Cubs in Vegas: Unconditional Loyalty

By Eric Clark

The Chicago Cubs opened their offseason with 40-to-1 odds to win the 2015 World Series – and then they started making waves.

The club fired manager Rick Renteria, hired heralded manager Joe Maddon and signed coveted starting pitcher Jon Lester. But after two straight last-place finishes in the National League Central, one might venture that the Cubs would still be a ways away from title contention. And they very well might be – but they currently hold 16-to-1 odds to win the World Series at Las Vegas’ Westgate SuperBook.
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Len Kasper talks 2015 cubs, objectivity in the booth and rule changes

By Eric Clark

Almost five months removed from his latest appearance in the broadcast booth at Wrigley Field, Len Kasper can feel the hype surrounding the Chicago Cubs 2015 campaign. “It’s the first time in a long time that this team has had this sort of exposure and spotlight on it,” he said.

As Kasper enters his 11th season with the Cubs, he is tasked with providing play-by-play for an expectation-laden team and a fan base yearning for a winner. The Mount Pleasant, Michigan, native shared his thoughts on the upcoming season with Medill.
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Beyond the Box Score brings ‘The Female Voice in Sports Media’ to NU

By Beth Werge

If anyone is capable of leading a groundbreaking discussion about the challenges of being a woman in sports media, it’s Christine Brennan. Medill and Northwestern University Athletics held the fifth installment of their Beyond the Box Score series this week, bringing USA Today columnist Brennan (BSJ80, MSJ81), CNN’s Rachel Nichols (BSJ95), Fox Sports’ Pam Oliver and ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth (BSJ07) to campus Tuesday night. Continue reading

Momentum growing to legalize sports gambling

By Kulwant Saluja

The notion that American sports fans could legally gamble on sporting events would have been deemed absurd even a year ago.

But once a taboo subject, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s shocking pro-gambling comments in a Nov. 13 op-ed piece in the New York Times, has stimulated discussion on the subject, prompting other pro leagues and state legislatures to re-consider their stance on legalized sports betting. Continue reading

Stanley Cup champs enjoy Wolves’ reunion, eye another championship

By Sara Romano

Adam Burish had a mischievous grin on his face when he talked about the days following the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory in 2010.

“I’ll always remember that night, and some of the following nights,” he said. “They all kind of blur together. The night we won … coming back to Chicago … the parade. …”

Upon further prompting, Burish continued his reminiscing aloud, recalling the team’s arrival back into Chicago after clinching the Cup.

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Evanston coach reflects on half a century in gymnastics

By Tim Penman

Four months before his retirement, Chester Jones casually leans over a balance beam and watches his gymnasts take runs at vault inside Evanston High School’s practice area. Jones is relaxed, calling out words of encouragement to each girl in his slight Southern accent after they take turns springing off the board and flipping in the air.

“I’ve coached for almost 50 years,” Jones says. “I have done every possible thing that I could have done to fulfill my life, but it’s time somebody else comes in and starts theirs.” Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago’s only indoor ice rink gets flood of skaters

By Lukas Voss

The Chicago Park District has nine ice rinks, only one of them is indoors. McFetridge is  part of one of the oldest park areas in the city, originally established in 1920s. The rink has been around since the 1970s and is one of Chicago’s favorite hockey spots. Ice time quickly fills up and also provides for plenty of fun.

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Little League title loss upsets some Chicagoans

By Tim Penman

Chicago residents are disturbed after the Jackie Robinson West Little League team was stripped of its U.S. title Wednesday.

“An adult did something wrong,  not the kids,” said Ray Smith, 27, an audio-visual technician and South Side resident. “To take it away from the kids is absolutely wrong. They won it fair and square no matter what happens,” he said in an interview in the Loop.

The team was found guilty of violating player residency rules by the Little League International tournament committee, which also suspended team manager Darold Butler and placed the team on probation with all victories vacated and its tournament privileges suspended. In addition, Illinois District IV administrator Michael Kelly was removed from his position.

“They won regardless of where they came from,” said Kristine Wuertz, 24, a digital marketing associate from the North Side. “And they did it in a team fashion.”
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Criticizing College Athletes: Fair Game?

By Bennet Hayes

They are, quite easily, the five most memorable words of Mike Gundy’s 10-year career as Oklahoma State head football coach. They are also one of the most direct and public condemnations of criticism directed at college athletes.


In unleashing his now-famous “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant in October of 2007, Gundy took a firm stance against the local media’s negative critiques of his former starting quarterback Bobby Reid. Many have questioned Gundy’s true motives in the years since (including Reid himself), but at least outwardly, the message was clear: 18-to-22-year-old college athletes should be shielded from criticism.

If anything, however, the continued evolution of the 24-hour news cycle in the seven years since Gundy’s diatribe has only multiplied the criticism levied at college athletes.

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For One National Signing Day, Beckman Earns Chicago’s Ear

By Bennet Hayes

Tim Beckman and the Illinois football program are often overlooked in a Chicago market dominated by professional sports. At least for a day, Beckman changed that.

The Illinois coach overshadowed the unveiling of his 25-man recruiting class on National Signing Day last week, with a bizarre attempt to enlist the state’s sports media in his quest to return the Illini to national prominence. Continue reading