Cubs

CSN looks back at one of the windiest days in NFL history on the next installment of Bears Classics

CSN looks back at one of the windiest days in NFL history on the next installment of Bears Classics

‘Bears Classics’ presented by Knauz Automotive Group season premiere to debut Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM CT -- Exclusively on Comcast SportsNet

Narrated by Chicago Bears/Pro Football Hall of Fame legend DICK BUTKUS

Chicago, IL (October 22, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet and the Chicago Bears will debut a brand new installment of its partnered Bears Classics presented by Knauz Automotive Group documentary series when the network will once again go back in time to highlight one of the more unique meteorological occurrences in NFL history that produced an unforgettable, record-setting play by a Bears defensive back.

In its third season premiere, debuting Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet, Bears Classics will turn back the clock to November 13, 2005 when the Bears hosted the San Francisco 49ers at a blustery (to say the least) Soldier Field.  Chicago is no stranger to strong winds coming off Lake Michigan, but conditions were extreme throughout this game, as peak gusts reached levels of over 50 mph.  However, the winds played in the Bears favor on the very last play of the first half.

With :02 left on the clock, 49ers kicker Joe Nedney lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt that caught one of the those strong gusts, forcing the football to go wide right.  At that moment, an alert Bears cornerback - Nathan Vasher - was eight yards deep in the end zone when he caught the football, hesitated for a moment…then simply went for it.  Combined with Vasher’s speed and some key sideline blocks from linebacker Lance Briggs and safety Chris Harris, Vasher tore up the field to make NFL history with a record-setting 108-yard play.

This 17-9 Bears win over the 49ers gave the team its fifth-straight victory and a 6-3 record at that point in the ’05 season.  The team finished with an NFC North best 11-5 record, which ultimately fell to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

This edition of Bears Classics, subtitled Winds of Change, takes an in-depth look back at that game featuring candid interviews with players and coaches from both teams, along with those who covered that historic game ten years ago.  Plus, this hour-long documentary will also breakdown the key plays and moments from the game, which included a devastating injury to the Bears first-round draft pick, running back Cedric Benson. 

This edition of CSN’s Emmy-nominated Bears Classics documentary series will be narrated by Chicago Bears legend/Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.  Butkus played for the Bears from 1965-1973 and is credited for redefining the middle linebacker position.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.  Comcast SportsNet’s Sarah Lauch is the Executive Producer of Bears Classics, Willie Parker is the Producer, and Kevin Cross is the network’s Senior Director of News & Original Content.

In addition to the documentary narration by Butkus, among the numerous players/media/execs interviewed in this edition of Bears Classics include exclusive interviews with the following individuals:

NATHAN VASHER

Bears Cornerback (2004-09)

REX GROSSMAN

Bears Quarterback (2003-08)

THOMAS JONES

Bears Running Back (2004-06)

LANCE BRIGGS

Bears Linebacker (2003-14)

TOMMIE HARRIS

Bears Defensive Tackle (2004-10)

BERNARD BERRIAN

Bears Wide Receiver (2004-07)

ADEWALE OGUNLEYE

Bears Defensive End (2004-09)

ISRAEL IDONIJE

Bears Defensive Tackle/End (2004-12)

ROBBIE GOULD

Bears Kicker (2005-present)

JERRY AZUMAH

Bears Cornerback (1999-2005)

ANTHONY ADAMS

49ers Defensive Tackle (2003-06); Bears Defensive/Nose Tackle (2007-11)

JOE NEDNEY

49ers Kicker (2005-10)

LAURENCE HOLMES

WSCR AM 670 “The Score” host

PEGGY KUSINSKI

NBC 5 Chicago Bears beat reporter

JOHN “MOON” MULLIN

CSNChicago.com Bears “Insider”

LARRY MAYER

ChicagoBears.com Senior Writer

SCOTT HAGEL

Bears Vice President of Communications

Please note the following quotes from Comcast SportsNet’s premiere airing of Bears Classics: Winds of Change,debuting Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM CT:

NATHAN VASHER (on returning a 49ers' missed field goal for a 108-yard touchdown, setting an NFL record):  "The hardest part was to be able to catch it, you know, leaning back and not to go out of bounds, but I mean it was right before halftime so there wasn't any time left…let's take it out and see how it goes. And the rest is history."

ANTHONY ADAMS (as a 49ers defender watching Vasher's historic run): "Vasher runs right past me...right past.  I remember this like I remember my kids being born…he ran right past me and I wanted to trip him!"

TOMMIE HARRIS (on the extreme weather conditions at Soldier Field): "I've never played a game that windy.  I mean the pylons were rolling off...you could barely stand up as a player."

REX GROSSMAN (on returning to action in 2005 after missing 13 games with an injury): "My leadership as a whole, I felt like I was just totally trying to be me…to be who I was…smile, have a good time, be intense when I needed to be, and do my job."

THOMAS JONES (on the competition with top draft choice Cedric Benson for lead running back): "It's one thing when you're competing on the field.  It's another thing when you're competing off the field, so we really never had a relationship.  I tried to in the beginning, but once I realized that wasn't going to work, I just focused on doing what I was doing on the field."

Comcast SportsNet will also re-air this episode of Bears Classics on Tue, Nov. 10 at 7pm – and again on Wed, Nov. 18 at 7pm.  Details regarding November’s premiere episode of Bears Classics will be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition, fans can also get interactive prior and during every airing of Bears Classics with their thoughts, memories and comments by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsClassics.  Plus, CSNChicago.com will provide additional, online exclusive interviews and commentary write-ups from a variety of Comcast SportsNet on-air talent members and from CSNChicago.com’s Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin.  

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

0217-addison-russell.jpg
USA TODAY

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

MESA, Ariz. — “That’s last year, don’t want to talk about that.”

In other words, Addison Russell is so over 2017.

The Cubs shortstop went through a lot last year. He dealt with injuries that affected his foot and shoulder. He had a well-documented off-the-field issue involving an accusation of domestic abuse, which sparked an investigation by Major League Baseball. And then came the trade speculation.

The hot stove season rarely leaves any player completely out of online trade discussion. But after Theo Epstein admitted there was a possibility the Cubs could trade away one or more young position players to bolster the starting rotation, well, Russell’s name came up.

And he saw it.

“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said Saturday. “My initial thoughts were, I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go, I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here. It’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m happy being in a Cubs uniform, I want to be in a Cubs uniform, for sure. But there was some talk out there. If I got traded, then I got traded, but that’s not the case.”

No, it’s not, as the Cubs solved those pitching questions with free-agent spending, bringing in Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to replace the departed Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. It means Russell, along with oft-discussed names like Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Javy Baez, are all still Cubs.

While the outside world might have expected one of those guys to be moved in some sort of blockbuster trade for Chris Archer or some other All-Star arm, the Cubs’ young core remains intact, another reason why they’re as much a favorite to win the World Series as any team out there.

“I’m really not surprised. The core is still here. Who would want to break that up? It’s a beautiful thing,” Russell said. “Javy and I in the middle. Schwarber, sometimes playing catcher but mainly outfield. And then (Kris Bryant) over there in the hot corner, and of course (Anthony) Rizzo at first. You’ve got a Gold Glover in right field (Jason Heyward). It’s really hard to break that up.

“When you do break that down on paper, we’ve got a lineup that could stack up with the best.”

This winter has been about moving on for Russell, who said he’s spent months working to strengthen his foot and shoulder after they limited him to 110 games last season, the fewest he played in his first three big league campaigns.

And so for Russell, the formula for returning to his 2016 levels of offensive aptitude isn’t a difficult one: stay on the field.

“Especially with the injuries, I definitely wanted to showcase some more of my talent last year than I displayed,” Russell said. “So going into this year, it’s mainly just keeping a good mental — just staying level headed. And also staying healthy and producing and being out there on the field.

“Next step for me, really just staying out there on the field. I really want to see what I can do as far as helping the team if I can stay healthy for a full season. I think if I just stay out there on the field, I’m going to produce.”

While the decrease in being on the field meant lower numbers from a “counting” standpoint — the drop from 21 homers in 2016 to 12 last year, the drop from 95 RBIs to 43 can in part be attributed to the lower number of games — certain rate stats looked different, too. His on-base percentage dropped from .321 in 2016 to .304 last year.

Russell also struggled during the postseason, picking up just six hits in 36 plate appearances in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out 13 times in 10 postseason games.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. That World Series hangover was team-wide throughout the first half of the season. And even though the Cubs scored 824 runs during the regular season, the second most in the National League and the fourth most in baseball, plenty of guys had their offensive struggles: Schwarber, Heyward and Ben Zobrist, to name a few.

“You can’t take anything for granted. So whenever you win a World Series or you do something good, you just have to live in the moment,” Russell said. “It was a tough season last year because we were coming off winning the World Series and the World Series hangover and all that. This year, we had a couple months off, a couple extra weeks off, and I think a lot of guys took advantage of that. I know I did. And now that we’re here in spring training, we’re going to get back at it.”

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

High School Lites had five matchups between top-25 teams on Friday night as the Public League Playoff semifinals and big matchups in the CSL South, Catholic League Blue and SouthWest Suburban Blue took shape.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Palatine's Eduardo Orozco

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Maine West girls basketball

Highlights

No. 1 Simeon holds off No. 4 Whitney Young

No. 2 Orr gets revenge on No. 3 Curie

No. 9 New Trier takes down No. 6 Evanston

No. 8 Fenwick handles No. 10 Loyola Academy

No. 23 Homewood-Flossmoor rallies past No. 18 Bolingbrook

Oswego East upsets No. 20 Joliet Central

Andrew shuts down Thornridge

Sandburg tops Lockport in OT

Richards runs by Shepard

Maine West captures second straight girls basketball regional title