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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top ten Bears that need not return in 2009

10. Patrick Mannelly

Ha, just kidding. Who doesn't love the proprietor of the Web's best long snapping site? Do you think P-Man designed that snazzy intro himself?

9. Jason McKie

Is it possible that McKie is kind of like Milton from Office Space? There is no reason the Bears should actually have been paying him the last five years. Must be some kind of glitch in the system. For their next fullback, I suggest Jerry Angelo targets a guy with a more thorough Wikipedia page.

8. Nathan Vasher

Maybe it's not all Nate Dogg's fault he can't stay on the field. When he plays, he's pretty good. But the Bears need some cap space to find help on offense, and Vasher hasn't earned the five year, $28 million extension he signed a couple years ago. That's the kind of thing that happens when you miss 19 games the last two seasons.

7. Kevin Jones

Sort of like how the Sox should just stay away from any Royals relievers, I think it'd be a good idea if the Bears to steer clear of anyone drafted by Matt Millen.

6. Mark Anderson

Since Week Five of 2007, Anderson has just two sacks. And to think, this guy was handed a starting spot over the great Alex Brown.

5. Marty Booker

As long as Jerry Angelo is bringing back receivers from my youth, why not give Marcus Robinson another go around? I guarantee he'd fare better than Booker did this year, and, who knows, at this point he might finally be healthy. Or not. Either way he's way cooler than f'n Marty Booker.

4. Rex Grossman

We know this much: even though he no longer plays, Rex is still the suckiest suck that ever sucked. Whatever the opposite of intangibles is, that's what Grossman brings to the Bears every day, in meetings, practices, and on game days. He's like the anti-Derek Jeter (though only slightly worse defensively). Just getting rid of Rex will be like a huge weight lifted off everyone's shoulders. Plus, I kind of like the fact that his replacement waiting in the wings, Caleb Hanie, seems to be the complete ethical opposite of Grossman and Orton. Less throwgasms, more Hail Mary's.

3. Mike Brown

I appreciate what Brown has done in Chicago as much as anyone, but, really, he should have been sent packing three years ago. Lost in all the injury hubbub is the fact that Brown's play clearly declined this year as well. I'm not sure if Craig Steltz is the answer, but I know Brown isn't. Would anyone else like a little Taylor Mays in their life next season? Phil, I'm looking at you.

2. Rashied Davis

Rashied Davis couldn't catch a cold, which is rather unfortunate because if he only had the flu, I doubt Lovie Smith would continue to put him on the field, which, in turn, would mean less dropped passes for Kyle Orton. It's science.

1. Bob Babich

Terrible game planning + lack of halftime/mid-season adjustments + limited Wikipedia page = FAIL.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Ten Chicago sports New Year resolutions

As the year ends many of us are trying to decide what our New Year resolutions will be. I did some research (take note Woody Paige) and found the worlds top ten New Year resolutions according to goalsguy.com. Each is a solid resolution and, most importantly, should also help some of our Chicago sports stars, GMs and coaches in 2009. Editors warning: there may be a lot of Bob Babich hate.

10. Get Organized

Jerry Angelo, you have a lot of work to do this off-season. You need to decide on your coaching staff (Bob Babich). You need to either draft or trade for a stud wide receiver. You need to sure up your offensive line and decide who on your roster is dispensable. Get your crap together. This off-season will decide the Bears future for the next five years. Figure it out.

9. Volunteer and Help Others

I think this is mandatory for Cedric Benson.

8. Learn Something New

This applies to Bob Babich and Ron Turner. Babich believes in the cover two. Now that is fine in you have the talent and personnel. However, the Bears showed every week that they did not. Unfortunately, Babich did not change his play calls or try to make any sort of real personnel adjustment. Something needs to change.

There really never seemed to be any kind of “whoa, what was that”-type play all season with Turner as the play caller. It was all pretty straight forward. A lot of it has to do with the lack of a playmaker at the wide out position, but a lot has to do with Turner’s rather safe play calling. Open it up a little, find a wide out this off-season and become a decent offense.

6. Quit Smoking

Can this be directed at anyone other than Joakim Noah? Didn’t think so. Hey, Joakim, stop getting high. After years of personal research I have determined that getting high leads to two things; binge eating and staring at things. Unless Noah has some magical reaction to weed that makes him do things like workout and practice low post moves then, Joakim, by all means keep ripping that bong. But if it has the same affect as it does to anyone I know, then lay off the pipe and start actually working towards being a relatively decent NBA center. I mean Aaron Gray is outplaying you. AARON GRAY!?!?!?!?

5. Find My Soul Mate

Kyle Orton has shown he is a decent quarterback considering the tools he has around him. The Bears offense might seriously be a high quality receiver away from being better than average. The Bears front office needs to find Orton’s receiving soul mate this off-season. I mean Forte cannot be their leading receiver again, ever. That’s just sad.

4. Enjoy More Quality Time with Family & Friends

This one is for Bob Babich. He needs to go and the Bears need to allow him to follow this resolution. Let him go, let him enjoy his family more. He wants it. He just won’t say it. Do it for him. He needs your help. Seriously, fire the crap out of him.

3. Debt Reduction

I think this resolution should be designated for the Tribune Co. Good luck with the bankruptcy and stuff.

2. Stick to a Budget

Now bear with me. I am a fan first, thus I think all teams should just spend whatever it takes to win. However, now that we have come into hard times I feel teams need to spend less and watch their budgets to at least make some money. The Bears have followed this recipe for years, while the White Sox are now just heeding this advice as they have dumped about a third of their roster this off-season. Now these teams may not make the playoffs next year, but at least they will make some money. And we all know that is what sports is all about.

Cubs: ignore this resolution.

1. Lose Weight and Get in Better Physical Shape

This firmly applies to Bobby Jenks. Jenks has gotten bigger each year here in Chicago and inversely his fastball has lost some pop. Plus, he has been more prone to injury. He claims he is just trying to “pitch” instead of “throw” and believes he can get it up to 100 MPH whenever he wants. I, however, call BS. Lose some weight you fat tub. That goes for you as well Charlie Weis.

On the flip side, Alexei Ramirez needs to gain weight. He looks like a malnourished African you see on late night TV. Serious, Alexei, eat a sandwich.

What other resolutions should Chicago sports figures adopt in 2009?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top Ten things the Bears should do this offseason

On one hand, I’m glad the Bears choked against the Texans and didn’t make the playoffs. For one, they would have taken a beatdown next week in Minnesota anyway. And more importantly, winning 10 games and making the playoffs may have given the organization and coaching staff a false sense of security, thinking that they are close to getting back to their 2006 Super Bowl form when they really are light years away.

Even though the Bears probably overachieved after most people pegged them for around six wins at the start of the season, let’s be honest: the immediate future doesn’t look very good. This is a team that will go into the offseason with far more questions than answers.

Everyone wants a massive overhaul, but like it or not, this is pretty much the same team that will be coming back next year, with the exception of hopefully two major acquisitions on offense (read below), and whomever they take in the draft.

Here are ten things the Bears should do this offseason if they want to have any shot of competing in the NFC North next year.

10. Re-sign Mike Brown to a one-year deal
How bad was Danieal Manning yesterday? Manning’s performance should have Jerry Angelo on Brown’s front doorstep as soon as the NFL free agency period starts on February 28. Welcoming Brown back for a 10th season is a worthwhile risk, especially when you consider that the options in-house to replace him are Manning and Craig Steltz. The market for Brown will be small, if there is one at all, and they could offer him the veteran’s minimum or load up another deal with incentives.

9. Move Brian Urlacher to strong-side linebacker
The Bears are stuck with Urlacher and the ridiculous new contract extension that he demanded and got right before training camp. It’s time to finally take Urlacher out from the middle and move him to the strong-side to take better advantage of his speed and give him more opportunities to blitz off the edge. Keep Lance Briggs at the weak-side spot, and either try Jamar Williams or Nick Roach at middle linebacker. Drafting a middle linebacker in the third round or so wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

8. Give Chris Williams every chance to earn the starting spot at left tackle
John St. Clair filled in admirably this season, but assuming Williams reports to training camp healthy, he should be the starting left tackle on opening day. That would leave St. Clair as a backup at either tackle or guard spot, where he is best suited.

7. Make Danieal Manning the full-time kick and punt returner
Let Devin Hester concentrate solely on turning into one of the better number two receivers in the league, which I think he can become. In just a handful of games, Manning showed he can be one of the league’s better returners. Like I’ve been saying the past couple weeks, Manning is the best athlete on the team, but he’s clueless on defense, so why not utilize his athleticism as much as possible? This decision should really be a no-brainer.

6. Draft a defensive end or safety with your first-round pick
Choosing a wide receiver in the first round is too risky because there isn’t much depth in this class, and the top guys should all be gone by the time the Bears pick. Someone like LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson, South Florida defensive end George Selvie or USC safety Taylor Mays would be great. With their second-round pick, then the Bears should look for a wide receiver.

5. Try to trade Rashied Davis, Mark Anderson, and Dusty Dvoracek
The Bears have a lot of depth on their defensive line, so losing either Anderson or Dvoracek wouldn’t have a major impact. Davis is an obvious candidate to go with all his dropped passes. Each has some trade value, because they all are relatively young and each has had his moments in the league. Bring back Brandon Lloyd, who was great before he got injured in week 5, and let Marcus Harrison start next to Tommie Harris. Maybe you can get a backup running back to Matt Forte or an adequate offensive guard in return.

4. Sign or trade for an elite wide receiver
If one of the following players isn’t in a Bears uniform next season, I will be pissed; Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Plaxico Buress, Braylon Edwards or Chad Johnson. I would gladly give up a first-round pick for any one of these five guys (Houshmandzadeh is the only one who is a free-agent). The Bears current group of receivers is a joke. Up until Hester’s catch at the one-yard line yesterday, the Bears had gone all season without a pass completion over 30 yards, an amazing stat when you think about it.

3. Fire Bob Babich
Only the Ravens have invested more money in their defense than the Bears, yet the Bears only ranked in the middle of the pack in total defense. You could use injuries to key players as an excuse last season, but what was the excuse this season? Babich has failed to make adjustments all year. Guys always seem to be out of position, and that’s attributable to coaching. Someone needs to take the fall for how bad the defense has been the last two years. I’m just worried Lovie doesn’t have it in him to fire his friend.

2. Fire Ron Turner

I know Turner hasn’t had a lot to work with on offense, but his play-calling in key situations this season cost the Bears. There were several games where the Bears failed to establish an identity on offense. Sure, it’s hard when you have a mediocre quarterback, no wide receivers, and a shaky offensive line, but too often Turner didn’t put the ball in the hands of his best players, Forte and Greg Olsen, when the circumstances called for it.

1. Do whatever it takes to trade for or sign Donovan McNabb (but don’t go for Matt Cassel)
This won’t be easy by any means. Considering McNabb’s popularity in Philadelphia, and the fact that Kevin Kolb is completely unproven, I have a hard time seeing the Eagles trading or releasing him since he’s still under contract with them. However, McNabb represents a serious upgrade over Kyle Orton, who failed to throw one good deep ball all season. Even though McNabb is 32 and not the player he once was, the Bears instantly become a better football team with him under center, and anyone who doesn’t agree with that assessment is totally clueless.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Top Ten Chicago sports stories of 2008

With 2008 coming to a close, everyone can agree it has been a pretty wild year for Chicago’s sports teams.

The Cubs and White Sox both gave us thrills for six months before disappointing in the playoffs, the Bears were a pleasant surprise, the Bulls were an unpleasant surprise and the Blackhawks finally appear to have turned the corner.

It was a mixed bag for the local college teams, with Northwestern football and Notre Dame basketball turning heads and Notre Dame/Illinois football making people puke. So, without further ado, here are the ten biggest sports stories from Chicago in 2008.

10. Bulls hire Vinny Del Negro
Mike D’Antoni was the Bulls first choice, but much to a lot of people’s chagrin, a deal never got done and he ended up with the Knicks. Then it appeared Doug Collins would return to coach the Bulls 20 years after he was fired. When Collins suddenly backed out, John Paxson made the surprising hire of Del Negro, who had no coaching experience and spent the previous year as an assistant to Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr.

9. Emergence of guys like Floyd, Danks, Alexei, Dempster, and Soto Each of these guys played a major role in helping both Chicago baseball teams make the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 1906. Soto won NL Rookie of the Year, while Alexei finished second in the AL. Dempster was an All-Star, and Floyd and Danks combined for 29 wins and a 3.58 E.R.A., despite all three pitchers being question marks heading into spring training.

8. Bears draft Matt Forte In a great year for rookie running backs in the NFL, Forte has arguably been the most complete back, rushing for almost 1200 yards, leading the team with sixty receptions and leading all rookies with a combined 12 touchdowns. After wasting so many high draft picks on running backs who didn’t pan out (Cedric Benson, Curtis Enis, Rashaan Salaam), the Bears have finally found a long-term answer at the position.

7. Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter In front of a pro-Cubs crowd at Miller Park, where the make-up game was played due to Hurricane Ike sweeping through Houston, Zambrano threw the Cubs’ first no-hitter in 36 years. Zambrano, pitching for the first time in two weeks after returning from a sore rotator cuff, came one walk short of a perfect game.

6. Chicago announced as one of four finalists for 2016 Summer Olympics The final decision will come in October of 2009. Tokyo and Madrid remain the two favorites however. Chicago has come up with a tentative $1.15 billion guarantee against operations, including $500 million from the city, $500 million in projected operating surplus and a $150 million pledge from the state, which has yet to be approved.

5. Charlie Weis’ struggles After back to back poor seasons, Weis was seriously on the hot seat, with about a 50/50 chance on returning to coach Notre Dame next fall. Weis has pulled in three straight top ten national recruiting classes, but his four year record of 30-21 just doesn’t cut it. Plus, that record is inflated by 10 wins in each of his first two seasons, when he won with former coach Tyrone Willingham’s recruits.

4. Blackhawks rise to prominence Credit owner Rocky Wirtz and president John McDonough for bringing the franchise back to the heights where it once resided. The Hawks have a pair of young stars in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, proven players in Patrick Sharp, Brian Campbell, and Martin Havlat, and the franchise appears to be in great shape for the long-term future. Currently, the Blackhawks are #1 in the NHL in home attendance (ticket sales are up 300%), and people in Chicago are getting excited about hockey for the first time in a long while.

3. The Sox push to the playoffs It all came down to games 161, 162, and 163 in the Sox exciting and surprising season. Needing to beat the Indians, Tigers, and then Twins in a one-game playoff, the Sox did just that. Alexei’s grand slam against the Tigers and Danks’s masterpiece versus the Twins carried the overachieving Sox to the playoffs, where they were overmatched against Tampa Bay.

2. Bulls win the lottery and take Derrick Rose Despite finishing with only the league’s ninth worst record, the Bulls finally had something to smile about after a miserable 2007-2008 season. With only a 1.7 percent chance to win the lottery, the ping-pong balls somehow bounced the Bulls way. While some people called for Michael Beasley, drafting Rose was really a no-brainer. Not even Paxson could have messed this one up.

1. Cubs win 97 games but get swept out of playoffs For the second straight year, the Cubs were swept in the NLDS, this time by a Dodgers team that was under .500 for a good portion of the year. Whether it was Dempster’s wildness in game one, untimely errors in game 2, or the series long choke job from both Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs’ wait for a World Series now stretches to 101 years and counting.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top ten Bears moments in 2008

So, somehow, the Bears season isn't over quite yet. I don't believe what I saw Monday night quite yet, either. While a Giants win over the Vikes next week is unlikely - hell, maybe so is a Bears win over the 'surging' Texans - at least there is still hope. But here at TTCS, we like to jump the gun a bit. So here are ten moments from this Bears season that will stay with us.

10. The coin flip

Lovie Smith and Ron Turner may be the only two humans in the country that needed to rely on a coin flip to determine that Rex Grossman should not touch the football.

9. Peanut's penalty

During Week Three, the Bears seemed to have stopped the Bucs deep in their own territory until Peanut Tillman bailed out Tampa with a personal foul. It led to a free first down and eventually the game-winning field goal.

8. Orton's comeback in Atlanta

It's hard to remember now, but Kyle Orton looked to have created his own little place in Bears lore against the Falcons during Week Six. Orton engineered an 11 play, 77-yard touchdown drive in 2:33 to give the Bears a lead against Atlanta. Too bad it couldn't hold...

7. Packers lay the smackdown in Lambeau

Possibly the defining game of the season for the Bears. They were riding high after wins against Minnesota and Detroit, and a narrow loss to the undefeated Titans without their starting quarterback. Orton returned, but was as ineffective as the rest of the team. The resulting blowout was really the first sign that maybe these Bears weren't anything to write home about.

6. Orton injury

Whoever thought an injury to Orton would be so damaging? The Bears quarterback hasn't been the same since he injured his ankle late in the first half against the Lions.

5. Goal line stuff against the Eagles

A quick recap:

They had second down at the 1 when Tony Hunt got tackled for no gain by Kevin Payne and Mike Brown. A leaping Buckhalter, filling in for injured Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook, then got stopped a few inches short by Adewale Ogunleye on third down. Alex Brown wouldn’t let him go over the top on the next play, dragging him down before he went to the air.

4. Resilient on Monday night

It wasn't pretty, but the Bears' Week 16 Monday night home win over the Packers was absolutely necessary. Next week, we'll see if this frustrating season ends in a playoff birth.

3. Matt Forte's coming out party

Most expected the Bears to get crushed Week One when they headed to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in the opener at their new stadium. But the Bears rookie runner stole the show on national TV, busting a 50-yard touchdown run and finishing the day with 123 yards on the ground.

2. 99-yard bomb to Berrian

Shades of Brett Favre-to-Robert Brooks? I think so. This time, however, the effect was even more damaging. The Bears stood a chance after their old friend caught a bomb from Gus Frerrotte. The division may have well been decided right there.

1. Squib kick in Atlanta

It's all Jerious Norwood's fault. Had the Falcons returner not busted a long kick off return in his previous attempt, it's a good bet Lovie Smith never goes for a squib. Because of it, a certain win in Atlanta turned into a devastating loss, and it may have cost the Bears a trip to the playoffs.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top Ten notes/moments from Bears vs. Packers game

Holy hell. This game was unreal. The Bears were outplayed by the Packers for most of the game, out gained 325 to 210 and still were able to pull through. This was the first game I took notes on every play and I am glad I did. Because this game was literally the end all be all for the Bears and went to overtime, I added an extra five notes/moments to today’s Top Ten list, making it TTCS first Top Fifteen list… kind of.

10. Soft pass D


The Bears were once again vulnerable in the pass game. Aaron Rodgers threw for 260 yards and two TDs. It seems that Babich has not made the proper adjustments and any QB will pick apart the Bears secondary. On a positive note, Corey Graham didn’t suck. In fact, he broke up two deep passes.

9. Squib kick/pooch kick mess

I still do not get this move, especially after the mess it caused in the Falcons game. I know the wind was bad, but the only two times the Bears played it cute on the kickoff, it led to amazing field position for the Packers. One led to a touchdown when an up-man took the squib kick to the forty and the other should have led to the Packers game winning field goal…. Lovie definitely owes Alex Brown a Christmas bonus.

8. Blitz was affective

Recently the Bears have been criticized for blitzing without results. Tonight was different. Even thought the Bears did not sack Rodgers, they still provided pressure on him and the Pack’s running backs that led to incompletion and losses in the run game. I was happy to see the Bears D actually supply the heat necessary to defend their defensive strategy.

7. Good run D

Just as the Bears can’t stop the pass, they continued to show they are solid against the run. The Pack only rushed for 65 yards, averaging 2.2-yards per carry. This also forced Green Bay into the Bears biggest weakness – their pass defense. I love that the Bears make teams one-dimensional on offense, but if they literally cannot stop that dimension, then what is the point?

6. The Mike Brown story


So Brown is hurt again. Surprised? Me either. It is true that Brown is a step slower this year, but he still can lay out a receiver or tailback better than anyone in the NFL, just ask Ryan Grant. Unfortunately, Brown’s backup is Craig Steltz. Now, the former LSU safety may develop into a quality player, but right now he is over his head physically, as we found out when he was run over by Grant leading to Green Bay’s second TD. I hope for the Bears secondary that Brown will be fine for next week.

5. Bears O-line was brutal


As usual the Bear line was overwhelmed. Some of this had to do with the Packers secondary giving the front four time to rush Orton, but a lot of it had to do with poor blocking by the line. Orton had no time in the pocket and it resulted in three sacks and some poor passes by the Bears QB. Furthermore, until the fourth quarter and in overtime the line could not give the Bears running backs any holes to run through. I think this upsets me the most when I watch the Bears. Just do your effing job.

4. Maynard is the man


In terrible conditions, Maynard was awesome. He put three kicks inside the 20 (one was run into the end zone by a Bear’s player) and averaged over 45-yards a punt. His long was 65-yards. I think Maynard is one of the biggest reasons the Bears are usually in almost every game. He puts teams in bad field position with his kicks and is considered one of the best directional kickers of all time. Brad = the man.

3. Daniel Manning is Greek god; Hester just Greek


Pretty much the only reason the Bears won was because of D-Manning’s kick return and defensive play. His 70-yard kickoff return led to the first Bears touchdown and the pressure he got on Rodgers was almost the only heat the Packer QB felt. His tipped ball even led to Rodgers' only pick.

On the other hand, Hester was ok. In his final return and second longest return of the year (23-yards), Hester finally did not hesitate and look for a hole; instead he hit it hard and just let it happen. I hope he will take that into next week and hopefully break out BIG against the Texans.

2. No pressure without blitz

It was very, very sad to watch as Rodgers had all effing day to throw the ball when the Bears only rushed four. A few times Tommie Harris got into to the backfield, but not nearly enough. Even if the Bears do make the playoffs, they will go nowhere if they cannot get pressure on the QB when they drop into a traditional cover two and rush only four. This is the biggest reason they have struggled this year in the pass game and something needs to change. However, they did show some success with stunts late in the game. Maybe the Bears need to use untraditional moves like that or drop a DE and blitz a LB in order to change it up a bit and confuse the QB.

1. Alex Brown’s white-gloved hand


Brown is probably one of the most versatile DEs in the league. He is good in all aspects of the game and his huge handedness has now become his best trait as he saved the Bears season by blocking Mason Crosby’s 38-yard field goal attempt. PS he also had an interception and two tackles. I think Mark Anderson has officially given up.

Top Five Overtime Moments
5. Urlacher’s helmet saves Bears season
4. Horse collar rule is sweet
3. AJ Hawk falls down and reminds us why OSU is a terrible place
2. Forte holds onto the ball
1. Robbie Gould puts it away

Also, as I have promised here is the best comment making fun of me from my post last week by TTCS’s own Ricky O’Donnell:

The #1 moment of this party will be when Pete shows up. First, there will be a cordial greeting between he and Dubs, everything will be running smooth. But after a few Ginger Ale w/ cherry juice's, Dubs starts to get mouthy, as always, and begins to make fun of Pete for his incredibly lame AIM screen name (peaches054?).

After five minutes of sitting on his anger, Pete tells Dubs he will "straighten his head out", and Dubs, never one to back down from a fight against a guy approximately eleven times his size, agrees. The ensuing one sided slug fest leaves Dubs a bloody mess on the ground, and right before he passes we hear him say, "my....my...my...trust funnnndddddddddd."

/end scene

Thanks, buddy!

Top Ten most loyal Chicago athletes

Well Mass Hysteria took over the site last Friday and in the process, showed all of us Chicago fans up. Boston won, though to nobodies surprise, and they could/should have just skipped the whole "list" process and gone to the main reason; The Celts are significantly better than the Bulls. But they did a fantastic job in the process, so thanks guys.

Anyway onto my list. Every fan loves the loyal athlete, the one who has been around for years and has no desire to leave. Below are a few athletes; some present, many from the past who are always remembered for being there for their team and their fans.

10. Ozzie Guillen
This might come as a shocker to some, but I feel Ozzie acts how he acts and demands the best out of his players because he does not want to disappoint anyone, including his fans. He respects Reinsdorf and his relationship with Kenny Williams is one of the best manager/GMs in baseball.

9. Paul Konerko
While he might be on the way out via trade, Paulie is one of those guys who will live in Sox folklore forever. After an impressive 2005 season, which included a monstrous World Series in a contract year, the Angels were willing to pay roughly another $5-10 million for the same amount of seasons and turned it down to stay on the South side. While he had a disappointing 2008, it is hard to ever get upset with his play.

8. Scottie Pippen
"No tip Pip" was not one more liked guys off the court as the nickname signifies. But after constant feuds with Jerry Krause about contract situations (where he was continuously given the shaft), the last place people thought he would want to finish out his illustrious career would be in Chicago. But after Krause was shown the door Scottie made a return to the Bulls in the 2003-04 season shortly before retiring.

7. Chris Zorich
The Chicago-born Zorich excelled at Vocational on Chicago's South side. He stayed in the area and chose Notre Dame where he was moved to the inside of the line. But it was when he was a member of the Bears that a true sense of loyalty showed. Nobody played harder on the field and off the field he is considered a one of the nicest guys, continuously giving money to those in need.

6. Harold Baines
Baines came back to Chicago on multiple accounts, the city he felt most at home. He was traded in 1989 for Wilson Alverez and Sammy Sosa and had no hard feelings. In exchange the Sox retired his number later in the season. He returned to the Sox in 1996 from Baltimore and again in 2000 from Cleveland. Probably the greatest Baines moment was when he was commemorated with a statue in center field earlier this season, where he broke down in appreciation, feeling that this was comparable to making the Hall of Fame.

5. Walter Payton
Nobody gave it up more on the field than Sweetness. The greatest running back in the history of football spent his entire career as a Bear. His family still raises money for Cancer research. The Soldier Field ceremony after his death in 1999 was one of the most emotional moments in sports history.

4. Ryne Sandberg
One of the greatest second-basemen in history, Ryno was always liked by fans. What makes Sandberg so loyal is that instead of getting a higher coaching position pretty much anywhere else, Sandberg opted to manage Class-A Peoria so he could stay in the organization. While he recently had problems including a brawl this Summer, Sandberg could eventually become manager of the team that gave him the fame.

3. Mike Ditka
Da Coach is maybe the most beloved man in sports in Chicago history. His brash demeanor symbolizes the city. But Iron Mike shows his loyalty every Sunday during the football season, when on Sunday Countdown, he chooses the Bears over whoever the opponent may be. Ditka has been affiliated with multiple fundraisers.

2. Ron Santo
All jokes aside, nobody shows more loyalty to the Cubs than #10. While actually finding out what is occurring in the game might be difficult by color commentary, his pleasure or displeasure towards a particular play typically sum up what is going on. After all, Santo still cries when discussing the fallout of the 1969 season. I have said this before on the site that I have never heard more excitement than Ron explaining the final out of the 2008 NL Central clincher than simply yelling "YES" as loud as he could.

1. Denis Savard
The epitome of loyalty. Dennis Savard is one of the most appreciated Blackhawk of all-time. After playing in Chicago in the 1980's, he returned to the squad in the mid-90's to finish his career as a Hawk after a few seasons in Montreal and Tampa. That alone would have put him on this list. After two rebuilding season in 06-07 and 07-08, he was fired before he got a chance to take this promising team to a playoff spot. But Denis did not seem too upset and gladly took the Blackhawks ambassador position he was given. The fact that he has no hard feelings is probably what made him the most loyal athlete in Chicago history.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Top Ten Reasons the Celtics will beat the Bulls tonight

Edit Note: About a week ago GHABBY over at Mass Hysteria approached me about doing a Top Ten list about the Celts/Bulls game tonight. At first I was hesitant, because he is a horrible person, but eventually I agreed to his request. Here is his best take at a Top Ten list. I am sorry. Do not worry, we got our revenge.

I generally have had little quarrel with the fine city of Chicago over my years. You gave this world Vince Vaughn and Bill Murray, Hugh Hefner and Kanye West, John Cusack and Billy Corgan. Colt Cabana, Matt Classic and Scotty Goldman are my three favorite wrestlers. And seriously guys, we really couldn't thank you enough for that Obama guy. Props on that dude.

But when it comes to sports, general awesomeness, and specifically tonight's epic battle between the Celtics and Bulls, Boston has it all over Chicago. So in the fine tradition of your grand website (and as a cheap plug for mine), I present to you, the Top Ten Reasons the Celtics will beat the Bulls tonight:

10. As revenge for Super Bowl XX
What, you don't think we forgot, did you? How many Super Bowls have you won since the "Shufflin Crew?" Oh, none? That's too bad, really. No, I'm really sorry. I feel just awful. That must be so hard for you. Our football team? Just three Super Bowl rings since then, one perfect season, and five Super Bowl appearances. Oh, and two World Series rings and one NBA Championship too for our other teams. Speaking of, how are those Cubbies doing? Still haven't won? Like at all? Aw, that's a shame, good luck to you guys, really.

9. Kevin Garnett

He strikes fear into the heart of Freddy Krueger. He spooked Saddam Hussein out of his underground lair. He once shot a cursory glance at Ben Bernanke, and the economy has never been the same. He can make Randy Couture tap out by using only mind and two small tendons in his left pinkie. He once pounded his chest and it caused a tidal wave in China. Simply put, Kevin Garnett (the pride of your Farragut Academy) simply wills things to happen, and he has willed the Celtics not to lose, ever this season. The world, frightened by the intensity of this great man, has yet to argue otherwise.

8. Non-regional diction

Our accents, while considered obnoxious by some, at least have some semblance of character. I can tell immediately if someone is from the Cape or the North Shore, from Everett or Melrose, from Southie or Springfield. You, meanwhile, all sound like you're trying out for the Channel 7 newscast.

7. Our Point Guard is better than your Point Guard

Yeah, I said it. For all of your "Derrick Rose for ROY" and "Derrick Rose is the next Chris Paul" talk, right now, your hometown prodigy isn't the player that our fourth-best offensive option is. Eventually, he might (and probably will) be, but for now, I'd take Rondo over Rose. Rajon has been developing like Topanga this season, and has shut down the likes of Deron Williams, Allen Iverson, and Brandon Roy this season. Pardon me if I'm none too worried about a point who just got outplayed by D.J. Augustin .

6. Chicago is where Gators go to die

As often voiced at Mass Hysteria, I love my Florida Gators more than should be legally allowed, to the point where, when asked by my girlfriend if I loved her more than Tim Tebow, I responded "well honey, you don't have a Heisman, now do you?" That said, I can recognize that Chicago is where Gators go to die. Rex Grossman. Joakim Noah. Chris Leak. That Football Coach Who Shall Not Be Named. Please, please don't end up drafting Brandon Spikes or Percy Harvin this year and ruin them too, okay?

5. Drew Gooden's beard

Unholy, unwieldy and unkempt. Nothing that even looks remotely like this should be associated with a victory of any kind.

4. Superior Beer

Boston gave this world Sam Adams beer, and God saw that it was good. And then He gave us Harpoon and Ipswich Ale and Magic Hat and even Woodchuck Cider for those of us sans pancrei who therefore must drink high-alcohol, low carbohydrate beverages to get our drank on. All of which are brewed in the greater New England area, whereas Chicago has…Schlitz? Really? That's it?

3. Kiss the Rings, biotches

Seventeen to six. Did you realize that nearly one out of every four NBA Championships has been won by the Celtics? I sure do! And most of ours came at a time when Men were Men and no one guarded Wilt out of fear of catching VD. Our legendary coach smoked cigars and ate Chinese Food, while yours handed out self-help books and grew out his soul patch. Also, none of our championships involved Dennis Rodman, Will Perdue or Scottie Pippen's nose, which somehow points in all four cardinal directions. Oh, and while you were waiting on bouncing lottery balls last summer, we were winning Yet Another Championship. History, both ancient and recent, is on the C's side.

2. Middle Child Syndrome

I saved #2 for the self-admitted "Second City." It's like your entire city shares a deep-seeded inferiority complex and an unhealthy collective Daddy Issue when compared to New York, something which I as a Bostonian can't possibly fathom. We take great pride in expressing our superiority over NYC at every turn. Our colleges and universities are better. Our food and drink is more tasty. Our politicians are more fantastically corrupt. Our public transportation system is less complicated. We didn't kill all of our homeless people like Giuliani did. In fact, if anyone dare compares us to New Yorkers, be they our men or women, they often walk away with a broken orbital bone. Oh, and our "First" city, um, started America and stuff, so, like, you're welcome.

1. 24-2

Let me repeat that, for it bears repeating. Twenty-four wins, two losses. That's a .923 winning percentage. A 16-game winning streak. A bench deeper than the Mariana Trench. The indomitable will of Paul Pierce. KG. Leon Powe's overwhelming Leon Powe-ness. Ray Allen's silky-smooth jumper. I mean, seriously, you don't really expect to win tonight, do you?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Top Ten Most Despised Green Bay Packers

Bears. Packers.

This Monday night.

What better time to unveil our Top Ten Most Despised Green Bay Packers Players list.

Thought you'd like it.

10. Clarke Hinkle

The arch-nemesis of Bears legend Bronco Nagurski was Packers fullback Clarke Hinkle. Back in 1933, the pair collided and left the crowd silent as they both fell to the ground.

Nagurski was left with a broken nose and completely unconscious.

Nobody makes the Bears bleed their own blood. (Movie? Anyone?)

9. Jim McMahon

How dare you don the green and gold. You are dead in my eyes.

8. Ken Stills

In the same game back in 1985, Packers safety Ken Stills absolutely destroyed Jim McMahon on a block after a Walter Payton fumble and then proceeded to get a personal foul after nearly knocking an already out of bounds Matt Suhey into the stands.

7. Vince Lombardi

Now you can look back fondly upon one of the most revered coaches of all time.

But try to put yourself in the shoes of the casual fan back in the 1960's. Can you imagine the feelings you'd have towards a man that coached the Packers to victories in both Super Bowl I and II?

6. Sterling Sharpe

He was arrogant, overrated and loathed by the Chicago faithful. Sure, he made some tough grabs in his time, but succumbing to turf toe isn't really a testament to your toughness.

Poor big toe.

5. Paul Hornung

'The Golden Boy' was certainly a thorn in the sides of Bears fans during his careers. His career highlights include four league championships, Hall of Fame honors and in 1965, scored a then team-record five touchdowns against he Baltimore Colts.

That record was eclipsed the very same day by a man known simply as the 'Kansas Comet', who scored six. (Gayle Sayers for those of you who didn't know)

4. Brett Favre

Now that he's out of Green Bay, Bears fans can openly speak of the respect they have for one of the game's greatest quarterbacks.

But throughout his 16 years with the Pack, Favre was a constant tormentor of the Bears and flat out owned us.

3. Ray Nitschke

Always complaining about the media making everyone believe that Dick Butkus was a better linebacker than him.

Um, Ray? I'll let you on a little secret.

They're right.

2. Forrest Gregg

The most hated coach in Packers history, by far.

He engineered a Packers defense that was comprised of nothing more than cheap headhunters that didn't give a damn about wins and losses.

He didn't even deserve to step on the same field with a man like Walter Payton. Ditka hated him back from their playing days and not once did Chicago flinch in their outright hatred for this man.

1. Charles Martin

The man who wrote down his personal hit list on a towel he wore during games. Guess who was on it? Just about every Bear that had robbed him of any personal pride or belief that at one time he'd actually amount to something in the NFL.

In one of the most classless and disturbing moments in league history, Martin body slammed Jim McMahon to the ground after the whistle had blown in 1986 and separated the Punky QB's shoulder, ending his season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top 10 New Years Resolutions for Chicago Athletes

Every December, Americans sit back, reflect on the year that was, and promise to make some changes for the 12 months ahead. Some say they’ll quit smoking, others promise more family time, and a few people actually do what they say. Everybody has a New Years Resolution, and here are some suggestions for 10 Chicago sports stars.

10. Bobby Jenks- Eat more fruits and vegetables

One of the most popular resolutions every year for the American public is getting in shape. The 275 lb. (That’s his listed weight) Jenks can agree with that. Hopefully for Sox fans sake, Mrs. Jenks is buying Bobby some Tae Bo DVD’s for Christmas so he can finally trim down a bit.

9. Nathan Vasher- Improve strength and conditioning
On June 29, 2007, the Bears cornerback agreed to a five-year, $28 million contract extension. Since then, he’s missed 18 games due to injury (not counting the final two of this year which he will be out of) and grabbed only two interceptions. Considering Bears fans are tired of watching Corey Grahm getting burned every week, lets hope Vasher can figure out a way to stay healthy in ’09.

8. Alfonso Soriano- Figure out how to catch with your feet on the ground

As a Cub fan, I know what I’m getting out of Soriano at the plate: a lot of home runs, a lot of strikeouts, not too many walks or pitches taken. But could the man please learn how to catch a fly ball like a normal human being? The team is paying him about $18 million a year, and really, it’s not that difficult.

7. Joakim Noah- Learn a post move

Noah has the look of a good NBA power forward. He doesn’t mind contact, he loves to get in the head of opposing players and he never gives up on the play. The only problem is that he appears to have gotten his education at the Shawn Bradley School of Offense. Noah will continue to get (deserved) bench splinters until he expands his scoring abilities.

6. Rex Grossman- Determine what colors the Chicago Bears wear
It doesn’t appear that Rex has a long-term future here in Chicago, but until he departs, this is an important lesson for him. Rex, the Chicago Bears wear navy blue jerseys at home, white ones on the road and orange during the home game before Halloween. These are the players on your team and the ones you should be throwing the ball to. See those 53 men on the other sideline wearing a different color? That’s the other team. Don’t throw to them.

5. Derrek Lee- Make a daily trip to the batting cages
There are certain stats fans expect out of a baseball team’s #3 hitter, such as lots of home runs, a high batting average and a good amount of runs batted in. Grounding into a league-high 27 double plays is not one of those statistics. If DLee, or as some Wrigley faithful call him DP, wants to be a fan favorite for much longer, he is going to have to fix these problems in 2009.

4. Juan Uribe- Discover the exercise bike
Pretty much everybody who like the White Sox doesn’t like Uribe. Maybe it’s because he hit under .255 for the fourth consecutive season or because he is the shape of a bowling ball. But the truth is, at one time, Uribe was a pretty good fielding shortstop. In 2004, he committed only 11 total errors despite playing over 25 games at three different positions. And any Sox fan will quickly remember his ninth inning performance in the WS clincher versus Houston. With the team’s trade of Orlando Cabrera, an in-shape Uribe could play a big role on the 2009 roster.

3. Matt Forte- Hire a better agent (But not Drew Rosenhaus)

Everybody in this city loves the Bears rookie running back, and with good reason. He’s the team’s leading rusher, third-best receiver and the offensive centerpiece for years to come. Yet #22 is not featured on any billboards hanging over the highways, his voice isn’t ever on the radio and outside of his highlights, Forte doesn’t show up on TV. Maybe he is just shy, but if Forte wants some endorsement money, it’s out there for the taking.

2. Andres Nocioni- Get your ass kicked
Remember when Nocioni was the Bulls version of James Posey, the guy who was always mad and just pissed off everybody he guarded? That was, no coincidence, when the team was winning. Now all he does is shoot threes and watch his man run by him on defense. Maybe if somebody roughs him up (I don’t hope for him to get physically hurt, but instead mentally scarred) he’ll go back to his old ways and energize the team again.
1. Devin Hester- Ignore whatever your 2008 resolution was

Two years ago, Hester was the rookie sensation who took the league by storm with his dynamic speed and outstanding vision on kick & punt returns. Last year he added to that legacy and people were saying he was the best return man in football history. This season, he can barely go five yards on a return without turning backwards or cutting to the sideline. It seems like he traded his Usain Bolt-like speed for some Muhsin Muhammad cleats. For everyone’s sake Devin, go back to what you were doing in ’07.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Top Ten TTCS Holiday party moments

Yesterday Barnes mentioned that the city of Chicago deserves “a TTCS-hosted party.” I couldn’t agree more. Not unlike what the Joker said in The Dark Knight, this town deserves a better class of Chicago based blog hosted holiday party... and TTCS’s gonna give it to them. The following will be the best moments from this party.

10. Location, Location, Location


Before we get into the moments, we need a place to party. Since TTCS is all about the class, we will need a place that represents this and the fact we are young, up and coming sports writers. Thinking about it, we are a lot like the Blackhawks. Therefore, we shall hold this wonderful event at the United Center. I got my first taste of the finer dining experience of the Ketel One Club and the lovely bartenders at Bar One a few weeks back. It is the perfect mix of high-end luxury that represents none of us, but is expected of one of the top 100 Chicago lists blogs on the web.

9. Danny invites sister and her friends; professional athletes win

When Danny first told me he had a sister, I was expecting her to be like him – nice, humble, alcohol free and really tall. However, when he told me she was the opposite, liked to booze and had hot friends, I new this could only lead to great thing... not for me, but for the proud sports athletes of Chicago. Now, since TTCS is so well respected, we must assume professional athletes will be there. The combination of sports stars and drunken girls has been the formula for most of America’s greatest “next day stories.” Below is one about Jordan.

I must assume this will continue. Sorry, Danny.

8. Freddy Church’s revenge

I don’t even want to venture a guess at what this will be. Whatever it is, it will be scary and deeply disturbing. I fear for the children.

7. Barnes gets sick, falls asleep, goes home

Phil seems to be sick a lot. I have a feeling that this will happen on the biggest night of the year for TTCS. I picture him drinking a gallon of NyQuil, nodding off after dinner in a booth and then asking his lady to drive him home. This may be a drastic exaggeration, but I feel like Barnes will come down with something at the most inopportune moment for him and TTCS.

6. Ricky passes out; gets messed with

There is a running trend when Ricky passes out around his friends. They either draw on him, shave him or get his things stolen by homeless men. Now that Ricky doesn’t have Sun-times shifts on the weekends, one must assume he will feel free to make it rain at the TTCS holiday part. I see Ricky double fisting bottles of Jack as he drops dollar bills on whatever lady happens to be walking by him, while he dances shirtless on top of the bar a la Kyle Orton. Once the Jack has run its course, he will pass out and then his friends will take over. Razor blades and Sharpe pens will be fast at work turning Ricky into a mustachioed, eyebrowless monstrosity. Also, they will somehow get a man off the street to rob Ricky as he lays passed out in the middle of the Hawks logo at center ice. Happy Holidays, Ricky!

5. Phillips gets Pax’s ear

I am not sure if Phillips will absolutely go off on Pax, try to explain to him who the next sleeper is in next years draft or challenge him to a three-point shooting contest, but I know it will be entertaining. I predict all three. First, he will yell at him for the disaster that have become the Bulls, then he will find some obscure MAC small forward that he is convinced will be the next Leandro Barbosa and finally he will take the former NBA three point stud to the court and start launching threes. Pax will win but not before Phillips builds a house with bricks. Ricky may also join as “all [he] does is launch threes.”

4. Kenny Williams comes dressed as Santa

The last couple months Williams has been in a giving mood. He has pretty much dropped a third of his team for next to nothing. As Christmas draws near, Kenny gets a little more of that spirit and just gives away Jermaine Dye and his pitching staff for Ken Griffey Jr. and the rest of the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

3. P-Kane ends up being the life of the party


The “Chicago’s greatest partier” torch is being passed. Orton has officially become a homebody. He has gotten married like a good QB and has even been the figurehead for a going green campaign. Robbie Gould and Chris Duhon have held the title for a little while, but have lost it in recent months. Well, Chicago, we have a new party legend and he is P-Kane. I have seen him around town a few times now and every time he is drunk out of his mind and with a new girl. He is literally that guy at the bar that makes you lean over to your friend and say, “whoa, that guy is effing drunk” as you spill a drink on yourself. I predict P-Kane will take full advantage of the Ketel One Club bar and end up leaving with a woman twice his age (38).

2. Ced Ben gets zamboni related DUI


A true NFL star does not learn his lesson. He continues to do stupid crap off the field until someone is forced to actually put that person in jail (see Plaxico Burress). I think Ced is ready to make the “Pacman” Jones-type leap into superstardom. The first step will be to get him drunk. Now, I have never intentionally gotten a guy drunk, but I feel like I have had the proper training to get this done. I will start him out slow with a Bud Light, but quickly move him into Jaeger bombs. From there he is a zamboni key set away from making it his third driving inebriated related arrest in under six months. Now Ced will officially be available to do a driversselect.com commercial with Deion Sanders.

1. Olsen gets back at Giangreco


In the first month of TTCS, we had our first radio nod. It was on the Waddle & Silvy show on ESPN1000. Their guest was Mark Giangreco and he completely bashed Olsen’s top ten list that day. When we heard his bashing, we vowed to make him enemy number one. Since that day Olsen has been biding his time, waiting for the right opportunity. The TTCS party is the perfect time for revenge. Olsen will get a hold of Giangreco’s drink. That will be the last time we will see the sports anchor for the night, as he will be spending the rest of the night in the restroom, feeling every little bit of Olsen’s calculated revenge.

Edit note: Since I have no self-awareness I didn’t make fun of myself. I need you, fine commenter, to make fun of me in the comment section. Go at it, be brutal, wreck me. What stupid thing will I do to make the party that much better (or worse). The best comment will be highlighted in my post next week. Do work.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top Ten gifts the city owes its fans

Winter is here and the holidays are coming. With the holidays come gifts. And lets face it Chicago sports fans; we are owed a few things. Below are ten gifts the city owe us fans.

10. Someone who can play in the Bears secondary

While they didn't look too bad, only allowing two Drew Brees touchdowns on Thursday, overall the secondary has been terrible. Mike Brown is horrid and only excels on others mistakes, Nate Vasher can't stay healthy and when he has, has not been worth his fat paycheck. The best guy this season is Kevin Payne, who is good against the run but has D. Manning syndrome (I stole that from Eli who said that earlier this week,) and still looks lost on passing plays.

9. A Cubs lefty hitter
Going into the off season this was supposedly the only hole that the Cubs needed to fill. Nothing has been done and Ibanez, one of their higher targets, has just been signed to a three-year deal.

8. Ced-Ben behind bars

Not everybody might be asking for this but Benson's comments last week regarding Forte's success really got to me. "He is having a great year, but when I see the highlights, I see holes. I see them using him in the slot, something they didn't do with me. If I was there right now with the holes I see, I'd probably have 1,800 yards right now. I definitely would have 1,500 by now. I congratulate him on all of his success. He is taking advantage."
Not only does the "I'd have at least 1,500 yards" frustrate me, but then he has the fortitude to congratulate him on the success "he is taking advantage" of. Really now? Cedric, shut up. Go party with your Mom some more. I'm glad he got maced. If he ever were to go to prison they should stick him in the same cell as Blago and do a reality TV show on it.

7. A Sox leadoff hitter
While I have all the trust in the world in Kenny Williams, Getz as the opening day leadoff man is not cutting it at the moment. All this speculation is driving me nuts. I need some action. Kenny, make something cool happen.

6. A TTCS-hosted Party

Yes, that is right, we owe you readers a party. It would all be planned out. Freddy would bounce. Scott and Zach would be on the entertainment committee; Scott with his standup and Zach with his socializing abilities. Danny would act as the designated driver, willing to take anyone in the city wherever they pleased. He has a GPS so he could get you anywhere you needed to go. Complimentary gifts on him. I'd be there at the beginning but go home early because I would be to tired to continue after hour-1. But Ricky would invite his roommates to insure a head-banging good time. Matt, acting as the fatherly figure, would make sure all is well but everybody is safe.

5. Jake Peavy
I don't know if anybody on this site thinks signing Jake Peavy is actually a good idea. But signing him would end some of this stupid "hot stove" talk that is now just becoming a joke. I have said this before, starting pitching is really the least of their worries.

4. Something to compliment Derrick Rose

The Derrick Rose pick is looking better and better far quicker than anybody assumed. Who would have thought that Mike Beasley would have crapped out already? But needless to say, Rose has nobody else on this team. Gordon has a tenancy to look like a solid number two. But he has just as good of chances of heaving one up for no reason too. Deng=worthless. You know there are problems when Aaron Gray is starting. How about instead of acting like everybody else trying to take a stab at the 2010 season, grab one of these second-tier guys that somebody all of a sudden nobody wants? Though a D-Wade/D-Rose backcourt would be sick, and not as unlikely as some may think.

3. A quarterback
Yes, Orton has served as a serviceable quarterback this season. But the idea of giving him a huge contract is ludicrous. It doesn't make sense that they wanted to make Devin Hester an explosive receiver, (who has lost any ability to return kicks) when they have a QB who underthrows him on fly patterns worse than Chad Pennington. He is good from about 12-yards and in, but from then anything else is an adventure. To put this into even better perspective he threw the ball 40 times on Thursday. 40! Pass-first offenses don't throw the ball that much. He passed for a crummy 172 yards against the 26th ranked defense vs. the pass. McNabb, among others will most likely be available in 2009. It is time to start looking elsewhere.

2. More Winter Classic Tickets

The way they did the tickets makes entire sense, and I really can't disagree with it, especially considering it was handled like a playoff game. But from a Chicago fan's point of view, Hawks season ticket fans splitting a large portion of the seats with Detroit fans? That's ridiculous. While I love the nostalgia of Wrigley Field, from a financial standpoint, didn't Soldier Field make a little more sense? This game will be entertaining and if anybody has tickets they are willing to sell at a reasonable price, email us. Please.

How cool would it be if they played on this rink instead of Wrigley?

1. 2016 Olympics
This would be an early gift as the Olympic committee won't unveil the winner until the Summer. But what better way to boost spirits not only of the US, but Chicago by Pat Ryan, head of the Chicago 2016 committee reeling in the games. Automatic renovations would be made all over the area and this privately funded wish would turn to reality.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top Ten Wide Receivers the Bears Should Be Going After

How did we end up winning that game last night?

For the majority of the second half, Orton looked absolutely lost. The defense played great, but they were on the field 95% of the time. But then, a lot of guys stepped up when we needed it most to get the 'W'. Olsen, Orton and Hester were crucial in the last three Bears drives, not to mention a ridiculous grab by Brandon Lloyd.

Last night's highlights aside, it's no secret the Bears need some help at wide receiver. So being the nice guys that we are, here are the Top Ten they should be going after at the end of the season.

10. Mike Haas

Basically a free agent because Lovie and his band of misfits won't ever let him see the field! How could you possibly know what you have if you don't ever give Haas a shot?

9. Hank Baskett

Known more for his recent engagement to ‘Girls Next Door’ star Kendra Wilkenson, Baskett would be the equivalent of a poor man's Bernard Berrian.

8. Bobby Engram

Making a return trip to the Windy City would be interesting for Engram. Entering his 14th year in the league, Engram had 1,147 yds and six touchdowns two years ago for the Seahawks. Is that something you might be interested in?

7. Devery Henderson

Another deep threat with questionable hands, Henderson has had his moments with the Saints. Not sure I really like him for the Bears because he seems to be more about finesse than toughness.

6. Nate Washington

Throughout his career he's had his fair share of the drops, but Nasty Nate is the kind of deep threat teams drool over. He'd thrive being the Bears most targeted receiver.

5. Amani Toomer

The grizzled vet is used to playing on the biggest stage and has helped Eli Manning develop into one of the league's best quarterbacks. Could he do the same for Orton?

4. Lance Moore

The short speedster would basically be a more polished version of Devin Hester. It'd be nice to watch a wideout work that knows how to actually find the soft spot in a zone defense.

3. Antonio Bryant

Where the hell has this kind of production been hiding? And it took a Jeff Garcia to unearth it?

Bryant has put a stranglehold on the starting gig down in Tampa that was previously held by Joey Galloway. All Bryant has done this year is amass a ton of yardage and make big grabs for the NFC South contenders.

He’d give the K.O. kid a dependable set of hands, a commodity this Bears team is sorely lacking.

2. T.J. Houshmandzadeh

He'd finally be outside of the black hole of football that is the Cincinnati Bengals. Housh would instantly become a fan favorite and would flourish on a team that actually can win a ball game here and there.

1. Anquan Boldin

The unquestioned number one target for the Bears this off-season is Anquan Boldin. This guy is a freak of nature that’s been one of the game’s best wide receivers since the day he donned an NFL uniform in Arizona .

The very much under-appreciated Boldin would relish the support Bears fans alone could offer, along with a handsome new contract from Jerry Angelo. He does it all and would make everyone around him better, most importantly Kyle Orton.

I wouldn’t hesitate to give up a first and fifth round pick for him. Pull the trigger Jerry and for once, give the fans what they want and what your team needs most.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top Ten pieces of advice for Derrick Rose

May 20, 2008 might be the day that the Bulls fortunes ended up changing for the better. That was the night of the NBA draft lottery when the Bulls, despite finishing with only the league’s ninth worst record, got the number one pick. In a way, it doesn’t even seem right that John Paxson got bailed out of his many mistakes by catching one lucky break. So, looking past Derrick Rose’s little knife accident (hey at least he was eating an apple and not gummy bears), here are ten pieces of advice I would give to Rose.

10. Don’t pass the ball to Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, or Larry Hughes (unless it’s a lob to Tyrus) Thomas and Noah are shooting a combined 36% from the field, and after 11 years in the league, Hughes still hasn’t met a shot he doesn’t like (although so far this season he is shooting way above his career average). I don’t know which is worse: watching Thomas think he’s Amare Stoudemire and take 15-foot jumpers, or seeing Noah try to make a post move. Hey Paxson, how good would Brandon Roy and Spencer Hawes look instead of Tyrus and Joakim right now? How about LaMarcus Aldridge and Al Thornton?

9. Don’t ask your teammates for advice
Don’t ask Gordon and Hughes what constitutes a good shot. Don’t ask Deng, Nocioni and Hinrich how you go about playing up to your contract. Don’t ask for workout advice from Tyrus and Joakim. Most importantly, don’t ask anyone on the team the secret to winning games in the NBA. They may have been able to tell you a couple years ago, but ever since last year, they have forgotten. Also, don’t grow too comfortable with any one teammate either. Any of them, with the possible exception of Deng, could be gone sooner rather than later.

8. Don’t take losing too hard In his last two years at Simeon and one year at Memphis, Rose lost a combined total of eight games. Rose lost eight games with the Bulls in less than a month. And after winning two state titles in high school and nearly a national title at Memphis, I wonder how Rose could deal with not even making the playoffs. Just remember Derrick: it’s not your fault that the rest of the team is pretty awful.

7. Don’t worry about running set plays When Vinny Del Negro calls a set play for Gordon to launch a contested 20-foot jumper, for a Deng isolation or for Gooden to post up, it might not be a bad idea for Rose to instead just drive to the basket. After all, what’s Del Negro going to do, bench him? Something good usually happens three out of every four times Rose gets to the basket.

6. Start getting on Paxson about the free agent class of 2010 Maybe Rose should give Paxson an ultimatum: Sign Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or Amare in two years, or say you’ll threaten to walk in 2011. Not that I’m encouraging that, but I wouldn’t blame Rose if he called out for some reinforcements.

5. On off days, get a lot of rest and make sure you’re eating well
Remember back in the preseason, when a lot of people thought Rose would be brought along slowly and the team wouldn’t put that much on his plate right away? For the Bulls to have any chance to win most nights Rose has to play close to 40 minutes and the ball needs to be in his hands a good majority of the time. It does make you wonder how he will adjust to playing an 82 game schedule. I’m not worried so much about Rose feeling the pressure of making the Bulls relevant again, but more how his body and particularly his knees will hold up for the next four months.

4. Look to set up your teammates early in the game If you watch guys like Kobe, LeBron, heck even Jordan back in his day, the great ones usually try to get their teammates involved right away. With this Bulls team, that is almost necessary. Gordon, Deng, Gooden, and Nocioni all like to shoot, and when their shots are falling early on, that’s usually a good sign for the rest of the night. As we’ve seen a couple of times already this season, (Golden State/Utah), it’s better for the Bulls when Rose starts looking for himself in the second half, especially the fourth quarter.

3. Don’t pull a Jay Williams and set the franchise back another couple years Here was the thing about Williams: In his rookie year, he averaged less than 10 points and five assists, and shot under 40% from the field. Yet people around the league were still convinced he was going to be the league’s next great point guard. So then what does that say for people’s long-term expectations for Rose? Scary. Luckily, I can’t see Rose ever riding a motorcycle, or doing anything else that might put his career in jeopardy.

2. Shoot for one SportsCenter Top 10 play every game
The Bulls would be totally boring if not for Rose. People go to Bulls games or watch them on television really only to see what Rose will do next. When Ricky did a post last week on the top ten Derrick Rose highlights, it got linked right at the top of ESPN’s TrueHoop, and with good reason.

1. Don’t fall in love with your hype This is a trap I don’t envision Rose falling into. He seems very humble, very down to earth, and very driven to turn the Bulls back into a contender. Then again, we said the same thing about the Bulls young nucleus three years ago, and look how that has turned out. Rose knows there are things he still needs to improve on; getting stronger and finding a consistent jump shot are the big two. I would be very surprised if Rose doesn’t eventually make the type of leap into stardom that Chris Paul has made.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top Ten Corrupt Chicago Athletes

Yesterday, our proud Governor Rod Blagojevich (pictured above holding "Blagojevich Sucks" shirt) was arrested. Now I won't get into details as to what happened, I will let the Sun-Times explain it, but it is ANOTHER case of corrupt Illinois politics.

Now you may ask, "what does this have to do with sports?" Absolutely everything. There are many Chicago athletes currently stealing the fans hard-earned dollar by playing poorly and being more of a disgrace to us then we already need. Here are the top ten corrupt Chicago athletes who are stealing our money.

10. Brent Sopel (making $7 million over the next three years)

Sopel seduced the Blackhawks brass into giving him an extension with his solid play last season. Now that Sopel has earned his fair share of healthy scratches and played poorly he is being shopped around to any team that will take him. We also know that Sopel hasn't spent any of that $7 million on a reasonable looking haircut.

9. Jose Contreras (made $10 million this year or $2 million a start)

To be fair, Contreras was hurt. But $2 million dollars a start is not reasonable for any pitcher, especially one with a 4.54 ERA that may or may not be 47 years old.

8. Rex Grossman (making $3 million this season)

You know the franchise is not making money on Grossman in merchandising so this is a lot of money to just throw down the drain on the most hated player in Chicago.

7. Kirk Hinrich (making $36.5 million over next four years)

Hinrich was awful last year and is not even playing this season thanks to a bum thumb. He falls under my theory of things to play for. It's really a simple theory. If a player has gotten married (yes in Hinrich's case) and has financial stability (yes again in Hinrich's case) then he really has nothing to play for since he already has a woman and money. The only thing that can overcome those two powerful equalizers is pride and based on last season's showing we know Kirk has little of that.

6. Derrek Lee (making $13.25 million a year through 2010)

The Cubs could pay the TTCS crew half of this to strike out in our plate appearances instead of grounding into offense-killing double plays. For good show we would also go through prolonged power outages for weeks at a time and have sissy fights with 6-10 pitchers to make the top of the hour on Sportscenter.

5. Paul Konerko (making $12 million a year through 2010)

Paulie provides sentimental value for his inspired play in the 2005 title run, but at $12 mil a year he needs to do more throughout the season then show up the last couple weeks. Hopefully the old Konerko shows up for the 2009 season. It is also unclear who is faster; Paul Konerko or this action figure of Paul Konerko.

4. Cristobal Huet (making $22.5 million over four years)

The Hawks made a big splash signing a 33-year old goalie who had one great season and watched him give up soft goals and put up the worst numbers of his career. Like all the guys on this list, Huet can salvage the contract by playing better but it doesn't look good so far.

3. Cedric Benson, Adam Archuleta and Ricky (don't call me Danieal) Manning (being paid $7.8 million this season to NOT play in Chicago)

Remember the phrase gone but not forgotten? This applies here. While Benson's mugshot is all over the internet (and TTCS), Archuleta is so obscure now that if you google image search his name you will find more pictures of his wife and American Idol finalist David Archuleta than you will of the once proud football player. Ricky Manning on the other hand is probably still smoking cigars and assaulting people inside of Denny's.

2. Kosuke Fukudome (owed $38 million over next three years)

After reading that Cubs fans, and Lou Pinella, just collectively let out a wince. Fukudome has performed so poorly that Pinella has made it clear that he wants someone else to play in front of Fukudome next season.

1. Luol Deng (owed roughly $72 million over next six years)

I could rant and rave about this but I will let Bill Simmons explain this through Gary Payton and Chris Webber.

"Speaking of robbery, I hope you caught the Greatest Show on TV on Tuesday night -- C-Webb, GP and Ahmad on NBA-TV -- when GP called out Luol Deng for robbing the Bulls with the $70 million extension, followed by C-Webb asking if Deng wore a mask during the robbery and GP answering that not only did Deng walk in there without a mask or a gun, he had his finger pushing into his coat pocket and pretended to hold a gun as he committed the robbery. Now THAT, my friends, is comedy gold."

While it may be comedy gold to the rest of the country the truth is Deng is averaging 14 and 5 and shooting 42% while making all that money. Good God...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TTCS r-r-rewind: top ten athletes who would make good Batman villains

Legendary TTCS bad boy Dubs - whom I like to think of as the Donnie Wahlberg to Matt Olsen's Joey McIntyre - called in sick today, so we're bringing back an old list. Since The Dark Knight comes out on DVD today, the choice was top ten athletes that would make good Batman villains. We (and by we, I mean I) also choose this list because.....I wrote it! What, did you really expect something by Freddy Church? Anyways, enjoy the list, and extend a hardy 'get well soon' to Dubs in the comment section. No word yet on whether the ailment stemmed from anything described here, though we certainly wouldn't put it past him.

- Richard

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 smoke trees.

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, December 8, 2008

Top Ten Chicago athletes who burned their bridges

Over the past 10 years there have been several Chicago athletes that have caused some sort of ruckus off the field or just flat-out poor play that not only led to their demise in Chicago, but a natural dislike by fans. Below are the top ten.

10. Nick Swisher
What a total disappointment. The Sox sent two top-ten prospects to Oakland in exchange for a guy who was supposed to be a master at the dish. While he did draw over 80 walks, he struck out 135 and hit .219. Once he stopped getting his "burn," many rumors reported he gave up on the team and stopped paying attention to any instruction. This spot could have been filled by either him or the crybaby shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

9. Javy Vazquez
Javy was supposed to be the ace of the staff. Part of the ace's job is to be a big-game pitcher. It is pretty clear he is not. Ozzie called him out before the three-game series in Minnesota as a way to motivate Vazquez. Not only did he get shelled but he did not react to the comments at all the way Sox fans were looking for him to. ''You know what? It's not going to [change a lot of opinions] because I'm really the type of guy that when I retire, I'm going to be home in Puerto Rico with my family.'' That clearly did not sit well with management as he was shipped to Atlanta last week.

8. Muhsin Muhammad
While it is true Muhammad never did really have a great quarterback throwing him the ball, (he never caught more than 65 balls in three seasons) it was unnecessary to refer to the Bears as the team "wide receivers go to die." The organization did not care for the comment, and fans haven't either.

7. Albert Belle
Belle went out, signed a $55 million deal with the Sox in 1997, and while he had a very solid two-year stretch on paper, he hit a lot of meaningless homers and quickly became a clubhouse cancer. Because of some odd clause in his contract, Belle was allowed to ask for more money, something he had no problem doing. When the Sox refused to pay him he quickly started causing more problems, quickly contemplated retirement, and ultimately became a free agent. Once again, this was a very odd contract, but was handled in the worst possible way.

6. Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace was supposed to anchor the Bulls defensively and become a leader. But neither occurred. His rebounding and blocks numbers dropped and he and Scott Skiles ran into issues, twice including problems about his headband. His $60 million wound up being a total waste, especially because the Bulls are stuck with Larry Hughes as a way to rid the huge contract.

5. Chris Chelios
Hockey is not my forte, but from what I heard Chris Chelios vowed to never play in Detroit. After he was traded to the Wings in 1999, Hawks fans were expecting the Chicago native to willingly return once his initial contract expired. But Chris has not only not come back, but he has stayed in Detroit, where he has been a key defender on multiple Stanley Cup Championship teams.

4. Frank Thomas
Frank Thomas is arguably the greatest player in franchise history. But Thomas openly shared his displeasure towards the organization when he found out he was not going to be resigned after the 2005 season. He felt Reinsdorf should have personally informed him. Unhappy about being released for his "diminished skills" clause, he blasted Kenny Williams. Williams responded by calling him an "idiot."

3. Cedric Benson
Benson's 2008 off-season can be described in one word; train wreck. After two DUI charges and on-the-field skills diminishing, Benson was sent packing. The fourth overall pick was just a horrid bust. He questioned Lovie on multiple accounts. But he is now playing for the only team in the NFL that off-field incidents are not looked down upon in Cincinnati. He should not have been partying with his Mom on a boat. Nothing good ever happens.

2. Eddy Curry
The fourth overall pick in the 2000 draft never panned out to much of anything in Chicago. After refusing to take a heart exam to see if he is physically able to play, he was sent to the Bulls B-team in the Knicks. (They are happy to take any bad Bull off their hand.) He can't score, run, or even rebound for a 6' 11" forward. He has really just let down the city on multiple occasions.

1. Sammy Sosa
Since the Jordan era, nobody has fit the bill for Chicago's iconic athletic figure better than Sammy Sosa. From 1998 to 2002 he had the city in the palm of his hand. People were fascinated by the home run chase. Things started to decline for Sosa in 2003 for him however. In June was the corked bat incident, and then two months later came the sneezing injury that put him on the DL. While he did redeem himself a little in the '03 playoffs, he left the ballpark early on the last game of the 2004 season, which left the organization to trade him to Baltimore in the off-season.

If I were to do this list a year from now, Rex Grossman or Fukudome could be a top-five guys on this list, as sad as it sounds, his days in Chicago were numbered as soon as he fumbled his second snap in the Super Bowl. Also, if this included non-athletes, Jerry Krause, Bill Wirtz, Dusty Baker and Jay Mariotti might have found a spot on here too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Top Ten #1 overall picks in the NBA right now


The Milwaukee Bucks just don’t know what to do when picking first overall in the NBA draft. In 1994 the Bucks selected Big Dog Robinson in front of Jason Kidd and Grant Hill, and then in 2005, went with Andrew Bogut over Chris Paul and Deron Williams.

Most teams though use common sense when selecting first. Here are the top ten #1 overall picks in the NBA right now (Sorry to Joe Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Mr. Bogut, you failed to make the cut).

10- Greg Oden

Despite missing his entire first year as a pro due to a knee injury, followed by sitting out two weeks after hurting his foot on opening night, the first pick of the ‘07 draft has been a nice player for the Blazers. He currently averages eight points, eight boards and about two blocks a game, which is pretty good for a guy who looks like the Grandpa from “The Cosby Show”.

9- Kenyon Martin

The top pick in the worst draft ever, 2000, has had a pretty good career. After teaming with Jason Kidd to make back-to-back Finals appearances early in the decade with the Nets, K-Mart has since moved to the Nuggets where he has yet to leave the first round of the playoffs. Still, career averages of 14 points and seven rebounds a game isn’t too bad.

8- Elton Brand

The former Bull, taken first in ’99, is one of four active players- and one of three on this list (only Kevin Garnett wasn’t eligible)- who have career averages of 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds. So there is no doubt that he has been an elite player. But Brand is also the only one of the four who hasn’t won an NBA Title, part of the argument that many fans have that he’s a perfect #2 guy, but will never be the kind of player to lead a team all the way.

7- Shaquille O’Neal

If this list was based on entire careers, than Mr. Kazaam would be at the top. His four NBA titles, 25 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks a game are the reason he will be inducted into the Hall-of-Fame five years after he retires. But right now, as the third option on a team barely above .500, the top pick in ‘92 can’t be higher than seven.

6- Derrick Rose

Our hometown hero has been everything fans have expected, plus more. Not only is he the team’s best scorer and passer already, but Rose has also made the Bulls must-see TV. Nobody wants to miss the next time the first pick in ‘08 makes a fool out of opposing defenders or when he has another dunk worthy of a SLAM poster. If this list is redone in two years, there’s no doubt Rose will be in the top three.

5- Yao Ming

There isn’t a question if 2002’s top choice has the talent to be a great player in the league; the only doubt is if he can stay healthy. Yao’s career averages of 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocks per game are just a bit off the Duncan-Shaq-KG-Elton plateau. But since the start of the 2005 season, the big man has missed a total of 86 regular season games. When Yao ever gets over the injury bug, he’ll continue dominating the league.

4- Allen Iverson

No little guy has played as well, for as long, as The Answer. Since going #1 in ’96, Iverson has scored over 23,000 points, which places him 18th in league history. Pretty impressive for a guy who is lucky to be listed at six feet and is 170 pounds only after eating a deep-fried steak. Now with the Pistons, AI still is a player that demands attention whenever he has the ball, both by opponents and fans.

3- Dwight Howard

Four years later, the Dwight Howard or Emeka Okafor debate doesn’t seem so tough any more for the Magic. I guess that’s what 17 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks per game, plus one amazing performance in the dunk contest, will do. And the scary thing is, many people think that Howard doesn’t even appear to be trying all the time, and that if he really hustled his numbers could be even better.

2- Tim Duncan

His game is as flashy as a Toyota Camry and you almost never see him in commercials. But you’d have a tough time arguing that Duncan, the #1 pick in 1997, hasn’t been the best player in basketball in the 11 years since he was drafted. The Spurs star has won four championships, averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks a game, and plays maybe the best post defense in the sport. All that, plus Duncan believes that he has never committed a foul.

1-LeBron James

What is there to say about the King that isn’t said in every 2010 free agency column? He’s one of the two best players in the world despite having several areas in his game that he could improve (outside shooting, post up moves). He’s the only player in the past 25 years with a realistic chance to average a triple-double in a regular season. And the top pick in ’03 has already made the NBA Finals despite without ever playing with another elite player. Oh yeah, and later this month, he’ll turn the grand old age of 24.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Ten Fantasy Football Busts in 2008

With the regular season for fantasy football about to come to a close, we thought it'd be a good idea to look at the Top Ten Regular Season Fantasy Football Busts in 2008.

10. Carson Palmer

2008 stats: 731 yds, 3 TD Average ESPN Draft Position: 36.1

Nearly every player on the Bengals has been an absolute bust this season.

But you drafted Palmer to be your franchise quarterback, not a mascot on the sidelines in street clothes every Sunday.

New Rule: Don't ever draft a USC quarterback.

9. Willie Parker

2008 stats: 572 yds, 4 TD Average ESPN Draft Position: 19.9

Last year the problem with Willie was his inability to find the end zone. This year he just can't seem to stay on the field.

He came charging out of the gate with a 138 yd, 3 TD opening day against the Texans. Since then he's missed six out of the last 13 games and only hit paydirt once in that time span.

Hope you picked up Mewelde Moore.

8. Marques Colston

2008 stats: 428 yds, TD Average ESPN Draft position: 30.2

His draft position may have been later than Fast Willie's, but Colston was considered one of the top five wideouts in the draft and one of the first off the board. But Colston went down in the first game of the year with a thumb injury and didn't return until Week 8.

Brees has since moved on to Lance Moore as his favorite target and Colston is just now getting his stride back at the end of a very disappointing season.

7. Ryan Grant

2008 stats: 876 yds, 3 TD Average ESPN Draft position: 17.6

I'd like to submit a new curse for consideration: The ESPN Fantasy Hall of Fame Jacket.

Last year Maurice Jones-Drew took a big step back after donning the jacket in a commercial because of his 13 TD rookie season.

This year it's been Ryan Grant, the second half hero for many a fantasy squads in 2007. Grant didn't score a TD until Week 7 and has only cleared the century mark twice.

Beware the jacket.

6. Braylon Edwards

2008 stats: 697 yds, 3 TD Average ESPN Draft position: 20.8

What the hell happened?

How does a guy go from a 1,289 yd, 16 TD season to this absolute garbage?

Edwards has fallen off faster than Antonio Pierce can hide a gun.

5. Larry Johnson

2008 stats: 657 yds, 4 TD Average ESPN Draft Position: 14.8

That's back to back years LJ has qualified for a list such as this. He's been in trouble with the law for spitting in a woman's face and eventually was suspended by both his team and the league.

This guy oozes class.

4. Joseph Addai

2008 stats: 514 yds, 6 TD Average ESPN Draft position: 5.2

Addai has been brutal for the majority of the season and has been relegated to splitting carries with the explosive Dominic Rhodes.

3. Steven Jackson

2008 stats: 619 yds, 4 TD Average ESPN Draft position: 6.4

Are you as sick as I am of hearing about how much of a fantasy beast this guy is going to be every year?

He teases you with a few monster performances and then kills your squad by missing more games than he plays. S-Jax can't be trusted and looks like he's only training for his starring role in the next 'Predator' movie.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson

2008 stats: 794 yds, 7 TD
Average ESPN draft position: 1.4

The numbers you see above are what you'd expect from your number two back, not the guy you spent the first overall pick on. I don't know what's going on in San Diego, but things better change fast before we start asking this frightening question:

Could he be the next Shaun Alexander?

1. Tom Brady

2008 stats: 76 yds, 0 TD
Average ESPN draft position: 4.8

He didn't even play an entire game. Not even an entire quarter!

The only comparison I can come up with is the 2008 Tom Brady draft pick was basically like the Chargers taking Ryan Leaf.

Only worse.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Top ten Derrick Rose highlights

10. @ Philadelphia

9. @ Dallas (preseason)

8. Vs. Minnesota

7. @ Dallas (preseason)

6. Vs. Dallas

5. @ Philadelphia

4. Vs. Kansas (While at Memphis)

3. Vs. Minnesota

2. Vs. Phoenix

1. @ Philadelphia

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Top Ten good, bad and Burish moments from the weekend

Lets break down this wonderful Thanksgiving weekend by the most obvious and overused way: The Good. The Bad. And The Burish.


4. Illini find a way for tourney title
; I am very confused

So the Illini basketball team went to a small island in Texas to play mediocre teams and sneaked by them. I still can’t see the Illini competing for the Big Ten this year, but starting 6-0 may give them a leg up in an at large bid for the tourney. Maybe.

3. Bulls rally in finale; don’t totally suck

2. This move by Rose

1. Stacey King’s reaction to above video

I have always said that King has the vernacular of a drug dealer. I think that is still apparent, however I now kind of like him. He seemed like a kid in a candy store when Rose crossed over Miller and was legitimately excited by it. Maybe it is because he is still relatively new to broadcasting and doesn’t have that “I have seen it all”-ness about him yet that makes me hate 90% of all broadcasters. Whatever it is, I am now a King fan. A piece of me just died.


4. BLACKHAWKS: Offense finishes road trip off-course; yes, Chicago still has hockey team

So the Hawks went 6-3-3 in November, but finished off the circus trip with a 0-2-1 record in their last three games. It seems that they just tired towards the end of the circus trip and will enjoy three out of their four next games at home. Look for the Hawks to rebound a bit now that they are back home.

3. Cubs face dilemma on arbitration front; Hendry: why won’t Wood just “go away”

So, the Cubs have a very interesting decision to make by 11 PM tonight -- offer Wood arbitration and risk him agreeing to it (probably about 10MM) OR don't and lose two compensation picks. Wood has made it very clear he wants to play for the Cubs for the rest of his career and it is likely he would take the one year arbitration deal. If the Cubs do offer it and he does, Chicago would lose the money intended for a left handed power bat. Tough call, I guess.

2. Let the Irish dissection begin; large amounts of “cheese” and “various meats” found in Weis’ abdomen

1. Gutsy call to Berrian planted 'a dagger' in Bears' chest
; Bear gets up, looks on dubiously and then dies

Purple Jesus is awesome and the Vikes finally looked like the team everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the season. I guess we finally know who the Bears are -- a team that can't beat good teams, but is still not terrible. The game was just lame. I rather not talk about it anymore.


2. We finally learned who is the biggest prankster on the Hawks.... Hint: it's not P-Kane

1. How about a quick Burish fight from a couple weeks ago…

Monday, December 1, 2008

Top Ten things we know about the Bears

By Danny Sheridan
After watching the Bears embarrass themselves for the second time in three weeks, it looks like the city’s only hope left until baseball season is Derrick Rose. Not that anyone probably cares right about now, but here are 10 things we know about the Bears.

10. Winning the NFC North now becomes almost a dream
The standings now show the Bears one game behind the Vikings. Really, it’s like two games. If the two teams finished the season with identical records, the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head, where they split the two games. The second tiebreaker goes to your record in conference. The Bears are 5-5 in the NFC, while Minnesota is 5-3, meaning that the Vikings will likely own the tiebreaker. For the Bears to have any shot at winning their third division title in four years, they probably have to win out. The Vikings get the Lions next week, although their final three games are all tough; at Arizona and home against the Falcons and Giants.

9. It won’t be a fun week for Kyle Orton Just a month ago, when Orton was playing so well that people started talking about signing him to a long term deal, seems like a distant memory now. Put this game completely on Orton’s shoulders. The defense came out fired up, the Bears had great field position in the first half, Brad Maynard even had a career night. Orton let his team down, simple as that. Maybe he’s not yet 100%, and came back too quickly from his ankle injury. How else do you explain Orton going 205 straight passes without throwing an interception, and then throwing three in a span of seven passes in the second half?

8. The wide receiver position needs to be addressed in the offseason
Either through free agency or the draft, the Bears have to bring in at least one impact wide receiver next season. How good would someone like T.J. Houshmanzada or Chad Johnson look in a Bears uniform next year? Seeing Rashied Davis drop seemingly every other ball thrown his way is getting pretty old. As is watching Devin Hester look totally lost most of the time on his routes. Greg Olsen hasn’t had the impact we expected, and Marty Booker, Brandon Lloyd, and Desmond Clark all probably won’t be back with the team next season, not that any of them have done much anyway.

7. Ron Turner needs to go Forget about the status of Bob Babich, Charlie Weis, John Paxson and Lovie Smith. The team needs to get rid of Turner immediately at the end of the season. Turner may have single handedly ruined the Bears season when the Bears were on the goal-line and in a position to go up 14-3. It’s simple really. Hand the ball to Matt Forte on first down. Hand the ball to Forte on second down. Do the same thing on third down. I have a hard time believing Forte couldn’t get one yard on three carries, even with the Williams' in the middle. Instead, on first down, Turner calls a stupid play action pass that had no chance of working. Then, on third down, with the ball so close to the goal-line Orton easily could have just snuck it in, he gives fullback Jason Davis his first ever NFL carry. Ron Turner, your plane is boarding.

6. Danieal Manning should be the full time kick and punt returner Manning might be the best athlete on the team. He hasn’t and probably will never make an impact on defense, so rather than let him go to waste, Lovie needs to hand him the reins full time on all kicks and punts. Let Hester concentrate solely on catching passes from Orton, because he clearly isn’t the same guy he was his first two years.

5. Matt Forte has too big a workload Make no mistake about it. Forte is the Bears offense. When he has run for over 100 yards, the Bears are 3-0. It’s unfair to put all this on a rookie who last year was playing against teams in Conference USA, but what other choice do the Bears have? Maybe the biggest surprise all season, outside of Hester’s struggles, has been that Forte has seemed to get stronger as the season has went on.

4. The window of opportunity is closing Looking ahead to next year, which we should all do now, the immediate future doesn’t look too pretty. Other than Forte, Briggs, Tillman, Orton, Olsen and Hester, the key pieces are either getting pretty up there in age, or haven’t been able to stay healthy (Harris, Vasher). After their Super Bowl run in 2006, you knew this team would start taking steps back. No one figured though, that it would be this quick.

3. Getting stopped on the goal line cost the Bears their seasonIt was a goal-line stand earlier in the season against the Eagles that probably saved the Bears season. Now, it’s just the opposite. Had the Bears gone ahead 14-3 late in the second quarter, I’m not saying they win for sure, but you had to like their chances. Right after that, you just had a bad feeling that they blew their best shot to win not only this game, but the division title. A few years ago, the Bears defense would have come out and gotten the ball right back for the offense. However, this isn’t the Bears defense from a few years ago.

2. The Bears could copy from the Vikings Minnesota does two things real well: running the football and stopping the run. They have the game’s best player in Adrian Peterson, the best defensive line in football, and the best left side of the offensive line in football. At every other position, they are mediocre to below average. Did you see how easy it is for the Vikings to covert third and short situations? Meanwhile, when the Bears covert a third and two, it’s cause for huge celebration.

1. It’s NOT Lovie Smith’s fault Is it Smith’s fault that Urlacher, Harris, Ogunleye and Vasher have all played well below their capability? Hardly. It’s not Lovie’s fault that Hester suddenly forgot how to return kicks, or that the Bears lack a game-breaking wide receiver.

Just because Smith doesn’t show much emotion on the sidelines and always comes across as very positive with the media, no matter the situation, doesn’t mean much of anything. What good would it have done for Smith to start calling out guys on his team after the embarrassing performance versus the Packers a few weeks ago? I mean, how would calling out someone like Urlacher in the press help transform him back into the player he was a couple years ago?

His players like playing for him, they respect him, and outside of the second half against Green Bay, they have played hard for him for almost five years. The only two criticisms I have of Smith are these: his running off of Ron Rivera to bring in close friend Bob Babich, and his decision to squib kick against the Falcons with 11 seconds left earlier this season.