Word on the Street: Burleson guarantees Lions win

Word on the Street: Burleson guarantees Lions win

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Nate Burleson guarantees Lions' win

Sure, the Lions will be starting their third string quarterback against a Bears defense that has been dominant as of late, but that hasn't phased Nate Burleson. Burleson has guaranteed a Lions win over the surging 8-3 Bears.

"Yeah, I said we're going to win," Burleson said. "I am not saying the Chicago Bears aren't good, they are a very good football team. They can take this as bulletin board material if they want, but we play to win the game." (The Detroit News)

Jordan, UCF upset No. 18 Florida

Marcus Jordan, son of NBA-legend Michael Jordan, led the University of Central Florida to an impressive 57-54 upset of the No. 18 Flordia Gators on Wednesday. Jordan scored 18 points on 6 of 11 from the field and played tight defense, shutting down Florida's big scorers. (Orlando Sentinel)

Sox prospect Phegley recovering after surgery

White Sox catching prospect Josh Phegley is reportedly making a strong recovery after having his spleen removed on Nov. 5 in Chicago. Phegley suffers from Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that results in low blood platelets. The Sox's medical staff consulted with several experts who concluded that the surgery was Phegley's best chance to overcome the condition.

Since the surgery, Phegley has returned to working out and says his platelet counts are "real good." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Lions' Stanton less than fond of Martz

Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton, who will start this Sunday against the Bears, spent the early years of his career with Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator during Martz's time in Detroit. And while Martz may be known by many around the league as an offensive genius, Stanton was apparently less than impressed.

Stanton says Martz attempted to change his throwing motion, an endeavor that left both men frustrated.

"Obviously, with some of the stuff that he was doing with my mechanics and what-not just wasn't natural for me," said Stanton. Asked if he retained any fundamental changes from his time with Martz, Stanton said "Not a single one." (Mlive.com)

Forbes: Blackhawks seventh most valuable NHL team

After winning the Stanley Cup championship last year, the Blackhawks were forced to cut salaries to keep themselves within the boundaries of the NHL salary cap. However, the rest of their financial operation seems to be doing quite well. Forbes magazine listed the Blackhawks as the seventh most valuable team in the NHL, worth 300 million dollars - a 16 percent increase over last year's value.

The Hawks are still far behind the NHL's most valuable team, the Toronto Maple leafs, who are valued at 505 million. (ChicagoBreakingSports)
Favre to retire after this season... No, really

Apparently it's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season; it's time for Brett Favre's yearly retirement. This time, he says, it's for real. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Wednesday that he feels like he's accomplished everything he could possibly accomplish in his career and this time he's done for good.

Asked if he had any second thoughts, Favre said, "I'm done, I'm done." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

'85 Bears a "failed dynasty?"

After the Bears' nearly-perfect 1985 Super Bowl season it seemed as though the Bears were a blossoming dynasty. They had it all; a shut-down defense, a great coach, and one of the greatest running back's of all time. Unfortunately, that never happened. Just three years later they found themselves dominated 28-3 by the San Francisco 49ers in a frigid NFC title game at Soldier Field.

This disappointing fall from greatness earned the Bears the No. 5 spot on Sports Illustrated's Top 10 Failed Dynasties list. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Rose named Bulls player of the month

Derrick Rose and the Bulls are fresh off their first successful west-coast circus trip since the final season His Airness was in Chicago, and Rose is being rewarded for his leadership on the trip. On Wednesday he was named the team's player of the month for November.

The NBA will announce the league's player of the month on Friday and Rose has a great shot at that award as well. He averaged 26.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.6 rebounds during the month of November. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Illini announce athletics hall of fame with Dick Butkus as first member


Illini announce athletics hall of fame with Dick Butkus as first member

Illinois announced Thursday the establishment of a university athletics hall of fame, and who better than Dick Butkus to be the first inductee?

According to the announcement, Illinois has discussed creating an athletics hall of fame to honor past student-athletes for years, but this is the first time it's been acted upon — not necessarily a surprise now that Josh Whitman, a former Illinois football player, is now in charge of the department.

"The University of Illinois has an incredible and storied history in athletics," Whitman said in the announcement. "Legendary names in sports history are found throughout the Illini record books, and we are excited to honor them in our new Hall of Fame. Since the athletic program's inception in 1890, some of the world's greatest athletes have competed in the orange and blue. Ultimately, as we begin to populate the Hall of Fame, our collection of recognized greats will compare favorably with that of any institution in the nation."

Butkus, of course, is the obvious choice to be the first announced member of the hall of fame's inaugural class.

Regarded by many as the best linebacker and defensive football player ever, Butkus spent three seasons in Champaign, twice a unanimous All-American selection. Playing both center and linebacker at Illinois, he finished in the top six in Heisman Trophy voting in 1963 and 1964, a shocking accomplishment for someone playing a position other than quarterback, running back or receiver.

Butkus made 374 tackles in three seasons and is one of just two players — the other being Red Grange — to have his number retired at Illinois. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (thanks to his remarkable career with the Bears), and the annual award for the best linebacker in college football is named after Butkus.

"The University of Illinois has played an extremely important role in my life," Butkus said in the announcement. "I have many life-long relationships that began at the U of I and have always been proud to call myself a Fighting Illini. To be recognized in the inaugural class of the Athletics Hall of Fame is a terrific feeling. I'm very proud of what my teams and I accomplished, including the 1963 Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victory. Thank you for this honor."

The Illini will announce the entire inaugural class in February, with induction coming next September.

Gustav Forsling out, Corey Crawford starting vs. Devils

Gustav Forsling out, Corey Crawford starting vs. Devils

Gustav Forsling will not travel and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks face the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Forsling, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury sustained against the Calgary Flames on Monday night, did not practice on Thursday. Coach Joel Quenneville is still hopeful that the defenseman can play Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Blackhawks were switching lines again, putting Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together on the top line. Marian Hossa took Kane’s place on the second line with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov and Tyler Motte moved to the third line.

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“Yeah, I guess change can be good in this sense. We can probably produce a little bit more offense and have the puck a little bit more throughout the game,” Kane said. “I’ve played with Jonny a bunch before. Obviously, not as much lately. But I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a fun way to play hockey. Obviously he’s one of the best players in the game, and probably in my mind the easiest player to play with. It’ll be fun to get back out there with him and try to create something, try to produce and have some fun with it.”

Meanwhile, forward Andrew Desjardins (lower body) continues to improve. Quenneville said Desjardins could be skating in the next day or so.