Party platforms for the sports masses

Party platforms for the sports masses

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
2:21 PM

By Frankie O

Finally its over! Well, sort of. While we wait for the final votes for governor to be counted, we can be thankful that we dont have to watch any more political commercials! When I think of the amount of money wasted by these ads, it boggles my mind and makes me wonder about a system gone mad. Talking politics is one of those areas that I try to avoid while behind the bar, but especially in the last ten years, it is something that is hard to avoid. The reason why you dont want to go there is that you can have an opinion that someone doesnt agree with and that makes them hot. So whats a bartender to do? Change the subject to the Bears offensive woes to calm them down? Are the conversations any less animated when the topic is Jay Cutler as opposed to Blago? The thing is, in the bar, lively debate is going to happen and the topics of the day are hard to avoid. So if people at the bar want to talk politics, I will, but as always, Ill do so with a decided slant on sports.

TERM LIMITS: Sounds to me thats about a certain elderly quarterback in Minnesota. Enough already!
DONT ASK, DONT TELL: Easy, thats Jay Cutler at any press conference. Has there ever been anyone who so openly shows his disdain for the whole process?
HEALTHCARE REFORM: The NFL has taken the very public lead in combating head injuries and while its very late to be taking that stand, everyone can agree its the right thing to do.

ABSOLUTE POWER: Nothing corrupts like absolute power and nothing corrupts a football mind like working for Daniel Snyder. Schottenheimer. Spurrier. Gibbs. All solid coaches whose reps were driven into the ground while working for Snyder. The latest is Mike Shanahan, and with his handling of Donavan McNabb at the end of the game against the Lions, it looks like its his turn to have a career melt-down.

ALONG PARTY LINES: Thats how I work every shift behind the bar. BOO-YA!

ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE FOUR YEARS AGO?: Thats the question Bears fans ask every day. And Cubs fans. And Sox fans. (And Philly fans!!)
ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID: The price of taking your family to a game is out of control. I wonder at what point that we just watch every game on TV to save the 500 bucks.
WEDGE ISSUE: What Tiger Woods has after Thanksgiving dinner, during a leisurely drive.

FOUR SCORE, AND SEVEN BEERS AGO: AS all of my customers at the bar know when they hear that phrase, Frankie O is about to go on a rant!
READ MY LIPS: Sounds like Lovie or Angelos press conferences of the last couple of years. Even as the house crumbles, dont dare ask them, why? Just take their word that they know what they are doing.

THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR: Is Jay Cutler taking another seven-step drop.
I SHALL RETURN: More Favre!!

IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MEANING OF THE WORD IS IS: Is that like an offense that is offensive? (Insert Bears, Cubs or Sox joke here!)

OH,THE VISION THING: Gotta love W. Is it any wonder that among his accomplishments was being an owner of a professional sports team?
I AM THE DECIDER: Isnt that Scotty Bowmans title with the Hawks?

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: That would be the Stanley Cup in Chicago. See, Im not always a smart aleck! And those of you who know me, know how hard it was to type that!

ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU: After watching what I thought was the most talented Phillies team of my lifetime gag a shot at a second World Series title in three years, I began to question whether my rooting for my teams was good for my health. The Phillies (twice!), Eagles and Flyers have all ripped my heart out in the last year. But, I still come back for more. My sports addiction is an affliction, and Ive come to terms with that. I wont quit. So when a new season begins, Ill be ready for the roller coaster to begin. Or as Ronnie said in my favorite debate quote of all-time: (Read with a Reagan voice in your head.) Well, there you go again!

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?


Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?

Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down where the Bears go at QB following Brian Hoyer’s injury and evaluate the defense’s gutsy performance on Thursday night against the Packers despite numerous injuries. Plus, a look at the big picture and who can help the Bears down the road.

Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here:

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

LOS ANGELES – Within minutes of the last out on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, ESPN’s @SportsCenter account sent out a photo of Moises Alou at the Wrigley Field wall to more than 30 million Twitter followers: “The last time the Cubs were up 3-2 in an NLCS was Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS vs. the Marlins. Most remember it as ‘the Bartman Game.’”

As Kerry Wood once said: “Irrelevant, dude.”
Look, the Cubs still need to find a way to beat either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill this weekend, with Kenley Jansen resting and waiting for the multiple-inning saves. The obligatory description for Kershaw is “the best pitcher on the planet.” Hill’s lefty curveball – and “the perceptual velocity” of his fastball – freezes hitters. Jansen has a mystical cutter reminiscent of the great Mariano Rivera. The top-heavy part of this Los Angeles playoff pitching staff has held the Cubs to zero runs in 16.1 innings.

But until proven otherwise, forget about this idea of a Cubs team weighed down by the history of a franchise that hasn’t played in the World Series since 1945.

Just look at Javier Baez getting in Anthony Rizzo’s airspace during Game 5, the human-highlight-film second baseman standing right next to the All-Star first baseman as he caught a Kike Hernandez pop-up for the second out of the third inning.

It didn’t matter that this was a 1-0 game and MVP-ballot players Justin Turner and Corey Seager were coming up. This is what the 2016 Cubs do. Rizzo caught the ball, quickly flipped it underhand and it bounced off Baez’s chest – in front of a sellout crowd of 54,449 and a national Fox Sports 1 audience.

“We always mess around,” Rizzo said at his locker inside a tight clubhouse jammed with media after an 8-4 win. “So I’m screaming: ‘Javy! Javy! I got it! I got it, Javy, I got it!’

“And usually he’ll yell at me: ‘Don’t miss it!’ Or I’ll yell at him: ‘Don’t miss it!’

“We do that a lot. If it’s a pop-up to him, I’ll go right behind him. It’s just little ways of slowing the game down and having fun, too.”

Rizzo is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman for a team that led the majors in defensive efficiency this year. As a super-utility guy, Baez got credit for 11 defensive runs saved in 383 innings at second base, or one less than co-leaders Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler, who each did it in almost 1,300 innings.

“Sometimes when I call (Rizzo) off to get a fly ball, he starts talking to me,” Baez said. “I tell him: ‘Hey, you can do whatever you want. Just don’t move my head. You can touch me if you want. Just don’t move my head.’

“And I told him to be ready for it, because I was going to do the same thing. You just got to be focused on the fly ball. No matter what’s happening around you, you just got to catch it.”

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

This isn’t about Bartman. It’s about a group of young, confident players who are growing up together and absolutely expect to be in this position. It’s manager Joe Maddon designing “Embrace The Target” T-shirts and telling them to show up to the ballpark whenever they want and then blow off batting practice.

“For sure, we’re relaxed,” said Baez, who’s gone viral during these playoffs, the rest of the country witnessing his amazing instincts and flashy personality. “I’m relaxed when I play defense.”

The thing is, Rizzo and Baez could be playing next to each other for the next five years, the same way Kris Bryant and Addison Russell will be anchoring the left side of the infield.

This is how Rizzo introduced Russell to The Show when a natural shortstop tried to learn second base on the fly last year and track pop-ups in front of 40,000 people: “Hey, watch out for that skateboard behind you! Don’t trip!”

“Oh yeah, we yell at each other all the time,” Rizzo said. “It’s just one of those things where you got to stay loose.”