bears put on their 2010 schedule. It is not the media who judged this team from a 2009 season of disappointment and a lackluster (at best) preseason. I have not backed down from my prediction of this Bears team finishing 8-8, but I always hope I am proven wrong by my team. The select group that I am talking about is the Bear fan that roots for change, meaning roots for losses even though their heritage tells them the opposite.

At 3-0 and with every "W" that the Bears put on the board, Lovie Smith is that much closer to a contract extension after the conclusion of the 2010 season.

Feeling like you have been punched yet?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Has Fantasy Football Killed The Die Hard Fan?

One of the great joys I experience in my job is learning from those that played the game. Every Sunday during Bears football season I get to sit down next to guys who experienced what I am watching in their life at some point. Working the WBBM AM broadcasts of Bears games with Jay Hilgenberg and Jim Schwantz, you also get into some great conversations about how the game has changed since the days when they put on the pads and played the game. The best conversation we get into is about how fantasy football impacts how fans react to certain games especially when it involves your "favorite" team.

For example, tonight as the Packers invade Soilder Field in what has become football's oldest rivalry I find myself at a fork in the road. Do I root for my beloved team who are off to a shocking 2-0 start to the season, or do I root for my own personal gain hoping Aaron Rodgers/Brandon Jackson/Donald Driver light up the Bears defense for points? I am sure (especially tonight) that I am not alone in this situation, but has fantasy football (with the millions of people who play it) ruined what we used to/still do term a "die hard fan"?


Friday, September 24, 2010

Why Are Bulls/Fans "High" On Noah Over Carmelo Anthony??

I will be the first to admit that I am not the biggest basketball fan in the world. I just find the game extremely boring until the last five minutes of the last quarter of the game. Yes, I am your typical bandwagon NBA fan. Sue me!

As a sports fan however, I know that the NBA is a league where you do not rely so much on team play, but on compiling superstars to compete for titles. This past summer we all witnessed the single greatest recruitment job by Pat Riley and Chicago's own Dwayne Wade inking Lebron James and Chris Bosh to multi year deals forming what could be considered (in time) the greatest threesome in NBA history.

Chicago Bulls fans were for the most part were ok missing the LeBron sweepstakes because they knew that the organization had plenty of money under the NBA salary cap to go out and form a better team than the one that took the floor in 2009. New Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Gar Forman went out and signed veteran forward Carlos Boozer and 6'7 swingman Kyle Korver among others to form a team which includes only five players from last years roster. The Bulls have had a busy off season to say the least and have been one of the most active teams in the NBA this summer.

Earlier this month rumors began to surface that Denver Nuggets superstar forward Carmelo Anthony was demanding a trade out of Denver with only one year remaining on his contract. One of the rumored teams that Anthony was interested in joining with was indeed our own Chicago Bulls. For the past month sources have said that Carmelo Anthony would be dealt to the Bulls in a deal involving center Joakim Noah, who is (if not the top) a fan favorite at the United Center. For the past couple of weeks, fans have debated back and forth about if they would trade Noah for "Melo".

Honestly I found it shocking how much love Noah was getting from fans/bloggers/columnists/TV personalities for a guy who does very little on the stat sheet but a lot on the court. The latest news today is that the Chicago Bulls are out of the running for the services of Carmelo Anthony with a deal in the works involving the New Jersey Nets among other teams.

Is Joakim Noah really that much of a centerpiece to winning a title?


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Decision 2010: Keep Kenny, Fire Ozzie.....

Reading an article today on by long time veteran baseball scribe Phil Rogers in which he makes a case that White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams is as much to blame for the White Sox struggles as of late. In the article Rogers points out the numerous times Kenny Williams has gone out and traded prospects for veterans and has failed in building a strong (or at least moderately good) farm system. Rogers points out that Williams trading prospects for vets and bungled, ineffective efforts in Latin America have resulted in one of game's weakest farm systems.

While I do agree with Rogers on some points in his article. I believe if you want to put blame on anyone for the failures of the past five seasons as far as building off a World Series title you have to look at the man running the team. For all the money and prospects traded away by Kenny Williams, the fact is he has given Ozzie Guillen the talent to win the American League Central in four of the last five seasons (excluding the 2009 campaign).

If the White Sox need to make some drastic changes to the front office/management of this team, I think you keep Kenny Williams and show the once coined "Blizzard Of Ozz" the door.

Here's why.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why Can't I Believe In This Chicago Bears Team Yet??

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Remember 2009? Come on, it was not that long ago! In fact the memories of good times and bad times should be as fresh in your mind as anything.

Try to remember being a Chicago Bears fan on this date (September 21st) last year. Can you remember how you felt about your Chicago Bears the day after they beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers? In case you forgot, the beloved won 17-14 on a game winning field goal on the foot of Robbie Gould to move the Bears to a 1-1 record on the young season less than one week after losing their superstar middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. When times seemed tough, the Bears defense held Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler was masterful in the fourth quarter going 9-10 for 92 yards and a touchdown as well as leading the Bears into field goal territory for Gould to seal the win.

All was good in Chicago Bears land. The Bear fans welcomed in the "savior" of the Chicago Bears offense. A true quarterback at the helm led a fourth quarter comeback against the defending Super Bowl champs. The Bears went on to win their next two games to start the year 3-1 headed into the bye and we all know how the season ended winning only four of their next 12 games.

This season is different. The Bears are 2-0 for the first time since the Super Bowl season of 2006, but why am I not jumping on the bandwagon just yet? Do you have this same problem?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Why The White Sox Need To Move On From Paul Konerko.....

So often in this city we let our emotions overtake common sense, especially when it comes to the teams we love. For example White Sox fans were sad to see the great Aaron Rowand go to Philadelphia not even two months after winning the World Series in a trade for Jim Thome. Blackhawk fans were sadden that Denis Savard was fired four games into the 2008 NHL season and was replaced with a person simply known as "Coach Q." Emotion makes sports important, and what makes sports great but sometimes when we let our emotions get in the way of rational thinking (myself included) it can lead to some horrible decision making.

The Chicago White Sox face numerous decisions this coming off season. Some decisions on personnel, some decisions on management, some decisions that could change the face of the organization as a whole. So many questions need to be answered:

Can Kenny Williams And Ozzie Guillen ever be on the same page again?

Does the White Sox biggest investment recover from an unique injury? (Jake Peavy)

But the biggest question of all is what to do with Paul Konerko with his contract ending at the conclusion of this disappointing 2010 campaign? I hope that the White Sox and the White Sox fans do not let emotion get in the way of what could be the easiest decision they will make this winter.

It's time to move on from Paul Konerko.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ines Sainz Latest Example Why Women Shouldn't Be Allowed In Men's Locker Rooms.....

By now you have heard of the incident involving Azteca TV sports "reporter" Ines Sainz and a reported incident involving the New York Jets locker room. According to a report, Sainz was in the locker room waiting to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez when players began making comments about her after having footballs thrown in her direction by a Jets coach earlier in practice. The NFL began a league investigation into the matter and Owner Woody Johnson called Sainz (as well as put out a press release) to apologize to her.

While I believe it is not even debatable that Ms. Sainz is in no way a professional journalist judging from her work at Super Bowls measuring biceps over covering the event. This brings back to an age old question that has been around for over 20 years now. Should women be allowed to enter men's locker rooms in the first place?

This is just the latest example of why women should not be granted that access.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Bears Win Over Lions Brings Up More Questions Than Answers......

Game #1

Let me run some numbers past the reading public to illustrate how memorable this game truly was. The Chicago Bears had 463 yards of total offense in yesterday's 19-13 win over the Detroit Lions which was the highest offensive output of the NFL day. The Chicago Bears defense held the Detroit Lions to 168 yards of total offense which was second best in the NFL only two yards behind the defensive efforts of the Miami Dolphins holding the Buffalo Bills to 166 yards yesterday. Looking at these stellar numbers you would think that the Bears absolutely dominated the entirety of the game and rolled over their division foe. Yesterday's numbers from this division tilt may have been great for fantasy players, but they do not begin to tell the story of how the Bears BEARLY defeated the Detroit Lions at the lakefront Sunday afternoon.

The saying "a win is a win" does not apply to yesterday's victory or any other victory for the remainder of the season. In fact if you catch yourself saying that phrase, you indeed have some pretty piss poor expectations for this team.

Here's why.


Friday, September 10, 2010

NFL Will Suffer Losses With A Lockout in 2011....

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Last night was a celebration in many ways shared by millions of people of different classes and creeds. Football is back in business for the year 2010. We all celebrated by getting together with our friends watching Taylor Swift and the Dave Matthews Band ring in the new year of America's current favorite professional sport. We all saw the numerous mentions of the rise of New Orleans since a storm leveled the city, and the inspirational story of how a team beloved by the locals won the first Super Bowl in their history. What a truly special evening planned properly by the National Football League.

However before one snap, one pass, one rush or one kick we were all reminded that football could indeed not be around for our consumption this time next year. In one showing of togetherness, a line has officially been drawn with fans and the sport itself. We as fans hope that the NFL learns from the mistakes of pro sports past.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Top 10 Worst Facial Hair Experiments In Sports History

There are few things that "floor" me anymore. I am extremely blessed to have been given an opportunity to work in the business that I currently do and in my time I have seen a lot of things that have changed my perspective on sports and how sports influence life itself. For example the New Orleans Saints of last year raising the Vince Lombardi Trophy less than five years after a storm washed away the hopes and dreams of that city. I have seen athletes go from face to heels (yes, a wrestling term) and vice versa that I never would have imagined doing so.

This morning watching the replays of Sportscenter.....I was floored again.


I do not know when Chris Berman of ESPN thought it would be a good idea to pull a Paul Blart, but someone up top needs to make this stop as soon as possible.

So in the good spirit of having some fun, here's ten more mistakes made by athletes or personalities with their facial hair.