<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Sports]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.com en-usWed, 17 Oct 2018 21:56:19 -0500Wed, 17 Oct 2018 21:56:19 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Maddon's Agent Addresses Contract Discussions With Cubs]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:50:51 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-944403256.jpg

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is entering the final season of the five-year contract he signed with the team in 2014, but his agent Alan Nero says that there is no urgency on his client’s part to get a new extension signed.

Maddon, who has led the Cubs to four straight playoff appearances for the first time in team history, is making $5 million per season on his current pact, and Nero says the skipper is just fine with the way things are going in Chicago.

“There’s nothing going on,” he told the Mully and Haugh Show on Wednesday morning. “I have all the faith in the world that we’ll get this done when the time is appropriate, when it’s ready.”

There has been speculation this offseason that Cubs President Theo Epstein is not happy with the way Maddon used several relievers, including Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop, and that he doesn’t like the way Maddon tinkers with the lineup.

Nero dismissed those reports, saying that there is “not a problem between Theo and Joe.”

Epstein and Maddon have also dismissed reports of tension, with the Cubs’ president saying that the team is “thrilled with his job performance” over his four seasons in Chicago.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mack 'Day-to-Day' With Ankle Injury, Bears Say]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2018 12:03:09 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/KhalilMackGettyImages-1052127130.jpg

The Chicago Bears’ pass rush is going to be in for a big test against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and their biggest weapon could be limited as the teams do battle at Soldier Field.

Khalil Mack, who suffered an ankle injury during the Bears’ overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins, is considered “day-to-day” with the ailment, head coach Matt Nagy said on Wednesday morning.

The Bears returned to Halas Hall for their first workout of the week on Wednesday. Mack is slated to undergo tests on the injured ankle, which limited him to 79 percent of the team’s snaps against the Dolphins, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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With Mack hobbled and the rest of the defense shut down, the Bears failed to register a sack in Sunday’s game, the first time they’ve been kept off the stat sheet this season. Mack also failed to register a forced fumble in the game, the first time he’s been prevented from doing so this season.

The Bears’ first injury report of the week will be released on Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crawford Likely Back, Saad Likely Out vs. Coyotes]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:18:18 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631836130.png

Thursday is shaping up to be a remarkable day for the Chicago Blackhawks, and it has very little to do with their opponent on the ice.

All week long, it has looked like goaltender Corey Crawford will make his season debut for the Blackhawks when they take on the Arizona Coyotes, and he took another step toward that reality on Wednesday when he practiced with the team at MB Ice Arena.

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Crawford, who hasn’t played since Dec. 2017 after suffering a concussion, is expected to start Thursday’s game, and he’ll be looking to give a struggling defense a lift as they try to beat a lowly Coyotes squad.

With the happy news surrounding Crawford, there is also remarkable news on the other side of the spectrum, as all signs point to winger Brandon Saad being a healthy scratch for the game. Saad, who is making $6 million per season, has appeared in five games this season and has two assists, but he has been demoted to the fourth line, and head coach Joel Quenneville has repeatedly said in postgame media availabilities that the team needs more from the forward.

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It appears that Luke Johnson will draw back into the lineup for the game, which is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cubs Notes: Rehman Leaves Team, Hyde Could Get Manager Gig]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2018 10:52:53 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-464964812.jpg

The Chicago Cubs made some big-time changes last offseason, and it’s looking like it could be another winter of transition on the North Side.

On Tuesday, the Texas Rangers hired Shiraz Rehman as their new assistant general manager. Rehman spent the last seven seasons working under Theo Epstein in the Cubs’ baseball operations department, and will assist Rangers G.M. Jon Daniels with roster management in the coming season.

Rehman isn’t the only member of the Cubs’ leadership team who could be heading elsewhere. According to multiple reports, Cubs Farm System Director Jason McLeod is considered to be a serious candidate for the general manager position with the San Francisco Giants.

McLeod has been with the Cubs since 2011, when he was hired by Epstein and G.M. Jed Hoyer to overhaul one of the big league’s worst farm systems.

Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde, who was one of the few coaches to survive last offseason’s coaching purge, could also be on the move, as he’s reportedly a finalist to become the next manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.

If Hyde is hired by Toronto, it would mark the second straight season that a Cubs bench coach has been promoted, as Dave Martinez took over as Washington Nationals manager after the 2017 campaign.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Cubs Hire Anthony Iapoce as New Hitting Coach]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 15:20:45 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cubGettyImages-956247492.jpg

The Chicago Cubs on Monday named Anthony Iapoce as their major league hitting coach, replacing Chili Davis after the team struggled offensively in the second half of the regular season.

Iapoce, 45, is no stranger to the team after spending three years as the Special Assistant to the GM for the Cubs organization and overseeing the club's minor league hitting program from 2013-15.

He spent the last three seasons as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers, where, during his time, they became the first team in big league history to see nine players reach 17 homers in the same season. 

The former outfielder also played 11 seasons in the minor leagues in the Brewers and Marlins organizations. 

Davis, who served in the role for one season with the Cubs, oversaw the offense's transition from one of the league's best into one of baseball's most inconsistent.

The Cubs scored one or fewer runs in 40 games last season. 

As part of a staff shakeup after the 2017 postseason, Davis was hired and former hitting coach John Mallee was let go by the organization. 

Several Cubs players, including Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant, saw regression under Davis' tutelage over the last season, but others, including Javier Baez, took big steps forward. 

As a team, the Cubs had the best batting average in the National League, hitting .258 this season, but their slugging percentage dropped by 27 points and a staggering 56 fewer home runs in the 2018 campaign. 

Their 167 home runs were the worst of any of the five National League playoff teams, and they trailed the league-leading Dodgers by a whopping 68 home runs. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bears vs. Dolphins: Three Phase Report Card]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 17:34:53 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/KyleFuller-1052138848.jpg

It was a roller coaster ride for the Chicago Bears on Sunday, as they stormed ahead of the Miami Dolphins and saw their lead slip away in a 31-28 overtime loss.

The loss, which puts the Bears at 3-2 as they head into a big showdown with the New England Patriots, saw plenty of good moments but a slew of bad as well as the team suffered a setback.

Here is how we graded the team in each of the Three Phases of their game Sunday:

Offense: B-

On a normal Sunday, Mitchell Trubisky throwing for 316 yards and three touchdowns would be good enough to win, but the fact remains that the team committed two costly turnovers in really bad spots, with Trubisky throwing a red zone interception and Jordan Howard coughing up a fumble at the goal line.

The play-calling of head coach Matt Nagy deserves some questions as well, as he went into an ultra-conservative play-set when the team was in Miami territory in overtime. Cody Parkey ended up missing a kick of 53 yards that would have won the game, and Bears fans were left to wonder if the team should have pushed harder for more yardage instead of settling for the low percentage kick.

That being said, performances by Taylor Gabriel, who hauled in five catches for 110 yards, and Tarik Cohen, who had 121 all-purpose yards in the game, were enough to generate some optimism about the team moving forward.

Defense: C

The Bears were held without a sack for the first time since their final game of the 2016 season. Khalil Mack injured his ankle and was a non-factor throughout the game. A slew of missed tackles led to big plays from Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson.

The one redeeming grace of the defense was cornerback Kyle Fuller, who rebounded from a bad moment early in the game to intercept two passes in the contest, marking his first multi-interception game since his NFL debut.

Special Teams: C+

Parkey’s missed field goal in overtime is hard to pin on him, as it was far from a gimme, but Pat O’Donnell averaging just 39.5 yards per punt and the Bears’ returners totalling just 21 yards on two attempts certainly didn’t help matters here.

Meanwhile, Jason Sanders knocked through three field goals for the Dolphins, and Matt Haack pinned the Bears inside of their own 20 on two separate kicks in the game as the Dolphins won in that area of the field.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reports: Bulls Claim Tyler Ulis on Waivers]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:58:48 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-884550140.jpg

The Chicago Bulls are trying to keep up an up-tempo offense this season, and they’re reportedly added another weapon to help them do just that.

According to multiple reports, the Bulls have claimed point guard Tyler Ulis off of waivers from the Golden State Warriors, and will sign him to a two-way contract.

Ulis, who played high school basketball at Marian Catholic in Chicago Heights and played his collegiate ball at Kentucky, was drafted in the second round by the Phoenix Suns in the 2016 draft. He averaged 7.8 points and 4.4 assists per game last season with Phoenix before landing with Golden State over the offseason.

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The Bulls already have Kris Dunn pencilled in as their starting point guard this season, but Ulis could potentially compete with Cameron Payne for playing time as the regular season approaches. His two-way contract also would allow him to be kept in reserve in the NBA G-League.

The Bulls will open their regular season on Thursday night when they head to Philadelphia to take on the 76’ers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bears vs. Dolphins: Gameday in Photos]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:07:49 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1052127194.jpg The Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins battled at a stifling hot Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, and we have photos of all the action.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bears Fall to Dolphins in Overtime Letdown]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:09:16 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1052139242.jpg

The Chicago Bears had a golden opportunity to run their record to 4-1 on Sunday, but instead they fell 31-28 to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. 

The Bears got within scoring range in the overtime frame, but Cody Parkey missed a 53-yard field goal to give the Dolphins new life. With just seconds to go, Jason Sanders knocked through a field goal of his own to give the Dolphins the win. 

Two red zone turnovers led to the Bears' defeat, with Mitchell Trubisky throwing an interception in the end zone and Jordan Howard fumbling the ball at the goal line. 

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Trubisky threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns in the game, but he was outdueled by Brock Osweiler, who threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns in relief of Ryan Tannehill. 

The Bears will next take the field in Week 7 when they battle the New England Patriots at Soldier Field. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tannehill Out for Dolphins, Cooper Out for Bears]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 10:43:01 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-454956674.jpg

The Miami Dolphins will be without their starting quarterback on Sunday, as Ryan Tannehill has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Tannehill suffered a shoulder injury earlier this season, and aggravated it in the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. After appearing on the team’s injury report Friday as questionable with the injury, the Dolphins have ruled him out, paving the way for Brock Osweiler to start against the Bears.

As for the Bears, they will be without cornerback Marcus Cooper Sr., who is dealing with a hamstring injury.

The Bears will, however, have offensive lineman Eric Kush and cornerback Prince Amukamara in the game, as both players were limited in their practices during the week.

Here are the rest of the Bears inactives:

FB Michael Burton

LB Kylie Fitts

OL Rashaad Coward

OL Bryan Witzmann

WR Javon Wims

DL Nick Williams

The Bears and Dolphins will kick-off at noon at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tannehill Ruled Out for Bears Game]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 10:46:07 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-10141331254.jpg

The Chicago Bears’ defense has been making life difficult for opposing quarterbacks all season long, but on Sunday, they'll be targeting a back-up quarterback on South Beach. 

The Miami Dolphins played things very close to the vest as to the condition of their starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury for several weeks. Tannehill popped up on the team’s injury report Friday, and won't be able to play Sunday against the Bears. 

Instead, Brock Osweiler will be under center for the Dolphins as they attempt to beat the 3-1 Bears. Osweiler has appeared in one game this season, completing four passes in five attempts and throwing a touchdown against the New England Patriots.

When he gets on the field, he'll be facing one of the NFL’s most aggressive pass rushes, led by star defensive end Khalil Mack, who has at least one sack and one forced fumble in each of his first four games with the team.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blackhawks Pay Tribute to Keith in Pregame Ceremony]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 20:00:02 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-657088664.jpg

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was honored before Saturday’s game with a ceremony marking his 1,000th career NHL game, and the team put together an epic tribute video for the blue liner.

Keith became just the sixth Blackhawks player to appear in 1,000 or more games with the team when he hit the milestone, and the three-time Stanley Cup champion is just the 58th player in NHL history to play at least 1,000 games with one team.

Here is the tribute video the team put together for the defenseman:

The Blackhawks also gave Keith a silver hockey stick, which was presented to him by Brent Seabrook and Patrick Sharp, and a painting, which was unveiled by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Blackhawks vs. Blues: Game Preview]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:40:53 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1047696122.jpg

For the second time in a week, the Chicago Blackhawks will take on the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night, and they’ll hope for a similar result after beating their divisional rival in the Gateway City.

The Blackhawks have picked up at least one point in each of their four games so far this season, but they have fallen in overtime in each of their last two contests against Toronto and Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the Blues have only played three games, but won their first game of the season on Thursday as they knocked off the Calgary Flames 5-3.

For the Blues, their big Achilles heel of the season has been their defense, as they’re allowing 4.3 goals per game in the early going. Jake Allen has looked very shaky in net, and the team’s normally stout defense has shown some vulnerability in the early stages of the season.

In the Blackhawks’ end of the ice, Cam Ward looked much better Thursday than he had in previous games, but the team’s defense let him down on multiple occasions, failing to clear the puck and losing zone coverage on the game-tying goal late in the third period.

The team’s offense has been strong however, as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have both gotten off to a hot start this season. Alex DeBrincat has also been great in his second season, scoring two goals against the Wild in Thursday’s losing effort.

Player to Watch: Duncan Keith

Naturally, we have to train our eyes on Keith, who will appear in his 1,000th career NHL game on Saturday night. He had a few rough moments in the loss to the Wild on Thursday night, but his partnership with Henri Jokiharju has been largely successful so far, and the wily veteran will hope to continue that trend in the game against the Blues.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Keith Joins Elite Group With 1,000th Blackhawks Game]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:45:09 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477284622.jpg

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has done some remarkable things in his career, and the blue liner will add his name to the record books on Saturday as he appears in his 1,000th career NHL game.

Keith, who was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, has played all 1,000 of those games for the team, and he has firmly established himself as one of the greatest blue liners to ever play for the organization.

Keith has been an integral part of three Stanley Cup winners, scoring the Cup-winning goal during Game 6 of the 2015 Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the best playoff performer, during that remarkable run.

The defenseman has also won a pair of Norris Trophies, in 2010 and 2014, and has won a pair of Olympic gold medals as part of a famously strong Canadian squad.

His toughness is also the stuff of legend, as he has appeared in all 82 games in five different seasons and played in at least 79 games in three more. He lost seven teeth during Game 4 of the 2010 Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks, and came back into the game to help the team secure its first conference title in nearly 20 years.

When he officially takes the ice Saturday, Keith will become just the sixth player in Blackhawks history to appear in at least 1,000 games with the team. He could easily jump into the top three in games played all-time this season, as he trails Bobby Hull, second in Blackhawks history, by just 36 games.

Keith’s teammate and long-time linemate Brent Seabrook has appeared in just nine more games than Keith, and will appear in his 1,009th game on Saturday against St. Louis.

Keith’s career with the Blackhawks has coincided with the team’s best ever run of success, and he will be honored by the team for his accomplishments, and what he is yet to achieve, with the organization.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Loyola's Sister Jean Receives Senior Hall of Fame Award]]> Fri, 12 Oct 2018 17:00:31 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SISTER++JEAN+PRESS+CONFERENCE+-+14311403_34024860.jpg

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt just added a new honor to her already overloaded mantle: a place on Illinois’ Senior Hall of Fame.

The Catholic nun and longtime chaplain of the Loyola-Chicago basketball team became a celebrity last March as the Ramblers reached the NCAA Final Four. In August she celebrated her 99th birthday.

Schmidt received the Illinois Department of Aging's award for her "outstanding achievements in education."

"I think of it not just as something I have earned," Schmidt said. "It’s a team effort."

Schmidt won the hearts of many as she cheered the Ramblers during the NCAA tournament. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, in conjunction with Loyola University, even produced a limited edition Sister Jean bobblehead.

Loyola alum John Cullerton, who nominated her for the latest honor, said her influence has been felt beyond basketball.

"In the '60s, she was active in the Civil Rights movement," Cullterton said. "In the '70s she helped establish policies for fairness during the student strike. More recently she has been honored with not one but two bobblehead dolls."

There are times, Schmidt said, that she wishes she were younger because of so much going on that she might miss out on.

She has this advice to other seniors considering their own retirements.

"I just want every one of you to work until you actually want to stop," she said. "And you really never should stop. If you stop, that’s the end of the line in my way of thinking."

And Sister Jean said she isn't stopping anytime soon.

<![CDATA[Ward Shines, but Blackhawks Fall to Wild in Overtime]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 22:47:15 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-884431698.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks had an opportunity to win in regulation for the first time this season, but a Ryan Suter goal with 23 seconds left tied things up, and Jason Zucker scored to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 overtime victory.

Alex DeBrincat scored twice in the game, including the Blackhawks’ first power play goal of the season, and Dominik Kahun scored his first career NHL goal in the losing effort.

Cam Ward had his best game of the season, stopping 42 shots, but it wasn’t enough as the Blackhawks lost in overtime for the second straight game.

Zucker scored a pair of goals and registered an assist for the Wild, and Suter added two assists to his first goal of the campaign as the Wild picked up the second point in a Central Division showdown with the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks dominated the first 20 minutes of play, picking up a 2-0 lead after the first period. DeBrincat rifled home his third goal of the season, going top shelf off a great feed from Jonathan Toews, and Kahun potted his first career tally less than three minutes later.

In the second period, the Blackhawks maintained their edge through the first 13 minutes, but Eric Staal registered his first goal of the season to get the Wild on the board. Then, with just seconds left in the period, Zucker got to the front of the net after the Blackhawks failed to clear the puck from the zone and shoved a shot past Ward to knot things up at 2-2.

Early in the third period, the Blackhawks got a power play, and DeBrincat scored his second of the game to give them the lead. Patrick Kane helped out on the play, feeding a pass to the middle of the ice, and DeBrincat one-timed a slapshot past Devan Dubnyk to give the Blackhawks the lead.

That lead held until late in the third period, when the Blackhawks gave up a short-handed goal to knot things up. Poor defensive positioning played a role on the goal, as the Blackhawks overloaded to one side of the ice, and after an Eric Staal shot bounced off of Ward, Suter was there to clean up the rebound to tie the game and send the Blackhawks to overtime for the fourth straight game.

The Blackhawks failed to score on their early power play in the extra stanza, and ultimately Zucker got a breakaway and beat Ward five-hole to give Minnesota the victory.

The Blackhawks will head home to take on the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night at the United Center. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Cubs Fire Hitting Coach Chili Davis]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:37:42 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Davis_Chili1.jpg

After struggling offensively in the final month of the regular season, the Chicago Cubs have fired hitting coach Chili Davis. 

Davis, who served in the role for one season with the Cubs, oversaw the offense's transition from one of the league's best and into one of baseball's most inconsistent, as the team couldn't score enough runs to go on a prolonged playoff run. 

The Cubs scored one or fewer runs in a staggering 40 games last season. 

As part of a staff shakeup after the 2017 postseason, Davis was hired and long-time hitting coach John Mallee was let go by the organization. 

Several Cubs players, including Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant, saw regression under Davis' tutelage over the last season, but others, including Javier Baez, took big steps forward. 

As a team, the Cubs had the best batting average in the National League, hitting .258 this season, but their slugging percentage dropped by 27 points and a staggering 56 fewer home runs in the 2018 campaign. 

Their 167 home runs were the worst of any of the five National League playoff teams, and they trailed the league-leading Dodgers by a whopping 68 home runs. 

We'll have more on this breaking story as it develops. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cooper Out, Amukamara Limited for Bears in Practice]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 17:31:14 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-853029708.png

The Chicago Bears’ injury report for Thursday was identical to the one they released Wednesday, with one notable exception.

Wide receiver Anthony Miller, who was a full participant in Wednesday’s workout after suffering a separated shoulder in Week 3, was not on the injury report Thursday, meaning that he is full-go and is expected to play vs. the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

The rest of the report remained the same, with cornerback Marcus Cooper missing practice with a hamstring injury and cornerback Prince Amukamara and offensive lineman Eric Kush both participated in limited fashion in the workout.

For the Dolphins, several players who were not available Wednesday did get back on the field, as wide receiver Danny Amendola and safety TJ McDonald both returned to the field. Defensive end Robert Quinn was also back on the practice field for Miami.

Cornerback Bobby McCain and defensive end Cameron Wake both remained sidelined for the Dolphins.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wolves to Start 25th Season in Style With New Promotions]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:29:11 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/41265989322_add1bae6f2_h.jpg

The Chicago Wolves will kick off their 25th anniversary season on Saturday night at Allstate Arena, and the team is pulling out all the stops to ensure a memorable experience for fans.

The game against the Grand Rapids Griffins will feature a slew of new pregame festivities, giveaways, and special discounts as the team marks its big milestone.

Throughout the season, the Wolves will offer free parking at Allstate Arena, courtesy of Kia, and will also have special throwback pricing on concession items throughout the arena.

For Saturday’s home opener against the Griffins, the Wolves will give schedule clings to the first 2,500 fans to enter the arena, and will also host “Adopt-a-Dog” night, where fans will have the chance to meet some amazing pooches in need of a new home.

The fun will continue on Sunday, as the first 1,000 kids to enter the arena will receive a free ticket to Brookfield Zoo. An autograph session will also be held after the game against the Milwaukee Admirals.

Tickets are still available on the Wolves’ website.

Photo Credit: Chicago Wolves]]>
<![CDATA[Bulls Legends Pay Tribute to Tex Winter]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 12:45:38 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-55801963.jpg

After the death of legendary Chicago Bulls assistant coach Tex Winter on Wednesday, several of the team’s biggest legends weighed in with emotional tributes to their mentor.

Former Bulls forward Scottie Pippen, who was a member of the six NBA championship teams that Winter was an assistant coach for, paid tribute to Winter on social media, calling him his “biggest critic” and his “biggest fan:”

“Tex Winter was my biggest critic. He was also my biggest fan. A few words about the legendary coach who lived his 96 years as well as anyone could have. Tex was a man of fundamentals. Ball movement + player movement = success. It was never about the individual.

“Without Tex, we may never have won a title. He taught us how to slice and dice our opponents on the defensive end. We had the GOAT, but it was Tex’s knowledge and triangle offense that helped us shred defenses.

“Tex was a perfectionist. He insisted that we execute with energy, passion, and precision. No matter our opponent, he demanded the most out of all of us. Tex was tough on me early in my career, but he believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed to make the triangle work. He’d say ‘I’m not criticizing. I’m coaching.’

“Tex leaves a helluva legacy behind. Student of the game. Hall of Famer. Nine NBA championships as a coach. He taught me how to become a better offensive player. How to be patient on the floor. How to take criticism. How to win. Thank you Tex. Rest in peace.”

Winter was the assistant coach that pioneered the “triangle offense,” which Phil Jackson and the Bulls used to win six titles during the 1990’s.

Michael Jordan, who was also on the team when Winter was on the bench, issued a statement to the Chicago Tribune on Winter’s passing.

“I learned so much from Coach Winter. He was a pioneer and a true student of the game,” Jordan told the paper. “His triangle offense was a huge part of our six championships with the Bulls. He was a tireless worker, and Tex was always focused on details and preparation and a great teacher.

“I was lucky to play for him. My condolences to his family,” he added.

Winter passed away Wednesday at the age of 96. In his long career as an assistant coach, he won nine NBA championships, including three with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Rumors of $200 Million Bryant Offer 'Not True']]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 10:50:05 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-686425174.jpg

Just one day after reports surfaced that Kris Bryant had rejected a $200 million contract offer from the Chicago Cubs, another report is out contesting that news.

According to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma, a source says that the initial reports from ESPN’s David Kaplan and MLB.com are “simply not true,” and that the Cubs have not offered Bryant a long-term extension recently.

The report from Kaplan was hardly a surprise for Cubs fans, as Bryant’s agent Scott Boras has generally advised players not to sign long-term, team friendly deals that buy out years of free agency. The rumored $200 million deal for Bryant would have likely bought up at least three to four years of free agency for the third baseman, and would have pushed the clock back significantly on the day that he could fully cash in on his prodigious talents.

As things stand now, Bryant and the Cubs will likely proceed as they have over the last few seasons, going year-by-year in negotiations. Bryant’s endorsement deals are already beginning to pad his bank account, and the $10.8 million he made last season is the most any player has made in their first year of arbitration eligibility.

Bryant is not eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team, until after the 2021 season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Chicago Bulls Coach Tex Winter Dies at 96]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 21:26:21 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bulls+Logo.jpg

Former Chicago Bulls assistant coach Frederick “Tex” Winter died Wednesday at the age of 96, according to a statement released by the basketball team.

“The #Bulls are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Tex Winter,” the Chicago Bulls Tweeted Wednesday evening.

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The post was accompanied with a link to a formal statement from Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson:

"Tex Winter was a basketball legend and perhaps the finest fundamental teacher in the history of our game.  He was an innovator who had high standards for how basketball should be played and approached everyday.  Those of us who were lucky enough to play for him will always respect his devotion to the game of basketball.  His contributions to the Bulls organization will always be remembered."

The Basketball Hall of Famer was considered the architect of the famed triangle offense.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Anthony Miller Returns to Practice Field for Bears]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:51:59 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1025383028.jpg

The Chicago Bears got some good news on the injury front Wednesday, as wide receiver Anthony Miller returned to the practice field at Halas Hall.

Miller, who suffered a separated shoulder in the team’s Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals, was a full participant in the team’s Wednesday workout, according to the Bears’ first injury report of the week.

Defensive back Prince Amukamara, who missed the team’s Week 4 win over Tampa Bay, was a limited participant with a hamstring issue, and offensive lineman Eric Kush was also limited with a neck ailment.

The lone Bears player to miss Wednesday’s workout was Marcus Cooper Sr., who missed Week 4 with a hamstring injury.

On the Dolphins’ side of the ledger, five different players missed practice, including safety TJ McDonald, defensive end Cameron Wake, and wide receiver Danny Amendola. Wide receiver DeVante Parker and offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil were limited for the Bears’ Week 6 opponent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kris Bryant Turns Down $200 Million Contract: Reports]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:24:47 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/krisbryant.jpg

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won’t be able to become a free agent for three more years, but according to multiple reports, the team attempted to make him a very rich man recently.

According to ESPN’s David Kaplan and MLB.com, the Cubs offered Bryant a multi-year deal that would have paid him $200 million. The third baseman and his agent Scott Boras turned the offer down, according to the reports.

Bryant isn’t eligible to become a free agent until after the 2021 season, but the Cubs’ offer represents an attempt by the team to buy out his remaining years of arbitration eligibility and to earn themselves an extra few years of team control after he would have been scheduled to hit free agency.

According to the reports, Bryant and Boras are inclined to take things year-by-year with the Cubs, going to arbitration if necessary to set his annual salary.

Bryant’s last contract paid him $10.8 million for the 2018 season, a record for a first-year arbitration eligible player.

There are several Cubs players set to hit free agency after that 2021 season, including Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber. 

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crawford Nearing Return for Blackhawks]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 16:01:52 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-668950262.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks are having trouble keeping the puck out of their net, but the team could be getting a big addition back to help in that endeavor.

After the team’s practice on Wednesday, head coach Joel Quenneville said that the team is still expecting to get goaltender Corey Crawford back next week, and that he could play Thursday in a game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Crawford, who has been participating in practices with the team, will not travel up to Minnesota, but will continue to rehab in Chicago ahead of the Oct. 18 game.

Meanwhile, goaltender Anton Forsberg suffered a hand injury during practice Wednesday, but is expected to be okay ahead of Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

The Blackhawks also recalled forward Alexandre Fortin, as Andreas Martinsen remains sidelined with a back injury. A timetable on his return is unknown, but Quenneville doesn’t believe the injury is serious.

Finally, defenseman Henri Jokiharju missed Wednesday’s practice with flu-like symptoms, but is expected to suit up against the Wild.

Puck drop between the Blackhawks and Wild is set for 7 p.m. Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Remain Interested in Jimmy Butler, Report Says]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 13:34:13 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/klaybutlerap.jpg

Former Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is still in limbo with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but a team is reportedly pushing hard to get him on the trade market.

Butler, who requested a trade from the Timberwolves three weeks ago, was on the verge of being dealt to the Miami Heat in recent weeks, but the trade fell apart at the last minute, according to multiple reports.

Now, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Heat are looking to restart talks to acquire Butler from the Timberwolves.

Butler, who averaged 22.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game with the Timberwolves last season, requested a trade prior to the start of his final season on his current contract. Tensions with head coach Tom Thibodeau and star player Karl Anthony-Towns reportedly led to the demand, and Butler hasn’t been practicing with the team as the regular season approaches.

The regular season will tip-off for the Timberwolves on Oct. 17 when they head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Trubisky Discusses His Famous Sleeve Ahead of Dolphins Game]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 13:12:30 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1043668968.jpg

Astute Chicago Bears fans may have noticed that Mitchell Trubisky was wearing a sleeve on his right arm during the team's last game, but will he continue to wear it after his historic performance? 

Trubisky wore the sleeve because of a cut on his throwing arm, but after the way he played against the Buccaneers in Week 4, his teammates are demanding he keep it on. 

"(I) got threats that I have to wear it," he told media on Wednesday. 

His teammates are right to make the demand. In the game against the Bucs, Trubisky threw for six touchdowns, and he set an NFL record by becoming the first quarterback in history to throw for more than 350 yards, rush for more than 50 yards, and throw at least six touchdown passes in the same game. 

Trubisky, and his famous sleeve, will resume their season on Sunday when they take on the Miami Dolphins. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Olympics Unveils Tokyo 2020 Logo]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:29:26 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TOKYO_a.jpg

Coinciding with the 54th anniversary of the opening of the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, NBC Olympics Wednesday unveiled the logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

With a design that honors Japanese traditions, embraces Tokyo’s modern spirit, and embodies the energy of NBC Olympics’ distinct presentation, the logo features the word "Tokyo" prominently displayed between the two iconic logos of the NBC peacock and the Olympic rings, along with the year of the Games, "2020."

The 1964 Olympic Games were the first ever held in Asia, and holds a legacy that is still vivid throughout the city. Tokyo 2020 will reuse six venues from Tokyo 1964.

"Our branding goal was to develop a logo that honored the rich culture of Japan, while also exploring the vibrant union of art, technology, fashion and pop culture that defines Tokyo today," said David Barton, art director for NBC Olympics, in a release. "The design of the word ‘Tokyo’ is bold and fluid, illustrating with each character the dynamic movement of an Olympic athlete with a subtle reference to the distinct line forms of the Japanese written language."

A report released earlier this week by the national government's Board of Audit shows Japan is likely to spend upwards of $25 billion to prepare the games.

Photo Credit: NBC Olympics]]>
<![CDATA[Slauson Reveals Horrifying Details Behind Back Injury]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:17:07 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-483921122.jpg

Former Chicago Bears lineman Matt Slauson suffered a devastating injury during a game last week, but doctors told him that things could have potentially altered his life forever if not for some good fortune.

Slauson, who played for the Bears from 2013 to 2015, was playing right guard for the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday against the New England Patriots when he broke two vertebrae in his back, he told media on Wednesday.

Slauson continued to play with the injury, and if he had suffered one more big impact in the game, doctors told him that he could have ended up paralyzed.

“I had no idea how close I was to changing my family’s life,” he said.

The Colts have placed Slauson on injured reserve, ending his season, but have asked him to stay with the team and to attend practices.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: David Ross a Contender for Vacant Twins Job]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:31:55 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-667839740.jpg

Former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross spent his 2018 season in the broadcast booth and the analyst’s chair for ESPN, but it appears he may have a chance to get back into the sport in a different role.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins are interested in interviewing Ross for their open managerial job. The Twins, who fired Paul Molitor after the season ended, are also interested in former Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa, according to the report, but haven’t scheduled interviews with either candidate.

Ross won the 2016 World Series with the Cubs and has enjoyed a surge in popularity since his retirement, appearing on “Dancing With the Stars” and serving as an analyst and commentator for ESPN’s baseball coverage.

Ross also has worked with the Cubs as a special assistant to the baseball operations department with the team since he retired.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Price of Scottie Pippen's Suburban Mansion Drops Again]]> Tue, 09 Oct 2018 16:58:19 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pippen+thumb+large_57.png Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen has dropped the asking price of his north suburban mansion once again.

Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker]]>
<![CDATA[Longtime Chargers Owner Alex Spanos Dies at 95]]> Tue, 09 Oct 2018 15:23:57 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/178*120/291481.jpg

The longtime San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos died Tuesday, his family announced. He was 95.

The team Spanos bought and ran as a family business for decades relocated to Los Angeles in 2017 under the management of his son, Dean Spanos. 

"From humble beginnings to becoming the top apartment builder across the nation and the owner of an NFL franchise, Alex proved that dreams do come true," according to the family's statement.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later this week, the family said.

Spanos borrowed less than $1,000 in the early 1950s to buy a used catering truck. The truck was used to sell meals to migrant farm workers in the Central Valley, according to his biography on the Chargers’ website.

His autobiography “Sharing the Wealth: My Story” describes his early business ventures.

Spanos bought an interest in the Chargers in 1980 and acquired the team outright in 1984. Ten years later, he put his son, Dean, in charge of operations and retired.

In fact, he built the A.G. Spanos organization and the San Diego
Chargers as family-run operations.

"His uncompromising drive for success – one rooted in toughness, resilience and hard work – made an indelible mark on the team," the Los Angeles Chargers said in a statement Tuesday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hailed Spanos as "an American success story, driven by a tireless work ethic inspired by his humble beginnings."

"Laura and I send our condolences to the Spanos family on the death of their beloved patriarch, Alex Spanos," former President George W. Bush said in a statement. "Alex was one of a kind. ... He was a wonderful citizen and friend, and the Bush family will miss him."

In 2008, Spanos announced he was suffering from dementia by publishing a letter in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

That same year he was awarded the Medal of the Commander of the Order of Honor by the Greece president.

He and his wife, Faye, met when Spanos was stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Tarpon Springs, Florida. They were together for 77 years until her death in August at age 92.

He had four children, Dean, Dea Spanos Berberian, Alexis Spanos Ruhl and Michael along with 15 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in the name of Alex Spanos to the following charities: American Legion – Karl Ross Post #16, 2020 Plymouth Road, Stockton, CA 95204; The Stockton Scholars Endowment Fund at UOP, University of the Pacific, Attn: University Development/Stockton Scholars, Endowed Fund, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211; The Discovery ChalleNGe Academy, 2922 Transworld Drive, Stockton, CA 95206; or YMCA of San Joaquin County, 2105 West March Lane, Suite 1, Stockton, CA 95207.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephen Dunn
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<![CDATA[Chicago Marathon Runner Says 'Yes' to Surprise Marriage Proposal at Finish Line]]> Mon, 08 Oct 2018 17:21:14 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/187*120/marathonproposal.JPG

Finishing the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has taken on a whole new meaning for one first-time runner.

Seconds after Valerie Bolek’s finish, her boyfriend Jose Rangel was waiting, ready to propose.

“I saw him with the medal in his hand and I thought oh ok that’s pretty cool,” Valerie Bolek said.

Bolek’s boyfriend said he noticed she looked nervous.

"I just said, 'congratulations I’m very proud of you,'" Jose Rangel said.

As a first-time marathoner, Bolek didn't know what to expect as she had no idea what would come next.

“I had her medal ready and in hand, but I had the box hidden behind the medal,” Rangel said.

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Rangel dropped to one knee and the caught-on-camera proposal that was months in the making became a different kind of photo finish.

“I was just like oh my God, I had no idea … I was taken aback,” Bolek said. “I was very surprised.”

Bolek, who is a CPS computer teacher at Volta Elementary School, said she was running to raise money for the nonprofit organization Girls on the Run-Chicago.

“Eight years ago, I started running and this was my first race,” Rangel said.

Since that first marathon in 2010, Rangel said he’s run the Chicago race two more times since.

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This year however, he chose to hold a more supporting role, sporting signs and then popping the question at a milestone moment that now takes on even more meaning.

“That was my first marathon and to have her be the first marathon as well … it was good,” he said.

Rangel said he learned from friends that the marathon is actually the perfect metaphor for marriage.

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“It’s long distance, take your time, keep a good pace,” he explained.

It's a fairy tale finish to kick off a new beginning for the newly-engaged Chicago couple.

“You can’t top this,” Bolek said. ”I’m good on marathons now… because I can’t top this marathon.”