Tag Archives: Chicago Sports

Been away for a while

I have been away for a while watching all these Chicago teams excepth the Blackhawks self destruct. Since I last posted, the Bulls bowed out in the playoffs, which was at least a growth experience for the young players left on the team today. The White Sox pulled another Ozzie Guillen driven schizophrenic el foldo at he end of the season. The Cubs never played right and now need to back up the truck. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and then proceeded to dismantle a lot of their team and will be rebuilding again for a couple years. And the Bears….  You may just read my past posts and you will have the same old, same old Bears. Lovie loved a vanilla preseason, the team started out of shape (but so was half the NFL, because they followed Lovie’s lead and refused to get prepared in the preseason) but despite no offensive line to speak of, is still in the race, mostly due to the other teams like Dallas, Minnesota, Arizona, Carolina, etc. also not getting in shape for the season.  My team by team capsule is as follows:

Chicago White Sox

Bye, bye Paul Konerko and maybe AJ. Starting pitching looking good, but they can’t make up their minds on a closer and are going to let some good relievers go with no real replacements from the minors. We need a third baseman, first baseman and a bench upgrade because we are sure to let go one or two outfielders. I will wait until Kenny makes his signings and trades, but know that it won’t be real upgrades, just churning of journeymen. Until there is some upgrades, second place may even be a stretch.

Chicago Cubs

They new manager looks like an upgrade from dimentia-challenged Lou Pinella. Carlos Zambrano is Carlos Zambrano, a question mark. They have a couple of good youngsters, but will be losing some veterans, have no first baseman, should lose Aramis but can’t see the forest for the trees. They need some pitching help and upgrades at most positions. Second and short look secure as well as catcher, everywhere else is a question mark. Let’s see what they do over the winter. Not encouraging right now. A new manager can only win a handful of games and the players need to play.

Blackhawks

Our only champion. Kudos to the former gm now elsewhere for assembling the team that won. The new geniuses will have to try to match him. Let’s wait and see before we make a rash assumption.

Bulls

They look pretty good so far, but obviously at least one player short of contention for a title. Boozer will help, but he will be replacing Taj Gibson who is playing as well as Boozer can. We need and off guard. We need Luol Deng to step even further up. The choice of guards in the free agent pool was iffy at best. Brewer is hopeless. Bogans was a flop in Orlando and will be a flop here. I wish we still had Heinrich or Gordon and forgot about Lebron the megamind. Playoffs will be a struggle. Maybe second round.

Bears

Watching the Bears is like going to the psychiatrist. You gotta talk it out to convince yourself to do it again. ‘Nuff said.

Double Double …….Doubled! Noah Incredible

Noah on a rampage

If you have read my previous post you know I am a big Joakim Noah fan. I said a year ago that he was part of the Bulls base for a long time. He has now proven my confidence in him was well warranted. He lit up the Cavaliers for 21 points and 20 rebounds. This is harder than a triple double because it is a double double doubled. Noah has also become spokesman for the team as he has been constantly interviewed by the press, in he hopes he will say something provocative of stupid. You see the real press is so blind, they keep referring to him as a buffoon and a player of no consequence. They constantly harp that the Bulls have no frontcourt player of consequence and no post presence. That has become a jingle for the TV reporters. And they continue to show their stupidity over and over by repeating the mantra game after game. Well I beg to differ! Joakim will be on next year’s all star team, showing up the idiots that put Brad Miller on the ballot but not Noah. His emergence has allowed the Bulls to refocus on the thing they really need, an all star type shooter. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade or Johnson in the free agent  sweepstakes this summer. He is a franchise player now whether the press or dumb fans like it or not. There is even a column by Scoop Jackson on ESPN.com that you should all read that enhance my faith. His column is at http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/columns/story?columnist=jackson_scoop&page=jackson/100421

Blackhawks’ Niemi continues to impress


February 10, 2010 11:10 AM
niemi-daniel.JPG

With each standout effort, Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi is gaining the confidence of his teammates and, more importantly, coach Joel Quenneville.

Playing in back-to-back games for just the second time this season, Niemi was solid during the Hawks’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Stars on Tuesday night at the United Center.

The Finnish netminder, who has primarily backed up Cristobal Huet, made 24 saves, the biggest coming with under a minute left in overtime when he robbed Brad Richards from in close while the Stars were on the power play. Niemi has won two consecutive games and has a sparkling 15-4-1 record.

Photo: Antti Niemi makes a save Tuesday against the Stars. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

In Tuesday’s shootout, Niemi thwarted chances by Richards, Loui Eriksson, Mike Ribeiro, Matt Niskanen and James Neal. Kris Versteeg eventually gave the Hawks and Niemi the victory with his shootout goal.

“I thoght he was solid,” Quenneville said. “He looked very poised in the shootout. His size and presence on top of the crease and controlling loose pucks around the net is something he’s improving on. We’re very happy with him winning again and taking advantage of the opportunity.”

The Hawks have two games remaining before the 15-day Olympic break. Since they are back-to-back, with Atlanta in town on Saturday and the Hawks in Columbus on Sunday, both Niemi and Huet figure to get a start. Quenneville will then have over two weeks to decide what he will do with the goaltending situation for the stretch run of the season.

“When it’s (Niemi’s) chance to play and fill in he’s done an incredible job,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “We feel just as confident having him in there. He’s worked hard and won some pretty big games for us.”

Last night I turned on CSN to see The score of the Bulls game and lo and  behold – The Hawks were on. They were in overtime, with about 5 minutes to go when the blackout ended and I could see the rare Blackhawks  game to the finish. They are almost never on vs.. National WGN never carries the game, and CSN is blacked out. So I rarely see the Hawks in action so I rarely comment on them. But from what I saw, I was VERY encouraged by the play of Niemi in goal. He weathered the stretch I watched with the Hawks shorthanded 40n 4 and 4 on 3 for the duration I saw. Niemi did everything a big time goalie needs to do to win a Stanley Cup.

But of course, this is Chicago! and the Hawks have Chicago management team. You know, the ones like the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, etc. The ones that decide who plays based on the salary they’re paid, not their performance. The salary says Huet will start every game in the Stanley Cup playoffs, win, lose or whatever. I predict they will play the wrong goalie at the wrong time. But what do I know.

Bears search hits snag or 2

via Bears search hits snag or 2 :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Bears.

The Bears are not really looking for a real coordinator. They are waiting for someone desperate enough to take the job. They are waiting for the suckers in the press to tell them more names because they are clueless on their own. I won’t even waste the effort to put a picture on this post, they don’t deserve it.  I don’t know who is more gullible, the sportswriters in Chicago who actually take them serious or the fans who actually put out real money to keep them in business.

Why don’t they  just go out and hire someone with experience that is unemployed at the moment and be done with it? Because they are cheapskates. And they have a gullible press and fan base that accepts this nonsense. They are rolling in excess cap money every year and can’t even spend some of that cap money to bring in a free agent that can run a route or play safety or offensive guard.

The show they put on with these “interviews” they run really dupe these media morons who buy their show,  hook, line and sinker. If we all just ignore them maybe they’ll just go away.

Del Negro finds reports of his firing ‘just funny’

Del Negro finds reports of his firing ‘just funny’ :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: John Jackson.

Well. At least Chicago has one sportswriter who has a clue. The other sheep like to echo the saying of the day: [we need a coach that can teach Derrick Rose the point guard position] [We need a coach who can manage the clock] [Vinnie is dead coach walking] [The decision to fire Vinnie has already been made] Actually what they didn’t say says a lot about them, The same writers use reverse logic when it comes to Lovie Smith. Why? They are reverse racists, that’s why. When anyone publicly calls for Lovie’s firing, they say they are racist because Lovie is black. And when the white coach is having injury  and personnel problems he has to go immediately. (Christmas Eve?) When Lovie’s defensive scheme’s are utter failures, they say Brian Urlacher is out, so it doesn’t count.

I love it when they say that Vinnie can’t help Derrick Rose be a better point  guard. Why? Because he is white? Like he didn’t play the position for many years? Oh, that doesn’t count.

When they say Vinnie can’t manage the clock, why? Is it because Bernie Bickerstaff didn’t call the timeout? He certainly added his two cents before Vinny calls those timeouts. But they forget that also.

When they say Vinnie is dead coach walking do they explain why? No they just pontificate about the record being 11-18.

When they say the decision to fire Vinnie has already been made, I agree. BY THEM. No wonder Vinnie laughs it off.

Now I know political correctness rules everything today and a white sportwriter cowers in fear to ever be referred to as another Rush Limbaugh and lose their cushy job with perks galore. But how about some even-handed reporting like the above referenced article. And the writer is not white, but a great writer. See another article he wrote on another page on this website. I posted his article on Chicago sports because it was a great article. Fair. Even-handed. Terrific.

Kudos John Jackson!

I know I threw out some broad insinuations in this  article, and I know there are beat writers and there are editorialists. But some of the beat writer sometimes are interviewed on tv and sometimes they crow the line that seems the safest. But there is also a lot of cross pollenation where the writers go on TV and spout some of the lines reffered to in this   article. Sometmes it looks like they don’t even mean what they say. This is what I refer to. Not just their articles. But the overall gist of what becomes a jingoism and concensus.

What a mess!

Lovie lost?

Yikes! It is even worse than I thought! Even Chicago’s motley fool sportwriters are finally waking up. For weeks I have been saying the season was over and so should it be fore Lovie Smith. He has consistently been out-coached by every coach he has faced. His defense is in tatters. His vaunted cover two has proven cover no one. The Bears have no offensive line. They are making a lot more turnovers than touchdowns.  But I’ve been saying this for weeks as you can see in my old posts on this site. There is no excuse for the local writers could not see that until this week. Here are some of their comments:

MINNEAPOLIS — The Bears were awful Sunday.

This is unmistakably, unequivocally true because the headmaster of happy talk said they were.

“We feel like crap,” coach Lovie Smith said after the Vikings pounded his team 36-10.

Smith admitting the Bears played poorly is like China admitting a fundamental weakness. And hearing him use the word “crap” is like hearing Donny Osmond ask what a guy has to do to get a cigarette and a beer around here. So here was final proof that the season is not just gone, but that it’s a disastrous, washed-out affair that should come with an ark and animals two by two. Let’s be clear. Sunday wasn’t a surprise. Minnesota is one of the better teams in the NFL, and the Bears are one of the better teams in Lake Forest.

But still.

This was a first-hand glimpse of just how far the Bears are from true excellence. They looked at it up close and couldn’t possibly have recognized themselves in what they saw from first-place Minnesota. They are not an offseason away from the 10-1 Vikings. They’re a major rebuilding project away from the Vikings.

Forget what people tell you about the NFL being the incubator for amazing turnarounds from year to year. The Bears won’t be one of those stories, not at the rate they’re going

The offensive line can’t block.

The running back can’t run.

The coach … well, how many different ways can you say it?

The quarterback, when he’s not getting sacked, can’t seem to avoid mistakes.

On defense, the Bears picked their poison Sunday, choosing to focus their attention on running back Adrian Peterson. And so it was that a 40-year-old geezer with closure issues made them pay with 392 passing yards and three touchdowns.”We took our chances to see if Brett Favre could beat us, and he did,” Bears defensive end Alex Brown said.Favre is a very good quarterback whom lots of otherwise sane people wanted to see go away in the offseason. He has a bad habit of not being able to make up his mind, retirement-wise. He’s also having one of his best seasons. On Sunday, he played in his 282nd consecutive game. He went over the 500-touchdown mark, rushing and passing. Like Favre, I could go on.

But what’s the point? He has made all his critics look silly.

Oh, and that Bears’ choice of poison? Peterson might have been “held” to 85 yards, but the Vikings rushed for 159 yards. “This is the most explosive offense I’ve seen in my entire life,” Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. Speaking of blowing things up, let’s move on to the Bears coach and general manager. Whoever holds those positions next season will spend most of their time deciding how to begin. The Bears are 4-7. Smith has said that seasons are decided in November, and in this particular November, the Bears are 1-4.

There is nothing that happened Sunday, nor in six of the last seven games, that would suggest this is a good thing.

Rick Morrissey
In the wake of the news

One of the biggest lures for the Bears or any NFL team to make a coaching change sooner rather than later is the availability of six Super Bowl winning coaches: Bill Cowher (Steelers), Mike Shanahan (Broncos), Mike Holmgren (Packers), Tony Dungy (Colts), Jon Gruden (Buccaneers) and Brian Billick (Ravens).

Just be careful what you wish for.

Would Bill Cowher have
the same success with the
Bears that he had with
Pittsburgh? History says, no.
(AP)

The record of Super Bowl winning coaches with new jobs is hit-and-miss at best. In fact, no Super Bowl-winning coach has EVER won a Super Bowl with another team. Bill Parcells (Patriots) and Mike Holmgren (Seahawks) lost the Super Bowl with their new teams and others have made the playoffs, but Hank Stram, Mike Ditka and George Seifert flopped in New Orleans, New Orleans and Carolina, respectively; Jimmy Johnson and Dick Vermeil produced playoff teams in Miami and Kansas City, but lost their Super Bowl touch.

The last five Super Bowl-winning coaches were hardly sought-after guys when they were hired. Mike Tomlin (Steelers) was a surprise pick who had been the offensive coordinator with the Vikings for one year. Tom Coughlin (Giants) was a retread. Dungy was a successful coach at Tampa Bay whose teams struggled in the playoffs. Cowher was a respected, but lower-profile coordinator with the Chiefs. And Bill Belichick was a retread.

Unless you have a sixth sense about these things — which only the Rooneys of Pittsburgh seem to have — you have just as good a shot with a Jim Haslett, who had a better winning percentage in New Orleans (45-51) than Belichick had in Cleveland (36-44) or a Dennis Green, who won with talent in Minnesota and lost without it in Arizona, as you have with a Brian Billick or Jon Gruden.

Mike Shanahan won one playoff game (1-4) after John Elway retired. Jon Gruden went 0-2 in the playoffs in six seasons after winning the Super Bowl; The Colts are 11-0 without Tony Dungy; Mike Holmgren built a winner in Seattle, but didn’t win his first playoff game with the Seahawks until his seventh season; and Brian Billick went 1-3 in the playoffs in seven seasons after winning the Super Bowl in 2000.

The Super Bowl-winning coach with a resume who should interest the Bears is Cowher. He took a team that went 7-9 under Chuck Noll in 1991 and turned it into an 11-5 playoff team in 1992 with Neil O’Donnell at quarterback and without adding a starter from outside the organization. He had 17 returning starters and four players who already were on the roster when he got there.

Cowher has had a knack for making the most out of what he’s got. He didn”t need a John Elway or Brett Favre or Peyton Manning to make the playoffs or win a Super Bowl. And he hired a pretty good coaching staff that included Dick LeBeau, Marvin Lewis and Dom Capers. If I’m breaking the bank on a guy with a ring, he’s the one to get.

BY MARK POTASH | Commentary

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/1913690,bears-first-ten-01.article

See.  These two columns finally say it. Lovie’s gotta go!

Cutler’s spark has faded -Shout of the day 11/23/2009

Cutler’s spark has faded :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Carol Slezak.

The above article is the closest to my feelings about the Bears and Jay Cutler that I have seen.  I don’t think it is all Jay Cutler’s fault the abysmal coaching staff on the Bears have created another Rex Grossman. But I do fault him that he  seems to not be able to handle the inane sportswriters’ criticism or the unbelievably bad play by his offensive offensive line. He now is  running for his life even when it’s not in danger. You can only take so many hits until you start flinching. And he is definitely flinching. He now needs a therapist as well as some decent coaching. He can do something about the latter, but he came to the wrong team if he expects coaching. This is the team that doesn’t believe in hitting in practice. And it shows on the field.