Bulls

(Frankie) O-Bombs!

(Frankie) O-Bombs!

Wednesday, September 30th

At the bar, when somebody orders an O-Bomb, I add Red Bull with Bacardi O, chill it and serve it as a shot. Here, when you add a highly caffeinated beverage (those who know me know EXACTLY what it is!) to a sleep deprived bartender and put him in front of a computer keyboard, you get: Frankie O-Bombs! (Also served as a shot!)

BEARS FEVER!!!

As if there was a doubt, we are once again reminded that this is a Bears town. The bar is alive with talk of the Da Bears and what the future holds for this team. I say, hold on and enjoy the ride. This team has already shown that it has more heart than its immediate predecessor. Any discussions that Ive had about the Bears in leading up to this season, had to be started with how AWFUL they were to end last year. So far, this team has shown resiliency, and heart, to come back from 4th quarter deficits to take the lead in all 3 games. If not for the blown coverage in the closing moments of the opener, this team would be 3-0. Very exciting! This team needed to get off to a good start to have any shot. They need to pummel Detroit back to their senses, rest up during the bye, then get ready to run the gauntlet. All of a sudden, the gimmes against San Fran and Cincy look a lot tougher. This leaves only the Browns and the Lions in the season finale as easy wins. The other 10 are going to define these Bears. A split would mean 10-6. Wait! Now Im getting ahead of myself. I think Ill just enjoy the mauling of the Lions and say that this team is better than I anticipated and leave it at that. Two things: Whatever theyre doing to get opposing kickers to miss makeable kicks: Keep it up! And, something has to be done to figure out the running game, which averaging under 3 yards a carry = not going to get it done.
SPEAKING OF FEVER

What was up with the neon green uniforms for Seattle? Does too much caffeine not let you see your team unless they wear reflector gear? Was it 60s Acid Flashback Day at Quest Field? Is there an unexpected opening in the Seahawks' marketing department?

THIS SEASON IS OVAH! YESSSSS!!

I dont know about you, but the Chicago portion of the MLB season cant end soon enough. Ive often said that Id rather have my team not make the playoffs, than to have to endure a postseason loss. I think Ive changed my mind. Last year ended much too abruptly on both sides of town, but the thing was, you had the feeling that both could do much better, and do it as soon as this year. The unhappy ending was just a speed bump on the way to ultimate victory. So much for that. Im not getting the vibe at the bar that fans feel very optimistic towards next year either. This has really been a bummer of a season in a town that knows those types of summers all too well. Both sides of town are going to have a lot of offseason work to do to re-energize the faithful.

BE LIKE MIKE?

Going out with a blaze of glory? It was more like a blaze of shrapnel! Who didnt get hit? We all know that MJ believes in tough love, but this was ridiculous. Ive gotten a ton of comments about his speech and Im still waiting for the first favorable one. Of course, the comments were mostly from out-of-towners, who, unlike Chicagoans, didnt realize how the Greatest Basketball Player Ever was wired. Those of us here knew that Jordan never took kindly to, or FORGOT, a slight. I tried to defend him with the he was always driven by inner demons defense, but to no avail. I think Mr. Teflon has taken a huge PR hit. Doesnt change what he did on the court, and thats what people will remember. In fact, in this 24 hour news-cycle memory society we live in, Im sure most have forgotten it already. Except that is, for the people whom the speech meant the most: The people who KNOW him. Then again, it probably wasnt a surprise for them. Still its a far cry from all of the reaction that I got in the bar after Ryne Sandbergs HOF speech. His speech uplifted everyone, not just one person.
STILL DONT GET IT

The good thing for golf: Even on a football Sunday, with the Bears playing at the same time, we had several TVs tuned into the golf tournament. (Which is more than I can say for the Cubs and Sox combined, they both achieved NASCAR status!) The bad thing: No Drama! Theres no fun when Tiger just has to stay close. Nor is there additional pressure on Mickleson (always when the fun starts!) when he knows that Tiger is content to lay back and collect the REALLY big check. If golf truly wants to get noticed (Where was the story in your Monday paper?) they need to listen to Frankie O and give the money to the WINNER of the FINAL tournament! And, again, they need to put the 10 Mill-dough beside the 18th green, where everyone can see it! You want attention? Ill get you attention!

NITTANY LYIN

Although I put my time in at Penn State, (see where higher education can get you?) and have rooted for the football team my entire life, even I knew that they were NOT the 5th best team in the country. In fact, all week at the bar, I told anyone who would listen, that no way should they be giving 9 points to any Big Ten team, let alone a team they cant beat. The only thing missing was a Tim Dwight punt return for 6. Ugh! I think its about impossible to perform at a high level when you return only 1 offensive lineman and also lose 3 of the top 4 receivers in school history. Its going to be a long year. For those of you who benefitted from my counsel, you know where to find me!
WAR HORSE

As much as the offseason Favre saga made me want to gag, his playing with the Vikes is must-watch. The play he made at the end of the game to Greg Lewis (another grizzled vet, how did he keep his feet in?) is a play we will watch forever. Everyone was talking about it at the bar, and thats what Favre does, for as much as he can take you out of a game, he can win one in an instant. Cant wait to watch his 1st game against the Pack, somebodys got to lose, right?

MARQUIS DE BAD

Anyone else notice Jayson Marquis struggles down the stretch for the Rockies? His 6.28 ERA in the last month are hidden in his overall good numbers. Think hell make this playoff roster. Surprisingly, his brother in (lack of late season big game) arms, Javier Vazquez, has actually been pretty dominant down the stretch. Dont worry Javy, your safe. There wont be any playoffs in your near future to gag in, your team will just miss.

K.O.D.

Well, I dont know why theyre going to bother to play the season: Barry Melrose has picked the Blackhawks to play the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals. If thats not the kiss of death, I dont know what is. He took out both of my teams in one breath.

CHILD PLEASE

Dont know about you but I get a kick out of Chad Ochocinco. His time on-camera was the best part of Hard Knocks. His latest stunt is why you have to love the guy. He found four people on Twitter who would go to Green Bay and sit in BENGALS uniforms, in the front row of the end-zone (in tickets that 85 bought) so that he could score a touchdown and do the Lambeau-Leap into them. Then it actually happened! Are you kidding me? The No Fun League needs more of this guy! Anything that messes with Packer fans, Im all for!

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

Is there any better way to break in your new Black Friday television than Bulls-Warriors tonight? We think not. Coverage starts at 9 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live, and the game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports app

Here are three things to keep your eye on: 

1. Not the score. Let's be honest: the Bulls probably won't sneak out a win at the Oracle. In fact, ESPN's matchup predictor only gives Fred Hoiberg's young squad a 2.9 percent chance to come up victorious. UIC has three times better odds against juggernaut Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Sunday, in case you needed some context.  

With the talent gap in mind, though, it will be important for the Bulls to come out with high energy. The Warriors will likely take the contest lightly in the first half, so starting off strong reflects well on the coaching staff and starters. Stay within 10 points by the half, and that's considered a massive triumph. 

2. Lauri Markkanen vs. Draymond Green? Assuming the Dubs start out with Green on Markkanen, this will be rookie's biggest test of the season. Green is an elite defender, capable of wrecking gameplans from the tip. He's physical, quick and athletic. 

Markkanen is coming off two duds on the West Coast trip, but his aggressiveness hasn't wavered. It'll be important for him to continue to attack even with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year hounding him. 

3. Steph, KD and Klay doin' work. The Bulls offense hasn't exactly been a thing of beauty through the first 16 games. Their offensive rating is a brutal 94.4, ranked last in the NBA. Golden State, on the other hand, sits at the top with a rating of 113.1. 

Take some time to admire the skills of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson because when it comes to working cohesively on offense, they've set the gold standard. 

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

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USA TODAY

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.

Mitchapalooza

If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.