CSN to celebrate White Sox '70s Night' June 10

CSN to celebrate White Sox '70s Night' June 10

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO CELEBRATE WHITE SOX 70s NIGHT THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 10
70s retro-style game graphics, 70s White Sox footage, Special Guests, Harrelson & Stone to wear vintage 70s style TV sportscaster jackets, along with vintage 70s White Sox uniforms to be auctioned off on WhiteSox.com among highlights
Crack out your bell bottoms and dust off your platform shoes as Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox, gets ready to boogie for its celebration of White Sox 70s Night on Friday, June 10 beginning at 6:30 PM, exclusively on CSN. Throughout the pre-game, game and post-game, viewers can look forward to a number of special 70s-themed elements for the networks White Sox home game telecast vs. the Oakland Athletics (7:10 PM first pitch). Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com to find the exact CSN channel location in their area.

The night gets underway on CSN at 6:30 PM with a special U.S. Cellular Field remote edition of Feldco White Sox Pre-Game Live hosted by Chuck Garfien and 1971 American League home run champ Beltin Bill Melton (NOTE: Melton will also toss the ceremonial first pitch in this game).

Then, at 7:10 PM on CSN, Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone (a member of the White Sox in 73, 77 & 78) will have the game call as the White Sox host the As. Immediately following the game, fans can look forward to Galaxie White Sox Post Game Live, which will also take place from U.S. Cellular Field, featuring complete post-game analysis and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillens post-game press conference (also streaming on CSNChicago.com).

Among the numerous fun-filled highlights for White Sox 70s Night on Friday, June 10 include the following on-air and online elements:

- 70s retro-style, on-air graphics will be used for the first three innings of the game
- Harrelson and Stone to don retro 70s sportscaster jackets during the game openplus, viewers can check out Hawk, Stone and Melton wearing 70s White Sox game jerseys that will be autographed and auctioned off on WhiteSox.com starting June 20 with proceeds going to White Sox Charities

- Additional in-game features include vintage 70s White Sox footage, 70s White Sox trivia, a disco ball in the production truck, plus - special surprise guests during the game

- CSNChicago.com asks viewers to use the following hashtag Sox70sNight when Tweeting comments about the game and their favorite 70s White Sox memories

- Live Twitter messages throughout the game from Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien), White Sox Insider Brett Ballantini (@CSNChi_Beatnik) and @Beerleaguer_Sox

- Garfien & Ballantini to provide 70-themed White Sox blogs throughout the week on CSNChicago.com featuring stories on the 77 South Side Hit Men, Disco Demolition Night in 79 and more!

Sense of stability evident among Bears hierarchy going into pivotal year of major unknowns

Sense of stability evident among Bears hierarchy going into pivotal year of major unknowns

Specifics such as whom the Bears will draft at No. 3, or 36, or somewhere in between weren't going to be gleaned from this week's conversations with Bears Chairman George McCaskey, GM Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox. But more interesting, and important, too, are some the the more strategic takeaways from visits with the hierarchy most involved with Bears football fortunes.
 
More significant than anything regarding a player or position is the stability of the core, meaning Pace's and Fox's position under McCaskey. Because that ultimately affects draft choices, signings and myriad elements extending beyond the 2017 season. And some of all that involves understanding McCaskey's vision and history.
 
Realize: Pace was McCaskey's second GM hire in barely three NFL years. The first one of Phil Emery was an abject failure, as was the accompanying coaching hire. The absolute last thing McCaskey wants to be forced by circumstances into doing is replacing another general manager. Brother Michael lost his berth as president due to making the NFL's charter franchise into a laughingstock because of a botched coaching hire; Brother George has no wish to continue the kind of high-level turnover that both reflect, cause and perpetuate dysfunction, and losing.
 
Against that backdrop, one trail of breadcrumbs leads to a strong sense that Pace is secure in his job, barring something going epically wrong. McCaskey was clear that he approved of and likes the direction the Bears are moving under Pace, to the point of having Pace in a video directed to the fanbase. If Pace were on some sort of hot seat, McCaskey and the organization do not make him a short-term face of the franchise while they hope for a player to emerge as that "face."
 
McCaskey could not put a whole lot more pressure on Pace than the latter gets as part of his job and wanting to stay in Chicago for more than football reasons.
 
"Keep building through the draft," McCaskey said during the recently concluded owners meetings. "I told Ryan he should get ripped every time around this year, this time of year ever year for not being more active in free agency. And that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."

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The breadcrumbs from there lead to Fox's situation. Start with the thought that coaches operate for the present and GMs for the future. Not exactly true; GMs balance present and future.
 
But every indication, verbal and otherwise, has been that Fox was very much on board with the major makeover at one spot in particular — quarterback — and a coach with down to possibly a final season pounds the table for win-now material, particularly at that position. And when the Bears didn't re-sign Brian Hoyer this offseason, which may not have appeared to be benchmark non-move but was, at least one Bears coach was apoplectic at not staying a course with a quarterback who delivered 300 passing yards and zero turnovers in his brief Bears "career."
 
Fox, however, was clearly comfortable with giving the quarterback wheel a spin with Mike Glennon, and ultimately so is his staff. Because it is part of program plan.
 
Consider this scenario: The Bears rebound to a respectable seven or eight wins; not spectacular but the NFC North is the only division in either conference to send two teams to the postseason , meaning that Fox's Bears likely put up a couple wins over good teams, which can be construed as the "progress" that McCaskey referenced this week.
 
Meanwhile, Pace has a third draft with impact players, the Kevin Whites, Eddie Goldmans and others come back from injuries, the Bears go into the 2018 offseason and land Kirk Cousins or have Glennon be what they'd hoped, and the Bears are what McCaskey envisions: a challenger with an arrow pointing up.
 
All theoretical or hypothetical, but Pace has a plan that McCaskey knows and endorses, and best guess is that he gives his GM, and coach, time to have it play out.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said, imposing only "progress" and "results" as his conditions. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears. And we like how he has stuck to that plan."
 
Maybe that was the most significant tell; McCaskey has seen progress apart from the record: "Yeah," he confirmed. "Yes sir."

First goal with Blackhawks 'a release' for Tomas Jurco

First goal with Blackhawks 'a release' for Tomas Jurco

Tomas Jurco's reaction to his first goal on Monday night was as much celebration as a little bit of relief. The forward, acquired by the Blackhawks about a month ago, had had a few great scoring chances in recent games but just couldn't capitalize.

Finally, he got that first of the season against Tampa Bay.

"It's kind of a release, you know?" Jurco said on Wednesday. "I've had a lot of good chances and it would just never go in for some reason. Obviously I'm very happy that it went in and hopefully this is the start of, I would say, more luck for me."

Looking for consistency in his own game as well as a consistent spot in the lineup, Jurco was looking for a boost of confidence. Getting that first goal could be part of it, as a bit of a weight disappears with that zero in the goal column. 

"That's a hurdle that can be in the back of your mind a lot and all of a sudden it could be a nice release," coach Joel Quenneville said of that first goal. "He's progressing in our team game, technically. Whether it's his pace of play or going to the right areas quickly, we're looking for progression. We saw it [Monday] night and I think he'll continue to get better off that. But certainly that should help him get confidence as we go along here."

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Jurco's been around the net, something the Blackhawks always encourage, for most of those scoring opportunities. Perhaps some of that puck luck wasn't quite there. But Jurco is gaining confidence in recent games, and getting that goal could boost it that much more.

"I've always said, especially in my case, scoring helps that confidence come easier. It brings that fun to the game," Jonathan Toews said. "Maybe if you're not feeling it or not playing with high energy, at a certain point in a game when you score, for some reason you get that jolt, you get that jump. For [Jurco], he's been playing well when he's been in, and no doubt that scoring a goal like that can help boost confidence and help him find his game, which we know he has and will continue to show."

The scoring hurdle has been cleared and Jurco is gaining confidence. Will he carve out a consistent spot in the lineup? Quenneville has some options through the bottom six. That, coupled with the Blackhawks playing inconsistent hockey lately and missing that four-line rotation, Jurco's been one of several who have been in and out of the lineup. But Quenneville said on Wednesday, "I don't see making constant changes once the [playoffs] begin." If Jurco keeps getting chances and capitalizing on a few, and if he ends up as part of a rotation that's successful again, he could stick.

Jurco waited a little bit for that first goal. He hopes it's just the start.

"You know eventually it's going to go in but it was just frustrating. Another game and another and another with good chances and it just wouldn't go in. So it's a big release," Jurco said. "Hopefully I'll keep going, keep producing."