Sunday, January 25, 2015

"I Couldn't Care Less"

Covering sports and talking about it on the radio was always a dream of mine.  I was fortunate enough to achieve that dream and have been doing it for the past twenty some years!

The games on the field, the strategies used by managers and coaches.  These are the things I love discussing.  How a GM builds a team.  How a manager handles a bullpen or a pitching staff, (really, in my mind, the only thing that makes them important at all!). Why veteran players still don't seem to understand the fundamentals of the game they are paid quite well to play.  How a basketball coach can overcome an injury to a key player and beat a superior squad.

Unfortunately, over time, I have been forced to discuss salaries, steroids, court cases, murder trials, how sports should deal with national tragedy, teams spying on each other, and now, how air pressure was "allegedly" taken out of footballs.

I have heard the reports of how a football is easier to grip by the QB and thus, probably easier for the receivers to catch.  I DON'T CARE!  The QB, Tom Brady, in this case, must still throw the ball, to the proper point where his receivers can catch it.  He must throw it out of the reach of defenders.  He did all this, no matter how much air was or wasn't in the football.

The national obsession with "Deflate-gate" is beyond ridiculous!  Numerous listeners have requested I please don't talk about it on the shows I hosted this past weekend.  Unfortunately, the passing of a baseball great, Ernie Banks, took care of that for me.

Mr. Cub was one-of-a-kind!  He dealt with discrimination coming up through the Negro League and finally made it to the Chicago Cubs in 1953, where he stayed until he retired on the field in 1971. He belted 512 home runs, was an All Star 14 times, and won the MVP award in back-to-back seasons, 1958 and 1959.  He coached with the Cubs for a couple of years to follow, and has always been a true ambassador of the game, and his beloved Cubs!

No one had a bad word to say about this man, who only wanted his Cubs to win!  It never happened. Now that he is gone, his favorite club appears to be close to putting together an organization that can make things happen at Clark and Addison.

There will be many tributes to the great Mr. Banks throughout the 2015 season.  Hopefully not just from the Cubs, but also from Major League Baseball itself.

These I WILL care about and look forward discussing whenever I get the chance behind the microphone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Baseball Should Be Fun in Town!

It doesn't happen often that both sides of town can go into a baseball season excited about their teams...but this looks like it could one of those years!

After three seasons of enduring miserable baseball on the North side, Joe Maddon's arrival as manager of the Cubs has the faithful excited. And for good reason. It has been difficult watching a team that wasn't prepared to win, or even challenge in the NL Central.

The signing of Jon Lester shows the Cubs have progressed to that next step.  When Kris Bryant arrives, likely in May, to go along with Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Soler, Alcantara and a very good starting rotation, the fans at New Wrigley Field should have plenty of things to cheer for.

On the South Side, Rick Hahn has been slowly building a contender and adding Jeff Samardzija, Adam Laroche and Melky Cabrera should make the White Sox a threat in the AL Central. Now if John Danks can actually have a good season, the rebuilt bullpen could make for a lot of fun nights at the Cell! The Sox fans have a youngster to wait on themselves with last years top pick, left handed pitcher, Carlos Rodon.

The Bears are trying to figure it out, the Bulls and Blackhawks look ready for deep playoff runs. How much fun would a couple of competing baseball teams in town be? We can always hope!

Now for the Chicago Fire fans in town...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

And Another Year Begins!

2014 wasn't great!

When the doctor tells you your wife has cancer, all other things you thought were important take a distant back seat. Pat is doing well with just a couple treatments remaining.  All thoughts and prayers are most appreciated. She has shown me what strength and courage really mean and I look forward to many healthy years to come.

As for me, things pretty much remained the same. Grabbing shifts and continuing my "Dream Job" of radio at ESPN 1000. Sports never stays the same and you can never predict what is coming next.  Hopefully, good things are ahead for me, as well as sports in Chicago in 2015.

I was fortunate enough to get back involved with the Chicago Fire Soccer team.  Working with Kevin Egan and Jeff Crandall on a weekly basis on Chicago Fire Weekly was a joy.  Jeff is a true professional and the passion Kevin brings to everything he does is infectious.

I have also had the opportunity to teach students what I know about the crazy business of radio at the Illinois Center of Broadcasting. It's great to help people who want to learn and improve themselves.

As for family, my father has been in declining health since he turned 80. Worse than that is he is far away from us living just outside of Sacramento. It's difficult him being so far away. Phone calls can't make up for not having your father nearby where you can stop by whenever you just need to see him. My mother is doing well and that is a true blessing.  Don't take your parents for granted.  They won't always be there for you!  Take advantage of all the time you have together.

Several years ago, my good friend, Sam DeSio passed away at the ridiculously young age of 49. Since then, my group of buddies has a standing breakfast once a month at the same restaurant. Sometimes eight of us show up, sometimes as few as two.  You never know how long the friends you have had will be around.  Cherish each and every chance you have to be with them and don't be too manly to tell them you love them! Us guys seem to have a problem with that.

Looking back at what I have wrote, it seems pretty depressing, but it all comes as ways to look forward to making 2015 a happier and better year for us all.

I have said this before, but I plan on making this, at least, a weekly blog.  Who know how quickly people will get tired of reading it, but for me it will be a great way to get things off my chest and express some of the good, bad, strange, unique, entertaining things I have rattling around this 7 5/8ths cranium of mine.