Word on the Street: Bad news bears?

Word on the Street: Bad news bears?

Monday, Sept. 19, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bad news bears?

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and ex-fianc Kristin Cavallari might be on better terms than we thought. After Cavallari tweeted her fans to watch Dancing with the Stars, Cutler sent a message right back that read Good luck babe. Her response involved a smiley face.

I dont know about you, but I typically stay away from terms of endearment and smiley faces with an ex (@JayCutler6, @KristinCav)

Illinis Brown earns conference award

Illini linebacker Jonathan Brown showed just how much hes matured since last season. After recording just half a sack as a freshman, the sophomore earned Mondays Big Ten defensive player of the week award. Its the first time an Illini has won the award since December 2010. (ChicagoTribune)

Barkley isnt making friends in Miami

A lockout sure isnt enough to keep Charles Barkley from expressing his opinion of LeBron James. Last Friday, Barkley stated on an ESPN2 show that King James needs to lighten up and stop taking himself so seriously. Perhaps former NBA legends can share some words of wisdom? Well see if any offseason arguing comes of this (ProBasketballTalk)

Kane steps up his game

Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane says hes ready to take his on-ice talents to another level. As he prepares for his fifth NHL season, the 22-year-old works to put himself at the very top of the league. (ChicagoTribune)

Bank of Kobe

Kobe Bryant has offered to loan money to NBA players as long as the lockout continues. Hes been very involved in meetings with the league and has stepped up to help those who make less money and dont have as much cushion room if the paychecks stop. Talk about good karma points! (ProBasketballTalk)

Judge says Richmond isnt going anywhere

Jereme Richmonds request to leave the state for basketball training has once again been denied by a Lake County judge. The former Illini was arrested Aug. 8 after threatening an ex-girlfriend and her family. In the meantime, Richmond will take online classes and train for a possible future with the NBA. (ChicagoTribune)

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

There's a lot of buzz around the future of the White Sox.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti joined SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss the team's exciting young prospects and how soon they'll be making their way to the South Side.

Also joining Pat Boyle on this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast are the Tribune's David Haugh, Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arkush and WGN Radio's Sam Panayotovich.

The guys also react to Mike Glennon's recent comments and Kevin White’s uncertain status at OTAs.

Plus, they wonder if Kyle Schwarber has finally found his spot in the Cubs' lineup.

Take a listen to the latest episode below:

Preview: Confident Fire face tough test vs. FC Dallas Thursday on CSN

Preview: Confident Fire face tough test vs. FC Dallas Thursday on CSN

The Chicago Fire are on a three-game winning streak, but those wins have come against struggling teams. FC Dallas, Thursday’s opponent, provides a different level of opposition.

Dallas won the Supporters’ Shield and the U.S. Open Cup last year and was the last team in Major League Soccer to lose this season, only getting knocked off for the first time Saturday against San Jose.

The Fire host Dallas at Toyota Park on CSN with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live. The Fire (6-3-3, 21 points) have more points, but Dallas (5-1-4, 19 points) has played two fewer games.

“You can test yourself against one of the best teams in the league and kind of gauge where you’re at,” Fire defender Brandon Vincent said. “We’re confident and we want to go out there and battle with them.”

Vincent has been part of a defense that has two straight shutouts, although those came against the two-worst goal-scoring teams in the league in Colorado and D.C. Dallas’ attack isn’t the most prolific in the league (14 goals in 10 games), but is very dangerous on the counter.

“They have a ton of attacking talent,” goalkeeper Matt Lampson said. “They’re actually just a solid team throughout and we expect a very hard game, but we are a completely different team. I think we’ve started to prove that and it’s going to be a very good game.”

While the defense will be busy containing Maxi Urruti (6 goals, 2 assists), midfielder Kellyn Acosta has been a crucial two-way player for Dallas. The 21-year-old has become a key player in the middle with playmaker Mauro Diaz, who was third in MLS with 13 assists last year, still out with an Achilles tendon injury.

Dallas has allowed the fewest goals in the league this season, seven through 10 games. Both centerbacks, Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman, have emerged as national team prospects for the U.S.

Dallas has the talent, experience and credentials of a top team. The Fire are new to being a contender. Vincent and Lampson, both in their second years with the Fire, said they haven’t seen the team have this much confidence since they joined the team.

“This is something special,” Lampson said. “That just proves that guys like Juninho, Dax (McCarty) and Bastian (Schweinsteiger) coming in, the culture has completely changed and we have guys who will do anything to win. When you have every guy on the team that’s like that, then you’re going to get results, you’re going to have confidence when you play well and everybody on the field is going to play for each other.”

Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas

Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.

TV: CSN Chicago

When: Coverage begins 7 p.m. Thursday with Fire Pregame Live

Records: Fire (6-3-3, 21 points), FCD (5-1-4, 19 points)