Word on the Street: Urlacher takes a shot at Goodell

Word on the Street: Urlacher takes a shot at Goodell

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Urlacher takes a shot at Goodell

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher kept the hits coming even though the final whistle blew on Chicago's 16-0 shutout of the Miami Dolphins Thursday night.

Urlacher, who set the franchise record for tackles in the Thursday night matchup, has not been reserved about his feelings towards the stiff fines and penalties that have been enforced this year on defensive hits, especially those involving the head of offensive players.

But Thursday, he took it a step further, calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a dictator.

"I don't like the rule, I don't think any defensive player likes it," Urlacher said. "It's not going to effect the way we play. We're still going to try to separate the ball from the player, that's what we do as defense. We've been taught that since we were kids, that's what we're going to try to keep doing.

"What can you do though? It's a dictatorship . . . If Goodell wants to fine you he's going to fine you, that's the way it goes and that's just the way it is." (USA Today)
Former Sox scout pleads not guilty to allegations

Jorge Oquendo Rivera, a former scout for the Chicago White Sox, pleaded not guilty to the charges that he took kickbacks from Latin American baseball prospects. David Wilder, the White Sox's former senior director of player personnel, and Victor Mateo, another former scout, were not at the arraignment, but the three are alleged to have pocketed about 400,000 over a span of more than three years. (Chicago Tribune)

Fukudome planning to stay in Chicago for a long time?

Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs' highly-paid outfielder, just purchased a three-bedroom condo on Lake Shore Drive with his wife worth 1.44 million.

The 33-year-old former Japanese star is in the midst of a four-year, 48 million contract, having already served three of those years in the outfield of Wrigley Field. (Chicago Tribune)

NCAA Football Bowls to be filled with sub-.500 teams?

With just three short weeks left in the college football season, only 54 programs are bowl eligible. Another 39 remain in contention, but with another bowl game added to the slate this year (35 in all), 70 teams will need to qualify. If they don't, the NCAA may have to explore allowing sub-.500 teams to play.

Last season, there were only 71 bowl-eligible teams for 68 slots when the season came to a close. (Fox Sports)

Pickup football game to be played at Wrigley?

Not really, but pretty close. After the Friendly Confines was originally signed off as acceptable for the Illinois-Northwestern football game Saturday, the Big Ten announced Friday morning that the east end zone is too close to the right field wall and as such, all offensive plays, including extra points and overtime possessions will be directed at the end zone.

All kickoffs will be directed at the east end zone and after every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offense to head toward the west end zone, according to CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney. (CSNChicago.com)

Rothschild inks three-year deal with Yankees

The Cubs didn't stop taking hits Friday as it was announced that pitching coach Larry Rothschild would not be coming back for 2011, as he originally reported, and would instead take his talents to the Big Apple and the Bronx Bombers.

Rothschild had already exercised his 2011 option last month and looked like he was going to be coming back for his 10th season with the Cubs, but things took a turn Friday when he was offered the position in New York. He stated family as the main reason for the change, as the Yankees train in Tampa in the spring and visit there several times a year as the Rays are in the same division. (CSNChicago.com)

Bowl eligibility no sure thing for Notre Dame, especially with a loss to Syracuse

Bowl eligibility no sure thing for Notre Dame, especially with a loss to Syracuse

Notre Dame hasn’t fallen short of bowl eligibility since 2007, a year that invokes visceral reactions around South Bend. But at 1-3, Notre Dame’s chances of getting to six wins aren't necessarily healthy in 2016. 

S&P+ gives Notre Dame a 21 percent chance of going 6-6, a 9 percent chance of going 7-5 and a 2 percent chance of going 8-4, so added up that’s only a 32 percent chance of becoming bowl eligible. The most likely records, according to S&P+, are 5-7 (30 percent) and 4-8 (25 percent). Notre Dame has a better chance of finishing 2-10 (3 percent) than it does 8-4, by these numbers. 

(For more on S&P+ and the methodology behind it, click here)

The reason behind those, in all honestly, shockingly low numbers: only three games in which S&P+ favors Notre Dame to win going forward. Those are Syracuse (65 percent), Navy (71 percent) and Army (78 percent). Win probabilities for Notre Dame’s other games: 40 percent (N.C. State), 31 percent (Stanford), 28 percent (Miami), 36 percent (Virginia Tech) and 39 percent (USC). 

FEI is more optimistic about Notre Dame’s bowl chances, giving the Irish a better than 60 percent chance to win games against Syracuse, N.C. State, Miami, Navy, Army and Virginia Tech. But FEI also gave Notre Dame a 90.8 percent chance of beating Duke heading into last week, which is less an indictment of the numbers and more an indictment of how poorly the Irish played against the Blue Devils. 

Syracuse, though, looks like it’ll present a difficult challenge for Notre Dame. The Orange rank 36th in offensive S&P+, largely due to their excellent passing game (15th in success rate). Notre Dame ranks 78th in defensive S&P+ and 121st in passing success rate, which certainly looks like a concerning matchup.

Syracuse’s defense is bad, though (101st in S&P+), so Notre Dame’s top-15 offense should be able to put up some points. In short: Expect a shootout if Notre Dame does win on Saturday at MetLife Stadium. 

But if Notre Dame loses to fall to 1-4, sound the alarms. Or start planning your football-less vacation during bowl season. 

Photo: Thad Matta dons Ohio State basketball uniform

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Photo: Thad Matta dons Ohio State basketball uniform

Baseball is unique among the sports in requiring managers and coaches to suit up in the same uniforms the players wear.

Could you imagine football coaches having to wear pads and jerseys? Or basketball coaches ditching their suits for the sleeveless-and-shorts look?

Well, for better or for worse, you don't have to imagine any longer.

Before Ohio State players arrived Thursday for photos in the team's new uniforms, head coach Thad Matta decided to give the new duds a test run himself.

What resulted was one of the better pictures in recent Twitter memory.

I think Matta is starting a trend here. Time to bust out the petition to get all college hoops coaches to wear their teams' uniforms on the sideline.

Looking good, coach, though I doubt they'll let you wear that watch while you play.