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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 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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Bears @ Packers Tonight

Bears @ Packers in less than 6 Hours. Bears fans, remember to pick up all your favorite merchandise at one of Clark Street Sports stores throughout the Chicagoland Area before tonights game.

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Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers: ”House Divided” 3’x5’ Banner Flag:  
http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/Chicago-Bears-and-Green-Bay-Packers-House-Divided-3-x5-Banner-Flag-by-Wincraft.htm
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Chicago Bears Jay Cutler 14” Bleacher Creature Plush Doll: http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/Chicago-Bears-Jay-Cutler-14-Bleacher-Creature-Plush-Doll.html
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Chicago Bears Women’s Navy V-Neck Tee with “Da Bears” and Small “C” Logo:
http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/Chicago-Bears-Womens-Navy-V-Neck-Tee-with-Da-Bears-and-Small-C-Logo-on-Upper-Left-Chest-by-Nike.html
Please share your responses and follow us on Twitter(https://twitter.com/ClarkStSports), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/clarkstreetsports), Pinterest(http://pinterest.com/clarkstsports/), Google Plus (Clark Street Sports), and now Flickr(http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkstreetsports). Remember to also check out our merchandise at http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/
 
 

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Matt Forte’s signed…so what’s next for the Bears?

So hours before the deadline for Franchise Players to reach a long-term extension, the Bears and Matt Forte came to an agreement on a new 4 year contract. With Matt Forte now signed for four more seasons, the Bears can now concentrate on the 2012 season and beyond. The Bears front office and fans has a lot to look forward to in both the short-term (on the field) and long-term (off the field).

In the short-term, the Bears will feature the best team that they’ve has in a few decades with the additions of Michael Bush, Brandon Marshall, Shea McClellin, and Alshon Jeffery while not losing any key players from either side of the ball. The Bears will be one of the few teams to have a Pro Bowl (and top 10 ranked at their respected position) at each of the three key playmaking positions on offense in  Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall. Like many others, I feel this team (on paper) is most likely the Bears best team that they’ve had since the late 1980’s or early 1990’s. This franchise hasn’t featured this many playmakers on their roster (especially the offensive end)  since the end of the Ditka Era. I feel if the Bears answer a few key questions during the season, then they might be one of (if not) the team to beat in the NFC this season.

1. The Offensive Line: The O-Line needs to make sure they can give Jay Cutler enough time to survey the field so he find his playmaker down field and isn’t running for his life each play. As the season progressed onward, the Offensive Line started to show signs of improvement as Lance Louis, Roberto Garza, and Chris Williams  looked like they were becoming a solid group as the season progressed on. In addition to those 3 players, the Bears will have 2011 1st Round Draft pick Gabe Carimi back in the fold making this O-Line that much better next season. The biggest question lies within the Left Tackle position as the Bears hope JaMarcus Webb can take the next step and become a reliable Left Tackle for the Bears in 2012. If Webb’s able to take the next step, than there’ll be that much more running space for the running backs (Matt Forte and Michael Bush) while also allowing for Jay Cutler to bootleg out of the pocket allowing for him to become an elite Quarterback.

2. Tight End: In addition to the offensive line, the Bears need to receive contributions out of the Tight End position. During the offseason, the Bears decided to resign Kellen Davis to go along with Matt Speath and rookie Evan Rodriguez on their roster. If Kellen Davis (or one of the other 2 Tight End’s) can make a few key receptions downfield, the the other wideouts will be able to find single coverages against other defenses.

3. Defense’s Age: Like I said above, the Bears have a number of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball (Urlacher, Peppers, Briggs, and Tillman) however, each player is over the age of 30. Since Urlacher injured his wrist during the first game of the 2009 season, Chicago’s defense has been fortunate to stay relatively healthy on the defensive side of the ball. I don’t feel any of these players have “lost a step” however, I do worry about are the injuries and if someone gets injured how they’ll be able to recover from the possible injury. If they stay healthy, I feel these 4 players as good as ever during the 2012 season.

4. The Young Defenders: In addition to their key defensive players over 30 years old, I feel the Bears feature a few key younger players on the defensive side of the ball in Henry Melton, Major Wright, Chris Conte, along with rookies Shea McClellin (1st Round) and Brandon Hardin (3rd Round). If Henry Melton can become a reliable interior defensive tackle, and bring pressure from the inside of the defense, then Julius Peppers won’t see as many double-teams and the linebackers will be able to drop back into coverage. The same goes for Shea McClellin as if he’s able to prove that he can be true Defensive End that can get after the Quarterback, then the Bears will feature a solid rotation from the Defensive End position in Peppers, McClellin, and Israel Idonije. As for the other three players, they were the franchises last 3 third round picks: Major Wright (2010), Chris Conte (2011), and Brandon Hardin (2012). If two of the three young safeties are able to solidify that position in 2012, then the Bears defense would be that much better in 2012.

Those are the 4 keys surrounding the Bears in the short-term. So what are some of the long-term issues surrounding the Chicago Bears? 

Within the next 2 years, the majority of the Bears key players will be free agents and the team will have to decide who to sign and to let go. Within the next 2 off-seasons, the following key players will be Free Agents: Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, Henry Melton, and Robbie Gould. With that said Bears fans should look forward to the start of the 2012 and not too much at the future as the Bears have a chance to do something special in 2012 and early 2013.

Please share your responses and follow us on Twitter(https://twitter.com/ClarkStSports), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/clarkstreetsports), Pinterest(http://pinterest.com/clarkstsports/), Google Plus (Clark Street Sports), and now Flickr(http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkstreetsports). Remember to also check out our merchandise at http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/

 

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July at Clark Street Sports

July is here and with the start of this month begins the countdown to the start of the NFL Season. In addition to the start of the Football Season, the sports world will see the second half of the MLB Season which will bring a great deal of excitement from now until the end of the baseball season.

Brandon Marshall Jersey

NFL fans, were just over 2 weeks away from the start of Training Camp (July 26) so now’s a good time for Chicagoans and Bears fans around the world to gear up for the start of the 2012 Football Season. With the return of both Jay Culter and Matt Forte (hopefully), along with Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and newcomer Brandon Marshall, the Bears will be a force to be reckoned with throughout the NFC.

Chicago Bears Shirt

Chicago Bears Traditions Flex Fit Hat

At Clark Street Sports, we sell all your favorite Bears Merchandise from Tee-Shirts and Jerseys to Hats and Jackets and everything that relates to the Bears. The best way to find your favorite Bears merchandise is with Clark Street Sports at any of our Locations (throughout Illinois and Indiana) or online at http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/.

Chicago Bears Track Jacket

Women’s Tank Top

In addition to the start of Training Camp, both Chicago of Chicago’s baseball teams will be starting the Second Half of the MLB Season. With the start of the second half of the season just around the corner, it seems there should be a great deal of interest on both sides of town as both the Cubs and Sox have a lot to look forward the next few months.

For the Cubs, the start of the Anthony Rizzo era has gotten off to a fast start and should be even better during the next few months as he adjusts to Major League pitching. In addition to Rizzo, the Cubs have a lot of other things to look forward to throughout the second half of the season which includes the continued growth of All-Stars Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair along with a lot of other possible trades that may occur within the next 3 weeks. Cubs fans should also remember that the Hall of Fame Ceremony is approaching where Ron Santo will formally be inducted in Cooperstown on July 22, 2012. Make sure to get your Ron Santo merchandise before he’s inducted at any of our locations or online.

Cubs Anthony Rizzo Tee-Shirt

Cubs Ron Santo Tee-Shirt

As for the White Sox, they’ve put together a strong first-half of the Basball season and find themselves in first place at the All-Star Break. The Sox have received contributions from a number of players which include: A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, Chris Sale, and Kevin Youkilis. New Manager Robin Ventura has done a great job in  his first season managing on the South Side of Chicago it looks like the Sox will be in the AL Central race throughout the rest of the MLB season.

Robin Ventura Tee-Shirt

White Sox Paul Konerko Tee-Shirt

Please share your responses and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ClarkStSports), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/clarkstreetsports), Pinterest(http://pinterest.com/clarkstsports/), Google Plus (Clark Street Sports), and now Flickr(http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkstreetsports). Remember to also check out our merchandise at http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/

 

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