5 Questions with...Comcast SportsNet's Pat Boyle

82747.jpg

5 Questions with...Comcast SportsNet's Pat Boyle

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

December 23, 2009

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 our weekly media celebrity interview 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 weekan Emmy award-winning sportscaster who knows just about everything there is know about the Chicago sports scene, not to mention the national sports landscape as wellhes a Chicago guy who loves his teams as much as his own familyyou can catch him weeknights at 6:30, 10:00 and 10:30 PM with partner Mark Schanowski on Comcast SportsNets SportsNitehere are 5 Questions withPAT BOYLE!

BIO: One of the most popular sports broadcasters in Chicago, Boyle has been a centerpiece on Comcast SportsNet as primary co-anchor for SportsNite and host of U.S. Cellular Bears Post Game Live. In addition, Boyle hosts Pro Football Weekly and Countdown to Kickoff. In 2006, he won the Midwest Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On-Camera: News-Sportscaster. He had been at ESPN since June 2000 anchoring SportsCenter and ESPN News' nightly half-hour show during primetime. Boyle has also been a studio host for NHL 2Night and ESPN's Wednesday Night Baseball. Prior to that, he was the weekend anchorreporter for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's edition of SportsNite, along with substitute hosting the network sports roundtable discussion show and reporting for the network's game coverage of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers and the postgame show for the Philadelphia Eagles. Boyle is a Michigan State graduate with a degree in telecommunications.

1) CSNChicago.com: Pat, as host of numerous Bears programs on Comcast SportsNet, Im sure youve had your own personal moments of sheer frustration this season like thousands of other fans in the city. The pre-season hype with the arrival of Jay Cutler, along with a 3-1 regular season start, had fans going crazy early on. Then the wheels fell off the bus. Should the fall of this team be placed on Lovie Smiths shoulders alone or should Cutler and the entire team be taking some of this blame as well?

Boyle: Its funny to think that back on April 2nd, when the Bears acquired Jay Cutler, I blogged that I felt like I was a kid at Christmas now that they finally have their franchise quarterback. Now, just a handful of days before Christmas, I feel like asking Jerry Angelo if he held on to the receipt and what the NFLs return policy is like. Seriously, I still think the deal for Cutler will turn out to be a good move, although it's getting hard to defend 25 interceptions and counting.

I think I just got caught up like most fans, believing Cutler was the final piece to the Bears Super Bowl puzzle. This team has a laundry list of issues to deal with this offseason. Lovie Smith and the coaching staff is a major part of the problem. I think you will see the team bring in a new offensive coordinator that will devise a game plan that best suits Jays game. That person must also not be afraid of getting into Jays face when he has mechanics or decision making problems. Jerry Angelo has his work cut out for him trying to find the right players to handle the safety position. He needs to also re-tool the offensive line and find a solid 2 running back that compliments Matt Forte. Lovie's job status took a huge step backwards, following their 4th loss of the year by 20 points, in Baltimore. I know the Bears owe him 11 million over the next two seasons, but there doesn't seem to be improvement from week to week, or season to season.

2) CSNChicago.com: Its been rumored that youve been to the Wrigley Field bleachers many, many times in your lifetime. Theres no doubt its one of the best experiences in all of sports. Tell us your favorite bleachers memory or a particular game in the bleachers that stands out to you most?

Boyle: It's hard to single out my favorite Wrigley bleacher moment. It truly speaks to the magic of the park when you can have fond memories, even when the team was struggling. The summer of 1997 seems to stick out in my mind, not because the Cubs were winning, rather I was between jobs and spent half of my unemployment checks at the Friendly Confines. That was the year I learned what the cup game was all about. A betting game that wagers on things like will the ball end up on the mound between innings and will Sammy do his sign to the right field bleachers? It was only fitting that the guy who had no job ended up losing most of the money. My favorite recent memory was sitting in the bleachers for the comeback against the Rockies in 2008. The Cubs trailed 9-1 in the 6th and rallied to win thanks to a Mark DeRosa game-winning homer. The place went absolutely nuts and I was happy I didn't leave when they were down by eight runs.

3) CSNChicago.com: The Tiger Woods sex scandal story will continue to have legs for quite a while, especially leading up to his big return to the PGA Tour. As a sports news journalist, does it make you cringe when you have to report on non-playing, personal stories such as this or is it just par for the course in your job (no pun intended)?

Boyle: It makes me cringe a bit. From our perspective on SportsNite, we stick to the facts like there was a car accident outside his Orlando home or report that Tiger admitted to "transgressions" on his web site. We don't get into 4 said this or 10 worked at Hooters, we leave that stuff to TMZ.com and Inside Edition."

4) CSNChicago.com: With Christmas Day almost upon us, whats the best present you ever received as a child?

Boyle: This is going to date myself, but long before X-Box and Wii, there were video game consoles called Atari and Intellivision. It was the early 80's, I was probably 11 or 12 and Santa brought me Intellivision. I would play the game so long that you could literally fry an egg on the console when I was done.

5) CSNChicago.com: Tell us one thing about your SportsNite partner Mark Schanowski that you most admire and the one thing that makes him kind of annoying? NOTE: the same question will be posed to Schanowski about you in next weeks 5 Questions with!

Boyle: I admire Mark's professionalism and his preparation each and every day. You don't have a career like his in Chicago unless you are good at what you do and well respected by others. It's been an amazing experience to work with him the last few years. As for the annoying part, I would have to say it's his last name. When you think of how many shows we do together each week and how many times I bang S-C-H-A-N-O-W-S-K-I into my keyboard, you can understand the carpal tunnel issues I have with my fingers. I may call him when I am 65 to complain, if I can pick up the phone.

Boyle LINKS:

Comcast SportsNetSportsNite page

Boyles Boyle-ing Point blog on CSNChicago.com

Follow Pat Boyle on Twitter

James Shields beats former team in White Sox win against Rays

James Shields beats former team in White Sox win against Rays

James Shields’ tenure with the White Sox hasn’t gone well, but Monday was one of the bright spots. And it came against his former team.

Shields didn’t exactly keep the visiting Tampa Bay Rays off base, but he kept them mostly off the scoreboard, allowing just one run over his six innings of work as the White Sox won the first game of a four-game set, 7-1, at U.S. Cellular Field.

For just the third time since the beginning of August, Shields allowed two or fewer runs, and he did against Tampa Bay, with whom he spent the first seven seasons of his career.

Shields didn’t exactly make it easy on himself, putting multiple base runners on in four of his six innings, but just one run scored from all of those jams. He finished with a line of one run on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts in six innings. The win was Shields’ first since July 26, his sixth of the season and only his fourth since joining the White Sox at the beginning of June.

But getting into jams wasn’t unique to Shields, with relievers Tommy Kahnle and Nate Jones starting the seventh and eighth innings by putting the first two runners on. But double plays in each of those frames helped the pitchers escape unscathed. The White Sox infield turned four double plays on the night.

As far as the offenses went, the White Sox struck first with a run in the first. Melky Cabrera doubled with one out and scored two batters later on Justin Morneau’s sacrifice fly.

The Rays tied the game in the fourth, Curt Casali singling home Jaff Decker to make it 1-1. But the White Sox struck back in the bottom of that same inning, with Omar Narvaez’s sacrifice fly plating Todd Frazier, who led off the inning with a double and stole third base, his team-leading 15th swipe of the season. The White Sox got another run an inning later when Jose Abreu singled in Leury Garcia.

But the real insurance came in the later innings, when Justin Morneau followed an Abreu walk in the seventh with a two-run home run to right field, boosting the White Sox lead to 5-1, and Carlos Sanchez bashed a two-run shot in the eighth to make it a 7-1 game.

The win was the White Sox third straight, their second set of three consecutive wins this month.

Bulls' Jimmy Butler wants tough coaching from Fred Hoiberg this season

Bulls' Jimmy Butler wants tough coaching from Fred Hoiberg this season

 

Much was made of the Jimmy Butler-Fred Hoiberg dynamic last year.

As the duo head into Year 2 together with a very different Bulls roster, Jimmy Butler was very clear about one thing he wants out of his coach this season.

“I told Fred, ‘As much as you can, use me as an example,’” Butler said during the team’s media day on Monday. “I want you to really get on my tail about every little thing because if Doug (McDermott) or Tony (Snell) or whoever it may be, if watching coach talk to me like that he’s going to be like ‘If he can talk to Jimmy like that I know he’s going to come at me a certain way.’ So that’s what I try to remind him everyday. I think he’s ready for that. I’m a player. I’m coachable like everybody else, but I want that. I need that.”

Butler’s show of confidence in his coach didn’t stop at his belief that Hoiberg could follow through on Butler’s desire to be coached hard. The All-Star believes Hoiberg has improved as a coach heading into his second year on the job.

“It was his first year last year and I think he studied himself and us and the way we were up and down in so many areas of the game last year,” Butler said. “He’s trying to correct it. That’s just like anybody going into the offseason. He didn’t just not work. He studied and got better at what he needed to get better at. I think he’s ready moving forward.”