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

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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

Cubs Talk Podcast: Breaking down the World Series hangover

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Breaking down the World Series hangover

Do the Cubs have a World Series hangover?

On the latest edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Bay Area Giants Insider Alex Pavlovic joins CSN's Patrick Mooney to talk about the World Series hangover, how last year's playoff loss lingered in San Francisco, Johnny Cueto's quirks, the legend of Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija's ups and downs.

Plus Kelly Crull, Jeff Nelson and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ defensive struggles this year compared to an historic 2016 and how Ian Happ fits into the Cubs’ lineup in both the short and long term.

Listen to the latest episode below:

What does Caleb Swanigan's departure for NBA mean for Purdue and the 2018 Big Ten title race?

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USA TODAY

What does Caleb Swanigan's departure for NBA mean for Purdue and the 2018 Big Ten title race?

Caleb Swanigan, unsurprisingly, is heading to the NBA.

Last season’s Big Ten Player of the Year announced Wednesday that he’ll pass up the final two seasons of his NCAA eligibility for a paying gig at the professional level, an awesome opportunity for a kid who battled obesity and homelessness to become one of the best basketball players in the country.

But Swanigan’s departure from West Lafayette means a heck of a lot to the Big Ten.

Without the league’s most dominant big man, what becomes of Purdue’s chances at winning a conference title? Similarly, with a weakened — though still strong — group of Boilermakers, what does the Big Ten race look like going into 2017-18?

First, Purdue. Matt Painter’s program is plenty healthy, and while there’s no doubt that losing Swanigan is a big deal, the Boilers got some really good news, too, Wednesday when Vincent Edwards announced he’ll be returning for his senior season. Seven-footer Isaac Haas also made the decision to return to West Lafayette, meaning the towering frontcourt hasn’t been completely decimated just because tha man called “Biggie” is gone.

Purdue will also return Carsen Edwards, who had an impressive freshman campaign, and Dakota Mathias, a terrific defender and 3-point shooter. Two more important pieces — P.J. Thompson and Ryan Cline — are back, as well. And Painter will welcome in freshman Nojel Eastern, a highly touted guard from Evanston.

So the Boilers are still in very good shape. There will be a big magnifying glass on Haas, who despite his physical attributes hasn’t always found consistent on-court success. But there have been plenty of flashes of brilliance from the big man. A big step forward in his game would go a long way in easing the blow of losing Swanigan and could keep Purdue as one of the frontrunners for a conference title.

That brings us to the Big Ten race. Ever since Miles Bridges, the conference’s reigning Freshman of the Year, announced he’d be returning to Michigan State for his sophomore season, the Spartans have been the near-unanimous favorite. Only something like Swanigan deciding to stay at Purdue could’ve changed that. And with Swanigan expectedly heading to the NBA, Michigan State remains the preseason pick to win the conference crown.

Like any good year in the Big Ten, though, there will be challengers.

But Michigan State is the popular choice to win it because of Tom Izzo’s insane 2016 recruiting class is returning completely intact: Bridges, Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Joshua Langford are all back. And Izzo brings in one of the top 2017 recruits in forward Jaren Jackson.

But Sparty isn’t the only one with an impressive returning group. Purdue’s experienced roster has already been covered. Northwestern, a surprise contender in 2016-17, should be even better as Bryant McIntosh, Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey enter their fourth year playing together. Dererk Pardon, a shot-blocking whiz at center, is also back, as is sharp-shooter Aaron Falzon, who sat out the 2016-17 season with an injury after starting during his freshman year in 2015-16.

There will be big shoes to fill for some perennial contenders like Maryland — which must replace Melo Trimble — and Michigan, which watched eligibility run out on Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin before D.J. Wilson decided to head to the professional ranks Wednesday. But those teams have plenty of talent returning, too. The Terps will have all three of their fab freshmen — Justin Jackson, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter — back for sophomore seasons, while the Wolverines have Moe Wagner back in the fold alongside Xavier Simpson and Duncan Robinson, among others.

And what of last year’s shocking contender, Minnesota? The Golden Gophers didn’t lose too much this offseason and will return almost every main player from last year’s 24-10 squad: Amir Coffey, Nate Mason, Reggie Lynch, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer and Eric Curry.

There are up-and-comers to think about, too, such as last year’s freshman-heavy squads at Iowa and Penn State. And could new head coaches Brad Underwood and Archie Miller make instant splashes at Illinois and Indiana, respectively?

If it sounds a little too much like the annual coach speak that “any team can win on any night” in the Big Ten, that’s because there is a good deal of truth to that oft-used phrase.

There are definitely tiers to this thing, though. Even without Swanigan, Purdue is still in one of those upper tiers. But there might be no team besides Michigan State at the very top of the heap, something underscored by Swanigan turning pro.