Word on the Street: Super Bowl most-watched on TV ever

Word on the Street: Super Bowl most-watched on TV ever

Monday, Feb. 7, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Super Bowl is most-watched TV show in the US

The Nielsen Co. said that an estimated 11 million people watched the Green Bay Packers outlast the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. That surpassing the 106.5 million who watched the 2010 game between New Orleans and Indianapolis, making it the most-watched television ship in the United States.

The most-watched single play of the game was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's final incomplete pass to Mike Wallace with about a minute to go. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Aaron Rodgers celebrates Super Bowl at Disney

The Super Bowl MVP rode on the back of a convertible pacing down a confetti-filled parade route through Disney World's Magic Kingdom on only a few hours' sleep. After Green Bay's 31-25 win over Pittsburgh, even a Florida afternoon storm couldn't cloud the QB's spirit.

"It's a special day, it really is," Rodgers said. "I didn't get a lot of sleep, but it's great to be able to celebrate. This is a team that came together and accomplished something special." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Mr. President has kind words for Coach McCarthy

Despite his support of the Chicago Bears, President Barack Obama congratulated Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on their Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The White House says that Obama told McCarthy that "even a Bears fan" can appreciate what the win means to Wisconsin. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

MSU's Izzo receives 'hang in there' text from Cavs owner

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has sent Michigan State coach Tom Izzo an encouraging text message.

According to Izzo, the note said "hang in there."

After losing two straight and five of the past six, the Spartans fell out of The Associated Press poll. Gilbert tried to hire Izzo last summer for the Cavs coaching position, but the Cavaliers are having a tougher time than the Spartans. They head into Monday night's game at Dallas with a record 24-game losing streak. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Ex-Hawk Burish to undergo surgery

Adam Burish will have to wait for swelling to go down around his eye before he can have surgery on his orbital bone. There is no timetable on the ex-Blackhawk's return.

Burish was placed on Injured Reserve with a facial injury on Feb. 4 when he suffered the injury at Boston. (The Dallas Morning News)

Wake-up Call: Cubs surge into first place; White Sox continue slide

Wake-up Call: Cubs surge into first place; White Sox continue slide

Here are some of Sunday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Willson Contreras is playing his butt off right now for first-place Cubs

Confident Blackhawks youth ready to take the next step

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for coaching staff

White Sox: The big-picture reasoning behind Rick Renteria and bunting

Jose Quintana reveling in first place vibes after 'overexcited' home Cubs debut

What White Sox 'fireman' Anthony Swarzak has done to increase trade value

Go behind the scenes with Kendall Gill at The Big 3 in Chicago

33 Days to Kickoff: Westmont

Willson Contreras is playing his butt off right now for first-place Cubs

Willson Contreras is playing his butt off right now for first-place Cubs

This really is becoming Willson Contreras' team.

The dude is absolutely on fire right now and has almost singlehandedly lifted the Cubs back into first place.

Since the All-Star Break, Contreras has crushed four homers and three doubles while driving in 11 runs in just eight games. 

The Cubs have won seven of those games, including Sunday night when Contreras' two-run shot in the sixth inning turned out to be the game-winner that pushed the Cubs into a first-place tie with the Milwaukee Brewers. (The Cubs also won the only game Contreras hasn't started since the Break.)

In the span of nine games, the Cubs have already erased the 5.5 game deficit they had in the National League Central entering the midseason break.

"He's just playing his butt off, literally, right now," Joe Maddon said. "Everything he's doing is pretty darn good. He plays with enthusiasm, also. You gotta feel that in the stands.

"There's some times he might get over-enthusiastic. I prefer toning people down as opposed to pumping them up all the time. He's doing everything. He's hitting fourth, he's catching, he's handling a really good pitching staff, he's throwing people out, he's blocking the ball really well and he's hitting homers, so God bless him."

Contreras' offense has been amazing, but Maddon credits the young catcher's block on a Wade Davis pitch in the dirt last week in Atlanta with helping to save the season. That play helped ensure a victory by not permitting the tying run to score from third base as the Cubs rattled off six straight wins to start the second half of 2017.

It's at the point now where Maddon cannot rationally find ways to get Contreras out of the lineup, even though the veteran manager is a huge proponent of rest and wants nothing more than to keep his players healthy and playing at a high level late in the season and into the playoffs.

Contreras is like the Energizer Bunny out there, hopping all around behind the plate to block balls, throwing guys out, pumping his chest, screaming obscenities at his first base coach after home runs. He even plays long toss (from the warning track in left-centerfield to about the spot the second baseman normally plays) before games with catching coach Mike Borzello.

The 25-year-old just does not turn down for anything when he's at the ballpark.

So does he ever get weary?

"I do get tired, but when I get home," he said. "When I'm here, I'm never tired. This is my job, this is what I love and you're gonna see me like that all throughout my career."

Contreras credits the Cubs coaching staff with helping him make the mental adjustments that has him in the conversation as one of the best catchers in baseball.

"He's growing up," Anthony Rizzo said. "He's really taking control behind the plate, which is nice. His at-bats just keep getting better and better and it's really fun to watch."

Contreras is on pace for 25 homers and 87 RBI, second only to Kansas City's Salvador Perez in both categories among catchers.

"He definitely has the abilities to be one of the elite catchers," Maddon said. "You gotta consider him one of the elite catchers in the National League already. Because he just does everything so well.

"The biggest next hurdle is just — without pulling him in too much — controlling his emotions a tad more without losing that enthusiasm that he has. Really understanding the game and calling the game and working his pitchers. 

"Mike Borzello does a great job with him. He started out this year and wasn't so good — missing his pitches, missing fastballs, fouling stuff off. But he stayed with it and now you see what he's capable of doing. He is really good right now and he's gonna get better."