NHL rallies to support young cancer patient

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NHL rallies to support young cancer patient

In Feb. 2009, 8-year-old Vanessa Riddle was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer that is extremely difficult to treat in young children.

Today, Vanessa is 12 years old and continues her battle against cancer after releapsing back in 2001. Her family must move from Glasgow to the United States in order to continue treatment, but need help in order to do so.

Many NHL teams, individual players and fans have used Twitter in order to help spread Vanessa's story and bring hope to the young child as she continues down such a difficult road.

Let's help get her to 20K. She has a very inspiring story @vanessariddle: Woohoo 12,092 lovely followers thx, onwards to 20,000..... Brandon Bollig (@Bollig87) July 13, 2012
Everyone follow @VanessaRiddle, 12 year old girl who's fighting cancer. Give her a tweet and make her smile. True warrior. Gabriel Landeskog (@GabeLandeskog92) July 13, 2012
@vanessariddle On behalf of every fan of the Phoenix Coyotes NHL hockey club, I hope every day is a great day. Much love to you. Dave Zorn (@dave_zorn) July 14, 2012
Sometimes a tweet is all it takes to make someone smile and cancer fighter @vanessariddle could use a few of those. LA Kings (@LAKings) July 13, 2012
@vanessariddle Hey Vanessa I heard about you through a few NHL players. God Bless you and I wish you strength on your battle! PrayingForYou Dylan Metcalf (@DylanMoocalf) July 13, 2012
Are you following @vanessariddle yet? If all 5000 plus HP followers give her a follow she will be close to her goal of 20,000 followers. HockeyProspect.com (@HockeyProspect) July 14, 2012
Shout out to @VanessaRiddle Age 12 & fighting Cancer. Stay strong girl!! You have the DevilsArmy on your side! New Jersey Devils (@NHLDevils) July 14, 2012
Hi @vanessariddle keep fighting and be strong! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Derek Roy (@Roy9ner) July 13, 2012To join the NHL's efforts and learn more about Vanessa, visit vanessasjourney.com.

92 Days to Kickoff: Sandburg

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92 Days to Kickoff: Sandburg

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.

School: Sandburg Eagles

Head coach: Scott Peters

Assistant coaches: Marty Balle (LB), Kevin Clark (DL), Larry Sheppard (DB/Co-defensive coordinator), Matt Barrett (assistant DL), Bill Mulchrone (assistant LB), Kevin Fahey (OC), Jim Zimmer (OL), Tom Lally (QB), Shane Meyer (WR), Jon Bergin (RB), Mark Lenkiewicz (assistant OL), Darren Monnet (K)

How they fared in 2015: 6-4 (5-2) Southwest Suburban Blue. The Eagles made the Class 8A playoff field, but lost to Palatine in the opening round.

Biggest storyline in 2016: Can the Eagles reload with a new head coach?

Names to watch this season: LB Pat Brucki, DE Mike Murphy, DT Malik Skates

Biggest holes to fill: The Eagles need to replace 11 graduated starters on offense this season. 

EDGY's early take: Peters takes over a Sandburg program that has been winning games but hasn't made a deep state playoff run since the early 2000s. The Eagles bring back just three starters and will need to get up to speed in a hurry this fall, but this school always has talent in the building.

Check out this season's second episode of Chicago Fire All Access

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Check out this season's second episode of Chicago Fire All Access

Check out the second episode of the second season of Chicago Fire All Access.

In this episode, the team helps out in the Chicagoland community, talks about finding comfort foods in Chicago and life on the road in the MLS. 

Bears 'horizontal' leadership plan building on some surprising leaders

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Bears 'horizontal' leadership plan building on some surprising leaders

Sometimes you really do have to just appreciate the attitude. Because Bears coaches do, in ways of significance in what kind of team the 2016 Bears will become.

Ka’Deem Carey has been a backup his first two Bears seasons, yet now finds himself with more games played in a Bears uniform than any other Chicago running back. The 2014 fourth-round draft pick accordingly has set one very lofty 2016 objective for himself:

“Just being a leader, really trying to focus on that,” Carey said during the team’s OTA this week. “We’ve still got a young team, I’m vocal, coaches like the way I run the ball, and sometimes the way I play out there, the coaches like that and want to pass that on to teammates.

“So I’m just trying to be a leader to these young guys.”

Somehow the notion of a 23-year-old talking about setting an example for “these” young guys shouldn’t be dismissed. At all. Because Carey is representative of something developing within the current team.

Leadership is a popular, near-annual topic for Bears teams, no less so early this offseason as the 2016 team takes shape without 40 percent of its elected – and veteran – captains from the 2015 season.

Players elect five captains: two for offense, two defense and one special teams. Coach John Fox names a sixth captain each based on merit from the previous week.

The problem for the Bears is that two of the 2015 five elected captains – running back Matt Forte, safety Antrel Rolle – were not brought back by the organization this offseason. Veterans were added in free agency, but headcount does not translate into instant chemistry, cohesion or leadership.

That falls to a Carey to infuse. Elsewhere, guard Matt Slauson, a popular leader in the offensive-line room and huddle, was released, as was left tackle Jermon Bushrod. After just three NFL seasons, Kyle Long abruptly becomes the offensive lineman with more games in a Bears uniform than anyone else in the O-line room.

Indeed, longevity is no criterion whatsoever for a Bears “leadership” role. Teammates elected Pernell McPhee one of the defensive co-captains last year, his first as a Bear. And linebacker Danny Trevathan, brought in from Super Bowl champion Denver, could emerge as one in his first, using precisely the same calling card that McPhee did.

“I'm just going out there and being an example,” Trevathan said. “It's not hard, you know, I've just got to go out and play the game that I know how to play but also get guys to come along and speak and communicate and be on one page with these guys.”

The key is the “horizontal” leadership concept – leading not from a few at the top, but from multiple strong individuals in a leadership layer.

“Obviously missing Matt Slauson, missing guys like Slauson and Forte, there are large voids to be filled,” Long said. “But this team has been built on horizontal leadership and we’ve done a great job bringing in the right people, defensively, offensively and the special teams unit.

“I love the coaches, I love the guys on this team, I don’t think that will be an issue, so I don’t really have to take on that much bigger of a role because of the guys that we have in our room. Everybody is kind of accountable themselves.”