Cubs finally making good use of empty seats at Wrigley PAGE 4
Every recipe in Cubs Cookbook leaves bad taste PAGE 5
Angelo falls victim to ‘Kick Me’-sign prank at training camp PAGE 11
Vol. 8, Issue 8
‘Unbelievable Chicago sports coverage’ www.theheckler.com
FIND BREAKING NEWS AT THEHECKLER.COM
CUBS INSTALL GIANT TOILET AD OUTSIDE WRIGLEY With their season once again in the proverbial toilet, Cubs brass has decided to take advantage of the team’s losing ways by signing a lucrative sponsorship deal with Kohler Plumbing, while unveiling an ingenious advertising campaign, “Flush This Season Out Of Your Mind.” The ads, which will run locally on Comcast and WGN, feature current players Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee reading the newspaper while sitting on a cushiony Kohler toilet. “This is much more comfortable than the dugout bench,” Ramirez says in the television spots. “With all the games I miss every year from minor injuries, I should know best. Trust me.” To support their marketing efforts, the Cubs have erected an oversized, 12-foot high toilet adjacent to the Kraft noodle in front of Wrigley Field. “This is something Thomas Crapper would be extremely proud of,” said Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney. “I know our own Tom Crapper … I mean Ricketts, loves the big toilet concept. It’s going to bring him millions.” -- Jeremy Barewin
MORE SOX NEWS RATT show planned at the Cell, page 3 a five-scoop sundae from Cold Stone Creamery earlier that evening. “It was an entirely new feeling for me, and not a good one,” Jenks said of the episode. “I
Here are some of the stories we were just too lazy to write ...
DERREK LEE HITS INTO QUADRUPLE-PLAY EVEN FONTENOT FORGETS HE'S ON THE TEAM U.S. CELLULAR FIREWORKS EXPERT LOSES MULLET, LAST THUMB IN TRAGIC MISHAP A-ROD HITS 324TH NON-STEROID HOMER: 600TH OVERALL 26 MORE PITCHERS THROW NO-NOS THIS WEEK BEARS SORT OF CONFIDENT THEY CAN AT LEAST BEAT LIONS
Bobby Jenks momentarily full ... OK, now he’s good Sox closer Bobby Jenks experienced a new sensation over the weekend when he was momentarily sated after eating 22.5 White Castle sliders out of a 24pack. He consumed the tiny burgers at 10:37 p.m. Saturday after a steak and lobster dinner at Gibson’s, a couple of roast beef sandwiches from Potbelly’s and
immediately headed for the hospital and mentally prepared myself to meet Jesus. Thankfully, on the way there, I passed a P.F. Chang’s and got a hankering for some of their lettuce wraps. Problem solved.” Jenks said the experience taught him to take a bit more time to savor the food he eats, whether it’s a $250 prix fixe
meal at one of the city’s finest restaurants or a Maxwell Street Polish. “David Wells told me that a while ago, and he warned me that it was possible to get full too,” he said. “I laughed at him then, but I’m not laughing anymore. You were right all along, Boomer.” -- Brian Summerfield
NATION EAGERLY AWAITS COMEBACK OF INT TOSSING QB WHO WON ONLY SUPER BOWL 13 YEARS AGO POST-LEBRON ERA FORCES CLEVELAND TO BE RENAMED 'NEW DETROIT' STAN BOWMAN TRADES STANLEY CUP FOR MORE SENSIBLY PRICED MUG KANE HAS ALREADY SCORED 212 TIMES THIS OFF-SEASON
What to look for this month in the sports world 8/14 Miami Heat fire original drummer Pete Best, replace him with Ringo Starr. Best claims no reason was given.
Terrell Owens lines up at quarterback in Bengals’ wildcat formation, later rips on his quarterback play via Twitter.
“Make-A-Wish” foundation grants dying child his wish to never see the Cubs play ever again.
Bulls in the News Kyle Korver announces surprise retirement after losing popa-shot game to 7year-old at a Bulls charity event. Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer checks into Betty Ford clinic to clean up his last name.
8/24 Andre Dawson reveals he's taking an engraving class so he can break into the Hall of Fame and change the Expos hat on his plaque to a Cubs hat.
8/21 Aramis Ramirez continues hot second half, wins World Series of Poker, World's Strongest Man and Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography.
8/25 Roger Goodell announces NFL will play 52-week season, teams will also play doubleheaders (day/night, of course). Detroit Lions officially withdraw from NFL, fantasy footballers pee selves.
This might just be the best time of the year to be a Chicago sports fan. The Cubs’ season is mercifully winding down. The Sox are preparing to battle for a playoff spot. The Bears’ season is about to start. And the Hawks’ Cup glow has yet to wear off. It’s also the best time to be a gambler. There’s so much going on that a novice gambler is sure to lose lots of cash. Here are some can’t-miss 3:2 odds from old Pete. Stick with me and we’ll be rich. Now let’s gamble!
3:2: Errors-to-great plays Starlin Castro will average the rest of the season. 3:2: Players you haven’t heard of-to-players you have on the Cubs the rest of the season. 3:2: White Sox fans happy Cubs suck-to-White Sox fans happy White Sox are good. 3:2: Tackles missed-to-tackles made for the Bears secondary this preseason. 3:2: Interceptions-to-touchdowns Jay Cutler will average during the preseason. 3:2: Girls sacked-to-days Patrick Kane will average the rest of his eventful off-season. 3:2: Hotties-to-fatties Kane will average during that same time.
AUGUST 2010 | 3
RATT sells out two shows at U.S. Cellular On Friday, Aug. 20, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority will allow South Siders a rare chance to see a rock act perform at U.S. Cellular Field, when 1980s hair metal band RATT comes to town. The band will take a break from its 15-year nationwide tour of state fairs and demolition derbies to play two concerts at the Cell, both of which have already sold out. “I camped out in a line for two days to get tickets to the first show; thank
God I don’t have a job,” said East Chicago resident and Sox fan Ross “Hoss” Luffner, who bought tickets for himself and his ex-wife with money he made from donating plasma. “Best $23 I ever spent. “I can’t wait to hear ‘Round and Round’ and that other song they do— you know, the one that goes like, ‘Bah wah nah wah nah, bum bum, da doo da,’” he added while doing air guitar. “Wait, never mind. I think that’s Judas Priest.”
Warren DeMartini, guitarist, songwriter and founder of RATT, is a Chicago native. DeMartini says he’s looking forward to a triumphant homecoming, as well as the honor of playing at U.S. Cellular Field. “I’m glad we could get that venue,” he said. “It’s perfect for us. It’s a convenient location for all of our fans in the area. Plus, it’s appropriate because they built that park around the same time we had our last hit.” -- Brian Summerfield
Guillen really enjoyed that [expletive deleted] omelet Various media outlets, including the SunTimes, Gawker and Twitter, have reported this morning that White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen really enjoyed that [expletive deleted] omelet. Sources close to the 2005 World Serieswinning manager have mentioned that the [deleted expletive] omelet had some really
[expletive deleted] fresh veggies and, to quote one of Guillen’s closest friends, “had the tastiest [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] ham that he has ever [expletive deleted] tasted.” The [expletive deleted] omelet in question was served at a really [expletive deleted] good brunch place in Bridgeview,
which Guillen has been known to be [expletive deleted] fond of. While eating the [deleted expletive] omelet, Guillen posted several twitter messages including, “O Man, This [expletive deleted] omelet, LOL” and “[expletive deleted], this omelet, man. [expletive deleted].” Guillen’s rampant discussion of the
aforementioned [expletive deleted] omelet has caused some strife within the White Sox organization. “I wish Ozzie would stop talking about that [expletive deleted] omelet,” said GM Kenny Williams. “We’ve got baseball games to win.” -- Jeff GoodSmith
4 | AUGUST 2010
Piniella makes veterans carry Castro’s, Colvin’s bags on trips
Empty seats rented out as storage space Finding themselves with many unsold tickets this year, the Cubs have been renting out empty seats at Wrigley Field for storage space. Never ones to miss an opportunity to make some money, the move compensates for the loss of revenue due to lackluster onfield play with quality in-stadium storage. It has, overall, been welcomed as a smart and agreeable idea by everyone from the fans to the players. “At first I thought it was a bad idea; there are a lot of fans that would love those seats,” said Wrigley Field beer vendor Colin Finley. “Then I saw how much more enthusiastic these piles of junk are about
the game than actual fans, and I couldn’t disagree more. Plus, I get better tips now!” Cubs players haven’t been bothered by heaps of clutter in the stands. They’ve actually enjoyed the serene peace brought on by less heckling. “I hit a foul ball hard down into the stands near third and hit an oscillating fan,” said Derrek Lee. “You can bet that fan didn’t make a crack about it.” “Be sure to be here on Aug. 16,” said skipper Lou Piniella. “It’s going to be a helluva game against the San Diego Padres/swap meet.” -- Marvin Venis Benjamin
While Lou Piniella has seen his fair share of rookie hazing over the years, he understands that kids today are oversensitive. Gone are the days of making the rookies crossdress, put on sketch shows, or paint the testicles on a horse statue orange. In light of Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant’s defiance to carry the equipment of veteran Roy Williams, Piniella has changed his philosophy on what rookies should do ... or not do. Piniella insisted after last month’s road trip in Houston, any veteran with a batting average under .250 must carry the luggage of the hot-hitting rookies, Tyler Colvin and Starlin
Castro. While not all the vets agree with the new rules, Kosuke Fukudome understands. “In any other job, the person who has the most sales or best services will always get the perks,” Fukudome said through his interpreter. “But I might just be more accepting of this because my .252 average keeps me out of Lou’s new ‘Luggage Law’ range.” “These two kids have carried our offense since the All-Star break,” said Piniella. “It’s only fair that Ramirez and Lee carry something for the team this year, even if it’s just a suitcase.” -- Vince LiFonti
Dempster, Soto play hide-and-seek in noodle Sick of the mounting losses and playing for a lame-duck manager, pitcher Ryan Dempster and catcher Geovany Soto skipped a recent home game to play hide and seek in the new macaroni noodle outside of Wrigley. Both players were shocked to find Cubs super fan Ronnie “Woo-Woo” Wickers living inside. “What … woo! … are you doing … woo! … trespassing in my home … woo!” asked Wickers. “This is where Ronnie … woo! … takes all the ladies … woo! … after dancing at Sluggers … woo!” Quickly tossing aside the aging Wickers,
Dempster and Soto hid out in the noodle for nearly five hours until players and management had vacated the team parking lot. Dempster quietly slipped out of the noodle and rode his bike home, but it was another story for the pudgy Soto who became lodged inside. “I love hide and seek, but the game always ends with me stuck inside of something,” said Soto, as several firemen buttered up the noodle to slide out the former Rookie of the Year. “I remember back when I was a kid, I got trapped in a clothes hamper for three days. That sucked!” -- Jeremy Barewin
AUGUST 2010 | 5
Every recipe in Cubs Cookbook leaves bad taste in mouth
BIG Z NAMED NEW TEAM PSYCHOLOGIST FOR CUBS REALITY SHOW
Ryan Dempster’s courageous attempt to raise money for his Foundation has hit an unfortunate snag. While he still hopes for good returns, early reviews of his Cubs Cookbook have literally left a bitter taste in reader’s mouths. “The recipes looked amazing on paper but didn’t live up to the hype,” said Chicago food critic Jeff Copeland. “Even if I spent the next 100-plus years trying to perfect them, I think they’d still fall flat. I wish I could put my finger on the problem but it just can’t be explained!” Copeland, however, was able to provide the following reviews on each individual’s recipe contributions: Dempster—Arthritis is a possible side effect after having to flick your wrists back-and-forth several times during preparation. Fukudome—You’ll pay too much for ingredients that will merely sit on your shelf all year. Lee—Trading the recipe is simply impossible, even to someone is crazy enough to want it. Piniella—Contains more tryptophan than a Thanksgiving turkey. Sandberg—You should only give it a chance if you’re extremely patient and willing to start from scratch. Soto—They’re special brownies. Enough said. Soriano—Very pricey and poorly executed. Never seems to satisfy. Zambrano—Way too spicy and you’ll reluctantly
have to relieve yourself midway through. Despite the suspect reviews, the Cubs expect the cookbook to land atop the New York Times best seller list for much of the foreseeable future. -- Brian Berns
6 | AUGUST 2010
Skipper search narrowed down to a Brenly secretly managing room full of monkeys or Magic 8-Ball from booth while Lou naps Cubs brass has already made significant progress in its ongoing managerial search, narrowing the candidates to a group of primates or a Magic 8-Ball. Both options present tremendous upgrades from the likes of Lou Piniella, Dusty Baker and other unmentionably horrid regimes. “On one hand, you have a room full of monkeys, and boy do they have a lot of spirit,” said Cubs GM Jim Hendry. “They are literally chomping at the bit. Our people say the primates have the ability to reason, which will be helpful when it comes time to call that critical double-steal or squeeze bunt.” The Magic 8-Ball is a worthy adversary to the hyperactive monkeys. While lacking in mobility or capable thought, the 8-Ball has a succinct managerial style that players appreciate. “I just shake the thing and it doesn’t beat around the bush,” said Hendry. “In the interview, I asked the 8-Ball if Mark Prior should have been pulled in the eighth inning of Game Six in the NLCS. It said,
Sources this week that revealed Bob Brenly has been at times covertly managing the Cubs, taking over coaching duties during Lou Piniella’s in-game naps that occur on an increasingly frequent basis now that the manager announced his impending retirement. While news of the takeover may not be public, Brenly’s recent broadcasts seem to indicate that he is either calling the shots or summoning psychic Steve Stone-like color commentary abilities. “This would be the perfect time for a hit and run,” Brenly announced during a recent broadcast. “In fact, I’d be willing to stake my reputation and all my worldly possessions that
they will attempt to execute their first one of the season on this play.” Brenly has taken lobbying for the managerial job to a new level, swapping in his nameplate on Piniella’s office door and insisting on-air partner Len Kasper calls him “The Skipper.” His subliminal in-game remarks continue to set the stage for his 2011 Cubs managerial campaign. “Len, did you know that catchers make the best managers?” Brenly added. “Sandberg is a nice guy, but was not a big league catcher. Have you also noticed a pattern of championship winning coaches in this town with finely groomed mustaches? It must be a trend.” -- Brian Berns
Sandberg gets goldfish to prove he’s responsible enough to run team ‘Signs point to yes.’ Spot on analysis.” Internet reports insist Hendry is reluctant to commit either way due to fears of empowering a rival species or emboldening dangerous technology.
“I’ve done my homework,” he said. “Neither Planet of Apes nor Terminator 2 ended well. But I am guessing Cubs fans will welcome the end of humanity in exchange for a World Series.” -- Jimmy Juliano
As rumors swirl regarding the Cubs’next manager, presumed candidate Ryne Sandberg isn’t just waiting for his cell to ring—he’s actively pursuing the position, and recently purchased a goldfish to prove his responsible nature. “Just look at how buff Wrigley here is lookin’,” said Sandberg, referring to the fish by name. “I’ll
get you some pics of when I first bought him. He was a little chubby. I put him on an organic diet, drag those flakes around the tank on a string to exercise him ... Just look at those dorsal or ... What are those bulging muscles by his tail?” Please see GOLDFISH Page 7
CUBS MANAGER SEARCH
AUGUST 2010 | 7
Piniella to manage remainder of year in Tommy Bahama shirt Lou Piniella has officially announced that this will be his last year as the Cubs manager, and he will retire from baseball at the end of the season. In an effort to get a jumpstart on his retirement, Sweet Lou will manage the rest of the season wearing Tommy Bahama clothing. With summer in full swing, the change in wardrobe makes sense for the Cubs skipper. “When you’ve won as many ballgames as I have, I think you should get to wear whatever you like when you’re managing, and I like the silky feel of those Tommy Bahama shirts,” said Piniella. “The fabric breathes really well, which is critical for mak-
ing good managerial decisions at this time of year, especially when we’re playing in Arizona or Florida.” Piniella will also be enjoying pina coladas and other tropical cocktails throughout the games. “You wouldn’t believe it, but [Cubs first base coach] Matt Sinatro makes a hell of a cocktail,” said Piniella. “He serves them using a coconut shell instead of a cup, and he puts the tiny umbrellas in them and everything. Let me tell you, they’re really refreshing. It’s a far walk on those mound visits, and I’ve been getting a little thirsty.” -- Drew Adams
Cash-strapped Cubs hire part-time manager to save on health insurance Girardi, Torre, Sandberg plan to split duties, hopefully not get sick Hiring part-time managers is the latest in a series of revenue-enhancers, such as Cubs Fantasy Camp, the PNC Club, the Toyota sign and the Noodle, announced by the Cubs in 2010. The latest announcement fol-
lows Lou Piniella’s decision not to return to the helm next year. The Cubs say that Joe Girardi, Joe Torre and Ryne Sandberg will be hired and that each will work fewer than 24 hours a week in the role of Cubs’ manager in 2011 and use their wives’ health insurance coverage, if necessary, since they won’t qualify for medical benefits as part-time employees.
Cubs president Crane Kenney says that although the team is mired in nonproductive player payroll debt, its recent failure to trade first baseman Derrek Lee precipitates this drastic action. Lee invoked his contract’s no-trade clause shortly before the July 31 trade deadline. “Derrek’s refusal to let us trade him to the Angels and dump his salary creates a
doomsday scenario,” Kenney says. He added “that something has to give,” forcing the team to eliminate health insurance coverage for the Cubs manager. “It would be a good idea if all of our fans who like to drink would drink to the continued health of our new parttime managers, Ryne and JoJo,” Kenney said. -- Rob C. Christiansen
GOLDFISH From page 6 When asked how he’d deal with behavioral problems, such as those exhibited by Carlos Zambrano and Milton Bradley, the former Cub and Hall of Famer had already thought the matter over. “Glub, burble, blib!” Sandberg chanted, slowly swinging a pocket watch in front of the fishbowl. “That’s Fish Speak for, ‘You are getting sleepy.’ He was refusing to eat the other day, actually, until I hypnotized him.” -- John Biederman
8 | AUGUST 2010
Wrigley set to become white person mecca for Dave Matthews concerts as Snoop added to bill Wrigleyville is currently preparing itself for an onslaught of frat boys, posers and custies when the Dave Matthews Band rolls into town on Sept. 17 and 18. The concerts promise to be the largest gathering of white people since the waiting line for the new iPhone in June. “The white Cubs fan has been our bread and butter for quite some time,” said Cubs President Crane Kenney. “A Dave Matthews fan is an extension of a typical Cubs fan,
albeit considerably more irritating.” Local shops are gearing up for a mix of 30-something white folks with disposable incomes and insufferable 17-year-olds who borrow their parents’ Range Rovers. A hemp stand, a Birkenstock boutique and a crooked-hat store are in line to bank some serious cash when the washed-up Dave Matthews Band brings their tired yet profitable act to Wrigley Field. “I just don’t get the appeal,” said
Terrance Johnson, a local nonwhite. “I went to a Dave Matthews concert once and left before the show started. Twenty different people asked me if I was the violin guy. It was crazy annoying.” White people in the Chicagoland area are already planning their next mobilization once the Dave Matthews Band leaves town. Options include Frisbee golf, sailing and watching intolerable hipster films. -- Jimmy Juliano
Steinbrenner buys baseball team in hell Even in death, George Steinbrenner is living up to his “Boss” moniker. The former Yankees owner has purchased the Hades Brimstone baseball franchise, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, hell’s newspaper of record. The report says Steinbrenner paid previous owner Marge Schott $50 million for the club shortly after his fatal heart attack last month. Since taking over the team, he’s already lured hell superstars Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb and President Andrew Jackson on the
roster with big money. “As it turns out, Old Hickory’s a great baseball player,” he explained. “Who knew?” Steinbrenner also tapped Billy Martin to manage the team, then fired him a few minutes later, only to rehire him the next day. With these and other personnel moves, Steinbrenner says he’s getting the right pieces in place for a “lucrative and competitive” team that can overtake any rivals and win the Afterlife World Series every year for the foreseeable future.
Steinbrenner also sold the team’s exclusive broadcasting rights to ESPN Diablo, a newly formed extension of the popular cable sports network that caters to its increasingly immoral viewer base. And Steinbrenner said he has more tricks up his sleeve. “Reggie [Jackson] is going to be here some day,” he said. “Once we get Mr. October on board, the Purgatory Spirits, Heaven Halos, and even the Hells Bells won’t stand a chance against us.” -- Brian Summerfield
MORE CUBS NEWS
AUGUST 2010 | 9
In show of team unity, Cubs stop waxing eyebrows for rest of season 1969: Woodstock Festival
It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 40 years since the the Woodstock Festival took place in upstate New York. Sure enough, Cubs superfan Ronnie “Woo-W Woo” Wickers found a way there and even partied backstage with Jimi Hendrix. E-m mail your Woo-W Woo pics to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fans may have given up on the 2010 Cubs, but players want to establish momentum for next year. That means dedication and sacrifice, which is why the entire team has decided to stop waxing their eyebrows until October. “It was Geo’s idea,” said Marlon Byrd, referring to the well-groomed Geovany Soto who just hit the DL. “That a suave guy like him would make such a sacrifice is huge. We’re gonna be the closest bunch of unibrow-sporting freaks this side of a Trekkie convention.” Fontenot found growing to bench Seldom-used infielder Mike Fontenot recently missed a rare chance for an at-bat when it was discovered his body had fused with the dugout bench. “I’ve heard of guys riding the pine, but this is crazy,” said Alan Trammell. “As bench coach, I should probably notice stuff like guys growing into the wood.” Fontenot, now one-fourth bench, is also battling crippling ivy that has grown over 50 percent of his body. -- George Ellis
10 | AUGUST 2010
ESPN’s ‘The Decision’ deluxe two-disc Director’s Cut DVD goes on sale
USC returns Kim Kardashian
After LeBron James announced he was joining the Miami Heat in the controversial hour-long program “The Decision,” ESPN has decided to take advantage of the popularity the program garnered with the DVD release of the two-disc Director's Cut of the program. Considered much darker than the original release, the Director's Cut contains several behind-the-scenes features, including a segment where James spent hours practicing on the basketball court to perfect the technique he would use while stabbing Cleveland fans in the back. ESPN added additional analyses from various commentators who were, for reasons of bias, barred from the initial broadcast. For example, one set of DVD commentary features Bill Simmons extrapolating over the course of 45 minutes on whether the 2010 Miami Heat would be
USC has announced that as part of its efforts to sever ties with former player Reggie Bush, the school will return Kim Kardashian to her family. “We're getting rid of all of Reggie's used trophies and that includes Ms. Kardashian,” said incoming athletic director Pat Haden, who also announced the school will return the Heisman
Football program returning all Reggie Bush’s old trophies
Trophy won by Bush in 2005. The action follows an NCAA investigation which concluded that Bush received massive amounts on inappropriate benefits while playing for USC. Haden said the school wants to “send a message, and that message is we want to win national championships and we want our star players to bed the strumpets of their choice, but we want them to do it the right way.” Kardashian's stepfather, Bruce Jenner, said she was upset by the news but was taking it in stride.
“She lives in L.A. and appreciates that this town has a market for used trophy babes unlike any place else.” -- Tom Evans
Shortened end zones at Wrigley don’t bother NU or U of I as neither team has scored a TD in years able to beat the 1984 Boston Celtics. The Director's Cut does not, however resolve the plot hole most fans complained about with “The Decision” - mainly, why one of the most likeable players in the NBA would choose to tarnish his legacy by betraying his hometown team on live national television. -- Jeff GoodSmith
Along with the novelty of this fall’s Illinois-Northwestern football game at Wrigley Field comes the drawbacks of playing football in a stadium tiny even by baseball standards. The conditions will be so tight that some parts of the endzones will be cut off, but that doesn’t bother either team, especially NU. “Big deal if the end zones are cut off,” said Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald. “We haven’t scored a TD in years. Call me when the 50’s cut off.”
AUGUST 2010 | 11
Martz playbook has WRs colliding with each other at unseen levels Hester, Bennett unable to pick up Martz's 'Triple Zig-Zag to the Post, Fly' pattern Although the physically dangerous nature of professional football brings some chance of injury whenever players take the field, the Bears are starting to worry that some of their wide receivers might not complete training camp injury-free. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s elaborate system, extolled as ingenious by many, almost took out both Devin Hester and Earl Bennett on the opening weekend when their collision resulted during an attempt to perform Martz’ “Triple Zig-
Zag to the Post, Fly” pattern. Both were shaken up but returned to the field later the same day. Another scare from an increasingly long list of route-running accidents occurred when the flailing arms of Johnny Knox intertwined the scissor-kicking legs of Devin Aromashodu for an early shot at Martz’ “Wham Bam Statue of Liberty Shazzam” play. So far, players have not expressed reservations with Martz’ seemingly dangerous patterns-at least publicly. Yet one Bear, off the record, claims that Rashied Davis visited a lawyer to complete his last will and testament in preparation for Martz’ soon-tobe-unveiled, “Stop, Drop, Monkey-Slap and Roll.” -- John Biederman
Jay Cutler picked off by a tackling dummy Angelo spends most of practice with ‘Kick Me’ sign on his back Jerry Angelo has always commanded little respect around the league, but until this season most in the Bears family maintained their loyalty to the beleaguered general manager. That situation has apparently changed, as Angelo recently
spent a four-hour night practice with a “Kick Me” sign stuck to his back. “I was going to say something about it, then I remembered hee Please see KICK ME Page 13
The Bears have a lot to work on trying to improve from last season on both sides of the ball, but with the addition of Mike Martz as the new offensive coordinator, there’s been a ton of pressure on the offense to learn the new system. The pressure might be the greatest on quarterback Jay Cutler, who was intercepted three times by a tackling dummy during camp yesterday. “I was trying to stretch a pass to Olsen downfield and up the middle, and I guess I overthrew him by a couple yards,” said Cutler. “That tackling dummy was right there and made a clean pick. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t able to make much of a return.”
The tackling dummy had a huge day at camp, with the previously mentioned three interceptions off Cutler, to go along with four tackles and a forced fumble when running back Matt Forte tripped over it and lost the ball. The Bears have been incredibly happy with the tackling dummy so far this season, and are even considering giving it a spot on the 53 man roster. “If that tackling dummy keeps this up, I’d seriously consider starting it at safety,” said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. “Have you seen some of the guys we have in our secondary? It seems like a hell of a better idea than our other options.” -- Drew Adams
12 | AUGUST 2010
MORE BEARS NEWS
Tice better option than all but two of the linemen he’s coaching New Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice has been retired from the NFL since 1995, but finds himself in the unique position of being better than all but two of the players he’s supposed to be coaching. “I would guess [Roberto] Garza is a better blocker than me,” said the 6-foot-7 Tice who played at 260 pounds. “Olin [Kruetz] too, but just because he plays so dirty.”
Despite having played as a tight end, Tice was used primarily as a blocker during his 14 seasons as a pro. “When I first got here, I knew it was bad,” said Tice. “But watching Frank Omiyale and Vince Vance try to block in practice almost makes me laugh.” But Tice refrains from laughing when he realizes it’s his job to coach the line. “I can’t get fired again,” said
Tice. “It’s pretty tough out there for a failed coach who once got busted for scalping tickets.”
Marinelli prepared to assume role as scapegoat for Lovie’s defensive woes Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli knows his role and he’s just fine with it. “When things go bad, someone’s got to take the blame. Might as well be me,” said Marinelli. “If that’s the reason I keep getting NFL jobs, so be it.” Marinelli has taken quite well to the role of scapegoat. In three seasons as the Lions coach,
Marinelli led a very bad team to only total 10 wins, including an 0-16 season. However, he could hardly be held fully responsible, given the weak team his incompetent GM Matt Millen built for him. Marinelli found himself taking most of the blame for the team’s poor performance. Marinelli is prepared to do the same this year for Lovie Smith.
“Lovie’s supposedly a defensive wiz,” said Marinelli. “But most of the schemes he forces me to use are as outdated as our team’s fight song.” Still, Marinelli is content to be Smith’s scapegoat. “Everyone needs a niche,” he said. “Mine is taking heat off people who don’t deserve the cushy jobs they’ve got.”
Lovie runs into old Pop Warner coach, asks for coaching advice It should have been a touching reunion when Lovie Smith randomly bumped into his Pop Warner coach at an airport earlier this month, but instead it was an awkward exchange as the Bears coach grilled his former leader for football advice. “Well if it isn’t good old Coach Joe,” Smith said after seeing retired Big Sandy (Texas) Pop Warner coach Joe Moore at DFW Airport. “It’s probably been 15 years. Mind if we catch up a bit?” Rather than trade updates of each other’s lives, Smith immediately began asking his former coach football questions. “Do you think my DBs still have the speed to play in the Cover 2?” asked Smith. “Peanut Tillman doesn’t move like he used to.” Coach Moore shrugged, saying only “Ya can’t teach speed Lovie.” Despite Moore being nearly 80 and having been retired for a decade, Smith pressed on. “What’s the best way to express confidence in a strug-
gling player?” asked Smith. “In the past I would say things like ‘Rex is our quarterback’ with a blank look in my eyes, but now I wonder if there’s a better way to handle situations like that.” Again, Moore was at a loss, but Smith took out a notebook and diligently wrote down every word Moore said. “Okay, that makes sense,” said Lovie after Moore told him that fundamentals are key at any level in football. “So that would mean that it’s bad when our quarterback throws into triple coverage?” Smith came away from the exchange rejuvenated. “Coach Moore told me the best players are the one who’ve hit puberty.” said Smith. “I’ll have to keep that in mind.”
SPORTS ROUND UP
AUGUST 2010 | 13
CHUG-CHUG: INACTION Hijnks of The Heckler Mascot By Paul Czarnowski
Girl still has Stanley Cup-licking photo as her Facebook profile pic Guys still are asking her out because of it June 11, 2010, was a day Farah France will never forget; the Blackhawks victory parade, partying with the players, and a passionate French kiss with Lord Stanley’s Cup. In fact, nearly two months later, Farah still has that moment frozen in time on her Facebook page, which has led to many wall posts, emails, and obscene photos sent to her by would-be suitors. “My relationship status is clearly listed as ‘In a Relationship’,” said France. “But that hasn’t stopped every weirdo in
Chicago from telling me what other ‘trophies’ I could lick.” When asked her boyfriend’s opinion on th e matter, and what it means for their relationship, France was more ambiguous. “I’m very happy with my current situation, but that doesn’t mean a girl doesn’t like the attention,” she said. “It’s not all bad, I guess.” Still, France admitted it may be time to change her profile pic to something new. Initial options include a photo of her licking a Cubs World Series Trophy, licking a Bears Lombardi Trophy, or licking a Fire Anschutz Trophy. --Vince LiFonti
KICK ME From page 11 drafted Michael Haynes and Dan Bazuin,” said linebacker Brian Urlacher. “Then I was like, ‘Hey, maybe if he didn’t trade Thomas Jones, I’d take the sign off.’” Instead, Urlacher kicked him in the spine. After recovering from the blow, Angelo looked at Urlacher, clueless, and asked what he thought about trading Devin Hester for a new backup punter.
Head coach Lovie Smith also noticed the sign on Angelo’s back, but was unable to decide what to do next. So he just stood there staring at it. “Maybe he put it there himself,” said Smith. “Or maybe it’s just a really big tag. Some new fashion brand or whatever.” Eventually offensive coordinator Mike Martz removed the sign and used the back of it to draw up 11 more plays that will probably save Angelo’s job. -- George Ellis
14 | AUGUST 2010
STUFF WE MADE UP
Trade deadline misfire
ell folks, baseball's trade deadline has come and gone and all we got was one lousy trade on each side of town. What, were Kenny Williams and Jim Hendry too busy to do more? Screamin’ Johnny Blaze could do a better job general managing these teams with both hands tied behind my back, as long as I had someone to dial the phone and hold it up to my ear for me. And feed me, dress me and wipe my butt for me. Hey, Kenny, what the hell happened to the bold acquisition you’re usually so good at making? Edwin Jackson, are you kidding me? Don Cooper may be able to work his magic and transform him into a stud pitcher, but I’d be much happier if Williams had worked his magic and transformed him into a stud hitter. As for the Cubs, there should have been a whole lot more of those bums leaving town. Sure Hendry did trick the Angels into taking a past his prime Derrek Lee and shouldn’t be blamed for that falling through, but how about tricking somebody, anybody, into taking Carlos Zambrano off his hands? Toledo Mud Hens?
THIS I SCREAM By Screamin’ Johnny Blaze, Heckler Sports Talk Radio Host Chunichi Dragons? Antarctic Fighting Penguins? But there is one guy more than any other that Hendry missed the boat on, one guy he should have made sure to trade: Lou Piniella. You’re talking about a potential Hall of Famer who you know is leaving after the season. And you’re just going to let him walk without getting anything in return? Trading Lou is really a win-win, with the Cubs getting some prospects for a lame duck manager and Piniella getting to spend his last days on the bench of a playoff caliber team instead of continuing to suffer the indignity of running a Triple-A caliber team. Yeah, there’s still the waiver wire trade deadline. So I guess we still have hope that the Sox trade for somebody good and the Cubs trade away everyone that’s bad.
HECKLER STAT PACK Retiring Lou Piniella by the numbers Wins Waistline World Series championships (player/manager) Wishes/day he never tried managing the Cubs Words/post-game press conference average
1,787 48” 3 345
.834 .812 .799 .788 .755
2010 No-H Hitter leaders 1 - Roy Halladay, PHI 2 - Matt Garza, TAM 3 - Nolan Ryan, TEX 4 - Dallas Braden, OAK 5 - Armando Galarraga, DET
1 - Fastball 45% 2 - Knuckle four-seam slider 23% 3 - Bendy-dippy curve (in B-minor)15% 4 - Anti-gravity upwards heat-seeker 10% 5 - Eight-seam super speedy change-up 7%
Sluggish Percentage Leaders 1 - Hanley Ramirez, FLA 2 - Manny Ramirez, LAD 3 - Adam Dunn, WASH 4 - Aramis Ramirez, CHC 5 - Alexei Ramirez, CHW
Carlos Marmol 2010 pitch selection
7 5 3 1 0.98
Where our favorite players most often get in trouble 1 - Strip club 36% 2 - Lakes in Minnesota 24% 3 - Cabs 18% 4 - In the Kardashian’s hot tub12% 5 - Another strip club later that night 10%
Teams with highest percentage of fair weather fans 1 - Miami Heat 2 - New York Yankees 3 - North Carolina basketball 4 - Chicago Blackhawks 5 - Dallas Cowboys
98% 34% 30% 28% 25%
THE REAL DEAL
AUGUST 2010 | 15
C o n f e s s i o n s o f a c a b l e a c c e s s n e t w o r k T V s t ar
was on The Heckler Half Hour Comedy Spectacular recently. I said I hate ESPN but that's not true. Left unscripted, I might say I hate something, when in fact I might only secretly hate something. I never meant to actually say I hate ESPN. I merely dislike ESPN’s attitude. I wrote my own notes and stuck to them only to the extent LeBron stuck with the Cavs. I’m sorry to report that I neglected the notes and veered off course or spaced out a few seconds here and there and counted the house. I never got around to saying that it’s mathematically impossible to not score after hitting consecutive doubles. It’s a dubious feat that the Cubs somehow pulled off this year.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
LOCO ROB Rob C. Christiansen email@example.com It hasn’t been a good year for the Cubs and people are angry. When you are angry at someone, do not strike them. That causes trouble, the consequences of which may include mandatory anger management classes. Just walk a mile in the Cubs’ shoes if you are angry at them. That way, you will be a mile away from the Cubs, and you’ll have their shoes.
I said that the working title of my September column is CUBS: Completely Useless By Now, although I added that I didn’t make that up. I said it was the title of a Steve Goodman song. It isn’t actually the title of a Steve Goodman song, but since the line is a part of Cubs lore, and I mentioned Steve Goodman’s name on the air, I believe I’m good. My photo in the paper is six years old, so if you saw me on TV it might have seemed like “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” That’s an esoteric reference, which is my Achilles’ heel, like when I say “Achilles’ heel” or “esoteric reference.” The photo is ingrained deeper into Cubs lore each passing month I remain affiliated with the paper and don’t submit an updated one.
Hollywood came to Chicago and destroyed the heart of the city overnight while filming Transformers 3, whereas it took the Cubs 100 years to destroy the heart of the city, and they are still at it. That line might mean something if you’re a Cubs fan and you saw the havoc wreaked on and near the Michigan Avenue Bridge in July. My television appearance was rare since my forte is writing. That’s another esoteric reference since I wasn’t referring to Matt Forte of the Bears. I’m not a Bears expert, so I would never mention Matt Forte. Look, you’ve caught me in the middle of a well deserved vacation. I’m phoning this one in, just as the Cubs are phoning in the season. It’s a grind writing a column every month. I think I prefer being on TV.
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