CSN to air 'Notre Dame National Championship Bowl Preview Special' on Jan. 2 at 9 p.m.

CSN to air 'Notre Dame National Championship Bowl Preview Special' on Jan. 2 at 9 p.m.

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO AIR NOTRE DAME NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BOWL PREVIEW SPECIAL on JANUARY 2 at 9:00 PM

Chicago, IL (December 26, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will continue its in-depth college football coverage of the nations 1 team -- The Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- with an original, half-hour BCS preview show entitled Notre Dame National Championship Bowl Preview Special presented by Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, debuting Wednesday, January 2 at 9:00 PM.

Hosted by CSNs Chuck Garfien and Tony Rice, quarterback of the 1988 national champion Fighting Irish, the Notre Dame National Championship Bowl Preview Special (filmed entirely on location at the ND campus) will provide fans with a thorough preview of the highly-anticipated BCS title game, including the following exclusive highlights:

Rice takes viewers on an exclusive tour of the Fighting Irish locker room, tunnel and field, and offers up numerous stories of what its like to play for this historic college football program.

Garfiens exclusive one-on-one interview with Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Teo who discusses his legendary season, along with how he has coped with the heartbreaking losses of his girlfriend and grandmother within a 24-hour period.

One-on-one interview with Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick on how the massive success of the football program has catapulted his school into the national spotlight once again.

Interview highlights from former ND football greats Rick Mirer, Reggie Brooks and Joe Theismann with their thoughts on the Irish chances against Alabama.

Interviews with numerous playerscoaches from both the Fighting Irish & Crimson Tide.

Plus in addition to contributing to the Notre Dame National Championship Bowl Preview Special, CSNChicago.coms Notre Dame Insider JJ Stankevitz will provide exclusive web content 247 leading up to the big national championship game on January 7. In addition, fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.com for up-to-the-minute Fighting Irish news, game previewsrecaps, interviews and much more from Stankevitz (via Twitter @JJStankevitz & IrishTalkCSN).

Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr. looks to follow in Mariano Rivera's footsteps

Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr. looks to follow in Mariano Rivera's footsteps

Carl Edwards Jr. couldn't dream up a better pitcher to try to emulate than Mariano Rivera.

Not for a young right-hander who is still getting used to being a reliever with a cutter as his bread and butter pitch.

After picking up his first career save late in 2016, Edwards mentioned how he has been watching video of Rivera. At the Cubs Convention earlier this month, Edwards name-dropped Rivera again in response to a fan question and went into more detail with exactly what he's aiming to accomplish by watching Rivera tape.

Let's be clear: Mariano Rivera is inimitable. He's a once-in-a-lifetime talent and there almost assuredly will never be a better closer in Major League Baseball.

But Edwards knows that. 

"He's great. He's a Hall of Famer," Edwards said. "He goes out there like he has the world in the palm of his hand. He's very competitive; I've never seen him back down. That's one [takeaway] for myself — I'm gonna go out and never back down.

"I don't really get into trying to be like him. I just look more into how he goes about his business. That's something that I can control — how I go about my business."

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Cubs coach Mike Borzello was there with Rivera in 1997 when the now-legendary cutter was born.

It's not fair to compare Edwards' cutter to one of the greatest pitches ever, but his version is pretty nasty in its own right:

The Cubs are still searching for long-term answers in the rotation, but don't have any intentions of moving Edwards back to a role as a starter.

Like Edwards, Rivera began his career as a starting pitcher coming up through the Yankees system. But Edwards actually has a leg up on baseball's all time saves leader: Edwards' first save came in his age 24 season while Rivera didn't tally his first save until age 26 in New York.

Edwards also struck out 13 batters per nine innings in 2016 while Rivera never posted eye-popping whiff totals (a career 8.2 K/9 rate).

As Edwards gets set for what he and the Cubs hope will be his first full season in the big leagues in 2017, his maturation will be important in an age of baseball where relief pitchers have never been more valued.

Rivera pitched in the playoffs nearly every year, routinely working more than one inning and posting ridiculous postseason numbers: 0.70 ERA, 0.759 WHIP and 42 saves while taking home the World Series MVP in 1999 and ALCS MVP in 2003.

The Cubs hope Edwards will be pitching in the postseason on a regular basis, too.

For now, the 25-year-old is still reveling in the glory following the 2016 Cubs championship.

He served as honorary drummer at the Carolina Panthers game in November.

"That was pretty amazing. That's a highlight of my offseason," Edwards said.

He grew up as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan despite being a South Carolina native, but Edwards said he did get a pair of Cam Newton cleats to wear for 2017 when he and Cubs teammates like Addison Russell or Matt Szczur throw the football around in the outfield to get loose.

Edwards was also blown away by the reception from Cubs fans at the Convention — "This is my third year and every year as been better" — but still hasn't fully wrapped his mind around the ending of the 108-year drought.

"Everything happened so quick," he said. "Hopefully in the next couple weeks when I have a break, I can sit down and soak it all in."

Vote for this week's High School Lites Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Vote for this week's High School Lites Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of area basketball fans in our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00pm. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30am and 8:30am the following Saturday. This week, for the first time ever in our “Viewers’ Choice” poll, we will have girls basketball as our focus:

Warren at Lake Forest, 7:00pm

Glenbrook South at Maine South, 7:00pm

Vernon Hills at Maine West, 7:30pm

Poll opens Monday at 12:00pm and closes Thursday at 4:00pm. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

**Follow @CSNPreps on Twitter.

**Note the “pinned Tweet” atop the @CSNPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.

**Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @CSNPreps just after 4pm Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other basketball news, scores and highlights this season.