• I hate it when this happens

    This is real . . . and really odd.

    This headline provides a rare example of Chicago being a safer city.

    NO current or past resident of Chicago would lift a finger if a monkey stole a Chicago Bears hat.

    Rather, they would think, “Stupid monkey knows nothing about professional sports.”

    NO current or past resident of Chicago would think of wearing a Bears’ hat, much less taking one to the South Pacific.

    In fact–true story–I have gone through Midway Airport 3 times in the past 10 days, watched thousands of people moving through, and seen a grand total of one item of Bears paraphernalia being worn.

  • EVERY single point in San Francisco 49ers win over Chicago Bears was scored by kicker released by Bears (and loved by Bears’ fans)

    Both teams are truly dreadful, but this victory had to be sweet for the 49ers’ place-kicker Robbie Gould.

    Gould is the Bears all-time leading scorer.

    And he was beloved by Chicago fans.

    His release in September 2016 by the Einsteins who run the Bears was bemoaned by fans.

    He was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers and had his first chance to return to Soldier Field on Sunday when the hapless 49ers met the hapless Bears.

    The 49ers won, 15-14, on Gould’s last-minute field goal. In fact, Gould scored all the 49er points.

    Revenge is sweet.


  • The Cubs’ Troubles Described in 5 Words

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    Those Five are:

    • Weak Middle Relief
    • Slumping Sluggers

    Comment: The North Siders, down 2-0 in a best-of-7-series, are not out of it yet. The Dodgers are good, but so are the Cubs.

    The Cubs have outstanding starters, an excellent defensive infield and catcher, and normally effective power hitting from the first- and third-basemen.

    They have a good (one-inning) closer, though Los Angeles has an even better one who can go longer.

    In Joe Maddon, we have a savvy, experienced, and calm manager.

    But we’ve had erratic pitching between the starter’s exit (around inning 6 or 7) and the closer’s appearance in the 9th. We’ve filled the gap only partially by using starters as middle relievers. Los Angeles has a stronger, deeper bullpen.

    And we will suffer offensively until Bryant and Rizzo return to form.

    Here’s hoping the Friendly Confines live up to their name as the Cubs return home.

  • ZipDialog Explainer: The Cubs’ “W” Fly Speaks to An Earlier Era of Urban Baseball

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    Think back to a time long before cell phones.

    Think further back to a time long before portable radios.

    It’s the 1930s or 40s, and you are riding from your work in “de Loop” or a nearby factory to your home on “de nort side.”

    It’s late afternoon and the Cubs play all their home games in the afternoon.

    By 5pm, the game should be over, So, who won?

    To answer that question for fans on the “el” (the elevated train), going past Wrigley field, the Cubs starting flying a “W” flag in the 1930s.

    It was visible from the tracks, so fans could see the good news–if there was any.

    They even had a “L” flag, which, unfortunately, got lots more use for 108 years.

    The Cubs installed spotlights aimed at the flag so riders at night could see the results, too.

    When you see the “W” flags flying or being waved by the faithful, think about generations of disappointed Cubs fans riding home on the El, hoping that Jimmie Foxx or, later, Ernie Banks, had belted one and the flag was flying.


  • Chicago Cubs’ star and cancer survivor, Anthony Rizzo, makes major contribution to children’s cancer hospital

    Rizzo fights back tears as he visits children at the ribbon cutting

    The Chicago Tribune reports:

    “Geez,” said Rizzo, sniffing, turning away and fighting back tears during a ceremony to commemorate his foundation’s $3.5 million commitment in May to fund programs for patients and families dealing with cancer.

    “I remember sitting with my mom saying we were going to do this 10 years ago. And it’s just a little step toward our mission,” the Cubs first baseman said.

    Rizzo was diagnosed in April 2008 with Hodgkin lymphoma, which has since gone in remission. –Chicago Tribune




  • Another deflated-football story from the NFL

    ◆ The Giants claim the Steelers deflated the ole pigskin in Week 13, according to FoxSports.

    FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported on Sunday that the New York Giants alerted the league office that the Pittsburgh Steelers were using deflated footballs in Week 13. After the Giants forced two turnovers of the Steelers, they tested two footballs on the sideline. Both of them came back under league standards for PSI, so the Giants sent those footballs to the league office. –Fox Sports

    ◆ In Chicago, by contrast, football has deflated the Bears–and their long-suffering fans.

  • ZipDialog’s Roundup of News Beyond the Front Page . . Friday, Nov. 18

    Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
    Linked articles in bold purple

    mike-flynn-labeled-300px-no-margins◆ Retired 3-star general Michael Flynn will be Trump’s National Security Advisor
    . (Washington Post) He headed the Defense Intelligence Agency under Pres. Obama but left the administration and became a sharp critic.

    ◆ “We’re going to move an agenda,” VP-elect Mike Pence told House Republicans. Working with Congress, the new administration intends to pass a lot of legislation, Pence told the closed-door meeting. (Bloomberg)

    Comment: That’s not an idle promise. It’s not just Trump’s ambitious agenda. It’s Capitol Hill under continuing Republican control. Over the last few years, the Republicans have passed lots of bills that died on Pres. Obama’s desk. The same leaders are in place in the House and Senate. They know these issues, have already written bills on the big issues, and will be ready to push legislation early in 2017.


    ◆ “An Anti-Israel Brigade with Ties to Hamas Finds a Home in San Francisco State University,” writes Cinnamon Stillwell (Independent Journal Review) Oppose the people doing this at SFSU, and guess what they call you? That’s right, you would be an Islamophobe, McCarthyist, hatemonger and–worst of all–a Zionist. The deal is an official tie between SFSU and a Hamas-dominated university, An-Najah University, located in the West Bank.

    ⇒ Related story: Palestinian group is demanding that Kent State University remove an incredibly offensive object: a picture of the late Israeli leader, Golda Meir. The simple photograph hurts their feelings because, well, you can guess. (Abraham Miller in The Observer)

    ◆ One of the makers of the modern world, Jay Forrester, has died at 98. Forrester, an MIT professor raised on a Nebraska cattle ranch, developed the field of computer modeling complex systems. He is also one of the men who invented magnetic core memory for computers. His obituary is here. (New York Times)

    ◆ The Washington Post thinks this is newsworthy: “Trump terrifies me. Should I rent my house to his supporters for the inauguration?” by Cari Shane. It perfectly captures the Post’s view and the Beltway Zeitgeist.

    kris-bryant-labeled◆ Go, Cubs, Go. Their second-year star, Kris Bryant, is the nearly unanimous choice as National League MVP. (Chicago Tribune)

    ◆ Chicago’s Skyline To Be Sold as Lego Set. The set will be smaller than the original, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    ◆ I love it: A startup says it has created a robot that cuts grass and shovels show. (CNN)