Wrigley Field at 100: Documentary chronicles good times (OK, and some bad) at old ballpark

If you look at this preview for Wrigley 100: A Century Celebration, you might think the Cubs celebrated many World Series titles at the old ballpark.

OK, you’re not going to pump up a film about Wrigley by highlighting Willie Stargell’s homer off Phil Regan that broke the backs of the Cubs in ’69. Even though the Cubs never experienced a World Series victory in the old ballpark, there were plenty of memorable moments provided by Ernie, Ronnie, Billy, and Ryno and more. Sammy Sosa had a few too, but given what we now know, don’t expect an extensive review of his feats at Wrigley.

Actually, there were championships won at Wrigley–by the Bears. Their history in the park is featured in the film.

The two-hour documentary airs Sunday at 7 p.m. (Central) on WGN-Ch. 9 in Chicago and … Continue Reading

Jeff Van Gundy on Howard Stern slam: ‘I didn’t even know he was still on’

A few weeks ago, Jeff Van Gundy remarked during a telecast that Howard Stern was leaving early during a Knicks game. He jokingly said Stern shouldn’t be given tickets if he isn’t going to stay for the entire game.

Stern, who doesn’t like criticism, used the opportunity to go off on Van Gundy during his show. He went off on a 10-minute rant, calling him every name in the book from “douche bag” to “midget” and even “schlub.”

During a teleconference yesterday, Van Gundy had an amusing response when asked about Stern’s comment.

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Yeah, you know what’s funny is I was sitting in a movie theater watching this movie, it was an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, “Sabotage” or something like that. I don’t know.  It’s a new action film.  And a friend of mine texted me and said, can you … Continue Reading

Scary: Glazer had near-death experience during ‘routine’ procedure

Dan Patrick on why you haven’t heard much from Jay Glazer lately. He nearly died during a routine procedure.

Mike Florio also had a write-up on Pro Football Talk:

He appeared earlier today on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss the serious health scare that resulted from outpatient surgery.  Glazer separately explained the situation by phone to PFT.

“I went in for a routine back deal,” Glazer said.  “Nothing big.  Dissolving a piece of a disc that broke.  Something that was real easy took a turn.”

After being given anesthesia, Glazer vomited into the face cradle.  The stomach contents ended up in his lungs, and the acid burned the tissue.

Glazer started convulsing, and the doctors revived him.  He was rushed to a local hospital, where he spent four days recovering from aspiration double pneumonia.

He didn’t realize the gravity

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Stopwatch patrol: ESPN’s Skipper needs to get up to speed about how slow play is ruining baseball

My latest column from the National Sports Journalism Center stemmed from me watching an excruciatingly dull Chicago-Boston game on Tuesday night. Still working on my goal to eliminate slow play in baseball in our lifetime.

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Tuesday, I came home around 9:30 (Central), and I noticed that Chicago and Boston were tied at 1-1. Since the White Sox, my team since the age of 5, are off to a decent start after last year’s 99-loss disaster, I have some renewed hope. Hey, that’s the beauty of baseball in April.

So I tuned in to see how they would do against the defending world champions. And I watched, and yawned, and watched and yawned, as the game crawled along at a maddening slow pace. Even White Sox announcers Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone took note.

“This game really is moving slow,” … Continue Reading

Sorry Jason Whitlock: No Pulitzer Prizes awarded to sportswriters this year

Dang Jason, you were snubbed again for the Pulitzer.

If recall last year, Jason Whitlock took considerable flak for writing that he did Pulitzer Prize caliber work in 2012. He even compared himself to Mike Royko. He bemoaned the fact that contest isn’t opening to writers who worked for broadcast sites.

Have to admit, it takes some stones to say you should receive a Pulitzer.

Well, not sure if Whitlock had any worthy entries in 2013. He didn’t promote himself this year. Perhaps as a result, when the Pulitzers were announced this week, I didn’t see his name on the list of winners.

Maybe next year, Jason.

More importantly, there weren’t any Pulitzers awarded to sportswriters. Nothing really new there.

Last year actually was the exception–somewhat. John Branch of the New York Times won his wonderful piece on skiersContinue Reading

Kevin Costner’s ‘Draft Day’ gets off to tepid start at box office

It looks as if the power of the NFL might not extend to Hollywood.

From Joey Morona of Cleveland.com:

‘Draft Day’ pulled in $9.75 million at the box office in its first weekend of release, according to industry estimates.

The movie — starring Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns GM juggling his personal and professional life in the hours leading up to the NFL Draft — underperformed by many accounts.

Entertainment Weekly called the film’s weekend take a “fumble,” while Forbes described it as “relatively sad.”

Box Office Mojo said Lionsgate was expecting an opening in the “low teens,” while BoxOffice.com projected an opening weekend of $13.5 million.

 … Continue Reading

Tiger effect? Day 1 Masters ratings down nearly 30 percent

This isn’t an apples to apples situation since Tiger Woods played early during the first round of the Masters last year. He went off at 10:45 a.m., meaning ESPN only got to show his last holes when it went on the air.

So why were ratings down considerably yesterday?

You wouldn’t be wrong if you said Woods’ absence has reduced the buzz for the tournament. Perhaps viewers weren’t as geared up to see Bill Haas at the top of the leaderboard.

I can’t think of another reason besides the Tiger factor. There was some compelling golf Thursday, especially with Phil Mickelson’s wild ride.

Will be interesting to see the ratings for Friday. Woods went off late in the second round last year, meaning ESPN’s afternoon coverage was wall-to-wall Tiger.

The release from ESPN:

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ESPN’s live telecast of the first … Continue Reading

Richard Clarkson: Legendary photographer working his 60th Big Dance

Cory Collins of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana has a journalism story definitely worth noting. He talks to Richard Clarkson, who is shooting his 60th Final Four.

Collins writes:

A 19-year-old Richard Clarkson drifted toward the rafters of Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington, camera in hand. It was 1952. It was the start of a phenomenon. It was the first Final Four as we know it. And like all the greats in this tournament’s history, he took a shot.

The court was lit directly from above, a rectangle framed by more space than bodies. Sixty-two years later, he counts them. Six photographers. That’s it. He’d join them as one of seven.

And:

In the six decades since, things have changed. But there does exist a through-line, a theme: Clarkson captured moments that would define a

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Sports Emmys: Ted Turner to receive Lifetime Achievement honor; ESPN leads way with 30 nominations

The Sports Emmys just announced nominations for the big night in New York on May 6.

A highlight of the evening will be awarding the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ted Turner. Now there’s one speech  I won’t want to miss.

Remember people thought Turner was crazy when he decided to air Atlanta Braves games nationally on his WTBS Superstation? The move proved to be visionary, changing the entire path for sports on TV.

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, who served on the committee, actually was surprised to hear Turner hadn’t won the honor previously.

“When his name was brought up, it was instantaneous,” McManus said. “Everyone went, ‘Of course.’ Look at what he’s done for the world of sports. It was a no brainer.”

As for the awards, here’s the link for the nominations. ESPN leads the way with 30, … Continue Reading