Preps Talk

Random News of the Day: Tricks of the trades

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Random News of the Day: Tricks of the trades

Thursday, July 29, 2010
11:16 AM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

I can't help injecting sports references into everyday life. It's a lost cause. I'm beyond help. For instance, take my upcoming wedding: I've already compared the invite list to picking seeds in the NCAA basketball tournament. There are the No. 1 & No. 2 seeds (wedding party), the No. 3's, No. 4's (close friends) and then there are the questionable No. 14 seeds that you hardly ever talk to...but feel obligated to invite because of family (conference) connections.

I also like people who take the MLB trading deadline to exciting new heights. I remember during one particular late July afternoon at my first TV job, one of our sports anchors ridiculed a photographer by saying, "we're going to trade you to a station in Rockford for two teleprompters and an intern to be named later. We laughed and laughed...until he ended up in human resources. Oh well.

The mouth-breathers out there have debated ad nauseum for weeks now on which White Sox and Cubs couldshould be expendable and who should be brought here in return. I think it's time to liven up the MLB trade stew with a little spice called randomness:

"Go Cubs Go" to the state of New Jersey for three jukebox songs and cash: I love what the Ricketts family has done so far. Their proactive stance on changing the ballpark experience has been well documented and the results (at-bat music, food selections...etc.) have surfaced. The on-field improvements will come too, I suppose. And, I love singersongwriter Steve Goodman. His "City Of New Orleans" is one of the best red, white and blue Americana songs of all time. I'm just not the biggest fan of his "Go Cubs Go." To me, it's too much 80's sitcom opening credits and not enough razor's edge. I'm probably going to be in the extreme minority on this, but how about we ship this song to a New Jersey jukebox for Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" and a few others? Like the new at-bat music that has surfaced at Wrigley, wouldn't this give the ballpark more of an edge?13 of Barack Obama's White Sox loyalty to the Nationals for Adam Dunn: The White Sox get a left-handed bat without giving up Daniel Hudson or any of the marquee prospects. And Washington gets a guy who actually wears a Nationals cap every now and then. If the Nats want to make a serious run at being relevant in their own back yard, then they have to get the Commander In Chief on board (you know...a few autograph signings, a few charity functions here and there, some banners around the ballpark...etc). And the Sox still retain a 23 majority on Barack's loyalty to the South Side. This is a win-win, folks.Passive Cubs fans to Pittsburgh for Primanti Brothers sandwiches: Every team has a group of passive fans. You know, the ones that come in the third inning, leave after the seventh inning stretch and check their cell phones 20 times in-between. For some reason, the Dodgers and Cubs fans get picked on about this the most. It is widely speculated that a good amount of Cubs fans just go to Wrigley "for the atmosphere." That's fine, I guess. But as a Cubs fan, I wouldn't mind these fans be replaced by, not only by fans who cheer the subtleties of the game itself (moving a runner into scoring position...etc), but with some of the best sandwiches in America. Nothing says fun like grilled meat, cole slaw, tomato and french fries between two pieces of Italian bread. In return, Pittsburgh gets a group of fans to help boost sagging attendance numbers. (Random tangent: if any team needed a boost in attendance, it's the Pirates. They have, arguably, the best ballpark in America. I feel for these guys.)U.S. Cellular Fields Go Go Sox Grille, Burger Barn, South Side Hitmen Grille, and Tex Mex concession stands for Prince Fielder: On the White Sox web site, the words endless supply of meats highlight the concession stand category. Mmmm. That place is amazing, you know? Unfortunately, in order to get the lucrative lefty bat, the White Sox are going to have to give up the meat of their ballpark food lineup for, well, someone to help the meat of their batting lineup. The irony in all of this is that Fielder is a strict vegetarian. A pro-veggie atmosphere on the South Side would have to be a given to make the trade fly. I cant begin to imagine the horror for herbivore Prince Fielder watching grown men in sausage suits run around his backyard every home gamein Milwaukee no less. Ted Lilly and Rod Blagojevich to the Yankees for David Robertson, Slade Heathcott and cash: The Yankees get their rotation insurance in Lilly, and they also get Blago-- a guy with a personality that is more suited for the Big Apple. It also gives Blago a second chance on Celebrity Apprentice and a huge break on transportation costs. The Cubs get a serviceable bullpen guy in Robertson, their outfielder of the future in Heathcott and cash to help build a larger home clubhouse. Do it. DO IT!We can dream, can't we?

Or something like that.

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

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

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball

Highlights

Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.