Bears

Roddick, other players ready to revolt?

515424.jpg

Roddick, other players ready to revolt?

From Comcast SportsNet
SHANGHAI (AP) -- The top men's tennis players may still meet this week in Shanghai to discuss their grievances with the ATP tour, despite the absence of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Andy Roddick said Monday at the Shanghai Masters that he hopes other players are still "passionate" about the problems and are open to discussing options for resolving them. Roddick has been among the most vocal proponents for a collective response to the top players' complaints about the tour, most notably the length of the season and the number of tournaments players are required to enter. The issues came to a head during the rain-soaked U.S. Open, when Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roddick voiced concerns about the conditions of the courts and the condensed schedule that forced Nadal to play three matches in three days. "Obviously, you need the top players involved," Roddick said, adding that Djokovic and Federer are just "a phone call away." "I don't think we're storming offices, but I think the sentiment is still there," Roddick added. "I think it would be dumb of us to rush anything. If something like this does happen, we need to be smart about it and take our time and make sure that it's well thought-out and not be kind of reactionary. But, you know, there is a discussion going on." Roddick has floated the idea of forming a players' union similar to those in other major pro sports. And Murray said last month that a strike couldn't be ruled out if something isn't done to address the packed tournament calendar. "You have to have a voice in order to get it accomplished," Roddick said. "Whatever our individual interests are and what we want changed, nothing is going to happen unless we're on the same page." Murray has been one of the busiest players on tour this autumn, winning two straight tournaments before coming to Shanghai. Nadal is also playing for the second straight week after reaching the final at the Japan Open. Djokovic pulled out of Shanghai to recover from a back injury, while Federer is taking a six-week break to rest and recuperate after a busy summer. He flew to Australia days after losing in the semifinals of the U.S. Open to play two Davis Cup singles matches and a doubles match.

Khalil Mack won't be playing in the 2020 Pro Bowl

Khalil Mack won't be playing in the 2020 Pro Bowl

If you're one of the 48 people who plan on watching the Pro Bowl this weekend, you and your 47 friends won't be seeing Khalil Mack. 

It was announced on Tuesday morning that the Bears' star pass rusher will again miss the annual "showcase" with an unspecified injury. While he's been elected to 5 Pro Bowls, this is the second time in two years that he's missed the event since being traded to Chicago.

Replacing Mack will be Green Bay's Za'Darius Smith. Smith had 13.5 sacks this season, which was 6th-best in the NFL. It was the most sacks in anyone's first season in Green Bay since 1982, as well as the fifth most in a single season in Packers' history (since 1982), per the team's press release. 

By comparison, Mack had 8.5 sacks this season, the lowest mark since his rookie year in 2014. It was also the first time since that season that he failed to reach double-digits. The Bears will still have three representatives in Orlando this weekend: Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller, and Cordarrelle Patterson. 

Curie #1, but major changes throughout NBC Sports Chicago Power Rankings

thumb_01-17_lincln_way_east_66_bolingbrook_79.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Curie #1, but major changes throughout NBC Sports Chicago Power Rankings

Some major shakeups in the latest NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings.

A busy Martin Luther King holiday weekend saw tournaments and shootouts all over the area that included many losses to top-25 teams. It means a lot of reshuffling in the rankings this week, along with three new teams entering the picture.

Conference play and another strong shootout at Glenbard East on Saturday highlights another busy week of basketball as we hit the home stretch of the regular season.

1. Curie (17-1, 7-0) (1) -- The Condors earned three double-digit wins as they made easy work of local competition. Curie will have some enticing matchups to follow this week when they travel to Corliss and also battle Missouri power Hazelwood Central. 

2. Evanston (18-0, 5-0) (2) -- Evanston won a test against Hillcrest as they're still undefeated on the season. This week will be the Wildkits' biggest test though as they play No. 3 Bloom at Glenbard East in a major top-three showdown.

3. Bloom (18-4, 7-1) (3) -- Two double-digit wins for Bloom in conference play as the Blazing Trojans remain in the Southland mix. This week sees the Blazing Trojans face No. 2 Evanston at Glenbard East. 

4. Whitney Young (12-6, 7-0) (4) -- Whitney Young is starting to round into form with multiple wins during the week. The win at HoopHall also opened the eyes of national scouts as D.J. Steward and Tyler Beard played well in a major showcase win.

5. Bogan (18-2, 7-1) (5) -- Surviving a scare from Kenwood, Bogan went through the week without a loss. The Bengals close out the Public League schedule with a road matchup at Hyde Park this week.

6. Notre Dame (20-2, 4-0) (6) -- The Dons made a strong impression once again with a takedown of Morgan Park at Fenwick. Notre Dame gets another big Public League test this week when they play Simeon at Glenbard East. 

7. Thornton (18-0, 7-0) (7) -- Monster home win for the Wildcats as they get past Homewood-Flossmoor for another signature win. Playing its biggest road game of the season to date this week at Kankakee, this Southland showdown will have major conference title implications. 

8. Lincoln Park (16-3, 6-1) (10) -- Impressive win over Joliet West for the Lions as they are quietly remaining in the top-10 picture. The Lions have three matchups this week as they make a push towards 20 wins.

9. Homewood-Flossmoor (15-2, 1-0) (9) -- A busy week for Homewood-Flossmoor as they lost on the road to unbeaten Thornton but also gave Loyola its first Illinois loss of the season. A key conference matchup on the road at Lincoln-Way East this week as Southwest Suburban Blue action continues. 

10. DePaul Prep (17-2, 8-0) (11) -- The Rams took down two conference opponents this week-- St. Francis de Sales and Montini. They remain in the chase for the Catholic League Blue title. The Rams have a conference matchup at St. Laurence on Friday.

11. Loyola (19-2, 8-0) (6) -- Loyola finally lost to an Illinois opponent with a tight loss to No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor. The Ramblers are still in the midst of a crowded Catholic League Blue race as they travel to St. Joe's this week. 

12. Stevenson (15-3, 6-0) (15) -- The Patriots are rolling since the holidays as they picked up wins over Libertyville, Waukegan and West Aurora. Stevenson still is trying to hold off Mundelein in the North Suburban as the Patriots play Warren this week.

13. Marian Catholic (14-5, 3-1) (12) -- Marian Catholic suffered a setback against Bolingbrook as their brutal schedule continues. The difficult schedule continues with two games at Quincy this week against out-of-state competition.

14. Morgan Park (12-7, 5-1) (13) -- Falling to Notre Dame at Fenwick, the Mustangs continue their up-and-down season. Morgan Park still has the talent to beat anyone in the state but they lack a cohesiveness that other elite teams have at this point in the season.

15. Bolingbrook (15-4, 1-0) (NR) -- Bolingbrook rockets back into the Power Rankings behind three massive wins (Marian Catholic, Romeoville and Lincoln-Way East). Over the past month, Bolingbrook has played one of the toughest schedules in the area. 

16. York (20-2, 5-0) (17) -- Since falling to Bolingbrook in the Jack Tosh title game, York has run off eight straight wins. Winning the WW South MLK event was notable as the Dukes have been very strong in tournament play this season.

17. Kankakee (14-1, 5-1) (18) -- The Kays haven't lost since Dec. 3 but that could be tested when they host undefeated Thornton during the week. Kankakee has some major tests coming up with additional games against Bloom and the Wildcats later in the season.

18. Cary-Grove (18-2, 8-0) (NR) -- Returning to the Power Rankings for the first time since the preseason is Cary-Grove. The Trojans won the event at Lake Zurich, including a notable title-game win over No. 23 Glenbrook South. Their only losses this season have come to ranked teams (York and Waubonsie Valley).

19. Glenbrook South (17-3, 5-0) (19) -- The Titans dropped the title game at Lake Zurich to Cary-Grove. A win over Mundelein, however, was very impressive as Dom Martinelli and company continue to pile up quality wins.

20. Mundelein (16-3, 4-1) (16) -- Up and down week for the Mustangs. They stayed with Stevenson in the North Suburban race with a solid win over Libertyville. But Mundelein fell short of expectations at Lake Zurich by falling to Glenbrook South in the semifinals. 

21. Niles North (17-3, 5-0) (21) -- The Vikings cruised to some easy wins hosting their own event during the weekend. Niles North has two more winnable home games before playing Clark at the Orr Shootout this weekend. 

22. Oak Forest (17-1, 8-0) (23) -- Oak Forest continues to quietly pile up wins. The leaders of the South Suburban Blue head to the road for two winnable games during the week (Bremen, Southland). 

23. Waubonsie Valley (19-2, 3-1) (14) -- The Warriors drop after a surprising upset loss to Lyons in the Burlington Central MLK event. Waubonsie Valley has a chance to climb back up the Power Rankings with a winnable schedule until mid-February.

24. Joliet West (17-3, 10-0) (20) -- Losing a close game to Lincoln Park, the Tigers drop a few spots. The Southwest Prairie's best team goes on the road for two games this week as they should be able to beat Lockport and West Aurora.  

25. Hinsdale South (17-2, 6-0) (NR) -- Perhaps no team in the area had a better week than Hinsdale South. With six wins over the past week -- including two that included a buzzer-beater to either win or force overtime -- and the Hornets had a memorable week. Hinsdale South capped it off by winning the MLK event at Sterling with four double-digit wins.