Shot Time!

Shot Time!

Friday, Feb. 26, 2010

With so many things going on, Ive got a lot on my mind.

TIGER: Was that an apology? Only time will tell. It seems that there was a lot of debate on whether he needed to give a public one. Mostly in the media. Mostly by men. For better or worse Woods is such a public figure that whatever he does is news, good or bad. In fact there are probably more people talking about him now more than ever. (Hes all over the checkout aisles.)

While a lot of adults have no problem reconciling what he did, a lot more do. The argument that he did nothing to the game, like say Mark McGwire (more later), doesnt matter to me. Hes brought the public attention onto himself. Hes the one that has his family on the 18th hole to help him celebrate. Thats not part of a calculated formula to present a stable image for his corporate handlers? Not only that, Tiger has become a face to millions of children, not only through golf, but his charitable endeavors. I have taken my daughter to see him at Cog Hill several times. She, like most of the others, was in awe. Now, she, like a lot of other kids, is asking questions. I dont have a problem in answering the questions, because life happens. But it was nice to show in the lesson, that you need to make amends and apologize to all that you might have affected, even if you dont know them, because its the right thing to do. The fact that Woods' problems are public is, unfortunately part of what he and his family have to live with. That he was able to acknowledge his wrong doing, in public, is a step in the right direction. From this point now, I will agree, he doesnt owe us anything. His fans will have to root for him at their own risk.

NOAHS ARCH (Actually a little further down): Did a little light reading on plantar fasciitis the other day. Ive always heard about it but didnt pay much attention. Why now? Well, its put a serious damper on one of the positive stories of the Bulls season: the stellar play and growth of Joakim Noah. Plantar fasciitis is an acute form of inflammation on a thin band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot. The thing about it is, without proper rest, its very hard to heal. In fact, rushing back leads to an excess of scar tissue, which could lead to other complications. After a couple of weeks off, the Bulls decided to ease him back onto the court. So my question is: Have you watched him play? Hes obviously having issues. Why wouldnt you let him continue to heal? I dont know about you, but dont big men with foot issues scare you a little bit? I know there is pressure to win now, there always is, but any Bulls fan can realize the importance the play of Noah is going to have on the future of this franchise. This year is about the future, right? Protect it. Let the other guys on the roster step up, and lets find out what other pieces are going to be around the free-agent prize of this summer. Who knows, maybe Luol Deng will get the wake-up call.

MORE McGWIRE!: Like I typed here before, this story will not go away. Not when there are so many unanswered questions, and Big McClueless thinking that he can slip back into the game under the cloak of being a batting coach. Seems that someone found out the answer to the question I asked here after the charade with Bob Costas: Where did he get the 'roids? Turns out it was his brother. What?! Yeah, and theres more. More?! Of the five McGwire boys, the youngest, Jay, was a body builder. Really? I wont get into any of the obvious youngest sibling issues that abound here, but more to the point, nobody knew this? No one? In his interview with the behemoth, he laid it ALL out. Wow. I mean, anyone doing an investigation, say George Mitchell, congress, any news organization, didnt know that his brother was a body builder? According to Jay hes never been contacted by anyone. This interview was for the release of his book that rats out his brother. And the hits just keep on coming! Not only that, but Tim Kurkjian in a another interview, had Big Mac and Albert Pujols at the Cardinals spring training camp talking about hitting together. My head was about to explode! Albert? Tell me how Mark has helped you. Albert replied, He was able to hit the ball so far with such a quiet swing.

Honestly?! How has this guy waltzed right back in without obviously telling the truth? Is his brother the good one? I cant wait for this to have an unhappy ending.

TW-OZZ-ER?: Ozzie on twitter? Priceless. What the world needs now, is more random thoughts from our boy. The daily updates on ComcastSportsNet were fun enough. Then, theres Ozzie TV on the MLB Network. (I know that the Chairman and Kenny Williams are going to be featured also, but let us not kid ourselves about who the get was. (Although after his White Sox business rant a few years ago, I would love to hear Kenny unplugged.) Now, Ozzies joined the kids on twitter? Over 19,000 followers already? Whats next? A spot on the Ocho-Cinco network? There are definitely two sides to this. The more popular reaction is: Cant wait to hear what Ozzie has to say. The negative reaction is: Whats Ozzie going to say? Thats the reason that this is such a big story. When Ozzie speaks, people cant get enough. Like another one of my favorites, Charles Barkley, he can say almost anything and get away with it. I think that Ozzie might find tweeting a little restrictive and time consuming. Getting one of his streams of consciousness to fit into 140 characters might be hard. (Then again the use of symbols could be pretty & handy!) Then theres the fact of having to actually type your thoughts, (you cant do it while youre driving anymore!) and when can you find the time? Plus, theres so much expectation. So far hes been pretty tame, albeit frequent, but can that last?Can he live up to the hype? One thing is for sure, were ALL going to find out.
WINTER OLYMPICS: Like everyone else Ive been paying attention, but like I said here last week, I dont feel like Im totally into it. Of course Im watching the hockey, USA vs. Canada had the bar rocking, but that was about it. Until I learned of the story of Joannie Rochette. Weve all heard by now that she lost her mother tragically on Sunday. In her mothers memory, she decided to continue on with her Olympic dream in her home country, with hundreds of millions of people around the world watching on Tuesday, as Im sure her mother would have wanted. Respectfully, the announcers did not say a word as she skated. One look at her face was all you needed. That she finished with the third best score after her program did not matter. Again, one look at her face was all you needed; the combination of sorrow and the exhaustion of a competitor that knew that she had given her best. Im sure Im not the only one who had to wipe away a tear. On Thursday night, and again not being the only one, I had to watch again, in hopes that she would medal. Not that I was rooting for anyone else to fail, or would have thought less of her achievement if she didnt, I just thought it would help her through this difficult time. How could anyone not want her to do well? That she scored her highest total ever in an event that she has probably been training for her entire life was poetic justice. What an incredibly strong young lady. If the true meaning of the Olympics is to show us the best we can be through competition and athletic achievement, then that is what she, and her mother, should be remembered for. Its something Ill never forget.

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

Despite the Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought, Miguel Montero made offseason headlines for all the wrong reasons when he complained about his role in the Cubs' 2017 championship campaign.

Montero criticized Maddon's communication skills, catching rotation and bullpen decision-making after the team's Grant Park celebration. Maddon brushed off the criticism, and last week at spring training Montero said he hadn't spoke with the Cubs' skipper.

That tension appears to be all but a thing of the past, as Montero posted this picture of him and his manager sharing a drink together sporting nothing but smiles.

It's safe to say Montero would describe his relationship with Maddon now as: #WeAreGood.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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