Ricketts heads to Vancouver to pursue figure skating gold PAGE 3
NHL triples puck size to appeal PAGE 7 to casual fans
Steroid use up 50% among idiot Cardinals fans PAGE 5
Vol. 8, Issue 2
FIRST ‘CUBBY OCCURRENCE’ OF 2010
‘Unbelievable Chicago sports coverage’ www.theheckler.com
MARLON BYRD EATEN BY HUGE MESA GILA MONSTER
“Cubby Occurrences” come with the territory for members of the Chicago Cubs. Players slip in hot tubs and pull muscles while sneezing at regular intervals. Still, nobody could have predicted the latest Cubby Occurrence: Marlon Byrd being eaten by a large Mesa Gila monster. “It’s a tough break,” said Manager Lou Piniella. “He was a good kid, really swinging the bat well. You can’t really see things like this coming, although that lizard was pretty gosh darn big. Maybe Byrd should have seen it coming.” The tragic accident unfolded when Byrd arrived early to camp to hone his swing. The venomous Gila monster—typically known for eating small birds, eggs, and frogs—pounced upon Byrd as the outfielder was digging into the batter’s box. “We were really counting on Byrd to produce this season,” said GM Jim Hendry. “But that Gila monster had some quickness. My scouts love his 40 time.” The Gila monster initially passed over Ronnie Woo-Woo and Geovany Soto before settling upon Byrd as its meal. A local zoologist claimed Woo-Woo probably scared the lizard away with a series of earpiercing chants, while Soto was too small of a snack to satisfy the ravenous beast. -- Jimmy Juliano
FIND BREAKING NEWS AT THEHECKLER.COM
Sosa admits he took Flintstones supplements Tearful slugger finally makes admission fans have wanted to hear Back in 1998, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire thrilled the nation with their pursuit to break Roger Maris’ single season home run record. However, the sports world was “completely shocked” when McGwire recently confessed to using performanceenhancing drugs during that record-setting run. Following McGwire’s lead, Sosa decided to reveal he also relied on substances during his career-best 66 HR season. In typical Sosa secondto-the-punch fashion, the deflated slugger held a press conference in his native Dominican Republic to break the news. “I joos wan to say to all my fan that Sammy is no cheater,” a teary-eyed Sosa said at the podium. “I was taken too tree Flinstone Vitamin every day during my home ron season. I’m berry sorry to the people of Chicago, all my fan, and to baseball. But I want to say Sammy is never a cheater.” When asked about other questionable events, such as the infamous corked bat incident, and his early departure halfway through what would be his last game as a Cub, Sosa was unfortunately no longer able to speak English, and consequently unable to comment. --Drew Adams
Hawks fan can’t wait to cheer for Toews on U.S. Olympic team Also thinks Seabrook, Keith playing for stars & stripes Wrigleyville resident John Wellmeyer has only been a Hawks fan for three months, but he’s already extremely excited about watching Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook compete alongside Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa on the U.S. Hockey Team.
MORE OLYMPICS INSIDE
Schedule shake-up: Figure skating now, luge never. Page 7
“These guys all play for Chicago, so I can only assume they’re American,” said Wellmeyer. “We’re gonna kick Canada’s ass! Do they even have a hockey league up there?” Wellmeyer believes the Olympic experi-
ence will help the Hawks bond. “You know what would be weird? If they had to play against each other,” he said. “I mean, thank God these guys are all going to be on the same team. The last thing we need is Toews with a clear shot at Kane. Competitive juices flowing ... it could get really messy and screw up everything!” --George Ellis
What to look for this month in the sports world 12/9 Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter take over as host for Comcast SportsNite.
2/18 “Hawk” Harrelson caught doing a real-life duck snort: Boisterous Sox play-by-play man found snorting cocaine with Daffy Duck in a Tucson area bathroom.
NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND
Maywood’s Shannon Brown wins slam dunk contest by executing the world’s first onland Triple Lindy dunk over Dwight Howard, while wearing a green Lakers uniform. Steve Nash wins the Taco Bell Skills Challenge consisting of obstacle course, outlet passing, skeet shooting, closest to the pin and a burrito-eating contest.
2/14 Game played, then quickly and quietly forgotten.
2/18 Despite Olympic break, fighting in NHL up 7 percent.
NFL to begin fining fans for not thinking about the NFL 24/7.
Brad Miller becomes 1,000th player called for traveling in NBA history, awarded a set of Samsonite luggage for his troubles.
Zambrano and Soto are both showing up to Spring Training in shape? I would have lost a fortune, again, on that bet. But knowing the Cubs luck it won’t matter. Zambrano will probably pull a pectoral during a bench press rep and end up dropping the weight on Soto’s foot, knocking them both out for the year. The good thing about gambling is that it doesn’t matter what shape you’re in. You just need a little luck, a bit of credit and some sound advice from old Pete. Let’s gamble!
74: Percent of Bulls fans that have deluded themselves into thinking Lebron is going to sign with Chicago in the offseason. 26: Percent of Bulls fans who realize they’ll probably have to settle for overpaying Ricky Davis after failing to sign Lebron, Wade or Bosh in the offseason. $229: Average amount of money the Cubs were able to trick out of a Cubs fan during the offseason before they spent anything on tickets. 85: Percent of scalpers that had to pull their kids out of private school after over buying tickets for the Cubs 2009 season. 76%: Chance that Ozzie’s first f-bomb of the year is used to ask Kenny Williams “we’re paying Rios how *#$&ing much?” $12: Hourly rate for the Cubs to hire someone to stand in the batter’s box during Marmol’s Spring Training throwing sessions.
FEBRUARY 2010 | 3
Conan O’Brien takes gig singing 7th Inning Stretch at Wrigley His tenure at NBC officially over, former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien accepted an offer from the Chicago Cubs to become the team’s full-time seventh inning stretch conductor. The red-headed comedian—known for quirky humor, offbeat sketches and eccentric characters—has been given little wiggle room to ad-lib during each home game performance. “I thought the big wigs at NBC were tight,” said O’Brien. “The
Ricketts family kept stressing terms like ‘fan friendly’ and ‘family environment.’ It seems odd considering the team drowns rowdy fans in booze for three hours and expects them to sober up in 15 minutes for the ride home. It’s an easier DUI sting than waiting at the end of Mel Gibson’s driveway.” O’Brien will not be joined by such characters as “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog” or the
“Pimpbot 5000.” Instead, O’Brien has been given a list of “appropriate rallying cries” to utilize before and after he sings the stretch. “You would think there are only a few ways to say, ‘Lets get some runs!” but you would be wrong,” said O’Brien. “When the team told me I had to prepare for ’81 potential rallies,’ I thought the Democratic National Convention was coming back to town.” --Jimmy Juliano
Mesa keeps Cubs in Arizona with promise Ricketts can host ‘Tonight Show’ in five years RICKETTS TO COMPETE FOR GOLD IN MEN’S WINTER OLYMPIC FIGURE SKATING
NBC has broken many promises over the years, yet would-be hosts still make major life decisions around taking the reins of the Tonight Show franchise. When one Mesa city councilman jokingly offered that they should give Tom Ricketts the gig if he kept the Cubs in Arizona, Ricketts, an avid late night television fan, jumped at the idea.
“We’re stunned he accepted, and have no idea what we’ll do when 2015 comes,” said Councilman Chuck Paul. “But he signed the contract, and contracts are binding, right?” In spite of the fact that most television experts agree NBC will bring back a re-animated Jay Leno zombie before handing the show to anyone else, they give this offer as much validity as any in the past.
“We expect NBC to be a complete disaster in five years,” said television writer Susan Richards. “So the legion of Cub fans that Tom Ricketts might bring would actually be a boon.” “I have a ton of creative ideas in mind for the show,” said an excited Ricketts. “But that didn’t work too well for Conan, so I’m probably just gonna steal a bunch of crap like Leno did.” --Dan Bradley
4 | FEBRUARY 2010
Female fan can’t wait to unveil new breast implants Might make trip to Spring Rraining just to show them off early A Chicago-area woman excited to flaunt her breast enhancements is considering traveling to the Cubs’ Spring
Training to christen her newly added features. The double-F implants are only two weeks old, but Schaumburg resident Gina Fallucci says waiting another two weeks to travel, as suggested by her surgeon, would be too difficult. “Oh my God, that’s like waiting another year,” the former B-cup said. “I’m too
Soriano nearing one millionth spit of career Alfonso Soriano will enter the 2010 season nearing a prestigious club filled with only the most prolific tobacco chewers and cheating pitchers. And although the Cubs outfielder is nearing milestone-marking spit number 1,000,000 in his career, he said that the game he meets the coveted mark will be just like any other. “I’m really trying not to think about it,” said Soriano, hocking a loogey onto the ground. “I’m just going to go out there and play and spit my butt off-and try not to hit Mike Fontenot again.”
While many players would relish hitting the mark, Soriano remains admirably humble about his man-loogeys. “It’s not about numbers for me. I don’t care about getting to 40 home runs, 100 RBIs or a .250 batting average,” he said. “I’ll just be excited to be able to easily calculate how many dollars I get paid per spit.” After several minutes and attempts, Soriano reported the amount to be $136. --Jarrod Rice
proud of these babies to just keep them covered up.” Fallucci’s already booked a bus trip for Cubs’ Spring Training in Mesa, Ariz. (According to Fallucci, she is unable to fly due to her implants’ sensitivity to cabin pressure.) “I’m going to give them lots of sunshine in the bleachers,” Fallucci said.
“I’m bringing tons of tanning lotion.” Outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who is used to Fallucci, a season ticket holder, flashing her breasts in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, did cartwheels when he heard of the woman’s boob job. “It’s going to be a great season,” he said. --Mike Pettit
Ted Lilly to pitch right-handed this season Old 60 mph curve balls expected to top off around 40 Rehab on Ted Lilly’s left shoulder hasn’t gone as planned this offseason, so in an effort to keep Lilly in the rotation, Manager Lou Piniella has decided to pitch Lilly righthanded. “It was either that or give his spot to [Jeff] Samardzija,” said Piniella. “We decided that a
right-handed Lilly would be the better option.” Nobody knows how well Lilly will fare. His curveball, normally topping out at 60 mph, is now expected to top off at around 40. Look no further than Cubs management for blame if things don’t go well. They ruined any chance for a full rehabilitation when they had Lilly man the arm wrestling booth at this year’s Cubs Convention. “We told him to use his right
hand,” said pitching coach Larry Rothschild. “But he’s a competitor and insisted on using his left. It was after Lilly lost to an 80-year-old Cubs fan from Iowa for the fifth time in a row that Piniella decided to take him out. “We’re hoping he’s a better right-handed pitcher than arm wrestler,” joked Piniella. “That old lady whipped him pretty good.” --Michael Kloempken
After losing bid for Cubs, Naples focuses on Waffle Houses, fireworks, retirement homes Retirees in Naples, Fla., are rejoicing over the city’s failure to secure itself as the Cubs’ new Spring Training home. Losing the bid for the team, which decided to continue its stay in Mesa, Ariz., means that Naples can focus its time, energy and money on the local folk, rather than the would-be tourists and youngsters. “Thank heavens we’re not getting that
baseball team,” said Pearl Beckler, a retired medical records supervisor originally from Minnesota. “I like things just the way they are—slow and quiet.” Naples officials had earmarked millions of dollars to prepare and implement the plan of the Cubs playing baseball in their city. The funds remain, and officials say they will use the cash to please their great
retiree population. According to the office of Mayor Bill Barnett, the city is planning to contract construction companies to build more Waffle Houses and retirement homes, bringing the total number of each into triple digits. “I’m so excited I need to change my pants again,” said local retiree Joe
Crenshaw. “Besides, I don’t want that stinkin’ team in my town. They stink more than my dentures after tuna casserole.” Hours after the news broke, throngs of Mesa-area retirees were arrested after they stormed city streets and vandalized and looted local shops and restaurants, police said --Mike Pettit
FEBRUARY 2010 |5
Steroid use up 50% among idiot Cards fans A recent study has determined that, since Mark McGwire’s announcement that he used performance enhancers throughout his career, steroid use among idiot Cardinals fans has skyrocketed up 50%. These idiot Cardinal fans saw other idiot Cardinals fans give McGwire a standing ovation at his first public appearance since his announcement, and decided the only way they could really fit in with the other idiot Cardinals fans was if they injected their idiot bodies with steroids. Completely objective media
sources have claimed that these idiots just inject themselves in their stupid Cardinals fans bodies. According to the independent study just released, they used these steroids, “like the idiots they are.” While the report could not determine if all Cardinals fans were idiots, or just the ones who decided to use steroids were, the study did conclude, “No matter what, anyone who still thinks fondly of Mark McGwire, no matter who they root for…is an idiot.” --Jeff GoodSmith
Selig requires all teams to hire a Steroid Era hitting coach As the black cloud of the Steroid Era fades, Commissioner Bud Selig has sought to correct his indiscretions and blatant incompetence by forcing the fallen heroes of the Steroid Era to earn redemption by taking hitting coach jobs. The likes of Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro have been hired across the league. “Listen, we all know that I covered up for these stars for the sake of money,” said a grinning Selig. “The
American public has a short attention span and has nearly forgotten about Bonds and the rest so it’s time to make them legitimate again.” This has spurned many viable coaching candidates that have been seeking work in the Majors. “This has made my life real hard,” said aspiring coach and former MLB player Robin Ventura. “I’ve started taking steroids now to help me get a job. I only started cheating after I retired from baseball, like Pete Rose.” --Marvin Venis Benjamin
Cash-strapped Pirates report to camp in owner’s backyard The struggling economy has made things a little tight for most Major League Baseball teams. For the already cash-strapped Pirates, it’s made things even worse. In his latest attempt to save money, Pirates owner Robert Nutting has decided to hold Spring Training in his own backyard. The decision didn’t go over well with Mrs. Nutting, however,
after she found out they would be using her garden as the bullpen. “She had me sleeping on the couch for a couple of days,” said an exhausted Nutting. “But she came around when I told her I’d have a couple of the rookies do some chores around the house.” The idea is expected to save a lot of money, but GM Neal Huntington worries that the move will ruin their competitive edge
this season. “Unfortunately we’re not going to be anywhere near the other teams during Spring Training,” said Huntington. “So we’re going to have to play the local high school teams to get into game shape. And it remains to be seen how our pitchers’ trampoline work will translate into lower ERAs.” --Michael Kloempken
6 | FEBRUARY 2010
Jenks gains back weight on Taco Bell Drive Thru Diet White Sox management was disappointed to learn that closer Bobby Jenks’ much-heralded off-season weight loss was completely negated by his recent obsession with the Taco Bell Drive Thru Diet. “I don’t get it,” said Jenks. “The commercials said that lady lost more than 50 pounds eating at Taco Bell, so I ate it as often as I could and put the weight right back on.” Manager Ozzie Guillen counts himself among the many critics who believe the Drive Thru Diet was nothing more than a thinly veiled marketing campaign. “That fat [expletive deleted] thinks he can eat four burritos a day and lose weight,” said Guillen. “He really is as dumb as he looks.” --Brad Zibung
OZZIE TO CAPITALIZE ON HOT VAMPIRE TREND, WEAR FAKE FANGS IN 2010
Sox 2010 ad slogan same as previous 10 seasons: ‘Cubs Suck!’ As a new decade of baseball begins on the South Side, the White Sox are keeping the tried and true ad slogan of “Cubs Suck!” “Fans follow the White Sox for many reasons,” said GM Kenny Williams. “Some come to see a scoreboard explode and some come to see another interesting lineup from
Ozzie. However, one quality every Sox fan can embrace is the fact that we are not the Cubs.” In the past, the Sox have danced around their inferiority issue with the Cubs, promoting ad slogans such as “Us and Them,” which subtly pointed out the differences
between the two clubs. After lackluster attendance, the Sox organization quickly realized a direct approach was more effective. “We could point out the annoying tendencies of Cubs fans, the outrageous prices and obstacles associated with attending
Wrigley Field, or the North Side’s complete infatuation with losing,” said Williams. “Or we could just post ‘Cubs Suck’ on all official documents, and our fans will quickly remember why they follow the White Sox.” --Tim Butterly
FEBRUARY 2010 | 7
NHL triples puck size to improve TV ratings ‘Now I can see it!’ says casual fan The NHL has undergone major changes in the last decade in an effort to increase viewership, improve television ratings, and to simply try and attract more fans. The league has eliminated the twoline pass rule, brought back the shootout, and significantly reduced the amount of pads goalies are allowed to wear, among other changes. The result has been a faster style of play, and ultimately more offense and higher scoring games. However, many casual NHL fans still struggle following the action due to the small size of the puck in relation to the rest of the rink. To combat this problem, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently announced a new rule to be put
into place following the Olympic break. The competition committee has decided to triple the size of the puck in order to make it easier to see on TV. “We want our at-home viewers to have the same action-packed experience as our fans who are at the game in person, but we found that many viewers simply couldn’t see the puck while watching the game on TV, even if they had HD,” said Bettman. “As a league, we could tolerate this no further, so we went ahead and tripled the size of the puck.” When asked if he felt the larger, heavier puck might prove more difficult to shoot and pass, Bettman scoffed. “That’s why we’re also allowing steroids now,” he said. “These guys are gonna be beasts in the crease, baby!” --Drew Adams
Permanent Olympics re-schedule: Figure skating on in 5 minutes, luge never In order to bring the public the ice dancing it desires, the Vancouver Olympics committee is pleased to announce that, from now on, Olympic figure skating will be broadcast exactly five minutes from whenever you
turn on your television. Viewers will no longer be exposed to distressing sports in which participants race down frozen tracks at catastrophic speeds, or confusing activities such as curling, the Canadian pastime of
brushing ice. Further changes include: bobsled is now only available to Comcast customers with insomnia, ski jumping can be heard on AM radio, biathlon is limited exclusively to waiting room tele-
visions, hockey will be broadcast solely to countries that are landlocked and the luge has been cancelled. --Dan Bradley
8 | FEBRUARY 2010
HECKLER STAT PACK Top selling albums by athletes
Top selling JD Salinger novels
1 - Black Album, Metallica* 18 million copies 2 - Shaq’s rap album 123,000 copies 3 - Deion Sanders’ rap album 45,000 copies 4 - Ozzie Guillen’s spoken word album 12,000 copies 5 - Tim McCarver’s adult standards album 34 copies *Metallica frontman James Hetfield played special teams for the 19901993 L.A. Raiders
1 - The Catcher in the Rye 65 million copies 2 - The Pitcher with a Pie 34 copies 3 - The Shortstop wearing a Tie 21 copies 4 - The Outfielder tells a Lie 12 copies 5 - The Cubs fan asks “Why?” 4 copies
The average NBA player has ... 1 - Tattoos 13.4 2 - Posse members 11.2 3 - Groupies 9.5 4 - Awkward shower encounters with Marv Albert 5.6 5 - Guns 4.2
The average NHLplayer has ... 1 - Original teeth 12.3 2 - Cutesy nicknames derived from his last name 10.5 3 - Groupies 9.5 4 - Bromances with former teammates 5.6 5 - Misdemeanors 1.94
Highest average time spent in therapy per fan/per week 1 - Cubs fan 16.5 hours/week 2 - Buffalo Bills fan 13.4 hours/week 3 - Cleveland Browns fan 12.3 hours/week 4 - Oakland Raiders fan (court ordered) 11.6 hours/week 5 - Detroit Lions fan 3 hours/week, during Lions games
Smith & Wesson Players of the Decade 1 - Plaxico Burress, NYG .68 caliber 2 - Gilbert Arenas, WASH .50 caliber 3 - Stephen Jackson, CHAR .45 caliber 4 - 2002 Miami Hurricanes .40 caliber 5 - T.J. Slaughter, JAX .38 caliber
Taj Gibson sets NBA record by fouling out in two minutes In what will most certainly prove to be the only evidence Taj Gibson ever played in the NBA, the Bulls center set a league record by fouling out in just two obscenity-filled minutes. “I don’t know what happened,” said the befuddled Southern
California graduate. “I checked in for Brad [Miller]. Then before I knew it, the crowd was singing that ‘hey, hey goodbye’ song.” The six fouls that Gibson amassed brought his season average up to 5.75 fouls per game. Gibson said that his foul-prone
ways would not affect his style of play in the future. “I’m still gonna do what I gotta do out there,” he said. “I’ll still box-out, I’ll still be aggressive and play hard, and I’ll still elbow dudes in the eye socket.” --Jarrod Rice
Chicago fan has never hated so many hometown coaches at once During a recent rant at the Fifty/50 sports bar, Ukrainian Village resident and serial complainer Eddie Ritnick blasted the coaches of Chicago’s professional sports teams, labeling the entire group—Joel Quenneville excluded—as “one big fail.” “Dude, Lovie, Ozzie, Lou, Vinny—they’re a bunch of sorry
chumps,” said Ritnick. “Mediocrity would be a step up for these guys, yet they’re still around. They’re like the crabs: terrible, embarrassing and really hard to get rid of.” Ritnick also lambasted the coaches of the Fire and Sky. “[Coach Steve] Key has no excuse for not getting to the playoffs last year. The Sky were
primed for the postseason. And why the hell can’t the Fire win home games? They need to get that bum [Denis] Hamlett out of there ... wait, they already did? Well, I’m sure this de los Cobos guy is going to suck too.” Added Ritnick: “Quenneville’s pretty good, though.” --Brian Summerfield
FEBRUARY 2010 | 9
Angelo produces ABC drama ‘Desperate GMs’
‘ESPN Favre’ channel set to debut in February 24-hour access to retirement, Madden love fest While he vacillates over whether to retire for the umpteenth time, quarterback Brett Favre and his family are holed up in their Mississippi home preparing to watch six months of “ESPN Favre,” a new channel from the World Wide Leader, set to debut this month.
The network will feature 24-7 programming of all things Favre, including two-hour documentaries, “Greatest Interceptions Thrown in NFC Title Games,” “Where is My Gosh Darn Vicodin” and “There Really IS Something about Mary.” Dead air time will be filled with pictureque stock footage of Favre riding his tractor, alternated with live shots of a podium and microphone stand, in anticipation of Favre’s impending retirement speech.
As a special bonus, all shows will be hosted by Hall of Fame announcer John Madden or comedian Frank Caliendo, impersonating Madden. “I mean, Brett Favre is the Brett Favre of everything Brett Favre,” said Caliendo as Madden. “If Brett Favre were a turducken, he’d still throw for four touchdowns a game and look good in his Wrangler jeans. Boom!” --Jeremy Barewin
From the network that brought you such hit shows as Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Hank, ABC now ventures into a new realm of drama series. This new prime-time show will focus on the lives and times of struggling general managers, called Desperate GM’s. Honored to receive the call to produce the new show, Bears GM Jerry Angelo quickly cleared time in his schedule by delegating the handling of this year’s draft to Head Coach Lovie Smith. “The network executives approached me regarding this groundbreaking series,” said Angelo. “They felt my experiences as GM made me the perfect candidate to contribute this brand of entertainment.”
The drama series will chronicle the career of fictional pro football GM Johnny Ingelou. Episode themes will include Ingelou mortgaging draft picks for an underachieving quarterback, dealing with coaches that reject his job offers, and watching players he released go on to succeed in other organizations. Angelo also elaborated on some of the extended cast you can expect to see. “Not to give too much away, but I’m also looking to incorporate a character named Mac Mullen, GM of Detroit,” revealed Angelo. “You’ll witness that crazy S.O.B. draft an entire team of wide receivers! You just can’t make this stuff up.” --Brian Berns
MIKE MARTZ CAREER HIGHLIGHTS 1906 - Invents the forward pass 1945 - Builds a quarterback from body parts stolen from graveyard 1967 - Really, really starts looking like a creepy uncle 1999 - Convinces Kurt Warner he is actually the one true God. Inspired Warner leads St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl title 2006 - Elected to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
RONNIE WOO-W WOO HIRED AS BEARS STRENGTH COACH 1114 W. Belmont, Ste 7, Chicago, IL 60657
10 | FEBRUARY 2010
Angelo and Smith: The Bungle Brothers THIS I SCREAM By Screamin’ Johnny Blaze, Heckler Sports Talk Radio Host
olks, I think we can all agree that Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith couldn’t have done a better job of bungling their offensive coordinator search if they tried. In fact, if bungling things were something people always tried to do, Angelo would be considered the most successful man in the world. Clearly the only thing worse than courting a bunch of guys I’ve never heard of to be the second most important coach on the team is getting turned down by a bunch of guys I’ve never heard of. But talk about your 180 degree turns. Sure they wasted a bunch of time with the Chudzinskis and the Zampeses, but who cares, they ended up with a genius. It’s like Rosie O’Donnell rejectin your request to be your prom date, but then going with
Angelina Jolie instead. And getting lucky with her and her friend Halle Berry on prom night. With Mike Martz leading the way, showing the Bears how offense is supposed to be played, Jay Cutler will throw for 7,000 yards, the two Devins will rack up 2,000 receiving yards each, and the Bears will average 50 points a game. Yes, Martz is bringing his high-flying, shoot ‘em up, run and gun, greatest show since sliced bread offense to the Bears. He’s going to turn their offense from a laid-back poker night into the wildest, craziest
party on the block. And if there’s one thing that Screamin’ Johnny Blaze knows about, it’s crazy parties with lots of scoring. Well, actually if there’s one thing Screamin’ Johnny Blaze knows about, it’s EVERYTHING! And that’s how I know an offense put together by Mike Martz is just what the Bears need to get back to the Super Bowl. But hey, in the extremely unlikely event that I am wrong about this and the Bears suck again next year and don’t make the playoffs and fire everybody and bring in Bill Cowher to run things, I’d be fine with that too.
Hijnks of The Heckler Mascot By Paul Czarnowski
Chicago has a rich history of gang activity and the most well-k known incident was the Saint Valentine's Day massacre in Lincoln Park. Even though it happened more than 80 years ago, Cubs superfan and notorious publicity hound Ronnie “Woo-W Woo” Wickers found a way to work himself into photos of the event. Wickers was pacing outside Wrigley Field like he does every winter afternoon and saw a gaggle of news photographers heading south on Clark Street. Never one to miss out on a chance for free exposure, Woo-W Woo followed the reporters and wound up forever associated with one of Chicago’s darkest days. Email your Woo-W Woo pics to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to the Woo-W Woo gallery at theheckler.com.
THE REAL DEAL
FEBRUARY 2010 | 11
Pitchers, catchers and Roger Federer THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
LOCO ROB Rob C. Christiansen rob@ theheckler.com
xpectations haven’t been this low for the Cubs in seven years. Of course, expectations have nothing to do with the price of tea in China, or the price you pay for a Cubs ticket. Expectations were low heading into the Cubs’ fabled 2003 season, too, but if you begin thinking that low expectations can’t be bad, then you defeat the purpose of having low expectations, especially when they concern the Cubs. At least there can’t be any more scapegoats. Since the Cubs are owned by someone whose last name isn’t Company, he can be quickly found and blamed. No one is happier about this than Jim Hendry, who took a lot of abuse
from people who were kind enough not to rail against their paperboy when the Tribune Co. owned the team. So, the Cubs are building a new Spring Training stadium. They considered a move to Naples, Florida so that they could practice against the Yankees and Red Sox. If playing A.L. juggernauts is that important to Tom Ricketts, the Cubs can meet them halfway in the Astrodome, or try making it to the World Series once in a while. Since a ‘Series title is key to the new owner’s mission statement, Spring Training games against either team would appear to be anticlimactic. Hohokam Stadium is allegedly “outdated,” having been built in 1997. Mesa’s Abercrombie & Fitch will gladly pay all the costs of a new training camp for business reasons. Heaven forbid there aren’t any Cubs fans around to buy $95 sandals at their store. By the way, the Cubs won’t even discuss leaving Wrigley Field anytime
soon, since it’s only eight years old. When it comes to “getting their man,” the free agents recently signed by the Cubs arguably live up to the spirit of that expression. They acquired dudes who will try to keep them ahead of the Pirates, and saved money for important things like rebuilding
Ameritrade. The Cubs had opportunities to sign players that are actually pretty good, like Justin Duchscherer. Roger Federer would have been a good signing for the Cubs because he recently proved again he serves a mean tennis ball. Federer quite handily could have worked as a pitcherer, I mean
pitcher. The t-shirt vendors around Wrigley could have sold shirts proclaiming, “40 love Roger’s fastball!” Maybe you shouldn’t care about the Cubs’ expectations. Maybe you should only worry about other things that you have no control of, like the weather for games you plan to see at Wrigley this year.
ABOUT THE HECKLER The Heckler is about life as sports fans in Chicago. It has absolutely no affiliation with any sports team. Largely satirical, The Heckler also contains bonafide sports news and commentary. All names used in a satirical context are fictional, unless the individual represented is famous or otherwise noteworthy. The Heckler is published monthly. Special issues of The Heckler are published as warranted. There is a limited amount of each issue of The Heckler, so please take one and treat it well. The Heckler can be found at various honor boxes in Chicago, as well as bars, restaurants, coffee shops and other establishments. Additionally, content from The Heckler can be found at TheHeckler.com. To advertise in The Heckler, call 773-220-1669. Please call 877-875-7277 with all other matters. Copyright 2010 by The Heckler. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of The Heckler is allowed without written permission. Publisher/Editor in Chief Brad Zibung, email@example.com Managing Editor George Ellis, firstname.lastname@example.org Design Manager Matthew Wood Copy Editor Angela Childers
Graphics Wizards Kurt Evans Brian Lyons Cartoonist Paul Czarnowski Tech Support Derek Hall
Bookkeeper Becca Zibung Subscriptions email@example.com Letters to the Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Cease and Desist Letters email@example.com