CSN has the 2012 BearsNFL season covered both on-air and online

CSN has the 2012 BearsNFL season covered both on-air and online

COMCAST SPORTSNET HAS THE 2012 CHICAGO BEARSNFL SEASON COVERED BOTH ON-AIR AND ONLINE

Pro Football Weekly (Season Premiere): Wednesday, August 29 at 11:00 PM
United Bears Recap (Season Premiere): Monday, September 3 at 4:30 PM
The Lance Briggs Show (Season Premiere): Tuesday, September 4 at 11:00 PM
Bears Huddle presented by Jimmy Johns (Season Premiere): Wednesday, September 5 at 4:30 PM
Bears Blitz presented by Jimmy Johns (Season Premiere): Thursday, September 6 at 4:30 PM
BEARS POST GAME LIVE presented by Illinois Back Institute (Season Premiere): Sun, September 9 at 4:30 PM

CSNChicago.com to deliver 247 Bears coverage all season long featuring Bears Insider John Moon Mullin

Chicago, IL (August 28, 2012) With the 2012 Chicago Bears and NFL season set to begin next week, Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com have announced a full line-up of Bears and additional pro football related programmingcoverage for the upcoming season. Please note the following on-air and online details:

BEARS POST GAME LIVE presented by Illinois Back Institute Beginning Sunday, September 9 following the Chicago Bears 2012 NFL season opener vs. Indianapolis, Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute returns as THE destination for fans to hear from the experts who played the game, along with their always-entertaining, no-holds-barred take on the days events. The 90-minute post-game show is hosted by SportsNet Centrals Chris Boden featuring a team of expert analysts including former Bears quarterback Jim Miller, former Bears offensive linemanveteran Chicago sports media personality Dan Jiggetts and -- a new addition to Bears PGL this season -- former Bears standout linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. In addition to the lively and spirited banter from the stars of the show, Bears Post Game Live also features live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams with SportsNet Centrals Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis and CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin providing immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room. Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute can be seen on Comcast SportsNet following every Bears game this season with replays airing regularly throughout the season on Sunday nights and Monday afternoons. (NOTE: the season premiere on Sunday, Sept. 9 will air at approx. 4:30 PM immediately following White Sox Post Game Live presented by Orland Park Nissan).

UNITED BEARS RECAP Comcast SportsNet is the place for Bears fans to watch the official team press conference featuring head coach Lovie Smith. Hosted by Chris Boden with analyst Dan Jiggetts, United Bears Recap will go to Halas Hall each week to hear from the Bears head coach, along with additional Bears playerscoaches interviews. The show will also air game highlights and viewers can also look forward to additional United Bears Recap content on CSNChicago.com. The one-hour United Bears Recap makes its 2012 debut on Monday, September 3 at 4:30 PM with a special season preview edition and the show can be seen regularly on Mondays at 4:30 PM throughout the entire Bears season.

BEARS HUDDLE presented by Jimmy Johns Every Wednesday at 4:30 PM beginning September 5, Comcast SportsNet will provide Bears fans with a preview of the teams next opponent from an Offensive perspective on Bears Huddle. This one-hour show, hosted by Chris Boden, will feature analysis from former Bear Dan Jiggetts, along with key interviews from SportsNet Centrals Kip Lewis & CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin with Bears head coach Lovie Smith and additional playercoaches interviews, plus team insightcommentary from ChicagoBears.com writer Larry Mayer. To go along with numerous game highlights, Bears Huddle will also provide a multitude of key offensive stats for all categories and will feature in-depth player match-up analysis for every upcoming game. CSNChicago.com will also provide an area to ask Jiggetts a question to possibly be read on-air, along with a new fan poll question for each show.

BEARS BLITZ presented by Jimmy Johns Every Thursday at 4:30 PM beginning September 6, Comcast SportsNet will provide Bears fans with a Defensive preview of the teams next opponent on Bears Blitz. This one-hour show, hosted by Chris Boden, will feature analysis from former Bear Dan Jiggetts, along with key interviews from SportsNet Centrals Kip Lewis & CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin with Bears head coach Lovie Smith and additional playercoaches interviews, plus team insightcommentary from ChicagoBears.com writer Larry Mayer. To go along with numerous game highlights, Bears Blitz will also provide a multitude of key defensive stats for all categories and will feature in-depth player match-up analyses for every upcoming game. CSNChicago.com will also provide an area to ask Jiggetts a question to possibly be read on-air, along with a new fan poll question for each show.

THE LANCE BRIGGS SHOW Bears fans can also look forward to yet another entertaining season of The Lance Briggs Show (formerly Countdown to Kickoff), featuring host Pat Boyle, former Bears standout Tom Thayer and seven-time Chicago Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs. This half-hour program provides fans with a complete preview of the Bears next game, including a discussion about all the key plays from the teams previous game. Highlighted segments from the show include a CSNChicago.com fan e-mail segment with select questions to be answered by Briggs, along with the popular, two-minute Hurry Up segment with Boyle firing off a multitude of questions to Briggs. The season premiere of The Lance Briggs Show on Comcast SportsNet airs Tuesday, September 4 at 11:00 PM. Weekly premiere airings will take place regularly on Tuesday nights at 11:00 PM with repeats to be shown on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 AM.

SPORTSNET CENTRAL Nightly at 6:30 PM on SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse, 10:00 PM & 10:30 PM on GMC SportsNet Central, along with the midnight edition of SportsNet Central presented by CLR, fans can look forward to the most in-depth coverage of the Bears every night throughout the 2012 NFL season featuring numerous interviews with key players and coaches, along with abundant statistical information and feature reports for the true die-hard gridiron fan. Plus, on Sunday nights at 10:30 PM throughout the BearsNFL season, viewers can look forward to SportsNet Central: Sunday Night Slant, a full half-hour dedicated to that days Bears game, along with full NFL highlights from all the days key match-ups. SportsNet Centrals team of anchors and reporters includes Pat Boyle, Mark Schanowski, Kip Lewis, Chris Boden, Gail Fischer, Chuck Garfien and Luke Stuckmeyer with CSNChicago.coms Bears Insider John Moon Mullin also providing the very latest BearsNFL updates.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE LIVE Comcast SportsNet sets the table with lively sports talk every Monday through Friday night at 5:30 PM on Chicago Tribune Live presented by Smirnoff. Throughout the 2012 NFL season, Chicago Tribune Live host David Kaplan and a panel of pro football experts from the Chicago Tribune will breakdown the games and preview the match-ups that lie ahead for the Bears and other key games from around the NFL. In addition, Chicago Tribune Live will also feature a number of special guests from the world of football all season long, including special guest appearances from players, coaches, celebrities and many more.

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY Entering its 25th season on television, Pro Football Weekly is a half-hour program hosted by SportsNet Centrals Pat Boyle and features an expert panel led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Hampton, former Bears wide receiver Tom Waddle and PFW publishereditor Hub Arkush. The programs in-depth preview analysis and unique format make the show a preferred vehicle for football fans desiring the most thorough coverage of the NFL. This hard-hitting program features the latest NFL news reports, opinions and insider information. Pro Football Weekly makes its regular season premiere on Wednesday, August 29 at 11:00 PM with regular weekly debuts airing on Fridays at 4:30 PM; replays can be seen Saturday afternoonsevenings at varied times and Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM.

CHICAGO HUDDLE Back for its third season on Comcast SportsNet, Chicago Huddle is hosted Dan Jiggetts, who will be joined each week by Bears running back Matt Forte, Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, plus additional Bears players as rotating hosts -- and Maxim cover girlChicago media personality April Rose. Taped at Chilis in Vernon Hills, Chicago Huddle provides fans with an in-depth, weekly Bears reviewpreviewinterview show throughout the entire 2012 campaign. The season premiere airs on Friday, September 21 at 9:30 PM with replay airings at varied times on Saturdays, along with Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM.

CSNCHICAGO.COM Comcast SportsNet Chicagos website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 247 Bears and NFL coverage all season long via its Bears Talk platform featuring Bears Insiders John Moon Mullin and Kip Lewis plus expert analysis and opinion from Jim Miller and Matt Bowen. In addition, CSNChicago.com will offer an on-demand daily Bears Talk digital show, comprehensive Bears social media center and Twitter Locker Room, live game-day interactive chat, video features and player interviews. Please note the following CSNChicago.com Bears-related highlights this season:

John Moon Mullin: CSNChicago.coms resident Bears Insider returns for his fourth season providing fans with up-to-the-minute Bears breaking news and information via Bears Talk blog (http:www.csnchicago.comfootball-chicago-bears), along with 247 updates via Twitter @CSNMoonMullin. Mullin will also make regular on-air appearances throughout the NFL season on Comcast SportsNets Bears Post Game presented by Illinois Back Institute, SportsNet Central and Chicago Tribune Live and NBC Sports Networks Sports Talk and PFT Live on ProFootballTalk.com. Plus, fans can look forward to a weekly web chat with Mullin every Monday night (entitled Monday Night Moon) at 7:00 PM beginning Sept. 12 and a weekly video mailbag from Halas Hall on Wednesdays beginning Sept. 7.

Jim Miller: Former Bears quarterback and current Bears PGL analyst Jim Miller covers the offense in-depth as he will analyze every key move of Bears QB Jay Cutler and new offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Miller will offer his insight and experiences with game offense previews and post-game analysis, including breaking down Cutlers overall game-by-game performance. In addition, he will offer commentary and analysis on rival NFC North teams, plus news and opinion on all NFL topics.

Matt Bowen: Former NFL cornerback joins CSNChicago.com to offer Xs and Os, game breakdown and unique analysis via Bowens Breakdown biweekly digital video feature. In addition, Bowen will contribute a weekly column to Bears Talk as well as make on-air appearances on SportsNet Central and Chicago Tribune Live.

Bears Talk digital shows and platform: CSNChicago.com will offer on-demand daily Bears Talk digital shows: Bears Rewind (Mondays); Bowens Breakdown (Tuesdays and Fridays); 15 on 6: Miller on Cutler (Wednesdays); Bears Preview (Thursdays and Saturdays); Bears Postgame Live (Sundays). The Bears Talk page will be the hub of all CSNChicago.com Bears-related news and information.

Bears Social Media Center: CSNChicago.com to launch a Bears Social Media Center for fans to track all social media activity related to the Bears, including commentary, trends and multimedia sources across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. In addition, CSNChicago.com to launch a Bears Twitter Locker Room where fans can follow all Bears player Tweets, plus Tweets from all NFL players. The following CSN Chicago Insiders and reporters will be offer 247 coverage via Twitter: John Moon Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), Jim Miller (@15Miller), Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41), Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), Bears Talk (@BearsTalkCSN) powered by Moon, Miller and Bears digital producers Jake Flannigan (@JakeFlannigan), Scott Krinch (@ScottieKrinch) and Jon Graff (@JLGProd).

@MarshallMeter: Fans can follow @MarshallMeter for a daily updates on new Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (@BMarshall) with in game commentary on game performance plus off-the-field news.

Spartans land UNLV grad transfer Ben Carter

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Spartans land UNLV grad transfer Ben Carter

Tom Izzo got some help for his diminished front court Wednesday.

UNLV graduate transfer Ben Carter announced on Twitter that he will be using his final season of NCAA eligibility at Michigan State.

Carter, a 6-foot-9 forward who will be immediately eligible, played his first two seasons of college basketball at Oregon before transferring to UNLV. He sat out the 2014-15 season before averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22 games for the Runnin' Rebels last season. He made seven starts and averaged 24 minutes a game before a January ACL tear ended his season.

Carter wrote an open letter published on RunRebs.com explaining his decision to transfer away from UNLV, citing the program's recent coaching change, replacing former head coach Dave Rice with Marvin Menzies.

From Carter's letter:

"I’ve dedicated my whole life to being a basketball player, and I only get one more season of college basketball to get it right. I needed a program that could give me an opportunity to achieve my dreams."

...

"When I really thought about it, I realized how I want my college career to end. I want it to end on a ladder. I want to stand on a ladder, cut down a piece of a net and look into the stands and see my father. I want to share that moment with him."

...

"This is not an easy decision, but I truly believe Michigan State is the right decision for me. During this process, I’ve gotten to know and respect Tom Izzo, and playing for one of the most legendary coaches in college basketball history will be one of the greatest experiences of my life. And with everything I’ve been through in my career, I couldn’t pass up the chance to play for a team with real national championship hopes."

Izzo and the Spartans could certainly use some help in the front court after the graduation of Matt Costello, who was an All-Big Ten selection last season, and Deyonta Davis, who is off to the NBA. While Izzo is welcoming in an eye-popping recruiting class, only one of the highly ranked foursome — 6-foot-9 Nick Ward — is a big man.

Cubs vs. Nationals: Joe Maddon digs Bryce Harper’s style

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Cubs vs. Nationals: Joe Maddon digs Bryce Harper’s style

PITTSBURGH – Joe Maddon and Bryce Harper are on the same side of baseball’s culture war, even as the Cubs and Washington Nationals appear to be on a collision course toward October.   

The National League’s two best teams so far will face off on Thursday night at Wrigley Field, where Harper will be a focus throughout a four-game series overflowing with storylines.

That’s how Harper wants it, and that’s what Major League Baseball needs now, larger-than-life personalities who aren’t afraid to show some emotions and say what they actually think and try to wake up such a “tired sport.”

Harper’s line to ESPN The Magazine went viral in spring training, and it echoes when Maddon brainstorms another wacky themed road trip, trolls the St. Louis Cardinals and invites zoo animals to Wrigleyville.

So if Harper blasts a home run onto Sheffield Avenue and flips his bat in celebration, Maddon won’t have an issue with the league’s reigning MVP. The smirking Cubs manager knows it when he sees it. 

“It depends on who’s doing the bat-flipping,” Maddon said. “If you’ve played for like two weeks and you’re flipping bats, that’s how you’re going to get yourself hurt.”

Maddon rarely criticizes his own players in front of the media, but he called it a “punk move” last year when Junior Lake almost started a bench-clearing brawl at Marlins Park, flipping his bat, admiring his shot from home plate and shushing Miami’s dugout while rounding third base.   

“I just think when you’re brand new – just understand your place a little bit,” Maddon said. “That’s why I got on Junior that time. There are a lot of things that don’t bother me, (but) that was so obvious to me. He did it right in front of our dugout and he had not been playing that much. That’s why it bummed me out.

“But for the most part, I have no problem with most anything. As long as the guy plays hard, works hard, is sincere about his effort, I’m OK.”

By all accounts, that’s Harper, who’s still only 23 years old and gets similarity scores comparable to these players on his Baseball-Reference page: Frank Robinson; Mickey Mantle; Miguel Cabrera; Mike Trout; Hank Aaron; and Ken Griffey Jr.

“When he first came up, I remember watching him and he stole home on a double steal,” Maddon said. “He just ran the bases really well and hard – that was my first impression of him. I know he can hit. I know he’s got power. I know he’s got all that stuff. But I just liked the way he played.

“I have no problem with a guy enjoying playing the game. He’s got a lot of respect for the game and his place in the game. But any time a guy plays it hard, you always appreciate that. And that’s what I see with him.”

Maddon flashed back to the way Dennis Eckersley used to pump his fist after getting a big out – and his own personal history as a baby boomer raised in the 1960s and 1970s and listening to loud music and partying at his old Lafayette College fraternity house.

That’s what makes Maddon able to relate to Harper’s individual expressions, even though “Baseball’s Chosen One” was born in 1992.

“That’s the thing that we forget,” Maddon said. “That’s what’s so disappointing sometimes, growing up in the era that I did, and then you see people that are quote-unquote ‘in charge,’ and they forgot what it was like when we were a bunch of…goofballs, for lack of a better term.

“You’d like to believe that there’s a certain evolution of thinking as it moves forward. The long hair back in the day, the high stirrups, the tight uniforms, everybody has their own little shtick. So what? So what? It’s just a tendency to forget what it was like when we were growing up sometimes. I promise you I’ve not forgotten.”

Report: Blackhawks sign Gustav Forsling to entry-level contract

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Report: Blackhawks sign Gustav Forsling to entry-level contract

The Blackhawks have reportedly signed defenseman Gustav Forsling to a three-year entry-level contract, according to Johan Svensson of Kvällsposten.

According to the report, Forsling's deal will include a loan clause that allows him to return to Europe for the 2016-17 season if he doesn't crack the Blackhawks' roster out of training camp.

The 19-year-old Swedish defenseman spent the last two seasons with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Hockey League, where he accumulated nine goals and 18 assists in 86 combined games.

He also played a significant role with Sweden in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, registering three goals and five assists in seven games. His eight points led all defensemen in the tournament, and was tied for fourth-most among all skaters.

Forsling was acquired by the Blackhawks in Jan. 2015 from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Adam Clendening.

He was a fifth-round pick (No. 126 overall) by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft.