Cubs

Cutler's OL comments blown out of proportion

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Cutler's OL comments blown out of proportion

The media has covered everything about Jay Cutler. Unfortunately, most of it has no bearing on football. Everything from Cutlers love life, demeanor on the field and toughness have been questioned. Recently, Cutler's comments concerning his offensive line have been making headlines.

One of the golden rules in NFL circles or any sports team is that you never throw your teammates under the bus. It holds true on and off the field of play. But when one actually listens to Cutlers comments, he said nothing malicious toward his offensive linemen. Cutler stated nothing different from the message his offensive coordinator, Mike Tice, has stated publicly.

When it comes to quarterbacks around the NFL, it is almost maddening how Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning are given a pass when others like Tony Romo and Cutler are excoriated. Brady got a little taste after the Patriots Super Bowl loss to the Giants this past February. Remember, Bradys supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen, complained with colorful metaphors about her husband's receivers dropping the ball.

I have no idea what goes on in the modeling world, but we'll give Gisele the benefit of the doubt feeling confident the Victoria Secret Angels work as a terrific team as each model parades down the runway individually. I would also love to be a fly on the wall in the dressing room enjoying the visuals and listening to the cattiness during a show, but Im digressing.

I think anyone can deduce Giseles statements are more a reflection of her not understanding team sports than Brady, who knows the dynamics of team competing on them his whole life.

Its why Ross Tucker and I caught up with Casey Wiegmann on SiriusXM NFL Radio last week. Wiegmann was Jay Cutlers starting center when the two played together for the Denver Broncos in 2008.

Wiegmann stated, Sometimes things need to be said for people to get pushed a little bit harder. He is who he is...Jay is a leader...I know what hes about.

Wiegmann also came to the defense of his fraternity OL brethren of the Bears.

In 2008 we had an OL that only gave up 12 sacks. So Jay kinda got spoiled in the aspect of getting hit. I think I read Jay had like 48 or 49 sacks last year. Its kinda taken a toll on him and he wants to get back to having an OL that protects him and creates stuff for him. Wiegmann went further saying, The guy says what he says and hes not afraid to say it, but he has to go out and back up his play also.

Wiegmann ended the interview with comparisons with which I started this article saying, Jay is his own guy who I got to know pretty well. He wants to win. I definitely know that and hes going to do whatever it takes to get that done.

There have been all kinds of World Champion quarterbacks who break the stereotypical Brady, Brees, Manning mold. Guys like Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, or Brett Favre to name a few. Maybe the media should quit putting Cutler in a box he does not belong in the first place. Or better yet, get to know what he is all about as former teammate Casey Wiegmann stated.

What Jose Quintana's injury says about precarious nature of this MLB season

What Jose Quintana's injury says about precarious nature of this MLB season

One more injury or a positive COVID-19 test within the starting rotation, and the Cubs will be in trouble.

Jose Quintana’s thumb injury, which is expected to keep him from throwing for two weeks, called to attention just how precarious the future of every team is this season.

"We had some concerns about our starting pitching depth,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Thursday. “A freak injury further challenges us in that area, and we have to respond."

 

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Starting pitching is a particularly vulnerable area in general. COVID-19 can affect anyone, even a team’s ace. More reports of positive COVID-19 tests are bound to trickle out now that teams are beginning workouts Friday. And with a three-week Summer Camp expediting the ramp-up process, risk of soft-tissue injury becomes a concern for pitchers in particular.

Add into the mix a microscopic surgery on a lacerated nerve in Quintana’s left thumb – the Cubs announced on Thursday that he suffered the injury while washing dishes – and the Cubs are beginning Summer Camp already shorthanded.

“No one’s going to feel sorry for us,” Epstein said. “This this is a bump in the road that we just have to overcome.”

The baseball season could be cancelled for any number of reasons, safety as judged by the league and government officials being the most important. But MLB also has the power to suspend or cancel the season if the competitive integrity of the season is undermined.

What that means isn’t for Epstein to decide, but he declined to give an opinion on the topic Thursday.

“My understanding of what the standards would be don’t necessarily matter,” Epstein said. “It’s a question for the league. I hope we never get in that situation.”

Injuries always have the power to alter a season. But that’s even more so the case during a 60-game season. At best, Quintana’s injury could delay him a several weeks. At worst, even just a three-month recovery time would wipe out his entire season.

For now, the plan is to replace Quintana with someone like Alec Mills. Assuming Mills does win the starting job, that takes him out of his role as a middle reliever, a bullpen spot Cubs manager David Ross emphasized earlier in the week.

“It’ll be really unrealistic to expect guys to get to maybe 100 or so pitches right out of the shoot,” Ross said on Monday. “That may be a bit of a challenge. … The real important areas for me right now is that swingman, your Alec Mills-types that can give you two or three innings ang get to the back end of the bullpen. Those middle innings if guys aren’t stretched out enough are going to be vitally important.”

The ripple effects from Quintana’s injury aren’t nearly enough to undermine the competitive integrity of the season. But what if several teams have their starting pitching depth dramatically affected by COVID-19? What if those teams include the Dodgers and the Yankees?

Now that MLB has started ramping up for the 2020 season, it’s incentivized to keep the season running. But as the Cubs learned this week, just one dish-washing accident can alter a team’s 2020 outlook.

 

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Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Out of tradition and superstition, the Stanley Cup is never in the building until after puck drop during a Stanley Cup Final game in which it could be won, unless it's a Game 7 when both teams have a shot.

On June 15 in 2015, when the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history, old Stanley was a little late to his own party at the United Center.

As the Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard tells host Pat Boyle on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, fans were already celebrating the Hawks Cup-clinching win over the Lightning outside the UC as the trophy was pulling in.

Broadcasters 'Doc' Emrick and Eddie Olczyk were filling time waiting for the Cup to arrive, which was still absent during the handshake line.

According to Pritchard, the Cup left the hotel around puck drop and it was the stormy weather that made the Keeper and the best trophy in sports tardy for the celebration.

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"People that weren't (at the game yet) were in traffic and just leaving their cars and walking and the roads were flooded, the highways were flooded, the bypass was like a lake. And as we were coming out towards the arena, we realized then that we were going to need some help, not just Mother Nature help, but we're going to need security help with it as well," Pritchard said.

"As we pulled into the arena — obviously the game had finished and the Blackhawks won — the home team's going nuts, the hometown fans are going crazy. So we presented (the Conn Smythe) to Duncan Keith and then we brought the Stanley Cup out and I remember on the ice talking to Jonathan Toews and he said, 'That was so cool that it took so long and the fans were loving it.' And I was telling him what went on and he goes, 'Really? I just thought it was part of the effect.'"