5 Questions with...CSN's Dan Jiggetts

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5 Questions with...CSN's Dan Jiggetts

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite weekly local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guesta man who has pretty much done it all in the worlds of both athletics and broadcastinghe is a Harvard grad, was a standout NFL player for ten years and one of Chicagos most beloved sports broadcasters of all timeplus, he hasnt been shy of letting his opinions be known when it comes to this years Bears teamhes one of the great guys out therehere are 5 Questions withDAN JIGGETTS!

BIO: One of Chicago's most popular media personalities, Dan Jiggetts joined Comcast SportsNet in 2004 and currently handles studio analyst duties on U.S. Cellular Bears Post Game Live, Bears Recap and Bears Blitz. He co-hosted Comcast SportsNets Monsters in the Morning in 2009 and was also the host of Chicago Tribune Live from 2004-2007. Prior to joining CSN, Jiggetts was the weekend sports anchor and lead football reporter for WFLD-TV, the Fox broadcast affiliate in Chicago. He was a member of WFLD's "Bears Sunday Live" morning program and provided reports for "Bears Post Game" and "The Final Word" during the football season. Jiggetts also hosted his own radio talk show on WSCR AM 670. A Harvard graduate, Jiggetts was an All-American standout his senior year, while earning majors in government and economics. He enjoyed a solid seven-year NFL career, playing offensive tackle for the Chicago Bears from 1976 to 1982. Jiggetts has worked for CBS, ESPN, WMAQ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Chicago and WBBM AM 780.

1) CSNChicago.com: Dan, the Kool-Aid has definitely stopped pouring the past few weeks as the once invincible Bears find themselves as a very beatable teamand lets not forget the second half of the schedule looks to be extremely challenging to the say least. What is your biggest concern with this years team from an on-field and off-field standout and, a follow-up questiondo you truly believe this team will make it to the post season?

Jiggetts: First of all, for the concern on the field, the concern is whats going to happen with the offensive line and how long is it going to take for them to bring it all back together. Also, do they have enough time and the ability to go ahead and do all of that? The other thing that probably worries me, that is both an on-the-field and off-the-field issue, is whether or not they will take the time to address the run game and give them the opportunity to develop that, and therefore develop the offensive line. As you try to continue to throw the football with a young group of people like that, it is going to probably turn out to be a disaster. From that standpoint, I hope they give them the opportunity to get their feet on the ground and see where they can go.

As for the Kool-Aid flow and whether it will ever stop flowing, well, it did stop for a couple of weeks. The team hit a rough patch and some games went against them. It was not like they were run off the field in those games, they basically lost those games, and the other team did not win them. The Bears had the opportunity to win those games. So you know, I am still pretty aggressive on the Bears. Do I believe if they will make the postseason or not? Yeah, I still do at this point.

2) CSNChicago.com: Theres no doubt the general public mindset about this team resolves around the play of Jay Cutler and the offensive play calling of Mike Martz. Do you believe Cutler and Martz are on the same page or do you think Cutler has been taking matters into his own hands, so to speak, when the ball is snapped?

Jiggetts: I think Jay Cutler and Mike Martz are very much on the same page. You saw how they started out in the Seattle game, on the first drive, going straight down the field and scoring a touchdown. Thats being on the same page. The problem is later on when you get down to the heart of the game. Its whether or not you set some things up and they really havent. So, all of a sudden it becomes looking like a hodge-podge of this and that, and lets try this or lets try that, and thats when it looks sloppy. The other thing the Bears have to do is get everyone on the same page. Not just Jay and Mike Martz on the same page, but the whole group: receivers, offensive line, EVERYBODY. Everyone must be thinking the same thing and at the same time. That is a part of the function of how you execute offensively.

3) CSNChicago.com: Who was the toughest player youve ever lined up against in your NFL playing days that REALLY made you nervous before and during the gameand who do you think is the best offensive tackle in the game today?

Jiggetts: The toughest player I have ever lined up against is Al Baker. Al played for the Detroit Lions and was always my nemesis. As far as the best offensive tackle in the game today: Jake Long of the Miami Dolphins. He is an outstanding offensive tackle. Jake Long is the goods. I remember back when he was with Michigan, he was a monster.

4) CSNChicago.com: Whats the single best concert youve ever seen in your life and what made it so great?

Jiggetts: The single best concert I have ever been to is Luther Vandross and Vanessa Williams. No explanation needed.

5) CSNChicago.com: Youve been a sports broadcaster now for over a quarter-century and have covered more sporting events than most fans can even imagine. When it came to your post-NFL career, who would you say were your mentors in the broadcasting world when you first started out?
Jiggetts: There were a couple of people when I first started out. First of all, from a local basis, Chet Coppock was one of the guys that were very helpful in terms of getting me started in the business. Both he and Greg Caputo were really helpful in getting me an opportunity to start working in broadcasting. Greg, from the standpoint of being at Fox and in charge of the newsroom at the time, and Chet, being at NBC, getting the opportunity to intern with him and go out to interviews while I was still playing back around 1982.

The other person that was very helpful was Peter Lund, who was at one time the President of CBS Sports and also President of CBS, the company. He also ran WBBM in Chicago and was the reason why and the person who got me involved in network sports, which led to my 15-year career with CBS Sports. I was thankful to him for allowing me that opportunity. What he told me was I had to pay my way through here and that they would give me an opportunity to sit down in front of a monitor and do an audition tape and see where it goes from there. Where it went from there was doing four weeks of the NFL games to doing a full slate of NFL games and 40 some weeks on the road every year. I really prospered from that and I really thank him very much for that opportunity.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Dan, youve pretty much done it all in both collegiate and professional athletics, as well as posting an impressive run as a sports broadcaster for many years nowand youre only 56! However, what fans dont always know is that youre a very proud husband and father who dearly loves his family. What would they say about YOU if asked to describe what youre like around the house in one sentence?

Jiggetts: According to my daughter, Lauren: Mrs. Jiggetts is the enforcer and I am a big teddy bear.

(Note: Wahaj Tariq contributed to this edition of 5 Questions with)

James Franklin and staff celebrate Penn State wrestling win in singlets

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USA TODAY

James Franklin and staff celebrate Penn State wrestling win in singlets

Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy — the man with America's finest mullet — made headlines last week when he posted a video promoting an upcoming Oklahoma State wrestling match while wearing a singlet.

Hilarious, right?

Well, as you can tell from that video, the match was against Penn State. And Penn State won.

So, to celebrate the Nittany Lions' big wrestling win, James Franklin and his staff upped the ante, donning singlets for a meeting and tweeting out this "Last Supper" style picture of it Monday morning.

You've got to love seeing football coaches and teams supporting the sports that don't get as much attention.

I'll let you be the judge if this is, as Franklin tweeted, #NotAGoodLookOnUs.

Scottie Lindsey didn't light it up vs. Rutgers, but his return is huge for Northwestern

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AP

Scottie Lindsey didn't light it up vs. Rutgers, but his return is huge for Northwestern

Scottie Lindsey didn't light up the scoreboard in his return to action, and Northwestern still struggled offensively.

But getting their leading scorer back from a four-game absence was huge for the Wildcats.

It was to be expected that Lindsey wouldn't be back at 100 percent in his first game since Jan. 29. Lindsey chipped in just six points, his second lowest scoring output of the season, and played only 24 minutes, his lowest total of the year. Head coach Chris Collins told reporters after Saturday's nail-biter of a win over Rutgers that Lindsey hadn't done anything for three weeks.

"I was proud of Scottie. It's not easy. Really, he didn't work out, he didn't do any exercise for three weeks," Collins said. "A lot of you have your workout regimens that you do, and you know how you feel when you don't do anything for three weeks. You lose conditioning, you lose shape. And so for him on a couple days' notice to find a way to get out there and give us 24 minutes — I was actually mad at myself at halftime. I looked at the box score, and I felt like I played him too long in the first half. I think he played 13 minutes. He didn't really have much left in the second half."

No, the numbers were not pretty in Saturday's game. Northwestern is cruising toward its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, while Rutgers is spending another season at the bottom of the Big Ten standings. Yet the visiting Scarlet Knights led for much of the second half, a period during which the Cats shot just 35 percent from the field and made only seven baskets. Seven of Northwestern's nine turnovers came in the second half, and it took some heroic 3-point shooting by Gavin Skelly and Bryant McIntosh in the final minutes to prevent a third straight home loss and what would have definitely been the team's worst loss of the season.

But even with all that, the Cats have to be thrilled to have Lindsey back on the floor.

In the six games prior to Lindsey's absence — a six-game winning streak with victories over Nebraska, Rutgers, Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska again and Indiana — the Cats averaged 74.5 points per game and shot a combined 44.5 percent from the field. But in the last five games, the four without Lindsey and Saturday's win over Rutgers, Northwestern has averaged 63.8 points per game and shot a collective 39.6 percent from the field.

Obviously the quality of opponent has a lot to do with that. Three of the four games during Lindsey's absence came against the Big Ten's three best teams. But Lindsey sitting down for those three games plus the unexpected loss to Illinois made a tough stretch a whole lot tougher.

Even after Saturday's rough game against Rutgers, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that the Cats can start putting up some points during the regular season's final two weeks.

There are only four games left on the regular-season schedule: at Illinois, at Indiana, home against Michigan and home against Purdue. Those first three opponents are among the Big Ten's worst, defensively, though Michigan has stepped things up of late. That right there ought to provide perfect opportunities for Northwestern to start scoring points again.

And there's the way McIntosh has played of late. He's finally found some consistency, which proved challenging earlier in the year. He was again great Saturday, scoring 18 points and hitting the biggest shot of the night, a go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute to play. In his last nine games, McIntosh has scored at least 17 points in seven of those and 20 or more in five of them.

Plus, Lindsey will obviously get better. He'll get healthier and more accustomed to being back on the court. And he'll get back to the guy, Northwestern hopes, who averaged better than 15 points a game before his four-game absence.

"He's only going to get better," Collins said. "His whole thing is every day he's got to keep working, he's got to get through that soreness, he's got to get through that fatigue and get his conditioning back.

"Hopefully we can get him back to being the Scottie that we've had most of the year."