All posts by Lena Blietz

To play or not to play? NFL & USA Football advise parents

By EmmaKate Austin and Lena Blietz

ESPN’s Mike Golic, co-host of Mike and Mike, and his wife, Chris Golic, led a panel discussion for parents about the safety of youth football and other sports. The NFL’s Play 60 teamed up with USA Football for the event, where kids participated in an hour of football drills while their parents attended the panel. Panelists included Bears tight end Zach Miller and former offensive tackle James “Big Cat” Williams.

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Trivial pursuit: Draft fans show their Round One knowledge

By Lena Blietz

Fans hanging out at Draft Town on Friday answered trivia questions about yesterday’s first round picks. A few were Draft geniuses while others just came for the games.

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First round NFL Draft prospects strut down the red carpet

By Lena Blietz and EmmaKate Austin

After months of anticipation, the 2016 NFL Draft kicked off as the prospects walked the red carpet with some special guests. The players were dressed in their best, but former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott stole the show with his crop top dress shirt. A few select coaches walked alongside the 25 players predicted to go in the first round. Medill’s Lena Blietz and EmmaKate Austin give us a front row seat.

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Women in Sports Media: Chicago Compared to the National Landscape

By Lena Blietz

A Medill Newsmakers Report

In this episode of Medill Newsmakers, sports journalists and other members of the media discuss the changing role of women in sports.

Peggy Kusinski and Megan Mawicke, sports reporters in Chicago, discuss their experiences in Chicago.

Jacob Ullman, of Fox Sports, and USA Today’s Christine Brennan spoke via Skype about how the role has changed nationally during their extensive careers.

Members of Northwestern University’s chapter of the Association of Women in Sports Media shared what they hope to see in the future of sports media.

PHOTO AT TOP: Lena Blietz talks to Peggy Kusinski about her 16 year career at NCB 5 in Chicago. (Lena Blietz/Medill)

NBC 5’s Peggy Kusinski says female sports reporters have come a long way

By Lena Blietz

For Peggy Kusinski, being a woman shouldn’t be a defining characteristic in a career as a sports reporter.

“We’re all here now, we’re all doing the job. Let’s move past that, it’s been almost 50 years,” Kusinski said.

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Injured junior hockey player gets rare medical procedure

By Lena Blietz

The parents of Matt Olson, a junior hockey player from Minnesota, gave an update on their son’s condition after he suffered a fall that left him paralyzed in February. And his doctor said Olson has undergone a first-in-America treatment.

Olson is a defenseman and co-captain for the Chicago Cougars, a Tier 3 USA Hockey Junior team.

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Field Museum believes warriors may lure Chicagoans to China

By Lena Blietz

A squad of life-size soldiers, crafted in terracotta more than two millenniums ago, will come to the halls of the Field Museum this Friday.

The exhibit China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors will include ten of the statues, including soldiers, archers and horses.

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Chicago startup raises money for excess food donations

By Lena Blietz

For restaurants and shops whose patrons demand the freshest ingredients, there will always be food that goes to waste. That’s where Zero Percent comes in. The Chicago-based startup collects excess food from restaurants across the city to donate to local non-profits.

The company, whose name means zero percent of food should go to waste, will host its first Restaurant Giving Week from Feb. 22-28. The event will help raise money for food transportation costs. Usually the non-profits receiving the food are responsible for picking it up, which can cost from $20-80 a week, depending on the location of the charity and the restaurant, said Anna Jensen, director of growth at Zero Percent.


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A Chicago lenten tradition: Pepper and egg sandwiches return to spring menus

By Lena Blietz

Pepper and egg sandwiches gain popularity each year during the Lenten season. The meal is particularly popular in Chicago’s Italian Catholic communities. But where did the tradition start?

Photo at top: Pepper and egg sandwiches are a Chicago tradition during Lent. (Lena Blietz/Medill)

Local gyms survive without New Year’s crowd

By Lena Blietz

The new year brings resolutions of every kind, but with the goal of losing weight filling this year’s top spot, many are flooding to gyms.

To tap into that, many fitness centers offer New Year’s promotions to get more members in January.

But for two local gyms, new clients looking to fulfill resolutions are not their main clients or source of income.

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