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Friday, May 30, 2008

Wow! Cubs make comeback from 8 runs down

I had the pleasure to enjoy the Cubs miraculous comeback today at Wrigley field against the Colorado Rockies. The day started out gloomy, with drizzling rain all morning which delayed the start of the game by 22 minutes. Then, Ted Lilly quickly gave up 4 runs in the top of the first inning, which could have been more, if it weren't for one of today's stars Mark DeRosa. Lou Piniella decided to sit some of the starters, Theriot, Ramirez, etc. DeRosa made a leaping grab of a line shot down third base, reaching up over his head and grabbed a shot that was destined for the corner and a 3 bagger for sure.

Lilly then gave up 3 runs in the 3rd, and one each in the 4th and 5th. The ball was flying out of Wrigley left and right (mostly to left!) Colorado had 2 shots off the ivy, and one off the basket as well. If any of those left, the game may have been over. Leiber soon replaced Lilly.

The Cubs, down 8-1 in the 6th inning, scraped back, with a double into the ivy by Micah Hoffpauir, followed by home runs by Fukudome and Edmonds. In the 7th, the Cubs rallied and put up 6 runs on home runs by defensive replacement Henry Blanco, then DeRosa blasted one to left to put the Cubs up for good, 10-9. Kerry Wood closed it out in the 9th for his 13th save of the year.

What a rally! The crowd, happy they waited out the weather, enjoyed a great comeback, on what turned out to be a gorgeous day..the sun came out and was shining.
What a great win for the Cubs, their 5th in a row to keep them on top of MLB, with the best record in baseball.

Young Hockey star killed

Luc Bourdon, rookie defenseman who played in 27 games for the Vancouver Canucks last year, died Thursday when he was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer. He was riding a motorcycle near his hometown, Shippagan, New Brunswick, Canada. He was 21.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicago Blackhawks to Play at Wrigley Field

There is a buzz around town that the Blackhawks will announce plans to play the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in the NHL's second outdoor Winter Classic.

Many believe it will be announced Friday, since Blackhawks Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito will be at Wrigley Field for the Friday Cubs game and will sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch.

Previously NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Chicago is the top runner.

On Jan 1, 2008 Buffalo played the first outdoor NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the Sabres 2-1 in a shootout.

Also Michigan has played Michigan State outdoors in the past in college pucks.

This will be a great thing for Wrigley. It can hold 41,000 in the stands, plus whatever field seats they add. Wrigley scored a hit 2 years ago when Jimmy Buffet played over the Labor Day weekend. Also, the Police sold out Wrigley Field last year on their reunion tour. The Blackhawks have made a turn around and look to have the building blocks of a good team to come, having missed the playoffs all but 1 of the last 10 years. They have 2 Calder candidates in Toews and Kane. Notwithstanding the great Red Wings - Blackhawks rivalry from the 80's and 90's. This all points to a great game and great promotion.....get your long underwear ready!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chicago Sports Celebrities

Here is a list of the Chicago sports athletes and celebrities that I have met while working at the Oakbrook Movie Theatres. Many athletes live in Oakbrook and the surrounding areas.
(keep in mind I worked there over 10 years ago.)

Jeremy Roenick
Dirk Graham
Chris Chelios
Eddie Belfour

Chicago Whitesox
Bo Jackson
Darren Jackson
Ron Karkovice

John Cusack
Jane March
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud
Ming Na
Dick Versace (basketball coach)
Traci Lords

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jeremy Roenick to play a 20th season

Jeremy Roenick agreed to play a 20th season in the NHL, signing to return to San Jose Sharks. After a couple of poor years due to injury, he had a respectable season in 2008, a 19-year veteran, had 14 goals and 19 assists for San Jose.
He has compiled a nice resume in his career.
9 All-Star games.
the 3rd American-born player to score 500 career goals
Has had a 50 goal season.
He has played in 1,321 NHL games with Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Jose.
He has 509 career goals, ranking 36th in league history, and 694 assists. Among American-born players, he ranks second in career goals, third in points and sixth in assists.
I had the pleasure to meet Roenick back when I managed the Oak Brook movie theatre. He was very friendly, and we talked for 5 minutes as he came in to see a movie. He also remembered my name and said goodbye to me after the game. I was a huge Roenick fan when he played for the blackhawks. With Belfour, Chelios, Larmer and crew, they brought the Hawks to the Stanley Cup finals in 1991, only to be beaten by Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and the Pens. He was truly a fan favorite, despite his tendency to be vocal on issue at times.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MLB Stadium Tour

I have partaken on a tour of the MLB baseball stadiums.
I am not doing it in any certain amount of time, but my friends and I are trying to hit the stadiums and also go to famous food joints in the home cities.

1. Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs, (my hometown so the food places have been well accounted for.
2. Comiskey Park (AKA US Cellular Field, Chicago White Sox.
3. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals. Toasted ravioli at Charlie Gitto's
4. Kauffman stadium, Kansas City Royals, Arthur Bryant's BBQ
5. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Dogs
6. AT&T Ballpark, San Francisco Giants. Mama's Restaurant
7. PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates, Primanti Brothers Sandwiches
8. Miller Park & old Milwaukee Stadium, Milwaukee Brewers. Brats Brats Brats
9. Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees, Rays Pizza
10. Shea Stadium, New York Mets
11. Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros
12. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks Tortilla Flat Restaurant & Saloon
13. Metrodome, Minnesota Twins cheese curds
14. COORS FIELD, Denver Colorado.
15. Angels Stadium, Anaheim CA.
17. SAFECO Field, Seattle, WA. -Garlic Fries

Stadiums Left: Boston, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Texas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Florida, Atlanta, Washington, Cincinnati, San Diego

Bulls Get #1 Pick

Is everything coming up Rose's for the Bulls?
They drew the #1 PingPong ball, a mere 1.7% chance....and get the first pick in the 2008-09 NBA Lottery.

Does anyone remember when Jerry Krause went crazy when he got the long shot, maybe 8-9 years ago? Lets see how the Bulls play this card.
Now, maybe a coach will be interested.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tony Esposito NHL Alumni Signature Series Wine

I had the pleasure to meet Blackhawks great Tony Esposito this weekend at an autograph signing at the local Jewel by my home. Bobby Hull was to make an appearance as well, but he was under the weather, and hopefully he'll be back soon. Tony Esposito was signing on behalf of the NHL Alumni association new signature series wine collection. He was funny, cracked a few jokes. We talked a bit about the Blackhawks rookies Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. He says Toews is the real deal, and said he was at the game when he got creamed in the corner and received 40 or so stitches afterwards. He thinks he'll be a star.
Oh, the wine, its a 2005 California Cabernet Sauvignon, pretty tasty too. They are only going for $14.99 with much of the proceeds going to that local players charity. They have 12 different NHL alumni sponsors, Mike Richter, Gordie Howe and Pat LaFontaine among them. Check them out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tribune rejects another offer from Illinois Sports Facilities Authority for Wrigley

The Chicago Tribune Company rejected another proposal on Tuesday from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to acquire Wrigley Field. They indicated that the new offer was not workable from a team standpoint. Previous reports have indicated that they may keep the name Wrigley Field, but that is speculation at this point.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cubs Sweep, First place, going after a Cub Killer?

The Chicago Cubs came from behind on a rain soaked Mothers day to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 and move into a first-place tie in the National League Central Division on Sunday. They won the game on Daryle Ward's two-run, pinch-hit double with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. This completed a three-game sweep of the D-Backs. This is not much saving grace from the sweep in the NLDS last fall, but it's something. Neither scheduled starter got the start- Zambrano and Randy Johnson, which was good news for the Cubs, as Johnson was 12-0 in 13 starts lifetime against the Cubs.

Speaking of Cubs killers, Rumor has it that the Cubs are looking into acquiring Veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds, who has faired well against the Cubs and is on the list of Cub Killers---those who always find a way to get the clutch hit to send the Cubs to the loss column. He has slowed a step, but still has some power despite a bad back. I feel he is no better than Reed Johnson is now in center field. The Cubs are contemplating sending Pie down to the minors, but I feel they should call up Rookie Sam Fuld who played well for the team in September call-ups last season. Who could forget his catch he made as he ran face first into the ivy covered wall?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fighting Illini Coaches -Meet & Greet Tour

I received this flyer in the mail yesterday from the University of Illinois.

Illini Men's Basketball Joins Football for Upcoming Meet and Greet Tour.

Weber and Howard team up with Zook for Chicagoland, Springfield, Bloomington and Peoria visits.
Coach Weber will attend Meet and Greet Tour stops in Lisle, Bloomington and Peoria.

May 2, 2008

Champaign, Ill. - Coaches from the University of Illinois' Division of Intercollegiate Athletics will be traveling the state once again this spring, visiting with Illini fans as part of the second annual Meet and Greet Tour. The four scheduled stops include Chicagoland (Lisle) on May 12, Springfield on May 22, Bloomington on June 4 and Peoria on June 19.

Head football coach Ron Zook is already set to attend all four locations. The Illini men's basketball program will also be in attendance with head coach Bruce Weber speaking at the Lisle, Bloomington and Peoria events while assistant coach Jerrance Howard visits the Springfield event.

"We have loyal fans throughout the state who continue to show tremendous support for our teams," Weber said. "The Meet and Greet Tour is a great opportunity for us to join Coach Zook in visiting these cities that bleed Orange and Blue and talking Illini basketball and football."

A final lineup of other speakers at each venue will be announced at a later date. Fans will have the opportunity to take photos, get autographs and ask direct questions of the coaches at each Meet and Greet location. Team posters, ticket information and schedule cards also will be available at each stop.

All four events are free admission and include complimentary appetizers. All Meet and Greets will begin at 7 p.m. Due to space limitations, the events are limited to the first 500 fans. To reserve your place, register on-line here.

2008 Meet and Greet Schedule

May 12, 2008, 7 p.m. -- Chicagoland (Lisle)
Chicago-Wyndham, Lisle-Chicago Executive Meeting Center
3000 Warrenville Road
Lisle, IL

May 22, 2008, 7 p.m. -- Springfield
Illini Country Club
1601 S Illini Rd
Springfield, IL

June 4, 2008, 7 p.m. -- Bloomington
Bloomington Country Club
605 N Towanda Ave
Bloomington, IL

June 19, 2008, 7 p.m. -- Peoria
Embassy Suites East Peoria
100 Conference Center Drive
East Peoria, IL

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pat Foley Returns to Chicago Blackhawks

It was mentioned in the papers today that legendary Chicago Blackhawks announcer Pat Foley will return to the airwaves calling the games for the Chicago Blackhawks next year. It was stupid for the Hawks to cut ties with him 2 years ago, he is what kept the fans interested in the game....those great calls..."Baaaaaaaanermann with the save....." and just "Bellllll-fooooourr" to go along with "he shoots, he scoooooooores"

Good to have him back.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kid-K gets the Save on his 10th Aniversary

Kerry Wood notched the save against the Cincinnati Reds tonight in a 3-0 victory for the Chicago Cubs. It was 10 years ago today that Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters against the Houston Astros. Wow how time flies bye. Kerry Wood has never lived up to expectations though, having made numerous trips to the DL, Tommy John, but he does look pretty comfortable in the closer role. Lets hope he learns how to properly strike people out, without yielding the numerous Home Runs that he has in the past. A closer doesn't have that comfort zone, and every hit, walk and home run given up can sink the team. Here's Woody's old Rookie Card as we reminisce down memory lane with that gem of a game on May 6, 1998.

Rashard Mendenhall robbed

Another Chicago athlete makes the news this week.

Rashard Mendenhall, a former Fighting Illini star running back and first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers (#23 overall) was robbed at gunpoint while walking along Chicago's lakefront, near 39th Street and Lake Shore Drive his agent and mother said.

"He didn't get hit or anything, he didn't get hurt or anything," his mother Sybil Mendenhall said. "He's fine."

Police spokesman John Mirabelli said that around 2am on Monday morning, they were robbed at the lakefront around 2 a.m. Monday by two offenders, but declined to identify the victims. No one has been arrested for the crime, he said.

Hmmm, isn't this part of the area that is proposed to be used for the Olympics?
The city of Chicago has some work to do here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cedric....oh Cedric...don't you learn anything at these team meetings?

Cedric Benson Arrested, Alleges Police Abuse

Now I know you all have heard the news over the weekend, Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson was arrested on a drinking-related charge last weekend while Benson was on his boat Saturday night near Austin, Texas. He is now facing charges of boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

Now, he claims he has been repeatedly stopped for similar incidents. Stop going there, change lakes, change states!

He was subdued with pepper spray and arrested, but claims that he wasn't drunk and didn't resist arrest. Either way, don't get in these situations. Pay someone to drive your boat...the captain never drives. You make millions, pay someone to shine your shoes, drive your boat, hold your money bags! Even if you were innocent....stay out of these situations that can get you in deep water (ha ha ha...these puns kill me!)

And then I read he called for his Momma....we'll leave it at that.

I'm sure Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo had long meetings with the team about behaving properly in public. Jeeze, your career lasts 10 years for pro football...and thats only if your good, the average I think is 3 years and your out.

This makes it easy for the Bears to really give rookie Matt Forte a real shot...and now the barganing chip is his court. We'll all see how this plays out.