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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Football is Coming!

We are less than a month away from regulation football, everybody!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL, CHICAGO?

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL, CHICAGO?

Training camp is hot and happening in Bourbonnais! With a week and a half until preseason begins, the Bears face many obstacles that must be cleared in order to prepare to face-off against another team. The loss of Lovie, the departure of Urlacher, and the shaky consistency of Jay Cutler are all things that the Bears must improve in order to have a shot at the playoffs.

Steppin up!

Steppin up!

The Bears solid defense is something that needs a bit of work as they are adjusting to working without their former leader, Brian Urlacher. Tillman is looking good, Peppers is in the quarterback’s face, and Jennings is keeping himself near the ball to keep near the action. With so much speculation about how the defensive line would shape up after the losses of Urlacher and Lovie, they seem to be picking up where they left off and building on their solid foundation. Lance Briggs is stepping into Urlacher’s legendary shoes and calling plays. Mel Tucker, first year defensive coordinator for the Bears, says “[Briggs] is doing a great job with checks and the adjustments.” Maintaining solid work will definitely help the Bears on their journey to the postseason.

Bear Down, Cutler, or Bow Out

Bear Down, Cutler, or Bow Out

ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright notes that Jay Cutler’s problem is not his arm. Cutler struggles with his dropbacks, delivery, and footwork. While Cutler is definitely showing signs of improvement, when asked if he could maintain his momentum, Marc Trestman said, “We’ve got to come here and remind each other each day, ‘If we’ve got two willing guys that are willing to work with each other to do it, we’ve got the best chance.” Trestman knows there is no magic bullet with Cutler; Cutler must evolve. Evolution is a slow process, but if Cutler is already showing signs of improvement, he may have a chance of keeping his job. Along with his own performance, he must teach himself not to rely heavily on Brandon Marshall. Marshall missing a few days of training camp due to a hip injury gave Cutler a way to refocus on other receivers and allowed for other receivers to give Cutler a chance to trust them on the field. If the Bears are going to work, they must work as a team, not as a dynamic duo.

Only one dynamic duo can win a Super Bowl, and you're not Batman, Jay Cutler!

Only one dynamic duo can win a Super Bowl, and you’re not Batman, Jay Cutler!

The breakout star of training camp is Kyle Long. Reports coming from Bourbonnais say #75 is an amazing defender and a great asset to the team. He spent the offseason working on mixed martial arts fighting techniques to improve balance and stamina. He still has a lot of work to do to beat out James Brown for the starting right guard position, but he remains optimistic and focused. “I’m playing a game that kids play for fun,” Long said, “We’re blessed enough to be able to get paid. It feels great.” Training camp is fantastic, but he must really shine bright when the preseason begins August 9th.

HOLY PRIZES, BATMAN!

HOLY PRIZES, BATMAN!

We are excited for preseason and excited for the official return of the Chicago Bears on August 29th! We are so excited, in fact, that we are having a Chicago Bears Tailgating Giveaway! Head over to our Facebook page and enter to win the contest. Click here for details, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for other opportunities to enter! Bear Down, Chicago! Football season is almost here! SPORTS IS GOOD!

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Blackhawks Convention!

Ladies and gentlemen, get your fanboy engines roaring! Today is the day! Today is the day that kicks off the three day love fest for those Stanley Cup-hoisting Chicago Blackhawks! Yes, once a year we can all get together and freak out because we might actually run into a Chicago Blackhawk! We might actually get to hug one of them! We might actually get to see the greatest trophy in all of sports!

Good lord, just look at it and know that you are truly beautiful!

Good lord, just look at it and know that you are truly beautiful!

As if the hope of seeing the Stanley Cup were not enough, actual Blackhawks will be there answering questions and signing autographs! Who will be there? Jonathan Toews will be there and so will Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith, Brandon Saad, and Andrew Shaw!

You can admit your heart is singing "Wind Beneath My Wings." We won't tell!

You can admit your heart is singing “Wind Beneath My Wings.” We won’t tell!

Who else is going to be there?

I mustache you a question

I mustache you a question

Coach Quenneville will be there! If you see him walking around, be sure to congratulate him on his finalized contract extension! If there’s one thing Chicago will always need more of, it is Joel Quenneville!

Who else is going to be there? WE ARE! Yes, we will be there making sure you have a Hawks shirt if you forgot yours at home in all of the excitement! We’ve got hats and knick knacks! We are ready to party for the Blackhawks with you! So come stop by the Clark Street Sports booth and say hello! We’ll have plenty of shirts and high-fives!

It’s almost here! Today’s the day! Who’s excited?!?

 

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Blackhawks Convention!

Handsome Hawks!

Handsome Hawks!

We are less than twenty-four hours away from the Sixth Annual Blackhawks Convention! Are you ready for panels with Corey Crawford, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith? Are you ready to see the Stanley Cup in all its glory? Do you have good threads? Are you styling enough to encounter the Stanley Cup?

Get a serious wardrobe!

Get a serious wardrobe!

Visit our website (http://tinyurl.com/k9aztfb) to find this tee and more for all your ensembles this weekend. We will also be at the convention bopping around with merchandise so holler at us if you see us! Sports is good!

 

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Sports Is Good, Y’All!

Hello, sports fans! Welcome to your daily dose of sports news and commentary from Clarks Street Sports!

Baseball

Air Soriano

Air Soriano

Despite the alarming lack of enthusiasm coming from the world of baseball, there sure is a lot of news coming out of the North Side. First, and most pressing, is that the City Council will decide on the final approval for the renovations scheduled for Wrigley Field. If this passes, and it looks like it will, a planned five year reconstruction of Wrigley will begin this fall. Only the two outfield signs, the jumbotron scoreboard in left field and the see-through sign in right field, are approved so as not to obstruct the view from the rooftops as there is another decade left on the rooftop contract. Rahm Emanuel’s proposed pedestrian footbridge over Clark Street has been “deferred indefinitely” and any other renovations will be discussed within the Wrigleyville community between residents, the Cubs owners, and the rooftop businesses, Emanuel hopes. This is indeed a sad day for those pushing to keep the historic landmark preserved.

On the heels of Matt Garza’s trade comes word that Alfonso Soriano will also be traded. Soriano is currently in discussion with Theo Epstein about his trade destinations and waiving his no-trade rights. Soriano has name-dropped the New York Yankees as his desired destination, but Epstein says there is nothing solid coming from New York as of yet. Soriano said, “[The Yankees] always make the playoffs no matter what team they have, no matter what pitching they got. They find a way.” Clearly Soriano wants to be on a team that will showcase him and Epstein is itching to restructure the entire team, disregarding fan favoritism of players and the class of players that were brought on in the 2006-2007 spending spree.

Junior Lake is killing it, y'all

Junior Lake is killing it, y’all

Junior Lake represents the new class of Cubs being molded to focus on becoming a team worthy of playing in an expensive renovated ballpark that is irritating half of the city of Chicago. He went 3-for-5 with a homerun against the Diamondbacks. Tuesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks found the Cubs reacting with flared tempers and childish outbursts that resulted in a 4-10 loss. Sveum was ejected in the third inning after being vocal about believing that the umpire was baiting a conflict with Cody Ransom after he flung his bat after being struckout. This was Sveum’s fourth ejection this season. Ransom also threw his helmet after lining out with bases loaded. Anthony Rizzo tossed his bat after a painful strikeout as well. As the Cubs rebuild the stadium, it is clear that they are incredibly busy rebuilding the team and the team dynamic.

Basketball

Goodbye, Malcolm

The Bulls are hoping that waiving Malcolm Thomas will give their roster the flexibility necessary to acquire Marcus Camby. Though the Rockets are the likely frontrunner in the Camby acquisition, the Bulls are hoping that this 6’11” center will add another rebounding presence on the court with skills comparable to Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.

Hockey

We are the champions, my friend!

We are the champions, my friend!

This weekend is the great Chicago Blackhawks convention where Blackhawks fans can meet and mingle with Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, and Bryan Bickell. Niklas Hjmarsson is getting married this weekend and Brent Seabrook is at home in Canada awaiting the arrival of his child, so though they will be missed, we wish them both heart-felt congratulations!

Football

Roar

Roar

Bears training camp begins tomorrow and we are so excited for football season we will be announcing a Bears contest next week on our Facebook page. Head over to http://www.facebook.com/clarkstreetsports, like our page, and keep your eyes peeled for our big contest to kick off football season!

Get styling

Get styling

In the meantime, check out our Blackhawks championship shirts (http://tinyurl.com/ltf7n5c) and get yourself prepared for the Blackhawks convention. Sports is good, Chicago, so let’s party with the Blackhawks!

 

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Blackhawks and Cubbies and Bears, OH MY!

Even through the dog days of summer, the sports keep going and, as Sonny and Cher once said, the beat goes on. Even though we are in the off seasons of most sports, there is still a lot of news coming down the pipes about our favorite sports teams.

Hockey

Going for the Gold!

Going for the Gold!

The post-2013 season has the Blackhawks focusing on adjusting to a new roster and being recruited to represent their home countries at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Team Canada has recruited Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Corey Crawford. Team USA has brought Nick Leddy, Brandon Saad, and sharp-shooter Patrick Kane to their team. In 2010 it came down to Kane vs. Toews for the gold and America went home with the silver medal. With this many Blackhawks skating to Russia in 2014, Chicago hockey fans will find a lot to scream at their television about as it will be difficult to root against either team with so many revered players pitted against each other for Olympic Gold. Congratulations to all of the Blackhawks chosen for the 2014 Winter Olympic games!

THE REMATCH

THE REMATCH

Basketball

Comeback Kid

Boozer is not amused

The Bulls, and all of Chicago, are preparing for the much-awaited comeback of superstar Derrick Rose. His manager and brother, Reggie Rose, has been talking with the press about Rose’s recovery and says that Rose is ready to go. Reggie Rose says that he has “no concerns about [Derrick Rose] physically” and that taking a year off may have hurt the Bulls, but it was necessary for the longevity of his career. He believes “Derrick should probably be able to play fifteen to eighteen years,” so taking a year off was a means of making sure he was physically prepared to play basketball for the next two decades.

"Dude, this comeback had better not be a joke."

“Dude, this comeback had better not be a joke.”

The return of Rose is great news for Bulls fans, but sending Nate Robinson to the Denver Nuggets is definitely terrible news for Bulls fans as the heart of the 2013 playoffs is now someone we face instead of someone helping us block Lebron’s shots.

We're gonna miss you, buddy.

We’re gonna miss you, buddy.

So, with the return of Derrick Rose, the departure of Nate Robinson, and the shaky status of Luol Deng’s contract extension, what does the 2014 Chicago Bulls roster look like? The point guards look sharp with Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Marquis Teague hitting the court. Rose’s return, if successful, will be a major boost for the Bulls, obviously. The skill and talent of Rose will be a great punch on the court; what will really stand out is that the heart and spirit of the team–both for the team and for the fans–is returning to the United Center. After a year and a half of anticipation, wondering down to the last game against the Miami Heat in the 2013 playoffs if Rose would make a miraculous return, the bright comet of the Chicago Bulls will blaze down the court again and set the competition ablaze. Our shooting guards and shooting forwards are looking sharp. Jimmy Butler is in need of some polish, but there is plenty of time to make sure that he is in the best condition to hit the court. Mike Dunleavy will serve as a secret weapon for the Bulls as the opposition will be on guard against the dynamite talent of Derrick Rose which will keep their eye distracted from the three-point power of Dunleavy. Power forwards Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, Malcom Thomas, and Erik Murphy are focused but in need of strengthening. Carlos Boozer is the 2014 Bulls’ Scottie Pippen, reliable with strong offense, but his defense needs a lot of work. Taj Gibson, on the other hand, brings a great defensive game. If the two could learn from each other, we would have two stunning power forwards on the court. Boozer’s on court relationship with Noah creates spectacular offense as well; they are a threat just like Pippen and Jordan when they hit the court together. Centers Joakim Noah and Nazr Mohammad round out the roster. Joakim Noah is the Bulls offense and does well adapting to the style of his teammates while remaining determined and focused. Mohammad does his job well with decent defense and use of fouls, but he is not good in long play. If Noah’s annual injuries flare up again, Mohammad will have big shoes to fill on the court as he is simply not on Noah’s level yet. The Bulls roster looks good, and they’ve proven that they can play without Rose. This year should provide us with amazing basketball as the return of Rose will only boost the ability of the already spectacular Chicago Bulls.

Basketball Biology 101: This is a heart.

Basketball Biology 101: This is a heart.

Baseball

Later, 'gator

Later, gator

After many rumors and a lot of talks, the Cubs have traded Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers. In return the Cubs are getting third baseman Mike Ott and two right-handed pitchers, C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm. The trade agreement also allows for the Cubs to acquire up to two more pitchers, possibly Neil Ramirez. This is proof that the Cubs are serious about rebuilding. It stands to reason that the Cubs are looking to build a good team that is could possibly begin winning because with all of the talk about revamping Wrigley Field, they should have a team good enough to draw fans into the expensive stadium. This also shows the Cubs are shifting away from keeping fan favorites and abandoning player loyalty and looking to rebuild a functioning baseball team that stands a chance to make the playoffs in the coming years.

Football

BREAKING: If you keep eating that towel, you will not be hungry for lunch!

BREAKING: If you keep eating that towel, you will not be hungry for lunch!

The Bears begin training camp on Thursday! Preseason football will be hitting our television screens in a matter of weeks. Hopefully the Bears will be taking this time to strengthen their offensive line and forcing Jay Cutler to step up his game in order to get the Bears into the playoffs this season. Chicago is hungry for another major sports victory, and the Bears have the talent and the drive to make it happen.

Bear Down!

Bear Down!

Olympians, returned superstars, new players, and new goals; the world of Chicago sports is spinning into very interesting areas. As these sports get revved up and ready to go, remember that one very important event happening this year is the retirement of Mike Ditka’s number in January. Get ready for this monumental year of football and festivities with our Mike Ditka Chicago Bear tee shirt (http://tinyurl.com/oht723e). Grab great sports threads from Clark Street Sports so you can be ready for all of the exciting things happening in Chicago sports!

 

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The Stanley Cup’s Summer Vacation

Still partying hard!

Still partying hard!

Well, it’s time for Round Two of what the Stanley Cup has been up to with the Chicago Blackhawks. The last time we took a moment to catch up with the Cup, it had been doing the morning show circuit, visiting a children’s hospital, meeting its meaty Doppelg√§nger, meeting David Letterman, and hitting summer concerts with Jimmy Buffett and Rush! That’s a lot for Lord Stanley’s Cup. However, a few more players have gotten their turn to take the Cup out for a day, and if there’s one thing the Blackhawks know it’s how to party and have a good time.

Try to figure out which of them is more beautiful

Try to figure out which of them is more beautiful

Blackhawks alternate captain, and current Captain Handsome, Patrick Sharp took Lord Stanley’s Cup down to the South Side to enjoy some baseball at US Cellular Field (we still call it Comiskey).

Coach bringing the thunder to Wrigley

Coach bringing the thunder to Wrigley

Of course, Coach Quenneville brought the Cup to Wrigley Field to get the crowd jumping and to make sure that the Sox and the Cubs got equal amounts of love from the Blackhawks.

Make way, y'all!

Make way, y’all!

Nick Leddy took the Cup to Minnesota to show Wild fans what a real hockey team can accomplish. The Stanley Cup had quite a day in Minnesota with Leddy.

Let's take a dip, Cup!

Let’s take a dip, Cup!

Of course, in the tradition of the Blackhawks being spectacular guys, Leddy took the Cup to brighten the day of patients at a local children’s hospital.

Just out brightening the day.

Just out brightening the day.

Everywhere Leddy went, his fans and fans of the Cup were right at his heels.

This is their Woodstock

This is their Woodstock

Andrew Shaw also got a day with the Stanley Cup. Naturally, he ended up sporting it behind bars because if you’re going to be the Blackhawks bad boy, you better do it right!

Partied just a little too hard

Partied just a little too hard

He also cruised around his hometown in Ontario with the Cup like a total stud.

Makin' the mayor look like a total dork

Makin’ the mayor look like a total dork

Captain Toews got his day with the cup and after it had been to a Rush concert, a Jimmy Buffett concert, a parade, and two baseball games, among other activities, Toews took it out water skiing.

The Cup makes a really good spotter

The Cup makes a really good spotter

Like Nick Leddy and Coach Q, Jonathan Toews took the Cup to a children’s hospital and not only brightened the day of the children but also warmed all of the hearts ever.

That burning in your chest is your heart radiating love.

That burning in your chest is your heart radiating love.

The Blackhawks are out and about with the Stanley Cup, and you could see them bouncing around! Make sure you let them know that you love the Blackhawks rule with great attire from Clark Street Sports!

We Are the Champions

We Are the Champions

Find this and a large variety of Blackhawks Stanley Cups shirts on our website (http://tinyurl.com/mmqtv77) and keep looking good on the chance that you become a part of the Stanley Cup’s infinite summer vacation.

 

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WE ARE READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!

Okay, so winter shows up in Chicago and overstays its welcome. Around New Year’s Day, Chicago is completely done with snow, slush, cold, wind chill, poorly-heated apartments, waiting on the bus, and generally any activity that requires being outdoors. Being excited for football means, yes, we are accepting that football means winter–long, seemingly endless winter. It’s not that we want summer to end; we love pools, the beach, ice cream, sunshine, and not having to wear eight layers of clothes when we leave the apartment. However, baseball is just not doing it for us. This baseball boredom is not just sweeping Chicago, but it’s spreading throughout the country like wildfire (http://tinyurl.com/olrnon2). So, one must look ahead to the future in sports and see that the wave of the NFL is visible from the shore.

Also, the wave has a shark in it because football is totally hardcore like that!

Also, the wave has a shark in it because football is totally hardcore like that!

Training camp for the Bears starts in a week and a half and the Bears have a lot to work on to prepare for the upcoming season. With a new coach, Jay Cutler facing the end of his contract, a batch of new players, and the absence of Brian Urlacher, the Bears have a lot to adjust to before facing the Panthers on August ninth.

We loved Lovie, now we have to trust Trestman.

We loved Lovie, now we have to trust Trestman.

Of course, the first major adjustment will be to the new head coach, and possible middle-aged John Boy Walton, Marc Trestman. Lovie Smith had the ability to focus veteran players while inspiring rookie players to stand up to the challenge of becoming a part of the solid Chicago Bears roster; we do not know what Trestman has in store for the Bears. His first, and most important challenge, will undoubtedly be to whip Jay Cutler into shape. This should prove a successful task for Trestman as he was the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders in 2002 which resulted in Raiders’ quarterback, Rich Gannon, winning that year’s NFL MVP Award, even though the Raiders lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. Gannon’s 2002 season saw shattering records, throwing 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns. If Trestman could turn Gannon into a cannon, he could certainly bring out the same success in Jay Cutler.

Jay's back!

Jay’s back!

Jay Cutler, though, must be responsive and open to the changes and work hard to maintain his position on the Bears roster. This is the last year on his contract, so he must be willing to do what’s necessary to lead the Bears to the playoffs in order to keep his job. One of the main things he needs to focus on is to stop relying heavily on Brandon Marshall. Though their chemistry on the field is overpowering, his crippling reliance on Marshall is only hurting the team. Last season Marshall ended the season with 118 receptions; behind him were Earl Bennett with 29 receptions and Devin Hester with 23 receptions. Cutler needs to focus on the other players as Marshall may not always be open or may get hurt. Cutler needs to learn to keep his options open this season before the Bears decide to open up their options in next year’s off season.

This is what it sounds like when the Bears cry.

This is what it sounds like when the Bears cry.

Of course, a new coach and a quarterback in need of repair are two things that the Bears must adjust to, but one of the biggest changes is the absence of the king of the defensive line, Brian Urlacher. The Bears picked up DJ Williams and Jon Bostic in hopes of filling the big shoes of Urlacher. However, Urlacher didn’t just leave a gap in the physical defensive line, the Bears lost a leader on the field. The defense worked because Urlacher was an upstanding leader on the field. This would be the best time for Lance Briggs to step up into that role as he has the seniority, the experience, and the energy to rebuild the tight nucleus of the Bears defensive line.

Because this guy will get you pumped about football!

Because this guy will get you pumped about football!

Though the tight defensive line is in need of some minor adjustments, the offensive line needs to be fiercely restructured and refocused. The Bears are notorious for having the sloppiest offensive line in the NFL. Over the past three seasons, Jay Cutler has been sacked 113 times. You don’t have to be a football coach to know that lying on the field is not the best way to throw the ball to a teammate. It’s also not the best way to keep your quarterback in a good condition to play.¬†Offensive linemen Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Kyle Long, J’Marcus Webb, and Roberto Garzo have a lot of work to do and a lot to prove.

"No, guys. I'll just sit here until you figure out how to keep me from getting tackled. Thanks."

“No, guys. I’ll just sit here until you figure out how to keep me from getting tackled. Thanks.”

All of these tweaks, adjustments, and changes should be focused on one goal: the playoffs. Chicago is hungry for another playoff and baseball is not providing any satisfaction for anyone on the North Side or the South Side. The Bulls made the playoffs without Derrick Rose this year, and they fought long and hard to the bitter end. They fell to the Heat but vowed to return next season to claim the Larry O’Brien trophy. The Chicago Blackhawks skated through the competition and brought the Stanley Cup back to the Windy City. No one has any hopes for baseball, but everyone has put their faith in the Chicago Bears. If Jay Cutler wants to keep his job, he has to get the Bears to the playoffs this year. If he doesn’t, the townspeople will finally revolt against the quarterback instead of sitting on their barstools and blithely bitching about his performance. Chicago is hungry for another exciting round of playoff sports and, though the NFL playoffs are a ways away, getting there takes time, focus, and practice. The Bears have ample time to get their eyes on the prize and make sure they have what it takes to get them to that goal.

Bring It On!

Bring It On!

There are a few more weeks until preseason kicks off, so be sure you are prepared with the freshest Chicago Bears gear you can get your hands on! Find this original “Bring It On” tee here (http://tinyurl.com/lshblom), or browse our vast selection of Bears gear on our website (www.clarkstreetsports.com). Get prepared for football season, and get ready to BEAR DOWN!

 

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