Sunday, January 27, 2008

sports columnists a big turn off

I really don't care for the two middle aged white male liberal columnists at the Chicago Tribune. Why in the heck are they employed? Who really likes Downey or Morrissey? I feel like they're stuck in the 80's or 70's when athletics was purer.

The Sun-Times is even worse with Rick Telander and Jay Mariotti. No wonder Ozzie Guillen rants every once in a while.

Too bad I can't be a columnist. What sports needs is a Traditional or Conservative columnist. Basically a sports guy who knows how to be conservative and can do it better than Limbaugh. Rush didn't know the culture of the sports world when he went to ESPN 4 and a half years ago.
Name me one conservative sports columnist today.

Response to Chicago Sports Weekly cover story

This week's Chicago Sports Weekly's cover story was about the sad state of Illinois college basketball. We may not even get one team into the NCAA tournament this year. Illinois is having a bad year, DePaul is ordinary and the best chance the Land of Lincoln has to get a team into the NCAA tournament is Illinois State out of the Missouri Valley Conference. The writer, Scott Powers, was highly critical of DePaul and Jerry Wainwright. DePaul suffers from St. John's disease. What is St. John's disease? It's a formerly good college basketball team in a name conference (Big East) who has to compete with the NBA and can't keep good players around for more than 2 years. St. John's had a great NCAA run in 1999 and almost made the Final 4. One of the stars, Ron Artest, went to the NBA, and the program slowly deteriorated from there.

My question to Mr. Powers is, who do you want to coach DePaul to make them a consistent winner? DePaul needs to move to the Atlantic 10 or back to Conference USA.

He (Powers) ripped Weber as a recruiter and thinks that Weber's job should be in jeopardy.

From 2004-2006, Weber won around 90 games, including 8 NCAA games and came within 2 baskets of winning the NCAA title and we're going to fire this guy? I criticize Weber for not getting Jon Scheyer of Glenbrook North. Guess who Scheyer plays for? You guessed it! The Dukies baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UIC is okay, but until Butler graduates their seniors, neither them nor Loyola will have a chance in the Horizon League.

The one team he was kind to was Northwestern. I have used this forum to criticize the Northwestern basketball team because quite frankly, they don't belong in the Big 10 and they are terrible year after year.

Let's look at the records of Vanderbilt, Stanford and Duke, three schools in an academic environment similar to Duke. As of this morning, these three schools are a combined 49-6. I don't want to hear the argument from the NU die-hards that they can't compete in the Big 10. How can Duke and Stanford be good on a consistent basis and even Vanderbilt has had some good years? Answer: NU doesn't care about the revenue-producing sports.

So in conclusion, it was a good article, but I disagree on some of his premises. He thinks that DePaul is another UConn or Syracuse and thinks U of I is another Indiana.

Friday, January 25, 2008

sorry for jumping off Cougar Bandwagon

Today I got carried away in the Cougars loss at Arizona, and the Huskies win at Tempe (Arizona State) and rubbed it in to the Cougar faithful. The fact is, the Huskies will be lucky to make the NIT, and the Cougs will get a high seed in the tournament.

The more important game tomorrow isn't in Tempe or Tucson, but in Memphis, where Gonzaga plays the number one team in the country.

I hope that all three teams, Washington, Washington State and Gonzaga, reach the NCAA tournament, or at least the NIT.

As for the Big 10, Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin are good. The Valley has Drake and Illinois State.

Please, someone, beat Duke this weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kiddush Hashem and Chillul Hashem

In Judaism there is the concept of Kiddush Hashem, or sanctifying G-d's name and the concept of Chillul Hashem, desecration of G-d's name. What it means in a nutshell is to do things that reflect well on the Jewish people (Kiddush Hashem) and the converse, to do things that reflect poorly on the Jewish people.

Last Saturday night, the Skokie Yeshiva had as its guest speaker, Alan (Shlomo) Veingrad, a former NFL football player who became a Baal Teshuva (newly observant Jew) and his story from his days growing up in Miami, through his time as a professional football player and now a proud observant Jew. He said that his dad told him that he was more proud of him with a yarmulke (skullcap) on than he ever was when he had a helmet on.

Conversely, in recent days, a Jewish sportscaster desecrated the name of G-d by use obscene language at a roast of two sportscasters. I won't go into the details (this isn't a gossip blog nor do I wish to condone the conduct). Suffice it to say, that I believe this sportscaster did a major league Chillul Hashem. Even though she isn't observant or doesn't do much Jewishly, what she did is unacceptable.

I know a lot of people who are Baalei Teshuva and I don't remember any of them or their non-observant families, friends, etc. engaging in such conduct. If she was a private citizen, that's one thing. However, she is a public figure, working for a major sports network, so in my humble opinion, that argument goes out the window.

I would encourage the opinions of those who aren't in Rogers Park to see if I am off base.

It's funny, I have commented on the Don Imus situation and other Political Correct offenses. This is different because the offender is Jewish and reflects poorly on us.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

quick sports thought

Good luck to Gonzaga on Saturday afternoon against the #1 team in the country, Memphis. If they pull off the upset, I guarantee that they will be ranked.

One other thing, how in the world can Duke be #3 in the country? I know it's timing, but does every writer have to mimic Dick Vitale and think that the Dukies are AWESOME BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

political correctness and other things

In my humble opinion, political correctness is not a good thing and I wish it would stop.
First of all, it sets higher standards for certain groups than others. Secondly it divides people. I will develop this over time.

On Motzei shabbos, the Chicago Jewish community was privileged to hear Alan Veingrad, a former NFL player, who became a Baal Teshuva (newly observant Jew). He spoke about how the lessons he learned as a football player were valuable in becoming observant. Many thanks to the Hebrew Theological College or the Skokie Yeshiva for this wonderful opportunity.

Too bad we have a NY-Boston Super Bowl. The Giants deserved to win, no question about it.

Oh, by the way, when Ahmenijad wants to come back to America to speak on a campus, I have a perfect place for him, University of Michigan at Dearborn. Who says neo-cons aren't committed to free speech?

Friday, January 18, 2008

one-party state

Living in a state where there is no real opposition is not a good thing. This means that any opposition to the state sticking its nose in other people's business doesn't exist in Illinois.
For example, the state passed a law that has shut down this program in Evanston and Winnetka that would provide rides to teens.
Also, the state decided that it should test high school athletes for steroids and other drugs. I oppose this because I oppose the government sticking its nose in every domestic aspect of our lives. For all of you paleocons, liberals and other folks who think that all people in big blue cities should be knee-jerk liberals/progressives, well that's too bad. That's why the red state folks and suburbanites don't like your approach to life.

The next post will be about political correctness and why it's terrible for our society.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


As next week is Dr. King's holiday, I thought that it's the closest thing America has to Yom Hazikaron. Some holidays are big on religion, shopping, pagan rituals, etc. MLK Day is more of a time of reflection on where we are as a country. It's not totally like Israel Remembrance Day in Israel, but there are certain similarities.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

pics from Seahawk season

I figured I should post some pics from the Hawks season, even if it didn't end in Phoenix.

Go Chargers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enough with Mr. Apple Pie QB, Peyton Manning.
BTW, any Cowboy that neutralizes Strahan earns my eternal respect. He would not have started on the 85-90 Giants when Carson, LT, etc. were with the two Bills and winning championships.

Sports Recap, what next for WA & IL sports teams

Well, the Seattle Seahawks 2007 season came to a disastrous or unfortunate close yesterday in the snow and cold of Lambeau Field as they lost 42-20. It was the worst playoff loss in Seahawk history, both in terms of margin of victory (previous worst was a 21-point loss in 1984 to the Dan Marino Dolphins who went to the Super Bowl) and considering the expectations both locally in Washington state and Nationally. For goodness' sake, Chris Russo of WFAN (he's the Mad Dog of Mike and the Mad Dog, a show I used to listen to in New York) picked Seattle to win. East Coast pundits won't pick Seattle or other unproven West Coast teams. However, a trip to the Super Bowl and a great effort against Da Bearss last year gave him the confidence to pick the Hawks.
I only saw the fourth quarter because of shabbos and other things, however, I blame the running game, or more precisely the lack of it and the defense, led by Patrick Kearney for the loss. I know that Hasselbeck wasn't great, but he didn't turn the ball over, so give him a pass.

In other Washington State sports, Washington lost to USC to start the Pac-10 season 0-3. Way to go Lorenzo and Brockman, which team is worse, Washington or Illinois? Anyone from Illinitalk wish to chime in, go ahead. The link is and for Husky fans it's . Even the Cougs lost at UCLA yesterday. To all fans of the team near Idaho, I hope this is a blip on the screen. Now that the Seahawks season is over, I am officially joining your bandwagon. Good news though out of LA, Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount by over 20 points.

Northwestern lost at home to Michigan by 10, but was down by as many as 30. I have said this numerous times and don't wish to waste time on this, but if Northwestern REALLY wants to be a legitimate Big 10 team then they have to act like it, and not like they're in the MVC or MAC. If that means getting a new coach, then so be it.

UIC beat Loyola in the Horizon battle of the City of Chicago. UIC is pretty good this year. When I first got to Chicago, UIC was good and Loyola wasn't. Then in 2006-2007, Loyola won 40 games, which is an average of 20, which is good for the Horizon League. The best team in the Horizon is Butler, who is really good.

Tonight after the Cowboys-Giants is the start of a big week for one of my favorite teams to hate, yes I am talking about the DUKIEEESS!!!!! BABY!!!!!!!! They host Virginia, go to FSU on Wednesday and host Clemson on Saturday night.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Random thoughts

1) The weather has been strange lately, last week it was about 5-15 degrees Fahrenheit (-15-10 Celsius) and on Sunday and Monday it was around 60 degrees and one didn't need a coat. Now it's around 30 degrees or so.

2) Monday evening after work I went to this place called Sportclips in Lincoln Park to get my haircut. It was a great experience, the people were nice, they have a big screen TV where you can watch sports (ESPN was on with the pre-game coverage of the National Championship Game in College Football) and the price was relatively reasonable (around 20 bucks). However, I would not suggest that my fellow Orthodox men friends in Rogers Park, Lincolnwood and Skokie go there. Ask me privately why. For more on Sportclips (and thanks to Chet Coppock for their ads) go to

3) How am I (Mr. Neocon, supporter of all GOP activities) supposed to endorse President Bush's comments about Israel and the Occupation of the Shtachim? Yes I know there are those out there who think we should return it because it would ensure safety and security for the Jewish people. Rarely do losers receive land back from winners. One could argue that some in the southwest US want to reclaim California, Arizona, etc. from the US because Mexico lost it, but the Mexican-US war was over 100 years ago. The Six Day War (or Milchemet Sheshet Yamim) was 40 years ago (or a few years before I was born).

4) I have mixed feelings on the CTA situation. Yes it would be good to have a solution and not have fares (including my Chicago Card Plus) raised. However, why should middle class families who live in the suburbs and downstate be forced to pay for my transit? Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to raise the sales tax in the state. In Chicago, the sales tax is 9%, in other parts of Illinois it's 8.75%. This is a problem when there's one party rule in a state. Yes this is addressed to Mr. Henry Wallace Progressive, MR. WRPN and Michael Harrington. Do you think one party rule in a state is good and if so, why?

5) My presidential endorsement. I hear talk of Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, McCain and Huckabee, even Romney. I wholeheartedly endorse former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey for President of the United States.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

nice weekend

I had a nice time this week, with a good shabat at one of my friends in the hood and a bowling party in Lincolnwood. It was good to go bowling. I need some practice, but that's okay.

Now to a sports update:

The Seahawks won 35-14 on Saturday night over the Redskins. The Redskins were feisty and hung in there until their QB threw two costly interceptions, both of which were returned for Touchdowns. Fortunately, there was no high-stepping by the Hawk DB's. High Stepping, for those of you who don't know what that means, is to dance and shake on the way to the end zone, it is a form of showing up an opponent. The Phil Mushnicks, Rick Morrisseys and other "self-appointed" saints of sport frown on such a practice.

Jacksonville edged Pittsburgh 31-29. They had an eighteen point lead, 28-10 and then gave it away, but Josh Scobee, the Jags kicker, did his best Adam Vinatieri impression and hit a game winning field goal and the Jags get either the Patriots or Colts next week.

The Chicago Black Hawks have lost four in a row, dropping two to the Kings, one to the Coyotes and one on Friday night to the Ducks. Meanwhile, the Sens beat Buffalo on Friday night and came back last night to beat the Lightning in overtime, 4-3. Now the Sens have a ten point lead on the Montreal Canadiens for the Northeast lead.

In College Hoops, the Cougars beat Washington 56-52 to remain unbeaten and the Zags beat the Georgia Bulldogs by 8. Cougs are 13-0 and the Zags are 11-4 entering WCC play. UW is 9-5 so hopefully all three teams will be in the NCAA or NIT this year.

Sorry Illini fans, love your team, loved 2005, but they're 8-7 and make WSU look like the Dukies. Speaking of my least favorite team, BABY!!!! Duke hosts Cornell in an hour and should roll over the Big Red. When will Vitale recover from his vocal chord surgery? I miss him.

Friday, January 04, 2008

NFL wild card round

This weekend is the NFL wild card round. Saturday at 3:30 is Washington-Seattle and at 7 is Jacksonville-Pittsburgh. Sunday at noon is New York-Tampa and 3:30 is Tennessee-San Diego.

I have little to no interest in the Tennessee-San Diego game. San Diego should win by at least 10 points, maybe even 21 points. I hope and think that Seattle should beat Washington, but the whole Sean Taylor thing and the fact that Seattle's running game is questionable at best gives the Redskins a chance.

Jacksonville is the Seattle of the AFC. Small market, no big stars, but they have a good chance against Pittsburgh. Wouldn't be surprised if Pittsburgh wins.

As far as the Giants-Buccaneers game is concerned, I like the Giants. The Bucs are okay, but Garcia is so-so and if the Giants can move the ball effectively, I like their chances to stop the Bucs. Giants are 7-1 on the road, with their only road loss at Dallas, losing on opening night, 45-35, which isn't too shabby.

The Seahawks-Skins game and the Giants-Bucs game are on WSCR, 670 The Score. The AFC games have conflicts, Saturday night DePaul hosts Providence and Sunday night the Hawks host the Wings at 6. Hawks-Wings is a better game, IMHO.

Fisher is a good coach, but if he wins this game, that would be one enormous accomplishment.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

thorny issue

Okay, since my comments on hiring the Jill Carlson was phrased somewhat controversially, let me clarify. Affirmative action is not the sole province of blacks, contrary to what some people may think.

I used Carlson, a reporter at Fox 32 who IMHO is mediocre in her sports knowledge at best as an example of how this obsession isn't good. Are there competent women and other minorities? Absolutely!!!! That isn't the point nor where I live. Unless you live in the middle of Montana, any decent sized city will have all sorts of people from all sorts of places.

In Carlson's case, she could easily be replaced by Tera Williams. It wouldn't surprise me if Ms. Carlson views Ms. Williams as a potential threat to her position doing sports as Ms. Williams is younger and better-looking. If Carlson was doing politics, weather or consumer stories, it would be one thing.

Michael, I hope this explains it very well.

random sports thoughts

Now that New Year's is over, here are some random sports thoughts.

Chicago: Bulls canned Skiles. I would say that if Skiles goes, so does Paxson. But since he hit that shot in 93 against Phoenix to win the title, he's a favorite of the soft sports media in this town.

Illinois: Good season, but clearly overmatched against USC. They would have been better off playing Tennessee or Florida in the earlier bowls on New Year's.
Now to the basketball team: Any team that loses at home to Miami of Ohio and Tennessee State can plan for the NIT.

Northworstern, I mean Northwestern lost its Big 10 opener to Penn State. When will the AD or his replacement at Northwestern wake up and can Carmody. He just isn't cut out for one of the big conferences. Maybe the MAC or the MVC.

Bears: To all of my friends, I have a suggestion. Donovan McNabb. Do whatever it takes to get him to Chicago. He's from here, been a winner, took a team to the Super Bowl. He needs a change of scenery, as does Rexy.

Washington state College Hoops: WSU is 12-0 and #4 in the polls. They go to Seattle on Saturday night to play the Huskies. I think the Huskies can surprise them. Good win for UW last Saturday in Baton Rouge, LA against the Tigers.

As far as Gonzaga is concerned, good not great. Fortunate to win at home on New Year's Eve against Utah. This isn't a Rick Majerus team. GU is 10-4, with losses to Texas Tech, WSU, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Tennessee won the Battle in Seattle last weekend.

GU has two more non-conference games, this Saturday at home against Georgia. Hopefully the Basketball team isn't as good as the football team, or GU will lose by 10. Then on the 26th of January, GU continues its tour of America with a game at Memphis against one of my favorite coaches (lol) John Calipari.