Preps Talk

Word on the Street: Urlacher takes a shot at Goodell

Word on the Street: Urlacher takes a shot at Goodell

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Urlacher takes a shot at Goodell

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher kept the hits coming even though the final whistle blew on Chicago's 16-0 shutout of the Miami Dolphins Thursday night.

Urlacher, who set the franchise record for tackles in the Thursday night matchup, has not been reserved about his feelings towards the stiff fines and penalties that have been enforced this year on defensive hits, especially those involving the head of offensive players.

But Thursday, he took it a step further, calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a dictator.

"I don't like the rule, I don't think any defensive player likes it," Urlacher said. "It's not going to effect the way we play. We're still going to try to separate the ball from the player, that's what we do as defense. We've been taught that since we were kids, that's what we're going to try to keep doing.

"What can you do though? It's a dictatorship . . . If Goodell wants to fine you he's going to fine you, that's the way it goes and that's just the way it is." (USA Today)
Former Sox scout pleads not guilty to allegations

Jorge Oquendo Rivera, a former scout for the Chicago White Sox, pleaded not guilty to the charges that he took kickbacks from Latin American baseball prospects. David Wilder, the White Sox's former senior director of player personnel, and Victor Mateo, another former scout, were not at the arraignment, but the three are alleged to have pocketed about 400,000 over a span of more than three years. (Chicago Tribune)

Fukudome planning to stay in Chicago for a long time?

Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs' highly-paid outfielder, just purchased a three-bedroom condo on Lake Shore Drive with his wife worth 1.44 million.

The 33-year-old former Japanese star is in the midst of a four-year, 48 million contract, having already served three of those years in the outfield of Wrigley Field. (Chicago Tribune)

NCAA Football Bowls to be filled with sub-.500 teams?

With just three short weeks left in the college football season, only 54 programs are bowl eligible. Another 39 remain in contention, but with another bowl game added to the slate this year (35 in all), 70 teams will need to qualify. If they don't, the NCAA may have to explore allowing sub-.500 teams to play.

Last season, there were only 71 bowl-eligible teams for 68 slots when the season came to a close. (Fox Sports)

Pickup football game to be played at Wrigley?

Not really, but pretty close. After the Friendly Confines was originally signed off as acceptable for the Illinois-Northwestern football game Saturday, the Big Ten announced Friday morning that the east end zone is too close to the right field wall and as such, all offensive plays, including extra points and overtime possessions will be directed at the end zone.

All kickoffs will be directed at the east end zone and after every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offense to head toward the west end zone, according to CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney. (CSNChicago.com)

Rothschild inks three-year deal with Yankees

The Cubs didn't stop taking hits Friday as it was announced that pitching coach Larry Rothschild would not be coming back for 2011, as he originally reported, and would instead take his talents to the Big Apple and the Bronx Bombers.

Rothschild had already exercised his 2011 option last month and looked like he was going to be coming back for his 10th season with the Cubs, but things took a turn Friday when he was offered the position in New York. He stated family as the main reason for the change, as the Yankees train in Tampa in the spring and visit there several times a year as the Rays are in the same division. (CSNChicago.com)

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

CLASS 1A

Revealing the Class 1A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 1A Bracket

CLASS 2A

Revealing the Class 2A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 2A Bracket

CLASS 3A

Revealing the Class 3A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 3A Bracket

CLASS 4A

Revealing the Class 4A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 4A Bracket

Predicting Class 1A-4A

CLASS 5A

Revealing the Class 5A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 5A Bracket

CLASS 6A

Revealing the Class 6A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 6A Bracket

CLASS 7A

Revealing the Class 7A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 7A Bracket

CLASS 8A

Revealing the Class 8A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 8A Bracket

Class 7A and Class 8A Predictions

 

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

Keeping the game simple is often a tough task for rookies entering the NBA, but it seems Lauri Markkanen has been a quick learner in that aspect.

Through two games he’s probably the lone bright spot, especially after the Bulls’ cringe-inducing 87-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their home opener at the United Center.

Jumper not falling? Okay, go to the basket.

“It wasn’t falling so I tried to get to the rim a couple times,” Markkanen said. “At the end, I was like let’s do it and I connected on a 3-pointer, I felt more open just because I was at the rim. I think that helped.”

He was asked what the difference was in the second game of his career compared to the first.

“I mean the crowd was chanting for us (tonight),” Markkanen said, referring to Thursday in Toronto.

He wasn’t attempting to display any dry wit but applying common sense seems to work for him, even though he’s been thrust into a situation after an incident that doesn’t make any sense.

With Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the foreseeable future, playing a game-high 37 minutes will be more common than anomaly.

“Whatever your minutes are, you gotta play them to the best of your ability,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s being allowed to play through some mistakes right now. He’s gonna play heavy minutes every night.”

He only shot five of 14 but achieved his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds after a 17-point, eight-rebound debut against the Raptors Thursday.

No, someone didn’t open a door for a draft to come into the United Center on that three-pointer that went wide left, but it didn’t stop him from being assertive and continuing to look for his shot.

There was plenty of muck, easy to see on the stat sheet. The 38 percent shooting overall, the lack of penetration, the 29 percent shooting from 3-point range and 20 turnovers.

It’s not hard to imagine what Markkanen will look like with competent and effective NBA players around him, along with a true facilitating point guard that will find him in this offense.

“Markkanen is a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.”

He received a crash course, facing the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay Saturday night. On one instance, Gay drove baseline and made Markkanen buckle with a 3-point play.

Aldridge had 24 shots in 32 minutes as a new focal point with Kawhi Leonard out with injury.

So he’s not getting treated with kid gloves, nor is he backing down from the assignments.

“He didn’t shoot the ball well but he battled,” Hoiberg said. “He had a tough assignment with Pau, who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame one day. Good experience. He guarded Aldridge, Rudy Gay some. He battled, he fought them.”

Even with the airball, had the moment that gives the Bulls fans hope, when he drove on Gasol, spun and hooked a lefty layup while being fouled by the veteran in the first half—giving the United Center faithful something to have faith in for a moment.

“Sometimes you get labeled as a shooter. That’s the label Lauri had,” Hoiberg said. “But he really is a complete basketball player. He’s versatile, he can put in on the deck. He slides his feet very well for a guy that’s seven feet tall, someone his age. Yeah, he’s learning on the fly. He’s gonna have ups and downs, as young as he is. He’s gonna have some struggles at times. But he’s played pretty darn well for everything he’s been through, understanding two days ago he’s gonna be in the starting lineup.”

And for all the bad air around the Bulls right now, from the on-court product to the off-court drama that seems to follow them around like Pigpen, it would be even worse if Markkanen’s first two games had him looking like a corpse, or someone who would be a couple years away from reasonably contributing to an NBA team.

“He’s good, he’s very good,” Gasol said. “I like him. I like his game.”