Category Archives: Sports

Hitting The Ice

One of the most tossed around phrases in all of sports is “defense wins championships.” It seems pretty simple, right? If your team can prevent your opponent from scoring more points, then you should be a pretty successful team. This season, out of all the issues the Blackhawks will encounter, defense will be their number one concern.

To say the defense is thin is a little bit of an understatement. Yes, they do have Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook coming back but outside of those two guys, the Blackhawks don’t have much depth. The loss of Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marian Hossa is huge. Outside of Keith and Seabrook, Hjalmarsson was the Blackhawks best defenseman. The direction General Manager Stan Bowman went in the return of the Hjalmarsson trade shows that the Hawks are trying to do one thing on defense— to get younger.

Connor Murphy was the key return in the Niklas Hjalmarsson trade. Not only is he under team control, but he is also 24-years-old. With the other defensive prospects the Hawks have, Bowman is hinting that getting younger on the back end is a priority, not only because of the talent aspect, but because of the salary aspect, as well. The majority of the Hawks’ money is going to Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, and Saad. This allows Bowman to keep those players, while developing these younger defensemen. Most importantly, they are still on low salary contracts.

How much of a concern should the Hawks’ defense be? Personally, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say an eight, mainly because so many questions remain unanswered. Questions such as who is going to fill the Hjalmarsson void? How much ice time can Duncan Keith handle this season? Will Joel Queneville be able to trust those younger defensemen coming out of camp? Can Seabrook bounce back from last season? Can Michal Roszival return healthy and play decently? Do we see any improvement in Michael Kempny?

Don’t get me wrong, the Hawks have a lot of young defensemen who can really take advantage of an opportunity, but if last year’s post season was any indication, it’s that the Hawks are going to have to be better.

My prediction: the Blackhawks WILL make the playoffs, BUT not win the Central Division or the Stanley Cup this season.

Advertisements

The Ruining of the Bulls

By Tom Okkema

 

Over the weekend the Chicago Bulls were officially eliminated from playoff contention. This will be the first time the Bulls will miss the playoffs since 2008. Due to the ineptitude of the front office and certain players the Bulls have turned a perennial championship contender into a .500 team at best.

This leaves us wondering who do the Bulls need to eliminate?

We want to know what you are thinking too. Take our poll and tune in to “Sports Talk After Dark” tonight at 7p on WCRX-FM 88.1. We want to hear from you so call in (312)663-3512 or check out our Facebook page at Chicago’s Underground. We’ll read your comments on the air.

TRASH TALKING IN SPORTS, WHATS THE HARM?

TRASH TALKING IN SPORTS, WHATS THE HARM?

By: Tyler Bravo

We’ve all heard that there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, but where do we draw the line between friendly, and frightening? Trash talking to me has always, and will always be a part of sports, not a particular game, or any specific skill level, but all sports.  Whether you’re playing a pick up game of basketball in the park, a beer league softball game, or watching the pros on TV, you’re going to hear some trash talking.

110080-muhammad-ali
One of the most iconic, and recognized photos of “The Louisville Lip” AKA Muhammad Ali clearly shows him trash talking his opponent.

The question for me is not if we should ban trash talking but to teach kids the difference between playful banter and trash talk that becomes a form of bullying.  As part of an anti-bullying initiative in New Jersey, high school athletes can now be ejected from a game for taunting opponents.  Many athletic officials think this initiative could serve as a model for other states.

From the time I can remember, any team I played on, or any gym class that I took provided an example of what was “acceptable” trash talking, and what was considered to be crossing the line.  We would all joke and goof on one another, but if someone said, or did something that crossed the line, the teacher, or coach, would immediately intervene. Granted there were times we were without adult supervision, but sportsmanship became part of the game proving that we learned what was ok to say to somebody and what wasn’t.

babe-ruth-home-run
And for the “Sanctity of Sport” argument, even Babe Ruth would chirp it up with the opposing team.

For anyone who says trash talking has never existed in sports, check out Babe Ruth jawing with the Cubs before, during and after his infamous “called home run.”

Let me know what you think about trash talking in sports in the comments below, or call into Sports Talk After Dark with Justin Leoni, Tom Okkema, and yours truly, Tyler Bravo at (312) 663-3512.  Check us out on Social Media at Facebook.com/WCRX or Twitter@WCRXFM.

Sports Talk After Dark every Monday from 7-8PM only on 88.1 FM WCRX! Click here to stream us live!