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Hot dog thrown at Tiger Woods

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Hot dog thrown at Tiger Woods

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) -- Tiger Woods was sure to make news at CordeValle in his first tournament in seven weeks. Only it wasn't from any of his scores or any of his shots. It was from a hot dog. Even when he returned to golf last year after a sex scandal, Woods heard only the occasional heckle from the crowd or saw a plane toting a saucy message on a banner. But as he stood over a putt on the seventh green toward the end of his final round in the Frys.com Open, he heard a commotion from security and saw remnants of a hot dog being tossed in his direction. "When I looked up, the hot dog was already in the air," Woods said. "The bun was kind of disintegrating." Woods hadn't played on the PGA Tour since the middle of August, when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship amid growing questions about whether he could get his game back to where it once was, or even come close to that standard. His golf looked much improved. After playing only six rounds since the Masters while letting injuries to his left leg fully heal, he overcame a sloppy opening 73 with three straight 68s -- the first time he has had three rounds in a row in the 60s in more than a year on the PGA Tour. That amounted to progress, just not up the leaderboard. Woods wound up 10 shots behind in a tie for 30th in what will be his final PGA Tour event of the year. Still to come is the Australian Open on Nov. 10-13, followed by the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. The winner was Bryce Molder, an All-American all four years at Georgia Tech who joined the tour in 2002 and had to wait nearly a decade -- this was his 132nd tournament -- to win. It wasn't easy. Molder holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th that got him into a playoff with Briny Baird. Molder outlasted Baird on the sixth extra hole, the longest playoff on tour this year, by making a 6-foot birdie putt. It was a big disappointment for Baird, 0 for 348 on the PGA Tour. He went over 12 million in career earnings, the most by any player who has never won. Even so, Woods managed to produce the most bizarre moment in what already is a strange year. He stood over an 18-foot birdie putt late in his round when a 31-year-old man, whose name wasn't released, yelled out his name and tossed the hot dog in his direction. Woods backed off his birdie putt, then quickly resumed play. He missed the putt. "Some guy just came running on the green, and he had a hot dog, and evidently ... I don't know how he tried to throw it, but I was kind of focusing on my putt when he started yelling," said Woods, who didn't seem bothered by it. "Next thing I know, he laid on the ground, and looked like he wanted to be arrested because he ... put his hands behind his back and turned his head." Sgt. Jose Cardoza said the man was arrested for disturbing the peace and removed from the property. Because it was a misdemeanor, Cardoza said the man would not be taken to jail and his name not disclosed. Cardoza said only that he was from Santa Rosa. "He was very cooperative," Cardoza said. "They said, 'Why did you do this?' He just shook his head in guilt or remorse. He didn't give a reason why he did it." Cardoza said the man claimed he wasn't throwing the hot dog at Woods, rather tossing it in the air. He said the man acknowledged having a drink earlier in the day, but that the man was not drunk. Arjun Atwal, who played with Woods, said he was concerned for a moment at the sight of a fan yelling out Woods' name and approaching the green. "They could have shot him," Atwal said. "The cops could have thought it was something else." It was high drama, albeit briefly, an example that Woods attracts attention simply by being at a tournament. The longest playoff of the year. The first win for Molder. There was even 21-year-old Bud Cauley shooting 66 to finish third, which likely will be enough for him to become only the sixth player to get a PGA Tour card without going to Q-school. And a hot dog steals the show. "It was bizarre," said Rod Pampling, who also played with Woods. "This guy comes running out with a hot dog in his hand, and then he lays down and puts his hands behind his back." Woods said he never felt threatened because he was on the back end of the green and the fan never got close to him. He heard the commotion of security behind him, and when he looked up, the hot dog already was in the air. "I guess he wanted to be in the news," Woods said. "And I'm sure he will be." When he finished with a final birdie, any seriousness of the incident gave way to levity. Dan Diggins, head of security for tournament sponsor Frys Electronics, said the man would be arrested for "everything" and described him as "just an idiot." "It wasn't a chili dog," Diggins said. "That could have been really bad." The rest of Woods' round wasn't nearly as eventful. He did get on the leaderboard, before the leaders teed off, with four birdies in his opening six holes. But he missed the 16th green and made bogey, and after an easy birdie on the 17th, didn't make another one until his final hole on the par-5 ninth. He attributed that to not enough play. Because of injuries to his left leg this year that are finally healed, Woods now has played only 10 full rounds since the Masters. "I haven't played much," Woods said. "That comes with competitive flow, understanding the situations and feels, and game time is a little bit different." He is hosting a tournament at Pebble Beach next week to raise money for his foundation, and he said "family obligations" would keep him from playing the season-ending tournament at Disney.

Blackhawks name Hall of Famer Chris Chelios their latest team ambassador

Blackhawks name Hall of Famer Chris Chelios their latest team ambassador

After eight seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Hall of Famer Chris Chelios is coming home.

The Blackhawks announced Monday morning that Chelios will become the newest team ambassador, joining Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard. He'll be formally introduced at the annual Blackhawks Convention this weekend.

“To be able to join the Blackhawks organization in this role means everything to me,” Chelios said in a statement. “I’m very thankful to Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for this opportunity to return to the Blackhawks. Chicago is my hometown and returning to this organization is very special to me and my family.”

Chelios has spent the last eight seasons in Detroit where he last played, spending time both in the front office and as a player development coach. The Chicago native and Mount Carmel High School alum will return to his roots where he spent nine seasons, earning seven All-Star appearances while compiling 92 goals and 487 assists - both fourth all-time among Blackhawks defensemen - in 664 games. The team captain from 1995 to 1999 helped the Blackhawks to the playoffs seven times, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1992.

“Through multiple generations of players and fans, Chris Chelios will forever be etched into the history of the Chicago Blackhawks,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. “His contributions to our organization and the overall sport of hockey stand tall. We are proud to welcome Chris and his family back home to the United Center and we are honored to call him an ambassador.”

Chelios won three Stanley Cups during his 26-year NHL career, twice Detroit and once with Montreal, and his 1,651 career games are most all-time for defensemen. He won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002 and was an assistant coach at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.

Jordan Howard's newfound receiving skill expands critical realm of the possible for Bears' offense

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USA TODAY

Jordan Howard's newfound receiving skill expands critical realm of the possible for Bears' offense

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The Bears desperately need more from Jordan Howard, which may sound greedy given that he has been one of the only offensive sparks of the last two seasons. And they may be getting it.

Through the early practices in Bears Camp ’18, the nascent offense of coach Matt Nagy and coordinator Mark Helfrich has been ... interesting. The intensity and conditions can be posited as factors, but the fact remains that the defense has intercepted a half-dozen passes and the pass rush has had Mitch Trubisky and the other quarterbacks frequently scrambling after coverage locked down their intended receivers.

Amid all that, something decidedly positive and mildly surprising was unfolding.

Rush-and-cover combos force check-downs to shorter routes, in particular running backs. If this were the Kansas City Chiefs offense under Nagy last year, that would have been Kareem Hunt, who caught 84 percent of the 63 passes on which he was targeted. If this were the Bears from 2008 through 2015, that would have been Matt Forte, who never caught fewer than 44 passes in any of his eight Chicago seasons.

But those were thens, this is now, and the featured back in the Chicago offense is Howard. That qualifies as a question for the developing Bears offense, an iteration of the West Coast system that is predicated on positive plays and ball control using the pass.

The reason is that Howard has developed two competing personas through his first two NFL seasons. One was that of a workhorse running back, the first in Bears franchise history to top 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. A model of consistency at 4.6 yards per carry.

The “other” Jordan Howard was the model of inconsistency — a running back among the worst pass-catchers at his position, low-lighted by the drop of a potential game-winning touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons last opening day. Howard dropped six of his 29 targets last season, according to Pro Football Focus. The year before he was determined to have dropped seven of his 50 targets.

An emerging 'new' Howard

But maybe that latter was then and this training camp is now.

The defensive pressure has, by chance or by choice, sent Trubisky passes toward Howard. The third-year tailback has responded with both efficient pass-catching and occasionally light acrobatic work, turning off-target throws into positive plays.

The results qualify as a significant positive from early camp. Howard is getting a clean-slate start from Nagy and running backs coach Charles London, and the hope is for a three-down back in the Hunt/Forte mold, which Howard can only be if he is an effective third-down option. His head coach thinks he is.

“Obviously, there’s this façade out there, there’s this notion that (Howard) is just a first- and second-down back, and I don’t believe that,” Nagy said. “Jordan can play all three downs. We’re going to do that. We’re going to use him. And we’re going to use other guys on first and second down when we need to.

“For us, it’s important for Jordan to know and for everybody on our offense to know that he’s a big part of this. This kid’s had a very successful career so far. We’re crazy as coaches and as offensive coaches if we don’t understand it and if we don’t use that to our advantage.”

Wanting Howard to be a three-down force and achieving that are two different things. For his part, Howard has worked to effect what can become a tidal shift for the offense.

“Definitely it’s important to me, just building my confidence more and more with catching the ball and working my body,” Howard said. “It’s definitely important to me. ... I definitely have improved my hand placement. I used to have my hands all over the place, but now coach London is working with me on my hand placement and looking the ball in.”

Possible impact on Howard

The impact of a multi-dimensional Howard cannot be overstated, and it could be overlooked in the buzz of all the other “weapons” the Bears brought in this offseason. It shouldn’t be.

Neither should the effect his enhanced skillset can have for Howard himself.

When the Bears’ offense broke out under Marc Trestman in 2013, finishing second in scoring, Forte caught 74 passes while posting his career-high 1,335 rushing yards on an average of 4.6 yards per carry.

Hunt as a rookie last season led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry while being the Chiefs’ third-leading receiver in both catches and targets. Howard was the only of the top eight leading rushers in 2017 with fewer than Leonard Fournette’s 36.

Tarik Cohen delivered 53 receptions. But Cohen is not a three-down back with the capability of the 200-plus carries that 17 of the top 19 running backs logged last year.

A critical element projects to be Howard’s conditioning and ability to take on a larger and more diverse workload. That limited him in his rookie season, when his usage in fourth quarters dropped at times because he simply wasn’t in requisite shape. The Bears hope that issue and the drops are behind Howard.

“He’s a patient running back,” Nagy said. “I think he as good vision so he’s patient, has good vision, and when you combine that with the power that he has, he finds ways to get yards. The nice thing for us is that we can move him around and do different things.”