Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So, I Don't Have to LOVE All Sports!

Last night, the NBA season got underway with the most talked about team in a long time, the Miami Heat, with Lebron, Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh, getting it started in Boston.

Yawn!

Don't get me wrong, I like basketball. I have made the trip to Champaign, and then Peoria, for 26 of the last 27 years to see the Boys State Basketball Tournament. I've seen some great players that, eventually, made it to the NBA, such as Kevin Garnett, Derrick Rose, Andre Igoudala, Eddy Curry, just to name a few, (and I know I'm pushing it with Curry).

I love college ball. Not as much as I did when good players actually stuck around a few years to help teams develop into powerhouses, but I still live the game.

The Bulls start this evening, and can be heard all season on ESPN 1000), and I won't miss a game. I root for Rose and Noah, and I really like the potential of a Taj Gibson. I'm interested in how Tom Thibodeau will do in his first year as head coach.

But after the Bulls, someone could tell me, "It's Kobe vs. Lebron tonight", and I'd look to see if there is something better on TV to fill up my evening.

I understand that they are the best at what they do, but I just can not get into the NBA. The games are dull to me. There is very little strategy. I HATE isolation, one-on-one play, and it seems that every game comes down to that in the end.

Am I the only one?

The World Series begins tonight, and there I am interested.

When growing up, most children, "back in the day", were first exposed to baseball. That is the one game we grew up playing, understanding and following.

The Texas Rangers have made the Fall Classic for the first time in their franchise history, while the San Francisco Giants have rode their pitching, and some late inning heroics from former White Sox infielder, Juan Uribe, to represent the National League.

If the first two rounds of the post season showed us anything, it's that pitching does win in the playoffs.

Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum go in tonight's opener, which should be a good one.

I have said for decades that the Rangers would never win because they get worn out playing all those July and August games in the heat of Texas. This team, with a recovering alcoholic in Josh Hamilton as their star, and a manager that has admitted to doing marijuana and amphetamines as a player, and just last year tested positive for cocaine, just might be the ones to get it done.

The Bears are off this week...THANK GOODNESS!!!

The coaching staff needs to look at what has worked for them offensively in the first seven games of the season, and put together a game plan for the final nine games of the year.

It sounds so simple, but don't count on the brain trust in Lake Forest to follow through.

Catch Fred on ESPN 1000 & espn1000.com weeknights with J. Hood on Chicago's Gamenight, Saturday morning with Bruce Levine on Talkin' Baseball, and Sundays with Jerry Azumah & Brett Basanez for Bears pregame on Chicago's NFL Gameday, and with Steve "Mongo" McMichael, with the Ultimate Post game Show.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Have You Felt Completely Useless Lately?

Are you handy around the house...or are you just, "around the house"?

The last few days I have spent showing people where to put things, telling people what I need to have done, and assisting in home repair and appliance installation.

It hasn't been a lot of fun...and isn't that what we're all about?

My wife and I purchased several new appliances, as we are becoming more energy efficient, (sure we are). A couple of refrigerators, a dishwasher, and a stove, (we've been saving up for this).

Wednesday, I hung around the house waiting for the appliances to be delivered, as I needed to empty the refrigerators as near the delivery time as possible so we didn't have all of our food go bad.

Moving a 25 year old refrigerator, that still works, out from the basement, was a major task in itself. Moving the new things in meant door taken off, both from the house and the appliances, along with assisting in the heavy lifting.

Once everything was in the house, I had to wait for another day for someone to install a few of the items.

How is it, exactly, that one becomes "handy"?

I know it isn't growing up in an apartment from third grade until marriage, as I did.

Juan, the handyman, came over Thursday morning to begin the process of PROPERLY installing everything. I say, properly, because Juan is a perfectionist, and that is a good thing. He would never quick when something was installed until it was PROPERLY and PERFECTLY installed.

As a paying customer, I appreciated it, and respected his hard work...and long hours. He arrived around 8:30am and didn't leave until 6:30, with still more to do on Friday.

Why don't I know how to do all these things? Do I spend too much time watching sports, dramas, movies and sitcoms on television? No need to answer that!

On the way out, I asked Juan to check our gutters. Two hours later, they were completely cleaned and well operational for the upcoming rainy season.

To all of you that know how do do all the things around the house, I commend you. For those of you, like me, that are unable to do these, or even unable to try...get back to your television watching.

Did you know the American League Championship Series Game 6 is on tonight if it stops raining in Texas? And this is the final season of Smallville?

Last week I gave you my BEST FIVE NFL plays of the week. I went 1-3-1. Minnesota was my only winner, while Washington, with the 3 points tied Indy. The Texans, and Falcons let me down.

And how about those Bears?

No picks this week, other than to say it is a must win for the Monsters of the Midway! Jay Cutler needs to find some receivers, stay upright, and throw the ball away if necessary.

Catch Fred on ESPN 1000 & espn1000.com weeknights with J. Hood on Chicago's Gamenight, Saturday morning with Bruce Levine on Talkin' Baseball, and Sundays with Jerry Azumah & Brett Basanez for Bears pregame on Chicago's NFL Gameday, and with Steve "Mongo" McMichael, with the Ultimate Post game Show.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bears Should Roll Over Seahawks!

It's Week 6 of the NFL season, and there is NO WAY I thought the Bears were going to be 4-1 entering this week.

Heck, I predicted the Bears would finish 6-10 or 7-9, and had a chance to lose their first three games of the season. It just goes to show you how unpredictable the league is this, and every season...that's why I don't gamble on football. That, and because I can't afford it.

This week, the Bears get Jay Cutler back as the 2-2 Seattle Seahawks come to town. Seattle, under coach Pete Carroll, have been BAD on the road, while winning their two games at home. They have one of the best home field advantages in the league. Those crazies from the Northwest love their Seahawks, and also, their Seattle Sounders MLS team. I've never been to Seattle, but hope to make it there someday. Seems like a nice place.

Cutler has attempted to clear up his concussion suffered versus the NY Giants, but we still are not sure which hit caused the brain bruise. After watching some of his execution in the first half against the Giants, I believe it happened earlier in the half than the last sack from their cornerback, Aaron Ross.

It was great to see Matt Forte run the ball last week. We are now seeing the speed from Forte that we saw in his rookie year.

There is no telling how the Bears will attack Seattle Sunday, but it is nice that, right now, they seem to be able to attack either through the air or on the ground.

Defensively, this team is earning the fans respect once again. Julius Peppers, they say, has been doing so many more things that don't show up in the stat sheet. He had an AWESOME block of a pass and interception last week versus Carolina. Four sacks and a few pressures. He still has just two sacks, two behind the guy on the other side of the line, Israel Idonije.

By the way, don't believe all the talk that Peppers is being double and triple teamed, thus, allowing the rest of the line to do a better job. I re-watched the Panthers game, and did not see ONE double or triple team. He is playing well, but I would like to see him get on the stat sheet a little more.

Here's a look at my BEST FIVE for this week's action:

Houston -4 1/2 over Kansas City
Atlanta +3 over Philadelphia
Minnesota -1 1/2 over Dallas
Washington +3 over Indianapolis
DA Bears -6 1/2 over Seattle


I'm not telling you to wager on these...if you are smart, you might even want to go the other way, but we'll keep track of how I do every week.

Don't forget about the baseball playoffs this weekend! They have been great, so far, and I am looking forward to some great pitching match-ups in the Championship series.

Catch Fred on ESPN 1000 & espn1000.com weeknights with J. Hood on Chicago's Gamenight, Saturday morning with Bruce Levine on Talkin' Baseball, and Sundays with Jerry Azumah & Brett Basanez for Bears pregame on Chicago's NFL Gameday, and with Steve "Mongo" McMichael, with the Ultimate Post game Show.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Head's About to Burst!

There is so much rolling around this large melon of mine, I figured it was time to return to MY blog.

I wait all year for the NFL season to begin. The excitement of Sundays, The NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTv, and, once again, pre game shows on the radio, now every week on ESPN 1000.

The Bears are off to a 4-1 start, and stand atop the division, but they still have not played their best football.

Are there any REALLY good teams in the NFL? New Orleans lost to Arizona Sunday. The Colts already have two losses. Parity seemingly has reached an all time high where, truly, anyone can beat anybody any given Sunday!

I have never been a big fan of, now Washington QB, Donovan McNabb. He always seems to play his worst when he gets to the biggest games. I must say, he is playing extremely well this season. His performance against Green Bay Sunday was very good. We'll see how he does as the pressure of the season begins to creep up down the stretch.

The baseball playoffs have been fun to watch, despite the Sox and Cubs watching like the rest of us. I'm pulling for the Giants to put an end to Bobby Cox managerial career. I shake my head that the Twins can't win A GAME in the postseason. Now that they forced a Game 5, I'm pulling for the Rays to advance. Ultimately, it looks like the Phillies and the Yankees in the World Series.

I may be the only one, but I really believe that Joe Girardi IS interested in the Cubs managerial job.

PLEASE, Blackhawks fans, don't begin to worry about this year's team. At least not til the first 20 games are in the books.

The Chicago Fire will not make it to the playoffs this season, and that is very disappointing. The Fire made numerous changes preparing for a nice run this year, (including getting rid of me as their tv play-by-play guy), but they could not get their offense to click all season, and bringing players in during the season is just too difficult for the team chemistry. Their supporters are the BEST and I know that Frank Klopas will do everything in his power to get this team back to where they belong next season.

I have so many movies to see. Inception, The American, The Social Network, Secretariat, just to name a few. I have been away from the theater lately, but hear it calling to me.

Check back with me often...I hope to keep you entertained!

Catch Fred on ESPN 1000 & espn1000.com weeknights with J. Hood on Chicago's Gamenight, Saturday morning with Bruce Levine on Talkin' Baseball, and Sundays with Jerry Azumah & Brett Basanez for Bears pregame on Chicago's NFL Gameday, and with Steve "Mongo" McMichael, with the Ultimate Post game Show.