Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, treat I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, cocktail parties, board rooms, and well…just knowing your week in sports.
Bear’s first NFC North showdown: The Chicago Bears made a late come-from-
behind victory to win against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Surging 1-0, the Bears hope to continue the streak this week against the Minnesota Vikings. The last time these two met, Adrian Peterson, like every week, led the Vikings with 154 rushing yards and two touchdowns. What’s the key this week? Stopping the run. This is a huge game for the Bears. If they want to make the playoffs, their run needs to start now. The Vikings were the reason that the Bears didn’t make it last year. Let the fire of revenge burn.
Alabama v. Texas A&M:Your good ole college football revenge game here. But, this might be a little different. For one, these two teams might be the best teams in the country. Might being Texas A&M. This could be THE game of the college football season. Not only that, last season the Alabama lost to Texas A&M 29-24, the Tide’s only loss on the season. To make matters worse, there are allegations stirring that former offensive (Alabama) tackle D.J. Fluker along with four other SEC players were receiving improper benefits last season. Think Nick Saban has a lot on his plate right now?
Hockey is inching back: Yeah that’s right. The sport where the men are beat up the most have the shortest offseason. The Chicago Blackhawks will take the ice in just a few short weeks to kick off their preseason. And with that, I give you the amazing Patrick Kane and his stickhandling skills…
Mark Sanchez apparently ‘won’ the QB competition: As we all know, Geno Smith
is the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. Is it because Mark Sanchez got hurt in preseason? We’re all not sure. Sanchez spoke on the Rich Eisen podcast this week and told him, “What I’m really disappointed about is that I got hurt, because I won the competition.” Now the Jets have not come out and confirmed or denied this yet. Honestly…this is just pathetic of Mark Sanchez. Dude, you’re hurt. You are a stinky quarterback. The Jets need to move on from you. Please end it there.
Cutler is Urlacher’s latest target: Last week Brian Urlacher was outting the Bears saying they faked injuries to slow the tempo of the game. This week the former Chicago Bears linebacker told Yahoo Sports that of all the guys he played with, Jay Cutler was the only guy that didn’t reach out to him with a phone call, after Urlacher retired. I’m getting really sick of this crap, and so are Bears fans. When will the Bears front office talk to Urlacher about this stuff? If Urlacher thinks he will have a Chicago fan base if he keeps outting the Bears, he’s on something.
In celebration of football coming back…Pink’s Pulse this week is all about football. What else on people’s minds these days? Maybe college football. Sit back, treat read up, case and happy Week 1 of football!
Thursday Night Kickoff game: Thursday night the Baltimore Ravens headed to the Mile High city to play the Denver Broncos to kick off the 2013 NFL season. If you watched, you saw Peyton Manning make history by throwing for seven touchdown passes in the game (only five others have done so) and take revenge over the Ravens. Wes Welker looked like the new favorite in Denver, and so did tight end Julius Thomas who scored two touchdowns. Who is probably also being picked up on everyones fantasy teams. A great game to start the season!
BENGALS v. BEARS: The wait is over and the time has come. The Chicago Bears will open up the season this Sunday at noon against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Marc Trestman will debut his new offense, Jay Cutler will try to start the season off right, and the Bears will look to silence doubters starting Sunday. It will be a lofty challenge as the Bengals and the Bears are a pretty evenly matched teams. It’s a can’t miss.
Tom Brady still has it: Let me start off by saying…I do not understand why people have a problem with Tom Brady. Because he wins too much? He’s still one of the hottest men in the NFL and also probably the most closed off. He doesn’t do that many interviews outside of practice and press conferences, so when you see him on TV/in a video you have to watch. Enjoy Brady’s sexy life story told in an UGG commercial. The other video I was going to show wouldn’t let me embed…but basically Tom Brady calls Johnny Manziel a turd. Great stuff.
Urlacher calling out Bears: Earlier in the week on Fox Sports One, Brian Urlacher had a few words about some injuries. Urlacher made the claim that the Bears faked injuries to slow fast-paced offenses. As a football fan for years, I’ve seen this happen many times. But teams try to do this nonchalantly. The face of the Bears franchise for the last decade is blatantly calling us out now? I’m sorry, that’s crossing the line. Urlacher needs to know what he should and shouldn’t say out loud unless it was some ploy by FS1 to generate news.
The Jets QB situation: The starting QB job for the New York Jets has been up for grabs up until this week. Mark Sanchez got injured in their third preseason game, and has yet to return to the field. What does this mean? The rookie Geno Smith will get the start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. The Jets right now are a total disaster. They even signed the pathetic Brady Quinn as a contender. I love making fun of the three-ring/quarterback circus that is always the Jets. But I do think this was their plan all along though. If I was a Jets fan, I probably would have revolted if Sanchez was my starter…again.
Riley Cooper is at it…again: Riley Cooper‘s trouble didn’t stop after his comments at a Kenny Chesney concert. Cooper and cornerback Cary Williams got into a fight during the Philadelphia Eagles practice on Thursday. The fight needed multiple people to break it up. Williams was one of the players that openly said he had a problem with the comments Cooper made at the Chesney concert. Cooper is a problem child. The Eagles need to realize that this guy could derail Chip Kelly’s momentum into the season.
If you claim to be an avid fan of the Chicago Bears, recipe then you absolutely must have the 411 on the Bears defense each and every season. Other NFL fans can get away with knowing just enough about their QB and a few token running backs and wide receivers to breeze through cocktail parties and small talk with clients. But as a Bears fan, it’s required to know just as much, or perhaps even more about the D than the headline grabbing offense.
While everyone this year is buzzing about the revamped Trestmanfied offense, besides Urlacher’s departure, there haven’t been too many rumblings about what to expect on the other side of the ball. That’s because the Bears defense is as reliable as sh**ty winters in Chicago: you know they are going to show up, stick around and pester you for their normally scheduled time.
After their incredible 7-1 start to the season last year, the Bears petered out during the second half going 3-5 and missing the playoffs, again. While not all of the blame can be attributed to the offense, let’s just say the Bears D also ran out of steam after a ridiculous first half that left fans in a euphoric state.
In the first seven games of 2012, the Bears D had six interceptions returned for touchdowns, an NFL record. In their putrid second half to the season, they were only able to muster up two more. Not bad by any means, but after putting up seven earlier in the season, two was a total disappointment.
But let’s not live in the past, shall we…let’s focus on the future – and the future of the Bears D is good. Notice I didn’t say GREAT. Minus an Urlacher, a few aging vets, a new defensive coordinator, and an unproven rookie on the line, I’m choosing GOOD not GREAT. Let’s break it down by position.
DEFENSIVE POSITIONS AND PLAYERS TO KNOW:
Position: Defensive End
Starters: Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin
Backups: Cornelius Washington, Cheta Ozougwu
The 411:When you have a veteran like Peppers – a guy that is given the option to rest during the preseason, then you know there is stability in this critical QB sacking, pressure delivering position. Peppers, who just inked a new contract with the Bears to free up salary cap space (can you say HUMBLE DUDE?) had a huge 2012 season with 39 tackles and 11.5 sacks and at age 34 shows no signs of slowing down.
Keep in mind though that Peppers is one of the highest paid Bears on the team – he’s heading into his fourth year of his six-year, $84 million contract. So, one could say he’s earning his paycheck.
Shea McClellin is entering his second full season with the Bears and as the #1 draft pick in 2012 – the first year of the Bears new GM Phil Emery, people are expecting big things out of this beefy blonde.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Starters: Henry Melton, Stephen Paea
Backups: Nate Collins, Zach Minter
Henry Melton, Photo Credit: @HenMel Instagram
The 411: Melton, by far the biggest name and most outspoken of the group, missed the majority of the preseason due to injury and was replaced by Nate Collins who proved there is plenty of depth to this position. However, anyone that has paid attention to Melton’s rise over the last few seasons knows that this 300 lb. linemen is only getting better with time.
Melton had six sacks last season and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Melton is already talking a big game about the upcoming season. If he can stay healthy, expect big things out of the Melton and Paea combo out of the middle.
Starters: Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic, James Anderson
The 411: Did you hear? Brian Urlacher retired this offseason! Seriously though, enough with the Urlacher peanut gallery. It’s bad enough that Urlacher is now a FOX analyst, but the obsession with what Urlacher thinks is painfully annoying and getting worse each day. If you thought the media’s Ditka fascination was overkill, just wait.
We now have #54’s grunting voice on every media outlet and we haven’t even started the regular season. Ladies, prepare yourself to be bombarded by what “Urlacher thinks” or “Urlacher said” all season long.
With Urlacher physically off the field, the big job of middle linebacker falls on none other than a ROOKIE – yep, you read that right, Florida Gator, Jon Bostic. If you paid any attention to the Bears preseason you remember Bostic’s huge hit on San Diego Charger’s WR Mike Willie. There was no call on the play, that looked legal, but the NFL felt differently and charged the rookie $21K. Welcome to the NFL, Jon!
For a rookie to make any squad is damn impressive, but for Bostic to take the reigns as middle linebacker from beloved #54 – OH MY. Bostic is one of the biggest names on the Bears D heading into the regular season and will be under a lot of pressure to fill the middle LB position with zero experience in the NFL. Bostic will split the MLB position with D.J Williams in the start of the season with both guys vying for more time on the field.
Lance Briggs will assume the leadership role that Urlacher left behind and will continue to be one of the most feared, decorated, polite, well-spoken, and sexy linebackers in the NFL.
Position:“The Secondary” – Cornerbacks and Safeties
Cornerback starters:Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Tim Jennings
Charles “Peanut” Tillman
Backups:Isaiah Frey, Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis, C.J. Wilson
Of all the benchwarmers on this squad, the backup cornerbacks will feel the pain the most. With two of the best corners in the league in Tillman and Jennings, both coming off record seasons – it’s doubtful we’ll see much of these other guys.
Peanut Tillman defies time – at 32 years old, the Chicago native is entering his eleventh season as a Bear and pulled off his best season in 2012 with 10 forced fumbles, three interceptions and three touchdowns.
Clark Street Sports: $24.99
Tillman is known for punching the ball out of the ball carrier’s hands and has mastered the pick six. One of the coolest and most pleasant guys on the squad, Tillman is becoming the “new” but really “old” face of the defense. Love this guy.
Not to overlook Tim Jennings with all the Peanut-love. Jennings is a force of his own with nine interceptions in the 2012 season. Jennings stands at 5’8″, one of the smallest guys on the squad and definitely shortest corners in the league, Jennings still manages to cover some of the tallest receivers in the league – with attitude.
Starters: Major Wright, Chris Conte
Backups:Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters
The 411:Any player with the name Major Wright should be easy enough to recognize but after the 2012 season Wright is coming off of, he’s definitely one to have on your radar. With four interceptions last season, this stocky and stealthy dude is a key reason why the Bears ranked 4th last season in fewest points allowed.
Ah, Chris Conte. Let’s end on a high note here. By far, one of the cutest, and most elgible Bears on the roster, this quiet but mischievous 24-year old SoCal native flies under the radar but definitely should not go unnoticed. Looks aside, this tatted up bad boy has battled with staying healthy in the past but will be looking to add to his two interceptions he had last season.
We HAMed Conte last season and will most likely do it agin this year. Read our HAM profile of this sexy safety HERE.
Defensive Coordinator: Mel Tucker
The 411: After Rod Marinelli announced he would not return to the Bears after Lovie Smith was fired, the Bears turned to veteran Mel Tucker. Tucker spent the last five seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator with the Browns and the Jaguars.
So there you have it ladies. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” and I do believe that applies to the Bears defense. Yes, Urlacher is gone, but other than that, the stealthy and reliable Bears D should be back with a vengeance this season. Let’s just hope they aren’t working double-time this year and picking up the slack for the offense. If the new offense clicks under Trestman, as many are expecting it to do, then the defense will be left to doing what they do best: destroying offenses.
Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, seek I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, check cocktail parties, ampoule board rooms, and well, just knowing your week in sports.
NFL Training camp is back!:FINALLY. Although the summer is slowly coming to an end,
the excitement for the upcoming NFL season always seems to soften the blow. This coming week marks the beginning of NFL training camps all across the nation. The Chicago Bears begin Training Camp next Friday July 26th, but many camps start on Thursday the 25th. Training camp is often the first chance fans have to see their favorite draft picks or free agent pick-ups interact with their new teams. With both the Sox and the Cubs more or less finished for the season, the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming Bears season is already at an all time high as training camp begins. If you have the chance, definitely head down to Bourbonnais for the day to catch a sneak peak at what new Bears coach Marc Trestman has been up to.
Chris Sale burning up: Besides Yoenis Cespedes winning the Homerun Derby, the biggest headlines out of the MLB Allstar game was the Chicago White Sox very own Chris Sale. Sale was awarded the W in a 3-0 win over the National League in the game. The last time this happened was when Mark Buerhle was on the team, and the White Sox made the playoffs. Will this be the turn of events the White Sox need to get their acts together? We shall see.
Urlacher would be ‘pissed’ if Bears won the SB: Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher may be retired, but there’s simply no ignoring him. In an interview on the Dave Dameshek Football Program, Urlacher said, “They better not win the championship without me, ’cause then I’ll be really pissed.'” Urlacher also stated that there’s nothing that will get him to come back. Personally, I think it’s a little funny. Dumb comments like this show just how selfish Urlacher really is. I want a championship just so Brian can be quiet.
Carcillo out of Chicago: The Blackhawks have lost another champion this week as
Daniel Carcillo was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional 2015 NHL Draft pick. I’m not too disappointed seeing as Carcillo didn’t really do much, especially in the playoffs. I was more sad to see Bolland and Emery go than Carcillo. The good part is the Blackhawks did save almost a million in the deal and now have two million in salary cap for wiggle room.
NCAA pulls the plug on EA Sports:NCAA Football ’14 may be one for the history books. The NCAA is pulling out of the contract with EA Sports, and is not expected to sign with a different software company. This has been a long time coming. Many former athletes have been suing these two entities for rights in the game. It’s sad to see, but a change had to be made. EA Sports came out with a statement saying they’re not done making college football games, they just won’t use the NCAA names or marks. Hmm, this should be interesting. Good luck with that.
Zook in the banking business: This one is sure to amuse those Illinois football fansthat had to endure the Zook years and all of those other Big Ten fans that laughed at us. Former Illinois football coach, Ron Zook currently works at a bank. His job title, “Business Development Officier.” Uhm, what the hell does that mean? I sort of feel bad for the guy that he can’t get a coaching position now. But hey, that’s life.
There’s been a recent trend in professional sports as more and more professional athletes return to the game as broadcasters and analysts. Some are naturals that seamlessly make the transition others, cialis well…not so much.
This week the NFL hosted it’s seventh annual “NFL Broadcast Boot Camp” where members of NFL affiliated networks help educate and prepare current and former NFL players into the world of sports broadcasting. It got me thinking about which Chicago Bears would make great broadcasters? Here’s what I came up with.
Brian Urlacher– This distinguished Bears linebacker recently retired, generic probably
bumming a lot of Chicago fans out. But, I don’t think he will be hiding during his retirement.
When Urlacher officially announced his retirement he was asked if he would consider a job in television….and he said yes!
The leader of a team for a decade will always have things to say; whether it’s motivation or the straight up facts. I love commentators that say it like it is. Although, he will need to work on being a little more facially animated. Otherwise people might be too scared – or bored – to watch him.
Jay Cutler– Yes, this sassy dude would probably be great on-camera. Quarterback Jay Cutler receives lots of attention and flack for some football performances and his aloof attitude, but I think he takes all the criticism with a grain of salt.
During the season Cutler participates in “Waddle and Silvy: The Jay Cutler Show” on ESPN 1000. If you haven’t heard it, it’s actually pretty funny. Although you won’t get dish on Kristin Cavallari (or Mrs. Cutler now) but you will get cheeky commentary on the Bears and football. Actually, I think Cutler and Marshall would even make a cute segment together. Seeing as they have amazing chemistry on the field, I can only imagine being a fly on the wall for a conversation between the two.
Brandon Marshall – This Pro Bowl wide receiver would by far be my number one choice for the best future sports broadcaster. I don’t have to know him personally to see that he’s a hardworking guy that knows when to make a joke.
In December, the guy brought a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to a press conference to as a comparison to the Bears’ season that was slipping away. What’s not to love? Marshall already has some on-air experience, occasionally during the football season, this Bears wide receiver helps WSCR The Score host Laurence Holmes breakdown film tape on NBC Chicago Sports. Oh, and Marshall does have some pretty snazzy style.
#NBC5SS is coming up. @bmarshall just told me something really interesting about 1 of his catches. We’ll take it to the telestrator at 11:05
Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman – Known for his defensive prowess, Charles Tillman could probably be a charming TV host or news anchor. Tillman is extremely well-spoken, uses much more sophisticated words than normal football players, and is a humble leader.
I’m not sure if he was any television experience, but he does have great articulation during interviews. He was recently ranked the 34th best player in the NFL by NFL Network’s “The Top 100 Players of 2013.” Off the field, I love that Tillman is so active on Twitter with the fans and followers. Always good for a laugh once in a while..
Last night I had a dream and it revealed that the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl!!! Best dream I had in a while.
Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, diagnosis I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, no rx cocktail parties, clinic board rooms, and well, just knowing your week in sports.
Urlacher calls it quits: The big news of the NFL world this week was that former
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is retiring. His retirement comes after the Bears gave him the ultimatum in March: a $2 million/1-year deal or nothing. Urlacher walked away to find…absolutely nothing. I think he realized that no team is in the market for an old linebacker so Urlacher did the right thing and retired. The Bears will truly miss him. What’s next for the veteran? Urlacher is considering a career in television…although I don’t know how good he will be at it.
The Detroit Red Wings: Well, let’s just say as Chicago Blackhawk fan, last night was ugly. I hate to say it, but the Red Wings are playoff hot. They’ve won five out of their last six games and now looking to close out the one-seed Blackhawks. What makes playoff series, in any sport, interesting are those teams that are hot. Look at how the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a few years back, or even how the Detroit Tigers got to the World Series last year. The Wings definitely have momentum on their side right now and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the Blackhawks as their historic season is very close to coming to an end way too soon.
Danks’ return to the South Side: It’s been more than one year since John Danks
has pitched for the Chicago White Sox. The left-hander will make his debut on Friday against the Miami Marlins. Danks had surgery on his left shoulder to repair his rotator cuff and bicep. He told reporters than he’s putting the same amount of pressure on himself just as he did before he got injured. I’m looking forward to seeing Danks comes back, and let’s hope he surges the White Sox out of the bottom of the Central Division.
Sergio Garcia racist remarks towards Tiger: I find it rare these days that athletes are vocal about racism…until this week. Professional golfer Sergio Garcia was on stage at the European Tour Player of the Year awards when the American host started to talk about next month’s US Open at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. The host asked Garcia is he was going to invite Tiger Woods to dinner and Garcia replied, “We’ll have him round every night…and serving him fried chicken.” Uhhh, yikes. Talk about a racist public relations crap storm. Garcia apologized, but something tells me Woods won’t be attending dinner next month with Garcia, as this relationship was already heated prior to Sergio’s careless remarks.
Cleveland Cavaliers get No. 1 pick in NBA draft: Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a lottery for their top picks in the draft. The teams with the worst records from the previous years have the best odds to get the top pick. And with the third best odds, the Cleveland Cavaliers will get the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Castroneves “would give up sex for a year” to win Indy again: You’d think winning the Indy 500 three times would be enough for one lifetime. For IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves, it’s still not. In an interview with “Stoney and Bill” on 97.1 The Ticket, the handsome IndyCar driver revealed that he would give up sex for one year to win another Indy 500. Doesn’t this sound either a little desperate or just straight up weird? This guy has already won the Indy 500 three times and yet he would STILL give up sex to have another? I would ask him, “Why only one year?” If it’s that important to him, I can’t imagine him putting a limit on something like that. Although, if I was his wife, I would make sure he keeps his mouth shut.