Catch the 24th Annual "Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards" benefiting the March of Dimes at 7:30 p.m. next Monday night, Feb. 13, to see a familiar face (lots of them, actually).
Earl Bennett will be honored as the Bears recipient this year, recognizing him for his considerable contributions to his team and the Chicago community. The Bears wide receiver follows Israel Idonije, last years winner, and continues a pattern of truly quality individuals.
The program also will include Carlos Boozer from the Bulls, Corey Crawford from the Blackhawks, Kerry Wood from the Cubs (again), Alexei Ramirez from the White Sox and Logan Pause from the Fire. Tywaun Crain will receive the Inspirational Athlete Award and former Blackhawk Tony Esposito will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The best part: This is open to the public and, like I mentioned, benefits March of Dimes. For info and tix, call Rebecca Grant at (312) 596-4721 or visit the Sports Awards page on CSNChicago.com.
After expressing optimism earlier Wednesday that he wouldn't have a player begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, general manager Ryan Pace's first major free agent signing will be held out when practices begin Thursday morning.
For the second straight camp, linebacker Pernell McPhee will be sidelined by a knee problem that's plagued him his first two seasons with the Bears. He'll still be able to attend meetings and receive treatment in Bourbonnais and can be activated at any time.
A year ago, McPhee was coming off knee surgery and was on injured reserve the first six weeks of the season. He'd spent this off-season getting his weight down to decrease stress on the knee, but when physicals and conditioning tests were held Wednesday, the team determined to hold him out. McPhee was actually recovering from offseason labrum surgery, but their announcement only specifically mentioned the knee.
With several other players coming off injuries and being limited during OTAs and minicamp, it's not certain Wednesday night's announcement means McPhee will be the only player starting camp on PUP. Among others, Kyle Long, Zach Miller, Eddie Jackson, and Jeremy Langford were easing their way back from surgeries. Josh Sitton was another, and John Fox revealed Wednesday Sitton won't join the team until Saturday after his wife gave birth.
With McPhee sidelined, two other outside linebackers coming off surgery, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston would be set for more practice time at the position, along with Leonard Floyd, Dan Skuta and Sam Acho.
Thursday's opening practice is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. at Olivet Nazarene and will not include pads.
The CSN Fantasy crew is taking its talents on the road.
CSNChicago fantasy analysts Slavko Bekovic and Scott Krinch will join a Chicago Tribune panel of fantasy football experts for a Draft Party at Soldier Field on Thursday, Aug. 24.
It's the ultimate event to kick off the 2017 fantasy football season.
Sponsored by Jewel-Osco, fans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host their fantasy drafts at Soldier Field, complete with insight and analysis from a panel of experts that includes Bekovic, Krinch, Rich Campbell and Phil Thompson from the Chicago Tribune, Bears broadcaster Jeff Joniak and The Score's Hub Arkush. Derek VanRiper and Kevin O'Brien from RotoWire will also be on hand to provide analysis.
The general admission tickets for fans include access to the Soldier Field press box. VIP tickets will give fans access to the private suites around Soldier Field for their drafts. All fans will receive complimentary food and beverages plus photo opportunities on the field and giveaways.
Head to ChicagoTribune.com/draftparty and follow @ChicagoSports and @CSNFantasy for more information.
The CSN Fantasy crew provides analysis all season long, from weekly podcasts and video segments to written articles that include a focus on the waiver wire as well as start/sit for each week.