5 Questions with...CSN's Dan Jiggetts

297050.jpg

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)

Todd Frazier's late RBI single lifts White Sox past Blue Jays

Todd Frazier's late RBI single lifts White Sox past Blue Jays

The White Sox haven’t had much success with runners in scoring position of late. Todd Frazier hasn’t had much all season long.

But Frazier’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning Friday night broke a tie and the White Sox held on for a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in front of 27,196 at U.S. Cellular Field. The victory was the fourth in five games for the White Sox, who improved to 37-37. Frazier’s hit was the only one with a runner in scoring position in 14 tries for a team that entered the game hitting .245 in those situations. He finished 2-for-4.

Though Frazier has provided the White Sox with plenty of thump, he’s had a trying season with runners in scoring position. He entered his eighth-inning at-bat with Jesse Chavez just 9-for-61 with two home runs and 23 RBIs with runners in scoring position, including a third-inning ground out. But Frazier got a 1-1 fastball from Chavez and ripped it into left field to put the White Sox ahead and end a frustrating night for the offense, particularly the bottom of the order.

The White Sox had left a man in scoring position in all but one inning up until that point. They tied the game at 1 in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Avisail Garcia and pulled ahead in the fifth on a solo homer by Melky Cabrera, who went 3-for-4 against his former team.

Prior to Frazier’s single, Cabrera grounded out to first as Edwin Encarnacion made a spectacular stop and fell down in foul territory. Tim Anderson, who doubled and went to third on a fly ball, didn’t advance on the play. But Frazier made it all moot.

Carlos Rodon had another strong outing, though he surrendered the lead right before he exited.

Rodon struck out eight and tamed a red hot offense for 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander fell behind 1-0 in the second inning and looked as if he may be in trouble before escaping the jam with a strikeout of Junior Lake to strand two. That began a stretch in which Rodon retired 11 of 14 batters and allowed the White Sox to rally for a 2-1 lead.

But Rodon couldn’t hold it, in part because of a sixth-inning balk call by first-base ump Angel Hernandez that earned pitching coach Don Cooper an ejection. Rodon hit Michael Saunders to start the sixth and he advanced on the balk and tagged up on a fly out to center. The extra 90 feet became critical when Kevin Pillar’s infield single tied it. Todd Frazier made a diving stop on the play at first base and Rodon took one too many steps to tag first base just behind the slide of Pillar.

Rodon allowed two earned runs and six hits with two walks.

The White Sox bullpen picked up the slack. Matt Albers, Nate Jones and Zach Duke combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings to get the ball to Robertson. Robertson then pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam for his 19th save in 21 tries.

Sky: Delle Donne's 31 points not enough in loss to Liberty

elenadelle.png
Associated Press

Sky: Delle Donne's 31 points not enough in loss to Liberty

NEW YORK (AP) — Not even a broken nose could slow down Tina Charles.

She had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead New York to an 80-79 victory over the Chicago Sky on Friday night for the Liberty's sixth consecutive win — their longest streak in six years.

"I do what my teammates need me to do," Charles said. "I know how much my team relies on me especially not having (Epiphanny Prince) here."

Charles was sporting a clear mask after she broke her nose Wednesday in a double-overtime win over Atlanta.

"It was the first time in my life that I had to wear a mask," the reigning AP player of the week said. "The situation is what it is. It's a contact sport and injuries do happen. I'm just happy that the Hosptial for Special Surgery and our medical staff was able to give me the mask so I could play tonight."

Charles leads the league in scoring and rebounding and had 12 points in the first half to help New York build a 50-40 halftime advantage.

Sugar Rodgers added 13 points for the Liberty (10-4), who are third in the AP power poll. It's the first time since 2001 that New York has won 10 of its first 14 games.

The Liberty led by 11 midway through the fourth before the Sky rallied to 78-77 with 2:24 left. Neither team would score again until Sugar Rodgers hit an acrobatic backdoor floater with 39.5 seconds remaining. Elena Delle Donne answered with a tough pullup nine seconds later.

Chicago let New York run down the clock on its next possession before Charles missed a hook across the lane. Delle Donne got the rebound setting up one final chance for the Sky with just over 2 seconds left, but her jumper from the wing missed.

"Couple things went wrong and we didn't run it to the way we were supposed to," Delle Donne said of the last play. "Things got a little crazy and had to throw up a desperation shot. We wanted more of a post up and that just didn't happen."

She finished with a season-high 31 points to lead Chicago (6-8). Cappie Pondexter added 20 for the seventh-ranked Sky, who have dropped four of five.

Both teams wore warm-up shirts in honor of Orlando club shooting victims. The Liberty donated $10,000 to the OneOrlando fund that was set up to support the victims' families and survivors.

Contreras helps Cubs end 4-game skid by beating Marlins

willsoncont.png
USA Today Sports Images

Contreras helps Cubs end 4-game skid by beating Marlins

MIAMI - One week into his major league career, Chicago Cubs super-sub Willson Contreras says he's simply trying to contribute and enjoy himself.

So how much fun is he having?

"A lot," Contreras said, practically shouting the words. "A lot."

No wonder - he's batting .412 with three homers, and the latest helped the Cubs break their longest losing streak of the season at four games by beating the Miami Marlins 5-4 Friday night.

Contreras hit a two-run homer in a four-run first inning, and his RBI single in the seventh put the team with the best record in the majors ahead to stay.

Manager Joe Maddon said Contreras' contribution as a reinforcement for the injury-hampered Cubs has been indispensable.

"It's like oxygen - it's absolutely necessary," Maddon said. "The life he has brought to the group is absolutely necessary. He's different in all the best ways."

While Contreras again excelled as a reinforcement, the NL Central leaders endured another setback when second baseman Ben Zobrist left the game after he was hit by a pitch that bruised his left ankle. X-rays were negative, but Zobrist said he'll likely miss at least one game.

Four pitchers held the Marlins to two hits, including Justin Bour's grand slam.

Each team scored four runs in the first inning, when Kris Bryant and Contreras homered for the Cubs. It was the first time in the majors this year that both teams scored at least four runs in the first, according to ESPN.

Despite the early onslaught, both starters settled down before departing with the score still 4-all.

The Cubs' Kyle Hendricks pitched five innings and allowed only one hit - Bour's slam. All four runs were unearned because of an error by shortstop Addison Russell.

"That was the most grinding of a one-hitter," Hendricks said. "It was a weird game."

Miami's Tom Koehler gave up six consecutive hits in the first but still pitched six innings.

Trevor Cahill (1-2) threw a scoreless sixth. Hector Rondon retired all four batters he faced for his second four-out save in a row, and his 13th overall.

Mike Dunn (0-1) retired only one of the five hitters he faced in the seventh, walking two and hitting Zobrist.

"I can't remember the last time I went out there and couldn't throw anything over the plate," Dunn said. "I didn't give the team a chance."

Dunn also allowed a one-out run-scoring single by Contreras, who has eight RBIs after seven games in the big leagues.

"He looks like an established big league hitter," Hendricks said. "He just hits balls hard. It's really fun to watch. To be that young and come up and do it, it's unbelievable. And we need it right now."

Contreras started at catcher and moved to first base late in the game. He's expected to be in the lineup again Saturday, although he's unsure where.

"I don't know if I'm going to play left field or first base; I caught a few flyballs in right field today," he said. "So I'll be ready, man."