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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Top Top Facts About Life When the Cubs Won the 1908 World Series

Truthfully, you every right to label me as a hypocrite with this list. Last week, I decried the constant references to the Cubs and their 100-year World Series drought by the media. And now, I'm doing exactly that by looking at the Top Top Facts About Life When the Cubs Won the 1908 World Series.

But then I thought about it some more and concluded that by being the first to do a list of this kind, I am actually being original.

It's amazing how we can convince ourselves of almost anything.

Either way, hopefully you find this interesting:

10. Henry Ford introduces the Ford Model "T" and sells it for $850

Rumor has it that after the Cubs won the World Series, pitcher Mordecai Brown bought the Model "T" with his bonus and immediately threw some 22-inch Lexani rims and Louis Vittonn leather interior on it. That ride was sick.

9. The average life expectancy was 47 years

Julio Franco was just barely entering his prime at the age of 47.

8. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 MPH

Apparently my Huffy would be the equivalent of a Hiyabusa sports bike back then. I get that baby up to at least 12 mph going down the hill by my house.

That's crazy fast.

7. Roughly 230 murders were committed in all of 1908

Death isn't funny so I'll just let the numbers speak for themselves.

6. Eight-percent of homes had a telephone

Can you imagine how long this Brett Favre situation would have taken to play out without the telephone?

They'd get a deal done in 2010, right after Favre receives his AARP card.

5. Six-percent of Americans had graduated high school

Most of them decided to play overseas because of David Stern's age requirement in the NBA.

4. Population of Las Vegas, Nevada = 30

Pacman wouldn't have had to make it rain in the clubs, only a light mist would have been necessary.

3. The average worker pulled in anywhere between $200 and $400 annually

And Devin Hester thought being paid $445 thousand before getting a new contract was a slap in the face.

2. Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all over the counter drugs

This entire era is still under question as to the legitimacy of their statistics.

Cubs SS Joe Tinker's team leading 6 HR season in 1908 just seems too good to be true.

1. 90% of Doctors didn't have a college education

I'm thoroughly convinced the Cubs still employ some of these physicians today.

Their remarkable treatments on Kerry Wood's blister have defied modern science and will have him ready to pitch sometime in September.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Care More about Your Madden Dynasty than Your Homework

Since we are less than two weeks away from Madden 09, and three weeks away from most schools starting up....

10 Because the best thing about college is blowing off class

Remember in high school how you were stuck in one building for like six hours every day, with no where to run? College gives you the ability to skip that Literature class you hate so much and spend some quality time with virtual LaDanian Tomlinson.

9 Because in video games, it's possible for Rex Grossman not to screw everything up

Have you people been to Bourbonnais yet this year? Grossman is looking pathetic, and there seems to be no hope he’ll ever bust out of his role as the NFL’s biggest punch line. But in Madden…Rex can get the job done. Especially when you trade Olin Kruetz and a future number one pick for Randy Moss.

8 Because unlike school, you can play ALL your madden games online

Nothing is sweeter than online classes. But few kids take more than one per semester. Since the new v-game consoles came out, now you can do all your Madden gaming versus online. Nothing is more glorious than avoiding social interaction.

7 Because you can’t trade your professor for draft picks

Few things are more fun than selling off all your veterans for future draft picks in Madden. If you could only do that in school…

6 Because Madden the only place where Mike Brown and Phil Barnes have the same injury rating

TTCS’ oft-sick Monday-specialist is similar the Bears Mike Brown. Both are power players when healthy, but often succumb to debilitating illness or injury.

5 Because you can sim through the preseason

Is there anything worse than the NFL preseason? Of course, it’s the Pro Bowl. But seriously, the NFL preseason is one of the least enjoyable things ever. At least two or three star players get lost to injury in the preseason every year, which is easily avoidable in Madden by simulating those four weeks with injuries turned off.

4 Because my speed rating in real life isn’t a 100

TTCS’ best athlete is a hotly debated topic. In approximately 1934, Fred-Ex Church was stellar wrassler’ for Minooka High. Olsen claims to be a seven handicap on the golf course, Phillips believes he was a 6-1 version of Amare Stoudemire in his athletic prime, and Zach Martin played club baseball in college. Me? I hold the distinct honor of being the slowest kid on my high school track team. Needless to say, none of us could crack a 70 speed rating in Madden, let alone a Hester-like 100.

3 Because unlike when you fail a test, in Madden, you can always push the restart button

Few things are worse than bombing a final exam, but losing your undefeated Madden season in the Super Bowl is just as devastating. Luckily, video games allow you to restart the whole the thing and forget it ever happened. Though I haven’t pressed the restart button in about 13 years (pinky swear), I’m sure some people (cough-Zach-cough) still do.

2 I'm a journalism major so I know I’m going to be poor anyways

1 The Truck Stick doesn't work in real life

Nothing is more satisfying in Madden than plowing a defender with a power running back like Brandon Jacobs. If only the truck stick worked in real life, it would be a lot easier to find a place to stand on the CTA (imagine 10 people going flying) or to get to the front of the line at Chipotle. All you would have to do is lower your shoulder.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Top Ten Reasons To Get Excited About the Bears


Even with both baseball teams in pennant races, I really miss football. With training camps underway, I’m counting down the days until the Bears open their season Sept. 7. Despite what you may think, it was pretty easy coming up with the top ten reasons to be excited about the Bears this year. Notice though how the quarterback and wide receivers positions were left off this list. If I had an 11, the opportunity to read Tribune Bears beat writer David Haugh everyday for the next six months would have grabbed that spot.

10. No more Cedric Benson or Adam Archuleta

Why again did the Bears trade Thomas Jones and Chris Harris? At least we’ll no longer have to watch Benson fall down at the first bit of contact, or Archuleta miss tackle after tackle by being too slow and out of position. Benson was a bust on the field and cancer in the locker room. Archuleta is proof that combine workouts are way overrated.

9. Tight Ends

Now if someone can just get them the ball. ESPN had the Bears tandem of Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen only ninth in their overall tight end rankings, but that’s primarily due to the uncertainty at the quarterback position. Clark has posted back to back solid seasons, while this could be a breakout year for Olsen. It’d be nice to see Ron Turner run more plays with both of them on the field, which could open things up for a weak group of wide receivers.

8. Schedule

The Bears play only five teams that made the playoffs last season. Tampa Bay, Tennessee, and now Green Bay (without Favre) are beatable, leaving only Jacksonville and Indianapolis. Luckily, they play the Colts opening night, meaning Peyton Manning might not be 100% yet after his recent knee surgery. In the division, Minnesota has a great defensive line, great offensive line, and great running back, but not much else. Detroit still has no defense, while there are a lot of questions right now in Packerland. Plus, there are games against Atlanta, St. Louis, Carolina, and Houston, all very winnable.

7. The rookies

After the draft, every team thinks they made out great, so we won’t know for quite a while whether Chris Williams and Matt Forte are any good. The Bears desperately needed a tackle, so Williams was the obvious choice. Forte seems like one of those guys who could end up being really good or really bad. With the passing game a huge question mark, the Bears have to be able to run the football a lot better than last season’s league low 3.1 ypc. Don’t sleep on Marcus Harrison or Craig Steltz either. Both could wind up being two more Jerry Angelo second day steals.

6. It’s about time for football, any football

This has nothing to do with the Bears. Here’s a top ten list within a top ten list (this may be a first) on why football is better than baseball.

10. A pulled hamstring sidelines a baseball player for a month, while football players play through much worse.
9. Statistics are only a part of the NFL
8. 16 games is a lot better than 162
7. Football has a real draft
6. Baseball players make too much money
5. Officials can actually move
4. Alex Rodriguez doesn’t have to worry about getting sacked
3. NFL players show passion
2. You can play in the rain
1. Monday Night Football

5. Mike Brown is back (for now)

It was the right call to give Brown one last chance. I realize he’s played only 21 games the last four years, but when healthy, he’s one of the top safeties in the league. Certainly, it’s a big “if”, considering Brown’s recent history, but none of his injuries have been the same, which is good. Brown’s more valuable to the defense than even Urlacher, but he’s got to stay on the field.  

4. No Brett Favre (we think)

Unless of course he does a complete 180 and stays in Green Bay, or Ted Thompson is stupid enough to trade him to Minnesota. Yeah, I know the Bears have beaten Favre in six of their last eight meetings, but look at it logically. With Favre under center, the Packers are clearly the class of the NFC North, and possibly the entire NFC. Put Aaron Rodgers under center and the division becomes wide open.  

3. Low expectations

Flashback to September 2005, when Sports Illustrated had the Bears ranked 32nd out of 32 teams to start the year. For some stupid reason, I predicted 11 wins, just to be different. Low and behold, even with Kyle Orton calling the shots, and no Devin Hester, I was right. From the people I’ve talked to, I’m hearing on average anywhere between six to eight wins this year. Maybe the media’s gloomy predictions (Bears are 25th in ESPN’s current power rankings) will turn into a rallying cry.

2. A dominating defense

When everyone is healthy of course. Mike Brown, Nathan Vasher, Tommie Harris, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, and Dusty Dvoracek all either missed significant amounts of time or played at considerably less than 100% last year. Remember how dominating this defense was for three quarters in the opener versus the Chargers? That’s a glimpse of how good this unit could be if they can avoid injuries. Urlacher and Briggs are two of the best at their positions, while Vasher and Tillman might be one of the top five cornerback tandems. The line has only one real star in Harris, but a bunch of good players. They still know how to force turnovers, something that will be needed to help a bad offense. Fantasy owners, this is a top three defense, trust me.

1. Devin Hester

No explanation necessary here. Funny how far 40 million dollars can go to healing a sore hamstring. And as a bonus, reports are Hester could take part in close to 50% of the offensive snaps this year.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Top Ten things Derrek Lee should steal from Wrigley

A few weeks ago, new-era Yankee Clipper Derek Jeter said he would take something before the bulldozer was taken to Yankee Stadium. While Wrigley Field may have another 20 years until its demolition, these are a few things Cub icon Derrek Lee should swipe from the confines.

10. Ernie Bank's statue

Courtesy of: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2158/2380727591_c3e91d6984.jpg?v=0

Courtesy of:http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3254/2384761821_90099eeba0.jpg

It is the newest item on the list. But this was actually a really cool concept, but easily could and should have been done about 15 years ago. The engraving was initially checked for grammatical errors by TTCS's own Freddy Church.

9. Lights

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.derekmiller.us/baseball/images/stadiumpics/wrigley03.jpg

Wrigley was the last stadium in the majors, and probably any level below t-ball, to insert lighting. The funny part is they commemorated 8/8/88 by unveiling the "new" lights. As a fan I would have been really upset because I am pretty sure the bulb had been invented almost a century sooner. That would have been cool 8/8/1888.

8. 1908 World Series flag

Photo Courtesy of:http://tommcmahon.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/18/cubscentury.gif

Yes every team honors any World Series title they have ever won. Heck, Batavia proudly dons their 1912 basketball state championship banner in the gym. But there should be a rule in sports where banners cannot be put up unless a championship has been won within a hundred-year span. I think that's fair.

7. Troughs

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.urinal.net/wrigley_field/Wrigley1.jpg

I laugh at the thought every time I go in there. It's not nostalgic, it's disgusting. I won't go into any details about what is flowing through my mind when I step up to the "urinals." Though if D-Lee did own a frat house it would be a neat concept. I still don't see how Moises Alou could "miss" the troughs.

6. Scoreboard

Courtesy of: http://www.airninja.com/pictures/chicago/wrigleyscoreboard.jpg

Now this is one cool part of Wrigley. Though you may not get to see replays of any sort, the idea that there are people working continuously to keep the scoreboard up to date is unreal.

5. Harry Caray's Mic

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.batigers.net/sitebuilder/images/Harry-447x333.jpg

I do not even know if they still use and/or have the mic available, but he revolutionized commentary as we know it today. With his witty and often politically incorrect statements, who wouldn't want to own that.

4. Bartman's seat

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.ayuh.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/bartman.jpg

If anyone on the Cubs appreciates that seat, it's Lee. Then a member of the Marlins, Derrek saw his team's fate change after that lazy foul ball. It was Bartman's fate that was really modified however.

3. Ronnie Woo

Photo Courtesy of:http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08o45dCfRx3jC/610x.jpg

Derrek can pay him to operate the scoreboard.

2. "Wrigley Field" sign

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.crownaudio.com/pressart/pr149_hz-3.jpg

One of the true icons of the stadium is the red sign that rests above the gate behind home plate. In Lee's free time he could write whatever he wanted in the electronic portion.

1. Ivy

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.cubbiesbaseball.com/images/ivy.jpg

In reality, this could be taken without anybody knowing, because I have been told that even a little piece spreads like crazy eventually. When people think Wrigley, they think of the ivy, the best thing any Cub could take from the stadium.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Top Ten Stories That Need to Go Away

Today's world is the greatest possible time in history to live in if you are a die hard sports junky.

Information is available instantaneously at your fingertips within seconds of it occurring and in some cases, can be watched from your computer or mobile phone.

However, with the continuous coverage of sports, a new problem has arisen that can be directly attributed to ESPN and talk radio: the overkill of certain storylines.

Lately, there has been an abundance of them and today we're giving you the Top Ten Stories That Need to Go Away:

10.The Cowboys

With a roster that could easily quit football tomorrow and become cast members on the Surreal Life, the Cowboys are sure to be leading the ESPN broadcasts in the very near future.

You know the storylines (Pac...Adam Jones, T.O., Romo/Jessica Simpson, etc...) and you know how they'll be talked about ad nauseum by every member and broadcast outlet of ESPN and the NFL Network. To make matters worse, HBO is traveling to Dallas for their 'Hard Knocks' series where they will give an all access look into the Boys' training camp.

I'm looking forward to this about as much as the possibility of me having to wear diapers in a nursing home. It's that bad.


I wonder if the guy who first came up with the tag 'Spygate' is getting any royalties off of it because if not, he's getting absolutely robbed.

The thing about Spygate is I really don't see it as being that big of a deal and I'll prove it by using the Madden video games to prove it.

Growing up we all had the one friend who would repeatedly try to sneak a look at your controller in hopes of learning what play you were about to run. You probably realized he was doing it, but it really didn't matter because you knew the play would work and ended up wiping the floor with him anyway.

Same goes for the Pats, except they were going to wipe the floor with the New York Jets even if they didn't even know their own plays.

8.Tim Donaghy – The Fixer

The man who single- handedly destroyed the credibility of the NBA is trying to bring anyone within a ten-mile radius down with him and ESPN is loving every second of it.

Despite looking like some sweaty guy you'd find trying to hoop at the local YMCA, Donaghy has quickly ascended to the upper echelon of scumbags that plague the world of sports. Lock him up, throw away the key and force him to watch reruns of the Tour de France from now until eternity.

7.Barkley and his Gambling Debts

Why is it anyone's business if Barkley chooses to blow $30k in a weekend gambling binge out in the casinos of Las Vegas?

I can't imagine the big fella is hurting for cash these days with his T-Mobile commercials and commentator gig on TNT's NBA coverage. If he was still playing I'd acknowledge this might be an issue and worthy of sports media coverage.

Let the fat man roll the dice and hit on 19 whenever he wants. Just because he sucks at gambling doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to do it anyway.

6.A-Rod – Madonna – C-Rod Love Triangle

Anytime figures of the sports world cross over into pop culture I become physically ill. Alex Rodriguez popping up on TMZ.com because of an alleged affair with Madonna has quickly become a favorite talking point for my girlfriend and her closest gal pals.

This, I cannot allow.

But the question I'm asking about this whole situation is this: if your Alex Rodriguez, is Madonna the best you could do? Wasn't Scarlett Johansson or some Victoria Secret model availble for some late night tryst and not some 40-something woman who has more creases on her face than an old catcher's mitt?

Maybe I'm being harsh, but I'm praying for a swift divorce and another classic A-Rod choke job if the Yanks make the playoffs.

5.Barry Bonds – No Team Wants You

Barry and his agent are imploring the MLB Players Association to look into possible collusion amongst MLB teams that may be collectively trying to keep the all-time HR champ out of the game.

I can end the investigation for you right now Barry. The reason nobody is signing you is because NOBODY WANTS YOU ON THEIR TEAM!

Nobody wants the circus that comes along with having you on in the clubhouse and nobody on the team wants to deal with the daily barrage of questions about your contributions to the team and their opinions about steroids.

Go crawl into a hole and deflate on your own time and stop wasting ours with unrealistic hopes of donning a MLB uniform again

It's over.

4.Roger Clemens – Brian McNamee – Steroids

This is one scenario where a death match might actually be the best solution to ceasing the ridiculous coverage of these two steroid-bound idiots. The story just picked up steam again after mailing receipts were found that were supposedly from shipments of roid-juice directly to one Mr. Roger Clemens. His reputation is tarnished, nobody believes a words he says and the Hall of Fame seems long gone at this point.

Let it go.

3.The Chicago Cubs 100-year World Series Drought

As a Sox fan, I probably bring this little tidbit up about once a week but I'd be happy to put an end to it if it means the media will do the same.

The montages, the timelines, the search for a human being that was actually alive when they last won the World Series is not going to stop until next year when the media starts it all over again.

In no way am I saying that I hope the Cubs actually win a title, but it'd be a whole lot easier if everyone stopped anticipating an event that's not going to happen. This is the one team in history that defies the law of averages and I've got a 100 years of stats to prove it.

If I'm wrong, I like my crow medium rare with extra salt and pepper.

2.Tiger Woods

You wont' find a bigger Tiger Woods fan than me and I'm already sick and tired of hearing about the 'Tiger Effect' on golf.

Is it really such a surprise that the majority of people don't watch golf when Tiger's not playing?

Every story that's been written on the subject must have been done by a reporter that has gone to the John Madden school of sports analysis. Tell them what they already know and have known for years and only make only the most obvious of observations and rest easy knowing that you'll never be wrong.

He's hurt and golf will suffer.

Enough said.

1.Brett Favre

The city of Chicago is collectively fighting back the urge to drive up to Green Bay and force Packers GM Ted Thompson to make a decision on whether to keep, trade or release Brett Favre before we tar and feather the man. Favre has owned the Bears in his career and to watch coverage of him day after day literally is the equivalent of being stuck in an elevator for 48 hours with seven ex-girlfriends who are in the mood to discuss everyone of your faults.

I don't care what the hell they do up there, but please just end the insanity before John Clayton has to purchase Jose Canseco's trailer and park it front of Favre's house in Louisiana until opening day.

Look at Clayton and tell me he hasn't suffered enough strolling through life looking like that. He makes Carrot Top look like Fabio.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top ten athletes that would make great Batman villains

10. The Scarecrow = Bob Sanders

Like Dr. Jonathon Crane, the 5-7 Sanders isn’t physically imposing at first glance. But both Scarecrow and Sanders are masters of creating fear. Just ask any NFL receiver who try to go over the middle against the Colts.

9. Ichiro = Ra’s al Ghul

After hearing about Ichiro’s profanity laced All-Star Game pep talks, is there any doubt that he’d make a great superhero villain? People also seem to believe the impossible from Ra’s al Ghul, which is kind of similar to how everyone thinks Ichiro could hit a lot homers, you know, if he was into that sort of thing.

8. Poison Ivy = Madonna

Though she’s not technically an athlete, Madonna has been at the center of sports biggest story for the last month. Anyways, we’re pretty sure he could kick Mike Fontenot’s ass, so that’s got to count for something.

7. Catwoman = Camilo Villegas

The picture speaks for itself.

6. Mr. Freeze = Greg Norman

Get it, because Norman ‘freezes’ up in golf’s biggest moments? Come on, I thought it was creative. Plus, Norman’s wife, former tennis star Chris Evert, is old enough to soon be cryogenically frozen. The similarities are remarkable.

5. The Riddler = Ricky Williams

Much like Edward Nigma, you never know what you’re going to get from Williams. One day he was the NFL’s best tailback, the next he quit the league and forfeited millions so he was free to get cheesy.

4. Bane = Shawne Merriman

Both Bane and Merriman seem to possess other worldly strength, and neither did it naturally. Still, I personally have never seen Bane by Maurice Jones Drew. Advantage: Bane.

3. The Joker = Milton Bradley

The Joker is all about anarchy, and I would imagine Milton Bradley shares the same values. Both Joker and Bradley seem to act on a whim, while destruction surrounds them. Just the way they like it.

2. Two Face = Carlos Boozer

Boozer seemed like a good guy at Duke and in Cleveland, just as Harvey Dent did as Gotham’s DA. But both took a turn for the worst. Say what you will about Dent, but at least he never screwed over a blind man.

1. The Penguin = John Daly

Both are fat slobs that moonlight as heroes of the underground. Both have bad vices: for Daly, it's Hooters and ciggarettes, for Penguin it's birds and umbrellas. Maybe the strangest coincidence? Both of these freaks are filthy rich.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Top Ten Events Mrs. Dubs and I Want to See at Wrigley

The last few years the Cubs have been trying to use Wrigley for events other than baseball. In the past this included Jimmy Buffet and The Police and this year a minor league game and a Blackhawks’ game are planned for the near future. Mrs. Dubs and I were talking about what else would be cool to have there. This is are Top Ten events we would like to see at Wrigley. What events would you like to see? PS check my take on the whole A-Rod divorce thing at TUP.

Ladies first...

Mrs. Dubs

5. Free Booze Night


Free food/drinks/souvenirs for one game, as much as anyone can handle. The game should be Cubs vs. Sox; just imagine how fun that would be- well until Southsiders and Northsiders got wasted and total chaos would follow.

4. Coldplay and Dave Matthews Band in concert


3. CHICAGO the musical


My favorite musical and movie, performed on stage live at night at Wrigley would be sweet.

2. Chicago Fashion Week


New York and Paris Fashion week draw in the biggest and most respected collection of couture designers from across the globe. Inviting couture designers to showcase their runway designs for fall and spring would be incredible and inspire some dimwitted Midwestern fashion victims to wake up and realize sweatpants and sneakers aren’t gonna cut it. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci, Proenza Schuler, Dior, Marc Jacobs… Absofuckinglutely amazing.

1. Chicago Olympics 2016


Every Chicagoan knows that Mayor Daley has recently been petitioning hard and raising money in order to secure the Olympic games come to Chicago in 2016. If the Olympics did make Chicago their final choice, then obviously the no. 1 event to be held at Wrigley Field would be the opening ceremony of the games, track and field events, and the closing ceremony. That would be glorious.


5. Big Screens in outfield for away playoff games


I always thought it would be a good idea for the Cubs to put big screens in left and right field facing the bleachers and show the away playoff games like they did at the United Center. The bleachers would be insane with the over-served, praying for a Cubs victory.

4. An Irish Festival


Using Wrigley as a hub for a four-block party that would absorb all of the surrounding bars, restaurants, etc. in the neighborhood. Allowing Chicagoans to get drunk on Wrigley Field might be the greatest time in the world. Imagine the random sex that would go on throughout the park. This would include bands like the Dropkick Murphys that would keep the party going for days on end.

3. Bears vs. Packers


Bringing back Bears football to Wrigley would simply be insane. The Bears faithful could possibly burn down Wrigleyville if the opportunity arose.

2. Gladiator Fights

Could you think of anything as cool as slaves fighting each other as lions and tiger and bears fight along. That combined with the Wrigley Field atmosphere would be the sickest thing ever.

1. Cubs win World Series at Wrigley


100 years…enough said.

Top Ten Reasons to watch the NBA Summer League

With summer comes a lot of things. Golf, funnel cakes, all-day outdoor concerts, beer gardens, baseball and my favorite summer past time... the NBA Summer League. Now being the hoops junkie I am I would watch this even without all of the reasons I would list below. Since I often get tired of hearing John Kruk blab about nothing here are ten of the better reasons I can think of to start watching.

10. The Stat Lines
Now for those of you big on statistics (and there are plenty thanks to fantasy sports) just check out the box score from a summer league game sometime. In looking at some from last year you'll notice things like former Florida State gunner Von Wafer jacking up an incredible 26 shots in 26 minutes or former Iowa big man Greg Brunner committing five fouls in only three minutes of play. These are the kind of stats that are amusing enough to look forward to the games every time they are on.

9. The rule changes
There are basically two major rule changes that I enjoy. One, there are 10 fouls allowed now instead of the standard NBA six. And two, the games are being played in 40 minutes instead of 48. With the officiating being shadier than a Donaghy playoff game then the time really flies on some of these games and they are completely enjoyable to watch while doing whatever else it is you do.

8. The celebrities
Hey if these games are good enough for dudes like Floyd Mayweather to attend then I wholeheartedly endorse this product. Especially when the color guy from the NBA network doesn't know who he is.

7. The highlights
The summer league is full of great players and great athletes playing an uptempo game with little to no defense. Now the idiotic fan will say "that sounds like the normal NBA to me" but the differences are drastic. Since most of these guys are thrown together randomly with some international players it can create a chaos in these games that is surprisingly riveting. This makes for a lot of turnovers which lead to a lot of fast breaks and thunderous dunks.

6. Great time slots
I call this phenomenon the "Independence Day Factor". Two summers ago I used to wake up hungover every morning around 11 AM only to find that Independence Day would be on one of the Cinemax channels while I consumed my breakfast. I enjoyed catching bits and pieces of the movie while reading the Sun-Times and trying not to vomit. Not only does the Summer League have that same morning hangover time slot, but it poses as a versatile double threat by being played a lot late at night after I've been out at a bar. Since NBA TV really doesn't have a lot on their plate they show these games at many points of the day, perfect to casually tune in.

5. The interviews
Since these games are often filled with European scouts and current NBA players, the television broadcast inevitably turns to an awkward interview with one of these counterparts. Since viewers don't need to listen to Nate Funk's life story again they often spend extended portions of these games talking with someone more important than the proceedings. Quentin Richardson spent nearly half of one Knicks game as a secondary color guy / interviewee as the game was in progress. This left for not only some interesting facts, but for some awkwardly funny exchanges.
Example: "Quentin are you going to be taking Danillo to some of your favorite Italian restaurants in New York?"
"Man I have no idea where to go, maybe HE can show me some good Italian places."
I also got to find out how Trajan Langdon (remember him?) was doing in Moscow thanks to an interview with his coach. Talk about versatility in one broadcast.

4. First chance to see rookies play
The games might not mean jack but it is fun to see guys like J.J. Hickson smoke the hell out of the Knicks and look like an All-Star against a team of scrubs. Then there's the intense media scrutiny about how top players look in these games when they're playing alongside guys like Coby Karl. Like Derrick Rose is really going to get assists with Summer League teammates like Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah. Oh wait, those are actual Bulls players we are counting on. Just shoot me.

3. Roster sizes
Since this is basically a league of tryouts there are some teams that are filled with benches as long as a baseball team. The Kings carried seven centers on their team last year as well as Ron Artest's 300 pound brother. When the camera pans to the ends of some of these benches it has to be embarrassing to be a bench warmer in an environment like this. I love it.

2. The story lines
There are a million and one story lines that flow their the veins of the Summer League. Looking for ex-cons, former collegiate superstars, former players with alcohol problems and slightly talented non-English speaking Europeans? You've certainly come to the right place. A good writer like J.A. Adande is having an absolute field day writing feature stories on guys like this. What a league.

1. Former recognizable names
There are tons and tons of great college players who play in this league because they don't want to go to Europe yet. This makes it a who's who of Summer League fun where guys like Dee Brown are your typical run-of-the-mill players. The best recognizable name yet? Robert "Tractor" Traylor who is spending his summer playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers Summer Team while trying to slim down to below 500 pounds. You gotta love the NBA!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Top Ten Ways For The Bulls to Generate Buzz

So ever since the NBA Draft the Bulls have become the most boring team in the professional sports. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates had Nate McLouth gun down someone at home plate in the All-Star Game, a much more exciting moment then Derrick Rose's MRI. I mean seriously have you looked at their roster? It's absolutely dreadful and full of boring players. Here's some suggestions I have to get some buzz going in the franchise.

10. Insult Chris Duhon in the media
Now that Ricky O'Donnell's favorite ex-Bull is now a Knick wouldn't it be fun for one of Duhon's old teammates to stir up some good old controversy and talk about Duhon being lazy or some other comment to gain some media attention? I nominate Cedric Simmons to do it because it would be even funnier coming from a no-name scrub who spent the second half of one season at the end of the bench.


9. Leak the trailer to the proposed Matadors movie
So now that there might be a movie starring Chicago's beloved fat and dancing bulls fans wouldn't now be a perfect time to make some sort of fake movie trailer? I mean the summer is slow besides baseball and NFL training camp, couldn't they produce this in a week and get it all over ESPN and the internet?

8. Sign a wise, old center
Every contending team seems to have that over-the-hill there for wisdom center who improbably makes a difference during the season. So I motion that we sign Dikembe Mutombo. If we can't get him then I motion for Kevin Willis. If we can't get him then I motion for Robert Parish. Hell we already brought the chief on once for a title run, why not again.

7. Give a big name restricted free agent an offer sheet
I know, I know we have no cap room to sign max deals and the like but we do have the fantastic NBA cap breaker known as the mid-level exception. Wouldn't it be hilarious if we just decided to offer Emeka Okafor $5 million a year instead of the near max deal he seeks just to secretly tell him, "Hey Emeka, you suck. Stop wasting every GM's time by asking for this nonsense, here's what you're really worth."

6. Send Kirk Hinrich to the D-League
Kirk if you can't guard NBA point guards then you might as well start guarding JamesOn in practice everyday. It's pretty big news in baseball when guys like Jeff Francour get sent to the minors to shape up, why not a big name NBA player who needs a little kick in the butt.

5. Get an enforcer
There is nobody that is tough on the Bulls except Rose. If we were to get in a brawl next season we would be totally screwed. That's why we need to trade for Artest or at least pick up someone with a little street cred. Larry Hughes used to be tough but now he would rather roll around St. Louis with the St. Lunatics and hit up strip clubs. We need another Oakley.

4. Start a reality show
Speaking of Larry Hughes wouldn't he Andres Nocioni and Aaron Gray make a perfect reality show. If you are a fan of basketball there is no way you wouldn't watch this show. I mean this is like the sports version of the surreal life only with players that actually accomplished something. On a side note wouldn't an NBA surreal life be incredible? Harold Minor, Luke Jackson and Nikolaz Tsitisvilli would form a great start. (Editor's Note: The ideal picture I wanted to use here is a little too risque for TTCS but I will say it involves Larry Hughes, two scantily clad ladies and a shirt that says, "I (heart) strippers.")

3. Do SOMETHING with Ben Gordon and Luol Deng
Since Paxson is stalling on doing any other moves until he signs these two we are in for a dreadfully uneventful summer filled with reports on Derrick Rose's knee and driving habits. Either sign them, trade them.... something. C'mon Pax.

2. Announce a game at Wrigley Field
Hell it worked for the Blackhawks, why not the Bulls. Imagine an outdoor NBA game, especially in Wrigleyville. I mean it would be awesome. It would be a huge party for the entire day, which is why the Hawks game will be that much better. The Wrigley bars should just pull an all-nighter New Year's Eve/Day for the game right? Can't the city let the ordinance slide for this momentous occasion.

1. Sign Shawn Kemp
Dear Chicago Bulls,

If you want to make every twenty-something, including me, a season ticket holder you will bring the Reign Man on board. He can train Tyrus Thomas to dunk, do drugs with Larry Hughes, eat at buffets with Aaron Gray and so much more. The latest trend is the comeback story on Shawn Kemp, so make it happen Pax.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Top 10 Biggest Chicago Sports Disappointments Since 2000

By Danny Sheridan

With SportsCenter coming to Chicago last weekend to do “TitleTown USA”, it got me wondering how Chicago even qualified as one of the 20 cities. Since 2000, other than the White Sox World Championship, we haven’t had much to get excited about. There have been quite a few disappointments though, and here’s my top 10. These can be individual games, specific teams, front office moves etc. Somehow, the Ben Wallace signing and Jay Williams motorcycle accident failed to make this list.

10. Drafting Cedric Benson

True, the 2005 draft as a whole has been very disappointing thus far, but here’s a list of players selected after the Bears took Benson with the fourth overall pick; Shawne Merriman, Demarcus Ware, Carnell Williams, Frank Gore, Derrick Johnson, Jamal Brown and Logan Mankins. Blame Jerry Angelo if you want, however, remember that a lot of Bears fans wanted Mike Williams from USC, who turned out to be an even bigger bust. Considering Benson recently posed for half as many mug shots as he scored touchdowns last season (yes I made that up myself), letting him go was an easy call.

9. Michael Jordan returning to play basketball

Jordan’s stats (21.5 points, six rebounds, four assists) in his two seasons with the Wizards are deceiving. While Luol Deng would kill for those kinds of numbers, Jordan basically held the franchise back for those two years. It’s possible Jordan came back because he thought teaming with Kwame Brown, Christian Laettner, Tyron Lue and company would bring him yet another title (I’m kidding of course). Whatever the reason, it was a huge mistake. You couldn’t have scripted a better way to go out, with Jordan holding the pose on his game winning jumper against Utah in the 98 Finals.

8. The 2001 NBA Draft

What was Jerry Krause thinking? A guy averages 20 points and 10 rebounds his first two years in the league, and then you trade him for a kid straight out of high school? Mistake number two was picking a guy who couldn’t even dominate against a short group of suburban kids from Schaumburg in the state title game his senior year at Thornwood. How good would someone like Elton Brand look right now on the Bulls? Tyson Chandler failed to average double figure points or rebounds in any of his five seasons with the Bulls, while Eddy Curry’s occasional scoring outbursts were tempered by his laziness and defensive limitations. About the only good thing to come from all this was getting two high lottery picks from the Knicks in exchange for Curry.

7. The 2004 Cubs

Once the Cubs added Nomar at the trade deadline, they became a virtual lock for the postseason and even strong favorites to win the World Series. With a stacked lineup that included huge years from Moises Alou, Derrick Lee, and Aramis Ramirez, plus three aces in Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano, this Cubs team was loaded. They won 88 games solely based on talent, choking it away in the final week by losing seven of their final eight games. Thank Latroy Hawkins for blowing three games during that stretch. Plus, the Cubs uninspired play ended up costing Steve Stone and Chip Carey their jobs.

6. Bulls not trading for Kobe

I’m still waiting to hear a decent explanation from John Paxson for this decision. Oh wait, now I remember; Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, and Tyrus Thomas were all going to be future all-stars. Meanwhile the Bulls lost a chance to acquire the best player on the planet. Kobe wanted to come to Chicago and the Bulls had the young players to make the deal work. Forget for a second how Kobe played in the Finals. Put him on the Bulls, and they become one of the East’s better teams. Now, they’re stuck with a bunch of spoiled, underachieving, selfish players who haven’t accomplished a thing yet in this league. Sure hope Derrick Rose is the real deal.

5. Cubs getting swept by Diamondbacks

On paper, it looked like the perfect match up. Arizona had a young, unproven lineup, and really only one pitcher in Brandon Webb who was any good. The Cubs were streaking, had the experience, and the statistical advantage at every position except center field. Getting shut down by Webb is one thing. Letting Augie Ojeda, Stephan Drew, and Doug Davis look like world beaters is another. The best two hitters, Ramirez and Soriano, hit .000 and .143 respectively, and the Cubs led for only one half inning the entire series. By the way, Lou Piniella made the correct call in taking Carlos Zambrano out after six innings in game number one.

4. Injuries to Mark Prior and Kerry Wood

If both those guys had stayed healthy, I’m guaranteeing the Cubs would have at least one or two World Series by now. We saw what happened when they stayed off the D.L. in 2003, but that was a rare occurrence. Prior has won one game since 2005, while Wood is now making Cubs fans extremely nervous every time he takes the mound in the ninth inning. People point to Dusty Baker overusing Prior in 2003, when he averaged 114 pitches per start. What’s ironic is that when Prior first came up, his mechanics impressed all the scouts. Years later, his mechanics are probably what ended up costing him his career.

3. Illinois losing to North Carolina

I wanted to put this at number one, considering how much I followed and enjoyed watching this Illinois team all season. Whether it was Dee Brown giving the school some great pub with his jersey popping, Luther Head draining three’s, Deron Williams running the show, or Bruce Weber sporting that classic look of disbelief on his face over an official’s call, this team came within a few breaks of going 39-0. Carolina had four guys who ended up being lottery picks in that year’s draft, and Illinois played poorly that night. Still, despite trailing virtually the entire way, the game was tied with one minute left. That’s with Illinois shooting 38% and attempting 40 three pointers, compared to Carolina’s 51% shooting. Plus, the officials let Sean May get away with murder.

2. Bears losing Super Bowl

In all honesty, the Colts were simply better. The talent gap between the two quarterbacks was too much to overcome. The fact that it was pouring certainly didn’t help the Bears either once they got behind. Anytime you lose the Super Bowl, it sucks, but at least the Bears didn’t lose on some fluke play or in heartbreaking fashion. It’s funny how one play can alter a football game. With the Bears trailing only 16-14 and driving, Grossman threw an ill advised pass that Kelvin Hayden returned for a score, basically sealing the deal. At least we’ll always have Devin Hester’s opening kickoff return to remember.

1. Cubs losing 2003 NLCS

Fox showed the Marlins on the bench at the start of the eighth inning in game six, all sitting quietly with their heads down. Even they knew it was over. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell that to Mark Prior, Alex Gonzalez, Dusty Baker, and of course Steve Bartman. Yes, Alou would have caught that foul ball, but that’s not what cost the Cubs this series. Prior hanging pitches, Gonzalez botching a double play, Baker’s indecision, and Kerry Wood’s game seven performance all played bigger roles in this meltdown. I hate it when people argue how good that Marlins team was. The Cubs were clearly better, and would have beaten the Yankees in the World Series.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Top Ten Chicago Sports Mustaches

A couple years back I grew out a beard for "Manuary" and it happened to be the about the same time of the Super Bowl and it happened to be the same Super Bowl that my Chicago Bears were in. This meant one thing for me, a Ditka mustache. Ever since then I have had a love for the upper lip fuzz. These are the top Chicago mustaches.

10. Cliff Johnson


He might have only been a Cub for one year, but his homeless looking fu manchu gave Johnson an unmistakable edge.

9. Fred McGriff


I just wanted to put this picture of him on here.

8. Ryne Sandberg


Seeing this Ricky O'Donnell-esque rat-stache gave me the idea for this post.

7. Fred Manrique and Kelly Paris

These two played a combined 89 games for the ChiSox, but their porn-staches made them a duo that Chicago is grateful for.

6. Rod Beck

Baseball player or truck driver? Both?

5. Rafael Palmeiro

Before the PED's and before the penis pills, Palmeiro rocked this stellar 'stache for the Cubs.

4. Jose Valentin


White Sox fans seemed to love this guy despite his career .321 OBP. It must have been his sick lip fur.

3. Goose Gossage


One of the greatest fu manch's in the history of sports.

2. William "The Refrigerator" Perry

The "Fridge" takes the mustachioed happy-go-lucky fat-man archetype to a whole new level.

1. Mike Ditka


Was there ever a doubt?

I also wrote a nice little story on the Cubs signing Andrew Cashner over at the Cubs blog and I gave TTCS contributor Dubs a place to post his rant on Brett Favre and the New York Yankees.

Top Ten Notable Chicago Baseball Deadline deals

With the trade deadline vast approaching and both teams in the hunt, why not look back on the last ten years and remember notable deals that occurred in July in The Windy City. Some of these deals worked out, some didn’t, but the hype around these trades has made them worthy.

10. Terry Mulholland- 1998

Courtesy of: http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=1396682&text=Terry+Mulholland

He was always old, even when he was drafted. But he fit the bill when the Cubs dealt a few nobodies for the steady veteran lefty out of the pen. By no means was this a turning point for an already good team, but it didn’t hurt.

9. Roberto Alomar- 2003

Courtesy of: http://redsox.mlb.com/images/2004/08/07/Ux6e9xVO.jpg

Robby may have been a little before my time, but he is my favorite second baseman of ever. Any second baseman who bats third in an Indian order that included Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Dave Justice and Sandy Alomar gets my vote. With all this said, his stint with the Sox absolutely sucked. A .253 average with 17 RBI and three homers just isn’t the same guy I remembered rounding the bases in that Blue Jays jersey in the 1993 ALCS. Good thing Royce Ring hasn’t done anything or that deal really could have hurt.

8. Carl Everett- 2003 & 2004

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.mlb.com/images/2005/04/09/thTXBd5G.jpg

He was brought in twice to try to make contenders out of the White Sox. Both times it didn’t work out too well, but a steady switch-hitting power hitter never hurts. His ’05 campaign was not great but not awful and a World Series win was a result. Everett, who was traded to the Sox less than a week before the ’03 All star game at Comiskey was cheered upon as if he had spent his entire career in the South Side.

7. Freddie Garcia- 2004

Photo Courtesy of:http://pictopia.com/perl/get_image?provider_id=314&size=550x550_mb&ptp_photo_id=382479

Kenny Williams makes his first of two huge changes to the rotation in ’04, this time adding Ozzie’s bud Freddy Garcia. Many liked the deal but were skeptical because they gave away former 1st round pick Jeremy Reed and Miguel Olivo, a guy Hawk knew would someday be an all star. And Hawk is never wrong.

6. Rich Harden- 2008

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.nwherald.com/baseball/photos/CubsWin712.jpg

The verdict is still out on this, but it looks as though the Cubs got a steal. The question that lingers is why Billy Beane let Harden go for so little? What is Ricky O'Donnell, a Moneyball obsesser, going to do if Beane is wrong about this deal? For Cubs fans sake, I hope he is. But for us 45 Sox fans, Beane has to be too smart to be outdone.

5. Fred McGriff- 2001

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=837921&text=Fred+McGriff+Cubs

This deal had so much hype. First he was coming. Then he wasn’t. then it was on again. But good things come to those who wait, and while the Cubs had to wait a little longer than they wanted, it paid off. His ’01 was pretty solid and he hit .270 with 30 homers and 103 RBI in 2002 on the North Side. I’ll take that any day.

4. Jon Garland- 1998

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.thebaseballzealot.com/Garland.jpg

The Cubs dealt a young stud Garland in exchange for a guy supposedly better than Garland; Sox prospect Matt Karchner. I think it’s pretty clear who bettered on this trade. Garland is one of many great Cubs pitching prospects that have strived away from the Friendly Confines.

3. Nomar Garciaparra- 2004

Photo Courtesy of:http://pictopia.com/perl/get_image?provider_id=314&size=550x550_mb&ptp_photo_id=381591

This was supposed to be the deal of all deals. A stud shortstop so people could forget the Jeff Blauser blunder as well as Alex Gonzalez’s under hyped error in the dreaded Game 6. Nomar was simply awesome; until he was a Cub. They gave up virtually nothing and got Murton in the process also. Take it or leave it, the red-head was arguably the fourth-best player in the deal that had 10 players included.

2. Jose Contreras- 2004

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/photo/2008-05/38875274.jpg

Kenny Williams looks like a genius again as he dealt previous 21-game winner in exchange for the quasi-washed up Cuban. 2005 and ’06 brought out Contreras’ best stuff. He was absolutely dominate from the second half of ’05 and the first half of ’06 winning 17 straight decisions. While he is painful to watch at times today, this is a deal that is not talked about as much as it should be.

1. Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton- 2003

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.pe.com/imagesdaily/2006/09-15/aptopix_dodgers_cubs_baseba_300.jpg

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.mlb.com/images/2003/10/12/ggzhQNry.jpg

The Cubs give away Jose Hernandez and an absolute nobody and fill two holes that gave them the necessary push to the postseason. I understand getting Kenny Lofton in the deal, but the fact that Aramis Ramirez was included is unreal. A-Ram was just about ready to bust out in Pittsburgh, and the Bucs just couldn't wait for it. The Cubs stole the wildcard and Pittsburgh’s future.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top Ten Chicago Athletes That Could Run For Mayor and Win

The Daley family has been running Chicago in some capacity or another for quite some time now and it doesn't seem like that's going to change anytime soon. Every time the current Mayor, Richard M. Daley, is up for re-election, the challenger is someone the city of Chicago has never heard of and becomes somewhat of a sacrificial lamb.

My fellow Chicagoans I have a solution for you.

Select a current or former beloved Chicago athlete as Daley's future foe instead of an unknown politician.

As a matter of fact, we have ten ideal candidates that you might want to consider:


Come on, look at that smirk.
Brian Urlacher was made to be a politician and would definitely have no problem playing the part.


Watch that video and tell me Norm Van Lier wouldn't catch your attention during a press conference. Van Lier possesses a quality so rare in the political realm that Chicagoans might not know what to do with it. That quality?
Brutal, and relentless honesty.


The Chicago Cubs beloved second baseman would be a nice fit patrolling City Hall. Unfortunately, Joe Morgan may also announce his candidacy in an effort to block Sandberg from taking office.


Jimmy 'Mac' would get both Cubs and Sox fans votes and is old enough so that the seniors would actually remember who he is. Anyone on that '85 Bears team is solid gold potential.


As much as I'd like to make a joke at Ernie's expense I just can't bring myself to do it. Unfortunately I foresee a potential voting scandal after Ernie pleads with the public to vote twice.
Yikes, is this where jokes go to die?


Despite being away from Chicago for so long, Bobby Hull is a name synonymous with the toughness and greatness associated with the Chicago Blackhawks franchise.


Ozzie's tenure as mayor may last for only about three weeks, but he'd definitely pick up his fair share of votes. The man who brought this city its first World Series championship in 88 years has some serious street cred and the vernacular to play Chicago hardball politics.


The way I see it, Santo would be the Sen. John McCain of Chicago politics. The Hall of Fame has been holding his entrance hostage for years now and he's got the wounds to prove it.


Would you vote against this man?
I didn't think so.
The Coach has reached that rarefied status of an 'untouchable' in this city and Daley would be best be served by taking a bottle of Mike's Kick Ass Red Wine and head on home.


Hands down, Michael Jordan would win this thing in a landslide. I can't even imagine the look on Daley's face when he hears that Michael Jordan is going to be running against him.

It must have been the same look that Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, and Charles Barkley had when they found out Jordan was making his first comeback.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top ten reasons we can’t wait for the NFL to begin

Preseason games in only 30 days…

10. Madden

I’m not really much of a video gamer anymore, but I’ve bought Madden at midnight the last seven years. Something pathetic: I don’t envision a point in my life when that stops.

9. Arrogant receivers

No group of athletes provide as much entertainment and excitement every game as NFL receivers. And while NBA players take bereavement leave to increase their strip club time, most of the hijinx pulled by Randy Moss, T.O., and Chad Johnson are harmless. Just don’t tell Joe Buck that.

8. Hating the Patriots is more fun than hating anyone else

Hating the Yankees just isn’t as much fun when they aren’t good. Bill Belichick is sports' biggest villain, a criminal so dirty, so surly, that childhood hated can return for even the most mature fans.

7. No more Favre!

Wait a second…

6. The return of Pacman

Pacman Jones is the ultimate wildcard. Will the former sixth overall draft pick transform the Cowboys D into the NFL’s most explosive unit? Possibly. Will he pillage the city of Dallas just for the hell of it? Probably. Jones is the NFL’s version of the Joker.

5. Adrian Peterson

What other NFL player could have a Free Darko post dedicated to him? Here’s just a sample:

He possesses every tool a running back could possibly need: a field vision that can only be called prescient, an extra gear that he effortlessly slides in and out of to render established defensive geometry obsolete, the moves to make people miss in tight spaces, and speed and power that seem almost understated—the result is not the jaw-dropping flashiness of LDT or Barry Sanders, but a chameleonic, graceful efficiency dedicated solely to moving the ball forward.

If only he was in another division…

4. Every game matters

Baseball’s endless season has its perks, but rarely does one game ever truly matter. Every week in the NFL is do or die, and you can feel the pressure from the players, coaches, and fans to win from Week 1.

3. Fantasy football > Life

It’s true. I heard a sweet new blog written two incredibly handsome gentlemen will even give you advice and observations all season long. Seriously. Check it out.

2. Devin Hester

ESPN’s Bill Simmons once wrote an article on how it’s impossible to write something interesting about Tiger Woods. I think Hester has reached that rare status. What can you really say about the guy? He’s the best specialist in NFL history, the most exciting player in the game, and really the Bears only threat to score.

1. The Bears bring Chicago together

As much as I love making fun of the Cubs- and trust me, it’s like my favorite thing ever- nothing beats having our entire great city behind one force.


Check out TUP for a post on Rich Harden and a recap of last night's Sox win.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Top Ten Reason the Cubs Won’t Make the Playoffs

As a Cubs fan this pains me to write, but with two teams only 3.5 games back heading into play Monday night, it seems reasonable the Cubs could end up on the outside looking in come October. These are the Top Ten Reason the Cubs Won’t Make the Playoffs

10. Not enough prospects to swing major deal

The reason the Cubs could not get C.C. is because they did not have the prospects. The Cubs seem to draft athletes that have the potential to be good MLB players but not power hitting monsters (like LaPorta) that teams are seeking. Harden’s name has been tossed around as a guy the Cubs are interested in and Hendry and Beane do have a history of trading together, but if last years Haren trade shows anything, Beane will demand only the best package of prospects, which the Cubs may not have. Looks like Randy Wolfe is their man. Goo…

9. Wear on rookies

The MLB season is longer than anything Fukudome or Soto have faced. The two rookies are very important to the Cubs lineup and if either of them goes down there will be tremendous affects on the Cubs’ run output. Fukudome’s calf strain has shown he is vulnerable to the wear and tear of the season. If the season grinds on one or both, it could cause major problems down the road.

8. St. Louis Cardinals

I don’t get the Cardinals. They are in the middle of the NL in runs and runs allowed, but keep on winning. There must be something to this batting the pitcher eighth thing. Unless their starting staff keeps on setting career bests, the Cardinals should fade, but as long as Pujos can knock in 27 in any given game, the Cards are still very real.

7. Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee’s offense started slow but has scored more runs as Braun has caught fire. What is frightening is that the offense could get even better if Fielder starts hitting anything like he did last year. With the addition of #1 on the list, The Brewers rotation has just become scary good.

6. Bullpen

If Marmol does not get right, the Cubs bullpen becomes very mediocre, fast. Wood has been lights-out until Saturday, but besides him it is day to day with the ‘pen.

5. The unexpected

Basically, something goes wrong. Z and Dempster go down with season ending shoulder surgery. The Cubs fall to second in the division and a team in the East catches fire to take over the Wild Card. Something, anything that is not supposed to happen does.

4. Schedule

MIL 10

The Cubs still play the Brewers and Cardinals a combined 19 times, which means anything can happen. Plus they play the first or second best team in the East or West 14 more times, making their schedule much harder in the second half.

3. Starting Pitching

Z, Dempster and Lilly have become a solid base in the rotation. But after that it becomes rather shaky. Currently its Marquis and Marshall, but neither has been good enough to rely on during a playoff run. If the Cubs don’t trade for another SP, this could end up being the downfall of the North Side.

2. Injuries

Mark DeRosa has played five positions this year and not because of luxury. Fukudome, Edmonds, Theriot, Johnson, Soriano, Zambrano, Fox, Eyre, Ward, etc have all played with injuries or have been placed on the DL. As the Cubs have shown the last few weeks they are vulnerable without a full and healthy roster.

1. C.C. Sabathia


After winning the Cy Young last year, C.C. started 2008 poorly. However, after his fifth start he has become the dominating pitcher he was last year. With C.C. in the rotation, him and Sheets are now possibly the best 1-2 in all the land.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Top Ten guys I wouldn’t compete against in a five-dog showdown

I will attempt to set the stage for some odd child’s life-long dream. July 4. Noon Eastern. Coney Island, New York. On the “sports” biggest stage. For those still clueless, I am located in the heart of the Major League Eating’s main event; the 2008 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Is this my dream? Absolutely not. I weigh 165 pounds in a Kansas St. basketball program and had to run home from my buddies’ barbecue because my stomach hurt later that day when I ate two franks. Needless to say, if this were my dream, these are ten Chicago athletes I would not have wanted to compete against.

10. Mike Ditka

Courtesy of: http://thebenchwarmer.wordpress.com/

The only guy on this list who would actually yell at you if you weren’t beating him. I’d forfeit for sure. I don’t some guy in “Kicking and Screaming” telling me how to compete.

9. Kyle Orton

Courtesy of: http://journals.aol.com/dcsportsguy/mrirrelevant/entries/2005/12/06/beards-united-kyle-orton-meets-whiskers-kent/2300

Oh god, this is an easy one. All somebody would have to do if they wanted Kyle to win a food-eating contest is to give him his daily regimen of Jack, wait for him to get the munchies and watch him devour his plate of dogs. He could do 20, easy.

8. Juan Uribe

Courtesy of: http://www.weblo.com/domain/available/sunwheels.com/

He has a little bit of unsuspecting girth for a middle-infielder. He has baby fat and he is in his 30’s. It doesn’t help that the dugouts and clubhouses have all that food and he won’t be playing regularly everyday anytime soon. Some may have a problem with that, but not Juan.

7. Robbie Gould

Courtesy of: http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/617662.php

Didn’t expect to see a skinny guy on the list? While doing comparisons of Kobayashi to the rest of the Second City athletes, RG was the closest (other than Alexei Ramirez.) Therefore he has to have some chance.

6. Daryl Ward

Courtesy of: http://www.daylife.com/photo/087tduX0dO38i

He has the build of a first-baseman from the 80’s. He is the only guy in baseball who can run around the bases 15 times and not burn enough calories to cancel out his brunch.

5. Michael Sweetney

Courtesy of: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3712/

People like to associate fat people as those who can eat a lot. Mike Sweetney fits right into that stereotype. When he used to play the obese population must have been jealous that one of their own kind got into the league. Honestly, what did he bring to the table for the Bulls... Other than a fork and a knife?

4. Keith Traylor

Courtesy of: http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=336661&text=Keith+Traylor

Insert fumble return joke here. Ok I’ll take a stab. In the time it took him to run that ball from mid-field he probably could have eaten a hot dog for every yard he ran, and that includes his walk to the sideline.

3. Bo Jackson

Courtesy of: http://www.mentalfloss.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/bo-kitchen.jpg

Bo knows baseball. Bo knows football. Bo knows eating. Jackson is unbelievably fit and would actually call him a front-runner if there were an “All-Chicago Eat-off.” He is a cook, so that has to count for something.

2. Eddy Curry

Courtesy of: http://joshdrimmer.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_archive.html

I've had two friends run into Eddy Curry at different times while he was a member of the Bulls. Both times he made a negative comment about Chris Duhon while eating at a McDonalds. If two of my friends saw him at McDonalds in the only two “I ran into Eddy Curry” stories I know, then how often was he there?

1. William “The Fridge” Perry

Courtesy of: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2054356

He really did try to compete in some eating competition and I do not know how he fared, but the nickname “The Fridge” didn’t come from his ability to eat carrots and celery.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Top Ten Comebacks From Cancer

It's a rare occasion when we have the opportunity to some good in life and today I truly hope to do just that.

Someone very close to me is currently undergoing the fight of his life after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Just recently, on his 18th birthday, Joey Keyser underwent brain surgery to have a tumor removed. Twelve grueling hours later, Joey pulled through and defied the worst of odds.

I wish I could say that Joey was alone in this fight. Even more so I wish I could tell you that he can go back to living the kind of life we were fortunate to have at his age.

Sadly I cannot do either of those things.

Chances are you have known someone that has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and it's up to all of us to do our part to help eradicate a disease that affects so many worldwide.

If you'd like to help Joey in his fight against cancer, please visit The Joey Keyser Foundation for information on how to do so.

But in his honor, today we'll be honoring the Top Ten Comebacks From Cancer by professional athletes:


If you've heard of Dave Dravecky, it's probably been a long time since he's entered your conscience. Making his mark as a pitcher for the San Diego Padres, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants in 1987 and promptly helped them reach the playoffs. The following season, Dravecky was diagnosed with a desmoid tumor in his pitching arm. After having it removed, along with half of his deltoid muscle, he returned in August of 1999 and earned a win in his first start. But in the sixth inning of his second appearance, Dravecky's humerous bone snapped and ended his career. The Giants won the World Series that season and even though Dravecky wasn't on the mound, I can guarantee his comeback from cancer was a big reason why.


On March 28 of this year, Davis, a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. On April 10 he underwent surgery to have the thyroid removed and after weeks of therapy, doctors announced on May 9 he was cancer free.
Davis returned to the mound against the Atlanta Braves on May 23, going seven innings while striking out five and gave up a single run with his father in attendance.
Davis' story is rare in that he was able to defeat cancer so quickly, but it doesn't diminish the fight he went through to return to the game he loves.


While playing at Boise State University in 2007, Coby Karl was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma, a form of treatable cancer. Just as Davis did, Karl had his thyroid removed and underwent chemotherapy in an attempt to kill the remaining cancer cells in his body.
Karl underwent a second surgery 13 months later and made a full recovery. He went undrafted and ended up playing the NBADL until eventually earning a spot on the Los Angeles Lakers playoff roster this year.
As fate would have it, the Lakers faced the Denver Nuggets, who were coached by his father, George Karl. They became the first father and son to ever oppose each other in the NBA Playoffs.


Torre was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 as he was piloting the New York Yankees to a World Series victory. After having it removed, Torre made a full comeback to once again lead the Yankees to another World Series crown in 2000.
Since then, Torre has made it his personal mission to educate men worldwide about the dangers of prostate cancer. He has spoken before Congress about the issue and remains a strong presence in the effort to fight cancer.


Bidwell missed his entire rookie season in 1999 after being diagnosed with testicular cancer and was told by team doctors he would never play again. After going through major surgery that included the removal of over 45 lymph nodes, Bidwell had to then endure over three months of chemotherapy.
A year later and Bidwell found a home punting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and remains with the team today.


Shortly after Lofton and his Tennessee Volunteers lost to Ohio State in the Sweet 16 of the 2006-07 NCAA Tournament, doctors discovered he had testicular answer after he failed a drug test earlier in the tournament. Shortly thereafter, Lofton would have to endure surgery, chemotherapy and the kind of emotional distress few ever experience. He kept it a secret from everyone on his team except for his coach, Bruce Pearl, never wanting it to become a distraction.
In an interview with ESPN, Pearl summed up what Lofton's fight and determination meant to the school:
"But what I also can tell you is this: That jersey, No. 5, is going to be hanging in the rafters in Thompson-Boling Arena, joining Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King and Dale Ellis or Allan Houston to follow. No. 5 is going to be there. Chris Lofton leaves his mark in such a way as a Volunteer to have overcome this, to have not hidden and to have not allowed it to beat him."


One of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of skates, Lemeiux was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in January, 1993. At the time, Lemeiux was on pace to challenge Wayne Gretzky's all time record for single goals in a season (92) until he made the shocking announcement about his disease.
He was forced to go through two months of radiation treatments in an effort to rid his body of the cancer. The day of his last treatment, Lemeiux didn't hesitate to insert himself back into the Penguins starting lineup and even managed to score a goal in his very first game back.


In 2002, Edna Campbell became the first player in the WNBA to be diagnosed with breast cancer, a distinction I'm sure she would have much rather done without. She missed the majority of the 2002 season while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Campbell fought her way back and actually made an appearance in the last game of the Sacramento Monarchs season. Soon after, she dedicated her life to becoming one of the nation's most visible advocates for breast cancer awareness.


In 2006, Jon Lester was scratched from a start due to a sore back and was later placed on the disabled list as doctors tried to diagnose the issue. Eventually they determined he had anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a treatable form of cancer.
Like everyone else on this list, Lester had to endure a multitude of treatments including radiation and chemotherapy until doctors saw no signs of the disease in December of that year.
In 2007, Lester returned to the Boston Red Sox rotation and pitched the deciding game in the World Series, giving the city of Boston another title.
His greatest personal achievement would come this year, when on May 19 he threw a no-hitter - the 18th in Red Sox history - against the Kansas City Royals.


There is no other athlete that is as identifiable with overcoming cancer than Lance Armstrong. His story is well documented and literally comes off as a perfect story destined to become a movie someday.
In 1996, doctors discovered Lance had testicular cancer and that it had spread to his lungs and his brain. He literally had about a fifty-fifty chance at surviving and with the advice of doctors, pursued an aggressive chemotherapy treatment that miraculously enabled him to beat his cancer and return to racing.
Lance went on to win SEVEN consecutive Tour de France titles, a feat that no man, healthy or not, had ever accomplished.
He has since established the Lance Armstrong Foundation and with the help of Nike, created the yellow Livestrong wristband in an effort to raise money. With 60 million of them sold worldwide, the Lance Armstrong Foundation is now at the forefront of leading the charge against cancer.

We salute anyone that has been able to defeat cancer and offer our deepest condolences to those who have not. This list was not meant to make any one person's fight seem more important than any other, rather it was meant to simply inspire. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top ten players that need to stay healthy for the Bears to compete in the NFC

10. Chris Williams

The Bears first round pick is supposed to provide a quick fix for an offensive line that was one of the NFL’s worst last season. Williams will be expected to play right away and there isn’t much depth behind him.

9. Marty Booker

Booker is the only experienced receiver the Bears have on their roster. While Greg Olsen, Mark Bradley, and Devin Hester will provide big plays, the Bears need Booker to keep the chains moving.

8. Rex Grossman

No matter what else happens this year, hopefully we finally see what the Bears have in Grossman. His career has been filled with nearly as many highs as lows, and, even as he enters his sixth season, the Bears still don’t know if he can be a starting quarterback.

7. Dusty Dvoracek

Dusty drew rave reviews last offseason, but fell to injury for the second year in a row. He brings a nastiness that was missing from the Bears D last season, and should be the perfect compliment to Tommie Harris.

6. Nathan Vasher

Vasher missed virtually all of last season, and it’s no coincidence the Bears D struggled in his absence. If he and Charles Tillman can stay healthy, the Bears have one of the NFLs top cornerback tandems.

5. Matt Forte

With the Bears not planning on signing a veteran runner, Forte will have to do the heavy lifting all season long. If Forte goes down early, the Bears will be in for a long year.

4. Mike Brown

It’s a shame Brown is always hurt: the Bears are noticeably better with him on the field. Since the other starting safety will be inexperienced (Kevin Payne? Craig Steltz?), the Bears will need Brown’s leadership on the field all season long.

3. Tommie Harris

With a new contract in hand, Harris should be poised for his best season as a pro. He’s had durability concerns his entire career, but after seeing him get seven sacks on one leg last season, Harris could be ready to set the NFL on fire if healthy.

2. Devin Hester

Ugh. Let’s not even think about Devin Hester getting hurt. Forget I mentioned it.

1. Brian Urlacher

Not only does Urlacher need to stay healthy, but he needs to be special again if the Bears have any hopes of returning to the Super Bowl. Injuries and age have started to pile up on Urlacher, but one more monster season could make the Bears relevant again.