CSN to air three games in one night! (Monday, April 23)

CSN to air three games in one night! (Monday, April 23)

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO FEATURE THREE GAMES IN ONE NIGHT: BLACKHAWKS, CUBS & WHITE SOX IN ACTION MONDAY NIGHT (APRIL 23)

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Blackhawks vs. Phoenix, Game 6 coverage begins at 7:30 PM on Comcast SportsNet

MLB Baseball: Cubs vs. St. Louis coverage begins at 6:30 PM on CSN

MLB Baseball: White Sox at Oakland 9:00 PM on CSN2 (game joined in progress on CSN immediately following Cubs-STL game;
also joined in progress on Comcast SportsNet immediately following Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live)

Viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for channel locations in their area
Chicago, IL (April 22, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will be presenting viewers with a HUGE night of local sports excitement on MONDAY NIGHT (April 23) featuring the BLACKHAWKS (Stanley Cup PlayoffsGame 6 vs. Phoenix), CUBS vs. St. Louis and WHITE SOX at Oakland all in action on one night.

Comcast SportsNet is urging viewers to visit CSNChicago.com for an easy-to-find channel locations page where viewers can simply punch in their zip code to find the exact channel location of all three games on this night. Note the following breakdown for all three of Comcast SportsNets pro game telecasts airing on Monday night, April 23:

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKSSTANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

8:00 PM BLACKHAWKS vs. PHOENIX (Rd. 1, Gm. 6) - LIVE on Comcast SportsNet

Featuring Pat Foley & Eddie Olczyk with the game call
Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live with hosts Chris Boden and Steve Konroyd begins at 7:30 PMJose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live will air immediately following the game.
CHICAGO CUBSMLB BASEBALL
7:00 PM CUBS vs. ST. LOUIS - LIVE on CSN

Featuring Len Kasper and Bob Brenly with the game call
Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live with hosts David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth begins at 6:30 PM
CSN games on Comcast Cable and RCN can be found on CLTV (on Comcast Cable in HD on ch. 285 & RCN in HD on ch. 616); this game is also located on AT&T U-Verse (ch. 17411742 HD), Wide Open West (ch. 1415), DIRECTV (ch. 666666 HD) & DISH Network (ch. 4409575 HD)
(NOTE: VISIT CSNCHICAGO.COM FOR EXACT CSN CHANNEL LOCATIONS IN YOUR AREA)

CHICAGO WHITE SOXMLB BASEBALL
9:00 PM WHITE SOX at OAKLAND - LIVE on CSN2 (WHERE AVAILABLE)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The White Sox-Athletics game will also air on CSN immediately following the Cubs-Cardinals gamealso, immediately following Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live, the White Sox-Athletics game will also air on the main Comcast SportsNet channel location.
Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the game call
This CSN2 telecast (WHERE AVAILABLE) can be found on Comcast Cable (ch. 101), RCN (ch. 371), AT&T U-Verse (ch. 691), Wide Open West (ch. 2231), DIRECTV (ch. 667) & DISH Network (ch. 449)

(NOTE: VISIT CSNCHICAGO.COM FOR EXACT CSN2 CHANNEL LOCATIONS IN YOUR AREA)

Rotoworld: Josh Norris' 2017 NFL Combine Preview

Rotoworld: Josh Norris' 2017 NFL Combine Preview

"Honestly, I enjoy the event for the spectacle that it is. Entertainment that puts prospects on an even playing field."

I wrote those words three years ago when previewing the 2013 NFL Combine. It could have been worse. I could have called the on-field workouts meaningless or termed it "the underwear Olympics."

Now, more than ever, I think Combine results matter. In fact, I know they do. Teams use athletic testing in a variety of ways, and many times with success. There are definitely examples of "workout warriors" being selected early and failing, but that can be said for any style of evaluation.

We will be highlighting content which focuses on athletic testing after the Combine. Many resources do not receive enough attention. Like Mock Draftable’s visual representations, Field Gulls' and Zach Whitman’s findings on SPARQ and Justis Mosqueda’s Force Players among others.

Yes, for teams the medicals and interviews matter to a great degree. But we do not receive that information, therefore my focus will be on the numbers generated from this week. Above all, context and perspective are important.

As Zach Whitman put it - "Metrics don't need to be perfect if we do a good job of understanding what they're saying and what they miss."

Link Aggregation

During this week in Indianapolis, NFL teams acquire a gross amount of information. Emulating NFL scouts is difficult, but the closest we have in the media is Dane Brugler. This column is chock full of information on prospects, in terms of important medicals and important interviews.

Most importantly, in my mind, is Dalvin Cook. Dane notes Cook underwent three shoulder surgeries dating back to high school. We've seen talented runners drop dramatically in the draft due to a history of shoulder issues, namely Chris Polk and Lamar Miller.

Also, we know John Ross will be fast. Here is his medical history: a meniscus injury in both knees, a torn ACL, microfracture surgery and surgery to repair a torn labrum after the Combine. And he remains extremely explosive.

If you are curious what positional averages are for each position at the NFL Combine, this Rotoviz link is a good resource.

Bruce Feldman's Freak List is always enjoyable. My No. 4 WR in this classTaywan Taylor, is listed as the No. 2 freak at the NFL Combine.

If you are into Combine prop bets, I’m shocked Jabrill Peppers' O/U is 4.37 seconds in the forty, especially since he will workout with linebackers. And Christian McCaffrey's 4.52 O/U seems a touch slow.

Finally, here is my favorite tweet of the week. It applies to this event and the draft process in so many ways.


Thresholds and Minimums

Some of the most important measurements have already been recorded prior to prospects touching the field in Lucas Oil Stadium. Heights, weights, hand size, arm length and wingspans can all be important for this reason: thresholds.

My perception of minimums and thresholds changed after reading this piece. If it needed to be funneled into a single line, one stands out: "Big picture wise, you want to play with the odds, not against the odds." In this case, the odds mean siding with prospects who possess the measurements that are successful in a specific scheme deployed by the team.

An example is the Seattle Seahawks at cornerback. The last five corners Seattle drafted all possess arms 32-inches or longer. Both of the Panthers outside rookie corners had arms over 32-inches as well. How can this impact their evaluation process? At the Senior Bowl, of the 11 or so prospects on the roster who were listed at corner, just two had arms 32-inches or longer. So, the Seahawks and Panthers (among other teams) go from focusing on 11 outside CB prospects down to two, theoretically improving the evaluations of that duo with more time spent. Now, the others who project to the slot will be evaluated separately, but you get my point.

Other teams don’t take it as far as to eliminate prospects completely, but link certain tests with specific positions. Like the 3-cone drill for Patriots’ corners.

Will this mean some teams miss on quality players who do not fit within the parameters? Absolutely, but these decision makers are banking on good process to win in the end.

Composite Scores

Combine results are often cited as individual figures. The forty yard dash has been considered the “universal measurement” for decades.

What if there was a better way? What if we recognized that the forty is just one of seven or eight or nine meaningful results, and a potentially better way of interpreting athleticism is through a composite score which factors in outcomes along with weight.

SPARQ is the best example, and Zach Whitman has years and years, thousands and thousands of scores built up in his database so prospects each year can be compared to their predecessors. Great scores obviously stand out, but it is important to note that an average NFL athlete is not a negative. In fact, acknowledging non-NFL caliber athleticism might be most important. Whenever I discuss a player’s athleticism, I am referencing these scores rather than just their forty time.

Short-Area Quickness

These next two sections are singular testing results that best project future success for certain positions. I am far less attached to these than in previous years, but it has been a tradition in highlighting them… so I will continue.

First is the 20-yard shuttle for offensive linemen. Here are 14 of the top 20 performances since 2006:

Eagles C Jason Kelce (4.14), Colts C Samson Satele (4.29), Bengals T Jake Fisher (4.33), Panthers C Ryan Kalil(4.34), Patriots OT Nate Solder(4.34), Ex-Jets C Nick Mangold (4.36), Colts OT Anthony Castonzo (4.40), Bears OT Charles Leno (4.40), Vikings G Brandon Fusco (4.43), Chiefs T Eric Fisher (4.44), Browns G Joel Bitonio (4.44), Texans G Xavier Su’a-Filo (4.44), Packers OL Jason Spriggs (4.44)  and longtime T Eric Winston (4.44).

I’ve heard rumblings of Garett Bolles possibly breaking the 3-cone and short shuttle records for offensive linemen, both owned by Jason Kelce (7.22 3-cone, 4.14 short shuttle).

The other event that best projects success among the top performers since 2006 is the 3-cone drill for edge pass rushers. Bears’ Sam Acho (6.69), Raiders’ Bruce Irvin (6.70), Broncos’ Von Miller (6.70), Redskins’ Trent Murphy(6.78), Chargers’ Melvin Ingram (6.83), Panthers’ Kony Ealy (6.83), Patriots’ Barkevious Mingo (6.84), Eagles’Connor Barwin (6.87), Texans’ J.J. Watt (6.88), Chargers’ Joey Bosa (6.89), Lions’ Devin Taylor (6.89) and Vikings’ Brian Robison (6.89) make up 12 of the top 16 times.

Cliff Avril and Clay Matthews just missed with a 6.90. Anthony Barr, who now plays off the ball, registered a 6.82 a few years ago. Again, both of these are only including NFL Combine participants. Obviously, all are not “hits,” but the rate of success (of varying degrees based on expectations) in comparison to other positions is high.

Web Of Truths

Thanks to Mock Draftable for packaging Combine results into a pretty picture.

If you have a few hours, go through the site’s database and try to pick out big name players and see if their workout results match where they win. Take Patriots' WR Julian Edelman for example.

TOMBOY: Former Bears DE Alex Brown on raising girls with sports

TOMBOY: Former Bears DE Alex Brown on raising girls with sports

The following is a Q&A with former Chicago Bears defensive end and CSN Chicago Bears analyst Alex Brown on gender in sports leading up to CSN’s original documentary TOMBOY airing on March 13.

What character traits did you develop through sports and how did you pass those on to your daughters?

Being available and always coming with a great attitude whether practice or in a  game.

How can your daughters benefit from sports?

I think all kids can learn that you don't always "win." Sometimes you have to learn how to face defeat whether in the corporate world or in a sports atmosphere.

Was there a female role model in your life that you looked up to?

I have four brothers, so the one female figure I grew up with was my mom. To raise five boys takes a special woman. She is nothing short of special in my book.

Is it tough to see some of the violence against women going on in the NFL, and do you feel like things are worse now with social media? Everything appears to be out there; not just information, but images and video.

I don't think it's worse. I actually believe that because it's out there and no longer hidden within homes. People actually have to take accountability for their actions. Hopefully this helps us move closer to not treating women - or men for that matter - this way.

How is raising two daughters different than raising a boy?

Well for me, raising daughters is all new, I grew up with four brothers, so having to  deal with emotions almost 24/7 is something that I have never been faced with before. Girls are sensitive but they love you like no other. My girls meet me at the door at the end of the day with a huge hug and they are super excited that I am home. My son, on the other hand, kind of throws his hand in the air and says, "Hey, Dad, glad you're home." (laughs) Completely different to say the least.

Do you steer your daughters into playing sports?

I definitely would like for my girls to play sports because of what sports can teach with team building, bonding and being competitive. But it's their choice. What I do tell them is that you don't have to play if you don't want to, but if you do then we are going to be the best that we can be at whatever sport it is that they are doing.

Do you watch women’s sports?

We will watch WNBA, college soccer and softball together, but I think they would rather color and draw sometimes than watch sports in general.

How do you see the future of women’s sports?

I think the future of women's sports will hang on if it can get a superstar that has it all. The way we see the NBA isn't the way it was prior to MJ getting there, even though Magic and Bird were ruling. It took the perfect combination of charisma, talent, likability and marketability; that as we all know now was Michael Jordan, and the sport took off from there. In each sport - whether soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball, tennis (Serena Williams) - they just need that one special person and the fan base will grow and that sport will thrive.