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Cubs issue DVD commemorating 5th place NL Central finish PAGE 4

‘Keep Wrigleyville beautiful’ ads released PAGE 3

HECKLER HEADLINES Here are some of the stories we were just too lazy to write ...

Martz takes out life insurance policy on Cutler PAGE 10


Vol. 8, Issue 9


‘Unbelievable Chicago sports coverage’



Cutler institutes 20-step drop to buy more time


Bears QB will also use long snapper out of the shotgun



Sandberg passed over for skipper role, asked to join team as second baseman Favre pleads guilty to being creepy old man Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has found himself in the middle of a brewing scandal over his conduct two years ago while a member of the New York Jets. It was revealed last week that Favre allegedly sent text message photos of his penis to a

female who was working as a sideline reporter for the Jets. Earlier today Favre–a grandfather–publicly plead guilty to being a creepy old man. “What can I say?” asked Favre in his signature Mississippi twang. “Back in

the day I used to get away with childish stuff like this all the time but now that I’m a graying old man, I guess it just comes off as creepy.” Favre’s Vikings will take on the Jets on Monday Night Please see FARVE Page 13

Already having to adjust to the 7-step drop in Mike Martz’s exceptionally complicated offense, Jay Cutler has decided to take matters a step further. In fact, he is going to take it exactly 13 steps further after each snap to buy enough time in the pocket. “Mike’s system revolves around timing and he has challenged me to create that extra time,” said Cutler. “After studying the playbook and evaluating our offensive line, the 20-step drop appears to be our best chance for success.” Cutler added that he plans to work quite a bit out of the shotgun. However, his new drop-back distance will force out longtime center Olin Kreutz for long snapper Patrick Mannelly. More complex wide receiver routes will also be added to the mix. While experts predict these moves will result in a passing average between 3 and 15 yards per play, head coach Lovie Smith was quick to endorse his crew. “Jay is our quarterback and Mike is our coordinator,” Smith blandly stated. “Their deep drops, zig-zag patterns and lateral movements will eventually lead to something good.” -- Brian Berns

ON DECK 9/25 Koyie Hill given lead role in upcoming Kevin Costner biopic.

9/26 Left field ball girl gives Alfonso Soriano some fielding tips.

9/29 Location of 2-1

pitch absolutely flabbergasts Hawk, Stoney.

3 3 for

Our Heckler panelists take on pressing sports issues of the day

Who would you rather own, the Bears or the Cubs?

9/30 Problem for Cubs

poor season of offense dis- Are you excited about the new covered: Mayor Daley’s 2011 Camaro? friends from “The Outfit” had fit their bats with silencers this year.

10/3 Cubs begin search for more players with names that sound like “Marlon” or “Starlin” as they seem to be the only dudes who can hit.

10/5 Madden gamer

watching Bears/Cowboys upset player don’t look very realistic.

How do you feel about the Cover-2?

Chug-Chug the Comeback Clown

Sox Fan Joe Malonecki

Screamin’ Johnny Blaze

Bears. Then we’d go beat up the sissy Cubs and their fans.

Both so I could show this town what dynasties look like

Cubbies all day. Unless anyone on the Bears can pitch.

I’m still rocking out in my ’76 Camaro. No big deal.

Nothing beats SJB’s ’88 Taurus. Nothing.

I only drive Toyotas because of their ad in LF at Wrigley.

That’s a new condom, right? Ol’ Joe just says no to those.

Lovie’s a moron to use it. Unless it works. Then he’s a genius.

Cover-tu’s the Korean guy Hendry’s going to sign, right?

10/10 In-game mis-

communication between starting safeties leads to couples therapy.

10/10 Jack Nicholson imi-

tates Frank Caliendo on Fox pregame show. Also has fat comedian killed, maimed.

While you may be happy to finally see football season upon us, don’t turn your eye away from the baseball diamond quite yet, there’s lots of money to be won in the playoffs. Besides, do you really want to spend four months watching the Bears? Especially when Angelo is probably going to trade away the first-round draft pick again. So keep your eyes on the prize and the money will flow your way. Let’s gamble!

73: Percent chance the guy in the Bears jersey sitting to your right is secretly rooting against the Bears for fantasy football reasons. $2.5 million: Combined salary of all the Chicago Cubs’ September callups. $2.5 million: Monthly salary of Alfonso Soriano ... through 2014. Oct. 25: Day Jay Cutler demands a trade back to Denver. 36: Columns in the Sun Times and Tribune about "Manny being Manny" 0: Times "Manny was Manny" during his Sox tenure. 89%: Percentage of Sox fans that refer to the Twins as the Minnesota F*#$ing Twins.



SEPT/OCT 2010 | 3

Chamber of Commerce unveils ‘Keep Wrigleyville Beautiful’ ads ‘Puke in a Garbage Can’ and ‘Don’t Throw Used Condoms on the Sidewalk’ among themes Ethel Moore was cautiously optimistic when she first spied the new billboard from the East Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. “Maybe those will get Cubs fans to think twice about their behavior,” said the octogenarian. “I guess it’s better than doing nothing, but I’m just sick and tired of cleaning vomit out of my rhododendrons.” The billboard in question offers the advice, “Puke in a

Garbage Can,” and is one of the new PSA initiatives of the chamber’s new “Keep Wrigleyville Beautiful” campaign. Other entries in the series include “Don’t Throw Used Condoms on the Sidewalk,” “Harry Caray Wouldn’t Piss on That Garden Gnome” and “If You Must Ditch Your Panties After the Game, Sell Them on craigslist.” The last slogan especially hit home for Evanston season ticket holder Jeff Pflug, who often

spends time at Sluggers after games. “The first time I found chick underwear on my car antennae, I’ll admit it was amusing,” he said. “But one night last month, it was pouring when I drove off and they somehow got stuck in the windshield wipers—those crusty panties could’ve killed me!” It’s still too early to gauge success, but the used condom found stapled to one of the bus shelter posters hints at the possibility of the campaign’s goals backfiring. -- John Biederman

Ricketts sets sights on offseason cup holder improvements ‘Should we make them bigger or deeper?’ asks owner With his rancid first season as team owner finally in the rearview mirror, Chairman Tom Ricketts has set some lofty goals for improving the organization in

2011. Shrugging off the notion of adding a power-hitting first baseman or a front-line starter to the team, Ricketts outlined his keys to a successful off-season in three words: “better cup holders.” “We already provided state-of-the-art troughs for the guys and more stalls for the ladies,” said Ricketts. “Cup holders were

next on my list. Any on-field player personnel decisions will have to wait until 2015 at the earliest.” Some other high-priority enhancements include new drip trays for the soft drink machines, a fresh coat of yellow paint on the Wrigley foul poles, and a bronze statue of Yosh Kawano in the clubhouse.

But the cup holder situation has taken precedent. “I want bigger, but my sister Laura wants deeper,” said Ricketts. “It has turned into a huge family debate. I really hope we can make a decision before Jim Hendry names Gary Varsho our new manager.” -- Jeremy Barewin

4 | SEPT/OCT 2010


Revamped Big Z impresses Hendry GM inclined to offer hurler another fat contract, go out on a limb for dud Adam Dunn Just when it was apparent the Cubs’ only hope to trade troubled hurler Carlos Zambrano was for him to impress a GM by pitching well in the last weeks of a failed season, the Cubs have found a taker. However, the taker they have found is Cubs GM Jim Hendry. “I’ll forget about Big Z’s transgressions earlier this year and focus on his three straight wins since August 24,”

said Hendry. “A guy like that could really step up and help us next year.” Hendry, wanting to ward off the competition for Big Z, is suddenly concerned with the five-year, $91.5 million contract extension the right-hander signed in August 2007. “August 2012 is around the corner,” said Hendry. “I better meet with Carlos’ agent.” Hendry also said he wants to sit

down with Adam Dunn’s people. Although he had no idea Dunn struck out 199 times for the Nationals this year, Hendry is impressed with Dunn’s 38 HRs and 103 RBI and wants to prove that signing a Nationals free agent is not a jinx a la Alfonso Soriano. “I’m thinking of a number,” Hendry confidently teased the reporter. “It’s the amount I’m offering Alan Dunn to help us out next year.” The reporter had to remind Hendry the slugger’s first name is actually Adam. -- Rob Christiansen

Ryno teaches youngsters how to be a Cub His Triple-A Iowa club blows two-game lead in final weekend


Going into the final weekend of the year, Ryne Sandberg’s Iowa Cubs were tied with the Memphis Redbirds for the PCL American North Division. Memphis owned the tiebreaker, so Sandberg knew his team would need to win three of four to make the playoffs. Iowa won Friday and Saturday,

needing just one more win in the final two games. That’s when Ryno decided to teach his youngsters how to be a Cub. On Sunday, there were no black cats, no goats and no Hall of Fame manager as Sandberg got tossed in the first inning. And despite coming back to tie it in the sixth, the Cubs lost 7-6 in 15 innings. On Labor Day, as the promotion at Principal Park was “As Seen on TV” day, the 10,069 in the stands saw what many Cubs fans have seen on TV for years—the Cubs bullpen blowing a

6-4 lead and a chance at the playoffs. “I told the boys about the summer of ‘69, and about needing one more win in ‘84 and ‘03 to go to the World Series,” said Sandberg. “I told them blowing a two-game lead with two games left is what being a Cub is all about, and I think they felt better.” When asked about the relief woes in the final two games, Ryno added, “We would have had a better chance if my whole bullpen wasn’t in Wrigley.” -Vince LiFonti



SEPT/OCT 2010 | 5

Piniella enjoys 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. early-bird dinners ‘Pina coladas don’t start until 4,’ says former Cubs skipper from his Florida home Recently resigned Cubs skipper Lou Piniella has enjoyed every bit of his early retirement in Florida. Much of his newfound excitement has come from taking

full advantage of the reasonable prices through early bird specials targeting local senior citizens. Reportedly, Piniella hasn’t missed one of the meals yet.

“Did you know if you show up at 3 p.m. you can get a gallon of potato salad and six roast beef sandwiches for the low, low cost of $9.99?” said Piniella. “When I found that out I started crying again.” Sean Rosenhaus, server at one of Lou’s favorite hangouts, commented on the former manager’s presence there.

“He loves those specials, but when the $2 Pina Coladas start at 4 he tends go a bit crazy,” he said. “Lou racked up a $147 tab last Thursday, blowing away the old record.” -- Andy Landgrebe

Yanks eye Mike Quade for 2011 manager Helping to perhaps fulfill the Cubs’ prophesy that he will manage them, Yanks manager Joe Girardi is being pushed out the door by the Bombers because they are tired of him. “Joe is boring,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman. “It’s just win, win, win with him. We want the rollercoaster of our ‘70s Bronx Zoo teams under Billy Martin. That’s where Mike Quade comes in.” Cashman said that Quade resembles Mr. Clean, “a real SOB.” “Mike’s going to wear an earring and stand outside the dugout with arms folded and smile, nodding occasionally,” said Cashman. “Intimidation is the key to winning.” -- Rob C. Christiansen

10-yyear-o old thankful school started Being a Cubs fan has constantly been a test of will and loyalty. Rooting for a team as poor as the current Cubs squad is the cause of internal struggles and self-loathing. Ten-year-old Cubs fan Billy Keenan has finally found an out: the start of school. Billy was fed up with being dragged to Wrigley Field by his grandfather, a lifelong Cubs fan. The elder Keenan was

constantly preaching about the greatness of Ernie Banks and the history of the North Side ballpark. “We would park in a scary man’s garage, have beer spilled on me, walk up a ton of ramps to watch the Cubs lost, 14 to 2,” said Billy. “I don’t understand why that’s fun.” -- Marvin Venis Benjamin

Cubs unable to remove L flag after loss of last home game of season The Cubs are finished playing games at Wrigley Field for 2010, but a reminder of the team’s terrible season will remain in place for indefinitely after the stadium’s grounds crew was unable to pull down the L flag traditionally flown after defeats of the home team. “It’s the damnedest thing,” said head groundskeeper Roger Baird. “We flew it up there after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals and now we can’t get it down. It’s just stuck.” Baird said the Cubs have yet to decide how to handle the situation. They might be forced to leave it up all winter long. “Whenever someone goes by Wrigley this off-season they’ll think about the Cubs losing,” said Baird. “But let’s be honest, they were going to be thinking that anyway so it’s really not that big of a deal.”


6 | SEPT/OCT 2010



‘Favreing’ added to dictionary as verb

NFL puts refs on ziplines after Peyton Manning has a hissy fit The NFL was simply trying to protect officials by positioning them behind the line of scrimmage, but a 5-yard, preseason delay of game penalty caused Peyton Manning to demand the umpires be removed from the field entirely. Naturally, the league acquiesced. “This wasn’t some irrelevant player from Detroit or Baltimore,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We’re talking about Peyton Manning. When he started whining, we knew we had to act. The zip line is an innovative solution.” Positioned 30 feet above the gridiron, the umpires will now be able to scan the field without ruining the flow of the Colts offense. “It’s a good thing they fixed this!” cried Manning, still puffy-eyed from the temper tantrum he threw just minutes earlier. “It wasn’t fair. It’s like how we lost the Super Bowl even though everyone knows we were supposed to win.” -- George Ellis

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has his rightful place secured in the NFL record books. Those not interested in professional football accolades can now look to a different book for mention of the Great One’s name: Webster’s Dictionary. “Favreing,” a verb with multiple meanings, has officially been added to the canon of the English language. Favreing—pronounced /farv-i?/—is defined as 1: to incessantly hem and haw on one’s vocational status; 2: to seek attention through excessive and gag-

inducing showiness; and 3: to send text message photos of one’s genitals to busty floozy co-workers. The verb has already found its way into SAT and ACT exam prep booklets. Real life examples are used to illustrate the true essence of favreing. For example: “Rick threw his hands up in the air and sobbed violently when his expensive Mercedes would not start at the family picnic. A large crowd of relatives gathered to assess the commotion and deduced Rick was favreing when the car

started just fine.” Another example: “Timmy was the best speller at elementary school. He was really favreing when he said he wouldn’t participate in the spelling bee, even though everyone knew that he would.” Finally: “Jane did not study for the bar exam while her fellow students labored for weeks. Jane hoped by favreing she would still become a successful lawyer.” -- Jimmy Juliano

36 commercial breaks added to NFL broadcasts Halftime expanded by 2 hours to accommodate long-form branded entertainment Football viewers who can’t get enough of Terry Bradshaw’s malapropisms, Howie Long’s tedious delivery and Jimmy Johnson’s coiffed silver mane will have a lot to look forward to this season. The Fox Network’s football broadcasts will be expanded to make room for more ad placements and longer segments from the Fox NFL Sunday team. “Games have been finishing in a scant four hours these past few sea-

sons,” explained Bill Ferguson, senior vice president of sports programming for Fox. “That’s not enough time to totally saturate the viewer’s mind with messages from sponsors. Market research shows that 14 viewings of a commercial with talking babies completely breaks down a consumer’s resistance to a product. But in the current format, they’re only getting 9.5 viewings. So we had to expand the length of the broadcast.” The biggest additions will come to the halftime show. In the new format, the commentators will go through three minutes of highlights, then analyze the first half

of the televised game by awkwardly reenacting each play on their shortened in-studio gridiron. Following that, Jillian Reynolds will provide an in-depth, seven-day forecast for every U.S. metropolitan area with an NFL team. Finally, it will wrap up with a new segment called “Frank Caliendo Does John Madden.” Network sources say this is not an impersonation sketch, and parental discretion is advised. “That should add about two hours to the broadcast,” said Ferguson. “But we think the audience will barely notice.” -- Brian Summerfield



Bears O linemen stop bathing, hope stench wards off defenders Hearing the phrase “you stink” is nothing new to members of the Bears offensive line, who have performed like a fast-leaking sieve over the past several seasons. In a final act of desperation, the O-linemen have taken “you stink” to a new level by giving up bathing altogether in hopes that their awful stench will ward off defenders. “We’re going to blow up every defensive lineman in the league, and that means you Jared Allen,” said starting guard Roberto Garza, who hasn’t changed his underwear in two weeks. “I just hope nobody

lights a match within 100 yards of us. It could be reminiscent of that Hindenburg explosion.” The tactical move, designed by offensive genius Mike Martz, quickly backfired, however, as several key Bears players refused to remain in the same county as their nauseating teammates. “Kreutz smells like hydrogen sulfide and Omiyale reeks of rotten garlic,” said Jay Cutler, from somewhere across the Indiana border. “I think Caleb is our quarterback now.” -- Jeremy Barewin

Local church prepares to say goodbye to men for the next five months There was a second collection plate during masses at Our Lady of Pompeii on Labor Day weekend. It wasn’t to help the school basketball team or to fix the leaky roof above the altar boy room. No, Father Mark DeLaurio has realized the past few years that collections start dwindling during the football season, so he decided to ask the men of the church to give a bit extra to make up for the weeks they’ll be missing during the upcoming Bears season. “Usually, I feel a bit guilty missing mass so I can tailgate early at Soldier

Field,” said parishioner Jimmy Nunzio. “But when Father Mark said a little extra in the kitty will free you of your guilt, I was all in.” But not everyone agreed. Sister Terry sees this as a new way for priests to take advantage of young men. “The Bears have four prime-time games, a bye week, Christmas is on a Saturday, and no amount of praying will get this team to the playoff,.” she said. “So really, there will only be 11 weeks missed. And with the way Lovie coaches, the season

could basically be over by week six, meaning men will be free to attend mass by November.” Some women at mass, including Sandy Vitale, left a bit offended. “Why make us pay extra?” asked Vitale. “Why not just tell the men to come on Saturday night? That’s what I always made my husband do. God rest his soul.” When told about Mrs. Vitale’s solution, Father Mark smiled. “Saturdays,” he said, “are for Notre Dame.” --Vince LiFonti

SEPT/OCT 2010 | 7

MartzBriefs: What’s he up to? Martz gives dinner order too complex for waiter Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz was recently spotted at Gibson’s Steakhouse in Chicago, bewildering and berating a welltrained staff with an elaborate order that a sultan would not have the boldness to order. “Off the record, Mr. Martz made no sense when ordering dinner,” said an anonymous Gibson’s waiter. “He had asked me to bring him something called mustard lasagna, then to run a ‘button hook’ so the chef can ‘hit me in the flats,’ whatever that means.” Martz continued the onslaught of confusion, demanding food the restaurant does not serve and the meat of at least three different extinct animals. Waiters were offended when asked to zigzag wildly between tables to “create separation.” “While he was difficult to accommodate, we found a way to fulfill Mr. Martz’s needs,” said the staff manager. “I told the chef to prepare a porterhouse, rare, with sprinkles and a side of hummus, and for the waiter to run a deep post route. Mr. Martz seemed pleased and tipped generously. He is welcome here any time.” -- Marvin Venis Benjamin

Martz anoints Bears offense ‘Greatest Show on Torn-U Up Brown Sod’ It’s been a decade since Mike Martz designed the championship offense in St. Louis known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” Now the Bears’ offensive coordinator, Martz has branded his current squad, “The Greatest Show on Torn-Up Brown Sod.” “It’s a fitting title for this newlook Bears offense,” Martz said. “I challenge you to find a more entertaining group playing on a comparably dried-out surface. My guys are in a league of their own.” While Johnny Knox and Matt Forte have never been confused with stars like Tory Holt and Marshall Faulk, Martz embraced the subtle reference by only differentiating the playing surface. A Park District employee involved in maintaining the field was also happy to play along. “This gray-haired guy with glasses slipped me $50 to keep the field looking brown,” said an anonymous Chicago Park District contractor. “But, the joke is on him. The Park District hasn’t budgeted for new sod in years.” -- Brian Berns

8 | SEPT/OCT 2010



Bulls hope to lure big Utah fan base Team thinks Chicago fans can also get into polygamy The Chicago Bulls secured a large piece of the coveted Mormon fan base with the signings of former Utah Jazz players Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. Bulls brass are counting on increased revenue streams with such promotions as “Bring your Wives Thursdays” and “Chocolate Milk Tuesdays.”

“Mormons are an overlooked source of revenue in sports due to their penchant for abstaining from alcohol and general desire for modesty,” said Bulls GM Gar Forman. “Typically those traits don’t mesh well with professional sports, but we feel the Bulls provide sensible family entertainment that caters to one’s more unique religious beliefs.” Forman might not have history on his side. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion, was murdered in Illinois in 1844. It is possible Mormons may not take kindly to a return to the scene of the crime.

“The past is the past,” said Forman. “Illinois and the Chicago Bulls are now extremely accommodating with high moral fiber. We successfully ran that gambling and womanizing Michael Jordan right out of town. That speaks volumes to our commitment to ethics.” These ethics seem to be only a sixday per week commitment. Mormons are forbidden from attending sporting events on Sundays and the Bulls have already christened Sunday home games “The Bulls’ Bordello” at the United Center. -- Jimmy Juliano

Team unveils statue of Pippen leaving Chicago restaurant without paying


Notorious for being offensively cheap in the Chicagoland area, Scottie ‘No Tippin’ Pippen has inspired the Bulls front office to erect a statue in honor of the Hall of Fame tightwad. The Bulls front office opted to place the statue at the corner of Rush and State Streets. This was much to the delight of several hundred service industry workers who Pippen stiffed in the neighborhoods high dollar restaurants.

Well-tenured Hugo’s Frog Bar waiter Anthony Pagniachi expressed his excitement with the statue placement. “I finally get to repeatedly spit on the likeness of the man who didn’t tip me twice on a check over $200,” said Pagniachi. “It’s oddly satisfying.” Several other members of the local wait staff have also expressed their displeasure towards Pippen in actions that vary from throwing bot-

tles to urinating on the statue. The Chicago Police Department has turned a blind eye. CPD Sergeant Russ O’Hallaran weighed in on the issue. “If these hard-working people wanna take a squirt on his statue, I don’t care,” said O’Hallaran. “I’m surprised somebody hasn’t lit it on fire yet.” -- Andy Landgrebe



SEPT/OCT 2010 | 9

Local man switches hair to Kane mullet to score girls Eugene Steuben was never a ladies man, but his destiny changed after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. “When Kane scored the winning goal, it made me realize what a loser I was,” said Steuben. “Watching his hair in the breeze on the ice inspired me and I’ve sported a mullet ever since.”

Steuben provided The Heckler an exclusive tour of his collection of hair combs, styling products, and electric razors. “The Blackhawks have Patrick Kane to score goals. I have Paul Mitchell to score girls.” When asked how many dates Eugene has had since the Stanley Cup reached Chicago, he

grinned. “I have to beat ‘em off with a stick,” he said. “I hadn’t had a date since 1982, and I’ve had 20 in the last week.” In honor of his achievements, the Blackhawks are hosting “Eugene Steuben Night” on Nov. 10 versus the Colorado Avalanche. Single guys sporting mullets will not

be charged admission. If a date can be picked up during the game after a successful sobriety test, they will receive autographed Patrick Kane hair products. Kane released a statement in response to Eugene’s local impact. “Eugene is a legend and an inspiration,” said the young

Hawks forward. “On Nov. 10, the ladies of Chicago better look out because the guys are rocking the house.” Participants rumored to be participating in Eugene Steuben Night include White Sox mascot Southpaw, Bozo the Clown and Ozzie Guillen. -- Morgann Spicer

Hawks to release new book on Niemi’s agent revels in winning championships ruining goaltender’s career Title team inspired by Cubs cookbook

Following the release of the Chicago Cubs Cookbook, which features recipes from Ryan Theriot, Carlos Zambrano and Derrek Lee, Blackhawks players announced they’ve been collaborating on a book during the offseason. “It seemed like it would be a fun project for us too, and a good way to build camaraderie,” said team captain and book editor Jonathan Toews. “But we don’t know as much about cooking as the Cubs. We wanted to take on a different how-to topic: winning

championships. They say to write what you know, so that’s what we did.” Most of the players from the 2010 Stanley Cup championship team will be authoring chapters, Toews added. “I’ve never cooked anything more complicated than mac n’ cheese,” said Patrick Kane, who is contributing the chapter “Scoring on Ice and in Bed” for the upcoming book. “Plus, I’ve got lots of money, so I get to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, from any restaurant I want. Don’t get me wrong—I think cooking is a useful skill and all, but I’m more familiar with what it takes to win at hockey than what it takes to make a cake rise.” -- Brian Summerfield

After a disastrous series of negotiations that led to Stanley Cupwinning goaltender Antti Niemi leaving the Blackhawks, and signing for nearly a million dollars less than his arbitration offer, Niemi’s agent Bill Zito has reveled in ruining the career of the once promising young netminder. Zito was seen hanging out with other vilified agents, such as Scott Boras, as he was overheard laughing, saying, “Oh man, when I told

him how much the arbitration offer was, his face lit up! And then, I was like, ‘But we’ve got a deal for so much less’ he had this look like a sad puppy. Have you ever made a hockey player cry? It’s so satisfying.” Zito says that, to continue his destruction of Niemi’s career, he will begin to file down his skates before each of his games, and will coat his goalie stick with lubricant. -- Jeff GoodSmith

10 | SEPT/OCT 2010

Bears make key stop on third down It took more than a bath in the celebratory icy Gatorade, but after smelling salts and 30 seconds of vigorous head-shaking, Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli recovered from fainting to acknowledge a miracle that Soldier Field fans, too, were still processing. “Sweet Jesus,” said Marinelli. “We ... We stopped the Packers on third down! Third down and long!” Similar reactions were registered by Bears defensive players involved in the stop. “I was walking back to take my place on the line for another first down when the reality hit home-I can leave the field; we stopped ‘em!” said Julius Peppers. “It’s a

good thing I tripped ... er, changed my mind and tackled [Packers RB Brandon] Jackson, rather than the fullback, which I was gonna do, not knowing where the ball ... um, just glad my football instinct kicked in." “Hold on, hold on!” said weakside linebacker Lance Briggs upon returning to the sidelines. "I’m not going to comment until it’s official. There’s gonna be a challenge flag, or a booth review or… Really? We stopped ‘em?” In addition to the freakish third down occurrence, reports, unconfirmed as of press time, indicate that head coach Lovie Smith actually raised his voice, pumped a fist and smiled after the play in question. -- John Biederman

Forte flagged for roughing passer after patting Cutler’s helmet The NFL’s crackdown on hits to the quarterback’s head may have gone a bit too far after running back Matt Forte was flagged for a 15-yard penalty when he patted Jay Cutler’s helmet following a good play. “Jay narrowly avoided being sacked twice and scrambled for 15

yards,” said Forte who missed a block on the play. “It was our best run of the day so I congratulated him.” Forte said he and his teammates no longer plan to congratulate anyone for anything, which shouldn’t be a problem given their bad play of late.

MORE BEARS Martz secretly took out $2 million life insurance policy on Cutler prior to game against Giants Coordinator claims coincidence, denies any wrong-doing While Bears fans were mortified after Jay Cutler was knocked out of Sunday night’s Week 4 loss to New York with a concussion, they’ll be even more shocked to learn offensive coordinator Mike Martz took out a $2 million life insurance policy on his star QB earlier this week. The gains Martz could secure with the secret policy may have prompted the terrible play calling that left Cutler so dangerously exposed to injury. Martz first denied the rumors but later acknowledged they were true. However, he claims the insurance policy did not impact the plays he called, nine of which in the first half were ended by Giants sacks. “I normally wouldn’t bet on the death of one of my own players, but I couldn’t afford not to in this case,” Martz said after the Bears’ 17-3 defeat in the Meadowlands. “Jay was already

unfortunately near the top of the league in sacks and the Giants’ d-line is a bunch of killers.” But scrutiny of Martz’s playcalling might suggest otherwise. The Bears did little to combat the Giants’ fierce pass rush and even occasionally put feebleblocking Greg Olsen in the backfield to pick up defensive end Osi Umenyiora who finished the game with three sacks and a pair of forced fumbles.

“Sure, in previous games we took advantage of the opponents’ pass rush by running quick pass plays to the areas of the field vacated by blitzing linebackers,” admitted Martz. “But these guys were flying all over the field. What could I do? Plus, if Cutler doesn’t come out of it, I’m up $2 million. Things have a way of working out for the best.” -- Brad Zibung



SEPT/OCT 2010 | 11

Study: Wrigleyville gulls starved at historic rates due to Cubs no-shows


The high rate of no shows at Wrigley this season affected more than the Cubs’ bottom line as it also caused the rate of seagull deaths in the area to rise to historic levels due to starvation. “It’s quite sad, really,” said Erin Levi, chief ornithologist at Lincoln Park Zoo. “The seagulls from Lake Michigan have depended on leftover scraps of Connie’s pizza and hot dogs as a major portion of their diet for decades now.” If the lagging attendance has

affected the death rate of seagulls, the dead seagulls have had their own effect on the ballpark. The cleanup crew has had to clear everything from tampons to puke in the bleachers, but has never had to clean up bird carcasses, which continually littered the stands. The dead birds affected the Cubs’ play on the field. During a game last month, a dying seagull fell out of the sky and landed on Blake DeWitt’s head while he was trying to catch a routine foul ball.


12 | SEPT/OCT 2010

WNBA manages to get negative ratings for playoffs Everyone knew the WNBA was struggling, but the situation recently hit an alltime low after the women’s basketball league somehow actually achieved negative television ratings for the first round of playoffs. The ratings were so low that it lost to a channel broadcasting nothing but paint

drying 24 hours a day. “That was a real kick in the basketballs,” said Ron Huvane, the WNBA’s Director of Marketing. “I had a feeling they’d beat us in the ratings when they announced we would be going up against fresh coats of electric blue and magenta.” But still, how does a program manage to

receive negative TV ratings? “Negative TV ratings occur when everyone watching a particular show turns off the TV and starts reading books out of boredom,” explained Huvane. “Unfortunately, this could end up being an all too frequent occurrence with the WNBA.”

Now the WNBA will have to try even harder to lure fans after this embarrassment. “Beyond having them play in lingerie, there’s really nothing more we can do,” said Huvane. “For now, we’ll hope that paint channel sticks to black and white.” -- Michael Kloempken

Mariotti’s jury to decide case by screaming at each other while being awarded points by annoying judge who leans back in chair


The domestic abuse case against former Sun-Times sportswriter and current ESPN “Around the Horn” panelist Jay Mariotti, will be not be decided by a standard jury, a judge has ruled. Instead, the Mariotti jury will consist of four media members who will shout at each other for short bursts of times, all while monitored by an annoying judge who points out errors in earlier court rulings and smugly leans back in his chair while rendering his verdict. The evidence will appear at the bottom of the screen, with short headlines that highlight the issue being discussed and prepare the panel jury for the following point. -- Jeff GoodSmith

Carl Edwards wins charity go-k kart race, accidentally runs over Aflac duck in Victory Lane What should have been a joyous occasion for Carl Edwards took an ironic twist of fate Thursday night in Atlanta during a celebrity charity gokart race sponsored by Aflac. The race honored area drivers with perfect driving records by allowing them to race Sprint Cup Drivers. Edwards won the event by three cart lengths over Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. In his excitement, Edwards accidentally accelerated the car too fast into victory lane, crushing the Aflac

duck to death. Fans and drivers wept uncontrollably and were escorted to nearby grievance counselors for assistance. “I’m so upset, I can’t even think about eating,” said Stewart weeping uncontrollably as he slammed his hauler door to the media. “Mr. Quack had been in the business for nearly 20 years,” said Aflac president Robert Duck. “His hearing was gone and he hasn’t flown home since 2000. The search is on for his replacement and we will leave no pond unturned. The best quacker will be recruited for the job.” -- Morgann Spicer



SEPT/OCT 2010 | 13

Cubs to properly embrace history CHUG-CHUG: INACTION of losing in 2011 marketing efforts Hijnks of The Heckler Mascot By Paul Czarnowski

A confidential source deep within the Cubs organization revealed the terrible 2010 season fit in with the Ricketts family’s grand plan and their nostalgia for the 1980s Cubs. Local media and fans alike had assumed that the Ricketts’ misty-eyed invocation of the ‘80s referred to the ‘84 and ‘89 NL East Division championship years, but apparently not. “The Ricketts’ nostalgia is for ‘83, not ‘84,” said the source, who wished to be identified only as “Davey Rosello. ” Bleacher seats were available only the

day of the game. Tip the beer vendor a couple bucks and he’d return every inning. Hell, tip him a ten and he’d sit with ya. Did you know Sandberg had 13 errors in ‘83? Those were the days. No pressure. Just sunshine, Old Style and Lee Elia losing his shit.” This embrace of Loserhood was indicated in part by secret plans to change the design of the Cubs ad slogan for the year, It’s a Way of Life, eliminating the white W win flag in “Way” and inserting the blue Loss flag into “Life.” -- Bill Savage. Image by Marley Bellwood

FAVRE From page 1 Football in the Meadowlands later this evening, so his admission to being a dirty old man will prove to be continued fodder for the ravenous New York media. Favre claimed he wasn’t sweating it, saying he’s learned his lesson. “I remember one time Mark Chmura and I were blacked-out drunk and I apparently gave a Hooters waitress my phone number by writing it on her ass when she was taking my order,” said

Favre. “Guess that was a cute prank when I was 26 but now that I’m 41 I can see how people might think that sort of thing is just plain gross.” Favre said he has a long list of shenanigans he did at a younger age that probably wouldn’t fly now that he’s over 40, including a Wrangler photo shoot he did with his penis hanging out of his jeans and offering multiple times to donate his own semen to the infamous “There’s Something About Mary” scene during his cameo in the 1998 film.


14 | SEPT/OCT 2010

Pray for a strike


TRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! What do we want? A work stoppage that prevents us from having to watch the Bears play football! When do we want it? Maybe like the next five years would be nice. Folks, the Bears 3-1 after having beaten the Cowboys and Packers and I’ll happily join you in the Super Bowl talk, but after watching the crap victory over the Lions and terrible loss to the Giants I’m not thinking that’s very likely. It looks to me like another year of painful-to-watch football from your Bears. You beat the Lions (the freaking LIONS!) only because the geniuses at the NFL decided to make the rules regarding pass catching more complicated than the tax code. Tell me about how improved the Lions are this year all you want and you know what I’ll say? They’re still the Lions. Now normally Screamin’ Johnny Blaze would never think of backing those liberal commies in the labor unions. But the work stoppage that many are predicting could happen after this year might be the best thing

THIS I SCREAM By Screamin’ Johnny Blaze, Heckler Sports Talk Radio Host

for us in Chicago. In fact, if we could move it up to start right now that would be great. The less we have to watch this team play the better. And how about we extend that strike for a few years? I mean, I’d miss football just as much as anyone, but at this point what we Bears fans really need is to just step away for awhile. Have the whole league shut it down for long enough that when they come back they decide to just wipe out the rosters and start from scratch. Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe the Bears could actually put together a good team again. And here’s the most important part: everybody has to keep their mouth shut when the work stoppage is finally over. No one tell Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith.


HECKLER STAT PACK Most popular races 1 - Sack 34% 2 - Pennant 18% 3 - Sausage 17% 4 - Presidents 4% Sox Season Hawkism Leaders Pierre 56 Duck snorts Beckham 44 Hang woof ‘ems Rios 36 Picked to clicks Paulie 34 Put ‘em on the Boards Putz 23 That’s just a dad gum shames 2010 Fantasy Football projections Culter, CHI 45 INT Johnson, TENN 4,567 total yards Suh, DET 3 Kardashians Williams, MIA 4 positive drug tests Brady, NE 14 fashion mag covers How’d he get to second base? 1 - Double 23% of the time 2 - Stolen Base 18% of the time 3 - Fed her seven beers and a shot 15% of the time 4 - Got tired during home run trot 14% of the time 5 - Balk 1% of the time

Grading the Cubs (4.0 scale) Hitting 2.1 Fielding 1.8 Starting Pitching 3.1 Relief Pitching Inc. Coaching/Front Office Fail Fans .38 BAC Statues (not including Lee) 3.8 Grading the Sox (4.0 scale) Hitting 3.4 Fielding 3.5 Starting Pitching 2.9 Relief Pitching 1.2 Coaching/Front Office See me Fans .19 BAC Statues (not including Konerko) 0.0 Recent Scores Astros 4, Cubs 0 Seattle 17.5, Tiger Woods 3 NFL 14.5 rating, all other sports combined 4.5 rating Bulls 123, idiots who run with them 0 Hot dog 14, nachos 11 (OT)



SEPT/OCT 2010 | 15

Weather forecast: It never rains on the Cubs


s a Cubs fan, your life might seem empty, but at least you get your fill of five-day weather forecasts. Chicago’s unpredictable weather naturally dares you to predict it. You can catch a foul ball, accidentally type Shakespeare’s plays blindfolded or give a spot on weather forecast if you just keep trying. You get a five-day forecast every 10 minutes, which is funny since Chicago weather changes every 20 minutes. It’s almost as funny as getting a traffic report every 10 minutes when your morning commute is always the same. I think that a five-day weather forecast once a month is enough. I mean, if I wrote a column every 20 minutes, I would become senseless in 11 minutes. My idea of roughing it is when room service is slow. If I


LOCO ROB Rob C. Christiansen

trudged along, I would always be tired and my content would be nothing but complaints about room service and I’d get to thinking I’d be better off camping. Look, I never walked without an umbrella in the rain on Thursday wishing I would have listened to the five-day forecast on Sunday. Wrigley Field averages 38,000 fans

even if there’s a 30 percent chance of rain. On the other hand, someone should make it rain because the only rainmakers at Wrigley are the ones who sign the Cubs paychecks. As you know, there hasn’t been a rain out at Wrigley since its first night game in August 1988. Harry Caray reasoned during the fourth-inning delay that God didn’t want there to be lights at Wrigley. But Harry was intimidated by the lightning. After all, God agreed not to rain out Wrigley again in exchange for a Cubs ticket broker license, which, of course, He gave to mankind in the great Experiment. Incidentally, it’s too bad that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket. Meteorologists rely on historical data. That’s why they usually predict rain and never predict the Cubs to win the World Series. Generic weather reports and the

Cubs raise more questions than they answer. What is partly cloudy? Is hell freezing over soon? Will Koyie Hill be released now that Lou left? Does Mark DeRosa want to play here again? Why does career minor leaguer Micah Hoffpauir keep coming back? What is mostly sunny? What do you mean Jason Dubois is coming back? What is a 30 percent chance of rain? I don’t want to be told five days in advance that it might rain when I’m planning to spend Tuesday watering the lawn. It puts a damper on it. The same applies when I’m planning to go to Wrigley Field. Instead of a chance of rain next week, just say that there’s a better chance it won’t rain. I think that if you call for rain, suggest rain or even mention rain, and it doesn’t rain, you should have to put a dollar in a hurricane relief jar.

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