Word on the Street: Urlacher fined; gingerbread Cubs

Word on the Street: Urlacher fined; gingerbread Cubs

Friday, Dec. 24, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Cubs on losing end of gingerbread game

In 1965, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. Now, 45 years later, a group of Koufax admirers in Toronto chose to pay tribute to the historic event. And given the holiday season, decided to do so by building a gingerbread stadium and players.

The project began in August and required 20 pounds of sugar and nearly 10 pounds of flour to complete. The stadium is 30 by 40 inches complete with concession stand, scoreboard, players and fans. The human imitations are made of Gummy Bears and chocolate Santas. (thestar.com)
Rose, Bulls excited to be featured on Christmas

While one NBA superstar, LeBron James, was critical of the NBA for scheduling Christmas Day games while other sports take the holiday off, the Bulls are grateful to be playing on the holiday.

"I'm going to miss my family, and I hate being away from home," Derrick Rose said, "but this is my job and it's an honor to be playing on Christmas. People will see us all around the world. And we're playing in like the best arena in the league."

The Bulls have not played on Christmas since winning, 90-80, over the Miami Heat at the United Center back in 1997.

"It's for the fans," Carlos Boozer said. "We take great pride in being one of the teams that's featured." (chicagobreakingsports.com)

NFL fines Urlacher 10,000

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined 10,000 for hitting a defenseless receiver in the headneck area during Monday night's game vs. the Vikings in Minnesota.

Urlacher hit Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe too high during the Bears 40-14 victory and the league noted that it was his second offense this season.

In addition, safety Major Wright was fined 10,000 for leading with his helmet against Vikings QB Joe Webb and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams received a 7,500 fine for a late hit on Jay Cutler. (chicagobreakingsports.com)

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez will start vs. Bears...

...barring any late setbacks to his right shoulder. Sanchez has a slight cartilage tear in his throwing shoulder but took all of the first-team snaps in practice Friday. While Sanchez was confident he would start all week, Jets head coach Rex Ryan wasn't exactly sure on Thursday.

Of course, if Brett Favre can go from being listed as "out" on the injury report roughly five hours before kickoff to starting the game, anything is possible.

If Sanchez cannot play, veteran lefty Mark Brunell would start in his place. (nydailynews.com)

Clausen already out in Carolina?

Former Notre Dame and current Panthers quarterback is 1-8 as a starter in his rookie season and shows no signs of improvement as his first NFL campaign winds down. In Thursday night's 27-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Clausen went 10 of 23 for 72 yards with one interception and a passing rating of 33.2.

The Panthers will have one of the top-3 picks in the NFL Draft and a quarterback such as Stanford's Andrew Luck or Washington's Jake Locker might be too good to pass up. This certainly isn't the way Clausen and many Fighting Irish fans envisioned his career starting. (chicagobreakingsports.com)

Watch: James Blackmon Jr.'s buzzer-beating 3 gives Indiana win after Penn State erases late deficit

james-blackmon-0118.jpg
USA TODAY

Watch: James Blackmon Jr.'s buzzer-beating 3 gives Indiana win after Penn State erases late deficit

Indiana's season has been pretty shaky so far, and the Hoosiers almost had one of their worst losses yet on Wednesday night.

Despite holding a game-high 14-point lead with nine and a half minutes left and a 13-point lead with five and a half minutes left, Indiana let Penn State battle all the way back in the closing moments. The Nittany Lions scored seven straight to cut the gap to just six with three minutes to play. The Hoosiers had an eight-point lead with a little more than a minute to play, but the Lions used an 8-0 run to tie the game on a pair of Lamar Stevens free throws with four seconds to go.

That's when James Blackmon Jr. played hero, preventing Indiana from dropping to 2-4 in Big Ten play with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that delivered a 78-75 win in Happy Valley.

Check it out:

The Hoosiers slipped away with a win despite an ugly final few minutes. After taking that 14-point lead with 9:19 left in the game, Indiana was outscored 22-11 the rest of the way.

The Hoosiers truned the ball over 17 times on the evening, leading to 17 points for the Lions.

But Blackmon's clutch triple was part of a big night. He scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists. Robert Johnson and Thomas Bryant each scored 17 points and hauled in seven and nine rebounds, respectively.

Tony Carr had a huge performance for Penn State, scoring a game-high 24 points. Shep Garner, who hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to cut it to a two-point game, finished with 15 points, and Payton Banks had 10 points in the loss.

This narrow escape isn't likely to alleviate any of the concerns anyone has about Indiana, which is now 13-6 overall and and 3-3 in the Big Ten. A win's a win, and the Hoosiers have two of them in a row. But there doesn't appear a surefire win left on Indiana's schedule, meaning every night will be a fight to stay on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble, something we didn't think we'd be saying when the Hoosiers scored non-conference wins over Kansas and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, the upstart Penn State group is 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the league, Wednesday's defeat snapping an impressive two-game win streak with victories over Michigan State and Minnesota. Now comes the really hard part: back-to-back games at Purdue and at Wisconsin.

SportsTalk Live: David DeJesus discusses time spent with Joe Maddon, World Series criticism

SportsTalk Live: David DeJesus discusses time spent with Joe Maddon, World Series criticism

"Be sexy."

That was one of two rules manager Joe Maddon told David DeJesus when the Tampa Bay Rays acquired him in 2013.

DeJesus appeared on SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss his time spent with Maddon in Tampa Bay.

"Just be yourself out there," DeJesus said of Maddon when the Rays traded for him. "I want you to have fun and I want you to just have that ora of 'just don't worry, just go out there and play.' It kept the whole team loose."

DeJesus also shared his thoughts on Maddon's questionable managerial decisions in the World Series.

Hear that, and more, in the video above.