Word on the street: Heat break Jordan-era Bulls record

Word on the street: Heat break Jordan-era Bulls record

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010
CSNChicago.com
Heat-Celtics opener breaks Bulls record

It may have only been game one of a long 82 game season, and the Heat may have lost the game, but they have already surpassed one of the Chicago Bulls long-standing records from the Jordan era. Last night's regular season opener between the Heat and Celtics drew a record 7.4 million viewers, surpassing the previous record of 7.27 million for a Bulls-Lakers game in February 1996. However, nine more performances like last night's will keep the other Jordan-era record safe for another year. (The New York Times)

Toews featured in Men's Health

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is a StanleyCcup champion, a Conn Smythe award winner, and now he's a model of fitness according to Men's Health magazine. Toews is featured in an article called "Are you 'Men's Health' Fit," cited as an athlete who displays a "unique combination of speed, strength, power, and agility."

The article provides workout secrets from Toews as well as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, UFC fighter Josh Koscheck, and Ironman world champion Craig Alexander. (Men's Health)

Bulls name captains

Prior to their Wednesday night regular season opener, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau named the new team captains for the 2010 season. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng were all bestowed the honor.

"I'm not as concerned about the naming of captains as I am about leadership," Thibodeau said. "To me, those four are our leaders. That's really what I'm looking for." (ChicagoBreakingSports)
NHL, Officials reach 4-year agreement

The National Hockey League board of governors and the NHL Officials Association have come to an agreement on a new four-year labor deal that will last through the 2013-2014 season. The deal was finally agreed upon on Oct. 4 after the officials worked the entire preseason without a labor contract in place.

"We are pleased to have reached a new agreement with our officials," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "We look forward to working closely with our officials to ensure that the quality of our game continues to be the best that it can be." (Miami Herald)

Cubs' Jackson shows health

After being sidelined by an ankle injury suffered in Puerto Rico while playing for Team USA earlier this month, Brett Jackson, the Cubs No. 1 draft pick in 2009, has returned to the field in the Arizona Fall League. In his third game back Jackson hit a two run single, promptly stole second base, then scored on a base hit, showing the health of his ankle. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Bulls to sign Beverly?

Rumors are beginning to spread that the Bulls may look to sign Patrick Beverly. Beverly was the second-round (42nd overall) draft pick of the Lakers in the 2009 draft but decided to stay in Europe. He was traded to the Heat in a draft-night deal and now finds himself job-less after being cut by the Heat on Monday. (SBNation)

Martz changing the game plan?

It looks like Mike Martz may be tweaking the Bears offensive game plan before next Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Martz said Wednesday that the offense is beginning to get more comfortable with his style of offense and he feels they have made great strides just in the last three weeks.

"Those are things now that they're more comfortable with than maybe they weren't as comfortable with before. As we move on, there are things that maybe we can be a little more complex and move in and out of as we need them," said Martz. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Notre Dame student dies filming practice

A Notre Dame student died Wednesday after a tower used to tape football practices toppled over. The 21-year-old man was atop the hydraulic scissor lift when it fell. He was transported to a South Bend hospital, where he later died. Notre Dame says they will not identify the student until they are able to notify his family. (Fanhouse)

Cubs' Anthony Rizzo gets day off vs. Mariners

Cubs' Anthony Rizzo gets day off vs. Mariners

Anthony Rizzo isn't in the lineup on Saturday afternoon as the Cubs battle the Seattle Mariners.

The Cubs first baseman is getting the day off. 

"He’s really been needing a day, so it just turned out really well for today," said manager Joe Maddon. "Day game and then a night game tomorrow actually gives him more of an extended time to rest. We rely on him so heavily all the time. It was just the right thing to do today."

Willson Contreras will be his replacement for the day.

Saturday is the first regular-season day off for Rizzo since June 5 — and first since the All-Star break nearly three weeks ago. 

“I think it’s important to give them time off, I really do," Maddon said. "I think it’s really unrealistic to expect high-end performance by pushing someone to 162 games. ...A guy like Rizz, maybe he needs five or six plus for regular off days in a year to really be productive consistently."

Maddon also stressed the fact that he wants to keep his players healthy and not overwork them.

"I don’t want to wait til a guy who gets hurt to need a day off," Maddon said. "I’d rather be proactive with that. I put out the feelers yesterday to ask around who’s going to be needing a day. So I have other ideas coming up possibly, but for today it was absolutely the right thing to do for Rizz."

Rizzo is batting .214/.250/.464 in 14 games after the break. His 24 homers and 79 RBIs are among the league's best.

Rizzo has missed three games this season, two of which were due to back stiffness.

"I think it’s wise to be proactive, physically and mentally to give them their rest," Maddon said. "I think you’re going to get a sharper performance on a more consistent basis."

With Ted Larsen, Bears O-line doesn't yet need SOS call

With Ted Larsen, Bears O-line doesn't yet need SOS call

The story from about five years ago goes like this: Ted Larsen and his girlfriend were out on the water, deep sea fishing, when they heard a Coast Guard warning about three kayakers in distress. Realizing the location was relatively nearby, Larsen immediately headed to the area, found the trio, and pulled them aboard before any other help could get there.

The Bears offensive line isn't in nearly as much distress, but after the retirements of veterans Manny Ramirez and Nate Chandler before they would even play a game for them, along with Kyle Long going down on with a calf strain in Thursday's opening practice of training camp, the former Buccaneer and Cardinal may be an important lifeline on Dave Magazu's unit.

"We gotta get some depth there. We have very little depth," Larsen said earlier this week in Bourbonnais. "The guys we do have are good. I think it's just finding the five best guys we have and throw them out there. There's competition everywhere, obviously besides Kyle, so...I'm ready to play whatever position. I've started ten-plus games at every position inside. Wherever they need me to help the team out, I'm ready to go."

Which he wasn't back in June, missing the last half of OTAs and the entire three-day mandatory minicamp with a calf strain of his own. Long was on the sidelines Saturday watching practice without the boot he'd been wearing the previous two days in hopes of speeding the healing process. And while the team's encouraged it's not a long-term injury, flashbacks of Alshon Jeffery's struggles that began with a calf strain a year ago will force them to proceed cautiously.

[MORE: Bears sign Willie Young to two-year contract extension]

As a result, Larsen's stepped in for Long at right guard when the original plan was to have him compete with second-round pick Cody Whitehair and Hroniss Grasu (who have one season of NFL experience between them) at left guard and center, respectively. In his six-year career, Larsen's started 34 games at left guard, 13 at right guard, and ten at center.

"As the unit gets better, the whole team gets better. I'm not scared of any rookies or younger guys. I've played a lot of games, some playoff games. We all have experience in this league. Whoever's out there is out there, whether I'm playing center and helping Cody, or I'm helping Grasu, or whatever it is. You don't want guys to play worse, you want `em to play better, so when you're in there, you're playing at a high level."

The Bears struck on the opening day of free agency to sign Larsen's Arizona teammate from the last two seasons, Bobby Massie, to become their new right tackle. Two weeks later, Larsen followed.

"It's a program on the rise," the 29-year-old explained. "Bobby had signed here.  We played together and it was just another opportunity to come in on a one-year ($1.65 million) deal. It's kinda what I wanted. Play well, have a chance to start, and be on a competitive team."

[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016 season, Bears fans!

The deal came a day after Ramirez originally signed and a month before Whitehair was drafted and Matt Slauson subsequently cut. Things have changed again since then, and for a team adapting to more of a zone-blocking scheme under new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, cohesion and communication and comfort is crucial before the regular season starts.

Larsen originally played alongside Willie Young as a defensive lineman at North Carolina State before being switched to the other side of the line his junior season. Larsen was a sixth-round draft pick of New England in 2010, but was subsequently cut. Young was a seventh-rounder by Detroit that year. As Young earned a two-year contract extension Saturday, Larsen hopes to prove his worth to the Bears this season, as well. While avid fisherman Young reeled in a new deal, Larsen shares the same off-field passion, part of the reason he was around to help rescue those kayakers.

"We actually were on a flight to Fort Lauderdale this offseason, same day. He was actually going to fish somewhere else and I was going to the (Florida) Keys. It's definitely a mutual interest, same for Bobby Massie - he's another big fisherman."

Who's the best?

"I dunno," Larsen answers. "We just do it for fun."

27 Days to Kickoff: Whitney Young

27 Days to Kickoff: Whitney Young

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. You can view Edgy Tim's other football previews here.

School: Whitney Young

Head coach: Tim Franken

Assistant coaches: Victor Marin, Chris Mallette, Cam Browns and Matt Derrig.

How they fared in 2015: 9-1 (7-0) CPL Chicago Big Shoulders Conference. Whitney Young made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Niles North in opening-round action.

Biggest storyline in 2016: How will the Dolphins fare moving up to the CPL Illini Red Bird conference this season?

Names to watch this season: RB Ke'Vaughn Chappell, OL/DL Justeon Kimmons

Biggest holes to fill: Can the Dolphins find some answers at quarterback and linebacker after graduation losses from this past spring?

EDGY's Early Take: Whitney Young has been very strong over the past few seasons, and now comes a move up in competition to the rugged CPL Illinois Red Bird conference. Having an All-State running back in Chappell and four returning offensive linemen should help the Dolphins chances this season.