It’s that time of year. The Blackhawks and Bulls haven’t lost a game. The Bears haven’t won a game.
The only thing different about this September is that we’re still talking about the Cubs without a ``wait till next year’’ caveat. For the second year in a row.
And so I’m going to risk my college eligibility with a quick spin around the Chicago pro-sports dial.
THE BELOVED AND MADDONING CUBS
As I write this, the Cubs are beginning a four-game series in Milwaukee, a team they lead by 3-1/2 games.
A disaster in Milwaukee, a longtime friend and Cub fan pointed out, could put this whole season on the rocks.
``Let’s just go play those games,’’ I told him.
I am confident that the Cubs, who were swept in Chicago recently by the Brewers, will do what they need to do in the ancestral home of Pabst to Schlitz to Miller, which doesn’t have the same ring as Tinker to Evers to Chance.
``They’ll get to the playoffs,’’ another Cub watcher told me. ``But they’ll fizzle quickly.’’
``Let’s just go play those games,’’ I told him.
I like the idea that a scufflin’ team like the Cubs just might continue to scuffle in the post-season.
I’m not saying that I expect October success. But after all the Cubs have been through—injured pitchers, cold bats and puzzling dry spells—it’s encouraging that they are where they are.
Talking about the Cubs’ chances in September and October is a wonderful thing that I find rare and enjoyable.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
I love the fact that they have many bats with considerable potential. And many arms capable of rising up. And they have a manager who knows what he’s doing. Even if he occasionally tries to do too much.
If the Cubs fizzle, they have provided an entertaining 5-1/2 months.
These are the Cubs. Love ‘em or leave ‘em.
These are the good old days. . . we never had.
To Trubisky or not to Trubisky. . .
It’s not even a question in Chicago, where Mike Glennon, despite the backing of coach John Fox, is skating on the thinnest of ice.
Although I agree that Mitch/Mitchell Trubisky ought to play sooner than later, I trust Fox and his minions to decide when to throw the young Tar Heel into an impossible situation.
Here’s the deal: It doesn’t really matter.
The Bears aren’t all-around good enough to make any noise this season.
Their receiver corps was wobbly when healthy, and it’s far from healthy. The first half of their schedule reads like a playoff preview. And there are many more problems.
Might be better to keep Trubisky on hold. That Savior Card will come in handy at 1-5 or 0-6 or whatever it ends up being played. Play it now and you don’t have it later.
What amazes me is the level of shock, anger and passion that Bears’ fans still muster for something that wasn’t going to go well.
The NFL is the modern-day U.S. Steel, IBM and General Motors all rolled into one.
SORRY, WHITE SOX
Apologies to the White Sox. I really have nothing to say here, beyond. . . I know you have stockpiled an amazing number of highly rated young players. I hope that works out. It would be great to have two watchable teams in Chicago.
Every year, I make a resolution to watch the White Sox. I hope you force me to stick with it soon.
I’LL HAVE A DOUG COLLINS
Kudos to the Bulls for hiring Doug Collins as a senior-something-or-other.
Doug quickly said he will not under any circumstances wind up coaching the Bulls.
I believe him. I also believe the Bulls, like all the other have-nots in the NBA, can do whatever they want, and it won’t matter.
The foreseeable future belongs to LeBron James, the Golden State Warriors and a couple of other teams that happen to find a winning lottery ticket while walking down the street.
The Bulls’ chances for success went under the knife along with Derrick Rose’s oft-injured knee.
I’m a big Doug Collins fan in every way. If his voice brings some clarity to a befuddling front office, why not?
And if there’s a shocking development, wouldn’t it be cool to have pere Doug coaching and fils Chris coaching at the pro and college level in the same Windy City?
As I said at the top, rest easy, Fred Hoiberg fans. Not gonna happen. Not that great of an idea, anyway, in the absolutely talent-driven NBA.
If all of life were as predictable as the NBA—well, it depends on whether you like predictable.
HERE COME THE HAWKS
Honestly, I’m not as up on my Blackhawks as I used to be.
There’s only so much time in life. And those rivalries with Nashville and Winnipeg don’t float my boat like Bobby Hull vs. Gordie Howe. Or even Denis Savard vs. Wayne Gretzky.
The Hawks have tweaked things around the still impressive Toews-Kane one-two pumch.
Kane’s sidekick, Panarin, has been exchanged for Toews’ old sidekick, Saad, which was worth a try, I suppose. There are also all kinds of big doings on defense.
In the NHL, it’s all about the salary cap. And Stan (named for the Stanley Cup) Bowman, son of legendary Scotty, is very good at that sort of thing.
By April, when the best season starts, we’ll know more.
As Paul Hornung used to say on his long-ago Chicago radio show, ``Good luck in sports.’’ And, I will add, in life.[/membership]