CSN to debut 'Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On' Sunday, December 23

CSN to debut 'Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On' Sunday, December 23

Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On to premiere Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet;
CSNChicago.com to provide video excerpts immediately following debut airing

Chicago, IL (December 13, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will provide viewers with a poignant and emotional half-hour documentary honoring the one-year anniversary of the death of former Eisenhower High School football standout and inspiration Rasul Rocky Clark.

Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On, hosted by SportsNet Centrals Pat Boyle, chronicles the tragic story of this promising 16-year-old high school running back, who was paralyzed in a game against Oak Forest High School in September of 2000 when he was tackled just four plays into the contest. He immediately suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and a devastating spinal cord injury. From that moment forward, his life changed forever.

With a deep faith and a determination to rise above this tragic setback, Rocky never gave up. With his heroic mother Annette at his side, Rocky graduated from Eisenhower H.S., attended junior college at South Suburban College and even helped coach his old high school football teamall the while receiving around-the-clock medical attention. However, Rockys story gained national attention in 2010 when his schools 5M insurance policy had reached its cap. Annette received a two-sentence letter from the insurance company notifying her of that fact. Just 16 months later, Rocky passed away at the age of 27.

This impactful look at Clarks life and death, featuring numerous interviews with his family, friends, coaches, nurses, state representatives and others who all called him one thing an inspiration premieres Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet. In addition, viewers are urged to visit Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for video excerpts from Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On immediately following the 7:30 PM debut airing.

Produced and edited by Comcast SportsNets Sarah Lauch, Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On will also re-air on the following datestimes: Christmas DayDecember 25 (9:30pm), New Years EveDecember 31 (9:00pm), January 5 (7:00pm) & January 7 (7:00pm).

Note the following quotes from Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On premiering Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

ANNETTE CLARK (Rockys mother) on receiving the insurance letter:

I got the letter. It was a two-sentence letter. It said Rocky's insurance was gone. I let things upset me and he wouldnt. I said the nursing care is gone now. When he sees me upset, he would tell it's going to be all right, but he thought he would be taken care of for the rest of his life. That is why I am hoping this bill is passed because someone else will get hurt. Don't put a cap on their life. Let them live. Rocky said he was being penalized for living too long.

ANNETTE CLARK on Rockys final day:

He (Rocky) said, MamaI love you and I said I love you too. I talked to the lord and I had asked him many times before to let me have him because he would have been gone and he would give him right back to me, but this time was for Rocky to go ahead on and I said to the lord thy will be done. I said let go and let god, baby. I said let go and let god...that is all I could say. The lord had already comforted me and said this world is not our home. My son had to get hurt and die to try to make a point. That makes me angry every time I think about it. My children were supposed to bury me.

KARITA LOGGINS (Rockys home nurse) on Rockys final minutes:

We were there for the last minutes of his life and I just remember him saying I love you three times. Then he asked me to help him. I said how can I help you? He kept saying, help me.

COACH GREG WALDER (Rockys Eisenhower H.S. coach) on the hit:

I never saw how this happened. I can see the play in my head. It is a normal tackle. There were ten hits in that game that were more vicious that that hit. I don't know how it happened.

COACH GREG WALDER on the Insurance scenario being Rockys legacy:

The awareness about insurance for high schoolers will be his legacy now. We don't know what the caps are. It is a tragedy that he didn't get the coverage. It is not anyone's fault, but it needs to be fixed right now. Nobody talked about it until the insurance company cut it off and it's too late at that point.

CHICAGO BEARS WR EARL BENNETT on Rocky as a person:

He was a guy you could go up and talk to. He would tell you the whole incident, about his life. He's one of those guys that just moved me when I spoke to him.

COACH TRAVIS MOORE (who selected Rocky to be his asst. at Eisenhower H.S.) on Rockys passing:

Rocky stood for so much courage and strength. He transitioned from Coach Rocky to super hero. Normally, you dont think super heroes could be hurt. Our herofriendlittle brother was taken away. It was real tough. Probably one of the toughest situations Ive been through.

DEACON DON GROSSNICKLE (Rockys friend and founder of the Gridiron Alliance):

They say a cat has nine lives, Rocky Clark had better than 30. The hardest thing was the day when I would lose my friend. Annette did everything possible to keep Rocky alive, but the day did come. It was very hard.

We are working with legislators to make a law and the law would be very simple: when high school athletes are performing in any venue, the law requires those that have them perform, insure them. The Illinois High School Association would have to insure all athletes, in all sports.

Cubs conserving Jake Arrieta for October and see another Cy Young push coming

Cubs conserving Jake Arrieta for October and see another Cy Young push coming

SAN DIEGO – West Coast atmosphere, late August, almost no-hitter stuff for a Cubs team riding a wave of momentum. Jake Arrieta might be reentering the zone that made him the hottest pitcher on the planet last year. Get your onesies ready.

It felt that way on Tuesday night at Petco Park, where Arrieta shut down the San Diego Padres, allowing only two hits across eight scoreless innings in a 5-3 victory, making another statement in his Cy Young Award defense.

For all the questions about Arrieta’s fastball control and mechanical tweaks – and times where he’s admitted he’s felt a click off – this is still a top-of-the-rotation guy who leads the league with 16 wins and has a 2.62 ERA.

“He should be” in the Cy Young discussion, manager Joe Maddon said. “The only thing that’s been amiss is a little bit of command issues on occasion. Otherwise, stuff is the same. Numbers are fabulous. It’s hard to replicate what he had done last year, because he just nailed it.

“If he gets hot over these last couple weeks…”

It will be up to Arrieta to complete that thought in a World Series-or-bust season for baseball’s first team to 80 wins this year, one that’s now 35 games over .500.  

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This didn’t feel like a perfect game or create any no-hitter drama. The Padres are already 20 games under .500 and years away from being a serious contender. And Arrieta had to bounce back from last week’s ugly win over the Milwaukee Brewers – when he walked a career-high seven batters – and work around a first-inning walk to San Diego leadoff guy Travis Jankowski.

But the Cubs played spectacular defense behind Arrieta, with catcher Willson Contreras make a lightning-quick throw to pick off Jankowski at third base. The Cubs turned three double plays while a thunderous lineup led by Kris Bryant (33rd home run) and Addison Russell (fifth home run in his last five games) lowered the stress level. After Alex Dickerson’s single leading off the second inning, the Padres didn’t get another hit until Christian Bethancourt’s double with two outs in the eighth.

“I really wanted to let my defense work,” said Arrieta, who finished with six strikeouts against three walks. “When you have Addison and (Javier) Baez in the middle of the infield – two of the best athletes in all of baseball – you want the ball to go to those guys.”

At a time when Clayton Kershaw (back) and Stephen Strasburg (elbow) are on the disabled list, leaving potential playoff opponents like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals in scramble mode, the Cubs can see Arrieta building toward October.

The way Arrieta did with that Aug. 30 no-hitter last year at Dodger Stadium on national TV, walking into the press conference in a moustache-covered onesie, Maddon going with the pajama theme again for the flight home after this weekend’s series in Los Angeles.

But the Cubs ultimately paid the price for all that effort poured into the wild-card chase, which explains why Maddon pulled Arrieta after 99 pitches with a five-run lead (leaving Aroldis Chapman to clean up Felix Pena’s mess in the ninth inning and get the final two outs, giving him eight saves in a Cubs uniform).

“Yeah, I was mad at Joe taking me out,” Arrieta said. “But at the same time, he came over to me and he said: ‘Hey, just remember last year and let’s conserve some things for October.’

“That’s our game plan. We want to be as strong and as dominant as we can be, but still in the back of our mind understanding that late September, early October, mid-October is really the most important time for us.

“Could I have finished the game? Yes. Does it play in our favor to maybe conserve that for later? Yeah. Joe’s a really smart guy. He knows what he’s doing. I feel like he makes the right moves in the right situations. And that’s why we’ve been playing as well as we have.”

No doubt, Addison Russell is becoming a star for Cubs

No doubt, Addison Russell is becoming a star for Cubs

SAN DIEGO – On a team bursting with MVP frontrunners and Cy Young Award candidates – and in a clubhouse with louder, flashier personalities – Addison Russell can emerge as an All-Star shortstop and not become the center of attention.

But here at Petco Park last month, Russell drew scrutiny for his spot in the all-Cub infield, patiently answering questions from reporters about whether or not he deserved to be the National League starter the fans voted for in that popularity contest.

Russell might actually be developing into a superstar now, a Gold Glove-caliber defender with legitimate middle-of-the-order power, someone absolutely essential to what the Cubs are doing now. Russell crushed the San Diego Padres again on Tuesday night, opening up a two-run game with a two-run homer in the fifth inning of a 5-3 victory.

“Just watch me over the course of a year,” Russell said. “My numbers may not be great or whatever, but I contribute to my team every single day. I play my heart out for my team.”

Super-agent Scott Boras, posted up at Petco Park to see clients and watch Jake Arrieta pitch, pointed out that Russell is now only one of five shortstops within the last 40 years to have at least 19 homers during his age-22 season, joining Cal Ripken Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Seager.

Russell is the first Cubs shortstop to reach the 80-RBI mark since Ernie Banks did it in 1961. For all the comparisons to Barry Larkin, he didn’t make his big-league debut with the Cincinnati Reds until the age of 22, and didn’t exceed 12 homers in a season until five years later.

Russell has homered five times in his last five games, leads the best team in baseball with 23 multi-RBI games and exemplifies a no-panic approach that should translate in October.

“I’ve said all year, we have guys on our team that get on base and it’s my job to get them over or get them in,” Russell said. “I’ve taken that role to heart. It’s a lot of fun out there. I challenge myself whenever I’m in that situation.”

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Russell’s highlight-reel play during Monday night’s victory inspired manager Joe Maddon to give him a bottle of Justin Isosceles wine with a “6-3” written on it. Imagine the reward if Russell wins a Gold Glove.  

“Defensively, it’s as good as there is being played right now,” Maddon said. “It’s getting to the point where there’s nobody else like that right now.”

Whether or not Russell can stay healthy and remain productive enough to become another Mr. Cub – or come close to matching Larkin’s Hall of Fame numbers – you don’t get the sense he will be a one-time All-Star.

“I’m very happy for him, because I know prior to being selected, that was an issue,” Maddon said. “I’m so proud of him, how he came out and confronted it in his own way, very quietly, but in a distinguished manner. That’s who he is.

“Now he’s showing everybody how good he is. And I also believe that event has pretty much catapulted him to the point he’s at right now (with) the status that he felt by being here. In some ways, there was this negative dialogue going on. He’s turned it into a very positive one. Good for him.”

Preview: White Sox try to sweep Phillies tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox try to sweep Phillies tonight on CSN

The White Sox take on the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Wednesday’s starting pitching matchup: James Shields vs. Jerad Eickhoff

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

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