Posts tagged #chicago bears

Chewbacca, A Chicago Bear?

Not quite Chicago, but Chewbacca makes an appearance in Seattle… so it's kinda close? (Courtesy CBS Sports)

Today Guest-writer Tony Garcia reports on some galaxy shaking news coming out of Chicago… here's Tony:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Okay, it was actually today. And it wasn't far away at all. In fact I was in my truck and listening to sports radio like I do every day. A story that caught my attention came across the radio waves and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's been on my mind for a few reasons, mostly because it crosses two of my passions: film and sports.

Until today I didn't know George Lucas was looking to erect a Star Wars museum. I won't try to lie to you, I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. I've seen the original three films and that's it. I respect the series and since J.J. Abrams is now attached to future Star Wars projects, I might have to catch up. Even though I'm not a fan of the empire that George built, the idea of a Star Wars museum intrigues me. I'm a sucker for old movie memorabilia, props, scripts, etc. I would be ignorant to ignore the impact that Star Wars has made on the film industry. You'll never hear me refer to someone as geek or nerd for liking Star Wars or Star Trek. We're all nerds in one way or another. 

So George Lucas originally wanted to build this shrine in or near San Francisco. Makes sense since Skywalker Ranch is nearby. However, there was a report today that Mr. Lucas isn't getting exactly what he wants from the city of San Francisco and he may be forced to look elsewhere.

According to the report from my radio, that somewhere might be Chicago. Hey, I know that place! That's where I live! Now you've got my attention. But what the hell does this have to do with sports? I wondered the same thing. Why was this story making it's presence on my precious sports radio?

It turns out Chicago Mayor Rahm Emannuel has already reached out to the Lucas team to bring that museum here to the lakefront. More specifically, the lakefront right next to Soldier Field. The proposed land would take out one of Soldier Field's parking lots. Said parking lot is actually the main tailgating parking lot just south of the stadium, which many meatball Bears fans appear to be quite upset about. 

There was a report in the Chicago Tribune today that claimed that Lucas would actually replace the lost stadium parking spots by building a parking garage underground and actually double the current parking capacity. Many people don't know but there are only literally a few thousand parking spots for a stadium of nearly 62,000. It's always a hassle getting to and from Soldier Field. Public transportation is a must on game day. 

I'm all for the Star Wars museum coming to Chicago. My 6-year old son is actually a huge fan of the franchise. He knows more about it than I do. I would cherish taking him to a place like that just to see his face light up. I was skeptical as to why Chicago would be a destination until I read that Lucas' wife is actually from Chicago. So there are ties there. 

As a crazy Bears fan I also don't want to see the tailgating parking lot turned into anything. Poor Soldier Field already looks like a spaceship crashing into the top of The Parthenon. In a perfect world we can give George a better location on the lakefront. Perhaps one of the spots that were going to be used for the 2016 Olympics that Chicago failed to snag would suffice. I'm sure there's a solution to keep fans of Star Wars and Da Bears happy. I just don't think the that piece of land is big enough to support Ditka, Cutler and Yoda. Time will tell.

Posted on May 22, 2014 and filed under Movies.

Mothers, The Real MVPs

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (Courtesy Bleacher Report)

Athletes can be huge jerks sometimes. Not Kevin Durant. In case you missed it, Kevin Durant won the NBA MVP award last week. He then made an MVP acceptance speech for the ages. He showed what a class individual he is. It was a fine display of humility for a guy that could take the same road as many athletes do once they reach the top of the sports food chain, which is become me-first jerkwads that forget they are just humans like the rest of us.

During his speech he told a few stories from his childhood and pointed out and thanked his personal MVP… his mother. The moment was emotional. Watching the video might make you shed a tear or two. My eyes even started to sweat a little, not gonna lie.

While I was watching I kept thinking about the sacrifice it takes to be a mother. I thought about my own mom raising me and my brother as a single parent for the first 10 years of my life. I thought about how crazy of a Bears fan she was in the 80s and 90s. There's no doubt where my love for sports came from. She would yell at the TV when the Bears were on. I always knew it was serious and now I carry on that tradition. Only I've expanded my yelling to include the Cubs, Blackhawks and Bulls. Thanks mom.

I also think of my wife and how great she is with my son. Without her there's no way my son could enjoy sports the way he does. Mom's pave the way to allow kids to be involved in sports. People say soccer mom like its a bad thing. It's badass. It's a badge of honor if you ask me. Their support in just being at games is monumental.

And don't get me started on the subject of me watching games. I'm a frickin' ball of nerves watching one of my teams play. I'm also a huge pain in the ass when they lose. I know this. But I'm still a pain in the ass. I'll sit there with my arms folded and not say a word. You could fry an egg on my head after a tough Bears or Blackhawks loss.

But Lindsay knows when the going gets tough, I just need my space to calm down for like an hour. She's not only supportive for my son Jack's sporting adventures, she comes to watch me play and support me in my games as well.

So guys and gals, don't forget to return the favor and show your mom's some love today on her special day. It doesn't matter if you're Kevin Durant or just an old guy playing in a men's league, your mom's helped all of you and encouraged you to participate in sports which in some way has shaped you into the person you are today.

Happy Mother's Day, mom. Happy Mother's Day, Lindsay.  You are the best moms that one son and husband can ask for. I thank you and love you guys with all of my heart.

Posted on May 11, 2014 and filed under Sports.

Finding Faith in Humanity

Michael Sam at the 2014 NFL Combine (Courtesy CBS Sports)

Earlier this evening the NFL Draft concluded. Usually the  third day of the draft is the least eventful of all the days. By now most of the college stars that are household names are scooped up. Most of the guys drafted today will be in and out of the league within a few years. Some will be cut before they get to play a snap of pro football. Some will become future hall of famers. There are players drafted first overall that never find success. Tom Brady, American Male Ugg enthusiast, was a flabby 6th round pick at one point. There are no rules to knowing who's skills will or won't translate to the pro game. That's why it's such a gamble, but a very fun gamble.

Today wasn't the ordinary boring third day of the draft. Today was Michael Sam day. Michael Sam is a defensive end from the University of Missouri. He was the SEC co-defensive player of the year. He is 6'2" and weighs 261 lbs. He is also the first openly gay professional athlete.

For a while it looked like he wasn't going to be selected. But in the 7th round the St Louis Rams pulled the trigger and made sports history. ESPN had cameras covering the event at Sam's draft party. If you haven't seen the video, I encourage you to do so. Sam was shown on the phone talking with the Rams. He burst into tears as he was told he was going to be selected. He then proceeded to kiss his boyfriend. It was a cool moment.

Of course, not everyone is on board with this "new age" love. Twitter was ablaze with intolerant morons that don't recognize the importance of this moment. I feel sorry for those people that can't handle the fact that two people love each other and shared a special moment. There was one misguided fellow that questioned how he was going to explain to his kids that two men were kissing on television! I can't possibly imagine how this poor man now has to go out of his way to explain to his son that it's entirely possible that two men actually love each other. 

Some of us, and I'd like to say the majority of us, just shrugged it off. We grasped the importance of the moment but didn't see anything weird about a couple kissing on TV. Some of us may have even done our jobs as parents and told our kids that both of those men were human beings and its ok for two people to love each other. How would I explain this "Michael Sam situation" to my own son? It wasn't as easy as it seemed. 

"Well son, Michael Sam is what the NFL general managers call a 'tweener'. That means he's having a hard time being assigned a position because of his size and weight. He's too small to be a lineman and too big to run around and be a linebacker. So he may struggle." And that, Sir Idiots of Twitter, is how I would explain it to my son. I have an issue with the modern day mongrel that sees love as a disease. Those that feel the same way are the true disease.

As we move on in time future generations will become more and more tolerable of same sex relationships. One day, hopefully in my lifetime, there will be a point in time where people look back at this moment in time and wonder why a gay professional athlete being drafted was such big news. For now, we unfortunately have to deal with the hatred and bigotry spewed from the mouths of the stupid. But today was a giant leap in the right direction. Today was a good day in sports history. Now all Michael Sam needs to worry about is Michael Sam the football player. I hope he does well. Just not when the Rams plays the Bears.

Posted on May 11, 2014 and filed under Sports.