Sports Musings: February 2020

Every now and again I’d like to write a few blurbs on sports, namely of the Chicago variety, so I hope those who read who give less than a microscopic fleck of a damn will not be too off their feed if I dabble.

Chicago Bears: Whatever

Ryan Pace declares that Mitch is the starter, and Nagy claims he’s flexible with his gameplanning. Nothing means anything this time of year, so as usual, just keep your Bears worries in your pocket. Enjoy that there’s no NFL or Bears drama to occupy your lives this time of year.

I personally am not among those who would begin to involuntarily ejaculate if the NFL ran 52 weeks a year, so while the snow and slush is ruining the Champaign area, I’m happy to spend my Sundays doing anything but dealing with football. The Bears won’t pick in the 1st, barring a trade (won’t/shouldn’t happen), and there’s already so much silliness regarding who the Bears should take in round two that my brain is quickly souring on the subject. I used to like the draft, but it’s lost it’s charm. Life is too short to waste so much of it on football.

The XFL isn’t something I’ve watched much of, but there’s some brilliant things that the NFL will surely steal, most notably the kickoff. I hope the league sticks around for a good long while, if only to be handed off to someone worth a shit when Vince McMahon finally gets around to dying at the age of 197.

Chicago Cubs: Manufacture Hope While Comatose

I have no illusions of the Cubs getting their shit together and having a nice playoff run. The team is dangerously close to entering a Blackhawks-ian limbo where there’s stars but no real possibility of anything beyond skirting .500, but the wild card is honestly the David Ross hire.

I was thoroughly unexcited by what I felt was a corporate hire, but if the roster responds and he can deal with all the Cubs Things that occur during a long-ass MLB campaign, I’d be happy to eat crow.

It’s great that pitchers and catchers are reporting, and the game of summer will begin soon, but nothing sucks the heart out of baseball more than March/April baseball when it’s barely 60 degrees in most of the Midwest and a ton of the games are played in near-empty, slush-spattered ballparks. Ah well.

The Astros being given a glorified pass for the biggest cheating scandal since the Black Sox has certainly dampened my enthusiasm for MLB this year, but I eagerly anticipate getting to a couple ballgames this year with the missus.

Chicago Blackhawks: Not Dead, Nor Alive

I’m so exhausted of the Blackhawks. Stan Bowman’s wan and drum-tight demeanor has imbued the organization from stem to stern, forming a lukewarm stew of talent and disappointment that has all the pop and sizzle of a spilled tapioca pudding. Bringing back re-tread Blackhawks has failed time and time again, and while it is momentarily cool to see guys like Shaw and Saad back, the magic is gone.

The continued nature of these “one more time with the ol’ band” moves shows that Bowman is without a fragment of imagination, preferring instead to gently prod the same ingredients with the moldy vegetables from the compost heap, hoping their rot somehow adds a new flavor to a redundant and unpalatable brine.

Lehner was a breath of life that gave the team a much-needed jolt, but he’s now a Vegas Golden Knight. He and Gustafsson were dispatched for picks and prospects, which is normally fine, but Bowman has shown that his plan is devoid of humanity and energy. Colliton is likely going to fall on the sword for yet another lifeless Blackhawks season, but how is replacing him going to fix what is ultimately a taproot-deep institutional infection?

Someday the Blackhawks will be fun again, in days well past when the albatross contracts are finally off the books and Bowman’s grasp loosened. Until then, here’s your single patty on an unsalted bun. Enjoy.

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