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.

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.  

[SHOP: Get your own Jake Arrieta jersey]

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.”

[SHOP: Get your Addison Russell jersey here]

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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