Chalk Talk: So Much To Say

The list is out on the best and worst jobs of 2012 and apparently my duties — newspaper reporter — ranked 5th worst and my dream job — a career in broadcasting — ranked five spots behind at No. 10. Ouch.

While may be that list should reflect the pursuit of those jobs if anything, that won’t change the fact that I love sports writing and that a career in broadcasting is the greatest job in the world. That’s unless of course, you get somebody who plays favorites or doesn’t want to give you a chance… I’ll show you why I still love my career path in another edition of Chalk Talk.

THE MINT — Here come the playoffs…

Phoenix has to feel good that they took three of four from the Hawks this season and Mike Smith has been incredible in goal for the Coyotes. But if the Hawks are getting Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland back for Game 1 and have Duncan Keith well-rested after missing five of the last seven games due to suspension, you have to feel that the last month’s version of the Hawks will have major success with the Coyotes, winners of five-straight. Since the trade for Johnny Oduya, the Hawks looked more like the team that led the NHL in points before their nine-game debacle. If the Hawks can improve that power play and get solid goaltending from Corey Craword, I got the Hawks in six games. The playoffs are a different animal and luckily, the Hawks have experience with that.

Lance Briggs was extended into 2014… which is great but what’s up with Matt Forte? That’s my biggest concern for the Bears — getting Forte signed. I’ll feel much better when the Bears sign him up — but expect Forte to receive much less than what a running back might get due to the fact that the NFL has now become more of a passing league in recent years.

And Brian Urlacher said it best the other day about the Bears improvements for the 2012 season: “We still have the draft.”

That’s just awesome.

If the Bulls are going to win a championship this season, they’re going to need Derrick Rose in the lineup. But I didn’t say he needed to be healthy. Rose is going to have to play injured and the Bulls know it. They can survive without him for some time, but clearly they need him in the lineup if they want to win a title against either Oklahoma City, San Antonio or the Los Angeles Lakers. Tell Rose to sit out the 2012 Olympics, heal up and soak in the fact he led his hometown to an NBA championship — barring any free throw errors.

Ozzie Guillen has to be one of the dumbest men in the history of mankind. Here, he gets outta town to manage the Marlins and within a week of managing the team — a week! — Ozzie goes out of his way to offend most of the Miami demographic with pro-Fidel Castro comments. I’m speechless.

Guillen is worse than an idiot. He’s like a moron, dumbass, idiot and jackass all rolled together. Good grief.

The Sox look better off without him, and they might not be too bad this season. But if the Cubs want to win this season or find some sort of respect, they can’t have their pitching implode in the 8th and 9th innings. Hopefully Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol can lock it down better, but if this team doesn’t score runs either (surprisingly they have no power, no crap!), what a long, long season for the Cubbies. 1-5?

If that team is 20 games under 500 in May, please, don’t be ridiculous and pay the $75 Tom Ricketts and company wants you to pay to see them fail. Ricketts is ridiculous for the steep prices and you’d have to be Ozzie-like moron to pay that amount to see a losing team. $10 wouldn’t even suffice.

Dwyane Wade is entirely wrong for insisting that NBA players on the USA basketball team should be compensated in the Olympics.

First of all… Wade makes too much money as it is with his endorsements and his ridiculous NBA player salary. Wade doesn’t need any more money.

But what disturbs me the most is that Wade forgets that he’s playing for his country. It’s about honor, pride and respect. That Gold medal means more than just money. The Dream Team never made it about money. They made it about pride and being the absolute best. Wade has rubbed me the wrong way since he recruited LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami and his power-hungry mentality the past couple years is completely revolting. What does Wade really care about? Power and money? Or winning basketball games? I don’t respect Wade anymore and it’s time that the basketball culture realizes he’s not only a clever, dirty player, but an ungrateful player as well.

Five Things I Hate…

1. Lamar Odom and the Dallas Mavericks didn’t work out — and I’m OK with that. Odom’s had some psychological issues stemming from his personal life that was greatly affected last summer. But Odom barely played this season and he’s going to make close to $9 million dollars for basically coming late to practice and not contributing at all this season.

$9M for doing nothing… eh? Give me that job.

2.ESPN made a big deal about Tiger Woods being a major factor at the Masters, when yet again, he wasn’t. In fact, he and his club had a tantrum. ESPN put Tiger on such a pedestal and frankly, this whole Bubba Watson thing I think is a better story then the potential of Tiger winning the Masters. So ESPN, stop building up championships before they happen (as they wish they could actually control who wins for their own sick, demented profit) and just let the tournament speak for itself.

3. Who in the hell let Tim Tebow preach an Easter sermon? I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God and I believe he died on the cross for my sins. But I do not want Tebow representing the Christian faith. In fact, I think once someone uncovers the truth about Tebow, you’re all going to be shocked. He’s the NFL’s Joel Olsteen.

4. Chris Broussard NEEDS TO STOP kissing the Miami Heat’s ass. This is just disgusting. Every time I have to watch NBA coverage on ESPN, there’s Broussard kissing their feet. He will never submit to the fact that there’s better teams in the NBA than Miami and I hope the next time he mentions anything about his Heat fetish, I literally throw up my dinner. Miami is clearly the third-best team in the East right now the way the Boston Celtics are playing, and Broussard doesn’t know a good team if it hit him in the head.

5. Dwight Howard used to be one of my favorite players. I thought he was cool. But over the last season in a half, Howard’s turned into the Brett Favre of basketball, and you’re really starting to see Howard’s immature personality throughout this whole process. Dwight’s a fake, people. He’s fake, immature whiner. If I were Howard, I’d keep my mouth shut and reflect on how good it really is in Orlando. It’s time to put the blame on yourself than your teammates or coaches who can’t provide you a championship. Oh yeah, sure; you didn’t say anything to management about wanting Stan Van Gundy fired. Sure you didn’t.

5A. The NHL standings are a wreck — Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will square off in the first round and I’m not too happy about that because here’s the two best teams in the East squaring off in the opening round, when it should be an Eastern Conference final preview.

Because division winners are guaranteed a top three seed, any team that places second in a division but has a better record than the two other division winners still have to slide down. A few years back, the NBA had a similar issue with the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs squaring off early in round two but then NBA has since fixed that. The NHL hasn’t.

Sure, you get rewarded for winning your division so you should win your division to avoid that conflict, but clearly there are teams that shouldn’t have top seeds when clearly they are inferior to teams who place second in a division that have better records.

The Rangers are the top seed in the East but the Atlantic had four teams over 100 points, including Philly and Pittsburgh. But because of the standings miscue, Florida and Boston automatically get the second and third spots due to the fact they’ve won their divisions, dropping Pittsburgh and Philly down to No. 4 and 5. The Panthers won the Southeast with 94 points. New Jersey placed fourth in the Atlantic with 102. And when New Jersey takes on Florida in the first round, they won’t have home ice.

It’s also happening in the Hawks-Coyotes series as well out West.

Whenever the NHL does realign — if they keep the divisions the same — please replicate the NBA model which allows a second place teams in either division to leap frog a division winner if their record is better.  The NHL or sports in general can’t afford two really good teams to bounce one another out in the first round.

Five Things I’m Happy About… 

1. The Stanley Cup playoffs begin tonight, meaning — no shootouts! 20 minute sudden death overtimes, yes!

2. Kudos to the Cubs, for blending in that outdoor patio fairly well in Wrigley Field. Now only if they could get a team as beautiful as the babes that will flock it this summer.

3. I know wrestling is scripted, but it was amazing to see the Rock beat John Cena at Wrestlemania 28. #BootsToAsses.

4. The only good thing about Flyers/Penguins is that it’s happening now and I don’t have to wait 3 more weeks. So I guess that’s good enough.

5. Air Jordan XII returns to the shelves on April 21. Let my best bud Craig Janowiak get a pair, please?!

Five Things I Wonder…

1.Is John Calipari really happy about winning the National title, or is he really preparing himself for another banner to be taken down in the next two or three years? Every time I’ve seen him on TV, he doesn’t look like a coach who just won a championship.

2.Why is Nike ruining jerseys? They’re going to these dri-fit, skin-tight jerseys that just look uglier and uglier as the years go on. Some of the college basketball jerseys have these crazy designs on the back of them. The collars are all aesthetically weird looking. They’re supposed to enhance player performance, but can’t we just go back to how Champion made NBA jerseys in the mid 90’s and be simple and to the point? Let’s not get super-artistic-hipster with freaking sports jerseys.

3.Is John Groce over his head at Illinois already? We have to give this guy a chance, but a 34-30 record in the MAC sounds like a 15-47 record in the Big Ten. Cheers to recruiting Chicago, Mr. Groce.

4.We see guys like Carlos Zambrano having outbursts all the time and we finally say enough is enough. But why do we continually tolerate Ozzie Guillen? Here’s a guy who doesn’t think about what he says — and this time he figures out a way to alienate almost an entire city. Too many free passes are given to Ozzie. Just too many. And that has to stop.

5. Did the Red Sox hire the right skipper? I know it’s just six games in, but I thought immediately after Boston hired Bobby Valentine that it was a bad idea…

Five Non-Sports Items…

1. America will all benefit from Rick Santorum suspending his campaign. But America won’t benefit from whoever wins the 2012 election.

2. As they re-enact the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, are they going to steer it into the same iceberg?

3. I’m not an endorser of Mitt Romney, but if President Obama goes after the fact that Romney is rich, shouldn’t he look at himself in the mirror? Somebody tell the President he too doesn’t connect, let alone feel for the less fortunate people in this country. By the way, those gas prices Barack, you’re not helping.  Tap that reserve.

4.Pizza Hut  found a way to put a hot dog in its stuffed crust pizza. I love pizza and I love food. But that’s a little extreme. Stop making a mockery of pizza, Pizza Hut.

5. The lineup for Lolla is out and Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath will headline, with Florence and the Machine, Black Keys and Red Hot Chili Peppers also performing. I realize there’s many small bands that make Lollapalooza what it is, but I wouldn’t spend the $230 on the three-day pass this year.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are on. I gotta go! More in depth coverage tomorrow and Friday…


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