Saying Goodbye to WGN Sports

1990s WGN Sports Logo

As a geek for all things media who grew up watching Chicago sports, it’s not lost on me that WGN Channel 9 is in its final year broadcasting live sports. My first experience watching sports on WGN was with the Cubs in 1992. As an eight year old (badly) playing little league, I thought it would be cool to watch real baseball games on television that summer. While WGN was the television home of the Cubs, they would air one or two White Sox games a week, so I had the opportunity to grow up watching both teams.

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The Day After MLB Opening Day

MLB Opening Day

Happy Opening Day!

The first day of MLB always has a special feeling to it. It’s something that baseball fans wait all winter for.

So how cruel is it that the second day of the MLB regular season, for some teams (including the White Sox), is a scheduled off day. After today’s first game, we wait until Saturday for game two.

Plus, this scheduled off day is on a Friday!? Off days are never scheduled for Fridays during the regular season so why is an exception made at the beginning?

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Monday Night Football, Post Jason Witten

Jason Witten

Jason Witten’s surprise news that he is returning to the Dallas Cowboys for this upcoming season means he is exiting the ESPN “Monday Night Football” booth. There has been plenty of speculation as to whether ESPN will go to a two-man booth with Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland or if they will come up with an alternate plan.

One repeated notion that I’ve come across from the sports media community is how ESPN was seemingly caught off guard with the news and that Witten could have done a better job at giving ESPN more of a heads up. Even if that is all true (and I do prefer an employee to not blindside an employer when possible), this news took place six months before the next “Monday Night Football” broadcast. It’s not like the news came a few weeks before the start of the season.

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Fox College Basketball Goes ‘Roundball Rock’

Fox College Basketball

Fox Sports created some buzz over the weekend with the use of “Roundball Rock” during Saturday’s Fox College Basketball triple-header broadcast. “Roundball Rock” is best remembered by basketball fans as being the iconic NBA on NBC theme song from the 1990s.

From what I’ve seen on Twitter, the use “Roundball Rock” by Fox seems to be a mixed bag. Some think it should be reserved for a NBA broadcast, while others don’t seem to mind and are happy to hear the song in use again.

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Thoughts on the White Sox Radio Broadcasts Going into the 2018 Season

White Sox Baseball

After two years on WLS, I’m happy that this season, the White Sox will instead have their games on WGN Radio.

Where as WLS seemed to put in the bare minimum as a radio partner for the White Sox, WGN has been a great partner for the Blackhawks, and previously as the longtime home for the Cubs and I am hoping the same will happen with the Sox.

The only downside is that the radio broadcasts will still be called by Ed Farmer. I’ve been hoping for years that the Sox would come to the decision that an upgrade at radio play-by-play was badly needed, and each year I am surprised when he is brought back.

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Observations on the NBA’s Christmas Jerseys

Christmas 2013 Bulls NBA Jersey

Photo courtesy of UniWatch.com.

The uniforms worn by NBA teams playing on Christmas Day this year have unofficially been unveiled. According to the Uni Watch, this style uniform will also be used for this season’s NBA All-Star Game.

They resemble what a poor knockoff NBA style practice uniform might look like or what a team might wear at the junior college level (no offense to junior college basketball players or to anyone who makes knockoff NBA merchandise).

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Packers 2013 Season Preview

Just in time for the NFL’s opening kickoff weekend, I wrote a column previewing the 2013 Green Bay Packers. It’s over at ProSportsFix.com, a pretty cool fan sports commentary and news website. After reading my column, be sure to check out the rest of the site.

From the column:

The margin between the Packers and the rest of the NFC North appears to be thinning. While there are some unknowns pertaining to the Bears and the Lions, many are penciling them with the Vikings as being contenders in the division. The Pack can’t have anymore games similar last year’s debacles against the Seahawks (despite the blown call, they still didn’t play a great game) and the fourth quarter collapse to the Colts. They have to beat the teams they are supposed to beat, while holding their own against their NFC North opponents.

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By the Balls: Football’s Flagrant Hold on ESPN

NFL's Tight Grip on ESPN

On Friday, the New York Times released a damning piece that revealed just how much of a grip the NFL has over ESPN, concerning the network’s participating in a documentary about players suffering from football related head injuries. The story has garnered a lot of attention within the sports media community, calling into question the journalistic integrity of ESPN as a result.

On a semi related note, you may recall an ESPN television show 10 years ago called “Playmakers,” which depicted a fiction pro football team overcoming day-to-day hurdles in a fiction pro football league. The NFL didn’t appreciate having such “hurdles” spotlighted — even if the show was fiction — and pressured ESPN into dropping the series.

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‘That Other Pregame Show’ to Launch on CBS Sports Network (or more like that “Other Network”)

That Other Pregame Show

Compared to the efforts of the NBC Sports Network and the newly launched Fox Sports 1, it would appear that the CBS Sports Network isn’t even trying (put aside the aggressive luring of Jim Rome away from ESPN).

In an effort to curb such pessimism, CBS Sports Network announced yesterday they are launching a new expanded NFL pregame show to air each Sunday morning during the NFL season. The name of that show, according to Ed Sherman, will be “That Other Pregame Show.”

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World Cup Viewing Observations from a Non-Soccer Fan

Can’t say I’ve made much attempts in my life to watch soccer, but I did pay half attention to the “extra time” World Cup quarterfinal game on ESPNU between sets at the gym this morning.

A few observations…

  • I wonder if the playing field was narrower and/or shorter, more goals might be scored and that perhaps might draw more viewers from the U.S. An indoor soccer game I watched a few years back very intense and goals were more frequent. The action was intense and dare I say exciting. The field was much narrower and shorter.
  • At one point when one of the Korean players was nearing the net, ESPN at that moment displayed a large graphic which ended up covering him and anyone else hovering around the ball.
  • Further evidence of just how important this game was to ESPN… it was on ESPNU.
  • Why do goalies wear completely different colors than the rest of their teammates? If hockey goalies can wear the same colors (just sayin’)…
  • I may have watched more World Cup then I have White Sox games this year.


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