CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

COMCAST SPORTSNET CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY SEASON

WITH A FULL LINE-UP OF CLASSIC GAMES & SPECIAL SHOWS ON DEC. 24 & 25!
Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, is celebrating the holiday season in a big way with two, full daysnights of thrilling Classic game telecasts, brand new specials, live post-game programming, up-to-the-minute local sports news & highlights and much more on Christmas Eve (Sat, Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Sun, Dec. 25). Check out the following action-packed line-uponly on Comcast SportsNet!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24

3:00 PM White Sox Classics (from July 31, 1991) Down 8-6 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, new White Sox manager Robin Ventura blasted a walk-off grand slam against the visiting Texas Rangers in one his finest on-field performances; Ventura went 4-6 w5 RBI.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM Blackhawks TV Brand new episode of this Emmy award-winning series featuring the latest behind-the-scenes coverage of the NHLs hottest team!

7:30 PM Bulls Classics presented by Honda (NBA Playoffs - E. Conf. FinalsGm. 4 from May 31, 1993) Michael Jordan shined brightly once again with a dominant 54-point performance against the NY Knicks that tied this series at 2-2.

10:00 & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

11:00 PM The Making of the Luvabulls Re-airing of the final two episodes from Comcast SportsNets acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at one of the NBAs most talented dance teams.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

1:00 PM Cubs Classics (from Apr. 23, 2011) Cubs storm back to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th to post a solid 10-8 victory against the visiting LA Dodgers.

4:30 PM Inside Look: Tom Ricketts presented by Cadillac Premiere airing featuring the exclusive one-on-one interview with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, conducted by Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan.
5:00 PM Kendall vs. Kustok presented by Chicago Home Fitness Its former NBA standoutcurrent Comcast SportsNet Bulls PrePost Game Live studio analyst Kendall Gill vs. former prepscollegiate star athlete, now current SportsNet Central reporteranchor Sarah Kustok, along with their respective teams, taking on the Chicago Fitness Challenge. Tune in to see whose team wins!

6:00 PM Blackhawks TV (see Dec. 24 at 7:00 PM)

6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM White Sox Classics (from June 3, 2011) The White Sox battled the visiting Detroit Tigers and pulled off a thrilling 6-4 win, thanks in part to homers from Quentin, Lillibridge & Pierre, along with a pair of defensive gems from Pierre and Morel.

10:00 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

10:30 PM Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute (L) Immediately following the Bears-Packers game, be sure to tune into this 90-minute, live post-game show, featuring analysis from host Pat Boyle and a team of experts including Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts and Howard Griffith. Bears Post Game Live also features live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams with SportsNet Centrals Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis and CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin providing immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central: Sunday Night Slant (L) Complete game recaphighlights from the weekends NFL match-ups, along with a complete wrap-up of the entire day in sports.

PLUS Coming up on Comcast SportsNet next week

CHICAGO BULLS REGULAR SEASON OPENER on Thu, Dec. 29 as the Bulls face the host Sacramento Kings in Comcast SportsNets first regular season Bulls telecast of the season (McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 8:30 PM, tip-off at 9:00 PM)

CHICAGO BULLS HOME OPENER is on Comcast SportsNet on New Years DaySun, Jan. 1 as the Bulls face the Memphis Grizzlies (special one-hour edition of McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live will take place from the United Center beginning at 6:00 PM, tip-off at 7:00 PM)

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS action, featuring three live match-ups from the United Center: Mon, Dec. 26 vs. Columbus Wed, Dec. 28 vs. Los Angeles Fri, Dec. 30 vs. Detroit (Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live coverage begins at 7:00 PM each night)

In addition, viewers are also urged to visit Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com, for the very latest BullsBlackhawksCubsWhite SoxBears news, game previewsrecaps, Insider reports, talent blogs, videos and much more, available 247.

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Five Things to Watch: Bulls in Detroit for fourth game in five nights on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Coyotes tonight on CSN+

Despite Chris Sale rumors, White Sox say they have contingencies in place for a rebuild

Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning

Slow start to fourth dooms Bulls in loss to Blazers

Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved

Scott Darling takes the reins for Blackhawks in Corey Crawford’s absence

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knows 'it will be very hard to trade' Chris Sale

Cubs: The next steps for Kyle Schwarber

Rajon Rondo used foul language with Bulls assistant coaches following loss to Mavs

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Living well is indeed the best revenge, and sometimes nothing feels sweeter than proving doubters wrong. Akiem Hicks is savoring that exact feeling.

When the New Orleans Saints made Hicks their third-round pick in the 2013 draft, they typecast their big (6-5, 318 pounds) young defensive lineman as a one-trick pony.

“There were people in New Orleans that said, ‘You can’t rush the passer,’” Hicks recalled after the Bears’ win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers. “They told me from my rookie year, ‘You’re going to be a run-stopper.’”

This despite Hicks collecting 6.5 sacks and 3 pass breakups as a senior at Regina in Canada. The Saints forced Hicks into the slot they’d decided he fit – nose tackle – then eventually grew disenchanted with him and traded him to New England last year – where he collect 3 sacks in spot duty.

Interestingly, Bears GM Ryan Pace was part of the Saints’ personnel operation. Whether Pace agreed with coaches’ handling of Hicks then isn’t known, but when Pace had the chance to bring Hicks to Chicago for a role different than the one the Saints forced Hicks into, Pace made it happen.

Pace likely saw those New England sacks as a foreshadowing or a sign that the New Orleans staff had miscast Hicks. The Bears defensive end now is under consideration for NFC defensive player of the week after his 10-tackle performance against San Francisco. Signing with the Bears last March 13 as a free agent was the career break Hicks has craved. For him it was a career lifeline.

“They have given me the ability to go rush the passer,” Hicks said. “So I love this organization – [GM] Ryan Pace, coach Fox, Vic [Fangio, defensive coordinator] – for just giving a guy the capability to put it out there and do what you feel like you can do.”

[MORE BEARS: Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved]

Hicks has been showing what he can do, to quarterbacks. For him the best part of win over the 49ers was the two third-quarter sacks of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Those sacks gave the massive lineman, who the Saints said couldn’t rush the passer, 6 sacks for the season – more than any member of the Saints defense this season. It has been a classic instance of putting a player in position to maximize his skills, not jam someone into a bad fit.

“Akiem has been in a couple of different types of packages before with New Orleans and New England,” said coach John Fox. The Patriots switched from a long-time 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 but “we’re more of a New England-type style. But we’re playing him more at end; he played mostly a nose tackle [in New Orleans]. He’s fit really well for us as far as his physical stature.

"But he does have pass rush ability. It shows a little about his athleticism. So he’s got a combination of both.”

That “combination” has been allowed to flourish at a new level, and the Bears’ plan for Hicks was the foundation of why he wanted to sign in Chicago as a free agent. The Bears do not play their defensive linemen in a clear one-gap, get-upfield-fast scheme tailored to speed players. Nor do they play a classic two-gap, linemen-control-blockers scheme typically built on three massive space-eaters on the defensive line.

They play what one player has called a “gap and a half” system, which requires being stout as well as nimble.

One Hicks rush on Kaepernick featured a deft spin move out of a block, not the norm for 336-pound linemen. He got one sack with a quick slide out of a double-team.

“I’m not freelancing,” Hicks said. “But I’m rushing ‘fast.’ There’s a portion of the defense where you have the [run] responsibility and don’t have the freedom or liberty [to rush]. It’s a great system for me and I love what they’ve let me do.”