CSN to carry expanded Cubs NLCS pregame/postgame coverage this weekend

CSN to carry expanded Cubs NLCS pregame/postgame coverage this weekend

“SportsNet Central: Road to a Championship” NLCS Preview TONIGHT at 10:30 PM CT

Game 1 coverage on Saturday, October 17

“Cubs Pregame Live” at 6:00 PM CT on CSN+

“Cubs Postgame Live” at approx. 10:00 PM CT on CSN

Game 2 coverage on Sunday, October 18

“Cubs Pregame Live” at 6:00 PM CT on CSN

“Cubs Postgame Live” at approx. 10:00 PM CT on CSN

Chicago, IL (October 16, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of National League Championship Series-bound Chicago Cubs, will be providing fans with LIVE, expanded, surrounding coverage of the Cubs huge upcoming playoff series against the New York Mets. 

Beginning TONIGHT at 10:30 PM CT, Comcast SportsNet will provide viewers with a special NLCS Preview show entitled, SportsNet Central: Road to the Championship.  This half-hour show, hosted by CSN’s Cubs Pre/Postgame Live tandem of David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Todd Hollandsworth (@hollytime28) will provide fans with a full, detailed preview of the Cubs-Mets series, including workout day on-site reports at Citi Field from Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney), along the latest team/player news, interviews, season-long match-up highlights, and an ALCS overview that features Kansas City vs. Toronto.

Game 1 (Saturday, October 17) and Game 2 (Sunday, October 18) of the NLCS will take place in New York and Comcast SportsNet will deliver live, expanded editions of Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto and Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois featuring Kaplan and Hollandsworth, along with LIVE up-to-the-minute on-site Citi Field reports from Crull and Mooney.

Please note the following details for Comcast SportsNet’s surrounding Cubs-Mets NLCS coverage in New York this coming weekend:


6:00 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto (NOTE: airing on CSN+) – Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, this special ONE-HOUR edition of Cubs Pregame Live will break down and preview Game 1 of the NLCS featuring numerous interviews, a complete series overview, a recap of regular season Cubs-Mets head-to-head highlights, along with live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull and Patrick Mooney.

10:00 PM (time approx.) Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois – An expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the Game 1, plus, additional live on-field post-game reports and much more.


6:00 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto– Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, this special ONE-HOUR edition of Cubs Pregame Live will break down and preview Game 2 of the NLCS featuring a thorough Game 1 recap, pitching match-up previews, numerous interviews, along with live, on-site reports from Crull and Mooney.

10:00 PM (time approx.) Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois– An expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the Game 2, plus, additional live on-field post-game reports and a look ahead to NLCS making its way Wrigley Field beginning Tuesday.

IMPORTANT NOTE: On Saturday, October 17, Cubs Pregame Live will air exclusively on CSN+. CSN+ is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER  for complete channel location details. 

In addition to the comprehensive Cubs NLCS coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com throughout the playoffs even more comprehensive 24/7 coverage, including:

  • Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conferences (sponsored by Xfinity).
  • “Cubs Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media and behind-the-scenes destination that reveals the latest real time trending topics, player buzz and expert insight from Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, “Cubs Pulse” aggregates all Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CubsTalk.
  • “Cubs In-Game Live,” – featuring STATS Inc.’s enhanced Game Zone real-time tracking system – is a second screen platform for PCs, tablets and mobile devices that combine state-of-the-art infographics, data visualization of real-time statistics and game info with rich social interactivity tied to CSN Chicago’s live game broadcasts.
  • Push Alerts: CSN Chicago will deliver Cubs push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Cubs playoffs news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BullsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and Golf Central. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk and BearsTalk, PrepsTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney will provide extensive team/player news, special feature stories, and much more throughout the NLCS. Follow him on Twitter @CSNMooney for 24/7 inside access.  Cubs digital reporter and producer Tony Andracki will also provide Cubs reports/features on the beat with Mooney.  Follow @CSNCubs on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and the very latest team news.
  • CSNChicago.com’s state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Cubs playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • CSNChicago.com, NBC Sports and HardBallTalk.com will also produce Cubs content in tandem, which will include on-camera segments and digital reports.
  • Yahoo: Via the Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network digital alliance, CSNChicago.com’s Cubs content will be available via sports.yahoo.com.
  • Cubs coverage on CSNChicago.com/Cubs is presented by Toyota.

NOTE: Comcast SportsNet’s surrounding coverage details for GAMES 3 & 4 (and Game 5 if nec.) from Wrigley Field next week, along with Games 6 & 7 (if nec.) back in New York, will be announced on Monday, Oct. 19. 

Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"


Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"

The Chicago sunlight followed Jabari Parker as he walked through the East Atrium doors of the United Center, facing Michael Jordan’s statue before meeting with the media, introduced as a Chicago Bull for the first time.

For his sake, the brighter days are ahead instead of to his back as he’ll challenge the perception of being the hometown kid who can’t outrun his own shadow.

Parker re-enters Chicago as the No. 2 pick in the draft that the Milwaukee Bucks allowed to walk without compensation despite holding the cards through restricted free agency, damaged goods on the floor but not giving the Bulls a discount to don that white, red and black jersey he’s always dreamed of wearing.

“There were other teams but as soon as I heard Chicago, I just jumped on it,” Parker said.

It took a two-year, $40 million deal (2019-20 team option) to get Parker home, along with the selling point that he’ll start at small forward—a position that’s tough to envision him playing with on the defensive end considering three of the game’s top six scorers occupy that space.
It was a dream come true for his father, Sonny Parker, and high school coach, Simeon Academy’s Robert Smith, who both couldn’t hide their joy following the first question-and-answer session with the media.

“This is where he wanted to be,” Sonny Parker said. “His family’s happy, the support is there. All I know is the United Center will sell out every game. He can’t wait.”

“Normally guys get drafted here. He signed to come here. He had a couple offers from other teams but he wanted to come here.”

The biggest examples of Chicagoans who arrived with outsized expectations for this franchise had varying results, but Derrick Rose and Eddy Curry both came away with scars of sorts that had many wondering why any hometown product would willingly choose to play for the Bulls.

The risk seems to far outweigh the reward; the emotional toll doesn’t seem worth the fare. And with the roster makeup not being ideal for Parker, no one could blame him for going to a better situation—or at least one more tailored to his skills rather than his heart.
“I think every situation is different. Derrick was excelling,” Bulls executive vice-president John Paxson said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “MVP of the league in his hometown before the injury. Eddy was just a young kid who didn’t have the savvy Derrick had. I think every situation is different. Jabari is such a grounded, solid person that he’s gonna be just fine.”

“You don’t have to spend a whole lot of time with him to figure out he’s got it together. He knows who he is. Comfortable in his own skin. A quiet guy. Hopefully he’ll thrive here. The goal is it works great for him and works great for us.”

It seemed like he was bred to be a pro—and not just any pro, but the type Chicago demands of its own when a covenant to play 82 nights a year has been reached. If the constant prodding from his father didn’t break his façade, or older brother Darryl doing everything he could to coax emotion from the most gifted of the Parker clan couldn’t do it, two ACL surgeries on his left knee may pale in comparison.

The numbers from Parker’s recent stint with the Bucks don’t bear it out, but Smith sees a player who’s back on track to being what his talent has always dictated he should become.

“Even watching him work out lately, it’s like whoa,” Smith said. “But of course, everything with Chicago period you have to be cautious. With his family and the support system he has, this thing is about winning basketball games and giving back to the community.”

“He’s had that (target) on his back since he stepped on the court at Simeon, coming behind Derrick and being one of the top five players as a freshman and No. 1 player as a junior. I don’t think it’s a huge problem, it can help him a little bit. If he has those moments if something doesn’t go right, he has someone to help him.”

Parker is more known for his restarts than his unique skill set in his young career, but even at 23 years old speaks with a sage of someone 20 years his senior, unwilling to tab this portion of his journey as a fresh start.

After all, it would be easy to envision his career beginning from the moment he left Simeon as a phenom followed by his one season at Duke—having two games where he totaled just 24 minutes with just two points to start the Bucks’ first-round series against the Boston Celtics isn’t typical of a star’s story if he sees himself that way.

“I don’t. I don’t want to forget all the hard work I had,” Parker said. “To forget I hurt myself and came back is to discredit my success. That in of itself is something outside the norm. I want to always remember the setbacks and failures I’ve had in my career so far. I want to use that as a sense of motivation.”

Bringing up his awkward pro beginnings in Milwaukee, where Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascension to an unexpected strata mirrored thoughts he might’ve had of himself before his injuries, didn’t cause him to growl.

“I’ve never got jealous a day in my life. That’s why it wasn’t hard because I wasn’t jealous,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “My journey is my journey. I gotta be proud of that and be patient. I took that and I move forward.”

The mention of his defense didn’t make him defensive, either, as he definitively pointed out the truth as he saw it, that today’s game is far more offensive-minded than the bruise-fests of the previous decades. Telling by his words in subsequent interviews, the best defense is a great offense and when he’s right, there aren’t many who can get a bucket as easily and with as much diversity as himself.

The only time Parker broke serve was at the notion he’d be following in the footsteps of Rose’s perceived failures, the setbacks Rose suffered when his knees began to fail after reaching inspiring heights players like Parker wanted to emulate.

At the podium for all to see, he corrected a question formed around Rose’s “rise and fall”, a sound byte copied and pasted by a couple Chicago-bred NBA players on social media in support of Parker’s words and feelings.

“Derrick had no lows. He didn’t. He still maintained. Derrick’s a legend, no matter what…no rise and falls. Injuries are part of life. Derrick is one of the best icons in Chicago. He accomplished his duty already.”

And later, he wanted to set the record straight again, drawing a line from how the media has presented Rose compared to how the people of Chicago see him, and vice-versa.

“We didn’t turn on Derrick, the media (did),” Parker told NBCSportsChicago.com. “We’re hometown. I speak for everybody, we love our hometown.”

The love of Chicago meant more than the prospect of not being able to live up to a glorious prep past, even though he should be well aware wanderlust can turn to villainy in a heartbeat—or the wrong step.

“There’s no pressure for me,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “I’m just happy I get to play with some young guys, and I don’t harp on the negative. Anybody and everybody is gonna have an opinion. I value more my dreams than their opinions.”

And the dreamer steps forward, with a confident gait, eyes wide open and a city hoping it doesn’t repeat the same mistakes of its past.

“There’s no fear,” Parker said. “I haven’t faced any other pressure than bouncing back. I’m back on my feet and moving on.”

“When you struggle more, you succeed more.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?


Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?

David Haugh, Patrick Finley and KC Johnson join Kap on the panel. Jabari Parker is officially a Chicago Bull. So does that make the Bulls a playoff team? And who will play defense for Fred Hoiberg’s young team? Vincent Goodwill and Mark Schanowski drop by to discuss.

Plus with Manny Machado now a Dodger, are the Cubs no longer the best team in the NL?

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: