I liken the sporting world to that of an active imagination filled with potential and seemingly endless visions of grandeur that fill the minds and produce the dreams so many of us chase.
Finally a true and tested college football team has been crowned national champions after a season ending playoff series that pitted the supposed top four teams in the country.
It's not often in this career that a media personality actually changes how we feel about a game, a player or a great moment in sports history but when that personality shines through and is shared with the world, I believe we are better for it.
Looking back is something I only allow myself to do this time of year when reflection of what was can often times predict what is yet to come. This time last year I had an idea of how I thought 2014 would effect my life and while much of it was predictable, the surprises changed me in ways I could have never foreseen.
This year good ole Santa Clause came a bit early for me which was welcomed however just like any other man-child, a few presents under the tree never hurt anyone! Let me be the first to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy Kwanza.
Last week the Joliet school district announced that both Joliet Central and Joliet West would be leaving the Southwest Suburban Blue Conference and joining the eight team Southwest Prairie Conference starting with the 2016 fall athletic season. I have one word for that move...bravo!
With the collegiate football season reaching its climax, I liken my anticipation of the new college football 4-team playoff to say a bunch of large boxed presents under my tree just waiting for me to rip through the shiny bows and holiday patterned wrapping paper to finally see what is inside.
Last weekend at the professional ranks of football, a handful of St. Louis Ram players came out of the tunnel at the start of their game against the Oakland Raiders and collectively put their hands up to show solidarity with protesters who have made their voices heard on police brutality on a national scale and that simple gesture created a firestorm of sorts in the media world.
Today all of you will hopefully be surrounded by family and friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day holiday and will not be stuck in line for the next $99 dollar got to have gizmo when the dinner bell rings.
As we enter the holiday season, it provides so many great opportunities to report on a wealth of athletic competitions in a rare overlap of Fall and Winter seasons.
Being a bench player in today's highly competitive world of athletics can seem to the unwise athlete as a reason to feel as though they don't measure up or a strange sense of personal failure when in reality, those are the very thoughts that negatively effect their performance on and off the court.
For many of our area schools, the fall season is quickly been reduced to memory and while there are a few teams still in the hunt for a state title, most have already turned their gear in and have assimilated back into the halls of their schools and student population. At this point the season has finished or has it?
We have reached the end of another fantastic football season and while the weather this season has been favorable, I get the feeling we are due for a few cold weeks ahead during the playoffs and by Thanksgiving I will be searching for a gym to warm up in as the seasons switch from outdoor to indoor competitions.
I have been waiting to write this article for at least ten years and while I have thought much about it, I am sure it will fall short of the justice it deserves.
In all my years of reporting on, coaching and playing football I have never seen a team come back from a 33-point deficit and win the game but that is exactly what happened last week at Plainfield North when Romeoville jumped out to a 40-7 lead in the first half to the shock of Tiger fans.
For the first time since 2010, Joliet West will host a Friday night football game when they invite Stagg to their field under the lights this week.
We have reached the midway point of the prep football season and a clear separation has already taken place in terms of playoffs. There are a few shockers out there but all in all to this point of the season, there is already a pretty solid case made for the contenders versus the pretenders so to speak. Surprises this season?
Rooster's Season Poll Results 39-9
Over the last several weeks domestic abuse crime and accusations have literally pressured National Football League into coming up with an action plan to aid in crime prevention and to discipline players who cross the line on or off the field.
The Lockport football program may be 0-4 this season and playing with a new coaching staff but they are definitely the best winless team in the area and if you judge this book solely on it's cover...well you may find out in a hurry there is more to discover here.
For the first time in six seasons, the Plainfield East football team comes away from a Plainfield South game with a victory and they did it convincingly Friday night with a 19-0 win.
Walking the sidelines during a high school football game gives a writer like myself a deeper sense of what truly is going on in a game and that information is very useful when describing events that lead to victory or loss in the newspaper each week.
The NFL has had its fair share of off field player troubles and the recent Ray Rice suspension for allegedly striking his girlfriend who is now his wife is an appropriate step to send a message to all players that conduct on and off the field counts.
The start of the prep football season is always a welcomed time of year for me personally largely because of my passion for the sport and the wide variety of fans and participants that gather every Friday night or Saturday afternoon depending on what school district the team competes in.
Are you ready for some football? This week marks the season opener for the 2014 prep football season and with that comes my weekly top 10 area teams which will be a staple in each newspaper moving forward through the season.
In a span of a little more than three decades, the Little League World Series has been surprisingly void of a Chicago team and as is the case with the Jackie Robinson West All-Star team, an all African-American team at that.
By the time you get the chance to read this column, thousands of kids all over the area will be scrambling to get their school supplies in order and likely snapping up the hottest new trends mom and dad can afford at a local retailer as school begins and another thrilling year of area student-athletes taking to competition gets underway.
With the prep fall athletic season nearly underway, much attention has been rightfully given to concussion awareness.
The Chicago Bears will open their preseason with two home games back to back starting with the Philadelphia Eagles next Thursday and the Jacksonville Jaguars at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14 in a contest that will be broadcast nationally.
There are quite a few parents hitting the sporting good stores and medical facilities getting their student athletes prepared for the season which surprisingly is right around the corner with most programs getting started in the next couple of weeks.
As the prep football season begins to take off with 7-on7 competitions, now would be a good time to make a few early season predictions before the season hits full tilt just so we can be on the record. This would be a good article to reflect on in November for all you high school football fans and of course a hopeful right to boast at season's end for this sports writer.
With the 4th of July holiday quickly becoming a memory for most, it seems like summer is moving along faster than any of us want unless you're a sports writer chomping at the bit to cover some football.
There is something to be said about warm weather after coming off one of the worst winters in memory but we have certainly seen our fair share of rain and violent storms this spring to look forward to a calm, sunny 80 degree day
For the first time in many opportunities, I have paid close attention to this year's World Cup Soccer championship with an eager enthusiasm for the United States team.
The summer prep camps are beginning this week to ramp up and squeeze in as much training and preparation as is legal under the IHSA by laws and while many players question their role on the team during the season, much if not all of those concerns are answered with the participation of summer camps.
Now that the summer break is in full swing, I figure now would be a good time to take a swing at Springfield and the collective idiocy of legislators that somehow think they could do a better job at running the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) void of any public funds. Yep...that's right.
Sunday night was gut wrenching for Chicago Blackhawk hockey fans after an overtime goal found the back of the net in Game 7 of the NHL's Western Conference Finals that sent the Los Angeles Kings to the Stanley Cup after their 5-4 win over the defending champions. While the game and in fact the series will be one for the memory books, I honestly was thinking throughout the series how long it would be before we see the potential of player lawsuits against the league similar to what has been seen in the National Football League for head injuries sustained by former players as has been the case with the recent rash of lawsuits.
This week marks the end of the school year for most area high school seniors as graduation ceremonies and the ensuing family celebrations begin. This moment in time is always a difficult one for parents as their children take a step into adulthood and begin to shape their futures leaving behind only memories of their youth.
I was watching the NBA playoff coverage along with I am sure millions of others this week and sat and watched the lottery pick drawing.
It's opening day Friday for the Joliet Slammers and despite the cooler temperatures, spring is officially on when the Slammers open Silver Cross Stadium with a bang, literally. The firework display, kids running the grassy mound lining left field, the smell of popcorn and hot dogs in the air make it one of the best times a family can have locally at a sporting event.
As we head down the last stretch of the prep athletic season and look forward to the graduation of another class of our community's best, the occasion is usually met with a flood of emotion ranging from pure joy to the sadness common with closing a chapter in ones life. For many the final moments of our children's playing career are at hand and thoughts of what was begin to overwhelm even the toughest of adult figures who had a hand in raising up these graduates.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been living a life of fortune and has been seen by most common folk as an extremely blessed man. After all, owning an NBA team is no small feat even amongst the elite circles Mr. Sterling likely associates with. When news came out this week of racially insensitive remarks alleged to have been made from Sterling in a taped conversation, I was like many angered like most of the people I have spoken to about it were. Shocked? Not really but angry? Absolutely.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) voted 170-87 to prohibit full pad football activities during summer football camps in an effort to reduce player injuries and generally make the sport safer. Over the past several years, heat related injury has been a focal point of several discussions both in the public domain and in many cases in the judicial system in the form of lawsuits.
As we head into the great outdoors to take in a baseball game, a soccer match, a softball practice or a track meet, thoughts of a warm sun beating down on my face bring an immediate smile after suffering through the worst Chicago winter on record. That said, the fact that we are here to enjoy the warming sun and longer days watching our kids play a game is enough for most people to gladly bask in the moment.
When we first reported a few weeks ago of a challenge to the Illinois High School Association's role in high school sports as it stands I was of the opinion that while perhaps an increased level of scrutiny would take place, privately I felt that the proposal was nothing more than political saber rattling.
With the NCAA basketball tournament crowning its champion and the basketball season officially in the books, I couldn't help but recall a former Plainfield Central star and wonder if next year will be the season that he takes his squad to the big dance.
Sometimes you just can win for losing and that was never more the case for me and likely a few others who saw our NCAA March basketball tournament brackets decimated after the first round of games and if somehow you were fortunate to escape that heap of upsets, round two cleared the room. I really didn't expect that I would actually pick the games flawlessly in fact I have never even come close usually at best a 60/40 split but this year I was going to make a mockery of it all.
Illinois State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) submitted Illinois House Resolution 895 on March 5th that essentially challenges the Illinois High School Association's ability to secure contracts with equipment suppliers, media providers and sponsors.
The Class 3A girls state basketball championship game held last weekend at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena pitted local powerhouse Joliet Catholic against their nemesis in the Catholic school ranks Montini.
I came across a report while researching athletic participation levels at the high school level in Illinois this past week fully expecting to see numbers rising but was a bit stunned to see that actually participation levels are on the decline in recent years.