5 Questions with...Richard Roeper (Part 2)

118704.jpg

5 Questions with...Richard Roeper (Part 2)

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

February 24, 2010

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 weekly local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

Every Wednesday 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 weekthe second installment of a special two-part edition of 5 Questions with as we interview one of the nations top film critics and media personalitieshes an author, TV star, sports enthusiast, pop culture expert and an incredibly-popular syndicated columnist who appears on page 11 locally in the Chicago Sun-TimesChicago is proud to call him one of its very ownhere are 5 Questions withRICHARD ROEPER Part II!

BIO: Richard Roeper is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the author of eight books, including Bet the House, to be published in 2010. He hosts "Starz Inside" on the Starz channel, and is a regular contributor to the Reelz Channel. Each week, his exclusive online, on-camera reviews appear on richardroeper.com, Starz, hulu.com, YouTube and other sites.

1) CSNChicago.com: Rich, thanks for joining us for a second-straight week. Simply put, 5 Questions just arent enough when we have you as our guest. Lets talk sportsyou played baseball in your younger days and are a huge supporter of 16 softball to this day. Off the top of your head, tell us your finest Little League moment and your top career highlight in softball?

Roeper: Little League? Pitching my first no-hitter at the age of 11. I walked probably five or six guys, but still a no-hitter! I was in heaven. Softball? Still playing at my age and avoiding any serious injury since I had rotator cuff surgery about a decade ago. At this point, I'm content to have made the move from shortstop to second base, and I'm happy to be a spray-hitter. My hitting role model used to be Dick Allen; now it's Ichiro.

2) CSNChicago.com: Youve never hid your love affair with the Chicago White Sox. Regarding the 2010 White Sox, outside of starting pitching, what would you say is their biggest strength going into the seasonand their biggest weakness?
Roeper: There's no doubt the starting staff is the strong point, if they stay healthy. Peavy could win 20 games, Danks and Floyd might win 17, and let's say Buehrle wins 16. You just don't see that type of production from your front four any more. Weak spots? Let's just say I'm CONCERNED about a few players staying healthy. Do we get Carlos Quentin all year, or for a couple of months?

3) CSNChicago.com: Name the Top 3 greatest sporting events youve witnessed in person?
Roeper:

1. The White Sox winning Game Two of the World Series: that's the moment when I realized they weren't going to be stopped.

2. The Bulls clinching their first NBA Championship: I was fortunate enough to be part of the Sun-Times team covering many of those playoff runs in the 1990s, and I've never seen a competitor more talented AND more determined than Michael Jordan.

3. Evander Holyfield defeating Mike Tyson in the first fight at the MGM Grand in Vegas: I've never been in a sporting arena where the atmosphere was so charged. When Holyfield sent Tyson sprawling to the canvas, the place just erupted.

4) CSNChicago.com: Our state has seen its share of black eyes over the past several years (the latest being Lt. Gov. hopeful Scott Lee Cohens sex scandal). If you were in a position to change anything about Illinois politics right now, whats the first thing you would do?

Roeper: Invent a time machine, find Abraham Lincoln and bring him to the here and now so he could give us a lecture on what it means to represent the great state of Illinois.

5) CSNChicago.com: As a pop culture expert, you have seen and heard just about everything from the news and entertainment world (more often bad, than good). Whats your current Now Ive seenheard everything moment?

Roeper: John Mayer, a talented musician and a man who has dated Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jennifer Aniston, giving one of the most self-destructive interviews in modern history. Mayer needs to remember the wisdom of "Broadcast News," when William Hurt says, "What do you do when real life exceeds your dreams?" and Albert Brooks hisses, "Keep it to yourself!"

CSNChicago.com: Thanks again Rich, well certainly be reading your coverage leading up to and following Oscar night on March 7. Also, a reminder to all CSNChicago.com readers: make sure to check out Richs highly-anticipated new book Bet the House: How I Gambled Over a Grand a Day for 30 Days on Sports, Poker, and Games of Chance when comes out on April 1st.

Roeper LINKS:

Official Richard Roeper website

Richard Roeper columnsChicago Sun-Times

Richard Roeper "Fan Page" on Facebook

Richard Roeper on Twitter

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field

PHOENIX – Rob Manfred is open to the idea of an All-Star Game at a fully renovated Wrigley Field, but the Major League Baseball commissioner won't make any guarantees about the 2020 target date the Cubs have proposed in a joint lobbying effort with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

"I'm not going to get into specific years," Manfred said Tuesday during a Cactus League media event at the Arizona Biltmore. "Because there's a number of clubs – we're fortunate – that have interest in particular years. And I don't want to say anything that would suggest that I'm anywhere near making a decision."

During last month's Cubs Convention, president of business operations Crane Kenney expressed optimism in a Super Bowl-style bidding process, and not the old way of simply alternating the showcase event between the American and National leagues each year.

The Cubs will point to their starring role in a World Series that beat the NFL's "Sunday Night Football" in head-to-head TV ratings and saw more than 40 million people tune in for Game 7. By 2020, the $600 million Wrigleyville development is supposed to be finished, and Emanuel helped broker the deals that moved the NFL draft to Chicago the last two years after a long run at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

"I will say this: A renovated Wrigley Field would be a great location for an All-Star Game," Manfred said. "Chicago is a great city. And over time, we have tried to go to cities that would be great locations for the game – and to reward cities that had made substantial investments in either new or renovated facilities."

The Cubs still see potential roadblocks, needing City Hall's help with an increased security presence around an urban neighborhood ballpark that hasn't hosted the Midsummer Classic since 1990.

Kenney also acknowledged that All-Star Games have been used as bargaining chips in public negotiations in cities like Miami and Washington – Marlins Park (2017) and Nationals Park (2018) will make it four straight All-Star Games for NL stadiums – while the Ricketts family used private mechanisms to fund the project after striking out on other proposals. 

Nemanja Nikolic channels his inner MJ in jersey number

Nemanja Nikolic channels his inner MJ in jersey number

Jersey numbers can be a big deal in soccer. Who is the team's No. 10? Who is the No. 9?

Nemanja Nikolic, a forward who joined the Chicago Fire this offseason as a Designated Player, didn't have the choice of either number that is famously associated with marquee attacking players because both were taken by returning players on the Fire. Instead, he landed on a number more famous in Chicago sports than in soccer.

Nikolic will be wearing 23.

The Fire announced the jersey numbers for the 2017 season with Nikolic's 23 a part of the list. Every returning player kept the same number as last season.

It goes without saying that wearing the No. 23 in Chicago comes with an extra bit of notoriety. Ever since Michael Jordan donned the No. 23 for the Chicago Bulls, it has been a common sight to find the best player on a Chicagoland high school basketball team wearing No. 23. That doesn't translate to the world of soccer, but in Chicago fans will notice.

A spokesman for the club said the number was more coincidence than intentional MJ reference, but if Nikolic has a good season don't be surprised to see signs at Toyota Park referencing Nikolic's jersey number.

In the preseason some of the players have been wearing different jersey numbers from what they will in the regular season. Nikolic has been wearing No. 9 in preseason matches.

Here is a list of the other newcomers and the numbers they will be wearing:

Jorge Bava: 1

Dax McCarty: 6

Djordje Mihailovic: 14

Juninho: 19

Daniel Johnson: 20

Stefan Cleveland: 30