5 Questions with...Dan Patrick

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5 Questions with...Dan Patrick

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 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 guestone of the biggest sports media personalities in the nationfor close to three decades, this standouts cool delivery and insightful interview style has made him a favorite go-to-guy for thousands of personalities in both the sports and entertainment fieldyou can catch him live on Comcast SportsNet every Monday-Friday morning from 8:00-11:00 AM and on NBC Sports Football Night in America every Sunday night during the NFL season simply put, hes one of the best in the business, here are 5 Questions withDAN PATRICK!

BIO: Dan Patrick is one of America's legendary sports journalists and a revered member of the national media industry. In 1989 Patrick started at ESPN. During his 18 years at ESPN, Patrick was most notably recognized for his many years as co-host of SportsCenter. In 1998, Patrick received a Sports Emmy Award in the Studio Host category. In 2000, Patrick was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, making him just the second cable commentator to receive the honor. In 2011, Patrick has once again been nominated for a Sports Emmy for the Outstanding Sports Personality Studio Host Category.

In 2007 Patrick left ESPN to pursue building his own independent brand. He began by recreating his radio show, distributed nationally through DirecTV Sports Networks. The radio show also runs on Fox Sports Radio Network. His weekday radio program can now be heard on over 260 affiliate stations.

Since August 3, 2009, the Dan Patrick Radio Show has been simulcast live on DIRECTVs Audience Network. DIRECTV is a world leading provider of digital television entertainment services and has over 17.6 million subscribers in the United States. As of October 2010, Dan has simulcasted his television show on to the Fox Sports Network Platform which puts him in over 90 million homes in the United States.

In addition to The Dan Patrick Show on Comcast SportsNet, Patrick can be seen on NBC's Football Night in America, was a key member of NBC Sports 2010 Winter Olympics broadcast team from Vancouver, and was a correspondent during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Additionally, Patrick is a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated and writes a weekly column for Sports Illustrated magazine.

Patrick has a fully interactive website at www.danpatrick.com, with live blogging, videos, audio, and listener interaction. He has also created his very own digital fan loyalty program called Dan Nation that has over 90,000 members.

Patrick continues to build upon his independent brand by growing his distribution platforms in radio, TV, internet, magazines, and even movies but he isnt done yet. By continuing to innovate, Patrick will remain as one of the leading sports broadcasters and premium brands in the business.

1) CSNChicago.com: Dan, thanks for taking time out of your always-hectic schedule to join us for this edition of 5 Questions with Lets get right to it. With your show based out in the New England area, you are naturally familiar with Red Sox Nation and the GM tenure of Theo Epstein. With Epstein now officially running the baseball operations side in the Chicago Cubs front office, what immediate culture changes do you expect to occur at Wrigley Field from a front office perspective and, down the line, from an on-field perspective?

Patrick: Theo brings hope. Cubs fans saw what he and the Red Sox did over the last decade and have to think that he can do it again. Remember, there is no downside. Nobody really critiques big money free agents with the Cubs, even GMs, because whats the worst that could happen...you dont win the World Series. Thats all thats happened for every living Cub fan. Theo will up the temperature of the entire organization immediately and will not accept not making the playoffs. This is good news for Cubs fans.

2) CSNChicago.com: The Dan Patrick Show, which airs on Comcast SportsNet Chicago weekdays from 8:00-11:00 AM, is truly being enjoyed by Chicago TV viewers for your always-entertaining guests and insightful commentary. Since this is a live, morning production, take us briefly through your morning routine from the time you wake upto the time you sit in the host chair.

Patrick: Coffee! Then the Danettes and I meet in the mancave and talk things outtopicsguests. But one thing we do is we try not to talk too much on any one topic in the pre-show meeting. If we are hot on a topic or story, we put the brakes on and save the discussion for the show. You dont want to try to re-do what you just talked aboutwhat you see on air is natural and unscripted.

3) CSNChicago.com: Many people in the sports media industry look up to you as one of the best interviewers in the biz. Which media personalitypersonalities did you admire growing up that you felt were (and maybe still are) the gold standard in interviewing guests?

Patrick: I admire the ones that can smoothly handle a big, live eventJim McKayKeith JacksonBrent MusbergerBob Costas. Being the point man on the air at the Olympics, World Series or Super Bowl is a pressure gig and the best in the business keep things moving while surrounded by chaos.

4) CSNChicago.com: As host of NBC Sports Football Night in America, you know all about the dominance of the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Here in Chicago, fans are just hoping the Bears can make a return to the playoffs, especially since the Pack will likely lock up the NFL North title. Simple question, do the Bears have a shot to realistically make the playoffs?

Patrick: They do. They had a shot last year at the Super Bowl and, if Cutler stays upright in the NFC title game, who knows how that game ends. The blocking is improving for Cutler. Forte is the best all-around back in the game. If the receivers can up their game and they remain a run-first team, they can make the playoffs. That being said, Green Bay looks almost flawless so far, so it will be tough to get past them if they meet again in the playoffs.

5) CSNChicago.com: Its a pretty cool fact that youre good friends with box office superstar Adam Sandler, as you appeared in numerous Sandler films over the years (including the upcoming Jack and Jill opening up on November 11). Weve got to knowany chance DP goes Hollywood full-time to pursue a career in acting?...and -- outside of Peter Krause (who did a fine job mimicking you on Sports Night years ago) -- which actor would you like to see portray your life story on film?

Patrick: Wow, now we are talking. I heard they may make an ESPN movie a la The Social Network. Id be good with Jason Bateman playing me in the 90s. Hes snarky and you have to respect his hairI do.

Patrick LINKS:

The Dan Patrick Show official site

The Dan Patrick Show on Facebook

The Dan Patrick Show on Twitter

By the bye: Blackhawks keep rolling following break

By the bye: Blackhawks keep rolling following break

When you're on a roll, you hate disrupting it for anything.

The Blackhawks probably felt that in some respect heading into the new NHL-mandated bye week on Feb. 12, but the need for rest usurped any worry on that front. Still, when the Blackhawks reconvened last Friday, the question remained if they could pick up where they left off on that pre-bye, five-game winning streak.

As coach Joel Quenneville said of the unusual break, "we talked about it going into it: you don't know how you're going to come out of it."

Apparently it hasn't been a problem.

The Blackhawks have won two of their first three out of the bye, including their 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

Coming out of this break hasn't been easy for a lot of teams. The Blackhawks, like 11 other teams up to this point, lost their first game out of it. But in that loss to Edmonton, the Blackhawks played well. That continued on Sunday in Buffalo and on Tuesday in Minnesota. Now back in a rhythm schedule-wise, the Blackhawks are hitting their stride performance-wise.

"I thought we played a good game against Edmonton but we still felt there'd be some good will down the road. I thought we continued on with these next two on the road, probably played the same way going into it. So it's been a good stretch for us, and much better than we were at the beginning of the year," Quenneville said. "I like the improvement in our game."

A big part of the Blackhawks' success is finding their four-line rotation.

Jonathan Toews was joined by Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik early in the Ice Show trip, the three were given time to mesh and it's paying productive dividends. The second line is always a threat. Their third and fourth lines are a great combination of defense, skill and youth.

As the lines have started rolling, so have the Blackhawks. Each line had someone score against Buffalo. The top line thrived vs. the Wild. 

"I think all year we kind of expected the offense, coming from Arty's [Artem Anisimov's] line and maybe my line, but what's making us a really good team is our third and fourth line going out there and just battling every shift, just working, giving other teams no time, no chance to make plays with the puck," Toews said. "I think when you can rotate four lines like that, everyone starts to pick up their pace and their speed and then you just rotate in and it doesn't matter who scores on a given night. We're getting contributions from all over the place and it makes you a dangerous team and a tough team to beat."

Instead of taking steam out of the Blackhawks' sails, the bye appears to have re-energized them.

"Yeah it was good for our team," Ryan Hartman said. "We had a few guys who didn't get [rest during] the all-star break. They were still playing, and it was nice for those guys to get away from the rink and kind of get in the sun and take your mind of hockey for a bit, refresh the brain and body. I think we all needed those couple days of rest. As it's looked the last couple of games we've looked fresh and we've been bringing it almost a full 60. I wouldn't say we're quite playing a full 60 but we're really close and that was crucial for us."

Playing a full 60 was one of the Blackhawks' biggest problems earlier this season. Much like the four-line rotation, it's showing up at the right time. The Blackhawks have a great opportunity this week to get closer to the Wild, who started their break on Wednesday.

The issues that plagued the Blackhawks earlier this season are starting to dissipate. They weren't sure how they were going to come out of this break. So far, they've followed rest and relaxation with a rejuvenated game. 

"We're just rolling four lines now. Every line can score and every line's playing the best hockey," Panik said. "That's helped us."

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.