Word on the Street: Sports Illustrated cover jinx?

Word on the Street: Sports Illustrated cover jinx?

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Sports Illustrated cover jinx?

The latest issue of Sports Illustrated has superstitious Bears fans cringing. The cover features Jay Cutler, Roberto Garza, and Olin Kreutz with the headline, "Bring on the Packers." If that's not enough of a curse, the added fact that this is Cutler's first time on the cover has left fans a bit unsettled.

The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx is the theory that anyone who appears on the cover will have bad luck afterwards.

But fear not: Michael Jordan was featured on the cover 49 times and had no trouble winning six NBA championships and MVP trophies. Plus, members of the 1985 Bears were on the cover two weeks in a row before beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

Jones signs with Yankees

Andruw Jones is headed to New York. The outfielder and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, 2 million deal, containing 1.2 million in performance-based incentives.

Jones had a weak .230 average with the White Sox last year, but managed a .931 OPS against left-handers. On the field he'll be an upgrade from Marcus Thames, who occupied the fourth outfielder spot last season. (New York Post)

Sayers has got no love for Urlacher

Former Bears star Gale Sayers once questioned the current Bears team's talent level and potential. Brian Urlacher was quick to respond saying, "How many championships did Gale Sayers win?"

After hearing that Dick Butkus recently said Urlacher was the best middle linebacker ever to play of the Bears, Sayers disagreed.

"Never! Never!" Sayers said. "Don't even try that! Don't even try that! Hey, Dick Butkus is blowing smoke! He knows! He knows who's the best ever and that's Dick Butkus!"

Sayers went on to say that Mike Singletary was a superior player than Urlacher, because Urlacher does not have "the pure instinct that Singletary had." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Blackhawks icons to be featured at Chamber gala

Current president of the Chicago Blackhawks John McDonough will be the keynote speaker at the McLean County Chamber's annual gala Jan. 29 at the DoubleTree & Conference Center in Bloomington. He will speak on the topic of change management and the success that can come to those who embrace it.

McDonough will be joined by Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, who is scheduled to make a few remarks and sign autographs. (FoxSports.com)

Villanova's Szczur reaches an agreement with Cubs

Two-sport standout Matt Szczur announced that he has reached an agreement with the Chicago Cubs. He will continue to play in the Cubs organization under a minor league contract. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2010 Draft.

The agreements marks his commitment to a future in professional baseball, forgoing seeking possible professional football opportunities. For the past four years, Szczur has starred as both a baseball and a football student athlete for Villanova. (Villanova.com)

Ty the sea lion picks Bears over Packers

A sea lion follows President Barack Obama's NFC Championship prediction. Ty the Sea Lion was quick to select the Bears today at the Shedd Aquarium. He made a beeline dash for the Bears logo held in his trainer's right hand when asked who would win.

He also revealed his distaste for the Packers as he stuck out his tongue when asked what he thought of the Green Bay team. (FoxSports.com)

Horace Grant on current state of Bulls: 'No need to panic'

Horace Grant on current state of Bulls: 'No need to panic'

After the Bulls got off to a 3-0 start, it looked like this would be a team that might be able to give LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers a run for their money in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls proceeded to lose their next three, tempering those optimistic expectations. What those first six games proved is that they're an inconsistent bunch, and it's been a microcosm of their season past the halfway mark.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Entering Thursday, the Bulls were slotted in as the No. 8 seed in the East with a 21-22 record through 43 games.

Former Bulls forward/center Horace Grant, who was named a special advisor to president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf last year, joined SportsTalk Live on Thursday to talk about the team's current state, and why Bulls fans shouldn't panic just yet.

Check out his comments in the video above.

See what else he had to say during his SportsTalk Live appearance and on In The Loop below:

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

ATLANTA — Jimmy Butler insisted being a starter in the All-Star Game means next to nothing, but it seems to go against his never-ending battle for credibility and validation as a legit superstar.

Moments after it was revealed he would be an All-Star starter for the first time and make his third overall trip to All-Star weekend, he sang the same nonchalant tune.

"It hasn't changed at all," Butler said on a conference call Thursday evening. "Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment and honor to be named a starter. But it's All-Star weekend. There are going to be a lot of good players there. I guess it's just another name thrown in with some decent players."

The NBA's format for selecting the All-Star starters changed this season, with fans no longer being the sole group that gets to vote for starters. If it was still a fans-only vote, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid would've started in Butler's place.

But with the new formula that allows the media and the players to take part in the vote, the fan vote accounts for just 50 percent of the formula. So Butler joined Cleveland's LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee's Giannis Antekounmpo and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in the starting five for the Eastern Conference.

Butler's is averaging 24.8 points with 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, career-highs across the board, and had he not been selected as a starter, the Bulls' 20-21 record would not have prevented coaches from selecting him as a reserve as they had the last two seasons.

[SHOP BULLS: Get a Jimmy Butler jersey right here]

He won't be joined in the starting lineup by Dwyane Wade, who finished second in backcourt voting behind Irving, but cast his vote for his teammate anyway and hopes Wade will be selected as a reserve.

"Of course. He's been a huge part of what we're doing here, and I think he has played extremely well the first part of the season," Butler said. "He got my vote. I will tell you that."

Golden State's Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will start for the West, along with Houston's James Harden, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans' Anthony Davis, a Chicago native.

The fun-filled and busy weekend in New Orleans begins Feb. 17, from the league events to the parties to the festivities and then finally the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

Butler likely views it as more of an accomplishment for his team of trainers and confidants then himself.

"It's fun, man. You get to know the other really good players in the league, and you get to know a little bit about them," Butler said. "And the experience that you get to be a part of, whether it be the Jordan party or taking your guys with you everywhere. That's the most fun part for me, my trainers, my brothers, everybody that's behind the scenes helping me gets to experience it too."