Word on the Street: Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Word on the Street: Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Friday, Sept. 30, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Bear's Brian Urlacher hit the web and made his feelings known by posting a Facebook status about the recent unauthorized Walter Payton biography.

"For the record, the new Walter Payton unauthorized biography doesn't change my view on what 34 was or is. From one Bear to another - no matter what some jackass says in some book - I have the utmost respect for 34." (Facebook)

Red Wing suspended for hit on Ben Smith

An eight game suspension was given to Detroits Brendan Smith after Wednesday nights illegal hit to the head on Blackhawks forward Ben Smith. The tough punishment came after the NHL ruled the collision could have happened shoulder to shoulder, rather than the shoulder to head check that left Chicagos Smith unconscious. (ProHockeyTalk)

Brendan Shanahan explains the hit and suspension here:

Kings, Doughty finally agree on 8-year contract

Drew Doughty said it was only a matter of time until contract negotiation were finalized as he reassured fans and the media that he always planned to stay in LA. Doughtys new 8-year, 56 million contract now makes him the highest paid player on the Kings' roster.

Its a win-win for both sides the Kings got the longer contract they were looking for and Doughty received the pay raise he was fighting for. (ProHockeyTalk)
Dan Johnson left off Rays postseason roster

Dan Johnson shocked baseball fans after his big game-winning homer that saved the Rays season, but that apparently wasnt enough to get his name on the teams postseason roster. The Rays instead opted to keep three catchers on board and placed Elliot Johnson over the recent hero. (HardballTalk)

Hit on Cutler costs Packer 15,000

The NFL is charging Packers linebacker Eric Walden 15,000 for a shot to the head of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. The fourth quarter hit resulted in a roughing the passer penalty, wiping out an interception by cornerback Tramon Williams.

Walden has the right to appeal the fine and claims he did not land on Cutler or send him to the ground. (ChicagoTribune)

Kobe shows strong possibility of signing in Italy

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has reportedly reached a 3 million deal with Italian basketball team Virtus Bologna. The contract covers the first 40 days of the season, beginning on Oct. 9.

Although the deal hasnt been finalized, Bryant is set to get his work visa and return to Italy sometime next week to sign the contract. (ChicagoTribune)

Cubs Talk Podcast: Breaking down the World Series hangover

bochy-maddon-0525.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Breaking down the World Series hangover

Do the Cubs have a World Series hangover?

On the latest edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Bay Area Giants Insider Alex Pavlovic joins CSN's Patrick Mooney to talk about the World Series hangover, how last year's playoff loss lingered in San Francisco, Johnny Cueto's quirks, the legend of Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija's ups and downs.

Plus Kelly Crull, Jeff Nelson and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ defensive struggles this year compared to an historic 2016 and how Ian Happ fits into the Cubs’ lineup in both the short and long term.

Listen to the latest episode below:

What does Caleb Swanigan's departure for NBA mean for Purdue and the 2018 Big Ten title race?

caleb-swanigan-0525.jpg
USA TODAY

What does Caleb Swanigan's departure for NBA mean for Purdue and the 2018 Big Ten title race?

Caleb Swanigan, unsurprisingly, is heading to the NBA.

Last season’s Big Ten Player of the Year announced Wednesday that he’ll pass up the final two seasons of his NCAA eligibility for a paying gig at the professional level, an awesome opportunity for a kid who battled obesity and homelessness to become one of the best basketball players in the country.

But Swanigan’s departure from West Lafayette means a heck of a lot to the Big Ten.

Without the league’s most dominant big man, what becomes of Purdue’s chances at winning a conference title? Similarly, with a weakened — though still strong — group of Boilermakers, what does the Big Ten race look like going into 2017-18?

First, Purdue. Matt Painter’s program is plenty healthy, and while there’s no doubt that losing Swanigan is a big deal, the Boilers got some really good news, too, Wednesday when Vincent Edwards announced he’ll be returning for his senior season. Seven-footer Isaac Haas also made the decision to return to West Lafayette, meaning the towering frontcourt hasn’t been completely decimated just because tha man called “Biggie” is gone.

Purdue will also return Carsen Edwards, who had an impressive freshman campaign, and Dakota Mathias, a terrific defender and 3-point shooter. Two more important pieces — P.J. Thompson and Ryan Cline — are back, as well. And Painter will welcome in freshman Nojel Eastern, a highly touted guard from Evanston.

So the Boilers are still in very good shape. There will be a big magnifying glass on Haas, who despite his physical attributes hasn’t always found consistent on-court success. But there have been plenty of flashes of brilliance from the big man. A big step forward in his game would go a long way in easing the blow of losing Swanigan and could keep Purdue as one of the frontrunners for a conference title.

That brings us to the Big Ten race. Ever since Miles Bridges, the conference’s reigning Freshman of the Year, announced he’d be returning to Michigan State for his sophomore season, the Spartans have been the near-unanimous favorite. Only something like Swanigan deciding to stay at Purdue could’ve changed that. And with Swanigan expectedly heading to the NBA, Michigan State remains the preseason pick to win the conference crown.

Like any good year in the Big Ten, though, there will be challengers.

But Michigan State is the popular choice to win it because of Tom Izzo’s insane 2016 recruiting class is returning completely intact: Bridges, Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Joshua Langford are all back. And Izzo brings in one of the top 2017 recruits in forward Jaren Jackson.

But Sparty isn’t the only one with an impressive returning group. Purdue’s experienced roster has already been covered. Northwestern, a surprise contender in 2016-17, should be even better as Bryant McIntosh, Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey enter their fourth year playing together. Dererk Pardon, a shot-blocking whiz at center, is also back, as is sharp-shooter Aaron Falzon, who sat out the 2016-17 season with an injury after starting during his freshman year in 2015-16.

There will be big shoes to fill for some perennial contenders like Maryland — which must replace Melo Trimble — and Michigan, which watched eligibility run out on Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin before D.J. Wilson decided to head to the professional ranks Wednesday. But those teams have plenty of talent returning, too. The Terps will have all three of their fab freshmen — Justin Jackson, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter — back for sophomore seasons, while the Wolverines have Moe Wagner back in the fold alongside Xavier Simpson and Duncan Robinson, among others.

And what of last year’s shocking contender, Minnesota? The Golden Gophers didn’t lose too much this offseason and will return almost every main player from last year’s 24-10 squad: Amir Coffey, Nate Mason, Reggie Lynch, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer and Eric Curry.

There are up-and-comers to think about, too, such as last year’s freshman-heavy squads at Iowa and Penn State. And could new head coaches Brad Underwood and Archie Miller make instant splashes at Illinois and Indiana, respectively?

If it sounds a little too much like the annual coach speak that “any team can win on any night” in the Big Ten, that’s because there is a good deal of truth to that oft-used phrase.

There are definitely tiers to this thing, though. Even without Swanigan, Purdue is still in one of those upper tiers. But there might be no team besides Michigan State at the very top of the heap, something underscored by Swanigan turning pro.