Other Sports

Nerds in Sports Podcast: Juggling football, family and gaming with ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe

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AP

Nerds in Sports Podcast: Juggling football, family and gaming with ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe

On this edition of the Nerds in Sports podcast, former NFL punter Chris Kluwe joins us to talk about his passion for gaming and how he juggled being a professional athlete while also a member of a top World of Warcraft raiding guild.

Chris also discusses his venture into gaming with an original card game, “Twilight of the Gods” and how to maintain balance when raising kids who want to play games. You also don’t want to miss Chris’ story about when a fellow raid member pulled a ‘Leroy Jenkins’ in a critical moment.

Kevin Anderson and Michael Piff co-host. We are Nerds. In Sports.

Check out the entire podcast here.

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

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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

ICYMI: Bears rally but lose in OT; Markkanen returns; Blackhawks' skid continues

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: Bears rally but lose in OT; Markkanen returns; Blackhawks' skid continues

The Bears' winning streak got snapped, the Bulls got a key player back from injury and the Blackhawks continued to lose. Here's what you may have missed from the weekend.

Bears

The Bears entered MetLife Stadium with a five-game winning streak, but left with their fourth loss of the season. Chase Daniel struggled in the first half, but rallied the team into overtime before the Giants won 30-27. Tarik Cohen had a huge game and joined some elite, exclusive company.

The Bears managed to still have fun in the loss. Cohen threw a trick play touchdown at the end of regulation and Akiem Hicks, of all people, had a rushing touchdown.

Mitchell Trubisky, meanwhile, is still day-to-day.

Elsewhere in the division, the Packers fired longtime coach Mike McCarthy.

Bulls

Christmas came early for Bulls fans on Saturday. Lauri Markkanen made his season debut in his return from an elbow injury. He struggled shooting the ball in Houston, but showed his versatility in another Bulls loss. The Bulls have now lost six in a row, but with Markkanen back in the fold, and Bobby Portis and Kris Dunn coming back soon as well, things will change going forward.

On Friday, the Bulls lost to Detroit, but Wendell Carter Jr. continued his impressive rookie campaign with some big numbers.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are on a four-game losing streak and continue to slide out of the playoff race. On Saturday, the Blackhawks lost 5-2 in Nashville after giving up four goals in the first period. The team is running out of ways to explain the poor starts it has had.

A day later the Blackhawks did give up the first goal, but were tied after a period. Still, a five-minute penalty kill doomed the Blackhawks in a 3-2 loss to the Flames.