Jerry Kill suffers another seizure

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Jerry Kill suffers another seizure

MINNEAPOLIS -  Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill's seizure problems returned Saturday, hospitalizing the coach shortly after he gave his postgame press conference following a 21-13 loss to Northwestern.

Kill met with the media and answered questions for about 10 minutes after the game, looking healthy and strong. But moments after returning to the locker room, school officials said he had another seizure.

Team medical staff attended to him immediately, and an ambulance arrived at TCF Bank Stadium quickly after the seizure. Kill was taken to a hospital, where he was alert and resting comfortably, according to a news release issued by the school about two hours after the game.

University officials "do not anticipate further information on coach Kill's condition being available Saturday night, but are hopeful about being able to provide an update on Sunday," the release said.

It was still too early to tell if Kill would be available to coach next week at Wisconsin, but the hard-nosed coach has taken pride in not letting his condition keep him off the sideline in the past.

It's latest in a long line of problems with seizures for Kill. He suffered several of them last season in his first year at Minnesota, most notably on the sideline during a loss to New Mexico State in September. Kill returned in time to coach the next game and Gophers doctors said they would concentrate on keeping him hydrated and monitoring his medications to keep a handle on the issue.

During a one-week period later in September last year, Kill estimated he had 10 to 20 more and went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to seek treatment. Doctors were able to get him on a program that had been successful at keeping the seizures at bay.

Kill also had seizures on game day in 2001 and 2005, the latter occurring afterward in his office, while he was coaching Southern Illinois and had another while taping a show in 2006 and beat kidney cancer earlier in his coaching career.

"When you have a situation where you go down and go unconscious, there's not a whole lot you can do about it," Kill said last year, "until you come conscious, then you get up and go to practice."

He didn't miss any games for the Gophers because of seizures last season and appeared to be doing just fine through the first six games this year until Saturday.

"The reality of this disorder is this is a common problem," Dr. Pat Smith said, the university's physician, said last year. "People live normal lifestyles with this."

Of course, being a college football coach in the Big Ten is hardly a normal lifestyle. The long hours, high stress and poor diet that can be associated with the job may be contributing to Kill's problem, doctors have said.

That hasn't stopped Kill in the past from getting right back out there.

"What the hell am I supposed to do? Stop? I mean, sit in the chair and wait for the next dang seizure to come along?" Kill said last year.

It's the latest bit of adversity for the Gophers, who started the season 4-0 to generate optimism among the program's long-suffering fans that a bowl game could be had. But they were thumped 31-13 at Iowa in the Big Ten opener, then delivered a sloppy and mistake-filled performance in the loss to the Wildcats on Saturday to fall to 0-2 in the conference.

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Soldier Field reportedly a finalist to host 2017 MLS All-Star Game

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Soldier Field reportedly a finalist to host 2017 MLS All-Star Game

According to a report from Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago's Soldier Field may be in the running to host next year's MLS All-Star Game.

The report says the city and Major League Soccer are discussing Chicago hosting the All-Star Game, which includes a number of other events in the lead up to the game.

Toyota Park, which is located in suburban Bridgeview, hosted the All-Star Game in 2006 less than two months after the stadium opened. Soldier Field has never hosted the MLS All-Star Game.

The Chicago Fire played in Soldier Field from the team's expansion season in 1998 until Soldier Field renovations in 2002. The Fire moved back to the renovated Soldier Field midway through the 2003 season before heading to Toyota Park.

If Soldier Field hosts the All-Star Game, it would be the first non-MLS venue to host the game since 2010 when Houston's Reliant Stadium hosted the MLS All-Stars against Manchester United.

This year's All-Star Game was in San Jose's year-and-a-half old Avaya Stadium. Arsenal beat the MLS All-Stars 2-1.

Stan Bowman likes Blackhawks prospects' potential to fill holes

Stan Bowman likes Blackhawks prospects' potential to fill holes

The Blackhawks have holes to fill on their roster, especially among the forwards. And general manager Stan Bowman reiterated that the team will look from within to fill them.

“The guys we have are the ones that are here, and our team’s going to come from this group,” said Bowman, who addressed the media on Tuesday. “We’ve only had a few days of camp here but it’s been a bright start. They’re all full of energy, excitement, knowing they have a chance to make the team. Maybe it’s been different than in previous years when they’ve looked at the lineup and wondered where they might fit. And now, they know there’s a possibility they can make the team if they pay well. That’s what these games are going to be, starting tomorrow, we’re going to have an opportunity to see how they perform in a game setting.”

It’s still way too early to say where some of those young players fit; Patrick Kane just joined camp on Tuesday and several other veteran Blackhawks who were playing at the World Cup of Hockey are either still there or just returned from Toronto. But Bowman’s liked what he’s seen from several prospects. Some of them, including Nick Schmaltz, Tyler Motte and Alexandre Fortin, who the Blackhawks signed on Sunday, are expected to play in Wednesday’s preseason opener vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A big concern is still who’s going to play on the top line with Jonathan Toews. Richard Panik and Nick Schmaltz are two possibilities – Schmaltz was on the left side during Tuesday morning’s skate. He’s primarily been a center but, as it usually goes with the Blackhawks, forwards have to be versatile. But Bowman wasn’t sure who would play in that top left-wing spot, or in other spots, at this juncture.

“I think it’s hard to give a direct answer to that because we have to see what Joel [Quenneville] thinks when he gets here, as well,” said Bowman on Quenneville, who’s still with Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey. “We have to see how they perform in the exhibition games. But stability is a nice thing. I think having a familiar line mate can help you in a lot of situations. But as the year goes on, sometimes things get stale or injuries happen. You have to have flexibility for different players to float into those roles.”

North American fun

Bowman himself recently returned from the World Cup of Hockey, where he was co-general manager of Team North America. That group brought a tremendous amount of excitement to the tournament, despite not moving onto the semifinal round.

“It was a blast to be part of that group. I had so much fun. You never know how it’s going to go when you’re first asked to be part of it but we had a great time. It was a treat even to watch those guys in practice.”

Liking Forsling

Bowman has liked what he’s seen from defenseman Gustav Forsling, who’s vying for a spot on the Blackhawks’ roster. Forsling could also return to the Swedish league.

“He was very impressive there [at Traverse City]. I thought comfortable, poised, very talented in both transitioning the offense, making plays. So there's a lot to like there,” Bowman said. “We're certainly going to see how he plays in these exhibition games. Whether he benefitted from going to Sweden? That's a great league, so if he does end up back there, he's going to continue to grow his game. But we haven't made that decision yet. We want to see how things go here.”