Random News: New Year's (Sports) Resolutions


Random News: New Year's (Sports) Resolutions

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010
9:14 AM

By Joe Collins

"The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid." Author Richard Bach

New Year's resolutions are like repetitive Facebook status updates. Usually, it's the same old narcissistic thoughts time and time again. They all just blend together after a while and they're usually megaphoned out to the world by people who you can barely tolerate in the first place:

"I'm going to lose weight next year!"

"That's it. I'm quitting smoking in 2011. Take THAT Philip Morris!"

"I am going to get more involved in the community!

"Thanks to my self-help book, I'm going to actually talk to that girl at the bus stop next year!"

It all becomes background noise after a while: more regifted bags of lies that we insist on telling ourselves (and others) year in and year out. In fact, various studies put the success rate of New Year's resolutions around 15-20. Quite frankly, I'm shocked the percentage is that high. Our national attention span is next to nil, folks. Why do we kid ourselves into thinking that major life changes can be held for a year? Heck, or a month? I mean, new-fangled exercise plans can be shot thanks to a really long day at work. Or by caving in to a gallon of Butterfinger ice cream. Or by getting that summons to appear on Maury Povich.


But it's always fun to play the resolution game this time of year. You can watch the weaklings fail and see how far the stronger ones go until they cave under the pressure (or laziness). I am resolving to become less selfish. And what better way to start than by making a list of resolutions...for other people! Talk about taking time to think about others, right? Here are some New Year's resolutions I would like to see in place for 2011:

The Chicago Bears: To make sure every venom-filled 2010 critic gets their gift card to Eat At Crow's.

The Chicago Cubs: To play inspiring, winning baseball-- and be lurking just off the radar at the same time. (See: 2010 model of success for Bears, Chicago)

The White Sox: 95-67, 10 games ahead of the Twins. And then hit the gas from there.

The Bulls: To finish with a three-seed (at minimum), including a major upset a few weeks later.

The Blackhawks: To give the phrase "A Happy and a Healthy" some meaning. Especially if it culminates in another scenic drive up La Salle Street in June.

Frank Caliendo (Fox): To scrap impressions of John Madden, Donald Trump, Jay Leno or David Letterman on Sunday's NFL pregame show. Stale only works with certain types of cheese.

Northwestern Football: To win a bowl game. Any bowl game.

Brett Favre: To let someone else win the "Annoying Dinner Guest Who Just Won't Leave" trophy in 2011.

Major League Baseball: To give the playoff expansion talk a rest. C'mon, MLB. Leave "Everybody Gets A Trophy" day to college football.

Speaking of which...

College Football: To make the Alaska Bowl a reality. They already have a 500,000 Boise State-esque field for Barrow's high school (The Whalers). The rest should be easy! I say, you take the two schools with the worst records and send 'em north. You wouldn't watch this? Come on. Nothing says ratings like a Gatorade shower at 40 below!

MLB Umpire Jim Joyce: To find Dr. Emmett Brown, get his DeLorean, and go back to the 9th inning of the TigersIndians game on June 2nd, 2010.

LeBron James: To find a better advisory group. And an enhanced set of earplugs.

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission of Minnesota: To find a Home Depot gift card big enough to accommodate the purchase of a Commando Teflon Staple Gun 20,000.

Wheaton Warrenville South football: To line up a scrimmage with a mediocre college and walk away with a 35-3 victory.

Buffalo Bills WR Steve Johnson: To find gloves made by the Elmers company.

So go ahead. Make a resolution for somebody else. Its the easier, more mail-it-inny way to ring in 2011. Stock up on the Oreos and Haagen Dazs while you're at it. You deserve a breakfrom lying to yourself year in and year out.

Or something like that.

Cubs, at 13-3, are off to their best 16-game start since 1907

Cubs, at 13-3, are off to their best 16-game start since 1907

It's been a heck of a good start to the 2020 season for the Cubs.

One might call it a historic start, in fact.

With Thursday's 4-2 win over the Brewers, the Cubs improved to 13-3, matching their best start in franchise history through 16 games with the 1907 team. The 1970 Cubs went 12-4 through 16 games, as did the 2016 championship team.

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The 1907 Cubs didn't lose a fourth time until Game 20 (16-4), so the 2020 team needs a few more wins to secure the best 20-game start in team history (dating back to 1901).

For now, how about what this team's accomplished in the first quarter of this 60-game season?


Quick takes: Yu Darvish throws one-hitter, Cubs add insurance in win vs. Brewers

Quick takes: Yu Darvish throws one-hitter, Cubs add insurance in win vs. Brewers

The Cubs still have the best winning percentage in baseball.

By beating the Brewers 4-2 on Thursday, the Cubs improved to 13-3 (.813). They also are tied for the most wins in MLB, despite having their three-game series at St. Louis postponed.

Darvish sets season high

With a fastball up and in to Omar Narváez, Yu Darvish recorded his 11th strikeout of the night, a season high. The next batter, Ben Gamel, flew out to left field for the final out of the seventh inning.

That’s how Darvish’s night on the mound ended. If it weren’t for one pitch – a cutter to Justin Smoak – he would have allowed no hits. But his outing was still dominant: seven innings, one hit, one run, two walks, 11 strikeouts and 104 pitches.

The one run came on Smoak’s solo homer in the seventh inning.

Starting off young

The Cubs scratched Kris Bryant (left wrist and ring finger soreness) from the lineup Thursday. He had rolled his wrist on a dive in left field the night before. That gave 23-year-old Nico Hoerner the chance to bat leadoff for the first time this season.

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Hoerner started off his night at the plate with a double to left field. He advanced to third and then scored on two consecutive ground outs. That put the Cubs on the board.

He made hard contact in his second at-bat a well, but lined out to right field.

Well insured

The Cubs have made a habit of piling on insurance runs in late innings. Thursday was no different.

Entering the sixth inning, the Cubs already had a two-run lead. They scored two more.

Willson Contreras led off with a walk. Then, two batters later Ian Happ hit a double off the center field wall. Contreras checked over his shoulder as he rounded third and never slowed on his way to sliding head-first across the plate. Safe.

Happ advanced to third on the throw home and then scored on a single by David Bote.

Where they stand

With a 13-3 record, the Cubs have had their best 16-game start since 1907, when the team also won 13 of its first 16 games.

On Deck

Thursday’s game was the first in a four-game series against the Brewers and kicked off a 10-game homestand.