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CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

COMCAST SPORTSNET CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY SEASON

WITH A FULL LINE-UP OF CLASSIC GAMES & SPECIAL SHOWS ON DEC. 24 & 25!
Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, is celebrating the holiday season in a big way with two, full daysnights of thrilling Classic game telecasts, brand new specials, live post-game programming, up-to-the-minute local sports news & highlights and much more on Christmas Eve (Sat, Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Sun, Dec. 25). Check out the following action-packed line-uponly on Comcast SportsNet!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24

3:00 PM White Sox Classics (from July 31, 1991) Down 8-6 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, new White Sox manager Robin Ventura blasted a walk-off grand slam against the visiting Texas Rangers in one his finest on-field performances; Ventura went 4-6 w5 RBI.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM Blackhawks TV Brand new episode of this Emmy award-winning series featuring the latest behind-the-scenes coverage of the NHLs hottest team!

7:30 PM Bulls Classics presented by Honda (NBA Playoffs - E. Conf. FinalsGm. 4 from May 31, 1993) Michael Jordan shined brightly once again with a dominant 54-point performance against the NY Knicks that tied this series at 2-2.

10:00 & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

11:00 PM The Making of the Luvabulls Re-airing of the final two episodes from Comcast SportsNets acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at one of the NBAs most talented dance teams.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

1:00 PM Cubs Classics (from Apr. 23, 2011) Cubs storm back to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th to post a solid 10-8 victory against the visiting LA Dodgers.

4:30 PM Inside Look: Tom Ricketts presented by Cadillac Premiere airing featuring the exclusive one-on-one interview with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, conducted by Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan.
5:00 PM Kendall vs. Kustok presented by Chicago Home Fitness Its former NBA standoutcurrent Comcast SportsNet Bulls PrePost Game Live studio analyst Kendall Gill vs. former prepscollegiate star athlete, now current SportsNet Central reporteranchor Sarah Kustok, along with their respective teams, taking on the Chicago Fitness Challenge. Tune in to see whose team wins!

6:00 PM Blackhawks TV (see Dec. 24 at 7:00 PM)

6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM White Sox Classics (from June 3, 2011) The White Sox battled the visiting Detroit Tigers and pulled off a thrilling 6-4 win, thanks in part to homers from Quentin, Lillibridge & Pierre, along with a pair of defensive gems from Pierre and Morel.

10:00 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

10:30 PM Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute (L) Immediately following the Bears-Packers game, be sure to tune into this 90-minute, live post-game show, featuring analysis from host Pat Boyle and a team of experts including Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts and Howard Griffith. Bears Post Game Live also features live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams with SportsNet Centrals Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis and CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin providing immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central: Sunday Night Slant (L) Complete game recaphighlights from the weekends NFL match-ups, along with a complete wrap-up of the entire day in sports.

PLUS Coming up on Comcast SportsNet next week

CHICAGO BULLS REGULAR SEASON OPENER on Thu, Dec. 29 as the Bulls face the host Sacramento Kings in Comcast SportsNets first regular season Bulls telecast of the season (McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 8:30 PM, tip-off at 9:00 PM)

CHICAGO BULLS HOME OPENER is on Comcast SportsNet on New Years DaySun, Jan. 1 as the Bulls face the Memphis Grizzlies (special one-hour edition of McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live will take place from the United Center beginning at 6:00 PM, tip-off at 7:00 PM)

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS action, featuring three live match-ups from the United Center: Mon, Dec. 26 vs. Columbus Wed, Dec. 28 vs. Los Angeles Fri, Dec. 30 vs. Detroit (Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live coverage begins at 7:00 PM each night)

In addition, viewers are also urged to visit Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com, for the very latest BullsBlackhawksCubsWhite SoxBears news, game previewsrecaps, Insider reports, talent blogs, videos and much more, available 247.

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

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High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.