CSN to air unprecedented, four-part documentary on "The Making of the LuvaBulls"

CSN to air unprecedented, four-part documentary on "The Making of the LuvaBulls"

The Making of the Luvabulls to premiere Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 PM;

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive content, including extended video clips
Chicago, IL (October 26, 2011) Beginning Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 PM, Comcast SportsNet will debut a landmark, four-part, behind-the scenes documentary entitled The Making of the Luvabulls, chronicling the personal dreams, joy and heartbreak taken by over 200 Chicago area women vying for just 25 spots on one of the NBAs most prestigious dance teams.

With over 30 hours of exclusive footage shot over the course of four weeks, The Making of the Luvabulls (narrated by Comcast SportsNets Pat Boyle and produced by Sarah Lauch & Ryan McGuffey) will take viewers through the entire, never-before-seen process on exactly what it takes to make this team. From the initial mid-August tryouts featuring 200 hopefuls (which was immediately cut down to 47 in one day) -- to the grueling minicamp process that followed -- to the moment the official 25-girl roster was announced, Comcast SportsNet showcases the amazing athletic skills, along with the raw emotions of these determined women every step of the way.

Additional highlights from the four-part series include extensive interviewsbio features with numerous women on the 2011-12 Luvabulls dance team including former Miss Illinois Ashley Bond, Luvabulls Director Cathy Core, choreographer Kim Tyler, along with many other women who participated in the process -- including those who made the final cut -- and those who didnt. Viewers can also look forward to several Day in the Life segments, which follow the girls around for a day featuring candid interviews with their co-workers, roommates, friends and husbandsboyfriends. Plus -- Comcast SportsNet will also showcase an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the chaotic, yet ultimately sexy Luvabulls poster photo shoot.

We wanted to provide our viewers with an honest look at what it truly takes to become a member of the Luvabulls, not just from a physical standpoint, but also from a mental one as well, said Charlie Schumacher, Senior News Director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. We captured so many euphoric moments, but also numerous moments of heartbreak. Most importantly, The Making of the Luvabulls showcases so many hard-working, determined women trying their best to make their dream come true.

Viewers are also urged to visit a special Making of the Luvabulls page set up on Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com: CSNChicago.comluvabulls, which currently showcases the teaser trailer for the series, along with behind-the-scenes commentary from producers Lauch & McGuffey. This page will also include a Luvabulls photo slide show and web-exclusive video excerpts from the series that will not be shown on Comcast SportsNet. Fans can also visit the official Luvabulls page on Bulls.com.

Note the following episode-by-episode details and quotes for The Making of the Luvabulls, premiering Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 PM only on Comcast SportsNet (schedule subject to change):

Episode 1: Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 PM

(Additional replays: Fri, Nov. 4 at 12:30 PM & Sun, Nov. 6 at 9:30 PM)

Summary: The first episode takes a look back at the history of the Luvabulls, along with profiles of Director Cathy Core and choreographer Kim Tyler. Highlights include the initial tryouts featuring over 200 girls, with only 47 of them being asked to come back to the intense next phase of minicamp.

Episode 2: Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 PM

(Additional replays: Fri, Nov. 11 at 12:30 PM & Sun, Nov. 13 at 9:30 PM)

Summary: Minicamp begins. Viewers will witness the physicalmental stress of a grueling choreography session that not only has to be learned quickly, but accurately. Additional highlights also take a break from camp with Day in the Life features with Ashley, Kafi and Jackie.

Episode 3: Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM

(Additional replays: Fri, Nov. 18 at 3:00 PM, Sun, Nov. 20 at 2:00 PM & Thu, Nov. 24 at 8:00 PM)

Summary: As minicamp concludes following countless hours of intense choreography routines, the final 2011-12 Luvabulls team is selected. The emotional highs and lows from this episode are not to be missed.

Episode 4: Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 PM

(Additional replays: Thu, Nov. 24 at 8:30 PM & Mon, Nov. 28 at 7:00 PM)

Summary: We go behind-the-scenes for the orchestrated chaos that is the always-popular Luvabulls poster shoot, plus now that the team is set, viewers will be treated to some additional practice footage that clearly indicates the pressure is now on for this years team to succeed.

QUOTES FROM THE MAKING OF THE LUVABULLS

"This is show business...they should come in knowing what they are getting in to. You see those veterans when they come in for their audition...I mean you cant touch them."

- Luvabulls Director Cathy Core on girls showing up to auditions

"It is a very difficult process and anybody that kind of makes it through that training process, kudos to you because I felt like it is one of the hardest things mentally, physically, that you will ever go through in life being challenged on both ends and have that balance to make it through to the other side."

- Luvabulls choreographer Kim Tyler on auditionsminicamp

"We look for a lot more than just a pretty face and a good dancer. We look for the whole package. Somebody who can speak in front of crowds and interact with CEOs and the community and really be a great representation for us and for the Bulls."

- Bulls Sr. Director of Game Operations Jeff Wohlschlaeger on what the team looks for in a Luvabull

"There are no guarantees. Every girl needs to try their hardest. You are just like a rookie. You have to learn the choreography, you have to stay on top of everything, you have to look like a Luvabull. As a leader, you have to be a leader."

- Erika, nine-year Luvabulls veteran

"I love this city. I love sports. I love the Bulls. It all ties together. It is just truly amazing and I feel blessed that I got chosen that first year."

- Ashley, five-year Luvabulls veteran

Sunday on CSN: Sale, White Sox close series with O's

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Associated Press

Sunday on CSN: Sale, White Sox close series with O's

The White Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at noon. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Chris Sale (5-0, 1.66) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 3.91)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Nick Kwiatkoski Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile

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Nick Kwiatkoski Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Nick Kwiatkoski (LB), West Virginia

6’2” | 243 lbs.

2015 stats:

85 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 INT

Selection:

4th round, 113rd overall to Chicago Bears

Scouting Report:

"Kwiatkoski is known for his weight room work and has transitioned his body type from safety to inside linebacker. He has some physical limitations that could prevent him from becoming a full-­time starter, but his mean streak and ability to finish as a tackler could serve him well as a special teamer which is likely how he will have to make a team." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Evaluations will come, but Bears got players, traits, intangibles they wanted

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Evaluations will come, but Bears got players, traits, intangibles they wanted

And the grade for the Bears’ 2016 draft is… let’s wait at least until, as coach John Fox consistently says, the players get “on the grass.”

Collective bargaining rules prohibit real competition between offense, defense and special teams units. Five of the Bears’ top six picks were on defense, which aren’t allowed to hit the offensive guys until camp (and vice versa), and the sixth – second-rounder Cody Whitehair – is a guard, and linemen evaluations are really only worthwhile when pads come on.

But poor drafts undid two Bears general managers in the span of four years (Jerry Angelo after 2011, Phil Emery after 2014) and the evaluation process now moves from college campuses, bowl games and scouting events to NFL venues.

The Bears are in major need of GM Ryan Pace equalling or exceeding his first (2015) draft. His head coach thinks that’s happened.

“Obviously experience helps,” Fox said. “The more you do it, the better you get. Ryan’s got a great skill set and we’ve got a great relationship between the coaches and personnel. I think he does a tremendous job. I thought we had a tremendous draft a year ago and I anticipate this year being even better.”

Pace came to the Bears from a New Orleans Saints background heavy on the pro-personnel side. But one school of NFL thinking is that personnel evaluators with roots on the pro side are better suited to oversee drafts simply because their expertise is in seeing what NFL players look like.

Pace’s first draft netted starters at nose tackle (Eddie Goldman), center (Hroniss Grasu), running back (Jeremy Langford) and safety (Adrian Amos), plus theoretically wide receiver (Kevin White) but for a season-ending stress fracture to his left leg. Not all of those are guaranteed starting jobs this season because of the organization’s commitment to competition, but it was a better start than most recent Bears drafts.

Several key directions were evident within the nine picks made by Pace, coach John Fox and their staffs this extended weekend.

Defense, teams priorities

While the prime draft directive was best player available, the Bears moved around in the various rounds to suggest that they were targeting players, and most of them were on defense.

Of the Bears’ eventual nine picks, six were on defense. Of those, four were defensive backs. Among those are expected to be impact players on special teams, and if one wins a starting job the way Adrian Amos (fifth rounder) did last year, the 2016 draft stands to be special.

“You saw us struggle [on special teams] early in the season a year ago,” Fox said. “Getting to know your team, understanding how they react, the speed – trying to increase our team speed even to the deadline to start the season. We got better as the year went on and I think we’ll get better this year.”

QB-lite

Despite indications that the Bears liked some of the quarterbacks down in the mid-round range, they did not select a quarterback for the third time in the last four years. One scenario is that they would add a veteran backup, which they did with the signing of Brian Hoyer, who worked with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains as a Cleveland Brown, to a one-year deal.

“I like the idea of having an experienced backup there,” Pace said. “It’s important for that position and it just gives us security going forward. I think it’s key, like we’ve talked about in free agency, I love it when we have familiarity with these guys from coaches. I feel like it reduces some of the risk and some of the questions we may have. Dowell was passionate about this player and then watching the tape, I was to. I’m glad we got him in the mix.”

The Bears did trade two first-round picks to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler in 2009. But they have actually not drafted a quarterback higher than the fourth round (Kyle Orton, 2005) since 2003 when they took Rex Grossman in the first round.

With all of the draft choices (9) at their disposal going into this draft, the Bears made trades to move up or back for targeted players. None of them were quarterbacks.

Old guys

Not every pick will work out, but the Bears minimized risk in one area, taking college players with extensive resumes on tape, Pace’s stated standard of evaluation. Of Pace’s first eight picks, six of them were four-year college players, with only first rounder Leonard Floyd and fifth rounder Jordan Howard passing up their senior seasons for the NFL. Seventh-rounder Daniel Braverman missed his sophomore season due to injury but played the following two years and will turn 23 in September.

“Some of these guys are three or four year starters,” Pace said. “I think it talks about the caliber of players they are. A lot of these guys are team captains. We talk about that. But really it’s just individual tape and who are the best guys when looking at the talent. But the fact these guys are multi-year starters, and team captains, that is significant.”

Competition stoked

Pace and the entire coaching staff has wanted intense competition, not simply for starting jobs, but also for roster spots. And that was created with more than just numbers of picks, but the quality.

No. 1 pick Floyd projects to take a job from season-end regulars and sack leaders Lamarr Houston or Willie Young, both of whom reportedly were shopped during the early rounds of the draft.

Despite signing interior linemen Ted Lawson and Manny Ramirez this offseason, and drafting center Hroniss Grasu in the 2015 third round, the Bears used a second-round pick on Whitehair. It will be an impossibility for Grasu, Lawson, Ramirez and Whitehair to all start. And that does not factor in Matt Slauson, one of the Bears’ best linemen as recently as 2014 but now clearly on the outside looking in.

“I’m not getting into that,” Fox said. “It’s a fluid process. But right now we’ve helped build competition on our football team.”

The use of a third-round pick on defensive end Jonathan Bullard improves the pass rush of the down-linemen portion of the 3-4. But that likely comes at the expense of Ego Ferguson, returning from knee surgery, and Will Sutton, a seven-game starter and all-purpose defensive lineman but who had zero sacks for his two Bears seasons.

Just as with the interior offensive line, linebacker signings (Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan) did no signal any end to serious competition. The Bears used the first of their three fourth-round selections on West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, whose abilities in coverage make him a threat to starters.

Ka’Deem Carey and Jeremy Langford impressed coaches enough that Matt Forte was not brought back. But the fifth-round pick spent on power running back Jordan Howard was not done for special teams.

‘Teams competition was addressed in part with the picks of two safeties and a cornerback in rounds 4-6. How much those additions challenge for starter jobs is one thing, but they were not picked up just to fill out a training-camp roster.

“The common trait with all these guys,” said Pace, “I would say is toughness and instincts, something we've emphasized and something we've drafted today for sure.”