Word on the Street: Super Bowl most-watched on TV ever

Word on the Street: Super Bowl most-watched on TV ever

Monday, Feb. 7, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Super Bowl is most-watched TV show in the US

The Nielsen Co. said that an estimated 11 million people watched the Green Bay Packers outlast the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. That surpassing the 106.5 million who watched the 2010 game between New Orleans and Indianapolis, making it the most-watched television ship in the United States.

The most-watched single play of the game was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's final incomplete pass to Mike Wallace with about a minute to go. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Aaron Rodgers celebrates Super Bowl at Disney

The Super Bowl MVP rode on the back of a convertible pacing down a confetti-filled parade route through Disney World's Magic Kingdom on only a few hours' sleep. After Green Bay's 31-25 win over Pittsburgh, even a Florida afternoon storm couldn't cloud the QB's spirit.

"It's a special day, it really is," Rodgers said. "I didn't get a lot of sleep, but it's great to be able to celebrate. This is a team that came together and accomplished something special." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Mr. President has kind words for Coach McCarthy

Despite his support of the Chicago Bears, President Barack Obama congratulated Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on their Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The White House says that Obama told McCarthy that "even a Bears fan" can appreciate what the win means to Wisconsin. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

MSU's Izzo receives 'hang in there' text from Cavs owner

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has sent Michigan State coach Tom Izzo an encouraging text message.

According to Izzo, the note said "hang in there."

After losing two straight and five of the past six, the Spartans fell out of The Associated Press poll. Gilbert tried to hire Izzo last summer for the Cavs coaching position, but the Cavaliers are having a tougher time than the Spartans. They head into Monday night's game at Dallas with a record 24-game losing streak. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Ex-Hawk Burish to undergo surgery

Adam Burish will have to wait for swelling to go down around his eye before he can have surgery on his orbital bone. There is no timetable on the ex-Blackhawk's return.

Burish was placed on Injured Reserve with a facial injury on Feb. 4 when he suffered the injury at Boston. (The Dallas Morning News)

Spartans linebacker Riley Bullough out vs. Badgers, maybe longer?

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Spartans linebacker Riley Bullough out vs. Badgers, maybe longer?

Right before the start of Saturday's huge Michigan State-Wisconsin matchup, the Spartans got some tough injury news.

The team announced just before kickoff that linebacker Riley Bullough was ruled out with an injury.

Things got more interesting, too, as Big Ten Network reported during Saturday's game that Bullough was injured during last weekend's win over Notre Dame and his injury could last multiple weeks.

The defensive signal-caller, Bullough was the Spartans' leading tackler through two games with 12 stops.

Cubs: Miguel Montero plays 'psychologist' to get the most out of Jake Arrieta

Cubs: Miguel Montero plays 'psychologist' to get the most out of Jake Arrieta

Lost amid the craziness of Friday's game and David Ross' emotional sendoff was Miguel Montero locking up a spot on the Cubs' postseason roster.

It's not official, of course. 

The Cubs don't have to get their National League Division Series 25-man roster until the morning of Oct. 7, Game 1.

But Montero proved his value to the Cubs, even in an 0-for-3 effort offensively.

The veteran catcher has struggled to find consistency at the plate this season, but his work behind the plate has proven invaluable, especially with reigning NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.

Montero helped get Arrieta in rhythm Friday for a dominant performance - 10 strikeouts across seven shutout innings.

It was the first time the two had worked together in a battery since Aug. 12, with Willson Contreras catching Arrieta five times and Ross behind the dish once in that span.

"Quite frankly, I'm not gonna lie - I wanted to see that," Cubs manager Joe Maddon admitted after Friday's game. "Miggy did a great job with him. They were outstanding together."

The proof is in the numbers, too.

With Contreras over those five starts, Arrieta has posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, averaging 6.4 innings per outing.

In the last six starts with Montero behind the plate, Arrieta has a 1.99 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and is averaging 6.78 innings per outing.

Of course, Montero was also Arrieta's primary catcher for the pitcher's other-worldly run to close out last season.

Maddon believes there's a comfort level there between the two and with the Cubs essentially just biding time until the postseason, now was the time to make a change and see how they worked together again instead of worrying about getting Contreras more experience.

If Arrieta can find consistency pitching at that level, it absolutely gives the Cubs a new look alongside 2016 Cy Young contenders Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks.

"We work well together," Arrieta said. "I work well with Willson and with Rossy, but Miggy and I have worked together for quite a bit of time now throughout the last couple years. He knows the way my stuff works. 

"He has little nuances, little mannerisms that he makes behind the plate that can help me get back on track from time to time and it's nice to have a guy like that who can really pick things out visually and relay a message to me by something small that helps me get back in line."

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Montero admitted he wasn't even focusing on his at-bats throughout Friday's game, instead putting his full attention on getting Arrieta back on track.

It may only be one outing, but it worked, and Montero deserves credit for getting Arrieta to settle down, stop trying to be too perfect and just unleash his ace stuff.

"We have to be a psychologist. That's our job as a catcher," Montero said. "People don't realize that. People think the catcher needs to throw and hit. No, we need to be a psychologist.

"We need to know who we got out on the mound, how to talk to him, how to go about the business, how to explain to him how to do things. I like psychology a lot and he's one of the guys who you need to push him a little bit harder, and that's me.

"I'm gonna push a guy to the limits, 'cause I know I can get a lot more from him. I know who I can get a lot more from."

Maddon didn't tip his hand about who will pair up with Arrieta next start, but the Cubs don't have to make that decision right now. 

However, with a veteran catcher like Montero around who knows how to call a game and has been heralded as one of the best pitch-framers in baseball during his prime, it'd be hard to leave him off the postseason roster.

In October, the Cubs will place a premium on guys who have been there before and can work in rhythm with a veteran-laden pitching staff and in those areas, Montero has a leg up on rookie Contreras.

Montero handled his reduction in playing time gracefully when Contreras was promoted to the big leagues over the summer, but now, the 33-year-old looks to be reemerging for the Cubs as the "big boy" games loom.

"I don't know if I'm gonna catch [Arrieta] again, but I hope he keeps that momentum going, which I think is a good confidence-builder right there," Montero said. "... My main goal [Friday] was just Jake and just to get him out there and get him to throw a good game and build his confidence again.

"I went 0-for-3, but I don't care. I accomplished my goal - which was to get him to throw a good game and he did."