Word on the Street: Fergie goes postal

Word on the Street: Fergie goes postal

Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Fergie goes postal

Hall of Famer, and former Cub, Fergie Jenkins has added yet another achievement to his already-lengthy list of accomplishments; his own stamp. On Monday, Jenkins' 68th birthday, he was honored by Canada Post as they conducted a print run of his stamps, which will help commemorate Black History month this coming February. Jenkins is the only Canadian in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (USA Today)

Favre's record streak ends

The last time Vikings quarterback Brett Favre missed a game President Bush was in office. The first one. After 297 consecutive starts, dating back to 1992, Favre's consecutive starts has come to an end. He did not suit up for Monday Night's game against the New York Giants in Detroit due to a shoulder injury. Tavaris Jackson will start in Favre's place. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Taylor's knee problem not serious

Bears backup running back Chester Taylor reportedly had swelling in his left knee last week but the injury is apparently not serious. Taylor still played in the game on Sunday against the Patriots, even scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.

"I feel pretty good,'' Taylor said during open locker room Monday. "I had treatment all week last week, so I'm ready to go this week.'' (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Decision on BearsVikings must come Tuesday

The University of Minnesota has informed the Vikings that if they plan to play the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium next Monday while the Metrodome is being repaired, they will need to know by Tuesday. While the Vikings have not yet formally asked the University of Minnesota Gophers to use their stadium, it is one of the options being considered. The Gophers say they will need time to clean up the field and get it into playing shape in time for the game.

"We had an eight inch snow two weeks before the Iowa game; that was a pretty big task getting that much snow out," said Scott Ellison, University of Minnesota associate athletic director. "Now were facing 17 inches and drifts, so its something were still looking at, to come up with a plan of attack. ... It was hard enough with eight inches. Now we have four feet drifts. Getting that out is going to be a challenge. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Cavallari disappointed in Bears

Apparently Kristin Cavallari, former "Hills" star and current Jay-Cutler-girlfriend, was less than impressed by the Bears performance on Sunday. Cavallari, who was unable to make the game, watched the Patriots trample the Bears by a score of 36-7 from a sports bar in West Hollywood. Sources are saying that Cavallari left the bar "disappointed" after the embarrassing performance by her boyfriend's Bears. (The Daily Jolt)

Chicago loses the 'Stars

The Chicago Red Stars announced on Monday that they would be suspending operations because they do not have the necessary capital to play in the upcoming 2011 Women's Professional Soccer season.

"This has been a very difficult and complex decision," Red Stars Part-Owner and GovernorArnim Whisler said. "We love this team, our players, staff and fans.Everything was trending well for our breakthrough 2011 season, but theabrupt loss of the Bay Area team scared away some of our plannedinvestors, and we simply could not recover in time." (Our Sports Central)

Sox sign Bruney

The White Sox have signed reliever Brian Bruney to a minor league deal. Bruney, 28, experienced serious struggles in only 17.2 innings for the Nationals in 2010, after being traded by the Yankees. Bruney was released and then spent the rest of the season in the Mets and Brewers minor league systems. (MLB Trade Rumors)

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

The Bears have reportedly found a new offensive line coach.

According to multiple reports Monday, Jeremiah Washburn will become the team's new offensive line coach, replacing Dave Magazu.

Washburn worked as an assistant offensive line coach this past season with the Miami Dolphins under Adam Gase, the Bears' former offensive coordinator.

Prior to his season in South Florida, he spent seven seasons with the Detroit Lions, working three of them as the team's offensive line coach after three as an assistant offensive line coach.

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This past season, the Bears ranked 17th in the NFL in rushing with 1,735 yards as a team. Only eight teams allowed fewer sacks than the Bears, who saw quarterbacks dropped by opposing defenses just 28 times. Bears quarterbacks were hit 73 teams, also a top-10 mark in the league.

The Bears also committed a good number of holding penalties, 1.68 per game, which was only bested by seven teams.

Magazu was a longtime member of John Fox's staffs in Chicago, Denver and Carolina.

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

Patrick Kane was summing up the Blackhawks' weekend, one that didn't go well in terms of points.

"Good way to kind of judge ourselves, where we're at," he said Sunday night. "Might be a little bit of a wake-up call to see how good we really are."

Well, in a way, it is. You can't really compare Friday's loss to Washington and Sunday's loss to Minnesota on performance; the Blackhawks didn't show up for the first game and were much better in the second. Nevertheless, it was the same result in each. The Blackhawks' lengthy hold on first place in the Western Conference ended, with the Wild taking over following Sunday's 3-2 victory.

It's not a sound-the-alarm situation, but the Blackhawks are certainly cognizant of the missed opportunity last weekend and that they came up short against the league's best.

Artem Anisimov agreed with Kane's assessment.

"We just need to play better. All four lines need to play better in all areas of the ice. Just be better in the little things," Anisimov said. "Back check, put stick in the right position, box the guy out, short shifts. All little things need to be better."

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Many of the little things that were absent against the Capitals were back against the Wild. But coach Joel Quenneville wasn't happy with mistakes made on goals allowed, especially the first two. And while Kane and the second line were a consistent scoring threat against the Wild, the other three lines weren't. It's a problem that's plagued the Blackhawks a good deal this season, even when they were stringing together victories.

There is no reason to think that, because of this weekend's results, the Blackhawks are going to falter against strong teams. They've done well against others already this season. They beat Montreal earlier this season, when the Canadiens were healthy and steamrolling everyone. They beat the New York Rangers when the Rangers and former Blackhawks backup goaltender Antti Raanta were on their respective hot streaks.

Still, Kane's analysis is correct: This should get the Blackhawks' attention. The Wild have beaten the Blackhawks in eight consecutive regular-season games now and will face them three more times this season. They have two more meetings with the Edmonton Oilers, who beat them soundly in November.

The Blackhawks' long reign atop the Western Conference standings is over. They’re currently second in the Central Division, with an eight-point cushion over the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks have done fairly well this season. But this weekend was a reminder that they can be better.

"The game (on Friday) was kind of like a shock to the system thinking maybe you're one of the top teams in the league, or being able to compete with one of the top teams, and we obviously got thoroughly outplayed. We came back (Sunday night). It was pretty even in chances. We might've even had more so, just kind of didn't pull it out," Kane said. "But (when) you've played two of the better teams in the league and lose, there's got to be room for improvement, right?"