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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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BLACKHAWKS!

In case you live under a rock, on the moon, or generally don’t have an understanding of the outside world and the events within it, something very extraordinary happened. Yes, something we’ve all been waiting for. Something so intense and magical that the world will be forever changed.

George Lucas got MARRIED!

FINALLY! THE DARKNESS IS OVER!

FINALLY! THE DARKNESS IS OVER!

This is the biggest news of the week.

OHHHH, that and the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins in the final two minutes of Game Six of the Stanley Cup playoffs and are now THE REIGNING STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS AND WIN FOREVER ON INFINITE EARTHS! SPORTS IS GOOD! SPORTS IS GOOD! SPORTS IS GOOD!

SPORTS IS SO DAMN GOOD!

SPORTS IS SO DAMN GOOD!

Coming out of pummeling the Bruins on Saturday, the Blackhawks traveled to Boston for Game Six. At first the game was steady and intense, but the intensity heightened when Andrew Shaw took a puck to the face in the first period.

Blackhawk down!

Blackhawk down!

The classy, upstanding citizens known as Bruins fans booed the disoriented and injured Shaw as he was helped off the ice. We feared that Shaw would be out for the game, but he returned. He returned and landed in the penalty box immediately because Boston roiled him up, now they had to deal with the Shaw we saw shout “I’ll f—ing kill you!” at the Wild, the Shaw who checked one of the Red Wings in the kidneys with his stick, and the Shaw we had not seen since the beginning of the playoffs.

Best behavior does not equate giving a shit

Best behavior does not equal giving a shit

Stitched up and skates laced, Shaw joined the rest of the Blackhawks in the second period where Captain Toews tied up the score. The third period had Chicago white-knucked and sweating. Boston took the lead and it seemed that Game Seven was inevitable with two minutes left in the game. Then, within 17.7 SECONDS OF EACH OTHER, Bryan Bickell tied up the score and, with a minute left, Dave “The Rat” Bolland scored the shot that won the Chicago Blackhawks Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Keep in mind, in 17.7 seconds the Blackhawks scored as many points against the Bruins as the Penguins did in their entire playoff series.

Every Blackhawk fan feels like this today (even through the hangover)

Every Blackhawk fan feels like this today (even through the hangover)

We won the Stanley Cup. We won the Stanley Cup with Patrick Sharp returning from a season of injuries to score more goals in the playoffs than he did during the regular season. We won the Stanley Cup with Patrick Kane shooting his way to being the highest-scoring player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We won with Corey Crawford overcoming the criticism and doubt of fans and being the most important asset to the Blackhawks in the playoffs. We won with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell learning to reel in their rabid nature and focus that energy on being top-notch, reliable hockey players. We won Toews knowing his power with assists and allowing other players to shine. We won with Seabrook scoring crucial final goals in overtime. We won with Saad scoring his first ever playoff goal in the crucial first game against the Bruins. We won with the entire team taking down feared goalies like Jonathan Quick and Tuukka Rask. We won the Stanley Cup with Hossa, Frolik, Oduya, Stalberg, and Keith. We won the Stanley Cup with Dave Bolland recovering from a shaky playoff season to come back and score the game-winning goal that earned the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup.

nhl_g_hawkscup_gb1_576

We won because the Blackhawks are a team.

We won because the Blackhawks are a damn good team.

We won because no player is more important than any other player.

Because it’s the Cup.

In an era of sports where each team has a shimmering superstar glowing from the dull crown of the roster, the Chicago Blackhawks have no Lebron James, Derrick Rose, Derek Jeter, or Tom Brady. The metaphorical crown of the Blackhawks is blinding with equally-valuable jewels. They don’t rely on one member of the team exclusively; they rely on each other and play off of each other’s talents. For every Captain Toews jersey on Clark Street after Game Six ended, there were just as many Sharp, Bolland, Bollig, and Stalberg jerseys. Each player is important, and in the City of Big Shoulders, these shoulders stand strong because of the surrounding shoulders they have to rely on.

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

Blackhawks Win!

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup because they are a solid powerhouse of talent. Congratulations, Chicago Blackhawks, thank you for a fantastic ride.

Peep the new whiz!

Peep the new shiz!

Now that it’s all over and the Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup, all that’s left to do is party. Luckily, Clark Street Sports has a variety of Stanley Cup Championship shirts and hats to choose from for all of your Stanley Cup partying needs. We also have shirts so you can represent your favorite players like Andrew Shaw, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith, and many more. Visit one of our many locations in the Chicago area or visit our website, http://www.clarkstreetsports.com, and nab a piece of hockey history before they’re all gone.

Until October, Blackhawks!

Sports Is Good!

Sports Is Good!

 

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One Down, Three to Go

Well, if any of us have our fingernails left, it’s a damn miracle. If Game One is any barometer of where this series is headed, we are all doomed and will not have jobs at the end of the month due to exhaustion, alcohol consumption, hockey-related panic attacks, minor aneurysms, and temporary blindness.

Because it's the Cup

Because it’s the Cup

 

The ups and downs of game one were enough to give the entire city of Chicago a behavioral disorder with the numerous emotional gear shifts in the one hundred and twelve minutes of hockey mania. Though Lucic scored twice in the first twenty-two minutes of the game, the rally that brought the focus and the faith back to fans was the first playoff goal for Brandon Saad. His career goal achieved, Saad restored the hope of the team and lifted the spirits of the Madhouse on Madison.

When Saad scores his first playoff goal, a flock of angels get their wings and fly into space to fight cool stuff with awesome lasers.

When Saad scores his first playoff goal, a flock of angels get their wings and fly into space to fight cool stuff with awesome lasers.

 

With the score at 3-1 in the third, it seemed that maybe the first game was going to the Bruins. With hearts of Blackhawks fans sinking around the Midwest, Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya tied up the score which allowed for all of the overtime in the world to clutch Bruins and Blackhawks fans by the throats and keep us on the edge of our seats for another hour.

This game is over when The Rat says it's over!

This game is over when The Rat says it’s over!

 

After tying it up, the game went into triple overtime, making it the fifth longest playoff game in NHL history. Naturally, this is a great indication of where the series is going. By game five, we’ll probably enter a four day hockey binge where the teams either have to score or die in order to win. After two overtime periods that gave every Blackhawks and Bruins fan an irregular heartbeat,¬†Rozsival, Bolland, and Shaw came together to form a goal-scoring trifecta that won the Blackhawks the game!

"Come on, Shawzer, we're gonna take you out for ice cream for that goal!"

“Come on, Shawzer, we’re gonna take you out for ice cream for that goal!”

 

Then, as if the night could not get any better, the “Shawed Off Shotgun” dropped the f-bomb during the post-game interview. The media went crazy about this slip of the tongue because apparently everyone ever forgot that Shaw was the guy threatening to “f—ing kill” players from the Minnesota Wild in the first series.

Because, clearly, this guy cares about what can and cannot be said on television.

Because, clearly, this guy cares about what can and cannot be said on television.

 

So, what can be taken away from this first game of the final series? Clearly, we are in for an intense final round. The Blackhawks and Bruins are an evenly-matched talent that not only bring a legendary “Original Six” presence to the Stanley Cup finals, but they also bring a substantial amount of talent and determination to the ice. If the Blackhawks are going to continue winning, their focus must be laser sharp. Chara, Rask, Lucic, and the rest of the black and gold Boston boys will not go quietly.

Saad JerseyShaw Black

 

We’re one game closer to getting the Stanley Cup. Hurry and get yourself your favorite player’s tee and fly your proud feathers for the mighty Blackhawks. Visit one of our stores, trailers, or our website (www.clarkstreetsports.com) and get your sweet Blackhawks gear today!

 

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Final Day!

Let's get this party started

Let’s get this party started

 

Just a friendly reminder that today is the last day to enter our Andrew Shaw shirt giveaway! Pop over to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/clarkstreetsports), become a fan (if you aren’t already), and enter to win a free Andrew Shaw tee shirt! It’s that simple! Enter to win and then spend the rest of the day marinating in anticipation over the thought of winning and the thought of Game Four against the Los Angeles Kings!

 

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Andrew Shaw Shirt

Support Shawzer

Support Shawzer

As we prepare to face the Kings in Los Angeles, be sure to show your support for the shining star of postseason Blackhawks hockey, Andrew Shaw. Grab this Andrew Shaw shirt so you have something to wear to your favorite bar, to the game, and to the Stanley Cup parade in Chicago (http://www.clarkstreetsports.com/chicago-blackhawks-andrew-shaw-65-player-name-number-t-shirts-by-reebok.html)

 

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Hawkey Talk

Like a HOSS!

Like a HOSS!

Well, sports fanatics, when we left for the holiday weekend we were all walking on egg shells, biting our nails, and praying to the hockey gods to help bring the Blackhawks a victory. We headed into the weekend hopeful and willing to stand by the mighty, mighty Blackhawks. We went into Game Five hoping that Shaw, Bickell, and Toews could keep their tempers under control long enough to win the game. We went into the game hoping our defense was as strong as our offense.

We all went into Game Five like this.

We all went into Game Five like this.

Our hopes and dreams came true, Chicago, because we’re forcing game seven against Detroit!

Game five saw Toews putting on his captain’s hat, keeping it cool, and scoring two goals. Bickell channeled his hockey rage into a goal. However the greatest star of the Blackhawks in Game Five was hot-headed, punch-throwing, blood-thirsty Andrew Shaw. The player that could not keep his temper under control in game three stepped up his game and kept himself on the ice instead of in the penalty box. This playoff series has shown that players like Shaw and Bickell are more than fist-swinging stereotypical hockey players; these are hockey professionals focused on the Stanley Cup and are dedicated so fiercely to that objective that they will reevaluate their playing tactics so they can best help their team.

Strongest pimp hand in the NHL

Strongest pimp hand in the NHL

Shaw and Bickell’s tremendous improvements, Patrick¬†Sharp’s comeback from a depressing regular season, and the hopes and dreams invested in a team that blazed through the regular season with the twinkle of the Stanley Cup in their eyes have all been inspiring. However, the most impressive Cinderella story of the playoffs has definitely been Corey Crawford. With thirty five saves in game six alone, Crawford’s performance as a goalie has been a crucial element to the Blackhawks’ success; any Blackhawks fan who does not give Crawford the praise he deserves should be forced to give up all hockey apparel, delete their Blackhawks app, and choose a different team to root for.

So we have got a helluva nail-biter on our hands for tomorrow. Two teams deeply rooted in a long-standing rivalry are thirsty for drinking champagne out of Lord Stanley’s cup. Show your support for the mighty Blackhawks with our “Keep Calm and Win the Cup” tee shirt this week.

Game seven: you’ll pay for your seat, but you’ll only need the edge!

 

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Wednesday’s Wild World of Sports

With baseball season in full swing, playoff hockey causing us to chew off our fingernails, a big announcement from Brian Urlacher, and the Bulls still grabbing headlines, this has, indeed, been a heck of a week for Chicago sports!

Dave Bolland does his best Joker impression to intimidate the Red Wings.

Dave Bolland does his best Joker impression to intimidate the Red Wings.

With the Blackhawks down in the playoffs against the much-hated Detroit Red Wings, the team is still optimistic about game four. Perhaps the Blackhawks were too confident against the team they swept in the regular season (a team they beat by a touchdown on Easter Sunday) and dismissed the fact that in order to play the Blackhawks, the Red Wings beat the second seed, the Anaheim Ducks (a team the Blackhawks could not beat in regular season). Game three saw an intense, ugly game that kept every fan, Chicago and Detroit, on the edge of their seats. The denial of what could have been the Blackhawks’ second goal certainly lowered the Blackhawks spirits as much as it raised the Red Wings’. However, in game four, it is clear that they cannot allow lowered spirits to turn into violent outbursts. Hockey may be a notoriously violent sport, but you can’t score goals from the penalty box. Though Brian Bickell and Andrew Shaw clearly will not let the Blackhawks go down without a knock down, drag out, good old fashioned hockey fight, in order to play effectively the Hawks need to keep their anger in check and focus that energy on getting to the net, keeping the puck in control, and playing angry while playing smart.

Save it for when we're ahead, Shawzer.

Save it for when we’re ahead, Shawzer.

The Chicago Bulls may be out of the playoffs, but the team with the most heart in the NBA may be losing the biggest heart of the team, Nate Robinson.

But we can't split up this dynamic duo! We can't!

But we can’t split up this dynamic duo! We can’t!

The news of Robinson’s likely departure has Chicago in an uproar. The little powerhouse that was a valuable asset to the Bulls in the playoffs has won the hearts of Bulls fans (and his on court relationship with the giant Joakim Noah might be one of the most endearing things in all of the NBA). The threat of Robinson’s leaving the Bulls has gotten Bulls fans in such an uproar that there is an online petition to convince the Bulls to keep Nate Robinson on the roster. Is this the best way to keep the running heart of the Bulls on the roster? Only time and a growing collection of signatures will tell.

So long, Brian

So long, Brian

Breaking news this morning is the retirement of Brian Urlacher, the Bears’ amazing linebacker. After toying with the idea of signing with the Vikings, Urlacher decided to retire from football altogether. Whereas we will miss seeing him destroying the competition every Sunday afternoon, we can selfishly admit seeing him go is better than seeing him in a purple helmet with viking horns on it. Retiring from football as a Chicago Bear was important to Urlacher, and we at Clark Street Sports wish the revered #54 the best of luck in retirement after thirteen years tearing up Soldier Field in navy and orange.

Baseball is serious business!

Baseball is serious business!

Memorial Day weekend means three day weekend and a lot of Chicago baseball. Whether your allegiance is to the North Side or the South Side, this weekend is a great time to take advantage of some fantastic Chicago baseball against the Marlins and the Reds before the Crosstown Classic kicks off on Memorial Day!

If you’re not dedicated enough to sport a full back Sox vs. Cubs tattoo this weekend, don’t worry! Clark Street Sports has all the gear you need for this year’s annual baseball blow out and for all your other Chicago sports needs! Until next time, sports fans, let us know what you think of what’s happening in the wild world of sports and keep rooting for the Windy City!

 

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