Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cubs Preview: No Curses, No Bad Apples, No Pressure = Playoffs

Last year the Chicago Cubs were single handily the most disappointing team in Major League Baseball. Going from a National League best 97 wins and a second straight division title to a disappointing 83 wins finishing second to their hated rival St. Louis Cardinals. The reason behind the drop in wins from year to year simply could be blamed the seventeen times the franchise had to put someone on the disabled list. Leading the league in injured players and still finishing with an above .500 record some would call miraculous and amazing but in Chicago it's just another example of "wait till next year."

So with that in mind as we progress toward the 2010 Chicago Cubs season, what is to come "next year?"


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

White Sox Preview: No Playoffs = Ozzie Guillen Must Go

As winter turns to spring and the weather begins to warm, we inch closer and closer to the boys of summer returning to the ball field we all grew up playing on. The beginning of our true national past time is upon us once again here in Chicago as both teams from the north and south prepare for a six month battle to see who indeed will reign supreme.

Chicago baseball fans are not fans of failure and do not accept mediocrity when it comes to their baseball teams. This is a baseball town and for too long on both sides of town we find ourselves looking for the fall guy. We always look for someone to blame because in the last 92 years this town has only produced one world championship with two teams in competition. Expectations are always as high as any other town, but yet we always expect failure.

Simply put, if the White Sox do indeed fail this year by not making the postseason....Ozzie Guillen must go.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Final Four Television Ratings Headed For Possible Disaster....ON CBS!

March Madness is indeed the prefect way to describe how this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament has shaped out. Between the buzzer beaters and underdogs performances, the parody of the sport has made for some fun television keeping the country entertained into the middle of the night. Now, we've arrived at the Final Four which kicks off on Saturday night in Indianapolis, Indiana.

As much entertainment as the first four rounds has provided us, this could end up being one of the least watched Final Fours of all time.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Decision Time For Joel Quennevile....Start Antti Niemi

Ten games in 18 days.

Ten games to determine not only seeding in the playoffs for our Chicago Blackhawks, but also ten games to get some sort of momentum headed into the greatest playoffs in sport. Ten games to determine finally who indeed is going to lead this club in net and possibly be the famed "hot goaltender" of the playoffs. You would figure with his recent play that indeed Antti Niemi would be the "guy" moving forward because of his 7-2-2 record over his last 11 starts. You would figure that Antti Niemi would be the guy after getting the famed championship belt after shutting out the red hot Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Then why is head coach Joel Quenneville starting Cristobal Huet on Thursday in Columbus?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oney Guillen Is Not His Daddy And Needs A Reality Check....

guillen fam.JPG

While I am a fan of social networking and instant media, I know (like all of you) that there are certain lines you cannot cross when tweeting or posting your opinion on certain matters. If there is one thing we have learned in the last 10-15 years of the digital age, its that everything we do online is always being monitored by someone. In fact according to a American Management Association/ePolicy Institute survey from 2007, two-thirds of employers monitor their employees' internet use.

So how come Oney Guillen feels he is a victim here with the latest edition of White Sox Twitter-Gate?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiger Woods Back At Masters After Miracle Therapy Sessions

Tiger Woods is coming back!!

All together now...

"Hooray For The PGA!!"

Not even one month after admitting to the world that he was selfish and felt the rules of life did not apply to him, Tiger is returning to the safest place possible for his probable return....Augusta, GA. It's interesting to me that Tiger chooses the same golf course that did not admit a African American golfer till 1990 as the "safe home" for his return. The same golf course which still refuses to admit female golfers as members is the place where golf's greatest professional is to make his return from his recent personal asylum.

Nothing against Augusta, but the timing of today's announcement of Tiger's return proves his "statement" to the world was nothing more than a big fat lie.


Monday, March 15, 2010

How The Amateur Fills Out A March Madness Bracket.....


I love March Madness for the simple fact that it's one of a few sporting events that everyone (and I mean everyone) gets into. Everyone has a team they root for whether they watched a single second of the season or followed it hardcore all season long. Everyone will fill out a bracket for the office pool laying a Lincoln on their picks, and more often than not "Mr. College Basketball" gets beat by Julie who concentrates more on her nails than her paperwork.

That's really why they call it March Madness!!

Now I don't claim to be a NCAA hoops expert of any kind. Much like you I start to get into the sport of college basketball right around the conference tournaments and my NCAA buzz is at it's peak at the first weekend. March Madness is really the only playoff type system where my buzz is higher at the beginning and dwindles away slowly each round.

So like you I filled out my bracket this morning after watching the same selection show you did, reading the same "experts" picks you did, and hearing what all the talking heads had to say. So here is how I (a college basketball amateur) picked the first round of my bracket.

Does my logic fit or am I a complete idiot?


Friday, March 12, 2010

Ozzie Guillen vs. Kenny Williams Too Scripted To Be True..

When the Chicago White Sox hired Ozzie Guillen most White Sox fans were not too high on "The Wizard Of Oz" taking the reigns when a former World Series winning manager in Cito Gaston was also up for the position. White Sox fans were tired of winning a division every seven to ten years and never getting past the first round of postseason play. Ozzie Guillen at his opening press conference as White Sox manager was quoted as saying:

"Fun is winning and winning is fun. I believe you have fun first and then you win."

What a ride it has been since November of 2003. Six seasons on the south side with winning records in four of them, two playoff appearances and of course the 2005 World Series title. He has single-handedly changed the culture of the South Side Hitmen and his words from time to time have made national headlines.

With his recent appearances on FOX television during last year's World Series and the new reality show in the works (produced by MLB Network). Is the recent "feud" with Ozzie and Kenny merely a scripted plot that we are all falling for?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

The New Wonderlic Test Every NFL Player Should Take.....


About this time every year as NFL teams prepare for the draft next month, the most hyped written exam in history is always a hot button issue on talk radio. The wonderlic test is a twelve-minute, fifty question test used to assess the aptitude of prospective NFL players in areas like problem solving and arithmetic. Results have varied throughout the years and the debate rages on if a good score on the wonderlic makes you a better NFL prospect.

The most popular wonderlic scores come from the quarterback position. On average, a quarterback will score a 24 on the test, and since there is no exact science behind which scores means what to a players' career...there have been mixed results. For example Dan Marino and Vince Young share the same score of 15 on the test but you cannot compare the success of their respective careers.

However in the current state of the NFL, rather than testing the players on math and learning....let's change the questions on the wonderlic test to ones that really matter to NFL players.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NCAA March Maddness Needs Contraction....Not Expansion


We have all heard the saying "less is more" at some point in our lives. when you have too much of a good thing, it's not necessarily a great thing. For example McDonalds has the McRib and Shamrock Shakes only available at certain times during the year. Studies have shown that certain products when sold only at a certain time of the year actually sell better than if it were available all the time.

The food sports fans all like to feast on this time of the year is "March Madness" and it always seems like we cannot get enough. In fact the NCAA is considering expanding our taste for college basketball in March from 65 teams to 96 teams giving us 16 more games to feast on whether at work or home.

Instead of thinking of expansion, should not the tournament committee consider contraction first?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Tyson/Holyfield 3?? More Truth Than Fiction.....

The easiest bar-stool debate to have amongst a group of friends is ranking which sport is more popular than another. In fact in Chicago we have this debate a lot with the recent "Red Rising" of the Chicago Blackhawks, and we compare their popularity to the other teams in town. Hockey for years was considered a dying sport, and some still to this day insist it is. That however can be debunked by the recent success of the television ratings in this past month's Olympics. Baseball for some was considered a dying sport because it was geared more towards older people who grew up with the game rather than the kids today who are more raised on football and extreme sports.

Professional boxing is the one sport that its popularity is hanging by a thread in the United States. Could you name the last PPV you bought or the last fight you saw?

The rise of UFC/MMA has even made the blow worse by attracting the eyes of many younger viewers which boxing needs to survive. The biggest problem for boxing is how do they market an old dying sport and make it attractive to the UFC/MMA crowd?

Answer = "Iron Mike" Tyson


Friday, March 5, 2010

Chicago Bears Should Spend Smarter Than Julius Peppers....

Its very rare when Chicago sport fans are as involved in days like today. Every so often one of our local teams make national headlines and the buzz that results cause of it blinds us from the hard truth of our teams.

I never get caught up in all the buzz because I choose to look at things from an outsider point of view rather than a dyed-in-the-wool Chicago sports fan.

I truly believe that if the Chicago Bears do indeed sign Julius Peppers, it will be worst move the Bears could do this off season.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Don't Leave The Blackhawks Bandwagon If Huet Is Still In Goal....

Here we are Chicago Blackhawk fans!! The day that could decide if the Blackhawks are a legit contender to the Stanley Cup if they are not already.

The NHL trade deadline is upon us, and the feel is the front office needs to address their goaltending situation more than anything. I have stated before here on The Rock Report that I believe the Blackhawks should stand pat and go with what got them to where they are today. I believe there is no need for them to address the goaltending situation because I believe their defense will make up for any deficiency between the pipes. However I know most Blackhawk fans through the season have made it known that they must address the problem in net.

If the Blackhawks stand pat and do not make a deal for Cristobal Huet and stand pat with their highly paid goal tender, does that change your perception of the greatest front office in Chicago sports history?