Chalk Talk 11-21-11

Call me a basketball junkie, a bit of a nostalgic — or a dork in general — last night I was finally able to download the New York Knicks starting lineup introduction song from the mid-90’s.

The song , “Drive” by Edd Kalehoff, even has its trademark  “Go New York Go New York Go New York Go!”

I’ve had it on the whole time I’ve written this blog. You might even hear me chime in about it from time to time.

“Go New York Go New York Go New York Go!”

Kalehoff’s song is just an example of the nostalgic approaches I look for online from what’s arguably the greatest basketball era of all-time — the 90’s.

From MJ’s Bulls dynasty to the classic Bulls-Knick showdowns, the fights — don’t forget, I posted the Jo Jo English-Derek Harper fight from Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Semis on my Facebook — to Reggie Miller, reliving these moments help cope with the current lockout that continues.

Listening to “Drive” puts me right back in 1995, the year MJ came back and dropped 55.

Surprisingly, Drive has a similar beat to that of the NBA on TNT’s intro from 1995-1998. I’ll have to do some more research to see if Kalehoff had a part in that as well.

Right, CO-CAPTAIN Charles Oakley? – “Annnnnnnnnd at center at seven-feet FROM Georgetown, number 33,  CO-CAPTAIN.. Patrick EWING!”

I told you I was listening to it. Actually, that’s my imagination. The song is in interlude. I added what the public address announcer would’ve said if you catch my drift. You can watch it here. 

The Knick intro will go along perfect with my numerous NBA on TNT intros, NBA on Fox Sports Net theme, the legendary Roundball Rock by John Tesh — you know it as the NBA on NBC theme — and the iconic “Sirius/Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parsons Project.

But enough about my dorky love for old basketball intros, fights and nostalgic 90’s memories.

We’ve got some serious stuff to talk about and none more important than Jay Cutler’s thumb. 

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand during the Bears 31-20 win over San Diego on Sunday, an injury that will keep him out six to eight weeks.

It’s believed the injury occurred after San Diego’s Antoine Cason intercepted Cutler’s pass with 10:03 left in the fourth quarter and returned it 74 yards.

During the return, Chargers linebacker Donald Butler knocked Cutler to the ground as the quarterback pursued to stop Cason from scoring a touchdown.

Cutler finished the game, going 18 of 31 for 286 yards, throwing two touchdowns and an interception.

In a season where Cutler was putting together his best work at quarterback, the 7-3 Bears could miss Cutler well into the playoffs if they advance.

Sunday’s win tied the Bears with Detroit for the NFC’s two wildcard positions and both hold a game lead over the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons who are both 6-4. The Bears hold a two-game tie-breaker with Atlanta due to their head-to-head win in Week 1.

Cutler’s 154.7 passer rating was his best this season and was not touched once as the Bears offensive line held its ground against San Diego.

On Cutler’s season, he has completed 164 of 283 passes for 2,033 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s been sacked 24 times and completed 58 percent of his passes.

Now backup Caleb Hanie steps into the role, who’s only action comes from two regular season games last season.

Hanie’s memorable for filling-in for an injured Cutler during the NFC championship in January, and almost led a game-tying drive until his second interception ended the Bears Super Bowl hopes against the Packers. Hanie completed 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards in the loss.

And when you thought it was just getting good for the Bears, who have won five-straight, they have major adversity to handle in their final six games.

My guess is that there will be more of an emphasis of running the football with Matt Forte and a bigger dose of defense — but that’s not guaranteed if the offense keeps the defense on the field for lengthy periods.

The Bears will see the Raiders in Oakland next weekend. Following the Raiders will be the Chiefs at Soldier Field then a date with Tim Tebow and the Broncos at Mile High.

With two wins out of three against their remaining AFC West opponents, at 9-4 the Bears would appear to be fine. The Bears own a tie-breaker over the Falcons and the Lions play the Packers on Thanksgiving, a game the Bears may want to see Green Bay win because it’s looking as if the Packers might lockup the NFC North while going 16-0.

Anytime teams around the Bears can lose, you got to take it.

The rest of the schedule sees the Seahawks flying into Soldier Field before divisional road games against the Packers on Christmas and Vikings on Jan. 1.

This is a very winnable stretch and if the Bears can survive the final six games and earn a spot into the playoffs, getting Jay Cutler back for the playoffs rested might be a blessing in disguise.

There’s no word yet if Cutler will have surgery and past experiences with Brett Favre, who played on a broken thumb before, may lead Cutler to play injured at a given point in time but all these scenarios are just barber shop talk.

But to have a blow like this in mid-season where everything was shaping into form, this was the worst possible scenario.

So Bears fans — Bear Down. Way down, deep.

Other things from the NFL on Sunday

1. I loved LaGarrette Blount’s touchdown run up at Lambeau Field. He went for 52 yards by breaking a couple tackles and getting one helluva block in the process. He even hurdled a Packers player later in the game. Great stuff. Thanks for the fantasy points, too, Blount.

2. Someone needs to tell DeSean Jackson that you make it into the Hall of Fame by playing football, not taunting opposing sideline coaches.

A 50-yard catch was wiped out but luckily the Eagles won the game behind Vince Young, in for an injured Michael Vick.

Go NY go NY go NY go! (hahahahaha)

Jackson has uncanny abilities — especially with his speed. But his mouth is getting him into trouble. And just last week he was benched for missing a meeting. Grow up, DeSean. Play football. Earn your paycheck. Win games. Don’t taunt.

3. The Buffalo Bills were the feel good story to begin the season. Now they’re falling back down to Earth like a crashing satellite. I feel sad for Fred Jackson and the crew but he can thank his defense for this demise.

The Bills defense gave up 35 points to the 2-7 Dolphins, who were offensively challenged. Last week they gave up 44 points in a loss at Dallas.

From 3-0, to 4-1 to 5-2 and now 5-5 we’re soon to forget anything good Buffalo did this season.

But definitely not David Nelson giving a game ball to his hot Dallas Cowboys cheerleader girlfriend. Plaque that moment.

4. Give Aaron Rodgers the MVP trophy right now. 23 of 34, 299 yards, three touchdowns. Jordy Nelson hauled in six passes, two of which were touchdowns and finished with 123 yards receiving. Packers still undefeated.

Rodgers has thrown 28 touchdowns, compared to his three interceptions. One of which was thrown on Sunday.

He threw 28 touchdown passes last season. 30 in 2009 and 28 in 2008 when he became the full-time starter.

He might become the greatest ever.

5. Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions to begin, but finished with five touchdowns in Detroit’s 49-35 win over Carolina.

Forget the Lions this week. Let’s get ready for their Thanksgiving shootout with Green Bay.

6. The week I decide to drop Nate Washington, Nate decides to go for 115 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions.

Way to go, Nate. But your Titans are 5-5 so I guess we’re even??

7. Of the 12 playoff teams this season, six of them may come from two divisions alone. In the NFC it’s the Packers, Lions and Bears out of the North and in the AFC North, surprisingly it’s the Ravens, Steelers and yeah, the Bengals.

Talk about going North for the season…

But really, if both North’s get three teams in, that will truly be insane. Though the Bengals lost to Baltimore on Sunday, putting Cincy on the balancing wire at 6-4, just a game in front of the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS, who got Tebow-ed on Thursday.

Go NY go NY go NY go!

8. How about Tim Tebow? Quit hating on him people, he’s going to prove you wrong every single time. I mean, really, what’s so bad about him?

Did we forget Cam Newton and his Dad stole a bunch of money in college and got away with it?

Scam. Tebow. Give me Tebow. Plus, he’s a believer. Real believer. JC. All the way, baby.

9. I’m pretty sure the Indianapolis Colts lost this week and I’m positive they didn’t play, either.

10. I’d love to work for the boys on the NFL on Fox. They seem like such an awesome group.

Unlike on ESPN. You can view Howard Schlossberg’s displeasure (I share it too, Disco) on Da Schloss’ Twitter handle – @hschlossberg.

ESPN does a find job repeating stuff we already know. They might be the dumbest analysts in football and have the most access to players and coaches. Yet, they give nothing to the journalism world.

But on Fox, they do it better. Better than CBS. Better than the NFL Network.

Not only did Terry Bradshaw let Rex Ryan have it — he offered him some of his rings, too. Hello LeBron? — it was Michael Strahan’s 40th birthday celebration.

And how did Fox do? Well, cheerleaders and balloons, regular balloons and a cake that was shaped as Strahan’s mouth, showing off the gap between his front two teeth.

A lot like the Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley on TNT, these guys know how to put together an Emmy-award winning show.

Unlike ESPN.

Anyone paying attention to college football? That’s not related to Penn State? 

I guess LSU and Alabama may actually get its rematch in the BCS title game — which just so happens to be in New Orleans, SEC territory — after pretty much everyone but a SEC team lost in that was in the top ten.

It started with Oklahoma State losing to Iowa State. Then Oregon was upset by USC and then Oklahoma fell to Baylor. Clemson lost. You name it, they lost.

My favorite line I had on Twitter was “OU didn’t.”

Whether it was Oregon “ducking” out or Oklahoma blowing their chance, this year I could really give a damn who wins it. I mean, I don’t really hate any specific team. OK, I still hate Ohio State. That’s a given.

And Wisconsin, too.

But none of those teams will be competing for at BCS title and you know what, until someone can beat the SEC — which is ridiculous, I hate the SEC — the SEC deserves to be there.

Or LSU, for sure.

Cubs Talk

Cubs hired Dale Sveum on Friday. Talk is that he may or may not try to get Prince Fielder over to the North Side. But at this point in time there isn’t any indication the Cubs will bring in Fielder to play first base.

But the Cubs are in talks to bring Kerry Wood back for a season. Woody has been adamant he wants to stay in Chicago, primarily as a Cub. His family wants to stay. They help within the community with his charity. It’s where he wants to be.

When it comes time for Woody to hang it up — and it’s sooner rather than later — I think it would be in the Cubs best interest to make him their next pitching coach.

Wood is perfect for the job. I’ll get to that in a separate blog later. But just think about the idea before I do.

Also: I would love Michael Cuddyer to play right field. But that’s wishful thinking.

Did ya hear the First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden get booed at a NASCAR event? 

You know, I didn’t have NASCAR on but I thought I heard something.

Speaking of boo birds — they can’t hear any right now because they’re on the road (and partying in Vegas), but the Blackhawks nasty performances in Edmonton and Calgary merit just that.

9-2 at Edmonton.

5-2 at Calgary.

14-4 in two games on back-to-back nights.

The Hawks can’t hear any because the fans in Edmonton were constantly cheering goals every five seconds. Same in Calgary, too.

Hawks. Please. Fix. Now.

Before the lead in the Central evaporates like everyone’s 401K.  Good grief.

All right, I’m outta here. Back to my New York Knicks intro.

Go New York Go New York Go New York Go! 


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