Chicago Fire

5 Questions with...Dan Patrick

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5 Questions with...Dan Patrick

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guestone of the biggest sports media personalities in the nationfor close to three decades, this standouts cool delivery and insightful interview style has made him a favorite go-to-guy for thousands of personalities in both the sports and entertainment fieldyou can catch him live on Comcast SportsNet every Monday-Friday morning from 8:00-11:00 AM and on NBC Sports Football Night in America every Sunday night during the NFL season simply put, hes one of the best in the business, here are 5 Questions withDAN PATRICK!

BIO: Dan Patrick is one of America's legendary sports journalists and a revered member of the national media industry. In 1989 Patrick started at ESPN. During his 18 years at ESPN, Patrick was most notably recognized for his many years as co-host of SportsCenter. In 1998, Patrick received a Sports Emmy Award in the Studio Host category. In 2000, Patrick was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, making him just the second cable commentator to receive the honor. In 2011, Patrick has once again been nominated for a Sports Emmy for the Outstanding Sports Personality Studio Host Category.

In 2007 Patrick left ESPN to pursue building his own independent brand. He began by recreating his radio show, distributed nationally through DirecTV Sports Networks. The radio show also runs on Fox Sports Radio Network. His weekday radio program can now be heard on over 260 affiliate stations.

Since August 3, 2009, the Dan Patrick Radio Show has been simulcast live on DIRECTVs Audience Network. DIRECTV is a world leading provider of digital television entertainment services and has over 17.6 million subscribers in the United States. As of October 2010, Dan has simulcasted his television show on to the Fox Sports Network Platform which puts him in over 90 million homes in the United States.

In addition to The Dan Patrick Show on Comcast SportsNet, Patrick can be seen on NBC's Football Night in America, was a key member of NBC Sports 2010 Winter Olympics broadcast team from Vancouver, and was a correspondent during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Additionally, Patrick is a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated and writes a weekly column for Sports Illustrated magazine.

Patrick has a fully interactive website at www.danpatrick.com, with live blogging, videos, audio, and listener interaction. He has also created his very own digital fan loyalty program called Dan Nation that has over 90,000 members.

Patrick continues to build upon his independent brand by growing his distribution platforms in radio, TV, internet, magazines, and even movies but he isnt done yet. By continuing to innovate, Patrick will remain as one of the leading sports broadcasters and premium brands in the business.

1) CSNChicago.com: Dan, thanks for taking time out of your always-hectic schedule to join us for this edition of 5 Questions with Lets get right to it. With your show based out in the New England area, you are naturally familiar with Red Sox Nation and the GM tenure of Theo Epstein. With Epstein now officially running the baseball operations side in the Chicago Cubs front office, what immediate culture changes do you expect to occur at Wrigley Field from a front office perspective and, down the line, from an on-field perspective?

Patrick: Theo brings hope. Cubs fans saw what he and the Red Sox did over the last decade and have to think that he can do it again. Remember, there is no downside. Nobody really critiques big money free agents with the Cubs, even GMs, because whats the worst that could happen...you dont win the World Series. Thats all thats happened for every living Cub fan. Theo will up the temperature of the entire organization immediately and will not accept not making the playoffs. This is good news for Cubs fans.

2) CSNChicago.com: The Dan Patrick Show, which airs on Comcast SportsNet Chicago weekdays from 8:00-11:00 AM, is truly being enjoyed by Chicago TV viewers for your always-entertaining guests and insightful commentary. Since this is a live, morning production, take us briefly through your morning routine from the time you wake upto the time you sit in the host chair.

Patrick: Coffee! Then the Danettes and I meet in the mancave and talk things outtopicsguests. But one thing we do is we try not to talk too much on any one topic in the pre-show meeting. If we are hot on a topic or story, we put the brakes on and save the discussion for the show. You dont want to try to re-do what you just talked aboutwhat you see on air is natural and unscripted.

3) CSNChicago.com: Many people in the sports media industry look up to you as one of the best interviewers in the biz. Which media personalitypersonalities did you admire growing up that you felt were (and maybe still are) the gold standard in interviewing guests?

Patrick: I admire the ones that can smoothly handle a big, live eventJim McKayKeith JacksonBrent MusbergerBob Costas. Being the point man on the air at the Olympics, World Series or Super Bowl is a pressure gig and the best in the business keep things moving while surrounded by chaos.

4) CSNChicago.com: As host of NBC Sports Football Night in America, you know all about the dominance of the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Here in Chicago, fans are just hoping the Bears can make a return to the playoffs, especially since the Pack will likely lock up the NFL North title. Simple question, do the Bears have a shot to realistically make the playoffs?

Patrick: They do. They had a shot last year at the Super Bowl and, if Cutler stays upright in the NFC title game, who knows how that game ends. The blocking is improving for Cutler. Forte is the best all-around back in the game. If the receivers can up their game and they remain a run-first team, they can make the playoffs. That being said, Green Bay looks almost flawless so far, so it will be tough to get past them if they meet again in the playoffs.

5) CSNChicago.com: Its a pretty cool fact that youre good friends with box office superstar Adam Sandler, as you appeared in numerous Sandler films over the years (including the upcoming Jack and Jill opening up on November 11). Weve got to knowany chance DP goes Hollywood full-time to pursue a career in acting?...and -- outside of Peter Krause (who did a fine job mimicking you on Sports Night years ago) -- which actor would you like to see portray your life story on film?

Patrick: Wow, now we are talking. I heard they may make an ESPN movie a la The Social Network. Id be good with Jason Bateman playing me in the 90s. Hes snarky and you have to respect his hairI do.

Patrick LINKS:

The Dan Patrick Show official site

The Dan Patrick Show on Facebook

The Dan Patrick Show on Twitter

With push for playoff seeding in full force, Fire head to Philadelphia with key absences

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With push for playoff seeding in full force, Fire head to Philadelphia with key absences

There aren’t many easy games left on the Fire’s schedule, but Saturday’s game in Philadelphia appears to be one of the more winnable games remaining even if it is on the road.

The Union have a respectable 7-4-3 home record, but are out of the playoff race and are winless in six straight. The Fire hope to pick up a second straight road win, keep pace with New York City FC and stay ahead of red-hot Atlanta in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The game will be televised on CSN+ (channel finder) with coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live.

While on paper the game is winnable, the Fire will once again be significantly shorthanded in midfield. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Juninho are both out with injuries. Schweinsteiger will miss his third straight game while Juninho will be out for two in a row. The Fire beat D.C. United 3-0 with Dax McCarty pairing with Drew Conner in central midfield last weekend.

With Joao Meira returning from injury as a sub in that win against D.C., coach Veljko Paunovic could run a similar lineup to the one from last week or elect to go with three centerbacks in an altered formation. Either way, the Fire remain without key pieces during a time of year when the team wants to be hitting its peak with the playoffs just over a month away.

“You want to get your top 11 group on the field together so they can get games, but if that’s not the case then you can also get guys experience and you can get younger guys in games that mean something and that matter because there’s no substitute for experience,” McCarty said. “You can’t replicate that in training. Guys like Drew Conner, guys like Djordje (Mihailovic). Those guys that are going to be very important for us in our playoff push and our depth heading into the playoffs.

“That’s the reason why depth is so important in MLS because while you would love to be able to count on your first 11 every single time you step on the field, (but) that’s not the case. I think we’ve seen that throughout the whole season. I don’t think we’ve had our first 11 group on the field together for months so you want depth and obviously it’s important to get guys healthy."

The extent of Schweinsteiger’s injuries hasn’t been clear. He had a bruise on his calf from a collision during the match in Montreal on Sept. 2, but also has a thigh injury. Schweinsteiger appeared to be nearing a return last week when he was running and working out in training separate from the group, but he was not at training on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, which implied a setback.

When asked about Schweinsteiger’s status, Paunovic has remained coy.

“Basti is very important for the team,” Paunovic said. “We want him as soon as possible. We will provide all the help that we can. As soon as we can have him back it’s going to be very important for the team. Also during that time we have guys who are prepared and ready and want to step in.”

Everyone knows he is a key absence, but the team has a solid 2-1-3 record without him this year.

“It doesn’t take a genius to see the positive attributes that he brings to the team,” McCarty said of Schweinsteiger. “He’s been one of our best players and obviously he’s a focal point for the way that we do things, not only defensively, but attacking as well. He’s a guy who teams have to account for whenever he’s on the ball. His vision, his ability to make plays within the game, knowing what the game needs and what time, you can’t substitute that. It makes my job easier, it makes our strikers’ jobs easier, so it’s a big loss not having him on the field.”

Chicago Fire at Philadelphia Union

Where: Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Penn.)

TV: CSN + (channel finder)

When: Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live

Records: Fire (14-9-6, 48 points), Union (8-12-9, 33 points)

Nerds in Sports Podcast: Being a 'professional nerd' and Star Wars theories about Rey's parents

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Nerds in Sports Podcast: Being a 'professional nerd' and Star Wars theories about Rey's parents

On this edition of Nerds in Sports, we talk with io9.com senior editor Rob Bricken.

Rob explains how he juggles being a fan with being a ‘professional’ nerd, how he came to run io9.com, plus his theory on why Rey’s parents are in Star Wars may shock you.

Kevin Anderson and Michael Piff co-host. We are Nerds. In sports.

Listen to the Nerds in Sports Podcast here.