Audio: May 28

In my first audio post of the summer, I talk about the U.S. soccer team, the Blackhawks and things to look for this summer on the website.

Daily picks:

Heat -2.5 over Pacers


Photo by rocor


Blackhawks Trade Pirri, Resign Bollig

It has been an eventful 24 hours for the Blackhawks with the trade deadline looming on Wednesday. Brandon Pirri was traded for a third and a fifth round draft pick on Sunday. Brandon Bollig signed a three-year extension Monday morning.

Pirri led the AHL in scoring last season and had brief chances with the Blackhawks this season. He was supposed to be the second line center of the future, but struggles in his defensive game kept him out of favor with Joel Quenneville. Pirri didn’t have a spot in the long-term plans of the team so they sent him to familiar trading partner Florida.

The Bollig extension is a three-year, $3.75 million deal. He has dressed in every game this year and has settled on a line with Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith. Quenneville has showed trust in the line shutting down teams best forwards. Continue reading

NFL Picks: Week 16

The NFL flexed Chicago and Philadelphia to Sunday Night Football on NBC after Week 14. It was possible that both teams would be playing for a chance to win their respective divisions. There is a chance that could happen but both teams will need results from the early games to go their way. In fact, by the time the Bears and Eagles take the field on Sunday night, it could be a meaningless game other than for seeding in the NFC playoffs.

With two games to go, the Eagles lead the Cowboys by one game in the NFC East. Dallas currently hold the head-to-head and division record tiebreaker over Philadelphia. If the Cowboys (three-point road favorites) defeat the Redskins in Week 16, the Eagles wouldn’t be able to clinch the division with a win over the Bears. The Cowboys and Eagles play in Dallas the last game of the season so that game then would decide the NFC East.

The NFC North is a little more complicated. Two losses in a row by the Lions has given the Bears and Packers new life and control of their own destiny. The Lions host the Giants and Packers host the Steelers in late afternoon games Sunday. If the Lions loss their third straight and Packers win, then the result from the Bears game on Sunday night won’t matter. The division would be decided at Solider Field in Week 17 when the Packers come to town.  Continue reading

NFL Picks: Bears-Giants Preview

Thursday night the Bears host the terrible Giants. The Bears have lost two straight games to the Lions and Saints and the Giants haven’t won this season.

I’m usually never confident in the Bears to win comfortably but this game is an exception. The Bears did lose the last two games but they were against two quality opposition. The Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL with an improved defense.

The Giants are one of the worst teams in the NFL. They can’t protect Eli Manning, they have no running game and turn the ball over a lot. The Bears defense is known for forcing turnovers.  Continue reading

Why The Bears Will Make The Playoffs

Since I have been in college, starting in 2010, I have had minimal expectations before each Bears season. It’s hard to get a feel for the team when you are far away from the Chicago media and don’t have the ability to watch a preseason game unless you stream it on a computer. After watching years of Lovie Smith’s teams, there wasn’t too much to get excited about each year.  The defense would be solid but the offense would need everyone healthy to have the best personal to execute with a bad offensive coordinator.  Continue reading

The Seven Most Over-Covered American Sports Stories In July

Sports news in July can get really boring. The only sport going on is baseball and it’s still the middle of the season. It’s awkward period of time where fans start looking forward to the football season even though it’s two months away. Because we live in a society that is dominated by Twitter, people have become hungry for news and they want that news as quickly as possible. When there isn’t many sports highlights to show ESPN and other sports news sources talk about a handful of stories everyday and it gets annoying. This July was no exception. After a great sports month in June, the stories become repetitive and make you miss football even more. Here are seven stories that got way too much coverage this month on TV or the internet:

1. Johnny Manziel- When he won his Heisman Trophy he was Johnny Football. This summer he is a 20 year old, rich kid from Texas that has off the field issues. It started when he showed up late to a Manning quarterback camp and may have been hungover. The story went on all month and no one is really sure what happened that got him sent home from the camp. Then last weekend he came up with the bright idea to go to a Texas frat party, and he got kicked out and a beer was thrown on him. The next day he wore a Tebow Jets jersey to another party at Texas. Manziel has a chance to quiet critics with his actions on the football field. If he beats Alabama against on September 14, then most will forget this summer. Continue reading

Ten Best Moments From The Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup Run

One month ago the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on a Monday night in Boston. It was the end of a thrilling two months of playoff hockey with a range of emotion. Let’s revisit the wild ride and look back at the ten best and most important moments from the cup run.

1. Stanley Cup Final, Game 6

17 seconds. Enough said.

2. Western Conference Semifinals, Game 7 Continue reading

Reviewing the Blackhawks Offseason Signings

With the resigning of restricted free agent Marcus Kruger, the Chicago Blackhawks have pretty much wrapped up their offseason moves. The Blackhawks have a full roster and just over $1 million in cap room, according to Capgeek. That means general Stan Bowman won’t have to do too much work this offseason after a hectic two weeks. Bowman was busy two weeks ago at the draft when he traded Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik for a combined five draft picks. The moves freed up cap space to extend Bryan Bickell for $4 million per year over the next four seasons. Then Bowman and the Blackhawks began to retain their own restricted and unrestricted free agents, and brought in a familiar face for the backup goalie role.

Before free agency began on July 5, the Blackhawks resigned defenseman Nick Leddy to a two year contract worth $2.7 million per season. Leddy improved in his third season in Chicago. He didn’t face as much pressure on a third pairing this season and displayed some promising moments carrying the puck. The contract was fair for both sides in a two-year deal. The Blackhawks get Leddy on an affordable deal and Leddy has a chance to get better and sign a more lucrative deal in summer 2015.  Continue reading

Blackhawks Trade Bolland and Frolik, Resign Bickell

When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, they had a few weeks to enjoy the victory before the draft. This time the Blackhawks had less than a week to begin the offseason and get to work after winning the Cup. Six days after bringing a championship to Chicago, the Blackhawks were busy at the NHL Draft on Sunday.

The Blackhawks started the day drafting Chicago native Ryan Hartman with the 30th pick in the draft. A lot of people were excited that Hartman is a local kid, but the Blackhawks drafted him because of his skill and not where he was from. Then the Blackhawks, who started the day with five picks total, drafted seven more players after a few trades.

Dave Bolland was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for three draft picks. Soon after Michael Frolik was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for two picks. This opened the door for the Blackhawks to keep Bryan Bickell in Chicago for another four years. Continue reading