They said it: 1993 Notre Dame-FSU in quotes

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They said it: 1993 Notre Dame-FSU in quotes

Tune in to Comcast SportsNet Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. for a Notre Dame football classic: The 1993 "Game of the Century" which pitted No. 2 Notre Dame against No. 1 Florida State in South Bend. Also, be sure to check out a look back on the game here. Below are some quotes from right after the game and from players who spoke to CSNChicago.com this week about their experiences in it.
 
"It's one game that I think lived up to all the hype." -- Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz (NBC broadcast)

"Those defensive backs they got back there, whenever they finish, and I hope it's soon, they'll be NFL." -- FSU coach Bobby Bowden (Sports Illustrated)

"I'd like to be Lou Holtz tonight. He'll have a good time." -- Bowden (SI)

"He's supposed to fall down on the other side of the field, but he comes all the way across and makes my block. He was moving pretty good for a man of his obesity." -- Notre Dame offensive lineman Todd Norman, on Aaron Taylor's block on Adrian Jarrell's touchdown run (SI)

"If we missed 100 tackles, I would not be surprised." -- FSU defensive end Derrick Alexander (SI)

"That was one thing coach Holtz taught us, not to worry about the defense. If we watch enough film, and he's going to put in the right plays it's just we have to execute. So it wasn't so much Derrick Brooks, it was what we as a team had to do. And it was like that all year, and we felt that we had a great team and if we executed our plays that no one could stop us." -- Notre Dame QB Kevin McDougal, on facing FSU's defense (CSNChicago.com)

"I just remember coming into the huddle and being like, uh, what did coach call my number? We have all these other guys in the backfield, Lee Becton had a tremendous game that day. And after scoring, I just remember turning around and seeing Oscar (McBride) and seeing Aaron Taylor and seeing Tim Ruddy and just hugging all those guys and just seeing the elation just from my teammates. Just a great moment. But the first thing I would say is, my thought was 'coach, you sure you want me running the ball in this situation?'" -- Irish DB Jeff Burris, on his thoughts when he found out his was going in to run the football (CSNChicago.com)

"None of us ever questioned whether or not we could count on Jeff in that situation. He was a captain, he had more than proven himself on both sides of the ball and with his character on and off the field. It's a really unique situation in a game that big, to have a guy to come in on your side of the ball that doesn't normally play there. It's like, you don't call that and think you're going to get a one-yard gain." -- Offensive lineman Aaron Taylor, on Burris getting the call to run (CSNChicago.com)

"When you talk about poise and just precision at that position -- just, you name it, he did it. If they needed 10 yards to run, he could scramble and look like, okay, he only went five yards but he probably went 20. He was that smooth with the ball in his hand. When you have an opportunity to play against guys like that and you come out and you play well as a team. As a team, as a defense, we clicked for it. For that day, we clicked completely. And those are the type of games you don't forget." -- Burris, on facing 1993 Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward (CSNChicago.com)

"The inference was, of course, that we were whooping his ass and he went out of the game. That's a very biased Notre Dame perspective -- I have tremendous respect for Derrick, I've know him pretty well, I played against him a lot when I was with Green Bay and he was with Tampa." -- Taylor, on Derrick Brooks missing some of the game with an ankle injury (CSNChicago.com)

"I just remember, we felt like we were on top of the world. That moment, and going over the student section. My roommates ran on the field, I remember, my old roommates from freshman year and came and gave me a big hug -- just those small things that you're just like man, we did it. It wasn't a team thing. It was a school thing at that moment. I remember Brian Hamilton, Bryant Young, and Bobby Taylor and I all stayed in the same dorm, and when we got back to the dorm we got an ovation just from our dorm-mates. It was overwhelming, overwhelming to say the least." -- Burris on his memories of after the game (CSNChicago.com)

"There's a picture I have, it's among my favorites. It's not even a picture of me, it's a picture of Justin Goheen, but I'm in the background and you can kind of see my head -- and you know, I'm maybe four, five feet behind him. But I keep it because it captures, for me, the emotion in that moment, and I look very juvenile, like I had this look of joy and pleasure and wonder, almost like a little kid.

"I see myself as a little kid in that picture, and the further that I went on in my career, and the higher up the levels I went, football became pressure-filled. Games were a relief. Rarely did you enjoy the game -- you always wanted to win, but it was more about sweet, we got that one under our belt, let's go on to next week. That one was special, and we had just beaten the No. 1 team in the country, it was a complete team effort, our playmakers stepped up." -- Aaron Taylor, on the postgame celebration (CSNChicago.com)

Fire cut ties with Gilberto, mutually terminate contract

Fire cut ties with Gilberto, mutually terminate contract

Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez said the club would likely be quiet in the summer, but they announced a big move on Wednesday.

The Fire and Gilberto mutually agreed to terminate the Brazilian forward’s contract, cutting him loose in the middle of the season.

The move is significant for a number of ways. First, it marks the end of another failed Designated Player for the Fire. Gilberto scored five goals in 10 matches after joining the team on July 27 last season, but had no goals and two assists in nine matches this season.

The second important thing to note is that Gilberto’s departure means the Fire now have an open DP slot. David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike are the remaining two DPs on the roster. Also, Gilberto is off the books both in terms of salary and in terms of his salary cap hit for the remainder of the season.

“Despite his best efforts, Gilberto was not able to reach his top form in Major League Soccer,” Rodríguez said in a statement. “He is a good person, with a big heart and a passion for the game, and we hope he finds success at his next stop.”

Gilberto’s departure also means the Fire have an open international spot on the roster. Previously all eight international spots were filled up.

Gilberto last played for the Fire on May 21, when he delivered the assist on the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against Houston. Coach Veljko Paunovic said after the following match on May 28, a 1-1 draw with Portland, that Gilberto asked for some time away for personal reasons a couple days before the match.

Gilberto’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season. His contract was the highest on the team at $1,145,000, according to the MLS Players Union.

58 Days to Kickoff: Oak Lawn Richards

58 Days to Kickoff: Oak Lawn Richards

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26.

School: HL Richards Bulldogs

Head coach: Tony Sheehan

Assistant coaches: Steve Fleming, Kevin Szczepkowski, Adam Ziemba, Jeff Kortz, Charlie McCullough, Matt Royce, Charlie Kipp, Rick Pratl

How they fared in 2015: 7-4 (5-1) South Suburban Red Conference. Richards made the Class 6A state playoffs and defeated Morgan Park, then lost to Lincoln-Way North in second round action.

Biggest storyline in 2016: Can the Bulldogs make a deep run this fall?

Names to watch this season: RB Pat Doyle, RB/LB Anthony Quinn, OL Joe Capenter

Biggest holes to fill: The Bulldogs welcome back just one returning offensive linemen in senior Joe Carpenter (6-foot-2, 285 pounds).

EDGY's Early Take: The Bulldogs always have speed and athletes and confidence is pretty high in regards to this team. With 12 starters back including the entire starting offensive backfield, expect Richards to make some serious noise this season.

The secret to Willson Contreras' success with Cubs: Channeling his emotions

The secret to Willson Contreras' success with Cubs: Channeling his emotions

Willson Contreras took the first pitch he saw Sunday and stared down Jose Fernandez. The Miami Marlins ace didn't try to buzz the Cubs rookie and the pitch wasn't close to hitting Contreras. It was just another way of Contreras showing he would not be intimidated by anybody, not even Major League Baseball's leader in strikeouts per nine innings.

Contreras has flashed that kind of spirit throughout his first couple weeks in the big leagues, including his Steph Curry-esque caught-stealing celebration against the St. Louis Cardinals.

But it wasn’t always that way. Mark Johnson uniquely understands how far Contreras has come, the difficulty in harnessing all that and what to expect as a big-league catcher.

"It's been fun to watch him grow as a person and as a player," said Johnson, the current Double-A Tennessee manager who worked with Contreras between 2011 and 2013 in short-season A-ball (Boise) and Class-A Kane County. "He's always been that real emotional player, wearing his emotions on his sleeves. When he was younger, it was kind of hard to contain at times.

"He's always played with so much passion and fire, which is beautiful to have. You'd much rather have a player like that than have a player you'd have to kick in the ass every day.

"For him to be able to tone that down a little bit and control that just shows his maturity and the way he's starting to grow up."

When Johnson coached Contreras, he had not yet become the top catching prospect in the game and actually spent all of 2011 playing the infield and outfield (mostly third base).

Contreras made the switch to catcher in 2012 and his career didn't really start to take off until 2015, when he won the Southern League batting title for Tennessee. The Cubs had even left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft prior to his breakout in his age-23 season last year.

"He's come into his own at the plate," Johnson said. "He really started understanding what he needed to do at the plate last year. He made some good adjustments. It was kind of like the rest of his game.

"He's always been so aggressive and always tried to do too much, whether it was his throwing, his catching, his receiving, his hitting. When he started understanding he didn't have to do as much as he was trying to do, and could simplify things and minimize movements, it started to take off for him.

"Like in [2015], I had him [in the Arizona Fall League], and he was clearly one of the best players out there. His bat and his move to the baseball is really shortened and he's come a long way with his bat and throwing."

So how much of that can be attributed to harnessing his emotions?

"It's just maturing," Johnson said. "It's time. Whether it's staff or the other players taking him aside or talking to him about what to do, what not to do, how to handle yourself in certain situations. It’s the more experiences he has and the more he learns.

"He's a smart kid. He's got this incredible passion to play the game, which is so much fun to watch. And I think it's just a matter of playing and getting that experience."

Johnson was a first-round draft pick (26th overall) of the White Sox in 1994 and spent five years on the South Side before moving to the Cubs system in 2005 (Triple-A Iowa) and then ending his playing career back in the Cubs system in 2009-10. He has talked with Contreras about what to expect in a big market.

During his first two weeks in The Show, Contreras had no issues adjusting to Chicago, hitting .355 with a 1.137 OPS, three homers and nine RBI in 11 games while playing catcher (six games), left field (four games) and first base (two games).

"You could put him anywhere," Johnson said. "He loves to play the game. No matter where you put him, he loves to compete. He loves the game of baseball.

"You could put him at second base or any outfield position, first, third. You could probably put him on the mound and he'd probably be a lights-out pitcher. He's just one of those guys that really competes. And that's what you look for in ballplayers."

Contreras has figured out how to keep his love of the game while learning to keep his cool, without censoring himself.

"He looks like the same old Willy," Johnson said. "He has so much fun playing the game. It's just infectious.

"They're going to love him [in Chicago]. Obviously, he's had a tremendous start. He's playing himself into the lineup every day.

"I think anybody that plays the game with that much passion and that much energy and that much life, you got to be likable."