Other Sports

CSN pitches in at Erie Neighborhood House for Comcast Cares Day

CSN pitches in at Erie Neighborhood House for Comcast Cares Day

CSN Chicago proudly supports Comcast Cares Day, the company's signature day of service and the nation's largest single-day corporate volunteer effort.

Entering its 16th year, Comcast Cares Day volunteers had contributed nearly five million hours of service at 7,700 project sites in local communities around the world.

This year's event was held Saturday at Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago, where CSN and Comcast NBCUniversal employees and their families and friends participated in nearly 70 simultaneous community volunteer projects throughout central and northern Illinois.

Check out a recap of the event in the video above.

ICYMI: Bears clinch NFC North, Zach LaVine suffers ankle injury, Crawford suffers another concussion

icymi_story_photo_dec_17.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: Bears clinch NFC North, Zach LaVine suffers ankle injury, Crawford suffers another concussion

The Bears clinched the NFC North on Sunday, the Bulls picked up a big comeback win despite missing an injured Zach LaVine and Corey Crawford was diagnosed with a concussion after exiting Sunday's game due to injury. Here's what you may have missed from Chicago sports over the weekend:

Bears

There was no comeback to be had for Aaron Rodgers and Co. this time around. The Bears took down the Packers 24-17, ending an eight-game home losing streak vs. Green Bay. The Bears clinched their first NFC North title since 2010 with the victory, which Jordan Howard successfully predicted in February.

Winning the division should be celebrated, but the Bears have a bigger goal in mind. And when it comes to putting Sunday's game into a larger perspective, is the Bears' division title the beginning of the end for the Packers, or the end of the beginning for the Bears? 

Off the field, Mitchell Trubisky made quite the appearance when he arrived at Soldier Field, rocking a sweet ugly Christmas sweater. On the field, though, Trubisky laid a blueprint for the Bears' playoff success.

In less positive news, Eddie Jackson suffered an ankle sprain after intercepting Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter. The throw was Rodgers' first interception in more than 400 attempts, but coming at the expense of Jackson's health is less-than ideal. The Bears will know more about Jackson's status in the next few days.

In more positive news, the Bears' resiliency was on full-display Sunday. After botching a fake-punt (which led to the Packers tying the score at 14-all), the Bears bounced back and outscored Green Bay 10-7 the rest of the game.

Also, Khalil Mack sacked Aaron Rodgers with his back, while Charles Leno Jr. proposed to his girlfriend after the game. Sunday was quite an eventful day at Soldier Field.

On the latest Under Center Podcast, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte and Laurence Holmes break down the Bears' win and look ahead to the playoffs.

Bulls

Thursday night, ESPN reported that the Bulls plan to drop forward and Chicago-native Jabari Parker from their rotation. And true to the report, Parker played just four minutes Thursday against the Magic and zero minutes Saturday against the Spurs.

On the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and David Watson discuss Jabari Parker’s removal from the rotation and the impact it has now and in the offseason.

So, what's next for Parker and the Bulls? The team is reportedly engaging in trade talks surrounding Parker; here are three trades that could make sense from the Bulls' perspective.

Without Parker, the Bulls picked up an impressive comeback win in San Antonio. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen showed the potential of the Bulls' young core, though they were without LaVine.

The Bulls' lead scoring suffered an ankle injury and is out through Monday's game against the Thunder, at least. Dunn will look to build off his late-game heroics from Saturday on Monday against Oklahoma City.

Meeting Michael Jordan for the first time was "godly" for a 16-year-old LeBron James, while Joakim Noah said he was "too lit" to play in New York for the Knicks.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks lost both of their games this weekend, though they received far worse news: Corey Crawford suffered a concussion after hitting his head in a collision in the crease Sunday. He left the game in the first period and ultimately did not return.

Defenseman Jan Rutta cleared waivers and was assigned to the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL. Injured defenseman Brandon Davidson is close to returning from a knee injury, but the team has a logjam on defense that makes one wonder where Davidson will fit in.

A Blackhawks fan successfully proposed to his girlfriend Friday at the Blackhawks/Jets game, a night where the team's mascot was reportedly attacked.

Sunday, a reported surfaced that said Joel Quennville will become the Flyers' head coach. Both Quenneville and the Flyers denied the report, however.

Is Dylan Strone key to the Blackhawks' success? David Kaplan and Co. discussed that and more on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast.

Cubs 

NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs beat writer Tony Andracki offered his seven takeaways from last week's Winter Meetings. Also, Andracki, Kaplan and Luke Stuckmeyer recap what they learned about the Cubs following the meetings on the latest Cubs Talk Podcast.

The Cubs will also reportedly send a scout to watch former-Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's workout.

White Sox

The White Sox reportedly will meet with Manny Machado this coming week, as will the Yankees. Which team has the best sales pitch for the All-Star infielder?

In non-Bryce Harper/Machado news, the White Sox reportedly signed catcher James McCann and officially acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians. Alonso is Machado's brother-in-law, interestingly enough.

The White Sox will likely shut down top prospect Eloy Jimenez until Spring Training due to a quad injury.

ICYMI: Bears shutdown Rams, Bulls embarrassed, Blackhawks lose eighth-straight, Baines and Smith elected to Hall of Fame

bears_win_icymi.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: Bears shutdown Rams, Bulls embarrassed, Blackhawks lose eighth-straight, Baines and Smith elected to Hall of Fame

The Bears took the Rams with a masterful defensive effort, the Bulls suffered their worst loss in franchise history and the Blackhawks' lost their eighth-straight game. Here's what you may have missed from the weekend.

Bears

The Bears took down the 11-1 Rams, who entered Soldier Field No. 1 in the NFC playoff standings. While Mitchell Trubisky struggled in his return to action, the Bears proved that defense still matters, allowing just 214 yards and intercepting Jared Goff four times en route to a 15-6 win.

Can the defense repeat the performance in the playoffs? With Sunday's win, the Bears are now just one win away from clinching a postseason berth. 

While the Bears scored just 15 points on one touchdown, they did so in entertaining fashion. Backup offensive lineman Bradley Sowell caught a touchdown pass on 3rd & goal to put the Bears up 15-6, which ultimately was the game's final score. The play's name? "Santa's Sleigh."

Plus, while the offense didn't score many points, it did neutralize superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Kyle Fuller was one of the four Bears to intercept Goff, the cornerback's seventh this season. Fuller has let his play do the talking in 2018 after signing a four-year contract with the Bears in the offseason.

On the latest Under Center Podcast, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte and Laurence Holmes try to figure out what’s next for the Bears.

Bulls

Friday night, the Bulls picked up their best win of the season, beating the Thunder 114-112. The difference? Having Lauri Markkanen back in the fold, who scored 24 points in his third game of the season. The win was Jim Boylen's first as an NBA head coach, and he celebrated in a unique way.

The good times ended on Saturday, as the Bulls suffered their worst loss in franchise history. Boylen benched his starters for the game's final 21 minutes, a move that did not sit well with the team.

According to a report, some Bulls players debated attending practice at all. The team ultimately held both a players-only meeting and meeting between the players and coaching staff on Sunday rather than practice.

In brighter news, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis, who have been out since October with sprained MCLs, could return to action Monday against the Kings.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks took their first lead in 527:14 regulation minutes Thursday night, going ahead of the Golden Knights 3-2 on an Artem Anisimov goal. The lead was short-lived though, as the Blackhawks fell to Vegas 4-3.

Sunday featured another close game for the Blackhawks, though Chicago ultimately lost to the Canadiens 3-2. The loss was the seventh-straight for the Blackhawks, who have not won since Nov. 24 against the Panthers.

Connor Murphy returned to game action Sunday night against the Canadiens. The defenseman missed the Blackhawks' first 30 games with a back injury.

Cubs 

Lee Smith, the Cubs' all-time saves leader, was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday night. Smith is third all-time in saves in MLB history as well.

According to a report, the Cubs are not making slugger Kyle Schwarber available for trade. However, Theo Epstein is reportedly working to add a "professional hitter" to the Cubs lineup. 

In this week's edition of Bryce Harper to the Cubs rumors, MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac predicted that Harper will sign with the Cubs. The Nationals' owner doesn't expect to retain the right-fielder, seemingly eliminating Washington them from the Harper sweepstakes.

But what would the ripple effects of the Cubs signing Harper look like? And if he signs a mega-deal, how can Harper improve live up to it?

Could pitching help be coming for the Cubs through their farm system? Fangraphs predicts several pitchers will make their MLB debuts with the Cubs in 2019.

Former Cubs' catcher Miguel Montero is on to his next endeavor: baseball agent.

In tragic news, former Cub Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo died in a car accident Thursday night in Venezuela. In his latest column, Doug Glanville wrote about how the loss of both players is a reminder how quickly things can change for baseball players.

White Sox

Former White Sox All-Star Harold Baines was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is ecstatic with the move.

With the Winter Meetings kicking off this week, the White Sox are reportedly contenders for both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Will they hit the jackpot in Vegas this week?

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka make their predictions for where the top-15 free agents will sign this winter