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Are you ready for some football?!

Friday, September 7, 2012

NFL opens old wounds picking at scabs

Posted By on 09.07.12 at 09:55 AM

Nobody goes to an NFL game to watch Ed Hochuli, but what is lost without him?
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Nobody goes to an NFL game to watch Ed Hochuli, but what is lost without him?
Am I ready for some football? No, I've already made that abundantly clear.

Yet, oddly enough, neither is the National Football League.

Always a leader in the area of sports labor relations, the NFL has opened the season with "replacement" referees.

That's "scabs" in the language of a more enlightened, proud, and self-assertive labor movement.

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Prediction: the Bears will win the NFC North Division

Posted By on 09.07.12 at 06:43 AM

Red Grange no longer plays for the Bears
  • This guy no longer plays for the Bears
It's true. But it's not my prediction. In its September 3 NFL 2012 double issue, Sports Illustrated has the Chicago Bears winning their division with a record of 11-5, followed by the Green Bay Packers (also at 11-5), the Detroit Lions (9-7), and the Minnesota Vikings (4-12).

From SI's write-up on the team:


Watching the Bears practice this preseason, you think, They've finally joined the NFL mainstream! They got big at receiver, and they made peace with the running back they have to have—and have to have happy—in order to stand a chance of unseating the Packers atop the NFC North.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

If only Notre Dame would lose them all

Posted By on 09.06.12 at 06:47 AM

May Touchdown Jesus bring us the bounty of an Irish setback or ten
  • shutterstock.com
  • May Touchdown Jesus bring us the bounty of an Irish setback or ten

Sometimes there's a thin line between cheering and hate.

I was reminded of this last Saturday night, when I watched what passed for the Michigan-Alabama game with some Michigan State fans who claimed they were rooting for the Wolverines. You know—Big Ten pride and all.

But if they were, they weren't putting much into it. As one of the Spartans explained to me: "If they get creamed, I won't cry about it."

Michigan got creamed. My friend didn't cry about it.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pay college football players: yea or nay?

Posted By on 09.05.12 at 06:45 AM

Universities across the country take advantage of their student athletes
  • Universities across the country take advantage of their student athletes.
Although I'd consider myself a casual fan of all other sports, I wholeheartedly admit to having a (somewhat unhealthy) obsession with college football. Growing up in Oregon, as I did, required two things: that you spend at least three weeks out of the year hiking, and that you pick a team—either the University of Oregon Ducks or the Oregon State University Beavers.

I'm a Duck. And save for a few curious offshoots, so is the rest of my family, which means that for as long as I can remember, college football has been an integral part of my life. I resisted it for a while—most of my high school years were spent wearing dark clothing and vehemently claiming to not give a flying fuck about sports—but I eventually grew to love it. (I've even managed to convert a few friends into joining my hysteria).

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday Night Football, minus Hank Williams Jr. and all his rowdy friends

Posted By on 09.04.12 at 06:45 AM

Not coming over on Monday night
  • Andrea Klein/Wikimedia Commons
  • Not coming over on Monday night
There's plenty wrong with the NFL right now—replacement referees, escalating concussion concerns, Tebow-related anything—but one thing that has been right for nearly a year now is Hank Williams Jr.'s banishment from the opening credits of Monday Night Football.

Son of the much-revered, country-music artist Hank Williams, Junior had been linked to Monday Night Football since 1989 when the think tank at ABC joined forces with the outlaw country caricature, airing a reworked version of the 1984 single "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" into the opening of its weekly football game. "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" was featured on Monday nights for over 20 years—the last five of which were on ESPN—and was undoubtedly one of the easiest gigs in sports. Each new rendition was only a slightly tweaked version from the week before, altering a few lame rhymes to sync up with the teams competing that night.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Am I ready for some football? No!

Posted By on 09.03.12 at 08:00 AM

George Carlin: not a football fan, not during baseball season, anyway.
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • George Carlin: not a football fan, not during baseball season, anyway.
Riddle me this, Chicago pigskin fans: Since 1965, which team has won more championships—the White Sox, the Blackhawks, or the Bears?

Just so.

So why all the love for the Bears and the football season? I'm a sports fan, but most of all I'm a baseball fan.

And it's baseball season. Football season doesn't begin until the last out of the World Series.

Still, there's no denying this is a Bears town. And there's nothing more aggravating about Chicago—not waiting for CTA buses, not pie crusts stuffed with cheese and called "pizza," not the nonexistent spring that goes straight from winter to summer, not even "fall-off-the-bone" ribs that have been boiled and slathered with sauce so that they're indistinguishable from meat-flavored Jell-O.

All the love for the Bears—perhaps the least worthy and certainly the most overblown sports franchise in town—drives me crazy.

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Tossing the pigskin around all week long on the Bleader

Posted By on 09.03.12 at 07:00 AM

The lion in front of the Art Institute is ready—are you?
  • ShadowJester07
  • The lion in front of the Art Institute is ready—are you?
Today's Labor Day, which means that summer is coming to a close. The leaves change color, the birds head south, and off in the distance, one hears the sweet sounds of autumn in this rousing tune:

Welcome to the party, all my rowdy friends,
A Monday night bash on ESPN!
The game of the week, is about to ignite
Time to kick it off under the lights
The pressure is rising, strap in and hold tight
We're gonna blow the roof off this place tonight
Ready!
C'mon and get ready
I mean really ready
Are you ready for some football?

Well, are you? Because for this week's Variations on a Theme, Reader staff will be writing about all things football (the North American kind, that is). So pull up a Barcalounger, crack open a beer, and sit back while you . . . read a bunch of blog posts on the Internet.

And in case you missed it, here's Back to School Week, last week's Variations on a Theme.

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
BigMouth Chicago Shakespeare Theater
September 18
Performing Arts
Communion Den Theatre
September 20

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