Frankie O's Blog: O-Bombs?

Frankie O's Blog: O-Bombs?

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
2:31 p.m.

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

All the youngsters are adding Red Bull to almost any alcohol and making a bomb out of it. Oh to be young again! I dont go there, but if you give me some Red Bull and put me in front of my computer, this is what you get. Dont consume too quickly, or it will go straight to your head!

Are you ready for the biggest game ever? I dont know if I buy into that hype. In recent memory, it would be hard to top the San Francisco-Dallas NFC Championship games of the mid 90s. They were the 2 unquestioned powerhouses of the NFL and played for the right to win the Super Bowl 3 straight years. Those were huge games that captured the imagination of fans everywhere, no coincidence that both rosters were littered with Hall of Famers. Outside of Chicago and Green Bay, will this even be the most watched football game of the day?

I would say that it is one of the coolest games that I can remember. It defies logic, not to mention statistical probability that these 2 teams have not met in the playoffs in 70 years, let alone for a trip to the Super Bowl! In an age where old school is cool, it doesnt get more old school than this. What this game gives us, besides the obvious, is a chance to reflect on the previous 181 games that have been played by the NFLs most frequently played rivalry. I think in many ways that we dont take enough time to honor our past, this game will allow us to celebrate the many who have worn the uniform in anger and created a legacy that defines the NFL.

As far as the game against the worst playoff team ever, lost in the euphoria of the win was a play-call that could have spelled doom if the game was played against a worthy opponent. I would say it is in my top ten of worst calls ever. When leading a game 28-3, at home, with 13 minutes left and playing an opponent that has, rightfully, accomplished nothing all-day, the last thing you want to do is anything that would give them life, or a quick score. Mike Martz did something to give them both. Call me unimaginative, but I think that situation calls for running plays that will grind out the clock and not give up field position. So what does our boy do? He calls for a halfback option pass that is promptly intercepted and sets up Seattles first of three 4th quarter touchdowns. What was the risk-reward of that play? It was ALL risk! It was ALL ego! We get it. You are very smart! Just run the ball! And the knuckleheads in the bar who said it will give the Packers tape of a gadget play? Tape of what? Stupid turnovers? This response led me to ask if they were related. That kind of decision making against a real playoff team will get you beat.

One good thing, for me, is that my pre-season, and mid-season, pick of a Packer-Jets Super Bowl is still alive, not that any of my regulars want to hear that. But in the game of bar-room banter, its all about being right! So youre saying theres a chance!

Lost in the hoopla last weekend was the Cubs convention, or as I call it, a Star Trek convention in blue hats! (Im teasing! Sort of.) Im almost ready for baseball, at least the weather part. But whats this I hear of people booing Jim Hendry, among others, during his introduction? That makes a guy from Philly say, Cmon! Just proves what I say that these are not your fathers Cubs fans, this is one angry lot, even in a situation of off-season bliss. (Bliss because there is hope of NEXT YEAR!) I have no problem showing displeasure, but in the middle of a group hug? With the kids and grandparents there? At least they werent throwing their beers. I can see why theyre so upset with Ryan Theriot. What does he know? Speaking of The-riot, wow! Even I did not see that coming. Usually when someone takes shots at the Cubs, its a former child of scorn and easily discounted. But Theriot was a fan favorite, at least in the beginning. Just wondering if his comments give credence to the arrows that have been slung by others on their way out of town?

The new cult-figure in discussions at the bar is Blake Griffin. As in: Did you see what freaking Griffin did last night?!! This week it was putting up a season league high of 47 points, without a dunk! I cant believe it, but Im making sure I have the Clips game on TV at the bar while Im working. I cant wait to see what he does next, and what he has in store for the dunk contest All-Star weekend. Easy to say its been a while since I or anyone I know, has cared about that.

I was a little late driving downtown to watch the Bears game before I worked on Sunday and as it turned out I was glad I was. It enabled me to hear Jim Cornelison sing the anthem before the game. The energy just jumped out through my radio. If theres someone who does it better, I havent heard them. In this town, if its a game that means anything, you want to hear his voice before it starts!

The debate at the bar this week is tricky. Sell or go? It seems the Big Game has created a big ticket market with absurd prices. I still dont know if Ive picked a side. The romantic in me (stop laughing!) says that you must go. Its a memory for a lifetime. But then I think, would it mean any less if I watched it on my High Def TV, lying on my side because of the bulge created by the extra 5 grand in my wallet? Through my life there have been many games of great importance to me and the amount of them that I attended is minuscule. That fact does not take away from what those games mean to me. That being said, the few that I did attend were magical and etched in my memory forever. That being said, call me old, O.K., really old, but going to a game is a lot of work. Loud crowds, waiting forever and nowhere to go and thats only on the ride there. I guess if I had to make a choice, the bartender in me says to sell the tickets and go to my favorite establishment. You would get to enjoy the game with a lot of folks rooting for the same thing as you, but the crowd hassles would be minimized. So you could still be surrounded by your friends creating a memory for a lifetime, but still have a LOT OF CASH when the game is over. Minus that is, a handsome gratuity for the guy behind the bar, because we ALL know that he made the experience better! That sounds like a win-win to me! Go Bears!!

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada can’t complain much about his first hit with the White Sox.

Given all the elements, it rates about a 9 1/ 2 out of 10. Only a homer would have been better.

Baseball’s top prospect continues to look comfortable at the plate and in the field. Two days after he made his team debut, Moncada earned his first hit when he ripped a two-out, bases-loaded triple early in Friday night’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

“Once I got that first hit, I felt relieved,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “First, because it was the first one. And second because of the situation. It was a three RBIs triple. It was a very big moment of the game. I think that from now on I’m going to feel more relaxed and comfortable.”

Moncada has put together a series of good plate appearances in his first two games. He’s looked at ease while in the box and hasn’t panicked even when he gets behind in the count. Moncada said he felt even more comfortable when he stepped in to face Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning. Not only was it his second time facing Kennedy, but Moncada sat in the on-deck circle as Matt Davidson drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.

Hitting left-handed, Moncada fell behind 0-2 in the count but Kennedy hung a 78-mph knuckle curve and the rookie lined it deep into the left-center field gap to clear the bases. Moncada not only showed his power, he also showed off his wheels: his 11.24 seconds from home to third was the fastest time by a White Sox player this season, according to MLB Statcast.

“He's seeing the ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He seems pretty calm, composed out there. It's just a couple of days, but in terms of how he's carrying himself, his body language, he seems to be transitioning pretty well up to this point, first couple of days.”

Moncada said Friday was much calmer than his Wednesday debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he drew a walk and went 0-for-2. The switch-hitting second baseman had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat Friday to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then he stood in and tracked Kennedy with Davidson at the plate.

All in all, Moncada’s happy with how he’s executed his plan at the plate thus far. He said he choked up on the 0-2 pitch and put a good swing on it.

“That at-bat gave me more time to see in real life his pitches,” Moncada said. “I’ve been feeling very comfortable. In Chicago, that first game, it was a little bit nervous. But overall I feel very comfortable hitting and with my defense.”

Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez rings NASDAQ closing bell

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Chicago Fire

Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez rings NASDAQ closing bell

As part of the hype for the MLS All-Star Game, Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and a handful of Major League Soccer cohorts made a trip to New York on Friday.

Rodriguez rang NASDAQ's closing bell. The MLS All-Star Game will take place at Soldier Field on Aug. 2.

Check out the photos from the occasion.