Who was First Lady watching at the Open?

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Who was First Lady watching at the Open?

From Comcast SportsNet Friday, September 9, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) -- First lady Michelle Obama played kid-sized doubles against Serena Williams, clocked a 55-mph serve and even did some hula-hooping in her first visit to the U.S. Open.

Obama spoke to a group of local youngsters Friday as part of her campaign against childhood obesity.

"I'm not really good or anything like that. That's the beauty of tennis," she said. "You don't have to be good to enjoy it. I love the game, and my skills are very questionable."

Obama then joined the kids in a tennis video game, table tennis and other activities at an indoor facility at Flushing Meadows designed to get young players excited about the sport.

Obama and a pint-sized partner played doubles against seven-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe, who gave her some volley pointers. Williams, a 13-time major champ who advanced to the Open semifinals Thursday, rolled in after about 45 minutes and took over as Obama's doubles opponent.

"I've been trying to get to the U.S. Open my entire life," Obama said.

Joined by former and current players Billie Jean King, James Blake and Katrina Adams, Obama recalled that she didn't get into tennis until after law school because there were few courts where she grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Obama praised the U.S. Tennis Association's efforts to build kid-sized courts around the country and recruit more youngsters to the game.

Now she hopes she and her daughters will still be playing when they're in their 90s.

"It's a sport you can do forever," Obama said.

Obama later took in the Andy Murray-John Isner quarterfinal match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Kyle Fuller was one of the seeming fixtures in the Bears’ defense as it transitioned from the 4-3 of old to the 3-4 of Vic Fangio. And he may be again, the Bears hope very soon, as he has begun practicing after months on injured reserve following knee surgery in August.

The Bears could place Fuller on the active roster as late as Saturday after he practiced all three days this week. “He made it three days in practice, no setbacks,” said coach John Fox. “He seems to be adapting pretty well. He has another practice [Saturday] and we don’t have to make a decision until 3 p.m. because of where he is on the roster. We’ll evaluate that after tomorrow.”

Were Fuller to return — restoring one projected 2016 starter to a defense that has been forced to field five different starting secondaries in the span of 11 games — he may be phased back in with a managed number of snaps, as other certain other players returning from injury have been.

But getting Fuller back projects to be an instant upgrade for a defensive backfield among the NFL’s worst at producing takeaways.

“We all play different positions so we’re kind of used to it, people moving in and out over the year,” said Bryce Callahan, who was initially ticketed for nickel duty as the No. 3 cornerback this season but has been pressed into service starting at cornerback in four games.

“It’s always good to get someone like Kyle back.”

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The Bears would need to weigh what workload Fuller could handle vs. roster needs based on only having 46 players active on game day.

“You’re always a little bit cautious because it does affect your roster,” Fox said. “But if you feel like he makes you better, that’s a move you make. Now we’re just working through him medically, durability-wise, and how much he can play.”

Jay Cutler (shoulder) was officially declared out and is headed for surgery on Saturday, ultimately to injured reserve.

Other availability questions include receiver Eddie Royal (toe), guard Josh Sitton (ankle) and safety Adrian Amos (ankle), all questionable. Linebacker Willie Young (knee) did not practice but linebacker Leonard Floyd was able to practice on a limited basis although his status in the concussion protocol will not be known until closer to game time.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.