Random News: Who needs '85 Bears?; Goldy Gopher

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Random News: Who needs '85 Bears?; Goldy Gopher

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010
10:27 AM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

From The 'Who Needs The '85 Bears' Department: If you want to see a good defense, head to Vernon Hills High School. Their football team has not given up a single point this season, outscoring their opponents 290-0. Every other team in Illinois has given up at least 22 points. That's nothing short of astounding. Oh by the way, their offense is paced by wide receivers DaVaris Daniels (son of former Bear Phillip) and Evan Spencer (son of Bears running backs coach Tim).

From The 'I'm Also Afraid Of Mr. Food & That Six Flags Old Guy Mascot' Department: I had the chance to witness Northwestern's 29-28 win in Minnesota in person on Saturday. I realized a few things: (1) TCF Bank Stadium is a great place to watch a game. And it's within footsteps of fraternitysorority row...if you're into that sort of thing, (2) Golden Gophers fans wouldn't let head football coach Tim Brewster sit at the kiddie table if he crashed their Thanksgiving party, (3) I'm scared to death of mascots. Is there anything more annoying and awkward than when a mascot comes up to you at a game? It's tantamount to when actors at an improv show start coming into the audience looking for volunteers. (Cue "Airplane" movie soundbite: "It's coming right at us!"). Goldy Gopher came over to where our group was sitting and started doing his shtick. I'm sure my response was similar to what you might have gone through during similar situations: pretend you don't see the mascot, act all startled when he's in your face, faux-laugh at him for two seconds, say something to him before you realize he can't say anything back to you, go back to focusing on the game, realize he's not going away, start texting some random person for the heck of it, notice that he's still making fun of you, get upsprint to concession stand to get a 4 hot dog.

From The 'Wait...It Gets Better!' Department: On Sunday, Brewster said the following: "We could be sitting here 5-0 right now." Minnesota is 1-4. All four losses have come at home, including a pillow fight bruising by South Dakota. Their one win was over 2-2 juggernaut Middle Tennessee.

From The 'Talk About Random' Department: Juan Pierre finished the 2010 season with three triples for the White Sox, only two more than the equally swift Paul Konerko.

From The 'Your So Crazy And I Am To' Department: Look, I'm not saying that I'm Johnny Grammar or anything (this column alone is at the seventh grade level), but I have noticed the breakdown of our society in how certain people have completely scrapped "you're" for "your" in conversations that call for "you are" or the suitable equivalent. You see it a lot in Tweets and Facebook status updates: "Your so right!" I see it a lot on the pages of athletes I follow on those sites. The difference between "you're" and "your" is taught in elementary school. Are we really getting that stupid? It's the same with "to" and "too"-- "I ordered that same pizza to!" Makes me want to ROFL. And I don't mean that as the acronym for rolling on the floor laughing-- I mean that because "ROFL" looks like a sound that a person would make while dry heaving.

And Finally, From The Prediction Department: Bears 19, Panthers 17.

Or Something Like That.

89 Days to Kickoff: Vernon Hills

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89 Days to Kickoff: Vernon Hills

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 Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Vernon Hills

Head coach: Bill Bellecomo

Assistant coaches: Corey Atwell, Greg Stilling, Tim Dydo, Jason Czarnecki, Avelino Cortez, Brian Palmer, Mike Larsen, Dave Schroetter

How they fared in 2016: 10-4 (3-2 Central Suburban North), lost to Peoria in the IHSA Class 5A state title game.

[MORE: 90 Days to Kickoff - Morris]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – Grayslake North

Sept. 1 – @ Zion-Benton

Sept. 8 – Rolling Meadows

Sept. 15 - @ Hoffman Estates

Sept. 22 - Highland Park

Sept. 28 – @ Deerfield

Oct. 6 - Maine West

Oct. 13 - @ Maine East

Oct. 20 - Glenbrook North

Biggest storyline: Can the Cougars make another deep run in Class 5A?

Names to watch this season: Senior WR/DB Max Lyle, senior OL/DL Danny Lester and senior LB Kyle Fasbinder

Biggest holes to fill: The Cougars will need to reload in particular on the offensive side of the football with just three starters back from a season ago.

EDGY's early take: The Cougars had a great run in 2016 and while several key starters have graduated, Vernon Hills still has some gas left in the tank. Getting off to a strong early start could be a big key in 2017 as the Cougars schedule is tough especially early on in 2017.

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.

With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.

Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.

“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”

Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.

[MORE: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.

“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.

“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”