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Jerry Kill suffers another seizure

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Jerry Kill suffers another seizure

MINNEAPOLIS -  Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill's seizure problems returned Saturday, hospitalizing the coach shortly after he gave his postgame press conference following a 21-13 loss to Northwestern.

Kill met with the media and answered questions for about 10 minutes after the game, looking healthy and strong. But moments after returning to the locker room, school officials said he had another seizure.

Team medical staff attended to him immediately, and an ambulance arrived at TCF Bank Stadium quickly after the seizure. Kill was taken to a hospital, where he was alert and resting comfortably, according to a news release issued by the school about two hours after the game.

University officials "do not anticipate further information on coach Kill's condition being available Saturday night, but are hopeful about being able to provide an update on Sunday," the release said.

It was still too early to tell if Kill would be available to coach next week at Wisconsin, but the hard-nosed coach has taken pride in not letting his condition keep him off the sideline in the past.

It's latest in a long line of problems with seizures for Kill. He suffered several of them last season in his first year at Minnesota, most notably on the sideline during a loss to New Mexico State in September. Kill returned in time to coach the next game and Gophers doctors said they would concentrate on keeping him hydrated and monitoring his medications to keep a handle on the issue.

During a one-week period later in September last year, Kill estimated he had 10 to 20 more and went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to seek treatment. Doctors were able to get him on a program that had been successful at keeping the seizures at bay.

Kill also had seizures on game day in 2001 and 2005, the latter occurring afterward in his office, while he was coaching Southern Illinois and had another while taping a show in 2006 and beat kidney cancer earlier in his coaching career.

"When you have a situation where you go down and go unconscious, there's not a whole lot you can do about it," Kill said last year, "until you come conscious, then you get up and go to practice."

He didn't miss any games for the Gophers because of seizures last season and appeared to be doing just fine through the first six games this year until Saturday.

"The reality of this disorder is this is a common problem," Dr. Pat Smith said, the university's physician, said last year. "People live normal lifestyles with this."

Of course, being a college football coach in the Big Ten is hardly a normal lifestyle. The long hours, high stress and poor diet that can be associated with the job may be contributing to Kill's problem, doctors have said.

That hasn't stopped Kill in the past from getting right back out there.

"What the hell am I supposed to do? Stop? I mean, sit in the chair and wait for the next dang seizure to come along?" Kill said last year.

It's the latest bit of adversity for the Gophers, who started the season 4-0 to generate optimism among the program's long-suffering fans that a bowl game could be had. But they were thumped 31-13 at Iowa in the Big Ten opener, then delivered a sloppy and mistake-filled performance in the loss to the Wildcats on Saturday to fall to 0-2 in the conference.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?

Dry humping and second-guessing: Joe Maddon defends his Game 2 bullpen decisions

Dry humping and second-guessing: Joe Maddon defends his Game 2 bullpen decisions

Joe Maddon has no easy decisions.

With the way his tattered bullpen has pitched this postseason, there's a very real possibility that any guy he calls on to pitch is the "wrong" guy or the right guy in the "wrong" spot.

For everybody wanting Maddon to ride Wade Davis as a workhorse this fall — something the Cubs skipper has already done just to get to this NLCS — remember how much flak he took for overusing Aroldis Chapman a year ago at this time.

Davis also hasn't been superhuman this postseason, allowing a pair of runs (including a homer) and seven baserunners in 4.1 playoff innings, good for a 4.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

So when Maddon sat in the dugout late Sunday evening watching helplessly as John Lackey served up a walk-off homer to Tormund Giantsbane Justin Turner, the "Madd Scientist" immediately found himself in the crosshairs of Cubs fans and the media.

The first question he fielded in his postgame press conference was about not using Davis and there were several follow-ups. That and the offensive futility is about all anybody wanted to talk about after the Cubs fell down 0-2 in the NLCS.

Maddon explained Davis was available only in a save situation due to workload issues — the Cubs closer was in uncharted territory Thursday night/Friday morning, throwing the most pitches (44) and innings (2.1) he's thrown since Aug. 24, 2013 when he was still working as a starter. That's a span of 1,511 days.

"Wade knew that going into the game, it was going to be with the say," Maddon said. "We caught the lead, he's in the game. So whatever the narrative was, it's really a false narrative. He was not coming into that game until we grabbed the lead. He was not going to pitch more than three outs. That's it."

How does Maddon respond to his second-guessers?

"Doesn't matter," Maddon said. "First of all, social media, the moment I start worrying about that, I really need to retire. Second of all, that was all predetermined [Sunday] night again."

Davis also has a recent history of arm troubles (he was on the disabled list twice in 2016 for a forearm issue) and also saw his workload jump in September just to help the Cubs get to the postseason. In the final month of the regular season, Davis threw 237 pitches, 42 more than he threw in any other month of 2017. The last time he topped 200 pitches in any month was May 2015.

TV cameras showed Davis throwing in the Cubs bullpen alongside Lackey at one point in the ninth inning, leading to surprise by a huge faction of the (*looks around and whispers*) social media fanbase when the game broadcast resumed after commercials and the pitching change was to bring Lackey — not Davis — into the game.

"Wade was not warming up to come in that game," Maddon said. "Wade was probably just testing his arm at that point. We had talked about it before the game — up and in. 

"For those that aren't involved in Major League Baseball and professional baseball in general, when a guy's throwing too much, it's very important to not dry hump him, as the saying goes. Get him up and put him back down and bring him back in later. So I wasn't going to do that."

(Wow, really was not expecting to hear or write the phrase "dry hump" regarding this story.)

Maddon insists health is not the problem with Davis.

"Yes [he's healthy]. Oh yeah," Maddon said. "Listen, this guy just did yeoman kind of work — I love that word — in Washington and was not prepared to go more than three outs. I don't understand why that's difficult to understand.

"And furthermore, you have to also understand it wasn't the last game of the year or the second to last game. It was about winning eight more games. All these things are factors."

Maddon has a point. This isn't a Buck Showalter case where the Baltimore Orioles manager failed to use his best reliever — Zach Britton — in a non-save situation in a winner-take-all American League wild card game because he wanted the closer to be ready for a save.

The Cubs went down in a game that was tied 1-1 with their best reliever failing to get in the game even though he hadn't pitched in the last two days. 

But Davis can't cover every inning in relief, especially when the Cubs' two starters (Jose Quintana and Jon Lester) lasted just 9.2 innings against the Dodgers, leaving the Cubs bullpen to account for the other 8+ innings somehow.

The rest of the Cubs bullpen has to step up, too, which they did before the ninth inning of Game 2.

Still, Maddon couldn't resist getting one more defensive shot in before putting the matter to bed:

"I really hope you all understand that social media doesn't count at all," he said. "Twitter doesn't count at all. And really, as sportswriters, you should do a better job than relying on Twitter to write a story, quite frankly."

Well then.