CSN announces 2012-13 Bulls game schedule & surrounding on-aironline coverage details

CSN announces 2012-13 Bulls game schedule & surrounding on-aironline coverage details

CHICAGO BULLS BASKETBALL RETURNS TO COMCAST SPORTSNET

Pre-Season Action begins Oct. 9, First Regular Season game on Nov. 2, Plus Live PrePost-Game Shows all season long and comprehensive nightly coverage on SportsNet Central, Highlight 2012-13 Schedule

CSNChicago.com to feature 247 reporting from Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam; website to also feature live video of Post-Game Press Conferences, Daily PlayerCoaches Interviews, Game Highlights,
plus - On-Air Talent Blogs, In-Game Twitter updates from CSN talent, Live Chats, Live interactive Scoreboard and more!

Chicago, IL (October 3, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the two-time defending regular season NBA Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls (who also finished tied for the 2011-12 regular season with the NBAs best overall record at 50-16), is once again ready to deliver another thrill-packed season of NBA excitement with 42 live regular season Bulls games (20 home, 22 away), including in-depth pre-game and post-game shows, and the most thorough 247 online Bulls coverage to date on CSNChicago.com!

The 2012-13 Chicago Bulls regular season on Comcast SportsNet gets underway on Friday, November 2 as NBA All-Star Luol Deng, along with Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Richard Rip Hamilton, and the return of fan favorite Kirk Hinrich, visit the Central Division rival Cleveland Cavaliers at 6:30 PM (NOTE: Expanded coverage gets underway on Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan at 5:00 PM; McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 6:00 PM). Kia Bulls Post Game Live immediately follows the game featuring Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus post-game press conference (to also be streamed on CSNChicago.com), along with live locker room player interviews and complete post-game analysis.

Comcast SportsNets first home game telecast of the 12-13 campaign takes place on Tuesday, November 6 vs. Orlando (with expanded, live coverage from the United Center beginning at 5:00 PM on Chicago Tribune Live; tip-off at 7:00 PM). (IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though it will not be carrying the game, Comcast SportsNet will be airing a special Opening Night edition of Kia Bulls Post Game Live immediately following the 2012-13 Bulls homeseason opener vs. Sacramento on Wed, Oct. 31 at approx. 9:30 PM).

In addition to the 42 regular season games, Comcast SportsNet will also televise six Bulls pre-season games starting on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:00 PM, when the Bulls host the Memphis Grizzlies. Additional pre-season match-ups will air on Oct. 12 vs. Cleveland (in Champaign, IL), Oct. 16 vs. Milwaukee (currently scheduled on CSN), Oct. 19 vs. Minnesota, Oct. 23 vs. Oklahoma City (currently scheduled on CSN) and Oct. 26 vs. Indiana (in South Bend, IN).

Fans can also look forward to a thorough look ahead to the upcoming BullsNBA season on SportsNet Central: Chicago Bulls Season Preview on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:30 PM. The season preview special will feature interviews with Bulls playerscoaches, along with a review of all the off-season transactions from the around the league and how these moves impact the Bulls this season.

This seasons Bulls regular season schedule on Comcast SportsNet features 27 games against Eastern Conference foes, ten of which are against Central Division opponents. In addition, Comcast SportsNets Bulls schedule features a highly-anticipated home court battle against reigning NBA Champions LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat (Mar 27), plus three games against the defending Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics (Nov. 11, Dec. 18 & Feb. 13), a road rematch against last seasons NBA Playoffs first round opponent Philadelphia (Dec. 12), a pair of road games against Carmelo Anthony and the rival New York Knicks (Dec. 21 & Jan. 11), home game against Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and rising L.A. Clippers (Dec. 11), the teams first-ever road game against the newly-located Brooklyn Nets (Feb. 1), and both the home and road match-ups against the defending regular season Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs (Feb. 11 & Mar. 6). (See attached sheet for Comcast SportsNets complete 2011-12 pre-season and regular season Bulls schedule).

For the fifth-straight season, veteran Bulls play-by-play announcer Neil Funk will be teamed up with former Bulls standout center Stacey King, who will handle color analysis all season long. SportsNet Centrals Gail Fischer will be the primary courtside reporter for Bulls home game telecasts this season, along with Luke Stuckmeyer and Susannah Collins on a rotating basis.

McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live (featuring hosts Mark Schanowski and former NBABullsFighting Illini great Kendall Gill) is a half-hour pre-game show featuring a breakdown of the evenings match-up, interviews with coaches and players and a look at the other games around the NBA. McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live will air prior to every Bulls game this season with the exception of 6:00 PM game time starts (pre-game coverage for these games can be seen at 5:00 PM on Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan featuring host David Kaplan; CTL will also be the place to hear from numerous BullsNBA experts all season long).

Following every game this season, viewers can look forward to the most comprehensive post-game wrap-up show on Kia Bulls Post Game Live. Kia Bulls Post Game Live (hosted by SchanowskiGill) will also feature live coverage of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus post-game press conference and locker room interviews with Bulls players. Following the majority of evening Kia Bulls Post Game Live airings, viewers can catch GMC SportsNet Central at 10:00 & 10:30 PM and SportsNet Central presented by CLR at 12 Midnight with the most complete recap of the days top local and national sports news.

Five regular season and two pre-season Bulls games are currently scheduled to be telecast on Comcast SportsNet Plus (see attached schedule). Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN) telecasts are provided to Comcast SportsNet affiliates and distributed to viewers when two live events are scheduled simultaneously. Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers can watch all CSN games on CLTV. Cable and satellite operators who do not carry CLTV will place CSN telecasts on a to-be-determined channel. Viewers can visit CSNChicago.com for the exact channel location of Comcast SportsNet, CSN, Comcast SportsNet HD and CSN HD telecasts in their area.

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 247 Bulls coverage all season long, including the following highlights:
Live stream of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus postgame press conferences.
Video highlights from EVERY Bulls game that airs on Comcast SportsNet.
Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam returns for his fourth season covering all home and away games. Sam will also file daily storiesvideo reports (including reports from practice and shoot-arounds) and will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live, Chicago Tribune Live, SportsNet Central and in all Comcast SportsNet Bulls games, highlighting BullsTalk on CSNChicago.com.
In addition to his on-air duties, Bulls PrePost Game Live host Mark Schanowski will partner with Sam this season on CSNChicago.com providing multi-platform coverage via on-going blogs, weekly live chats, fan Q&A mailbag segments and much more. Fans can also follow Schanowski (@MarkSchanowski), Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) and Gail Fischer (@gailfisch) via Twitter 247 for the latest teamplayers news, insight and insider access.
Twitter users should follow @BullsTalkCSN for all the latest news and views about the Bulls and can join in the Bulls conversation using the hashtag BullsTalk when tweeting their Bulls-related thoughts and comments.
Interactive Scoreboard featuring real-time, live data combined with timely editorial and compelling elements such as up-to-the-second game stats, detailed box score & play-by-play, photos, out of town scoreboard, Twitter feeds from talent and VIPs, LIVE in-game chat sessions, team headlines and much more.
In addition, CSNChicago.com will work closely with NBCSports.com and its ProBasketballTalk blog, plus CSNChicago.com brings back its Bulls Talk blog, a high-frequency blog covering all Bulls news, rumors, trades, etc., which will include contributions from Sam, Schanowski and Gill as they lend their knowledge and expertise to the latest happenings in the Central Division, as well as league-wide. It will also include special Sam and Sam weekly video segments, featuring CSNChicago.coms Aggrey Sam and Bulls.coms Sam Smith, talking up the Bulls and the NBAs biggest headlines.
Bulls content this season will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, NBCSports.com, SB Nation and Bleacher Report.

COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO
2012-13 Chicago Bulls Schedule

Preseason:
1. Tue, Oct 9 vs. Memphis 7:00 pm
2. Fri, Oct 12 vs. Cleveland (Champaign, IL) 7:00 pm
3. Tue, Oct 16 vs. Milwaukee 7:00 pm CSN
4. Fri, Oct 19 vs. Minnesota 7:00 pm
5. Tue, Oct 23 vs. Oklahoma City 7:00 pm CSN
6. Fri, Oct 26 vs. Indiana (South Bend) 6:00 pm

Regular Season:
1. Fri, Nov 2 @ Cleveland 6:30 pm
2. Tue, Nov 6 vs. Orlando 7:00 pm
3. Mon, Nov 12 vs. Boston 7:00 pm
4. Wed, Nov 14 @ Phoenix 8:00 pm CSN
5. Wed, Nov 21 @ Houston 7:00 pm
6. Mon, Nov 26 vs. Milwaukee 7:00 pm
7. Wed, Nov 28 vs. Dallas 7:00 pm
8. Wed, Dec 5 @ Cleveland 7:00 pm
9. Fri, Dec 7 @ Detroit 6:30 pm CSN
10. Tue, Dec 11 vs. Los Angeles Clippers 8:30 pm
11. Wed, Dec 12 @ Philadelphia 6:30 pm
12. Mon, Dec 17 @ Memphis 7:00 pm
13. Tue, Dec 18 vs. Boston 7:00 pm CSN
14. Fri, Dec 21 @ New York 6:30 pm
15. Wed, Dec 26 @ Indiana 6:00 pm
16. Wed, Jan 2 @ Orlando 6:00 pm
17. Wed, Jan 9 vs. Milwaukee 7:00 pm
18. Fri, Jan 11 @ New York 7:00 pm
19. Mon, Jan 14 vs. Atlanta 7:00 pm
20. Wed, Jan 16 @ Toronto 6:00 pm
21. Wed, Jan 23 vs. Detroit 7:00 pm
22. Fri, Jan 25 vs. Golden State 7:00 pm
23. Mon, Jan 28 vs. Charlotte 7:00 pm
24. Wed, Jan 30 @ Milwaukee 7:00 pm
25. Fri, Feb 1 @ Brooklyn 6:30 pm
26. Fri, Feb 8 @ Utah 9:30 pm
27. Mon, Feb 11 vs. San Antonio 7:00 pm
28. Wed, Feb 13 @ Boston 6:30 pm
29. Tue, Feb 19 @ New Orleans 7:00 pm CSN
30. Tue, Feb 26 vs. Cleveland 7:00 pm
31. Wed, Mar 6 @ San Antonio 8:00 pm
32. Fri, Mar 8 vs. Utah 7:00 pm
33. Wed, Mar 13 @ Sacramento 9:00 pm
34. Mon, Mar 18 vs. Denver 7:00 pm CSN
35. Thu, Mar 21 vs. Portland 7:00 pm
36. Wed, Mar 27 vs. Miami 7:00 pm
37. Sat, Mar 30 @ Dallas 1:00 pm
38. Tue, April 2 @ Washington 6:00 pm
39. Fri, April 5 vs. Orlando 7:00 pm
40. Sun, April 7 @ Detroit 6:30 pm
41. Tue, April 9 vs. Toronto 7:00 pm
42. Wed, April 17 vs. Washington 7:00 pm

6 pre-season, 42 regular season (20 Home, 22 Road regular season)
Total 48 Games
All Times Central Time Schedule Subject to Change

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 14 local networks that deliver more than 2,400 sporting events annually along with breaking news and comprehensive analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, CSS, Comcast Sports Southwest, and Comcast SportsNet Houston (launching October 2012). NBC Sports Regional Networks also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nations largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, visit CSNChicago.com or ComcastSportNet.com.

Bears quarterback Connor Shaw reportedly suffers broken leg in preseason loss

Bears quarterback Connor Shaw reportedly suffers broken leg in preseason loss

A little over a year ago Connor Shaw suffered a season-ending injury during a preseason game with the Cleveland Browns.

Unfortunately, history has likely repeated itself.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Shaw endured a broken leg right above his left ankle in the Bears' 23-7 preseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday afternoon. After connecting with wide receiver Josh Bellamy for an 18-yard completion in the fourth quarter, the Bears quarterback had his left leg folded by Chiefs defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Shaw stayed on the grass for a few minutes, writhing in pain, before having his left leg put in an air cast and leaving Soldier Field on a cart. 

Following the game, Bears head coach John Fox said that Shaw's injury is "very serious" and that he was on his way to the hospital for further examination.

[MORE BEARS: Bears severly outplayed in another home preseason game]

The devastating injury comes at inopportune time for Shaw who has arguably been the best player in a Bears uniform this preseason.

Before leaving Saturday's game, Shaw was 5/6 for 68 yards with a QB rating of 153.5 including a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cameron Meredith. Shaw also showed an ability to make things happen with his legs as he had two carries for 15 yards. It was the second consecutive eye-opening performance for Shaw. In last week's preseason loss to the New England Patriots, Shaw was for 4/6 with 42 yards and a touchdown pass.

Shaw had already surpassed David Fales as the Bears' third-string quarterback, and was starting to push Brian Hoyer — who coincidentally suffered an injury to his ribs against the Chiefs — for the backup job behind Jay Cutler. At worst, Shaw would have been a practice squad candidate.

"I've known him since his rookie year in Cleveland and he's really worked hard," Hoyer said. "He's done a good job and to see that, it's really heartbreaking obviously for him, and for a guy that's watched him develop and grow you just really feel for him.

"He's a tough and resilient kid. He's going to be back, but now it's going to be a dark time. That's just the way it is. That's part of football and unfortunately happened to a great kid."

[SHOP: Get your Bears gear right here]

Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who played with Shaw at South Carolina, has no doubt Shaw's will bounce back from the injury.

“It’s a tough break,” Jeffery said. "He was having a hell of a camp. He was doing a hell of a job out there. You hate to see any teammate go down, but I know him personally being with him in college. He’s a fighter. He’s going to come back.”

Bears severly outplayed in another home preseason game

Bears severly outplayed in another home preseason game

It's easy to dismiss preseason games, but they can't be ignored when a team is severely outplayed in every sense of the word.

That was the case for the Bears on Saturday afternoon as they were dismantled by the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7, in front of a crowd of 48, 377 at Soldier Field to remain winless on the preseason.

The Bears starting offense compiled a net of 65 yards as they couldn't find a rhythm against a Chiefs defense playing without Pro Bowlers' Justin Houston, Eric Berry and Tamba Hali.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was able to stay upright for most of the game as the starting offensive line allowed just two sacks, but Cutler was plagued by a few drops from his receivers and was off target for most of the afternoon, finishing 6/15 with 45 yards and a passer rating of 47.9. The Bears starting wide receiving tandem of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White registered the same amount of drops (three) as they did receptions. The lone highlight from the starting offensive unit came from second-year running Jeremy Langford who twice turned broken plays into positive gains, showing a remarkable improvement in that facet from his rookie season.

[SHOP: Get your Bears gear here]

While the starting offensive unit will draw much-deserved criticism for their performance against the Chiefs, the defense didn't fare that much better.

The starting 11, playing without Pernell McPhee and Kyle Fuller, allowed 239 total yards in the first half. The starting unit also lost their only proven cornerback when eight-year veteran Tracy Porter entered the NFL's concussion protocol after taking a knee to the head by teammate Harold Jones-Quartey in the second quarter. 

Despite Saturday's mediocre play by the defense, there were some positives including the first NFL interception by Bears rookie cornerback Deiondre' Hall who looks to be squarely in the mix for a starting cornerback job with the abundance of injuries at the position. Rookie defensive tackle Jonathan Bullard also continued his strong preseason play with another sack. First-rounder Leonard Floyd suited up but didn't play due to a hamstring injury.

The Bears finally broke a near 55-minute scoring drought when third-string quarterback Connor Shaw connected with wide receiver Cameron Meredith for a 16-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Shaw suffered a left ankle injury on the next series and had to leave on a cart. He finished the game 5/6 for 65 yards and a touchdown, also adding 15 rushing yards on two carries.

In two preseason home games the Bears have been outscored 45-7. They were blanked by the Denver Broncos back in Week 1 on Aug. 15.

The Bears will look to avoid going winless for the first time in franchise history in preseason when they close out their exhibition slate against the Browns in Cleveland next Thursday.

Bears great Jay Hilgenberg to new C Cornelius Edison: “You deserve to be there”

Bears great Jay Hilgenberg to new C Cornelius Edison: “You deserve to be there”

The storyline has already been formed: If the Bears are forced to go with undrafted Cornelius Edison as their center, the 2016 season is lost.

“I mean, how ridiculous to think that an undrafted free agent could be the starting center for the Chicago Bears, and they win,” deadpanned Jay Hilgenberg, making less than no attempt to mask the irony in his voice.

With very good reason.

Because Hilgenberg himself came into the NFL as an afterthought, undrafted out of Iowa in 1981 and then going on to an 11-year career with the Bears, capped by a Super Bowl ring in 1985. Seven Pro Bowls, five All-Pro selections.

Ridiculous.

Edison may come nowhere near the heights reached by Hall of Fame nominee Hilgenberg. Or of Hall of Fame Miami center Jim Langer, also undrafted. But Hilgenberg has a strong bit of advice for Edison, who started Saturday in the Bears preseason game vs. Kansas City and could be their starter on Opening Day, depending on health elsewhere on the interior of the Bears offensive line.

“I would say to him, ‘You’re in an NFL camp because you can play football,’” Hilgenberg told CSNChicago.com. “Don’t let how you entered that camp take anything away from you. You deserve to be there. You just need to prove it a little bit more than the first-rounders.’”

[SHOP: Get your Bears gear right here]

It may not always be easy, of course.

Hilgenberg, who fought his way onto the final roster in 1981, once famously turned to then-teammate Revie Sorey on the bench during a blowout of the Bears in Hilgenberg’s first season, and said, “Revie, we’re the worst team in the NFL.”

Sorey, never one to duck the truth, nodded.

Hilgenberg added, “And I’m the worst player on this team.”

Again, no disagreement from Sorey.

“So that makes me the worst player in the NFL, doesn’t it?” Hilgenberg concluded.

Silence from Sorey.

Hilgenberg turned out to not be the worst player in the NFL, but not without epic struggles, and he knows what Edison will be going through. And how the young center can make it.

[MORE BEARS: Rookie class making much-needed impact]

“To be honest there is always a little insecurity in you,” Hilgenberg recalled. “I had confidence that I belonged but I had to fight every day. And the truth is, I wanted it more than anything else in the world. I was going to make it.

“I didn’t have Plan B. I didn’t want to go back to Iowa then, so I didn’t have Plan B.

Hilgenberg used teams’ not drafting him as motivation, and Bears teammates recalled him savoring facing supposed elite defensive linemen, No. 1 picks, and handling them. Beyond his attitude, however, was a method.

“I played against a lot of big, strong guys in the NFL, and I wasn’t going to back down from anybody,” Hilgenberg said. “As soon as you learn how to play with the right fundamentals, you learn that there’s no Supermen out there. If you can play fundamentally and with good technique, you can block anybody… .

“Offensive line play is honestly all about how bad you want it. How much are you willing to do? How important is it to you? What does it mean to you?”

Edison is in the process of answering those exact questions.