Friday, December 30, 2005

A Major League Baseball team with cheerleaders!!? The few fans that actually attend Florida Marlins' home games not only get major league baseball but entertainment from the Mermaids. Two World Series championships in very recent memory and cheerleaders- and this team still has trouble drawing fans!?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

For a moment I thought that the signing of Jon Garland would be the biggest news today in the Chicago area. Not so, as a downtown Chicago institution, the Berghoff, has announced it will be closing its doors in Feb, 2006. I have taken many an out of town friend who visits Chicago to the Berghoff. Christmas shoppers flock to this restaurant, a one-time mens' only bar. To show how famous the Berghoff is, I was once in Jonesboro, Arkansas and met a guy who upon learning that we were from Chicago, excitedly began describing a great restaurant that he went to in Chicago. Yes, the Berghoff. At the very least, visit the Berghoff's website, or if at all possible visit the Berghoff and have a Berghoff beer or a Berghoff brew root beer before it closes its doors.
More good news for the White Sox and for White Sox fans, as Jon Garland has signed a three year contract with the White Sox.
Here's a column from the Sun-Times' Doug Elfman re the "Best of TV in 2005." I will give you my comments later.
The AP has voted the White Sox Championship season as the top sports story of 2005!!
And by the way, one of my New Year Resolutions will be more frequent posts on the K-Line!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Love Boat continues to sail:
For those of you who don't know (and why would most of you), the University of Idaho and Boise State University are bitter football rivals. The University of Colorado has reportedly hired Boise State coach Dan Hawkins to replace Gary Barnett. Colorado's AD, Mike Bohn, who is hiring Dan Hawkins is the former AD at the University of Idaho.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

One of the many great things about college basketball, you get great match-ups at any time in the season. Today we get to see #1 Duke vs. #2 Texas. The Blue Devils have greatly underwhelmed me this year, so I have to go with Texas as my pick to win.
The brilliance of FIFA! Just in case FIFA needed something extra to attract viewers to the World Cup pairings draw, soccer expert, Heidi Klum, was hostess for the live event.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Having failed to signed free agent Rafael Furcal, the Cubs have traded for Juan Pierre ( a player that the World Series Champion White Sox were rumored to be interested in). Pierre will take over the lead-off spot, but maybe more importantly for most Cubs fans he will play center field, meaning that the "Corey Patterson era" should finally be over on the North Side.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lovie Smith the NFC Coach of the Year (Tony Dungy looks like the runaway choice in the AFC)?
It looks like I may have been right about Lovie, as seen from this K-Line article I wrote back in January, 2004. Now, just so you realize that while I am bragging a little, there are plenty of sport predictions I have been wrong about. Even in this article about Lovie Smith, I was excited about the possibility of Terry Shea as the Bears' offensive coordinator- Yuck!!
How about some love for Lovie and Jerry?


The morning after the Chicago Bears formally announced St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith as the Bears’ new head coach, I received an e-mail from a friend, who was upset that the Bears simply chose the “cheaper” alternative- a common lament in this sports town. He said that the Bears were too cheap to pay the $3-$4 million per year needed to hire Nick Saban from LSU or someone like my friend’s personal choice, Dan Reeves, the former Atlanta Falcons head coach. Many in the local media likewise blasted the Lovie Smith hire and seized the opportunity to rip mercilessly on Bears GM Jerry Angelo. The criticism was that the choice of Lovie Smith was made because either the Bears were unwilling to pay the big bucks or Jerry Angelo was unwilling to yield personnel control to the head coach. Well, everyone should just take a chill- pill! Here’s one person who likes the choice of Lovie Smith and likewise supports Jerry Angelo and the job he has done as the Bears’ GM. Alright, admittedly, I’m partially kissing up, and I’m hoping that both Lovie and Jerry Angelo remember my thoughtful and well reasoned support when The K-Line requests a sideline media pass for Bears games. Hey, I have to do something- I’m still upset I didn’t receive a press pass to the Super Bowl!

Granted it would have been, if nothing else, exciting if the Bears ignored fiscal responsibility and hired a high profile coach. Even I was hoping that that the Bears would have at least checked to see if Jimmy Johnson was interested at all in becoming the Bears’ new coach. Or, what about hiring Mike Ditka as coach and Mike Singletary as the defensive coordinator/head coach-in-training. Unfortunately, hiring a high profile former NFL head coach or college head coach is far from a guaranteed road to the Super Bowl, or even a more modest goal like beating the Packers. For every example of it working, there is another example proving to be a failure. It was only two seasons ago that the Redskins opened up owner Dan Synder’s bank vault to lure a high profile college coach, Steve Spurrier, from the University of Florida with a salary of $5 million a year ...Okay, that didn’t exactly work out for the Redskins. Nor would hiring a former head coach like Dan Reeves or Jim Fassel have guaranteed success for the Bears. Several years ago, the Carolina Panthers hired George Seifert, hoping he would repeat the success he had with the San Francisco 49ers where he won two Super Bowl as a head coach. The result- he was fired after coaching the Carolina Panthers to a 1-15 record. The Carolina Panthers replaced Seifert with John Fox, at that time a little known defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. In two years, John Fox has taken that 1-15 team to the Super Bowl.

My point is simple- there is no one way to insure success when hiring a head coach. So, don’t automatically despair over the Bears’ future because they didn’t hire someone who was a college or pro head coach. Let’s look at the route taken by the four teams in this past weekend conference championship games: Philadelphia, Carolina, New England, and Indianapolis. Philadelphia’s head coach, Andy Reid, was an offensive assistant coach with the Packers. As already stated, John Fox was a defensive coordinator with the Giants. New England’s Bill Belicheck was a former head coach with the Cleveland Browns, but was serving as a defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells at the time he was hired by the Patriots. The Colts’ top man, Tony Dungy was a head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Everyone points to the great job Bill Parcells did with the Cowboys. But you can be just as successful by hiring a defensive coordinator to be your head coach, as happened with the great job former defensive coordinator, Marvin Lewis did with the Cincinnati Bengals this year.

As soon as the Bears fired Dick Jauron, Lovie Smith was announced as one of the top candidates for the job. Other teams had also shown interest in him. His defense may have been more responsible for the St. Louis Rams success the past few years than the Rams’ offense. The thing that impresses me the most is that he had solid defenses on a team that passed more often that it ran the ball and often turned the ball over. Hopefully he will hire an offensive coordinator, like Terry Shea, who will bring some imagination to the offensive game plans and as a result who will be light years ahead of John “Screen Pass” Shopp! Terry Shea has recently worked with Pro Bowl caliber quarterback Trent Green as Kansas City’s quarterback coach. By the way, John Shoop has just become Tampa Bay’s quarterback coach, so watch Tampa Bay’s offense quickly sink to the depths of depression!...I expect the Bears to be improved next year under Lovie Smith and in the playoffs within two years. Now, if only Bret Favre would retire from Green Bay!