Chicago - Aug. 17, 2018
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
 
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
ElRey
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Chicago
Indicted!
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Rats
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Beyond
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (louisehay.com)
Ellie
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
FAQ
About
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
RSS
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising
 

« October 2014 | Main | December 2014 »

November 28, 2014

Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day

Every day.

happydayfoodliquor.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

-

More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

-

Helene on Twitter!

-

Meet Helene!

-

Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

-

Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

-

Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:04 PM | Permalink

The College Football Report: Eggs, Hooks, Frogs & Stingers

Welcome to the final week of the regular season, or as we like to call it at The College Football Report: Contingency Weekend.

Exhibit A: Should #1 Alabama lose to #15 Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday and #4 Mississippi State beat #19 Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, MSU goes to the SEC Championship game to play the Eastern Division winner, which will probably be #17 Missouri, unless the Tigers lose in which case it will be #9 Georgia and should Missouri or Georgia win, the SEC may not send a team to the playoff, especially if Mizzou wins the SEC over Mississippi State and the Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, and ACC favorites win out, which will result in disastrous of Biblical proportions. Real wrath-of-God-type stuff. Fire and brimstone, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, or, in short, mass hysteria.

Although Kirk Herbstreit would probably show up for work on Sunday slathered in buckeye butter and rolled in scarlet and grey glitter.

You know which way we're leaning: All the above and an Ohio State (#6) loss to Michigan.

Kentucky vs. #22 Louisville (-13), 11 a.m.

One of the least storied interconference (that may or may not be a word, but we're going with it) rivalries in college football, the 27th Kentucky-Louisville game moves to the last weekend of the season so as to compete with the likes of Western Kentucky-Marshall, Utah-Colorado, and Utah State-Boise State. At least the two exchange an inoffensive trophy (the Governor's Cup) and don't further embarrass themselves by swapping some figurine-laden monstrosity.

Our pick: Unless you live in the Bluegrass State, the only reason to pay attention is the very attractive point spread. Take the Cards.

South Carolina vs. #21 Clemson (-4.5), 11 a.m.

Our pick: In another unremarkable match-up for anyone outside the state, the failure-to-launch Gamecocks (once ranked #9) square off against the good-but-not-great Tigers. We'll take the points.

#16 Georgia Tech vs. #9 Georgia (-12), 11 a.m.

Michigan vs. #6 Ohio State (-20.5), 11 a.m.

#25 Utah vs. Colorado (+9), Noon

Why not go for a three-team parlay here? You won't watch the first, you probably hate both in the second, and know nothing about the third. The parlay makes for perfect television: You aren't obligated to pay attention to any one game for longer than a few minutes, leaving you free to flip channels, avoiding commercials except for the few times all three fall into sync, forcing you to watch the latest Ford truck ad, until you remember ESPN is airing the SC-Clemson game and . . . the latest Toyota Tundra commercial. Someone needs to name this phenomenon, because it's emotionally scarring.

Florida vs. #3 Florida State (-7.5), 2:30 p.m.

Another game we don't want to watch but if forced, while we'd never admit it, could only root for injuries. Nothing career-ending, mind. Just enough of a tweak to knock a star player, say one of the two starting quarterbacks, off his game. Like a "stinger" or a "burner." No one knows what either means, anyway.

Our pick: No such luck, we fear. Seminoles, by a mile.

#10 Michigan State vs. Penn State (+13.5), 2:30 p.m.

Neither team has much to win. Ohio State's win over Indiana last weekend eliminated the Spartans from the Big Ten championship game and Penn State can only hope for a marginally better bowl after dropping its fifth loss last Saturday at lowly Illinois. Oh, wait . . . we forgot about the Land-Grant Trophy. Yes, the two schools exchange a trophy. You're right, almost no one knows about it and the few who do don't understand what the Land-Grant represents. Suffice it to say, the trophy involves a miniature mountain lion.

The Big Ten assigned Michigan State as Penn State's permanent rival when the Nittany Lions joined the conference in 1993 - because nothing stirs up passion like a made-up rivalry. PSU vacated nine wins following the sex abuse scandal, leaving Michigan State as the overwhelming leader in the series, at 13-5-1. . . as if anyone cares. Whatever bitter enmity 18 years of designated distaste faded in 2011 when Nebraska joined the Big Ten, prompting whichever committee decides these things to award Indiana and Nebraska as the rivals for Michigan State and Penn State, respectively. After the latest realignment in 2014, both teams find themselves in the same division (the Eastern) of the 14-team Big Ten, meaning that the two will once again face off every year on the last Saturday of the regular season, reigniting the sputtering flame that was once an invented inferno.

Our pick: It's the holidays, which is the make-or-break season for tchotchkes, trinkets, and gewgaws, so it's only fitting that we take Penn State.

#4 Mississippi State (-2.5) vs. #19 Mississippi, 2:30 p.m.

Ah, the Egg Bowl. Finally, a legitimate rivalry, although with a less-than-awe-inspiring name. (Hard to compete with the Iron Bowl.)

Our pick: Iron.

#7 Baylor (-26.5) vs. Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m.

#18 Minnesota (+14.5) vs. #14 Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m.

Kansas vs. #12 Kansas State (-27.5), 3 p.m.

Another parlay opportunity. A classic Big Ten match-up that will feature running, rushing, rumbling, and the occasional scamper is bookended by Big 12 games hugely significant to the playoff picture but pretty uninteresting in reality. We would love to see Minnesota win, but the Badgers field a legit Heisman candidate in Melvin Gordon and play ornery in Camp Randall. That said, we'll take the two touchdowns and the hook.

#15 Auburn vs. #1 Alabama (-9), 6:45 p.m.

According to the ESPN Football Power Index (or FPI, should you need another acronym in your lexicon for rankings, standings, and statistics), the spoilers on Saturday - Auburn, Florida, Oregon State, and Michigan - have about a 60 percent chance of pulling an upset. Auburn stands the best chance of any and has recent history in its favor: As a ranked team, the Tigers are 6-0 over Alabama in the past 10 seasons. There's a lot of other stuff going on in this game. Someone helpfully produced an infographic, because reading is too hard.

Our pick: The Tide will roll.

#2 Oregon vs. Oregon State (+20), 7 p.m.

Queue the dead, rising from the grave; frogs, raining from the sky; rivers, boiling, and darkness, forty years of. Fade out: Marcus Mariota, Heisman Candidate.

Our pick: Anarchy, Beavers, Mariota! Tonight, on ABC!

Utah State vs. #23 Boise State (over 55.5), 9:15 p.m.

Our pick: The Broncos once could be counted on to rout lesser teams by double digits but as the spread (-9.5) suggests, those days are long gone. But Boise can still score, and still doesn't play defense, so we like taking over the total.

-

Mike Luce is our man on campus. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:12 PM | Permalink

November 27, 2014

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Having Contraction

Inferior opponent, coach who makes terrible halftime adjustments, defense that plays some, uh, actual defense, Bears win!

Why can't all teams be like the Buccaneers? Where, oh where can we find another NFL team that plays only one good half of the game?

Where can we find an incomplete team who every Sunday provides their fans with momentary flashes of brilliance that only punctuate the doldrums that are the other 35 minutes of the game?

Where (other than 40% of the league*), I ask you? Where?

As much as I like seeing the Bears win, this was too ugly to describe with words that aren't an obtuse onomatopoeia, like "Guh," "bulg" or "hurf."

"Guh" - noun, word of uncertain origin.

1. Dull sound of acknowledgement that a piece of raw meat has been placed before the speaker.

2. Dull sound emitted by human when a predictable outcome has occurred in a sporting event between two mediocre teams.

3. The word Marshawn Lynch uses to describe the play of his safeties.

One could easily make a compelling case for reducing the number of teams at the professional level.

It's an opinion that's not based not only on the brand of football that the Bears have participated in - dare I say relied upon during the last two weeks - but also because of the entire NFC South, a division that could send a 5-9-1 team to the post-season this year.

Oh shut the hell up, Saints fans.

I can hear the murmur of creole and the rustle of tie-dye gator-skin capes in the background.

Your team's unsuccessful visit to the 7-9 Seahawks in the 2010 playoffs does not entitle you to anything.

History lessons aside, this much is clear: We've got too many football teams and not enough talent to consistently put a good product on the field.

Speaking of records that read "something, something and one," let's take a page from classic hockey division names and kick our divisional naming conventions into high gear.

North, East, conference . . . I'm tired of Obama amnestying his compass words all up in my business.

I feel like the mysterious abbreviations on the console display of my dad's Subaru Outback are directions enough.

Snake Plisskin Division - Dolphins, Giants, Patriots, Ravens

"The Giants are switching conferences? Heresy!" said no one.

"We can't go to football games in Buffalo where our team loses to New England? What about watching our team lose to Tom Brady in a stadium in Toronto? No? Well alright, but we reserve the right to politely get frostbite and disagree," said everybody in upstate New York.

Steel Dragon Division - Bengals, Browns, Colts, Steelers

I can't be the only one that remembers that some of the movie Rock Star took place in Pittsburgh. My favorite part is when Mark Wahlberg performs a medley of "Ave Maria" and KISS's version of "Killer" with Tom Waits**.

I thought about calling this the Manning Division, but then the emblem would be a shot of Peyton holding up a Papa John's pizza while surfing on the hood of a Buick to the tune of "Girls On Film." Can't have that.

And yes, I am including both Ohio teams in my purified NFL out of sheer pity.

Kerry King*** Division - Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

Some of you may be critical of my decision to include the Raiders, despite the franchise's decade of ineptitude.

Feel free to head over to the Oakland courthouse at 661 Washington Street, interrupt the judge during the weekly Raider fan mass child support hearing and let your thoughts be known.

I'm going to stay on my side of the Mississippi, thanks.

The Roots Division - Eagles, Falcons, Lions, Virginia Tech

I'm taking a stand on behalf of my three Native American friends and that stripper named Cherokee who does the bottomless show after 1 a.m. at Diamonds.

Quit calling the previous tenants of this continent slanderous names, or you're out.

Sure, I've played a lot of basketball with indigenous people and it's "Seminole" this and "Injun" that, but that's their word.

In the meantime, we're going to give an institution that produces upstanding citizens like Michael Vick a chance to play against the big boys.

Jim Cantore Division - Bears, Packers, Saints, Vikings

For those of you who aren't familiar with the brand of climate that these four cities enjoy, try out this fun new drinking game.

Turn on the Weather Channel between October and April and take a shot every time veteran field meteorologist Jim Cantore reports a kind of inclement weather that you've never friggin' heard of.

Examples include "thundersnow," "hail-sized golf balls," "skyquake" and "mud-nado."

Clint Eastwood Division - 49ers, Cowboys, Cardinals, Seahawks

With a grapefruit over the plate like the classic film High Starbucks Drifter, it was impossible to leave the Man With No Name off the list

[Editor's Note: Oh my f-ing god, please tell me that you deliberately overlooked the San Francisco-based Dirty Harry as some kind of weird meta joke.]

[Author's Retort: Dirty Harry . . . haven't seen that one. Was that Peter Fonda?]

I left the Rams out in favor of the Cardinals, which was a real Sophie's Choice of shit I hate; a franchise actually named the Cardinals, or a franchise that is currently in St. Louis.

What to do, what to do . . . oh, right. I'm a huge Cubs fan. Suck my dick, St. Louis.

I'm giving your football team back to LA and demoting them to the now defunct Arena League.

If Rodger Goodell can do whatever the hell wants when he's in charge (triple jeopardy suspensions, suspend players for mediocre child beatings, etc), so can I.

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Billion
One of the ongoing stories surrounding the Detroit Lions is whether controversial linebacker (read: everybody thinks this guy is a colossal doucher) Ndamukong Suh will return to the Motor City next season.

"Money's not everything," Suh said earlier this week in his customary dismissive fashion before directing follow-up questions to agent Jimmy Sexton.

"As my client says," replied Suh's representative. "I mean, I don't know if it's 'quest' to be a billionaire." He shrugged while leaving his hands up while making comically slow air quotes.

"I think it's safe to say that anything over $575 million is a bit unrealistic in Detroit, but Oakland . . . " Sexton trailed off as his eyes began to dart wildly while visibly salivating.

"Ha ha ha. Yes. Oakland. Ha . . . Ha . . . HahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!"

When asked for further comment, Sexton quickly threw his violet cape aside, dropped a smoke bomb into the midst of reporters and disappeared into the shadows.

Kool Aid (3 of 5 - Delirium Noel)
My absolute favorite seasonal beer and it went on sale this week.

I'm thankful that my family starts partying at about 10 a.m. on Turkey Day, so we can get a nice buzz going prior to the Bears-Lions tilt.

Here's the thing: The Bears can definitely win this game. Detroit has lost their last two, they have their own issues generating offense, and they are, at least at press time, still the Detroit Lions.

Chicago's "recent" history on Thanksgiving isn't empirically awesome.

"Recent" being in "quotes" because they haven't played on Thanksgiving since 2004. But the good news is that between 1980 and 2004 they won twice . . . out of seven games.

Oh wait, I was right the first time. That sucks.

I have a feeling that this one is going to be close and entertaining, but I have to give the Lions the customary home win by three.

Lions 27, Bears 24.

* In a clinical sense the Giants, Redskins, Rams, Vikings, Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Bills, Jets, Raiders, Texans, Titans and Jaguars all kinda suck balls for most of any given game.

** Yup, that's two Slayer references in two weeks. Happy Holidays/Hail Satan!

*** A couple of thoughts on KISS. 1) If you told me that Tom Waits sung all of the Gene lines in the studio on "Creatures Of The Night," I'd absolutely believe you. 2) Someday, I am going to do a frame-by-frame breakdown of the video for "Lick It Up." Aside from the way-too-on-the-nose nature of the lyrics, there are MULTIPLE examples of women emerging from either the sewers or piles of trash in this video. Guys, I don't know what your plans with the sewer whores are, but bring a raincoat AND an umbrella if at all possible. Also, are they drinking liquor out of medical waste containers? 3) "It's only right now?" Is it, Paul? Is licking it up "only right?" The inference that licking up somebody's semen, and it could belong to any of at least four people by the looks of this video, is "living like you're on vacation" is a stretch to say the least.

**** Attention Other White People: If you say the sentence "I'm not racist, I've got X number of [insert any minority here . . . but probably black] friends" you've just told everyone in the room that you're deeply racist.

-

Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:35 AM | Permalink

November 26, 2014

The [Thanksgiving 2014] Papers

The Beachwood will return on Tuesday, though I'll be adding a few posts to the site here and there over the long holiday weekend. Stay tuned here and/or on our social media outlets for fresh material, most likely in Sports, Music and emanating from The Beachwood Radio Network.

That said, a few nice offerings today:

* It's Us Against The Motherfucking Machine.

It takes a nation of millions, y'all . . .

* From Kerner To King.

This actually isn't that great, but in light of Ferguson . . .

* The Pope's Nose Awards.

You'll have to click through to see if any Bears were so honored this year.

* FEMA: Give The Gift Of Preparedness This Holiday Season.

Worst. Presents. Ever.

-

BeachBook
* Ferguson: An American Tone Poem.

Third world democracy.

* CPS Students Explain Why Obama's Ferguson Speech Failed.

Thanks to my nominee for Chicago Teacher of the Year.

* A Chicago Parent Reflects On Race And Policing In America.

"New York City hip-hop musician MADic critiques racialized policing and other social ills in his song 'AmeriKKKa.' While he hopes for a more just society one day, he raps, 'until then we hang the flag upside down.'

"MADic is my son. He is the offspring of my marriage to an African-American woman. And he deserves a just police force. Until then, I hang the flag upside down. Until racial justice in policing comes to Ferguson, Chicago and the rest of our country, we must all hang the flag upside down."

* Richard Scarry's Busy Town In The 24th Century.

Brilliant.

* The 15 Worst Owners In Sports.

You'll have to click through to see if Chicago is represented.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Pirate skulls and bones.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:26 PM | Permalink

Fantasy Fix: So Many Turkeys, So Little Time

The most difficult thing about presenting the Pope's Nose awards this year is that there are so many fantasy turkeys worthy of consideration, particularly at the RB and WR position

(Surprisingly, a large number of QBs are meeting expectations or coming pretty close.)

If you know anything about the Pope's Nose awards, that's not a good thing.

Without further adieu, here are this year's loser-winners:

QB

Robert Griffin III, WAS: No one was expecting him to be the best, but he has arguably been the worst fantasy QB this year, even if you cut him a break for missing half the season due to injury. He has only averaged 173 yards per game, with a grand total of two TDs in five games. Yet, his lowest point didn't come until recently, when he alienated his teammates and head coach by blaming it all on the other guy. News broke late Tuesday that he lost his starting job for this week, and probably will lose his spot on the WAS roster for next season.

Matthew Stafford, DET: Jay Cutler, with 22 TDs, has more fantasy value than Stafford - 'nuff said, but I'll say more: Changing game plans with a new offensive system has Stafford averaging 267 yards passing per game, his lowest for a non-injury season since 2009. He likely will end up with fewer than last year's 4,650 yards. His 13 TDs also leave him well under the pace of last year's 29. He can blame offensive line problems and a lengthy injury to WR star Calvin Johnson, but we expected a borderline top five QB.

RB

Adrian Peterson, MIN: Football has little to do with this one, unfortunately. He was revealed to be an alleged child abuser, ending his season in suspension. Since he may have been the No. 1 overall pick in some leagues, this makes him this biggest turkey of all.

Zac Stacy, STL: Stacy was a late-season gem last year who moved up the thin draft ranks this year, but his big 2013 numbers turned out to be a poor indicator of future performance. All season, he's seemed to lack a second gear, let alone anything higher, and has given way to prized rookie Tre Mason and runner/receiver Benny Cunningham.

Doug Martin, TAM: He was a very viable borderline top 10 sleeper candidate for this season after ending last year in injury following his breakout 2012 campaign. However, he's become lost in Tampa's crowded backfield, and has only 193 yards rushing, 58 yards receiving and one TD. With more minor injuries this year, we're wondering if he may carry the injury-prone tag from now on.

Toby Gerhart, JAC: Had a starting job basically handed to him after being Peterson's understudy in Minnesota, but has failed to run for more than 42 yards in a single game, and that high mark came in Week 1. He has yielded his job to former college QB Denard Robinson.

Montee Ball, DEN: True, he has spent most of his season injured, but he wasn't getting it done before that, with only one TD in his first four games, and no more than 67 yards rushing in any single outing. Now, he will have a very tough challenge winning his job back from C.J. Anderson - if he can even get healthy.

WR

Calvin Johnson, DET: Injury has played a large role, but again Megatron is not living up to our continually lofty expectations. Of his 578 total yards and three TDs, 277 yards and all of the TDs came in just two games - Week 1 and Week 10. I think this was his last year as the top pre-season fantasy WR.

Brandon Marshall, CHI: Reports that he was running some routes wrong are just baffling, especially since that and his rapport with Jay Cutler appeared to be keys to his success since arriving in Chicago. His side job on TV might be distracting him, but there must be more to it. His total of eight TDs suggest little is wrong, but five of those came in the first four games. He also may fail to catch 100 passes this season, which would be only the third time in his career.

Keenan Allen, SD: Breakout rookie last year looked like a fantasy dynasty choice. This season, he didn't notch a TD until his eighth game, and still only has two. A pair of 100-yard receiving games hint at last year's promise, but a fantasy flop in nine or 10 games out of 12 isn't what anyone expected.

Cordarelle Patterson, MIN: The switch to Teddy Bridgewater at QB coincided with game plans - or at least Bridgewater's inclination - to throw more passes to the Vikings' TEs (with Norv Turner as OC, they run plenty of two-TE formations), and fewer to their WRs. Another WR who has produced fantasy value in only two or three games this year, and one of those came way back in Week 1.

Percy Harvin, NYJ: Apparent internal strife with teammates in Seattle led to a trade to the Jets. Now, he's done almost nothing this season on two different coasts. He really seemed a safe sleeper bet at WR this year, but it's unclear if this promising dual-threat receiver/runner will ever meet expectations.

TE

Vernon Davis, SF: He has only had two TDs this season, and both came in Week 1. He's also failed ro record more than 44 yards receiving - again that high came in Week 1. There are rumors that has is unhappy with his contract situation, and his play certainly reflects that.

-

Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:21 AM | Permalink

From Kerner To King

"From Spin by Brian Springer. Using footage pulled from live satellite feeds, Springer illustrates how news media failed to adequately explain race relations while reporting on the Rodney King trial."


-

Here's the whole doc.

-

See also the MediaBurn Archive.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:54 AM | Permalink

It's Us Against The Motherfucking Machine

At the Ready Room, 10 miles south of Ferguson.


-

* Interviewed by A-Villa for the Reader last week.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:12 AM | Permalink

Give The Gift Of Preparedness This Holiday Season

With the holidays fast approaching, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V office encourages everyone to consider giving gifts that will help protect their family members and friends during a future emergency.

"A gift to help prepare for emergencies could be life-saving for friends and family," said FEMA Region V acting regional administrator, Janet Odeshoo. "These gift ideas provide a great starting point for being prepared for an emergency or disaster."

Supplies for an emergency preparedness kit can make unique - and potentially life-saving- holiday gifts, such as:

* Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.

* A flashlight with extra batteries.

* Solar-powered cell phone charger.

* Smoke detector and/or carbon monoxide detectors.

* First aid kit.

* Fire extinguisher and fire escape ladder.

* Enrollment in a CPR or first aid class.

* Books, coloring books, crayons and board games for the kids, in case the power goes out.

* Personal hygiene comfort kit, including shampoo, body wash, wash cloth, hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.

* A waterproof pouch or backpack containing any of the above items, or with such things as a rain poncho, moist towelettes, work gloves, batteries, duct tape, whistle, food bars, etc.

* Holiday shoppers might also consider giving a winter car kit, equipped with a shovel, ice scraper, emergency flares, fluorescent distress flags and jumper cables. For animal lovers, a pet disaster kit with emergency food, bottled water, toys and a leash is also a good gift.

The gift of preparedness might just save the life of a friend or family member. For more information, preparedness tips or other gift ideas, visit www.Ready.gov.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:11 AM | Permalink

November 25, 2014

The [Tuesday] Papers

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:52 AM | Permalink

November 24, 2014

The [Monday] Papers

"Signs placed in the road alerting motorists they must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks are a popular safety tool in Chicago neighborhoods, city officials say. Among drivers, they're another kind of big hit," the Tribune reports.

"Some 268 of the 344 signs have been replaced after being dinged or wiped out by vehicles, according to data the Tribune obtained from the Chicago Department of Transportation.

"Many of the signs have been replaced more than once, at a cost of more than $500 per sign, officials added.

"The stop signs have been installed citywide at 220 locations since mid-2012 to increase compliance with a 2010 state law requiring drivers to stop whenever a pedestrian has entered a crosswalk.

"The law amended a previously existing law, which safety officials considered vague, requiring drivers only to yield to pedestrians. It also applies to all intersections across Illinois, sign or no sign."

*

I hate those signs. First, they're confusing - to both drivers and pedestrians. "Do I have to stop here? Or just when there are pedestrians? Are those people waiting to cross? Is that a real sign? Can we just cross here? Do the cars have to stop?"

Second, they're in the middle of the road. Bad idea.

"CDOT estimated the cost to install initial and replacement must-stop signs at $265,000 to date. The money comes from the aldermanic menu program, which pays for infrastructure investments in each ward.

"The money spent has been a good investment in safety, said Chicago Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, because 'the signs have gone a long way in increasing driver awareness of the 4-year-old state law,' she said."

Yes, increasing awareness one hit at a time - awareness that there is a sign in the middle of the road.

"The fact that these signs are getting hit by cars (shows) they are doing their jobs in some ways," Scheinfeld said.

Name those ways!

I can only think of one: If the job is to turn our streets into obstacle courses.

Previously in Rebekah Scheinfeld:
* Spouting Nonsense.

* Red Light Rebekah.

* Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

* This Month's Worst Person In Chicago.

-

It reminds drivers of a law that may not even know about!

-

Smart Move!
"He has a luxury," former Gov. Jim Edgar says of incoming Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"I told him he got through this campaign for governor without kind of saying a lot about where he was on a whole lot of specific issues and, governmentally, that's great because now he can take positions based off of what he finds as governor, not what he promised in a campaign and I think that's a great plus for him."

Yes, it's so great that he got away with getting elected without enunciating his stand on just about anything.

-

Save The Spire, Ditch DePaul, Nuke The Luke
In The Beachwood Radio Hour #33.

Segments also include: Harold Washington & Slim Coleman On The Real Jane Byrne; Exercises In Disdain: City Council vs. Board of Ed; Pension Police Powers; Solving The NYT's Middle East Coverage As An Example Of Newspapers' Continuing Failure To Think Digitally First And Let Print Be An Afterthought.

Trestman Outruns Lovie
In SportsMonday.

Burt Reynolds, The Statue Of Liberty & Lost Rainbows
In The College Football Report Top Ten.

Love In Vain In A Station Of The Metro
In Chicagoetry.

Abe Lincoln: Good For The Jews
They called him Rabbi Abraham.

Tom Turkey Cake
Accepts most major credit cards.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Grin and Bear It, The Avengers, First Aid Kit, Dads, The Spinners, Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, Kreator, Arch Enemy, Blue October, and The Brian Setzer Orchestra.

-

BeachBook
* The Sex-Abuse Scandal Plaguing USA Swimming.

"At press time, the family was preparing to file suits against USA Swimming in Colorado and against the YMCA in both Massachusetts and Illinois, home to the Y's national headquarters."

* Adam Lanza's Mental Problems 'Completely Untreated' Before Newtown Shootings, Report Says.

Parents, medical professionals and school officials all missed multiple intervention opportunities.

* Some State Secrets Cases Are A Secret, Govt Says.

Won't say which ones.

* Solving The NYT's Middle East Coverage Problems.

1. The seemingly unbreachable divide between readers reflects the intractability of the conflict itself, no? 2. Digital tools can go a long way toward resolving or at least easing some of these matters; Sullivan calls for more context as space allows, for example. Space? In digital, there is no limit. Beyond that, context can be provided in many cases through links. If the NYT would *truly* embrace 3D journalism as an everyday state of being, it would go a long way. 3. Same with transparency and explanation. Another idea: create a blog for Middle Eastern coverage. Store it all in one place so readers can see the whole of the work, not just singular articles/photos to complain about. A blog could aggregate from other sources to provide further coverage beyond the NYT, including partisan sources. 'twould be enlightening. Finally, moderate the blog hard - meaning comments/interactivity - even attempting to settle factual disputes, contextual disputes and bring readers together. An unaffordable investment? I'd say it would be quite the learning experience for reporting interns or legacy newsroom workers who need reassigning.

* The Downside of the Boom.

The lessons of North Dakota.

* MASH Press Conference.

The last thing I want to do is answer a bunch of questions.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Injunction junction.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:02 PM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Grin and Bear It at Mousetrap on Friday night.


-

2. The Avengers at Reggies on Friday night.

-

3. First Aid Kit at the Vic on Saturday night.

-

4. Dads at Beat Kitchen on Friday night.

-

5. The Spinners at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday night.

-

6. Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers at City Winery on Sunday night.

-

7. Kreator at Mojoes in Joliet on Wednesday night.

-

8. Arch Enemy at Mojoes in Joliet on Wednesday night.

-

9. Blue October at the House of Blues on Saturday night.

-

10. The Brian Setzker Orchestra at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet on Wednesday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:44 AM | Permalink

Tom Turkey Cake

"Here's a treat for 'Fuzzy' New Yorkers: a commercial for Carvel Ice Cream, promoting their 'Tom Turkey' ice cream cake for Thanksgiving. (The molds used to produce this were also used for such other goodies as Cookie Puss and Fudgie the Whale.) Serves 10 to 12, net weight 45 ounces.

"Voiceover by Tom Carvel (the founder and namesake of Carvel Ice Cream), both as himself and (sped-up and heavily processed) as Tom Turkey.

"This aired on local New York City TV (and in Chicago through cable) early Saturday, November 17, 1984 during the 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. timeframe."


-

Accepts most major credit cards.

-

See also:
* The Museum of Classic Chicago Television YouTube Channel.

* Fuzzy Memories TV.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:15 AM | Permalink

The College Football Report Top Ten: Burt Reynolds, The Statue Of Liberty & Lost Rainbows

1. Arkansas.

The 'Hogs played spoiler to Ole Miss, torpedoing any shot the Rebels had of backing into a playoff berth. Despite two losses (to #24 LSU and #3 Auburn), Ole Miss had a hypothetical shot at the SEC Championship and, with a win, a playoff spot. But after losing 30-0 on the road, that all went poof.

2. Indiana.

#20 Missouri squeaked out a W over Tennessee, 29-21, leaving the Tigers one more win from an SEC East division title and conference playoff berth. So, what's with Indiana? The Hoosiers upset Mizzou (waaaay) back in September on a touchdown in the final seconds, 31-27 - in Columbia. Reverse that decision, and the Tigers' only other loss is to Georgia (an ugly one, 34-0) meaning we would be looking (probably) at yet one more SEC team in the Top 10.

3. The AP Poll.

The Playoff Committee has yet to give Marshall or Colorado State the nod. Both teams have been ranked for the past two weeks in the Associated Press Top 25 including the numbers released Sunday night. How does an undefeated team get passed over? Marshall is 11-0 and, although the Herd hasn't beaten anyone noteworthy, the same "they've beaten everyone on the schedule" argument (see Florida State) should apply to teams outside the Power 5. We'll see how the Committee views both squads in the rankings on Tuesday.

4. The PAC-12.

The West Coast is stacked. If Arizona State (#13), UCLA (#9), Arizona (#15) and Oregon (#2) would stop beating up on each other, the conference could easily have more than one Top 10 team. As it stands, UCLA looks legit after thumping USC 38-20 on Saturday in a game that wasn't even as close as the 18-point margin suggests. The Bruins helped the Trojans to two field goals in the fourth quarter after posting a 14-0 third quarter. How about a UCLA-Ohio State Rose Bowl? Wait, does that happen any more? Or is the Rose Bowl part of the Playoff? What are we talking about, someone will talk themselves into putting the Buckeyes into the Group of Four, or the Quartet, or the Foursome, or the Fab Four, or whatever we're calling the football equivalent of the Final Four, so we can all watch OSU lose on the big stage in traditional OSU fashion. So, moot point.

5. Marcus Mariota.

The leading candidate for Heisman departed the game on the first snap in the fourth, having put up more than 400 combined yards and four touchdowns against Colorado. Just another ho-hum outing for the junior, who has piled up 3,103 yards passing, 32 touchdowns and just two picks. No wonder fans in Eugene are obsessed with the question of Mariota's future.

6. Exuberant Vols.

Tennessee pulled off a perfect fake field goal for a touchdown on Saturday, which was just too much for one celebratory fan. Bonus: he pulled it off in loafers. (h/t Sporting News).

7. Burt Reynolds.

We didn't know Burt was a Florida State alum! The Mustachioed One planted the spear for the Seminoles on Saturday looking very, ah, well preserved. In a pickle-like way.

8. Oklahoma's Samaje Perine.

Just a week after Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon broke the single-game rushing record with 408, Perine posted 427 yards in a 44-7 win over the hapless Kansas Jayhawks. So much for that idea, Melvin.

9. The Statue of Liberty.

You'd think Boise State could never run the Statue of Liberty Play again after the game-winning gadget play won the 2007 Fiesta Bowl for the Broncos. Nope. Boise pulled it off again on Saturday against Wyoming.

10. Hawaii.

While the nation slept late on Saturday night, the Warriors pulled off a breathless comeback, beating UNLV with a last second (literally, the clock read 0:01 at the snap) touchdown pass to win 37-35. Related: We miss the days when Hawaii was the Rainbow Warriors. So much more fitting for The Aloha State.

-

Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:33 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Trestman Outruns Lovie In Ugly Bowl

The coach wouldn't let his quarterback blow this one.

During possession after possession after the Bears took a 21-10 lead in the third quarter Sunday (and then after the Buccaneers pulled within 21-13), it was clear that with just a few first downs, let alone another touchdown, the home team would take absolute command of the game.

But Marc Trestman took no chances. Too many times this season he has watched Jay Cutler throw brutal interceptions in the second halves of winnable games. This time, when the coach called a pass after the team took the 11-point lead, it was ultra-conservative. Most of the time, he called run after run after run. And the Bears rode their defense to a 21-13 victory.

Some may say the coach was putting the game in Matt Forte's hands rather than restricting the QB. I beg to differ. And let's be clear, Forte did very little special in this game, especially in the fourth quarter. He did make a guy miss on his 13-yard touchdown run and he always moves smoothly (and he didn't fumble!). Otherwise he broke few tackles and displayed very little elusiveness.

Of course the Bear receivers were even easier to tackle. This is how a team totals barely 200 yards against a 2-8 (now 2-9) foe. If you thought the Bears' 3.5 yards per carry number was ugly, check out the 3.7 yards per pass. Even error-prone Josh McCown managed to lead his team to 5.7 yards per pass.

The Bears had the ball four times in the fourth quarter. During each of those possessions, the Bears ran the ball early and not successfully, setting up second-and-long and third-and-long situations. And each of those times, the Bears did not even attempt to throw the ball down the field. They targeted receivers in front of the first-down line and hoped for broken tackles.

But they also didn't commit any turnovers and ensuing punts (Hey, Pat O'Donnell, you have shown promise, but that was the second straight game you've saved your big shank for crunch time - a 20-yard punt with just 3:12 remaining in the game. Stop doing that!) and the defense stayed strong.

AP told the world that Forte lead the Bears to victory. You have to be kidding me. The defense, and only the defense, made the difference against the Bucs.

And how about that first half, eh? One wide receiver committed three penalties (nice game Brandon!), other receivers blew prime opportunities to make plays and the offensive line only occasionally managed even mediocrity. Look out, Lions!

Nice of Lovie to leave us with a perfect reminder of his tenure with the Bears. That late challenge, I mean, my goodness. It was so similar to so many ill-considered moves during the coach's run at the helm at Soldier Field.

He had a full two-minute warning timeout to consider whether challenging the spot on McCown's fourth-down sneak was a good idea. During that time, one of his assistants should have told him (or he should have seen for himself on the scoreboard) that the network had shown the perfect replay - with a camera angle right down the line of scrimmage. And that replay had shown McCown stopped short.

Then we all came back from the television break and watched as Lovie threw the red flag anyway. McCown was clearly short but I guess the coaches' belief was that if they couldn't get that call overturned, the game was over anyway.

And after about the shortest review I can remember, the referee announced that the call on the field had been confirmed. The guys in New York had seen the same replay we had and had reached the same conclusion - it was obvious.

And of course the coach was wrong to forego the consequences and toss the flag.

Everyone in the stadium knew Trestman was going to call three conservative runs and the Bears would then launch one final punt. With two timeouts, the Bucs could have regained possession with about a minute remaining. Instead, after an O'Donnell punt that was just mediocre rather than his previous awful effort, Tampa Bay had only 20 seconds. After a few desperation plays, the game was finally put out of its misery.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:41 AM | Permalink

Abe Lincoln: Good For The Jews

Over the course of American history, Jews have held many American leaders in high esteem, but they maintain a unique emotional bond with Abraham Lincoln.

From the time of his presidency to the present day, American Jews have persistently viewed Lincoln as one of their own, casting him as a Jewish sojourner and, in certain respects, a Jewish role model.

The first volume of documents to focus on the history of Lincoln's image, influence, and reputation among American Jews, this pioneering compendium considers how Lincoln acquired his exceptional status and how, over the past century-and-a-half, this fascinating relationship has evolved.

9780809332922.jpgOrganized into twelve chronological and thematic chapters, these little-known primary source documents provide insight into a wide variety of issues relating to Lincoln's Jewish connection, including his response to the Jewish chaplain controversy; General U. S. Grant's General Orders No. 11 expelling "Jews, as a class" from the Military Department of Tennessee; Jewish eulogies after Lincoln's assassination; how American Jews have "Judaized" Lincoln ever since his death; and how Lincoln became the avatar of America's highest moral aspirations to its Jewish citizenry.

With thoughtful chapter introductions that provide readers with a historical narrative that sets a context for the annotated documents that follow, this volume provides a fascinating chronicle of American Jewry's unfolding historical encounter with the life and symbolic image of Abraham Lincoln, shedding light on many overlooked aspects of the American Jewish experience.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:37 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Love In Vain In A Station Of The Metro

Love in Vain in a Station of the Metro

I lost my last car

In the Late Crash,
Forced underground
Into the subways again,

Back to the trains
And my fellow Undergroundlings.
Just another near-vagrant

Hamlet
Trying to be happy,
Hoping you'd stay.

I busked the Underground
With a large marionette,
A highly portable contraption

Of wood, string and ink.
I named him Charlot,

Loveable Tramp.
Yes, like Charlie Chaplin,
Whose shadow

Became a god.

He's a puppet
That wishes
To be real.

He peals:
"May you listen
With your eyes!"

Now: into the subway,
The electric

Labyrinth, realm
Of trains, mind, musicians, mimes
And Minotaurs.

Kindness here,
Courtesy there, but it's
Ever the Minotaur's lair.

Minotaur: Lurking devil,
Hulking evil, Shape Shifter.
Mugger, rapist,

Unattended bag.

The labyrinth is his suzerainty,
The Minotaur is Suzerain.
One learns fast to listen.

Can't get too cute.
Just always, always listen
For the Suzerain.

Fellow denizens
Of the labyrinth,

Seek not love
In vain nor faith blind!
Surge forward

With your soul on fire

But with all five
Of your goddam senses
Always listen

For the Suzerain.
You'll notice it's hard to tell
When all your love's

In vain

But you always
Gotta listen
For the Suzerain.

I made this
Because I wanted something
For you

To read on the train
As you leave,
My love.

About a doll
That wanted to be real.

It began about
Seven motives ago,
When shadows were gods.

It requires me
To throw my voice
A little.

With the train lights,
I can make a silhouette
Of my marionette

(Blue Light Baby,
Red Light Mind).

In the right mood,
The silhouette
Will pirouette.

So here's me
Throwing my
Voice

A little
For you,
My love,

As you leave,

In the likeness
Of a near-vagrant
Hamlet, denizen

Of the labyrinth,
A marionette

Controlled
By the crux
Of a working dowser.

The illusion requires
A leap of faith.

So we dance,
And I throw my voice
A little.

Seven motives ago
I tried to be real,
For my

Fellow denizens
Of the labyrinth,
Element of the Minotaur,

Suzerain
Of the Metropolitain.

Long trains slolem
Out of dark blue tunnels
Into a gleaming station, all

Fluorescent light,
Painted steel and
Porcelain.

A public proscenium,
Every stop a stage. The illusion requires
A leap of faith.

Charlot is like:
"I lost my last car

In the Late Crash.
Forced Underground
Back to the subways,

And my fellow Undergroundlings.

Here's me
Going to work. Here's me
Trying

To get home.
Here's me
Finally home,

Stepping into the foyer
Trying to be happy,
Stepping into the living room

Trying to be happy,

Stepping into bedroom
Trying to be happy then I
Step into the kitchen

And have something to eat.
And feel a little better."
We dance a little more

And I throw my voice again:
"So here's me
Trying to be happy."

Making a goddam
Fool of myself
Trying to be happy.

Hoping you'd stay.

I lost it all
In the Late Crash.
I retained

The remnants of love.
I learned to hear
With my eyes

And make gods
Out of shadows.

Several moments ago
I was happy.
It was very controversial!

Apparently, it was selfish.

Underground, you get
The odd Ophelia but mostly everybody's
Hamlet

Trying to be free,
Trying not to love in vain,

Again and yet again
Into the Labyrinth,
Element of the Minotaur,

Scanning the porcelain
For a shadow
Of the Suzerain.

I sure wish I was real.
For now, I'll have to
Make-do.

I can still see the joins.
Between stops, you face
Your own reflection

In the dark glass and

I can still see
The goddam joins.
I continue to listen.

Once again I
Made a mortal fool of myself
Trying to be real

But at least
I continue to listen,
My love,

As you leave.

-

J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

-

More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:36 AM | Permalink

November 23, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Hour #33: Save The Spire, Ditch DePaul, Nuke The Luke

Lakefront Legos. Plus: Harold & Slim On Jane; Exercises In Disdain: City Council vs. Board of Ed; Pension Police Powers; Solving The NYT's Middle East Coverage As An Example Of Newspapers' Continuing Failure To Think Digitally First And Let Print Be An Afterthought.


SHOW NOTES

:00: Strawberry Rock Show.

:55: Huntress at Mojoes in Joliet on Wednesday night.

2:14: The Real Jane Byrne.

* "I know that's the popular version of what went on there, and a lot of people like to believe that."

* Slim Coleman on Jane Byrne.

* Harold Washington on Jane Byrne.

12:05: Circa at the House of Blues on Monday night.

13:00: City Council vs. Board of Ed.

* The pretense of public input.

* #chicouncil.

* "1st Ward Alderman Proco 'Joe' Moreno said that the Progressive Caucus champions of an elected school board have only themselves to blame for the ballot question still being stuck in committee.

"'The aldermanic proponents of it are lazy. They don't organize. They don't get other aldermen on board. They want to have press conferences and have seven or eight people there. That's why it doesn't' get on the ballot, Moreno said.

"'If they worked it with their colleagues like I worked plastic bags for two years, they might be able to get support. Because they're lazy, it doesn't get there.'"

* CPS BOE.

42:04: Heavy Times at the Hideout last Saturday night.

43:45: Judge Rules Against Diminished, Impaired Legislators.

* No emergency police powers to Madigan, Cullerton!

* Lift all boats, don't sink all boats.

* The ostensibly blue state of Illinois has a Steve Forbes income tax structure.

* Red-light camera weirdness.

* Rahm's Rules.

52:27: Carcass at Mojoes in Joliet on Saturday night.

53:15: Save The Spire, Ditch DePaul, Nuke The Luke.

* McPaul.

* DeCormick.

* The Spire & The Luke.

1:06:00: Negative Scanner at the Hideout last Saturday night.

1:07:21: Solving The NYT's Middle East Coverage Problems.

* Hint: Think digitally.

1:25:36: Stevie Wonder on the West Side last Friday night.

STOPPAGE: 27:42.

-

For archives and more, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:28 PM | Permalink

November 22, 2014

The Weekend Desk Report

"He might never say so publicly, but in many ways Chicago is still home for Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith," Roy Cummings writes for the Tampa Bay Tribune.

"His wife, MaryAnne, a native of nearby Des Plaines, grew up here; he raised his children here; shoot, he still owns a house here.

"That house is up now for sale, but so much more of what tied Smith to Chicago for 10 years could never be sold."

Yeah, whatever.

Lovie Smith was a bore, and he created a toxic environment at Halas Hall that held fans (and the media) in disdain. The residue of that culture remains, which Marc Trestman is learning.

Forget the Packers; beat Lovie!

* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #27: The Bears Are Like Butter.

On a roll. Plus: The Game Chicago Going Under; The Ultimate Theo-Era Cubs Headline; Still Okay To Take Blackhawks For Granted; and Jimmy The Butler.

* The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: To The Bearmobile!

Kromer cracks the code.

-

The College Football Report: Yada, Yada, Sooie
A trademark weekend of Directional Creampuffs and pigs.

-

Last Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Heavy Times, Carcass, Negative Scanner, Pampers, Marmozets, The Matches, Stevie Wonder, Watsky, Peter Hook & the Light, My Brightest Diamond, The New Politics, Bleachers, Save The Clocktower, The Barr Brothers, Wild Cub, Knuckle Puck, Modern Baseball, Foxing, Somos, Boots, and Neon Hitch.

This Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Huntress, Circa, The Features, Alex Clare, Julian Casablancas & The Voidz, Ingrid Michaelson, and Echosmith.

-

The Beachwood Radio Hour #33: Save The Spire, Ditch DePaul, Nuke The Luke
Lakefront Legos. Plus: Harold & Slim On Jane; Exercises In Disdain: City Council vs. Board of Ed; Pension Police Powers; Solving The NYT's Middle East Coverage As An Example Of Newspapers' Continuing Failure To Think Digitally First And Let Print Be An Afterthought.

-

The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Jim and Greg are joined by legendary Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. Later they review a new album from the New York City band TV on the Radio."

-

The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: Woodlawn Voices and Visions.

"Teens in the Woodlawn neighborhood share the unique life stories of their neighbors with Chicago and the world."

Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.

-

BeachBook
* In Secret, Obama Extends U.S. Role In Afghan Combat.

* NYT's Touted Iowa Cookie Recipe Actually From Illinois.

Plus, click through for one of the best comments to ever appear on our Facebook page - or anywhere!

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

-

The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Arresting.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:15 AM | Permalink

November 21, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #27: The Bears Are Like Butter

On a roll. Plus: The Game Chicago Going Under; The Ultimate Theo-Era Cubs Headline; Still Okay To Take Blackhawks For Granted; and Jimmy The Butler.


SHOW NOTES

* Jeremy Roenick's infamous teeth.

* L.A. Mike Richardson.

3:10: The Bears Are Like Butter - On A Roll!

* Bears make a statement!

* It's a trap game!

* The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: To The Bearmobile!

* Lovie mania.

* Hoge: What If Lovie Smith Had Hired Marc Trestman In 2004 Instead Of Terry Shea?

* Arians amnesia.

* Testy Tresty:

Transcript.

* Wiederer: Trestman Becoming Increasingly Guarded.

* Two days later:

* Don't be just a guy, Marc.

* "Emery hired Mel Tucker on the recommendation of a high-ranked staffer," Mike Mullligan writes for the Tribune.

"He also brought in Joe DeCamillis as special teams coordinator and assistant head coach. Trestman approved of those moves, but it was Emery who knew DeCamillis and interviewed him for the job that eventually went to Trestman."

* Yup, that's right: Emery actually interviewed DeCamillis for the Bears' head coaching job.

30:00: The Game Chicago Going Under.

* Watch Ben Finfer find out - on the air - that he just lost his job.

* Kap & Haugh, barf.

* Not even worth a hate-listen.

* Stale names, no innovation.

Correction: Chris Rongey still works for The Score.

* Virtually nobody was listening.

* "It was a poorly kept secret that the days were numbered for our friends/competitors at WGWG-FM," Dan Bernstein of The Score writes.

"A bad signal on the dial, haphazard management and inconsistent leadership conspired to doom the effort from the start, so we were already feeling for friends who had taken on professional and personal risk to be part of a start-up station in one of the country's most competitive radio markets.

"But even if the data had been showing it was only a matter of time before The Game ended, the way it went down Thursday was bush league."

* The Game vs. Vocalo.

39:46: The Ultimate Theo-Era Cubs Headline.

* Memo to Sports Punditry: Not agreeing with the Cubs' approach is not the same thing as not understanding it. To the contrary, we understand it all too well. It is you, smug arbiters of smartness, who fail monumentally at doing your jobs as journalists.

* Schwarber's not even going to play catcher!

* To make things worse, this story was written by the only skeptical reporter on the local beat (Telander and Morrissey don't count; they're just channeling their inner Abe Simpsons.)

* Stop worrying about the Ricketts' money! Demand they spend some of their largesse instead of spending your pitiful wages while shoving millions of dollars in profits in their overstuffed pockets! My God, people, wake up!

* The market rate is set by the market!

* We like La Stella.

* They could have enacted The Plan in reverse - in other words, forward instead of backward.

* Rick Hahn has a plan, too.

* Worst Cubs Lineup Ever Featuring Dioner Navarro Batting Cleanup.

* Navarro was an All-Star under Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay.

1:03:33: Still Okay To Take Blackhawks For Granted.

* Danny Carcillo now driving mini-van.

* Bright idea:

1:06:40: Jimmy The Butler.

* Joakim Kneeah.

STOPPAGE TIME: 9:20.

-

For more including archives, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:53 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Huntress at Mojoes in Joliet on Wednesday night.

-

2. Circa at the House of Blues on Monday night.

-

3. The Features at Subterranean on Tuesday night.

-

4. Alex Clare at the Metro on Tuesday night.

-

5. Julian Casablancas and The Voidz at the Vic on Tuesday night.

-

6. Ingrid Michaelson at the Park West on Tuesday night.

-

7. Echosmith at Schubas on Wednesday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:15 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

This column is in production.

-

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #27: The Bears Are Like Butter.

On a roll. Plus: The Game Chicago Going Under; The Ultimate Theo-Era Cubs Headline; Still Okay To Take Blackhawks For Granted; and Jimmy The Butler.

-

The Beachwood Radio Hour #33 is in pre-production.

-

Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone
Dial M for murder.

The College Football Report: Yada, Yada, Soiee
A trademark weekend of Directional Creampuffs and pigs.

Last Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Heavy Times, Carcass, Negative Scanner, Pampers, Marmozets, The Matches, Stevie Wonder, Watsky, Peter Hook & the Light, My Brightest Diamond, The New Politics, Bleachers, Save The Clocktower, The Barr Brothers, Wild Cub, Knuckle Puck, Modern Baseball, Foxing, Somos, Boots, and Neon Hitch.

This Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Huntress, Circa, The Features, Alex Clare, Julian Casablancas & The Voidz, Ingrid Michaelson, and Echosmith.

-

BeachBook
* 'Dead' Malls In The Chicago Suburbs Are Nothing New.

* Phil Donahue: MSM Whitewashes Obama Just Like Bush.

Related: Media Outlets Continue To Describe Unknown Drone Victims As 'Militants.'

* Steve Albini On The Surprisingly Sturdy State Of The Music Industry.

A must-read.

* Chicago Suppliers For Chik-fil-A Caught On Camera Torturing Chickens.

Tough to watch, but you should bear witness.

* Bill Cosby Publicly Bullied A Notre Dame Football Player To Tears.

* How Does Rachel Maddow Keep Her Job?

* #Rahmsplaining.

* Leaked Uber Deck Stats Show Staggering Revenue.

About $150 million a year in Chicago alone.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: All stops.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:15 AM | Permalink

The College Football Report: Yada, Yada, Sooie

It's Week 13, a moment late in the college football season when nearly all the big-time programs bake in a Directional Creampuff before taking the plunge into the final game or two of the regular season and conference championships.

The SEC is especially notorious for scheduling pushovers: Alabama plays Western Carolina, Auburn faces Samford, Florida vs. Eastern Kentucky, and so on.

The rest of the country bemoans the SEC strategy of mapping out the season, but to us it just seems like smart football.

Why put your season at risk the week before a huge rivalry game like the Iron Bowl ('Bama-Auburn) or Egg Bowl (Mississippi-Mississippi State) when you can slot in the likes of Charleston Southern and avoid a classic "trap game" scenario?

Speaking of which, #8 Ole Miss squares off against an improved Arkansas squad at Razorback Stadium on Saturday.

(Kudos to Arkansas for such a straightforward stadium name. No sponsor, no alum, nothing. Where do the Razorbacks play? At Razorbacks Stadium, of course. Contrast this to the University of Kentucky, which plays on C.M. Newton Field in Commonwealth Stadium. No double-dipping, UK!)

Arkansas lured head coach Brett Bielema away from Wisconsin in 2012, and the former Wisconsin coach brought Big Ten football with him. The offense rumbles for over 230 yards per game (good for 22nd in the country) behind a gargantuan offensive line averaging 328 pounds. Tack on a tight end and a fullback, and you've got over a ton of well-fed mammals barreling down the field on running plays. The Razorbacks played five ranked teams close (losing by only a combined total of 46 points, including a 45-21 L to Auburn in Week One) but shut out #17 LSU, 17-0 last week for the first conference win in 2014.

#8 Ole Miss vs. Arkansas (+3.5), 2:30 p.m.

Our pick: Call the Hogs! We like getting a field goal and the hook at home.

Related: The United States Trademark and Patent Office granted Arkansas a trademark to the sound "Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Razorbacks!" earlier this year. Not the words, the sound. Yep. Now the Pigs can sue you if you try to commercialize sounding like a drunken yokel.

That said, you could print the words to the school chant on t-shirts all you like. Fitting the entire call across the front of a T might look challenging, but you probably wouldn't need to stock anything smaller than XL in Fayetteville, so you should be fine.

Elsewhere among the College Football Playoff Committee ranks:

Rutgers vs. #11 Michigan State (-22), 11 a.m.

Our pick: We still can't get used to Rutgers playing in the Big Ten. In the Big Ten commercials, the camera swoops through a Legoland-like landscape, starting in the Midwest, careening up to Pennsylvania and alighting on the East Coast to spotlight Rutgers and Maryland, covering an enormous swath of the Eastern United States. Apparently the Scarlet Knights can't get used to it either. Maybe the Big Ten can put a rule in place mandating that Rutgers, Northwestern, Maryland and Indiana play a round-robin schedule every season and skip the rest of the conference.

Indiana vs. #6 Ohio State (-35), 11 a.m.

Our pick: See? Might as well schedule Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI, pronounced ooh-ee-poo-ee) here. We think the Jaguars should file for a patent on a new war chant: Ooh-eeee-pooo-eee, sick 'em Jaguars! But only if jaguars is said with a soft J, otherwise it just doesn't work.

#25 Minnesota vs. #23 Nebraska (-10), 11 a.m.

Our pick: We fear the Gophers' dreams of a conference championship may come to end this weekend. It was a good run.

#16 Wisconsin vs. Iowa (+10), 2:30 p.m.

Our pick: The Hawkeyes never lived up to our preseason predictions of renewed success, but that's a healthy margin to catch at home.

#19 USC (+4) vs. #9 UCLA, 7 p.m.

Our pick: Despite the national broadcast on ABC, no one outside the Los Angeles area or at best Pac-12 country will give this game much attention. Too bad. Coach Sark - a CFR favorite for you newbies - leads Southern Cal in what has been a see-saw rivalry. The Bruins won eight straight from '91-98 but had dropped 12 of 13 before new head coach Jim Mora took the reins in 2012. UCLA is coming off back-to-back wins against the Trojans but we think the Bruins are ripe for the pickin'. Let's all give our Tribute to Troy.

-

Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:08 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone

Dial M for murder.

bigphone2.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

-

More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

-

Helene on Twitter!

-

Meet Helene!

-

Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

-

Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

-

Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:35 AM | Permalink

November 20, 2014

The [Thursday] Papers

It's always special when the city council and school board meet on the same day. That day was Wednesday. I'll talk about both on this weekend's edition of The Beachwood Radio Hour.

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: To The Bearmobile!
Carl cracks the code in this classic.

Save The Screw!
"Architect Santiago Calatrava received much praise for his twisting design of the unbuilt 2,000-foot Chicago Spire. What he won't receive is much money for his work on the failed project," Crain's reports.

I was a fan of the Spire from the word go, and I always rooted for it to get built. Won't someone save it?

*

One of my favorite, and early, pieces here on the Beachwood: Build That Screw.

It was nine years ago this month that work on this site began in earnest. We debuted in February 2006. Can we make it to 10?

Nuke The Luke
"[George Lucas] has yet to convince much of the public that his museum is something other than a vanity project for displaying his eclectic collection of paintings, Star Wars memorabilia and digital art," Blair Kamin writes for the Tribune.

"The burden is still on him to justify that he deserves a spot on Chicago's Museum Campus in the proximity of the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium."

I mean, can't we just find an empty garage somewhere for George to store his stuff?

*

The Field Museum: "Our exhibitions tell the story of life on Earth."

The Shedd Aquarium: "[H]ome to more than 32,000 animals representing 1,500 species, which is one of the largest and most diverse collections of aquatic animals in the world."

The Adler Planetarium: "America's first planetarium . . . The mission of the Adler Planetarium is to inspire exploration and understanding of our Universe."

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts: A bunch of Star Wars stuff.

*

It should take a certain amount of gravitas to break the law and build on the lakefront. Storyboards from Revenge of the Sith don't quite make the cut.

*

As I wrote Wednesday: Replace the new DePaul arena with the Lucas and you've solved two problems in one fell swoop. You could even keep the arena design, which is a lot cooler than the Lucas design.

*

The only way you could change my mind. In an instant.

-

BeachBook
* Full Cosby Exchange With AP.

Glad AP released this, but listen to how timid the reporter is. Unfortunately, far more the rule than the exception.

* Pelosi vs. Duckworth.

* Charles Manson's 26-Year-Old Fiancee Is From Illinois.

* Illinois Bar Won't Let Mother Breastfeed During Exam Despite Law.

* Minnesotans To New York Times: Take Your Thanksgiving Grape Salad And Shove It!

Is the Illinois pick any better?

-

TweetWood

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Write to me and escape.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:56 AM | Permalink

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: To The Bearmobile!

Size Matters
Utilizing such exotic tools as human eyes and tape measures, Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer discovered what he believed to be an edge during a late Saturday night film session, with a big assist from the Internet.

"Wait a minute," muttered Kromer to himself as he watched a video titled 'Inside The Film Room With Coach Zimmer' on the website 'vikings.com.'

The video that caught Kromer's attention detailed the match-up problems that Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery present to opposing defense.

"We have two very tall men playing wide receiver . . . we have tall men . . . playing wide receiver!!!!"

Kromer quickly dialed head coach Marc Trestman.

"You dumb sons of bitches," said Trestman as he answered.

"Coach, I'm sorry. Did I catch you at a bad time?"

"Oh, crap. Sorry about that, Aaron. I was just looking at something about Walmart that was stupid on a couple of levels . . . nevermind. What's up?"

"Coach," said Kromer. "I know it's late in the week, but I've got an idea that needs your sign off."

"Friggin' morons," muttered Trestman. "Sorry Aaron, not you. Go ahead."

"Listen. I just noticed that we have a few tall guys on our team. And I can't prove it yet, but word on the street is that the Vikings have some not so tall guys on their defense."

"Huh. That's weird. And pretty gross . . . wait, you're saying they have small guys in Minnesota, and they're going to bring them to town for the game tomorrow?" Trestman slowly put down his iPad as the pieces began fitting together.

"That's right, coach." Kromer now spoke deliberately to make sure his point hit the Marc [giggle]. "I propose we have our massive, speedy, sure-handed receivers run deep routes and. when necessary, jump balls or back-shoulder lobs in short-yardage situations." The assistant coach took a breath. "Because I think it will be very difficult for a man of average height to jump as high as either Marshall or Jeffery. Do you want me to get [defensive coordinator] Mel [Tucker] on the line?"

"No time, man!" Trestman's voice rose to commanding force. "He's not going to have a job here in a couple weeks anyway. To the Bearmobile!"

Long pause.

"You mean the Dodge Aerostar?" said Kromer.

"Hey, you drive whatever the hell you want to, man," said Trestman, sidestepping the old Simpsons joke. "The first thing I did when I got my paper was to buy a decent ride."

The Start Of Something Good?
Well, you probably know by now how that one ended.

And if you didn't know that the Bears won last Sunday, what the hell are you doing in the granular corner of the Internet provided to me by The Beachwood Reporter?

So Ma Mohrbacher, if this is your first time here, do like The Lord Humungus says and just walk away, just walk away . . . and there will be an end to the horror.

The Bears bolstering their victory total in fine fashion (in the sense that it was, meh, "fine"), taking care of business against the no-name-besides-Greg-Jennings-that-I-recognize-oh-wait-a-minute-is-Teddy-Pendergrass-the-name-of-the-Minnesota-QB?-dammit-no-it's-not-that-would-have-been-awesome Vikings.

It's been a rough season.

Stunningly one-sided losses, frustrating lack of defense . . . and lack of offense . . . and other than one utterly meaningless kickoff return, special teams play that has led to no fewer than five fist-shaped holes in my den's drywall.

So what's the secret sauce?

What can the Bears do going forward to ensure a repeat of both the quality of effort and successful results?

As per usual, I have a few suggestions.

  • Remove Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits as pre-game warm up soundtrack, replace with Slayer's Hell Awaits.
  • Hire intern to hold big cardboard arrow pointing towards appropriate end zone to subtly remind offense which way to go
  • Losing weight had a very positive impact on Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford's level of play. Prevent Bears players from eating until February.
  • If drinking a glass of wine with dinner is good for your heart, it stands to reason that all players should chug a bottle of Bacardi 15 minutes before kickoff.

Name Of The Game
Sunday pits the Bears against another Ghost Of Seasons Past, former head coach Lovie Smith, who is now the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As a coach with one of the longer stints in franchise history, Chicago fans had ample time to levee a litany of criticisms against the Lovie regime.

As an aside, this coaching administration is not to be confused with the funk band "Lovie Regime," who is best known for their semi-militant 1979 offering "Whitey Moves Stiff (Cracker Shuffle)."

Furthermore, "the Lovie regime" has nothing to do with the soft core porn* star "Lovey Regime," who appeared in such films as Aaron Spelling Presents: Topless Models Inc., Busty Mountain Hop and Sensual Tax Prep. As fans of her work will no doubt already be aware, Ms. Regime's filmography also included a lone hardcore entry, How I Met, And Then Tag-Teamed Your Mother.

I tend to have a more charitable view of Smith's tenure.

Given the length of his resume, the coach has a rather large attack surface for critics to fire at.

He didn't display emotion; he was terrible at challenging plays; he couldn't select a decent offensive coordinator; he was the only Bears coach in history to lose a Super Bowl; the brand of skim milk he endorsed was loaded with MSG, pasteurized in a Taiwanese sweatshop and procured from some carnivorous species of bovine that ate at least nine child laborers . . . as a Bears fan you've already heard all of the typical complaints.

But while we're all basking in the glow of a rare home victory, let's keep the good vibes going and examine some of the positives and lesser known facts about the former Bears coach.

  • Implemented a systemic commitment to forcing turnovers that lead to some of the most exciting and successful defensive units in Bears history, a philosophy that was largely derived from watching his three Dobermans devour the last pork chop after he accidentally dropped it on the kitchen floor.
  • As a black guy who doesn't drink or eat fatty foods, scientists believe that Smith technically doesn't age. At 94, he is the oldest coach in the league by four months over Steelers defensive coordinator/Magnito's dad Dick LeBeau.
  • Conversely, at 18.9-years-old, the team Smith currently coaches has the youngest average age of any squad in the league, though to be fair the curve is significantly impacted by Bucs backup kicker Jake Moore.
  • Thanks to his firing after guiding the Bears to a 10-6 record in 2012, Lovie single-handedly proved to America once and for all that you can't trust whitey.
  • Responsible for introducing the phrase "Rex Is Our Quarterback" into the popular lexicon, thusly ensuring that couples everywhere have a safe word at their disposal that immediately douses the dangerously rampant sexual desires of an out-of-control partner.

Kool Aid (2 of 5 - Aforementioned Bacardi Rum, No Chaser)
I'm still not convinced that I should be busting out regionally relevant craft beer recommendations again quite yet. The stakes just aren't high enough.

For those of you who have been to Florida recently, you'll note two things.

One: there are an inordinate amount of feral cats roaming the Orlando area.

I'm not kidding. That town has a serious problem. I had to shoo cats off of the hood of my car after being gone just long enough to drop off my luggage.

Also, I'm not the friggin' Highlander and this wasn't 15 years before they broke ground on Disney World, it was literally last week.

Two: they have no good local beer. Unless, you count drinking enough seawater to hallucinate - which I'm not entirely ruling it out.

Granted, the Bears have twice as many wins as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so that alone is reason to believe that they can notch a second two-game winning streak within the last 11 games.

But the Bucs have a pretty decent wide-receiving tandem of their own, and if watching the last four consecutive Bears games has taught me anything, it's that, like the Viking secondary, the Bears defensive backs are not particularly good at stopping guys from catching passes.

Sometimes I wonder if they're even on the field of play, because they are not on camera when I am watching an opposing wide receiver waltz untouched past the one-yard line, though to their collective credit they're marginally more present than some NFL players.

So while I'm not super excited about this match-up, I did notch up the Kool-Aid rating a point because I'm starting to warm up to this seawater idea.

Glug, glug, glug.

Woah.

That was salty.

That's what she said.

She also said "Bears win at home against an inferior opponent."

Bears 28, Buccaneers 17

* Cinemax - pandering to those too lazy to go downstairs and masturbate to the Internet since 2001.

-

Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:14 AM | Permalink

November 19, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Cook County commissioners will consider a proposal Wednesday to cut a $41,640 check to finally settle up with the city of Chicago for years worth of unpaid parking and traffic tickets issued to people driving county vehicles," the Tribune reports.

"The check would cover more than two decades' worth of outstanding traffic fines, according to a news release from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. And Preckwinkle says she will go after the employees who were driving when the tickets were issued to try to recoup the money.

"The amount, $41,640, covers the full cost of all the unpaid traffic tickets still on the books, minus any late fees and penalties that have accrued over the years, according to Cook County spokesman Frank Shuftan.

"It covers 773 tickets for speeding, illegal turns, red light violations, parking in restricted zones or at expired meters, and invalid vehicle registrations, according to Preckwinkle's office."

I must be losing my touch because I can't think of a single clever thing to say about this. Sometimes the absurd really does speak for itself.

Easter Basket
"University of Illinois trustees on Thursday approved a $180,000 bonus for outgoing university president Robert Easter ahead of his retirement next year," the Tribune reported last week. (I just saw the story today, underneath a piece about a new president being named.)

"The one-time bonus is on top of Easter's current salary, which was increased to $478,558 this fall when university employees got raises. The bonus, approved during the board's meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, is to be paid within 30 days."

Here's my favorite part:

"The decision to award Easter a heftier bonus is in line with the university trying to prepare the public for the likelihood that the next president could get a higher salary. Former president Michael Hogan, who left in 2012 amid a scandal, was paid $651,000 plus a retention bonus."

I'd say the university has prepared the fuck out of the public.

*

"The average compensation for Big 10 presidents is about $780,000."

Which is about the same cost of a woman's virginity, Busta Rhymes' overdue taxes, or Cincinnati Bengals guard Mike Pollak, if it makes you feel any better.

10th District Freeze-Out
Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider, one of 10 House Democrats who lost reelection, stood before his 200 fellow congressional Democrats during a glum gathering Thursday to say goodbye and thank you," Politico reports.

"When he finished, Schneider, a bespectacled and mild-mannered former business management consultant, was taken back by the reception. 'Run again! Run again!' many of his colleagues chanted."

Our very own Tim Willette: "In a Nietzschean eternal recurrence, Schneider and Dold are going to replace each other every two years until the end of time."

Solving McPaul
"The publicly financed arena planned for a site near the McCormick Place convention center on the Near South Side is a bad idea that just keeps getting worse," Joe Cahill writes for Crain's.

Cost overruns would be easier to swallow if the entire project weren't based on such unrealistic assumptions. Among the whoppers underlying McPier's financial projections: DePaul's mediocre men's basketball team will enjoy a renaissance, drawing 9,500 fans a game, not the 1,900 it pulled in at Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont last season. Another is the assumed appeal of a mid-sized arena to conventions, rock bands and other forms of entertainment that McPier hopes will keep it hopping during the 300-plus days every year that DePaul won't be playing basketball there.

"We all know that this was sold on the basis of assumptions that were not realistic," says stadium finance consultant Marc Ganis of Sportscorp Ltd. in Chicago, who dismisses the project as "the arena without a purpose."

Yet those assumptions are all that stands between McPier and millions in operating losses and debt coverage shortfalls. McPier directors, under the guidance of CEO Jim Reilly, seem to believe that wishing will make it so. I'm sure Mayor Rahm Emanuel's strong backing of the plan has something to do with their willingness to suspend disbelief.

Here's an idea: Replace the arena with the Lucas museum. Two problems solved.

-

BeachBook
* Black McDonald's Operators Association To Donate 350 Turkeys To Needy Families.

The news here to me is that there's a Black McDonald's Operators Association.

* No One In Chicago Is Longing For The Return Of Lovie Smith.

I don't think this is true, though I'm certainly not. Poll the locker room.

* Northwestern Players Were Goddamned Psyched About Getting Chik-fil-A.

So awesome I'm just gonna go ahead and embed the video here.

* NBC Chicago Alum Don Lemon Strikes Again, This Time Wondering Why Woman Alleging She Was Raped By Bill Cosby Didn't Bite Bill Cosby's Penis.

* The Lake Effect: How Nature's Greatest Snow Machine Works.

* The Coyote Building In Repose.

-

TweetWood

*

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Familiarize yourself.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:53 AM | Permalink

November 18, 2014

The [Tuesday] Papers

"The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority is negotiating with a general contractor for the proposed DePaul arena near McCormick Place, but the two sides are struggling with a price tag that has soared to as much as $250 million, about 75 percent more than the original estimate, according to people close to the bidding process," Crain's reports.

"McPier next week is expected to award a design-build contract for the arena and an adjacent 1,200-room Marriott hotel to a venture led by Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group, those sources tell Crain's. The cost of the 51-story hotel is expected to be in line with previous estimates, or a total of roughly $400 million.

"But a sticking point is the 'dug-in' design of the 10,000-seat arena, which places its playing floor well below ground level. That feature has pushed construction costs above the $140 million that McPier and city officials optimistically projected when they announced the project in May 2013, sources said."

Maybe the city could sell naming rights to the arena. Like, to DePaul.

*

"A DePaul spokeswoman did not return a message yesterday seeking comment on the prospect of increasing DePaul's financial commitment to the project."

Let us pause now to consider DePaul's mission statement:

"As a university, DePaul pursues the preservation, enrichment, and transmission of knowledge and culture across a broad scope of academic disciplines. It treasures its deep roots in the wisdom nourished in Catholic universities from medieval times. The principal distinguishing marks of the university are its Catholic, Vincentian, and urban character."

I'm not sure how that's relevant, but there's a lot of other stuff about dignity and the light of God and so forth that I'm certain theologians would agree means a prosperous institution shouldn't rip off taxpayers. But hey, DePaul also promises to students that "The city is your campus." By which, they mean our campus.

*

If a naming rights deal can't be struck, how about calling the arena the Rahmper Room?

Yeah, not so sure about that one, but I went for it.

This Bruce Is Not The Boss
"Now that Bruce Rauner has been elected, the question is: What does Gov. Madigan do now?"

I started with that line and the rest fell in place for my latest Op-Ed in Crain's. Feel free to comment, critique and share.

Beachwood Memberships Are Back!
We've fixed a glitch in our PayPal buttons, so all that money you tried to give us that one time and got turned away - try again! This time we'll accept it.

Chicago's Election Day Blues
The Excusable, The Malicious And The Incompetent.

Memo To Marc
On Monday, I wrote this:

"Someone's put a muzzle on Marc Trestman. Last year he was awesome in press conferences, explaining his game decisions impressively and persuasively in a refreshingly open style. This year he's been far more circumspect and, today, he reached a new low with a weird, post-victory press conference in which he basically refused to answer any questions."

And actually, it was our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman who first, in one of our award-winning podcasts, noted the change a few weeks ago.

But what occurred on Monday was just bizarre.

"There was a time not all that long ago when Marc Trestman's day-after-game news conferences carried the feel of a stimulating college lecture," Dan Wiederer writes for the Tribune.

"Trestman would settle in at the dais in the Halas Hall media room and dive into the details of the previous day.

"While eager reporters scribbled notes, Trestman would describe the intricacies of plays that worked and those that didn't. He would offer introspection into his team's mood. He would listen closely to questions, then pull back the curtain on his philosophies and decisions.

"And that's why Monday's proceedings in Lake Forest felt so awkward. The 14-minute gathering was filled with odd pauses and evasive responses. After a 21-13 win over a division rival, no less.

"Trestman seemed like a suspect in a police interrogation room without his lawyer. Harmless questions seemed to have him feeling trapped and uncomfortable."

Maybe Trestman is trying to win the locker room back by growing his inner child.

*

"Number one, at our place, we're really trying to grow the man," Trestman said. "Because we think growing the man helps our football team . . . We want to build a locker room of guys that have character, respect each other, send the right messages of selflessness and honoring the game."

That's not the message you're sending right now, Coach.

Cubcakes
That's my new name for our local baseball media, whose coverage of the Theo era is perhaps best exemplified by this headline from last week: "Kyle Schwarber 'Excited' For Chance To Learn From Russell Martin."

A prospect who has never seen a day over A ball is excited to learn from a free agent who didn't sign with the Cubs.

I'm not sure any other headline illustrates so perfectly the dual set of assumptions Cubcakes keep making about this franchise.

Caveat: This particular story was reported by the Sun-Times's Gordon Wittenmyer, who has been one of the few appropriately skeptical reporters covering Team Theo.

*

Also, can reporters stop acting like it's their money? The Ricketts' are insanely rich. They don't need our financial sympathy.

*

-

BeachBook
* How Often Are NFL Reporters Lied To? Every Day.

* Chicago River LEGO Landscape.

* An Open Letter To Oprah, Whose 'The Life You Want' Tour Asked Me To Work For Free.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Forget the Packers, beat Lovie.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:47 AM | Permalink

Chicago's Election Day Blues

A response to the Chicago Maroon's "Problems At The Polls," which we linked to in a Papers column last week, by a faithful reader with justifiable reason to remain anonymous.

I read that Maroon piece. Some of it struck me as hyperbolic undergraduate stuff, but a lot of it was on target.

Election Day is a mess. We (collectively) rent thousands of rooms to host elections, and things go wrong all the time. Buildings are locked, they forget to give out keys or the owners oversleep. The rooms aren't big enough, don't have enough electrical outlets (which is really on the local election authority for renting such a place, but maybe they were lied to). Judges, some of them (retirees and students, mostly) are terrific but a lot of them are hacks who can't be bothered to keep up with new technology and new statutes. Again, the local election authority should be purging the worst of the worst, and the move to electronic poll books should also serve to push some out, as there is now no "station" in a polling place for the technologically averse to sit.

Part of the problem, and I say this not as an excuse but as a factor that has to be considered in any solution, is that we don't vote all that often and so Election Day has a slapdash quality to it. Any effort to organize 7,000 people to work at 1,600 locations in suburban Cook County (to say nothing of Chicago or the collars or . . . ) for a single day and then evaporate, is going to be rough. Maybe (and I'm almost serious) election authorities can learn something from those Spirit Halloween stores. They're open for six to eight weeks a year and have more money behind them, and if they fail to open on time no one really cares or is hurt, but still.

Then there's the malicious stuff. Those Republican committeemen who sent the misleading robocalls have some explaining to do. Not that they're likely to ever have to do so publicly. The thing is, anyone who voted in a polling place open after 7 p.m. due to a court order (and I guess there were a bunch of those) had to cast a provisional ballot. They (the voters) don't have to do anything to get that ballot counted; the election authority should see that it was cast after 7 p.m. but with a court order allowing it, and so it should be counted. But it's provisional just the same. Now with the Cross-Frerichs race going down to the wire, Cross's team is complaining that Chicago is stealing the election, when part of the problem is Republicans who mucked up the casting of ballots.

And then there's the incompetent stuff. I can't understand how it would take a full (and properly trained) crew of five judges more than an hour to set up a polling place. Two people ought to be able to set up the touch screens in half an hour, a third can set up the paper ballot reader, and the remaining two can set up the judges' table and post the signage. I get that the boxes are sometimes delivered to the wrong place, or to the right building but someone at the building will say the voting is in this room when the voting is in that room, but that's why judges are supposed to set up the room no later than the night before. For a polling place to be unable to open by 6 a.m., a number of things must have gone wrong, like the equipment being sent to the wrong place, or the building owner set tight restrictions on when the judges could get in early, or judges just not showing up. All of that combined could make it hard to open by 6, but even then, on Election Day, judges are supposed to be in place by 5 a.m. for final prep before a 6 a.m. open. That's current practice. So if you get there at 6:30 and they're still not open? A bunch of major things must have gone wrong. And they can't say when they will open? Wow. Just wow.

-

Comments welcome.

-

1. From Jeff Janulis:

Actually there is still a place for the non-tech judge - station 2, where the paper ballots are actually given out.

The old farts can sit there all day long.

But I agree . . . the old hacks need to go.

I teach the judges how to work the polls and it is very frustrating to work with these old geezers.

The young ones from the outreach programs (high schools and colleges) get the technology no problem, very little instruction on how to set up the equipment.

The old ones, forget about it . . .

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:33 AM | Permalink

November 17, 2014

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Heavy Times at the Hideout on Saturday night.


-

2. Carcass at Mojoes in Joliet on Saturday night.

-

3. Negative Scanner at the Hideout on Saturday night.

-

4. Pampers at the Hideout on Saturday night.

-

5. Marmozets at House of Blues on Saturday night.

-

6. The Matches at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

-

7. Stevie Wonder on the West Side on Friday night.

-

8. Watsky at the Metro on Saturday night.

-

9. Peter Hook and the Light at the Metro on Friday night.

-

10. My Brightest Diamond at Lincoln Hall on Thursday night.

-

11. The New Politics at the House of Blues on Sunday night.

-

12. Bleachers at the Vic on Friday night.

-

13. Save The Clocktower at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

-

14. The Barr Brothers at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

-

15. Wild Cub at the Vic on Friday night.

-

16. Knuckle Puck at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

-

17. Modern Baseball at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

-

18. Foxing at the Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

-

19. Somos at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

-

20. Boots at the Metro on Thursday night.

-

21.Neon Hitch at the Elbo Room on Friday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:43 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

1. SportsMonday: Bears Make A Statement.

They will not just stand idly by and let Minnesota take control of third place in the NFC North.

2. Exclusive Severe Weather Safety Tips.

Don't forget the Slim Jims.

3. The Beachwood Radio Hour: Accountability Uber Alles.

Look in the mirror, newsies. Plus: Jane Byrne Sucked; Illini, Bears Need Tougher Beers; CPS Office of Accountability Is Super Ironic; Meet The New Swaps, Same As The Old Swaps.

4. Redflex: North America Is Low/No-Growth Market.

5. At The United Nations, Chicago Activists Protest Police Brutality.

6. Chicago Activist Asks For Bond, Release From Jail.

"Allies of a Chicago activist convicted of illegally getting U.S. citizenship are willing to put their homes up as collateral to get her out of jail while she awaits her sentence" AP reports.

"Rasmieh Odeh is asking a Detroit judge to reconsider a decision that is keeping her locked up in a county jail until her next hearing in March. Prosecutors have until Wednesday to respond.

"Odeh, 67, runs daily operations at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, which provides services to immigrants. She was convicted last week of failing to disclose her convictions for bombings in Israel in 1969 when she applied for citizenship in Detroit in 2004."

7. The College Football Report Top Ten will return next week. The College Football Report will appear, as usual, on Friday.

8. The Weekend In Chicago Rock will appear Tuesday.

9. This Bruce Isn't The Boss.

My latest Op-Ed for Crain's.

10. Someone's put a muzzle on Marc Trestman. Last year he was awesome in press conferences, explaining his game decisions impressively and persuasively in a refreshingly open style. This year he's been far more circumspect and, today, he reached a new low with a weird, post-victory press conference in which he basically refused to answer any questions. Maybe he's palling around with this guy:

-

With All Due Respect . . .

JAMES A. DeVINNEY: First, I'd like you to tell me early expectations of Jane Byrne.

SLIM COLEMAN: Well I think, ah, we, we had some high expectations. I think that's true especially right after she won the primary. Ah, it was an easy race for the general election against the Republican candidate so she was already assumed to be the mayor. We were real excited. We thought we had beat the machine. Ah, we didn't really know Jane Byrne. Ah, some of us had only talked to her five or ten minutes but we voted for her because she said she was out fighting the machine. Ah, we picked up the newspaper, ah, two days after the primary and found that she was, ah, had gone to, ah, vacation in Miami with a group of developers, ah, who were some of the main financial people for the, ah, ah, machine and then, ah, ah, a week later, ah, she announced that she had made peace with, ah, the evil cabal that she'd campaigned against.

JAMES A. DeVINNEY: Tell me about change, then. When did you start to see Jane Byrne as something other than the ideal?

SLIM COLEMAN: Well, like I say, it began to grow from the second day after she won the primary, we began to get indications, ah. I think that, ah, the housing question was one of the first ones that really broke open. Ah, that she was, ah, interested in doing downtown development deals and not and really turned her back on neighborhood housing programs that people were trying to get going, ah.

-

TweetWood

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Phone home.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Bears Make A Statement

The Bears threw down the gauntlet. They were determined to make a statement on Sunday and there was no way the Vikings would keep them from firing the critical first shot in the war that will define the rest of their season.

When the local team pulled out a 21-13 victory, it made sure that going forward, everyone understands that the Bears will not just stand idly by and let Minnesota take control of third place in the NFC North. They are going to fight for that spot like there is no tomorrow.

It is tempting to take a pass on breaking down the Bears this week. It would be delightful to instead zero in on a local team playing for slightly higher stakes. The Blackhawks quickly spring to mind.

The Hawks have some issues (such as the fact that as of this morning, seven teams in their conference have more points than they do, one is tied and one has one point less). But they enjoyed a glorious four-goal third period Sunday night in a 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars that sends them off on their annual circus trip (six games in a row on the road as the clowns take over the United Center) with a little momentum.

The problem is, we are barely halfway through November. We will start seriously considering hockey (and I suppose probably a little basketball as well) when Christmas and New Year's roll around.

And there is so much to discuss regarding the Bears. While yesterday's game didn't disabuse anyone of the notion that the coaches aren't good enough and should almost certainly be fired and it would be fine if at least half the roster was released today, there was a lot of fascinating stuff going on.

First of all, has a football team ever moved the ball more and scored less? The home team piled up 468 yards, almost twice Minnesota's total. That is almost six, 80-yard drives. But all of that movement translated into only three scores.

You know why that is, don't you? Because the defense has forgotten how to force turnovers with any sort of regularity and the special teams are so bad. When was the last time the Bears took possession of the ball with anything resembling a short field? No wonder they go for it so frequently on fourth down.

Then again, the defense had its best day of the season. Sure, they were facing a rookie quarterback who seems to have, at best, mediocre arm strength, but hey, there's always a chance it was a start. EJ Manuel and Geno Smith may have had their way with the Bears, but they drew the line against Teddy Bridgewater.

Unfortunately, the biggest plays were made by old guys Jared Allen and Lance Briggs (Ryan Mundy's "thrown right to him" interception doesn't count). A fan might have hoped that maybe, just maybe, a younger guy would step up just a bit, but hey, a team has to stop the bleeding any way it can.

Of course, the special teams were even worse than usual. The fake punt the Vikings ran during their first possession, you know, the one where the game had just started and everyone should have been fresh and ready for anything? It was Minnesota's best offensive play of the game (48 yards) and it set up their only touchdown.

Every time a fan thinks the special teams units of Joe DeCamillis can't embarrass themselves even more than, say, an idiotic attempt at returning an opening kickoff from eight yards deep in the end zone that results in the returner being blown up at the 10-yard line and a penalty moving it back to the five, they find a way.

There was a blown field goal; a pathetic 34-yard near-shank of a punt in crunch time; no returns of consequence; mediocre kick coverage . . . quite a day. Hard to imagine DeCamillis gets another special teams job in the NFL after he is fired at the end of this season.

And then there was Jay Cutler. Let's see, potentially disastrous fumble? Check. Pass into double coverage that should have been intercepted? Check. Immature outburst? Check. And that was just the first drive. It was capped off by the outburst, a new low in which Cutler threw the ball down and whined about the officials stopping a play for a replay review with such vehemence that they penalized him 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Of course, then the quarterback spent the rest of the day zipping perfect passes all around the field and piling up over 300 yards and three touchdown passing. Whoops, that wasn't quite the rest of the day. There was also the inconsequential interception just before halftime and then the brutal, "excuse me Jay but why can't you stop throwing such monumentally stupid passes when you are just trying to hold onto a lead!" pick in the second half. The guy is amazing.

The broken clock thing was overblown by control freak coach Mike Zimmer. Sure it was annoying, but shit happens. Yes, I know the Bears have had trouble with the turf at Soldier Field in past seasons but what does that have to do with a clock malfunction? The equipment the Bears use is apparently the industry standard and there were guys on hand who were supposed to be able to fix it. They couldn't and the teams were inconvenienced. Bring in a teenager to say "What-ever."

Then again, when teams are fighting for third place, comity goes out the window. The Vikings and the Bears don't care who knows it: they will fight tooth and nail for the next spot way down below the Packers and Lions with every last fiber of their beings for as long as it takes.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:02 AM | Permalink

Exclusive Tips To Prepare For Severe Weather Ahead!

Cold temperatures, heavy snow and treacherous ice storms are all risks of the impending winter season.

"Severe winter weather can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions," said FEMA Region V acting administrator Janet Odeshoo. "Preparedness begins with knowing your risks, making a communications plan with your family and having an emergency supply kit with essentials such as water, food, flashlights and medications."

"Gonna get cold, y'all!" the Beachwood Weather Monkey added.

Once you've taken these steps, consider going beyond the basics of disaster preparedness with the following tips to stay safe this cold season.

Before winter approaches, add the following items to your supply kit:

* Rock salt or other environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.

* Slim Jims.

* Sand to improve traction.

* Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.

* Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

* Medical marijuana.

* Sufficient heating fuel and/or a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

* A knife. For your Slim Jims. Gonna be cold, y'all!

* Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Stay fire safe:

* Keep flammable items at least three feet from heat sources like radiators, space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves.

* Put those Slim Jims on a stick.

* Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time. Unless you're still cold. then plug as many as you can. YOLO.

* Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Check it on a monthly basis by building a fire and seeing if it goes off.

Keep warm, even when it's cold outside:

* If you have a furnace, have it inspected now to ensure it's in good working condition. Or not. It's prolly good to go.

* If your home heating requires propane gas, stock up on your propane supply and ensure you have enough to last an entire winter. Many homeowners faced shortages due to the record freezing winter weather last year, and this season there's the possibility of lower than normal temperatures again. Don't be caught unprepared. And by propane, we mean condoms.

* Avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide by installing battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors.

* Use nitrous oxide to keep dangerous moments light.

* Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

Prevent frozen pipes:

* If your "pipes" are vulnerable to "freezing," i.e., they run through an "unheated or unprotected space," consider keeping your "faucet" at a "slow drip" when "extremely cold temperatures" are predicted.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:30 AM | Permalink

November 15, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Hour #32: Accountability Uber Alles

Look in the mirror, newsies. Plus: Jane Byrne Sucked; Illini, Bears Need Tougher Beers; CPS Office of Accountability Is Super Ironic; Meet The New Swaps, Same As The Old Swaps.


SHOW NOTES

:00: Strawberry Rock Show.

:57: Interpol at the Riv on Wednesday night.

2:17: Jane Byrne Sucked.

* A failed, one-term mayor.

* A fake, phony reformer.

* RIchard J. Daley's girl.

* Evil cabal.

* Taste of Cabrini.

* The first and only.

10:10: Todd Rundgren at Park West on Thursday night.

12:00: The Weekend Desk Report.

13:43: The Official Beer Of The Fighting Illini.

* I drank in college when I was in high school.

* You get the official beer you deserve.

21:21: Deerhoof at the Bottom Lounge on Tuesday night.

23:05: Accountability Uber Alles.

* I'm not sure the Bears' organizational failure is the worst one in town.

* The moral arbiters of our sports universe.

* Trestman vs. Kirk: One has faced reporters, one hasn't.

* Bears vs. Tribune Company: One is spectacularly rich, the other has been through bankruptcy.

* The Vanecko gang.

* CIA Torture.

* Obama's wars.

35:25: Hammered Satin at the Double Door on Tuesday night.

36:07: The Sun-Times vs. Veterans.

* Homer Simpson stage whisper.

38:11: Office Space Of Accountability.

* Trestman vs. Byrd-Bennett.

* The Beachwood Radio Newtwork vs. WBEZ.

* Accountability avoidance.

47:47: Holy Sons at Beat Kitchen on Wednesday night.

48:53: Rahm Doubles Down At The Swaps Casino.

* The links are all in that link.

* The new swaps are new swaps, not old swaps.

* They are new swaps on top of old swaps. They are double swaps.

* Meet the new swaps, same as the old swaps.

1:00:23: Metalucifer at Reggies last Saturday.

* We live in an Orwellian pseudo-democracy.

* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #26: Paging Professor Trestman.

* @BeachwoodReport.

STOPPAGE TIME: 12:02.

-

For more including archives, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:36 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Interpol at the Riv on Wednesday night.


-

2. Todd Rundgren at Park West on Thursday night.

-

3. Deerhoof at Bottom Lounge on Tuesday night.

-

4. Hammered Satin at the Double Door on Tuesday night.

-

5. Holy Sons at Beat Kitchen on Wednesday night.

-

6. Dave Davies at City Winery on Wednesday night.

-

7. Quintron at Reckless Records on Thursday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:40 AM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

The Jane Byrne Interchange wlll go dark at midnight to honor the former mayor, who died on Friday; the ensuing rash of car crashes will symbolize her administration. Then we can go back to calling it the Circle.

Side Eye Illini
"Only select fans can buy a beer at a University of Illinois football game, but according to billboards around the state, Coors Light is now the 'Official Beer of the Fighting Illini," the Tribune reports.

"The billboards went up in August, soon after the university reversed a ban on beer sponsorships, allowing them in exchange for at least 'six figures' in additional revenue a year, according to officials with the university's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics."

For seven figures and a building, the university will offer a major in Comparative Beer Studies.

*

"But university officials were blindsided by the billboards. While they had approved the artwork to be used at places that sell alcohol - bars, restaurants and grocery stores, for example - they didn't realize it also would be displayed on billboards, including some near campus."

And because the university doesn't want to give the impression that it is promoting drinking on campus (at the rate of the current contract), it asked MillerCoors to take the billboards in Champaign down.

Which is almost as lame as letting Coors Light be your official beer.

*

Besides, High Life is the Champaign of beers.

*

By the way, the Fighting Illini have a better record than the Bears, whose official beer is Miller Lite, which is about right.

This state has a long way to go before it's drinking Wisconsinbly.

The College Football Report
Steel Panther vs Judas Priest.

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report
Home on the Rage.

Remarkably Prescient Cutler Scouting Report
Sizing up the future Bears QB as he entered the NFL draft.

Beachwood Sports Radio: Paging Professor Trestman
The Bartman Bears. Plus: Derrick Rose Is Not A Fully Formed Human; The Blackhawks In The Cover 2; and Outlawing Sports Gambling Is Un-American, And We're Not Going To Sit Here And Listen To You Badmouth The United States Of America.

See also:
* Trestman's Redemption.

* They Loved Trestman In Montreal.

College GameDay

-

The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Tip Wisconsibly.

-

The Beachwood Radio Hour: Accountability Uber Alles
Look in the mirror, newsies. Plus: Jane Byrne Sucked; Illini, Bears Need Tougher Beers; CPS Office of Accountability Is Super Ironic; Meet The New Swaps, Same As The Old Swaps.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Interpol, Todd Rundgren, Deerhoof, Hammered Satin, Holy Sons, Dave Davies, and Quintron.

The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Jim, Greg and the listeners nominate their most disappointing albums of 2014. Later, a unique take on the lyrics of Bob Dylan."

-

BeachBook
* The Continuing Horror That Is Multi-Million Dollar Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow.

Make no mistake, she's been deeply dishonest since Day One.

* Extreme Wealth Is Bad For Everyone - Especially The Wealthy.

"Maybe my favorite study done by the Berkeley team rigged a game with cash prizes in favor of one of the players, and then showed how that person, as he grows richer, becomes more likely to cheat."

* Friends Go On Every Disney World Ride In 17 Hours.

One is a Chicago dude.

-

TweetWood

*

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:52 AM | Permalink

November 14, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #26: Paging Professor Trestman

The Bartman Bears. Plus: Derrick Rose Is Not A Fully Formed Human; The Blackhawks In The Cover 2; and Outlawing Sports Gambling Is Un-American, And We're Not Going To Sit Here And Listen To You Badmouth The United States Of America.


SHOW NOTES

* Ozzie Guillen

1:57: The Bartman Bears.

* The [Accountability] Papers.

* Half a coach, a whole clown and a sleepy smokehouser.

* Steve Bartman.

* The Bears are 6-6!

* Defensive scheming.

* Blood not boiling.

* Professor Trestman.

* Play-Calling For Cutler Dummies.

* Vanilla Bears.

* Everything but the Shuffle.

* Jay Cutler is a franchise-killer.

* The Meatballs Were Right.

24:11: Anti-Journalists.

* You should hate PR, not give PR advice.

25:33: Derrick Rose Is Not A Fully Formed Human Being.

* Derrick Rose Sitting Out Games So He Won't Be Sore During Future Meetings And His Son's Graduation.

* Jimmy The Butler. Jimmy Likes To Shoot.

* Charles Barkley Calls Out Derrick Rose In A Way Far Smarter Than Local Apologists.

* David Axelrod sucks.

* Derrick Rose Is The New Jay Cutler.

* Sports Fans Are The Most Ignorant Blowhards On The Planet.

39:50: The Blackhawks In The Cover 2.

* Seabrook's cheap shot.

* Sports Fans Are The Most Ignorant Blowhards On The Planet (Con't).

* Company Man Kasper.

* Kaner vs. Rose.

* Swedish Shot-Blocker Available At IKEA.

* Derrick Rose Is The New Joe Mauer.

54:13: Outlawing Sports Gambling Is Un-American, And We're Not Going To Sit Here And Listen To You Badmouth The United States Of America.

* New NBA Commissioner: Legalize Gambling.

* Harry Reid, Chris Christie.

* New NBPA President Calls Salary Cap Un-American.

* Stick it to The House!

STOPPAGE TIME: 5:24.

-

For archives and more, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:26 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week distanced himself from the risky derivatives that are draining funds from the city's school system, declaring: 'Under my tenure, there have been no swaps,'" the Tribune reports.

"But records show the city of Chicago has entered into at least four interest-rate swaps under the Emanuel administration."

Rahm is a liar. That's been shown over and over.

For example:

* Rahm Caught Lying About Speed Cameras.

* The Mayor, The Lobbyist And The Dead 6-Year-Old Girl.

* Electing Blago.

* Intent To Return.

* Schools Et Al.

"The Tribune series 'Borrowing Trouble' this month found that CPS' decision to issue $1 billion in auction-rate debt paired with interest-rate swaps will likely cost $100 million more than what the school district would have paid for traditional fixed-rate debt. One draw of those risky deals was the hefty upfront payments that accompanied some swaps.

The Tribune analysis sparked questions from reporters after the City Council meeting Wednesday, and Emanuel was quick to point out that his administration has canceled derivatives the city entered under Mayor Richard M. Daley.

"Under my tenure, there have been no swaps, and we actually terminated nearly about a billion dollars in value of swaps," he said. "So I've been clear about righting the ship going forward."

Records show that the four swaps entered by the Emanuel administration are linked to existing debt - floating-rate bonds issued in 2003, 2005 and 2007, under Daley. The records obtained by the Tribune show new contracts with new banks, layered on top of existing swaps, in effect creating double swaps on the old debt.

Rahm has doubled-down on debt.

When the Tribune contacted City Hall on Thursday, the mayor's office described what the Emanuel administration has done as modifications of existing swap deals.

The four swaps entered in December 2011 and February 2012 under Emanuel "are not new swaps," the mayor's office said in a statement. "They are modifications to the original underlying swaps, all of which were inherited by this administration." A spokeswoman for the mayor's office said the Tribune is "parsing words" by reporting that the Emanuel administration has entered into new swaps.

Rahm made his bones parsing words and pushing phrases and using language as a cudgel. He knows what he said.

A letter the city provided to the Tribune in September offers a nuanced assessment of the Emanuel administration's record. That month, the city's chief financial officer wrote to union representatives, who have been critical of city and school swaps, that the city has not entered swaps on "additional debt."

Rahm is the parser here; what he's trying to imply is obvious but at odds with the record. Has he embarked on "new" swaps? You could argue No if you equate "new" to mean "from scratch." Has he made "new" swap agreements? Yes. On top of the old. Which makes them new.

A document showing that the Emanuel administration entered into the four swaps is a listing of the city's swap deals, titled "City of Chicago Swap Portfolio," from December 2012. The document was provided to the Tribune months ago in response to a public records request. The city also provided the signed agreement with PNC Bank for one of the February 2012 deals.

Three of the four new swaps increase the unpredictability of the city's interest payments, experts said. One expert called the new derivatives "speculative."

"Basically what they wound up doing is speculating on interest rates," said Matt Fabian, a managing partner at Concord, Mass.-based Municipal Market Advisors. "It might work out well."

Or not.

The Emanuel administration layered new swap contracts with different banks on top of the existing swaps, records show. Under the new swaps, the city agreed to pay a second set of banks a floating rate - the same floating rate the city is receiving from the first set of banks - and receive a different floating rate.

But in three of the four cases, the Emanuel administration was trading a more predictable arrangement for a less predictable one, Fabian said.

So Rahm has not only modified bad swaps, he's made them worse. Like the parking meter deal.

"Before (the swaps) there's very little basis risk if any," the head of a debt management firm told the Trib. "After, there's definitely basis risk."

Don't Hassle The Hoff
"The nation's largest organization of psychologists will conduct an independent review into whether it colluded with or supported the government's use of torture in the interrogation of prisoners during the Bush administration," the New York Times reports.

"The American Psychological Association said in a statement released late Wednesday that its board had named David H. Hoffman, a Chicago lawyer, to conduct the review."

That reminds me: Whatever happened to the infrastructure trust?

American Colonial Hangover, Grandma Gatewood & Chris Chelios
In Local Book Notes.

Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast
Set to sail.

Coming Soon: Bad Yung Club Chicago
Um, okay.

The College Football Report: Steel Panther vs. Judas Priest
From Moscow to the San Jose Civic Center.

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Home On The Rage
We're getting dangerously close to the time of year when mascot Barry The Bear retires to sleep in his cave beneath the parking lot.

The Week In Chicago Rock
In pre-production!

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: Paging Professor Trestman.
The Bartman Bears. Plus: Derrick Rose Is Not A Fully Formed Human; The Blackhawks In The Cover 2; and Outlawing Sports Gambling Is Un-American, And We're Not Going To Sit Here And Listen To You Badmouth The United States Of America.

The Beachwood Radio Hour
Coming Saturday!

-

BeachBook
* The Oasis Has Re-Opened.

* Calling BS On Michelin's Chicago Bib Gourmands.

* Trestman Adopts Baby To Save Relationship With Bears.

* Weeping Over Our New York Times.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Riff almightily.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:20 PM | Permalink

Coming Soon: Bad Yung Club Chicago

Um, okay.


-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:08 PM | Permalink

The College Football Report: Steel Panthers X Doritos = BOLD!

'Tis the bowl-projection season as top teams vie for spots in premier postseason bowls and a national championship playoff berth.

While all eyes will be on Mississippi State-Alabama (the #5 Tide favored by a whopping 9.5 at home over the #1 team in the country?) and Florida State-Miami (a conflicted national audience must balance rooting against the 'Noles with lingering distaste for the 'Canes), we feel the hapless, the down-on-their-luck, and generally woeful need some attention.

Why? Because these kids work hard and even though the record may not . . . well, you know. Besides, it's more fun. You can read about the rest everywhere else.

Army (3-6) vs. Western Kentucky (4-5; -8), 11 a.m.
A perennial Football Report favorite, WKU enters the game with the 2nd-ranked passing attack in the country and the 8th-most fearsome (and 10th-weirdest) mascot: Big Red. This is the mascot that brought you The Evolution of Dance, and stuff.

How can a Black Knight compete with that? We need more Big Red. At two wins from bowl eligibility, we've got WKU to win and cover.

Pittsburgh (4-5) vs. North Carolina (4-5; -2.5), 11:30 a.m.
Identical 4-5 records, two teams coming off bye weeks, a match-up of desperate, must-win squads . . . in a game that may be decided by . . . kicking. (At least if the point spread is any indication.) If so, the Tarheels are in trouble. UNC has a combined 5-of-10 mark on field goals this season and has missed two extra points. The longest field goal of the season for the 'Heels? 23 yards. Given that North Carolina's average margin of victory in 3 of 4 wins has been 3.3 points, we'll take the decidedly mediocre but accurate (!) Panthers. Kicker Chris Blewitt (an inauspicious last name if we've ever heard one) is 33-of-34 in PATs and 11-of-13 in FGs. His longest? 49 yards. Now that is a scholarship kicker. Way to go, Blewitt.

Hawaii (2-8) vs. San Jose State (3-6; -9.5) 3:30 p.m.
We can't blame either team for not taking football too seriously. As a college-aged kid, if you lived in Hawaii or San Jose your first priority might not be on the gridiron. For example, SJSU fans need to rest up on Saturday for the Judas Priest show on Sunday at the City National Civic Center, guest starring Steel Panther.

Not familiar with Steel Panther? Read up on the band and vote for "their new bitchin' Doritos commercial:" Steel Panther x Doritos = BOLD.

We'll take the "Hot Rockin'" Spartans. If the Warriors think they've got a chance, well, they've got another thing comin'.

Troy (2-8) vs. Idaho (1-8; -5)
In Moscow, Idaho, football plays you. Go Vandals.

South Florida (-11; 3-6) vs. Southern Methodist (0-8)
The ultimate in futility, woebegone SMU continues to suffer fallout from the departure of offensive (in all the means of the word) genius June Jones. The Mustangs flirted with the Big 12 back in 2011 but were spurned in favor of TCU and West Virginia. The 'Stangs had to settle for Conference USA (now reconstituted as The American) where the program experienced a rebirth, winning conference titles in 2009 and 2010 and back-to-back bowl games in 2011 and 2012. And now? Following the abrupt departure of Jones, the team has tanked under interim head coach Tom Mason. Too bad. We liked Jones' "run and shoot" offense.

As for USF? Former WKU head coach Willie Taggart has but one dubious mark of distinction in his two years at South Florida: In his first game last season, the Bulls lost to McNeese State by the widest margin of any FBS/Division I team to a member of the lower division (FCS/Division IAA) since 1978.

Not the most inspiring match-up. We feel the SMU players will continue to send a message. That message being: We aren't going to play for this Mason dude.

-

CHICKEN PICKIN'
Need a rundown of the popular games on Saturday? Our resident fowl has your picks:

#8 Ohio State vs. #25 Minnesota (+14), 11 a.m.
There's no trophy at stake, which seems wrong. We need a weird piece of hardware to change hands. The Rusted Rice Thresher? Something. Go Gophers.

#16 Nebraska (+6.5) vs. #20 Wisconsin 2:30 p.m.
Husker do.

#1 Mississippi State (+9.5) vs. #5 Alabama, 2:30 p.m.
The ultimate "no one respects us" play. The Tide might win, but who wants to root for Saban and how is the nation's top team somehow the little guy?

#9 Auburn vs. #15 Georgia (-6.5), 6:15 p.m.
This is exactly the sort of game the Bulldogs win. Every season, the 'Dogs fade down the stretch but play spoiler, defeat a top team (usually in Athens), and end up in a top-flight New Year's Day bowl. Pretty much the recipe for keeping a multimillion-dollar head coaching job in the SEC: Do just well enough to always leave potential for next season.

#3 Florida State (-2.5) vs. Miami, 7 p.m.
This game should be branded as the Alleged vs. the Former Convicts. In contrast to the classic Catholics vs. Convicts clash, no one really wants either team to win. FSU will cover, but a Miami win would be far more satisfying. Maybe lay off this one.

-

Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:03 AM | Permalink

Local Book Notes: American Colonial Hangover

"On Wednesday, November 19, the Guild Literary Complex hosts the final Palabra Pura literary event of 2014 with a special trilingual program (English/Spanish/Portuguese) that will examine the territory of 'Latina/o' literary designations," GLC director John Rich writes.

"A full press release is attached detailing Palabra Pura: From the Margins of the Margins, which will feature Daniel Borzutzky and Justin Petropoulos in an evening curated by Paul Martinez Pompa.

"It is sure to be an electric, and possibly contentious, night of poetry and dialogue as notions of marginality are presented and debated."

Indeed. Here is the press release:

Margins, Marginality, Marginalized bodies and voices, Colonialism, "Latino/a Literature" are some of the contemporary yet enduring concepts that permeate November's edition of Palabra Pura.

Curated and hosted by the poet and educator Paul Martinez Pompa, the program will be held at La Bruquena Restaurant (2726 West Division Street 61, upstairs) from 7:30 - 9 p.m., on Wednesday, November 19. The program is free and open to the public. It begins with an open mic, and will include readings from and discussion by the featured poets: Daniel Borzutzky and Justin Petropoulos.

"In response to the hangover from colonialism still lingering in the United States," Pompa says, "a new literary space has been carved out where historically marginalized bodies, narratives and histories finally have their say; it has been named 'Latino/a literature.'

"What happens, though, when some of the loudest voices inhabiting that space reproduce the very conditions they are supposed to be subverting? Who counters the oppressed who have taken up the business of oppression?

"Two uprisings come to mind: Daniel Borzutzky and Justin Petropoulos. The work of these writers forces us to confront an uncomfortable but essential question: is Latino/a poetry a viable, subversive political logic, or is it merely a marketing strategy already co-opted and rendered ineffective in the face of capitalism?"

From the Margins of the Margins is co-sponsored by the following departments at Northwestern University: Poetry and Poetics Colloquium; the Latina/o Studies Program; the Department of Spanish & Portuguese; and the Center for the Writing Arts.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Daniel Borzutzky was born in Pennsylvania, of Chilean heritage. His books include In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, forthcoming); The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011); the two full-length volumes of poetry, The Ecstasy of Capitulation( BlazeVox, 2007); a poetry chapbook, Failure in the Imagination (2007), and Arbitrary Tales (Ravena Press, 2005).

His work has been recognized by grants from the PEN American Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. He has also taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Koç University in Istanbul, and Wilbur Wright College of the City Colleges of Chicago.

*

Justin Petropoulos is the author of two collections of poetry including Eminent Domain (Marsh Hawk Press, 2011). He is a contributing editor for Entropy magazine and the program director of an after-school program for at-risk, elementary age children. He is also an adjunct faculty member at New Jersey City University, where he teaches composition and creative writing.

ABOUT THE CURATOR
Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Paul Martinez Pompa holds his MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University. He is the author of My Kill Adore Him, a collection of poems published by the University of Notre Dame Press (2009) and a chapbook, Pepper Spray (2006). He is a recent recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. He teaches composition and poetry at Triton College and lives in Chicago.

Grandma Gatewood
"They call her Grandma Gatewood," the Spokane Spokesman-Review notes.

"She carries an umbrella, wears a checked skirt, and she loves to hike.

"In fact, she is the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. After her first 2,000-mile hike, she did it again, becoming the first person - man or woman - to hike it twice. And then for good measure, she hiked it a third time.

"Grandma Gatewood is the subject of a new book which is one of the award recipients of the 2014 National Outdoor Book Awards, announced [Thursday]."

*

Grandma Gatewood's Walk is out of the Chicago Review Press. Here's their tease:

"How a 67-year-old great-grandmother walked the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail, survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem."

Indian Head To Winged Wheel
"With a reputation that is enough to knock a seasoned player off his game, Chris Chelios is known for being one the toughest players ever to play in the NHL," Triumph Books says.

"Throughout his 26 years in the NHL playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens, Chelios stood by his belief that one had to be ruthless to stay on top. With one NCAA Championship, three Stanley Cup championships, three Norris trophies and an induction into the U.S. and Hockey Hall of Fames, there is no doubt that Chelios' brutal perseverance, stamina, durability and focus made him one of the greatest players in NHL history.

"From the 1992 Stanley Cup Final to the 2006 Winter Olympic team, Chris Chelios: Made in America (Triumph Books, November 2014) details Chris's amazing hockey career.

"Written by Chris Chelios and USA Today writer Kevin Allen, this autobiography offers not only a look into his career, but a look into the 'do whatever it takes' mentality that made Chris such a lethal player.

"Sharing his achievements, personal stories and struggles on and off the ice, Chris Chelios: Made in America has everything hockey fans need to know about Chelios' remarkable career, including:

  • Chelios' controversial trade to the Detroit Red Wings in 1999 and the influential role he holds in the franchise today.
  • A look into Chris' childhood growing up in Chicago's South Side and San Diego.
  • How Chris's entire NHL career was based on one lie and a 30-second phone conversation.
  • Chris' struggle with the constant attention from the French Canadian media while playing for Montreal Canadiens.
  • The insults, taunts and hate Chris received from fans both on and off the ice.

"Chris Chelios is a player that is equally hated and loved by fans due to his indomitable spirit. Chris Chelios: Made in America is the perfect book for all hockey fans to get an inside look into the complex and legendary player that is Chris Chelios."

*

From a Fox Sports Detroit excerpt:

I had famously said once in a television interview that I would "never" play for the Detroit Red Wings.

I meant it when I said it. That's how deep the rivalry was between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings.

When I settled into my hotel room after being traded to Detroit, that interview was being played on the local news. I'm sure it was played over and over in Chicago. Blackhawks fans remember that interview and never forgave me for agreeing to play for the Red Wings.

I'm not sure I can really blame them.

In my defense, it was not easy for me to walk into Detroit's dressing room for the first time. It was like crossing enemy lines. I had tussled with Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman a few times during my career, and Sergei Fedorov had been a frequent target of mine. A few years before, the NHL had fined me $500 for slashing him.

"I used to do everything to Sergei," I told Sports Illustrated writer Michael Farber. "Those were the days when you could elbow a guy and not worry about getting suspended. I took advantage of that."

Farber pointed out in his story that I had previously been "hanged in effigy" by some fans at Joe Louis Arena.

The first time I dressed to play for the Red Wings, I had to do it twice because I had forgotten to remove my gym shorts the first time. Then, I mistakenly put on my elbow pads before my shoulder pads. To say I was out of sorts would be an understatement.

My presence in the dressing room was also odd for my new teammates, many of whom had fought me like gladiators through the years. It was pretty awkward for all of us.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:11 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast

Set to sail.

DSCF0559.JPG(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

-

More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

-

Helene on Twitter!

-

Meet Helene!

-

Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

-

Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

-

Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:52 AM | Permalink

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Home On The Rage

Epic Performance
It was as if there had been a way to turn the difficulty down to "Grandma" on real life Madden 25 and the CPU opponent was the Bears.

Nearly as one-sided as they come, Sunday night produced an ass-whooping for the ages that featured some of the empirically worst pass coverage in NFL history.

The distance between Jordy Nelson and members of the Bears secondary ceased to be measured in yards in favor of units like "clicks" and "leagues."

For those of you who didn't watch the plays, I'm going to indulge in a rare bit of journalistic integrity here and direct you towards the film session column of Bear Goggles On by Chad Wandall.

Don't worry, it's mostly pictures.

Pair these hijinks with this season's least effective offensive game plan and accompany them with poor execution and you've got what we like to call "a real boner" in the sports biz.

The last team to give up 42 points by halftime was the 1921 Westchester Billy Waggles, a franchise whose only notable contribution to league history was being unanimously voted out of the NFL in 1925 for employing an Irish center.

"We're here to show the world that even freak show-sized men weighing 170, 180 or upwards of 190 pounds can still be professional in the realm of athletic pursuits," said commissioner Jeremiah P. Tinmouth. "The last thing we need is some potato-crazed zealot snapping the ball when the Pope says 'hop.'"

Thanks to advancements in mobile technology, Sunday was the first recorded incident in NFL history where four members of any coaching staff were captured on film at a local Perkins restaurant during the third quarter of a game in which they had appeared in the first half.

They would have gotten away with it too, but were recognized after removing their fake mustaches. Curse Perkins' Trademark Onion Tanglers piled high atop the homemade meatloaf, the delicious garnish that sticks to your upper lip!

The reach of the beating extended beyond the immediate football world.

Stella Bouldercreek of Billings, Montana, won $345,000 on a $10 exotic bet which surmised that on November 8th, the New Orleans Pelicans would be outscored by the last two Bears opponents. On top of that, plumbers across the Chicago area enjoyed a huge uptick in business when more than 13,000 households in the greater metropolitan area were forced to make emergency repairs when one or more members of the home literally shat bricks, instantly destroying the soil stack and pipes adjacent to the water closet.

Most of us were hoping that the drubbing the Patriots administered in Week 8 was the low point of the Bears' 2014 season.

The defense was going to start admitting they were powerless over offense, make a fearless moral inventory of the roster, and make amends to every fan in Chicago.

It was a great idea, but Mel Tucker's unit is really committed to outdoing last year's record-breaking performance.

I guess you can't fall off a wagon you never get on.

Proof Reed
See if you can figure out which one of these headlines is fake:

A) Brandon Marshall Offers Random Guy $25,000 In Exchange Four Fisticuffs.

B) Bears Predicted To Yeild Fewer Than 50 Points Against Vikings.

C) Lance Briggs Slumbers Through Film Session, Injury Not A Factor At The Thyme.

D) In Addition To Green Bay Packers, Ratings For Walking Dead* Also Beets Bears.

E) Dewy Defeats Truman.

Ha! Trick question, I misspelled one word in each, so none of them are headlines.

Home On The Rage
There's a terrible pattern developing the past calendar year where, at least anecdotally, it seems as though the Bears lose all of their home games.

Frankly, this is quite an exaggeration.

If the Bears win two of their next three home games, which is totally plausible, that would mean that . . . let me just thumb through the game logs between last December 9th and the Week 14 match-up against Dallas . . . they will have collected two home wins in the last 12 months.

Wait, what? Wow that blows.

This week they look to break this trend by beating the Minnesota Vikings and skyrocket back into a tie for fourth place in the four-team NFC North.

Soldier Field hasn't exactly been synonymous with "victory" for the last, uh, little while and unless I have something to say about it we're getting dangerously close to the time of year when mascot Barry The Bear retires to sleep in his cave beneath the parking lot. A deadly advantage when paired with salmon-scented cologne.

That said, there are reasons to be optimistic.

  • Jay Cutler is the first player in 2014 to have his jersey publicly burned in effigy. Better luck next time Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Greg Hardy. We're number one! We're number one!
  • Every fan in attendance gets a free taco if Toni Kukoc scores more than 11 points!
  • You can see winning football at Soldier Field anytime you want . . . assuming you are a fan of the visiting team.
  • Free viewing of the Field Museum's "Roof Of The Field Museum" exhibit with every ticket purchased in the north end zone.
  • Finally have a quiet spot to finish up the last 350 pages of the fifth Dark Tower novel.

Kool Aid (1 of 5 - Warm Miller Lite)
I'm not willing to bust out the good stuff for this game, though I reserve the right to lapse back into good taste during the coming weeks.

It's going to be tough to move the needle on Sunday.

Storylines may include "Jared Allen Plays Against Professional Football Team Which Used To Employ Him" and "Despite Earlier Efforts, Bears Players Continue To Earn Paychecks."

We've covered a few good reasons to watch the game live, but for those of us who aren't into it for $75 a seat, it's going to be tough to justify.

You really wanted to get a good look at this McKinnon kid on Minnesota? Or, with Marquess Wilson coming back we can get a glimpse into the future of the franchise?

I'm thinking, "I've been trapped on the living room floor with a debilitating case of vertigo since Friday and I just happened to have the TV tuned to Fox when the remote slipped under the couch, someone please call medical personnel before I die of dehydration."

If you plan to make the best of it like me, you'll (marginally) enjoy a hollow victory over a middling team.

Bears 24, Vikings 13

* A better headline might be "Despite Rickety Structure's Noisy/Delicious Human Occupants, Church In Woods Largely Ignored By Rural Georgia Abominations." I can't be the only person who spends 40 minutes a week yelling "HOW ARE THESE IDIOTS STILL IN BUSINESS WHEN EVERY TIME THEY SCAVAGE ANY ABANDONED GROCERY STORE, SOMEBODY DIES" at the screen.

-

Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:08 AM | Permalink

November 13, 2014

The [Thursday] Papers

"Parents picking up their children's report card [Wednesday] and on Thursday were supposed to find out their school's rating based on a new, more comprehensive accountability system, but for some reason CPS officials have not released the ratings, nor did they give out the colorful school progress report parents are accustomed to receiving," Sarah Karp reports for Catalyst.

Principals use the ratings as a way to market their schools. Also, parents use them to decide which schools to apply to or whether they want to keep their child at their current school. Applications for selective enrollment and magnet schools are due on December 12.

Since 2008, when CPS started rating schools in an attempt to help parents choose among them, the ratings have been released in early fall. The new rating system, which was announced in August 2013, has five levels rather than three and takes into account more factors, including college enrollment and how many students took tests.

In response to questions about why the ratings have not been released yet, CPS issued a vague statement: "CPS has spent considerable time reviewing data and examining the impact of this new system, which has caused a delay in releasing the new ratings. As a result, the school ratings were not included in student report cards. We expect to release more information on the new ratings in the near future."

The lack of information has fueled speculation that the ratings are being withheld for political reasons or because the ratings are not what leaders expected. One principal said the delay raises questions about the validity of the ratings.

Just to reiterate the irony: School report cards based on CPS's new accountability system are late.

*

Speaking of accountability, Marc Trestman vs. Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

*

Trestman may be 3-6 this year, but last year CPS went 0-50.

*

On the other hand, unlike Trestman, Byrd-Bennett is doing exactly what she's been asked to do, which makes her more like Theo Epstein because she's been losing on purpose.

*

Back to Catalyst:

"Many suspected that there were problems with the new rating system when, this past August, district officials announced that they were making a big alteration. After originally touting the fact that the new rating system was more comprehensive and was based on academic research, CPS officials asked the board to allow some schools to be rated solely on test scores."

In other words, CPS decided to impose an accountability standard based on what academic research showed what worked best until that research showed they've been doing it wrong all these years. Instead of taking accountability, CPS changed the accountability formula. To avoid accountability.

It would be like the Bears deciding to reward turnovers instead of wins to justify Jay Cutler's new contract - and then bragging about accountability.

*

To the research CPS now wants to diminish:

"It's not all about the test scores, stupid," the Sun-Times noted earlier this week.

"That sums up a new University of Chicago study, a groundbreaking analysis of middle-school student performance that lays out which measures best predict success in high school and college.

"What matters most for later academic success are middle-school grades and attendance, far more than test scores and demographic factors (race, poverty and the like), concluded the study of Chicago Public Schools fifth- through eleventh-graders. Standardized test scores are not the best predictors of academic success, as our test-crazed world might have us believe."

*

Back to Catalyst:

"Under the revised policy," Karp reports, "schools will get two ratings: one based on multiple factors and one based solely on test scores. The higher of the two ratings would be their official rank in the district's 5-tier system."

Which is really now 10 tiers. Though in the end, it's still just two.

Veterans P.S.
Speaking of veterans, our very own Tim Willette did some research of his own after reading The [Wednesday] Papers . . . our e-mail exchange.

TIM: I took a look at the VA tables - there are only just over a million veterans under age 30, compared with 22 million overall. The median age is skewed much older than the national average. (For example, there are only 5,898 veterans under age 20 - there are probably 5 million working age Americans in that cohort.)

ME: So what do you take from that? Iraq/Afghanistan veterans are a relatively tiny number, and the fact that their unemployment is higher than older veterans and their peers is probably ... simply generational and lacking skills? That would bolster my argument! I don't know any other way to interpret, other than to say the whole editorial is just a lazy pro-mom, pro-apple pie affair.

TIM: Exactly. There are more 85+ veterans than under 30 veterans, so "veteran unemployment" is a practically meaningless term.

*

Lest I be accused of cherry-picking, here's the rest of the exchange:

ME: We should start a tumblr called After the Revolution ...

TIM: For some reason this morning I thought of putting a framed photograph of Richard Nixon on my desk. I changed my mind.

Years ago my sole desk photo was of Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. People would ask if they were my parents.

ME: WWHSTD?

TIM: How about one called "After the Beachwood Inn?" "Hey, I can't find 'Sign of the Gypsy Queen' on this jukebox!"

ME: god i love april wine

The JoB.S. Mayor
A young African American woman asked me yesterday at the Jackson El station to sign a petition to put Rahm Emanuel's name on the ballot for re-election.

ME: You really think he's doing a good job?

HER: I do.

ME: Why?

HER: He's brought 200,000 jobs the city.

ME: Where did you get that data point from?

HER: It was reported. In the Sun-Times.

ME: Well, I'm a reporter and I know that isn't true*. Did you agree with the school closings?

HER: Yes, about half those schools really needed to be closed.

ME: So you half-agreed . . .

By the time I got that line out, though, she had moved on. If she's gonna get paid for each signature, she can't waste time actually talking about the whys and wherefores - kind of like the Emanuel administration itself.

*Crain's says the city has added 43,000 full-time jobs since 2010 - and obviously Rahm isn't responsible for them all, if any.

Assignment Desk
Here's a good reason for a local reporter to expense large quantities of beer. Too bad it's not baseball season, though, because I would start at Wrigley Field.

-

BeachBook
* Edgewater Performer Vies To Be First Woman In Blue Man Group.

* Suit Challenges Chicago's Topless Ordinance.

It would be better if it was a headless suit; then the headline could be "Headless Suit Challenges Topless Ordinance."

-

TweetWood

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Inherit the earth.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:00 AM | Permalink

November 12, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

"In October, the jobless rate for all veterans - 4.5 percent, a six-year low - was below that of civilians," the Sun-Times says in an editorial.

Oh. That's good news.

"But unemployment for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan ticked up from 6.2 percent to 7.2 percent, compared with an overall civilian unemployment level of 5.8 percent."

Well, I suppose that's because more recent veterans are having a tougher time than their predecessors, as we all are, in an economy that remains in the ditch. That seems to fit the generational profile.

"The jobless level also is slightly higher for veterans who left the military after 9/11 than it is for civilians."

Um, ditto.

I also suppose a college education and skills gained in the civilian world are more valued than military experience in the job market, despite what recruiting commercials portray.

Also, this:

"To help meet its recruiting objectives at a time when its forces are strained by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army's recruiting command has lowered some goals for recruits," the New York Times reported in 2004.

"The changes are among the clearest signs yet of the military's growing problems in recruiting and retaining soldiers. They mean that many hundreds of prospective recruits who were likely to have been rejected last year could now be enlisted this year."

In other words, the quality of the veterans labor pool just might not be what it used to be. Are we allowed to say that?

*

Back to the Sun-Times:

"And about 50,000 veterans are homeless on an average night, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That's a decline of 33 percent in homelessness since 2010, but it's not enough."

Homelessness among veterans has been cut by a third in the last four years? That's good news if true, but I'm skeptical.

"We are now at the lowest level of veteran homelessness since we began tracking this over the last decade," John Kuhn, national director of the homeless prevention program at the Department of Veterans Affairs, told the International Business Times.

The veteran homeless rate has been cut by 10 percent in just the last year alone, according to HUD.

Again, I want that to be true. I don't see any particular reason why it should be.

"[T]he federal homelessness figures don't reflect the number of veterans who are struggling to find permanent housing," the IBT notes.

"We still have a great deal of vets sleeping on a friends' couch, or in their car," Jason Hansman, the external relations director at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the paper.

And they don't get counted? Huh.

*

Back to the Sun-Times:

"There's something wrong here. Veterans have proven their skills and commitment, and their unemployment level should be lower than the population as a whole, even for those veterans who left military service in recent years."

I'm not so sure. With all due respect, veterans haven't inherently proven their skills and "commitment" simply by dint of having served. They may have proven that they didn't have many other options in a tough economy in the first place and thus ended up in the military. After all, the notion that all of those who serve are driven by patriotism, not economic need, is as quaint as a Norman Rockwell painting.

*

"It's been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom," David Masciotra writes for Salon. "Forced troop worship . . . must end."

Still, in my view, veterans should essentially be guaranteed jobs after their tours of duty, no matter what their motive for joining up. Absent that, though, let's face the truth that a significant number of veterans are poor kids used as fodder by our political leaders; class war in its most literal sense.

"Given the dubious and dangerous nature of American foreign policy, and the neglect and abuse veterans often suffer when returning home wounded or traumatized, Americans, especially those who oppose war, should do everything they can to discourage young, poor and working-class men and women from joining the military," Masciotra writes.

"It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as 'heroes.' The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible."

*

Back to the Sun-Times:

"One bright spot is the 100,000 Jobs Mission - a four-year-old coalition of 179 companies - which is on a track to have found jobs for 200,000 veterans by the end of this year."

Oh, that's interesting. I assume the Sun-Times is a member.

Nope!

(In Homer Simpson stage whisper: Psst. Now would have been a good time to join!)

"Businesses that aren't part of the coalition should make a similar effort to put veterans on their payrolls."

Companies like the Sun-Times?

(If you're making such an effort, now would have been a good time to mention it!)

"And those companies that do hire veterans should make a priority of retaining them."

(We appreciate all the advice you're giving to other companies!)

"A good job beats a 'thank you' for those who have served our nation in uniform."

*

How about a veterans beat? That would also be a way for the Sun-Times to serve.

*

Also:

-

Brisk & Snappy
The Sun-Times weather word today is FRIGID.

To the dictionary: "very cold, bitterly cold, bitter, freezing, frozen, frosty, icy, gelid, chilly, chill, wintry, bleak, subzero, arctic, Siberian, bone-chilling, polar, glacial, hypothermic."

It's 29 at the time I'm writing this. Where do you go from there, Sun-Times?

Soul Planes
From the Tribune's "Chicago Brothers Detail How Mexican Cartel Moved Cocaine By Jets:"

"Their main supplier was Guzman, whose vast operations included a fleet of model 747 jets that had all the seats removed, the brothers said. According to their statements, Guzman would load the planes with clothes and other goods and fly 'humanitarian' missions to South America. On the return trip to Mexico City, the brothers said, the planes would be packed with as many as 12,000 kilograms - about 14 tons - of cocaine that was then unloaded and driven out of the airport with the help of corrupt authorities."

-

Fantasy Fix: Buttfumbler Bargain
He's back.

-

BeachBook
* Blackhawks Fan Base Surges To Historic High.

* Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality Of Pennsylvania Law Muzzling Anyone Convicted Of A Personal Injury Crime.

* Chicago Slow Drag.

* Even Giant Rats Have First Amendment Rights.

"Since Scabby's humble birth in Chicago years ago in 1990, the rat with the union label has become a symbol of protest at different locations across America. Anyone can buy a rat, ranging from 6 feet to 25 feet tall, from Plainfield, Illinois-based Big Sky Balloons and Searchlights. The typical rat runs from $2,000 to $8,000."

* MIlwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Investment In Rodgers Looks Like A Bargain; Cutler's Deal Not So Much.

* This Neon Sign From Chicago Is Part Of An Exhibit Opening In Appleton.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Hypothermic.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:43 AM | Permalink

November 11, 2014

Fantasy Fix: Buttfumbler Bargain

Entering this season, Mark Sanchez was destined to be remembered, if at all, for a single notorious play that marked his sorry stretch as the starting QB for the New York Jets.

Yet, in Week 9, the guy who has long since looked more like the quintessential big-name backup QB got his chance when Philadelphia starter Nick Foles suffered a serious injury. Sanchez didn't do badly, and Week 10 was even better: 332 yards passing, two TDs, zero INTs, zero buttfumbles.

Now, as we enter the last third or so of the season, and the fantasy diamonds in the rough are becoming fewer and farther between, Sanchez is looking like he has fantasy value for the first time in years. A bit more on Sanchez and a few other remaining fantasy bargains in our Week 10 review:

  • Sanchez is not necessarily a lock for great fantasy value the rest of the way. I'm mean, he's still Mark Sanchez. But during his Week 10 outing against Carolina he looked very comfortable and confident at the throttle of a high-flying offense. In the weeks to come, he's got one not-great-but-not-awful fantasy match-up after another: GB, TEN, DAL, SEA, DAL, WAS, in that order through Week 16. Even Seattle these days is not an automatic doomsday date for a QB. Foles, the guy he replaced, was a late-season fantasy stud last year. Could the Buttfumbler be the same in the coming weeks?
  • Denard Robinson, RB/WR, JAC, has put together three impressive fantasy weeks in a row, yet prior to this past weekend was still less than 80% owned in Yahoo! leagues. In Week 10, he had his fewest rushing yards as a starter - 60 - but scored two TDs. No one wanted to believe the former Michigan QB could really change positions as a pro, but given the tumult across the league at the RB position, if he keeps his job and finishes strong, he could be in the RB-1 fantasy discussion next season.
  • Mike Evans, WR, TAM, caught seven passes for 125 yards and a TD in Week 10, upping his tally from the last three games to 329 yards receiving and three TDs. Even more impressive is that the Bucs' QB switch from Mike Glennon to Josh McCown from Week 9 to Week 10 appeared to make no difference in his performance. He's been a hot waiver-wire pick in the last couple weeks, but is still available in about 20% of Yahoo! leagues.
  • LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI, almost seemed to be rescuing his lost season as he headed into Week 10, with two 100-plus-yards rushing efforts in the previous three games. The good news from Week 10 is that McCoy finally scored his second TD of the season, but it came with only 19 yards rushing. Sanchez's success passing also doesn't really bode well for McCoy in the coming weeks. He's played himself down to the RB-2 level, and I can think of better RB-2 options to start the rest of the way.

Expert Wire
* Bleacher Report's Week 11 buy/sell report is ready to give up on Russell Wilson.

* FoxSports.com offers Week 11 waiver-wire options.

* Rotoworld reports that Ben Tate, RB, CLE isn't happy about becoming part of an RB committee. Fantasy owners probably weren't happy with his declining fantasy numbers, either.

-

Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:20 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to toughen the city's dog license rules got the go-ahead Monday from a City Council panel," the Tribune reports.

"The Budget Committee passed rules requiring a person who has a dog in public to be able to produce a registration tag or face daily fines. The change, part of the mayor's annual management ordinance, will be considered Wednesday by the full City Council."

A) Show me your dog papers!

B) Vee haf vayz of making your dog talk.

C) Next: red-light camera dog crossings.

"If the person accompanying the dog can't produce the license, the official will be able to immediately issue a citation ranging from $30 to $200. The fines will continue each day until the dog gets a license."

Or until Rahm balances the budget - whichever comes first.

*

D) TV show idea: Dog Patrol 911!

Accountability
Accountability is the watchword of the day, namely because Bears coach Marc Trestman doesn't seem to have any.

But every time journalists get on their high moral horse - particularly sports journalists, whose moral horse is the highest - I wonder if they see what goes on in their own house or simply choose to ignore it.

For example, Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk doesn't seem to feel the need to hold anyone accountable for Dave McKinney's resignation but Dave McKinney. And he and bossman Michael Ferro don't seem to feel that they are accountable to the reporting staff, which has petitioned for answers but so far, to my knowledge, received none.

The editorial board at the paper doesn't seem to think that they should be held accountable; they're a bunch of no comments, even as they moralize to every other institution in the city.

And no one in the Sun-Times editing chain is talking, despite allegations reported by Robert Feder that Ferro pressured them about coverage of the man who is now our governor-elect.

Is no one accountable?

So when Rick Morrissey writes a column headlined "Bears Fans Deserve Better Than This Clueless Crew," I can't help but simply substitute Sun-Times readers for Bears fans.

It's sort of like newspapers that have gone through bankruptcy wailing about the financial mismanagement of our pols. Times are tough everywhere. Nepotism? Check our local newsrooms. Corruption? You'll find that there too.

When I was young and more romantic about the newsrooms I hoped to work in someday, I imagined them full of people who were the antithesis of those found in Corporate America; that was one of the draws to a career in journalism. The journalistic worldview had no time for bullshit; we called others out for theirs, so surely would be self-aware enough to not engage in it ourselves. Boy was I wrong about that.

Now, I agree that Trestman's press conference on Monday was a disaster. Here's what I wrote to our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman in an e-mail about it:

"I've been a bit of a Trestman dead-ender, but listening to his press conference right now, well, he's lost me. I'm sad. I really liked the guy."

But when I read the Tribune's David Haugh complaining that Bears chairman George McCaskey should have fired someone to show "organizational accountability," all I can think about is all those Tribune Company chairmen who were never accountable to anything but their gilt-lined pockets as all measure of bad behavior occurred on their watches. And while I can't be sure what it's like now, I can say that when I was at the Tribune I encountered the most dysfunctional newsroom culture I've still ever encountered in my career. Trestman's blindness would've fit right in.

(And then there's the Tribune Company's ownership of the Cubs, a franchise famous for not holding anyone, especially its players, accountable.)

The guys on The Score all want accountability, too. Can we get some from Score owner CBS, too, then? Dan Bernstein writes in his CBS2 Chicago column that the Bears have "a weak, permissive culture devoid of authority and accountability."

Have you seen a CBS2 newscast? Hardly a show goes by without a multitude of simple errors, much less media sins of much greater consequence than misspelling everyone's name. Where is the authority and accountability? It's almost like Marc Trestman is the news director - which would probably be an improvement.

One of the loudest voices out there belongs to David Kaplan, who is on the radio - The Game, in the morning, though virtually no one is listening according to the ratings books - and the TV - on the Comcast Sports Network in the afternoon. Comcast! Talk about organizational failures.

Don't get me started about whatever anyone on NBC Chicago is saying. If you recall my experience there, you know there is no accountability there - all the way up to NBC's executive suites. If NBC ran the Bears and followed the formula that I saw, Trestman and Mel Tucker would have been promoted and given raises by now.

So yes, accountability. For everyone. 'Cause I'm not sure the Bears' organizational failure is the worst one in town.

*

I'm not really sure if I wrote that item the way I wanted to. I cut a lot out. I don't have time to really craft these things. I originally (favorably) referenced Bernie Lincicome and Bob Verdi. Also, the bottom line of the hapless Bears is still much better than that of those who cover them. Not defending the Bears, just sayin'.

Who's Accountable
The Sun-Times's website is not even 3-6.

Accountability In Justice
"Nine months after a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, not a single cop has been disciplined for letting Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko get away for nearly 10 years with killing David Koschman," the Sun-Times reports.

Accountability-Elect
You know who else wasn't held accountable? Bruce Raunocchio.

The Final Cut
I suppose sports allows us to experience a range of emotions about things that ultimately don't matter. But ultimately what does matter is what counts. Today is Veterans Day, for example. Are we truly holding anyone to account about those things?

See also:
* An Innocent Man, Tortured By The U.S., Asks The U.N.: Where's The Accountability?

* Is Obama Stalling So The Republicans Can Bury The CIA Torture Report?

* Obama Authorizes 1,500 More Troops To Iraq, Doubling Force.

* Obama's ISIS War Is Illegal.

* Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.

Griffamano
"In a contentious divorce, Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin has said Anne Dias Griffin violated his rights by revealing that they went to a couple's therapy session days before their wedding," the Tribune reports.

Is this news?

Oh, I'm sure it will get a ton of clicks, but then again, so would naked photos of the erstwhile couple. That doesn't make it the public's business.

Use some judgement, please. Unless the goal is to exploit a rich couple's divorce for profit, which I think it is.

*

My view is that a reporter surely should keep an eye on all the legal filings - it's a chance to potentially glean some information about each Griffin's business practices and political relationships. That's in the public interest. Ken Griffin, in particular, bears scrutiny as an immensely wealthy hedge funder and one of Bruce Rauner's biggest backers.

But couples counseling? Please, let's keep our eye on the ball.

-

TrackNotes: A Show About Nothing
A mugging in broad daylight that nobody saw.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Metalucifer, Jaill, Gerald Dowd, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Starset, and Garland Jeffreys.

-

BeachBook
* Is Fareed Zakaria Accountable?

* The Death Ball That Zorn And Kass Presumably Refused To Watch.

* The Ross Perot Narrative That Won't Die.

* Problems At Chicago's Polls.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Gift cards available.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:13 AM | Permalink

November 10, 2014

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Metalucifer at Reggies on Saturday night.


-

2. Jaill at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.

-

3. Day of the Dowd at FitzGerald's in Berwyn on Saturday.

-

4. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony at the Portage Theater on Thursday night.

-

5. Starset at the House of Blues on Sunday night.

-

6. Garland Jeffreys at SPACE in Evanston on Thursday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:42 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

Just glance at the SHOW NOTES and tell me you don't want to listen to The Beachwood Radio Hour #31: Raunocchio-Elect. Analysis, wit and insight you won't get anywhere else.

Segments include: Phony Bruce, Quinn's Rose Garden, Late & Never, Journesia, and The Combine Transitions. Plus: They came to watch Nik Wallenda live, not die.

SportsMonday: The Meatballs Were Right
And they've been right all along.

See also @BeachwoodReport for the Bears tweets that won the Internet last night. And if you missed our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman talking Bears on WBEZ's Morning Shift, we'll add the audio to SportsMonday when it becomes available.

The College Football Report Top Ten
From Haters To Infinity.

Bears Make Book
"It was four minutes into the third quarter when Aaron Rodgers was gunning for his seventh touchdown pass. Not only were the Chicago Bears getting blown out, but bookmakers were taking a beating, too," Matt Youmans writes for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"The big difference is the bookmakers have had a winning season, so one losing week is just part of doing business. The Bears have been losers all season, and they are stuck with their overpaid loser of a quarterback and their dreadful defense."

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Metalucifer, Jaill, Gerald Dowd, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Starset, and Garland Jeffreys.

-

BeachBook
* Uber And Its Shady Partners Are Pushing Drivers Into Subprime Loans.

* Local TV News Continues To Be Inane.

* Dartmouth Bro From Chicago Elected To Public Office In Frat Prank.

-

TweetWood
A non-Bears sampling.

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Clean it up.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:22 PM | Permalink

The College Football Report Top Ten: From Haters To Infinity

1 - 3. Haters.

The long nightmare for Notre Dame haters ended late Saturday, as the Irish lost to Arizona State in Tempe, 55-31. ND (7-2) dropped in the polls (to #15 in the AP) and out of the running for a playoff spot. Even Touchdown Jesus can't save the Domers now, much to the delight of ND-detractors everywhere. No doubt dentists across the country sighed wistfully over the sports section Sunday morning: teeth gnashing brings in business.

In the SEC, one of the several contenders in the West division fumbled away any hope of a playoff. Auburn (#3 in the playoff rankings entering the weekend) suffered an upset to Texas A&M at home, which is not a "good loss" by anyone's measure. Now SEC haters can focus on Alabama. The Tide pulled out an OT win against LSU on the road and should leapfrog Oregon into the fourth position in the playoff rankings.

Big Ten haters reveled in Saturday's results as well. Ohio State put a hurt on Michigan State in East Lansing, effectively bumping the Spartans out of the playoff hunt. Now that MSU has lost the two biggest games on their slate (Sparty missed a chance at glory early in the season by losing to Oregon), they are out. The outcome robbed the Big Ten of any chance at a playoff berth, as even a win over Nebraska (the likely winner of the West) in the conference championship likely will not justify elevating Ohio State into the playoffs.

The Buckeyes' schedule isn't impressive: the conference is having a down year, many of the Ws out of conference came against the likes of Kent State, Navy and Cincinnati, and the L to Virginia Tech looks worse by the week as Va Tech (now 4-5) sinks in the ACC.

4. Marshall.

The Thundering Herd continue to take care of business, riding an unbeaten streak through Conference USA, and riding roughshod over opponents like Southern Miss (63-17). Sure, Marshall plays in a weak conference. Yes, the Herd have a feeble (#122) strength of schedule. But still, props.

5. Jerry Kill.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers crushed Iowa 51-14, much to the delight of head coach Jerry Kill who busted out some choice moves in the locker room afterward.

Minnesota seized control of Floyd of Rosedale, the trophy (inexplicably, a bronze pig) fought over between the two schools, and now only need a win over Wisconsin for the trifecta: the Little Brown Jug (wrested from Michigan), Floyd, and Paul Bunyan's Axe.

At 7-2 and 4-1 in conference, the Gophers will face three ranked teams (#14 Ohio State, #13 Nebraska, #25 Wisconsin) to close the season. Imagine: by winning out and triumphing in the conference championship, the Gophers could . . . no. We shouldn't even contemplate it. Well, why not. Minnesota could reach the playoffs. There. We said it. The two losses came against TCU (ranked #6 last weekend) and, regrettably, the lowly Illini. But the latter could be forgiven if all the other stars align.

6 - 10. The Suck ∞.

We reserve a special place in the Report's rankings this week for the worst game of the week, possibly of the season, and absolutely the most awful match-up of Power 5 teams. For Big Ten haters, fond of bashing the league's soft teams and boring pace, the Michigan-Northwestern game will prove rich fodder for years.

Embattled NU coach Pat Fitzgerald intended to echo Marine jargon in a post-game interview following a 48-7 loss to Iowa two weeks ago. Asked about the Wildcats' dreadful season (3-5 at the time, now 3-6), "Fitzy" told reporters, "Sometimes you have to embrace the suck." NU went well beyond embracing on Saturday. The 'Cats made it to third base.

In military speak, embracing the suck means soldiers need to buckle down (or strap in, or something), come to grips with an unpleasant (at best; more typical: Fallujah) situation and get to work. In NU terms, embracing the suck means taking a shot for every turnover, golf claps for first downs, high fives for turnovers (three vs. Michigan), twerking to penalties, and betting the "under" on total yards rushing (-9 on Saturday). We hear Northwestern students will "lake the posts" if the team can finish dead last in points per game in the FBS: the Mildcats rank 122nd, but at 18.0 PPG need even worse performances down the stretch to catch SMU, currently sitting at 9.6.

The Wolverines fared just as miserably. Michigan went a dreadful 1-for-12 on third down, netted just 109 yards through the air, and committed three turnovers of their own. You know the Maize and Blue are having an off year, to put it mildly, when commentators announce the team "only needs one more win" to reach bowl eligibility . . . in Week 11.

Haters should relish the lowlights, easily the worst plays (nine of them! NINE!) you will see in the Power 5 this season, ending with this game-ender:



-

Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:19 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: The Meatballs Were Right

This morning the meatballs are right about everything. And when you look back at the last couple years, they have been right about everything all along.

We refer of course to the meatball sports fan, who can always be counted on to proclaim that a struggling team must fire its coach and/or general manager, or cut all prominent players, or at least bring in the backup quarterback for God's sake!

After the Bears' 55-14 loss at Green Bay last night, on top of the 51-23 debacle against New England in their previous game, how could anyone who cares at all about this team respond in any other way? Here's an idea: fire everybody, cut everybody and make all McCaskeys who work for the team take the field next Sunday.

One element of meatball sports fandom that I would particularly like to embrace at this point is the incessant call for more blitzing. It has long been obvious in Chicago in particular that there is no defensive shortcoming that can't be addressed by creating more pressure on an opposing quarterback.

All Chicago meatballs vividly remember what good old Buddy Ryan used to do with his 46 defense after all.

If blitzing one guy wasn't enough for Buddy, he'd blitz two, or three, or more. And you may recall that his defense had a halfway decent season in 1985.

The problem, of course, is that the best quarterbacks usually take advantage of those sorts of schemes. The story goes that when the Bears suffered their one and only loss in '85, their Monday night setback in Miami three quarters of the way through the season, Mike Ditka and Ryan almost came to blows over the fact that Ryan kept calling blitzes. Ryan did so even after quarterback Dan Marino repeatedly threw successful passes into the holes in the secondary created by sending extra pass rushers.

That being said, when Mel Tucker eventually looks back on his short tenure coordinating the Bears "defense," any sort of fan can hope that maybe just maybe he'll think to himself, why didn't I at least try to put a few more hits on Aaron Rodgers?

If a team knows that an opposing quarterback is going to lead his team down the field for points time after time, and the Bears surely knew that going into Sunday, doesn't it make sense to employ extreme measures?

The Bears needed to do whatever they could to pound away at their archrival's star quarterback in the first quarter last night. They needed to blitz two, three, four guys play after play. If it took taking a personal foul penalty or two to pound away at the guy, they needed to take them. If it meant Rodgers completed a bomb or two over isolated cornerbacks, then so be it.

But it never happened and it just makes you sick.

All of this is what the Bears get for forgetting who they are. A sizable swath of the team's following celebrated as team management focused more and more on offense over the past several years. Especially after the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, it was clear that for the first time in most fans' memories, the team was going to focus most of its energies on collecting skill players and investing in a quarterback with a big arm and trying to outscore its foes.

That process culminated in the hiring of supposed offensive guru Marc Trestman. The meatballs knew all of this was a mistake. They knew that the only thing that truly mattered on the gridiron around here was that Monsters of the Midway played intense, determined defense no matter what the offense did.

And now the team reaps the results. The record this group set for points allowed in the first half against the Patriots, 38, stood for all of two weeks before the Packers posted 42 in the first two quarters last night.

Members of the crew that celebrated the turn toward offense, myself included, must now do penance and I'm thinking 20 Hail Marys ain't gonna cover it. Ritual sacrifice will be required. Maybe a bonfire in which tickets are torched before next Sunday's return to game action? That might just be a start.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:57 AM | Permalink

November 8, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Hour #31: Raunocchio-Elect

Phony Bruce, Quinn's Rose Garden, Late & Never, Journesia, and The Combine Transitions. Plus: They came to watch Nik Wallenda live, not die.


SHOW NOTES

:00: Strawberry Rock Show.

1:31: Lights at the House of Blues on Wednesday night.

3:27: The Top 10 Reasons Rauner Won.

* Now with extra commentary!

7:17: Lifestyles at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.

8:00: Raunocchio-Elect.

* Phony Bruce.

* Magic Phone Calls.

* Unforced rookie error?

* Just a fib?

* Deja phonegate: Bruce Rauner Caught Fibbing About Springfield Meetings.

* Get it in writing: abortion; minimum wage; Payton Prep; education funding.

* But he has "top-notch staffers!"

* Blago's MOUs.

* Chump.

22:51: HEMI at Reggies on Monday night.

23:44: There Is No Right To Be Forgotten.

* Rauner should still face the questions he evaded during the campaign.

26:23: The Political Odds.

* Rauner outworked Quinn.

* "I find that the personal bonding that comes from fun leads to proprietary deal flow."

* Quinn's Rose Garden.

* Walking around money.

* Quinn didn't get out the vote.

* Let's blame progressives instead of, you know, the regular Democrat wing of the party that controls everything.

"If Tuesday Was A Test For Mayoral Contest, Progressives Failed."

Bonus tweet:

"[F]ailed miserably. Absolutely miserably."

* Rahm: "Progressives are fucking retarded."

35:32: Agent Orange at the Double Door on Tuesday night.

35:58: Downballot.

* Sanguinetti: Can she survive the transition?

* Durbin: Now the Assistant Minority Leader!

* Oberweis: Corey who?

* Topinka: Your favorite aunt who is also the old lady at the end of the bar smoking a cigarette, cracking jokes and demanding another whiskey sour.

* Simon: End of a brand.

* Lisa Madigan: Beats opponent's poll!

* Illinois Held Hostage: Day 4 Without A Treasurer-Elect.

* The Physics Party.

* Illinois vs. Ukraine.

43:56: Today's Hits at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.

44:30: Early And Often Is Now Late Or Never.

* You might be dead before getting to vote.

* Same-day registration, next-day voting.

* Just one way every vote can matter; because they don't now.

* It's like every election is the first one.

* No one was surging ahead or coming back but the vote counters.

50:58: They Came To Watch Nik Wallenda Live, Not Die.

* The Papers archive.

* Nik Wallenda can do these walks blindfolded - as he showed.

* Zorn and Kass agree!

* Tightroping deaths vs. marathon deaths.

* You wanted Evel Knievel to make those jumps.

56:38: Polyphia at the Beat Kitchen last Saturday night.

57:18: Dave McKinney's Free Berth.

* NBC Chicago, WBEZ, WTTW.

* Are we just gonna forget about this, too?

59:05: The Combine Transitions.

* Bruce Rauner (R/D-Combine).

* The modern Bill Cellini.

* Top-bottom, not side-side.

* Daley, Edgar, Meeks - the trifecta!

* 100 years of Quinn-Madigan-Cullerton was too much, so Rauner just eliminated the inconsequential link. (If you really wanted change, Bruce, you would have moved into Madigan's district and taken him on directly.)

1:01:27: Soulsharer at the Cairo Ale House in West Chicago last Saturday night.

STOPPAGE TIME: 3:16.

-

For archives and more, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:07 PM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

"One of the best-known sayings about politics is missing something. In a 1985 speech at Yale University, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said, 'We campaign in poetry, but when we're elected, we're forced to govern in prose,'" Brian Mackey writes for Illinois Issues.

"But that formulation omits one of the dominant aspects of modern politics: fundraising. Intermingled with campaigning in poetry and governing in prose, one might charitably say candidates raise money in the language of sales and marketing. Less charitably, one might say they fundraise in psychological manipulation.

"For better and worse, political campaigns have caught up to the marketing techniques that private enterprise has been using for years. Micro-targeting, price anchoring and a remarkable precision of language have, from a financial standpoint, been good for candidates. But is it good for our political system?"

*

By the way, Mario Cuomo may have campaigned in poetry, and some would argue that Barack Obama (and Bill Clinton) does too, but precious few others do. The real trick, though, is to find folks who will govern in poetry, too.

Election Notebook(s)
Still in production!

-

The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Still producing.

-

The Beachwood Radio Hour #31: Raunocchio-Elect
Phony Bruce, Quinn's Rose Garden, Late & Never, Journesia, and The Combine Transitions. Plus: They came to watch Nik Wallenda live, not die.

-

Beachwood Sports Weekend
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #25: Kickstarting The Bears.

Bench Shea, hurt Rodgers. Plus: College Football's Iron Lotus; Derrick Rosebud; Joe Maddon Facts; and Kickstart The Blackhawks!

* The College Football Report: John The Baptist's Separation Saturday.
Winnowing fork at hand.

* The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Mapping The Path To The Playoffs.
Contains actual map.

-

The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "The Shins frontman James Mercer and super-producer Danger Mouse are the celestial rock duo Broken Bells. The pair joins Sound Opinions in Portland, Oregon for a special live performance and conversation."

-

BeachBook
* Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Struggles To Define Vision.

Click through for my brief commentary on this all-too-common idiocy.

* Exclusive: Potential Buyers Checking Out Two Citgo Refineries.

One of the refineries is in Lemont.

* Rookie Jordan Card Fails To Sell At Auction.

No one met the minimum $60,000 price tag.

-

TweetWood

*

*


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:49 AM | Permalink

November 7, 2014

TrackNotes: A Show About Nothing

This sounds like a broken record, but I wonder if I have a sport anymore. I'm not anesthetized to these kinds of things - maybe I should be - but that's kind of the point.

Things were proceeding rather swimmingly last weekend as the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships, in their 30th year, kicked off with an intriguing and touching appetizer Friday afternoon and swung into the substantial and mostly satisfying middle courses on Saturday.

What should have been the sweet dessert, the Breeders' Cup Classic, turned into such a sour experience, it was as if the pastry chef used tar and salt instead of chocolate and sugar in the tiramisu.

I could crack wise, but it's not funny. The race should have been so much better and its results so different; ignore any hype you may have heard about the result and Trevor Denman's industry-safe call.

Many headlines talked about how the winner "stole" the race, as if he just got loose and ran away, but this one truly did steal the race. A punk trainer, Bob Baffert, and his punk jockey, Martin Garcia, used the fine horse Bayern to make such a sudden left turn two steps out of the gate that many of the rest of the horses looked like the cops crashing into each other chasing The Blues Brothers.

Baffert knew he couldn't beat Shared Belief in an honest race. He tipped that off when he used two other horses to harass 'Belief in the Awesome Again, the local prep for this race a month earlier. His two muggers didn't win that day - Shared Belief did - but it looked like Baffert was crafting the big setup for the Classic. Baffert is smart enough to know that he has some influential essence in Southern California and that the spineless California stewards would probably not do their jobs. Especially in a race this big, as if that should matter.

One of the things that bothers me the most about the whole scenario is how so many people just seem ready, even eager, to accept it - from the racing stewards who cowardly put the DQ in their back pockets to the lowly horseplayer who thinks that victims deserve to be victims.

Don't worry, everything's alright. Situationally ethical, amorphously vague, "I'm not responsible." If that's the way they ruled . . . It's all the rage these days.

The festival started so enjoyably.

Eddie Olczyk was in the house to make his picks and it was gratifying to see Eddie O's success mirror mine. He must be mortal after all.

Goldencents won the Dirt Mile for the second consecutive year, difficult for any horse in any Breeders' Cup race. Lady Eli positioned herself for Kentucky Oaks 2015 leadership after impressing in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, a niche race to be sure.

And in what became the bestest and sweetest moment of the weekend, Rosie Napravnik, with her mother unusually in the winner's circle, announced her retirement immediately after guiding the great filly Untapable to a handy 1 1/4-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Rosie's 'spectin', but us selfish SOBs hope she comes back some day and reclaims her position as one of the classiest people in the game.

On Saturday, Judy the Beauty, daughter of the great Ghostzapper, gutted out a head win in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Yet another Kitten's Joy progeny, Bobby's Kitten, won the Turf Sprint.

Going into the Classic, even with the track playing inscrutably - when are they going to just set up these tracks middle-of-the-road fair for big days - it still appeared Bayern, Moreno, and Cigar Street would vie for the lead, set the early pace and see if one of them could hold on or if someone else could close into it.

Instead, we had Garcia and Bayern taking a left turn a step-and-a-half out of the gate.

Like a NASCAR bump, the seven Bayern slammed sideways into the six Shared Belief. The five, V.E. Day, was slightly in the air at the start and didn't get a quick release out of the gate and thus was behind the skullduggery. Bayern hit 'Belief so hard that he slammed into Moreno, the four. Moreno cut off the three, Imperative, and Javier Castellano had all he could do to keep from sidewinding into Cigar Street, the two.

Joe Talamo, asked what he saw from behind aboard V.E. Day, said "Shared Belief, sideways."

Bayern quickly moved to get the lead, his only chance in any race he wins, and, still veering like a drunken . . . horse . . . cut off Moreno, who was trying to shoot to the lead just outside Bayern. While those two were duking it out up front, and to add even more insult, Shared Belief, who recovered as only the great ones can, was again cut off, by Toast of New York, who would finish second.

California Chrome, safely out in the 13-hole, ran a fantastic race, his race, but couldn't catch Bayern or Toast'. Bayern was running on fumes - I never thought he'd get the distance, and he didn't get it without cheating. The wire came up just in time, a half head.

The stewards' inquiry sign lit up. Shared Belief's jockey Mike Smith, a California veteran who should have known better, said he did not lodge a jockey's protest because he saw the inquiry sign and thought the stewards would sort it out. "I think it cost me the race," he said.

"Getting turned sideways like that took away any chance I had to have a clean shot at getting any kind of position. Bayern was always going to outbreak me. I knew that. But I wasn't going to be down in behind horses, taking up off their heels, with that other horse coming over on me," Smith explained.

The stewards' decision and statement were ridiculous. Shared Belief and Moreno "were not cost the opportunity to place where they were reasonably expected to finish." Steward Scott Chaney tipped off the stewards' premeditated approach: "At the start of a mile-and-a-quarter race we're really loathe to make a change. You really don't want us handicapping the race."

I will tell you this: When you get 14 of the most talented, fastest Thoroughbred race horses in the world in one starting gate - the only time that ever happens - the margin for error, the difference between winning and losing, is razor thin. A slight stumble out of the gate, a lost chance to fill a hole, even just an outside gate position, you lose the race. The car wreck at the beginning not only cost Shared Belief and perhaps Moreno and even California Chrome the victory, it allowed Bayern to get the victory. If he has any challenge up front, he doesn't win.

Bayern's start, executed by Garcia with instructions from Baffert, was despicable and the stewards were not interested in doing anything about it. Which I knew at the time. Whether it's a $5,000 claimer at Hawthorne or the Breeders' Cup Classic, a race is a race and should be treated as such.

I believe this picture from the New York Times says it all. Notice how Garcia, red and white stripes, red cap, orange number seven saddle blanket, has his whip out on his right side. At least either showing Bayern the whip or actually slapping him. Slap on the right side, the horse goes left. Notice how none of the other jockeys are showing any whips. They're just trying to get a good safe start, just like at Indy.

As usual, the racing journalists disappointed again, with some exceptions.

Curmudgeon Andrew Beyer, inventor of the Beyer Speed Figures, called Bayern a champion.

Beyer completely contradicted himself, though, saying the start trouble did not have an impact on the race, but that it took out Moreno, who would have been a real pace factor.

"When the gate opened, Bayern (No. 7) broke inward and banged #6 Shared Belief, the favorite," Beyer wrote. "A chain reaction continued as Shared Belief bumped #4 Moreno. Although he was a 28-1 shot with little chance to win, Moreno's misfortune would be crucial to the outcome of the Classic. The speedster had been expected to put pressure on the front-running Bayern in the early stages of the race. Because of Moreno's early difficulties, Bayern was able to seize a clear lead - a significant tactical advantage."

HUH?

"There was no DQ because stewards almost never disqualify a horse - in any race, big or small - for actions like Bayern's."

Well, the ones with guts do, and these should have, Andy.

Steve "My God These Horses Are Beautiful!" Haskin from Blood-Horse, betrays himself in his lead: "The first time I watched the replay of the start of the Breeders' Cup Classic I was standing on the racetrack, and I let out with an emphatic 'Whoa!' This comes from decades of watching races, a gut feeling.

Then, he curiously plays the status game. "If Shared Belief and Moreno had drawn outside Bayern and (Bayern) did the exact same thing and interfered with two 50-1 shots would anyone have paid any attention to the start of the race or even cared in the slightest?"

That's not the point and Haskin knows it.

"Did Bayern interfering with Moreno change the pace scenario and how the early part of the race was run? Probably. Did Bayern interfering with Shared Belief hamper the chances of the favorite? Probably, although Shared Belief did not make up an inch of ground in the stretch and never looked like a winner at any point."

Well there you go, Haskin, a show about nothing! Shared Belief was mugged once (could he have had the wind knocked out of him?) and then cut off, forcing him to go wide for his own safety.

Apologist Haskin completely dismisses the demolition derby at the start.

A pleasant surprise was the Daily Racing Form's Jay Hovdey, a columnist I've kind of slotted as a go-with-the-industry-flow type. Worth the read, he calmly comments on the situation from a few different perspectives - some that I don't have.

Perhaps his best observation about the importance of the start of a horse race is this: "To scoff at the impact of a bad start - self-inflicted or otherwise - is to deny the very nature of American dirt racing, which is based on speed and position from the drop of the flag."

I'm always amazed at the football coach who says that the ticky-tacky penalty inside of two minutes "didn't cost us the game." Really? Such a close margin where one play can turn a game and and this didn't matter?

When you get 14 Thoroughbred horses who can all hit 40 miles per hour in about five strides, you'd better believe the start matters.

But the California Horse Racing Board gets to see Bo Derek at every meeting. So they've got that going for them.

Thank goodness the Breeders' Cup exits brain-toasted Santa Anita next year and heads to Keeneland in Lexington.

Although on second thought, we remember what happened last time it was in the Bluegrass State.

-

Thomas Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:17 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #25: Kickstarting The Bears

Bench Shea, hurt Rodgers. Plus: College Football's Iron Lotus; Derrick Rosebud; Joe Maddon Facts; and Kickstart The Blackhawks!


SHOW NOTES

* Vince Carter.

* Noahbattacola.

* Todd Bell.

* Ka'deem Carey.

2:00: The Bears Are Back!

* Jay Cutler Must Display More Leadership!

* Changing of the Guards.

* Morgan Sees Similarities Between Bears, 2012 Redskins.

* Marquess Wilson, MVP.

* Idea: A Kickstarter to bench Shea McClellin.

* College McClellin.

* Phil Emery = Kenny Williams.

* Key to the Packers game: Hurt Rodgers.

22:22: The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Mapping A Path To The Playoffs.

* The map.

* Thanksgiving showdown?

25:30: The College Football Report: John The Baptist's Separation Saturday.

* Oh, the pageantry!

* North Korea's Iron Lotus.

-

* Will Ferrell's Iron Lotus.

-

* Marcus Lattimore Intends To Retire.

* Joe Maddon vs. Nick Saban.

36:00: Tarnished Rose.

* Derrick has an owie.

* "Chicago is a hard place to play."

45:05: Joe Maddon Facts.

* Joe Maddon decides where Chuck Norris bats.

* You Make Losin' Fun.

* Bosio is Boss.

54:42: Blow Up The Blackhawks!

* Using the Bears' offense.

* Circus Trip.

STOPPAGE: 00:26.167.

-

For archives and more, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:41 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

It's coming, people. Be patient. I've had a lot going on this week.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour is in pre-production.

Featuring the world's sharpest election analysis.

* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #25: Kickstarting The Bears.

Bench Shea, hurt Rodgers. Plus: College Football's Iron Lotus; Derrick Rosebud; Joe Maddon Facts; and Kickstart The Blackhawks!

* The College Football Report: Separation Saturday.

Featuring the Beachwood's second-ever reference to John the Baptist.

* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.

In a black dress.

* The Week In Chicago Rock.

Featuring: Lights, Lifestyles, HEMI, Agent Orange, Today's Hits, Nonnie Parry, The Beverleys, Young Rising Sons, The 1975, Magic Man, Smallpools, and Kansas.

-

BeachBook
* Chicago Is Losing Its Shit Over This Rescued Baby Sea Otter.

* 'He Reeked Of Jim Beam And Slim Jims:' Your Best Mike Ditka Stories.

Also: Phony racist, sexist pig endorsed Rauner.

* Rachel Maddow Is The Worst, Part 2,984,527.

* New Trier High Kicks Off $89 Million Renovation.

But it's not about money.

* Obama's Gamble On Immigration Doesn't Pay Off.

Worst. Poker. Player. Ever.

* 23 Things You Don't Understand About The South Side (Unless You Grew Up There).

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Get mad and even.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:15 PM | Permalink

The College Football Report: John The Baptist's Separation Saturday

College football loves catch phrases. Or rather, the media (encouraged, no doubt, by the billion dollars of ad buys during the season) loves catch phrases. This weekend hardly needs a nifty buzzword, but we've got one anyway: Separation Saturday. Thus, if your team stinks this season but you'd like an excuse to watch anyway, here it is: Separation Saturday. A can't miss event, a day-long orgy, brought to you by the likes of CBS, ESPN, ABC (i.e., ESPN on ABC), NBC, and for sad bastards who must endure it, Fox Sports, with the support of UPS, Nike, AT&T, Allstate, Miller Lite, Gatorade, and thus, indirectly, viewers like you. If you wreck your car while driving and texting during a halftime beer run, you've effectively helped pay for the day's slate of games for the rest of us. We appreciate it.

The slogan speaks to the numerous head-to-head matchups of Top 25 teams, which will no doubt separate the wheat from the chaff, the pretenders from contenders, the men from boys, and the sheep from goats, as though John the Baptist looms over the Saturday schedule, winnowing fork in hand, ready to thrash out the unworthy.

All this is not to say the weekend doesn't look exciting, because it does. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., the day starts with #10 Notre Dame vs. #9 Arizona State (favored by 2.5), followed by #7 Kansas State at #6 TCU (-6), #5 Alabama (-6.5) vs. #16 LSU, #14 Ohio State visiting #8 Michigan State (-3.5), and going out with a bang a battle from the West Coast between #4 Oregon (-8) at #17 Utah. The latter will draw little attention as the rest of the nation will have burnt out, which is unfortunate as the nation's best player will be in action for the Ducks, who stand a good chance of playing for the national championship. But such is life playing in a sport covered by media biased toward East Coast teams and, increasingly, members of the SEC. The time for #12 Baylor vs. #15 Oklahoma (-5.5) has yet to be announced, but presumably Fox Sports One will find a time to squeeze in the game between NASCAR highlights.

The weekend's results could throw the playoff rankings up in the air: We predict wins by Kansas State, LSU, and possibly Ohio State. The latter is a tentative call, based more on gut instinct and the suspicion that Buckeye QB J.T. Barrett may be hitting his stride. We covered Barrett in our preseason Crystal Ball Unit column and expected he would have moderate success after unexpectedly taking over the starting job from injured Braxton Miller. To this point, we predicted OSU under Barrett would have only one loss (true) from a road game at Penn State (false, although Ohio State needed double-overtime to win in Happy Valley). The Buckeyes dropped an early game to Virginia Tech, but Barrett righted the ship in the following weeks, piling up more than 2,000 overall yards, 29 total touchdowns, and ranking a respectable #18 QBR in the FBS. (We don't really know what that means, but it sounds good. Any time you're in the Top 25 of anything in football, it bears mention.)

For the curious, Yahoo Sports created a nice chart showing the remaining schedule for the likely playoff contenders. The chart is the simplest breakdown we have seen to date, with a final column showing the necessary scenario for each team to make the playoffs; not the convoluted series of wins and losses and transitive property arguments, but a simple statement like "Win Out and In" or our favorite, "Win Out and Needs Lots of Help." Keep this chart in mind as you watch the dizzying gyrations on ESPN's touch screen throughout the game, moving teams up and down, bumping in to and out of the bracket, and otherwise filling air time.

A more detailed explanation of the top teams' chances can be found in this column on VegasInsider.com. (Note: we can't be held responsible if clicking the link triggers the klaxons above your cube.) The author makes an intriguing case for a two-loss team (Auburn) reaching the playoffs. Plus, he uses "scalp" twice.

The Chicken Picks The Big Ten

Penn State (-6.5) vs. Indiana, 11 a.m.

Indiana: Still Indiana. A reassuring constant in this crazy, mixed-up world.

Iowa (pick 'em) vs. Minnesota, 11 a.m.

The free-money selection of the day.

#25 Wisconsin vs. Purdue (+17), 11 a.m.

Some data for you:

Boilermakers are a very surprising 4-0 in their last four and 6-1 vs. spread in their last seven in 2014. The recent series, however, has been all Wisco, with Ws and covers in eight straight dating to 2004. But the Badgers are only 4-8 last 12 vs. line since late 2013 for Gary Andersen.

Michigan (-1.5) vs. Northwestern.

Who will embrace the suck best?

#14 Ohio State (+3.5) vs. #8 Michigan State, 7 p.m.

See above. Also: Braxton who?

-

Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:18 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Lights at the House of Blues on Wednesday night.


-

2. Lifestyles at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.

-

3. HEMI at Reggies on Monday night.

-

4. Agent Orange at the Double Door on Tuesday night.

-

5. Today's Hits at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.

-

6. Nonnie Parry at the Empty Bottle on Sunday night.

-

7. The Beverleys at the Empty Bottle on Sunday night.

-

8. Young Rising Sons at the Aragon on Wednesday night.

-

9. The 1975 at the Aragon on Wednesday night.

-

10. Magic Man at the House of Blues on Thursday night.

-

11. Smallpools at the House of Blues on Thursday night.

-

12. Kansas at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:33 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat

In a black dress.

coolheatblackcar.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

-

More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

-

Helene on Twitter!

-

Meet Helene!

-

Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

-

Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

-

Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:10 AM | Permalink

November 6, 2014

Beachwood Exit Poll: The Top 10 Reasons Rauner Won

10. Last-minute push by the secret Ketchup Lobby.

9. Voters appreciated the boldness of his lies in contrast to Quinn's slippery evasions.

8. Illinois' new One Dollar, One Vote Act paid off.

7. Not afraid to take on the special interests, like hourly wage workers.

6. Voters super impressed with Evelyn Sanguinetti's ability to take the helm of the nation's fifth-most populous state in case of emergency.

5. That last $17 million really paid off.

4. Just a regular guy, not like that schlump Pat Quinn.

3. His experience with bankruptcy court makes him perfect for Illinois.

2. Whatever results he can't drive, he just buys.

1. Free Trash Van rides!

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:11 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

This column is in production! It will be worth the wait. Election analysis on the way through the weekend both in this space, on our Politics page and on The Beachwood Radio Hour.

The rest of today's site is loaded:

* Beachwood Exit Poll: The Top 10 Reasons Rauner Won.

* The Political Odds: Special edition with post-election commentary.

* 17 Megadonors vs. Everyone Else.

* The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Mapping A Path To The Playoffs.

* Manic Polka Dream Girl.

* Sounds of Work: Chicago Trading Floor.

-

BeachBook
* Vibrator Predicts Bears-Packers Game.

* Chicago Boys 1959.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Total recall.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:11 AM | Permalink

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: A Path To The Playoffs

Riding low on a two-game losing streak, the Bears head into the second half of the season searching for ways to make a playoff push plausible.

I've spent countless hours breaking down the near limitless ways that the NFC playoff picture can shake out over the remainder of the year.

Now I don't want to get too technical, but mathematically speaking, the season has eight games remaining.

So, let's see. Eight divided by four, carry the one, compensate for wind variance . . .

Ah, here we go. The Bears will have to win eight games to get back in the playoff picture.

For those of you who don't have the ability to limbo under bullets*, I've distilled the complicated algorithms needed to see the possibilities of the multiverse into step-by step-instructions (see Figure A).

Figure A:

VictoryMap.jpg(ENLARGE)

-

Even though it's only the next three games, I know that's a lot to take in. So let's break this thing down.

Step 1: Beat Green Bay Packers.

Shea McClellin may have unlocked the secret to exposing the Packers' weak underbelly last year.

In order to beat the Packers, the Bears will have to injure Aaron Rodgers, assuming of course that he doesn't pull a lat laughing at Chicago's Week 8 game film.

In order to beat the cheesy menace to the North, the Bears will have take drastic measures including (but not limited to) running the ball effectively, playing solid defense and tackling well on special teams.

Ha ha ha ha ha! I know, I know.

You let it slide when I suggested that all Bears tight ends between Emery Moorehead and Greg Olsen were cursed by Davy Jones and swept out to sea to become food for the Kraken (I'm not kidding) but this one's a bridge too far.

Anyway, are bounties frowned upon more or less than beating loved ones? I'm asking for a friend. Who works for the, uh, NLF. The Not League of Footmasons.

They're super secret. Shut up.

If that extreme hypothetical doesn't pan out, maybe we could convince Rodgers to that he's scheduled to play in an empty stadium with the Monopoly guy's brother**.

Step 2: Beat Minnesota Vikings.

Hard to believe that the Bears are looking up at this team in the standings, but to be fair Minnesota has already had a crack at the Bucs, who are currently playing the part of nature's cure to pessimism.

Worse yet, there's a chance that our old pal Purple Jesus (You Beat The Shit Out Of That Kid) might be back on the field week after next.

If Peterson doesn't play, the Bears strategy should focus on forcing Teddy Bridgewater to beat them downfield instead of FRIGGING LETTING HIM SCRAMBLE FOR 26 DAMN YARDS, YOU HAD HIM IN THE BACKFIELD I'M TALKING TO YOU ALLEN!!!

Sorry. Had some prescient anger sweep over me for a minute there. Where were we?

Step 3: Murder Chris Conte And Replace Him With A Pod Replica Who Even Its Semi-Sentient State Has Noticeably More Field Awareness Than Chris Conte.

Let's move on; I've said too much.

Step 4: Beat Tampa Bay Bucs.

If I've learned anything about this year's squad and know anything about the knocks on Lovie Smith's game-day approach, it's that the Bucs will be leading the Bears by three at halftime, which will ultimately play right into our*** hands.

Ah yes. Halftime adjustments - Lovie's only weakness.

Well, along with recruiting offensive coordinators, using challenge flags, quarterback selection . . .

The point is this: if a win against the Buccaneers isn't a foregone conclusion, then we should just go ahead and write this year off entirely.

Sort of like Week 1 against the Bills.

Kool Aid (5 of 5 - Lakefront Indian Black Ale)
If you like a hoppy, dark, full flavor brew that makes five-and-halfs turn into sevens, then I recommend this regional offering.

So, we meet again in an absolutely must-win game, you ugly pricks.

If the Bears fall to 3-6 the season is effectively over.

With the exceptions of Kyle Fuller, Kyle Long and Kyle The Bear**** we're not dealing with a young core of players who are working through the growing pains. The majority of this squad is a group of high-upside veterans paid to perform.

So let's set aside some time on Sunday night to witness these guys do their jobs.

By the third quarter, it may not be as satisfying as, say, watching an actuary work their magic, but I'm holding out hope that there is enough talent and motivation to be slightly more exciting than that.

Emotional chips, let me introduce you to my friend Table Middle by way of pushing you into to him.

Bears 30, Packers 28.

* Ugh, I'm not talking about Jamaicans, doofus, I'm talking about Keanu Reeves.

** No name more synonymous with winning in the sports world than a franchise named "the Generals," eh, insurance company with a $17 marketing budget?

*** Yes "our," not "their" or "Chicago's" or "the football team that plays next to the lake named after a mitten shaped state." Thanks to a strict regimen of cake and beer, I'm up to my fighting weight and will be challenging Shea McClellin for the Will linebacker spot. Also I ate a 18x6 pan of edibles and watched Invincible on cable the other day. Mark Wahlberg ate beef jerky every day to train for that role, right?

**** Oh sure, she looks wholesome, but Barry's ex is a colossal bitch. You want a divorce, fine. And you know what else, withholding sex for seven months from a mature male over a bee hive argument leads to bear adultery. It just does. I'm not excusing it, but you can't ice a dork out like that and expect good things to happen. The guy was going to crack eventually. But where do you get off fleeing to a state that doesn't recognize the term "father's rights" and fill a kid's head with lies about his father for 20 years and still have the audacity to blame Barry for the "lack" of a relationship with his son. Screw you, lady bear. The good news is that Harry's promotion from the practice squad has given the two of them time to bond on Sundays.

-

Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:38 AM | Permalink

Dream Girl Polka

You're just the kind of girl that I want to be with. A manic polka dream girl.


-

Credit: Larry Chesky, Walt Solek, Ray Henry, Happy Louie, Jimmy Sturr, Al Soyka, Johnny Menko, and others.

-

Michele Records (1975).

-

See also: The Larry Chesky and His Orchestra YouTube channel.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:26 AM | Permalink

Sounds Of Work: Chicago Trading Floor

Gimme two!


-

See also: The Sound Effects Choir YouTube channel.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:18 AM | Permalink

17 Megadonors Vs. Everyone Else

As the dust begins to clear on this year's midterms, it is clear that deep-pocketed donors played an outsized role in funding our elections. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, as of reporting on Election Day, spending from Super PACs, c(4)s, and other outside groups reached $553 million, 80% higher than similar spending in the 2010 midterm elections. And this spending is disproportionately from megadonors - in fact, according to campaign reporting to date, just 17 donors to Super PACs spent as much as the at-least 793,000 small donors to Congressional candidates.

"Four years ago, 'Super PAC' was a brand-new word," said Maggie Galka, campaign organizer with Illinois PIRG Education Fund. "In just that short time, they've become the vehicle of choice for those with deep pockets to drown out the voices of tens of thousands of ordinary citizens."

In the wake of the Supreme Court's recent decisions undermining federal campaign finance rules, most notably Citizens United v. FEC, Illinois' elections have become increasingly flooded by large donations. Super PACs and dark money groups, which can raise unlimited contributions, including from corporate interests, tilt the balance of power against ordinary citizens.

While the Federal Election Commission has not yet posted complete data for the 2014 cycle, results so far show that outside spending played a significant role - and was dominated by very large donations.

  • Total outside spending (excluding party committees) reached $553 million - about 80% higher than 2010's total.
  • As of Election Day, the FEC reported a total of $158.6 million in small contributions of less than $200 to all congressional candidates, coming from at least 793,000 citizens. But just the top 17 Super PAC donors gave more than this - $160 million, in total. These 17 donors' contributions outweighed the voices of all 793,000 small donors, combined.
  • Here in Illinois, outside spending reached $5,441,100 in the race for Congressional District 10.

There are successful, proven models to empower small donors, so that their voices play a more central role in our democracy, such as providing tax credits and public matching funds for small donations.

For example, in New York City's 2013 city council campaigns, small donors were responsible for 61% of participating candidates' contributions, when funds from a matching program are included. In 2009, all but two of the 51 winning candidates participated in the small donor program, showing that candidates are able to raise the money they need to win without looking for large-dollar contributions. The federal Government By the People Act would institute a similar system for congressional elections.

"Year after year, we've seen outside spending records broken," said Galka. "But it's not just about numbers getting bigger - unless we act, ordinary Americans could become irrelevant to our representatives when they run for office."

-

Previously: A Few Rich People Vs. The Rest Of Us In the Illinois Governor's Race.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:07 AM | Permalink

November 5, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

Some readers may recall that last winter and spring I worked with We The People Media's Urban Journalism Program, mostly at Robeson High School and Donoghue Elementary.

This year we're doing things a little differently. We've hooked up with a mentoring program and this fall I've been working with a colleague with two kids from Chavez Multicultural Academic Center - a horridly fancy way of saying Chavez Elementary - on one-on-one instruction.

I've got a session I need to get to soon as I write this, and yes, I slept in because I was up all night tweeting about the election and such.

So no post-election Papers column until Thursday. We'll see if Pat Quinn has come to Jesus by then.

But hey, here's a couple special treats:

* Chicago Chewing Gum Removal.

* Chicago Angels: Covert.

And the city council is putting on another play today:

Seriously, taxpayers should just hire the folks from the Goodman - or Second City - to stage these meetings. Free up the time for our aldermen to, you know, alderman.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Tubthumpin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 PM | Permalink

Secrets. Lies. Regrets. Crime. Betrayal. Passion. Fear. Love. A Chicago Angels Novel.

"Alessandro is the unwilling heir of a Chicago crime family. Intent on leaving the life set out for him, he decides to run as fast and as far away as possible. His plans crumble when one girl crash lands in his life.

"He should hate the daughter of his father's mistress, but it's near impossible when he finds that they are alike in more ways than one."


"Olivia grew up watching men walk in and out of her mother's life. When one man finally decides to stay, she learns that crime lords don't leave until someone's dead. Olivia's salvation comes from the person she least expects: his son.

"Six years later, Olivia and Alessandro are reunited when her life is threatened. If time has proven one thing, it's that repeating their parents' mistakes seems inevitable.

"In a world where friendship is a luxury and love a death sentence, two unlikely lovers find each other only to be separated by their cruel reality."

-

See also:
* G.K. Moore.

* G.K. Moore's Facebook page.

* G.K. Moore on Twitter.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:07 AM | Permalink

Chicago Chewing Gum Removal

From a concrete sidewalk.


-

See also:
* The Chicago Chewing Gum Removal YouTube channel.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:50 AM | Permalink

November 4, 2014

The [Tuesday] Papers

WHO WON ELECTION NIGHT? THE BEACHWOOD TWITTER FEED. CATCH UP WITH THE BESTEST, MOST AWESOME COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS AND JOKES THERE WHILE I SLEEP IN WEDNESDAY.

-

All these hacks telling everyone to vote makes me very suspicious. Maybe we should do the opposite?

Beachwood Election Guide 2014!

If you do go to the polls, you can cut it out and take it into the booth with you!

Decision Desk 2014!
* The Political Odds.

Updated to reflect final pre-Election Day developments.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour: ILGov2014.

Anti-Rauner, not pro-Quinn. Plus: Bruce Rauner vs. Bill Brady; Kass Is For The Combine.

* ILGov2014: The George Ryan Connection.

Stepping over bodies for power and profit.

* Class War.

A few rich donors vs. tons of small ones.

* Election 2014 Talking Points From The American Petroleum Institute.

Little Oil takes on the Big Tree lobby.

* Investors Want Third Party.

Geez, they already have two.

-

BeachBook
* End Of World Is Near: See Page 6 For Details.

* Police Admit No-Fly Zone Over Ferguson Was Designed To Shut Media Out.

* Can Refrigerated Chocolate Save Mondelez?

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Mock the vote.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:42 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Election Guide 2014!

Remember, you can print this out and take it into the voting booth with you!

Governor: Grimm or Quinn? Because you are not to vote for Bruce Rauner. Take it from fellow Republicans Jim Edgar and Kirk Dillard (and Bill Brady). The man has just run the most disingenuous campaign this side of Obama '08 and Emanuel '10 and must not be rewarded for it. Plus, the last thing we want to do is bring any amount of satisfaction to Michael Ferro. And a vote for Rauner is a vote for Ferro.

So Quinn, right? Not so fast. Quinn has not earned your vote either. He made a decision early on in his accidental governorship to throw in with the hacks in order to keep his job and many people have been hurt because of it; namely social service providers and recipients.

So Grimm, right? Not so much. Libertarians bring interesting ideas to the table, and I welcome their presence in the political arena, but the whole of their agenda is only suited for small villages, not massive modern international economies. As a protest vote, perhaps (and I wouldn't assume he's taking votes from Rauner - I'd like to see exit polling on that. I suspect he'll get votes from a certain number of folks who otherwise wouldn't choose Rauner or Quinn).

So no vote in this race? That's the way I'm leaning - unless someone can convince me my vote will be the actual difference-maker. Then I vote Quinn, but even in a race that looks like a dead heat, I doubt very much that I'm the kingmaker.

P.S.: Memo to John Kass, Eric Zorn and Steve Chapman: You don't have to choose. Really. Something happens psychologically to people who feel like they have a stake in a candidate by dint of their public support. For example, has Zorn admitted how wrong he was about Obama? And Kass, well, he's fallen under the spell of the right-wing conspiracy now that he has a right-wing radio show that's part of the right-wing media consortium. Facts no longer matter as much as (false) memes. Chapman? Disappointed. How anyone can give Rauner a pass on not only clouting his daughter into Payton but lying about it to reporters repeatedly escapes me. What would you have needed to learn about Rauner to not support him? Donations to both sides of the aisle in order to improve business and influence power (and lying about it)? A phony primary run in which his assurances to conservatives that he is one of them ends 24 hours after winning the nomination with a commercial introducing, for the first time, his pseudo-Democratic wife? Horrid business practices? Multimillion dollar image-shaping? Evading reporters? Never clearly articulating an actual stance on an actual issue? Would he have to have actually pulled the plug himself in those nursing homes to not get your vote? What would it have taken?

Lt. Gov: You don't get to vote for this separately anymore, but it's worth noting that Quinn's running mate is fully capable of taking over as governor of the nation's fifth-largest state, should that be necessary. In fact, he's probably more capable than the guy at the top of the ticket. Rauner's running mate, on the other hand, has demonstrated repeatedly that she's barely qualified for the Wheaton city council seat she was plucked from. Meanwhile, Rauner bashes Quinn for not choosing someone certainly more capable than his running mate but in no way qualified to be governor, Stephanie Neely. If Quinn had picked Neely, Rauner would accuse him of playing the race card - which is what Rauner did. He can't find an African American to be among his 54 executives at GTCR, but he can find a Hispanic for his ticket!

U.S. Senate: Dick Durbin is a masterful spinning partisan who has my grudging respect but only grudging because I'll never forget watching him spin a room full of high school students on gay marriage or seek leniency for George Ryan. He also remains tireless, somehow appearing on the Sunday morning TV shows as well as all over the state every week, cutting ribbons for CTA stations and meeting farmers downstate. I've written several times that he's better qualified to be president than Obama, but in the end he's still an Illinois Democrat, and therefore I find it awfully difficult to give him my vote. He's done nothing to clean up his party, here or at the national level. So I'll pass. Besides, I don't think he needs my vote against Jim Oberweis, who will never appear on the South Side of Chicago again after Tuesday, much less open a few ice cream shops there. Sharon Hansen is the Libertarian Party candidate. The Greens don't have their shit together so they don't have a candidate in this race or on the ballot for governor.

U.S. Congress: I live in Luis Gutierrez' district. He's with Rahm. I'll go with Republican Hector Concepcion.

If you live in a different district, feel free to extrapolate.

State Attorney General: Lisa Madigan doesn't need my vote, and besides, I'm extremely unhappy with the state of her Public Access Counselor's office, which has turned into a royal joke. Her opponent is a bigger joke who "plan[s] on transforming the Attorney General's office into a watchdog for limiting the size and scope of state government." Um, you're applying for the wrong job, dude. Ben Koyl is the Libertarian. Pass.

State Comptroller: Judy Baar Topinka asked Quinn to get her son a job. She did. And then she lied about it. She's also the epitome of a career politician. I doubt comptrolling was her lifelong dream. She's also pals with Sneed - and other journos with whom she's carved out a mutually beneficial relationship. No thanks. On the other hand, Sheila Simon never realized how good she had it when she lucked into the lieutenant governorship. Her political career now appears over. Julie Fox is the Libertarian. Pass.

State Treasurer: Mike Freirichs has made an ass of himself. Then again, Tom Cross claiming he's running "to clean up the mess in Springfield" is a laugh - first because he's running for treasurer, and second because he was the House Minority Leader for 11 years. That's like Mike Madigan running for comptroller to clean up the mess in Springfield. Michael Skopek is the Libertarian. Pass.

Secretary of State: Jesse White doesn't need my vote, and besides that, he's a hack who has sprung too many clowns like Derrick Smith on us. He's also a Rahm guy. Michael Webster is the Republican and Michael Christopher is the Libertarian. Pass.

Cook County President: Toni Preckwinkle doesn't need my vote, though she might have had it if she ran for mayor. (By the way, she's never told us the real reason why she didn't run for mayor - surely it can't be because she has unfinished business with the county. That would make her quite insane, and I'm pretty sure she's not that. Why is it so hard for these people to tell the truth? If you didn't want the job - maybe because of the hours, the stress, the scrutiny - just say so. If it was the campaign you dreaded, just say so. But don't make shit up.) Pass.

County Clerk, Sheriff, Treasurer, Assessor: David Orr, Tom Dart, Maria Pappas and, gulp, Joe Berrios are all unopposed. That's not my idea of democracy and I refuse to enable it. Pass.

County Commissioner: Mine is Luis Arroyo. Who? Just another guy. Plus, endorsed by Proco Joe Moreno, fauxgressive-in-chief. Pass.

(Again, extrapolate to your county commission race. My guess is the result will be the same.)

*

Geez, so far the only vote I'm going to cast is for Hector Concepcion! Maybe I can help throw some judges out. Oh. The Chicago Bar Association opposes just one judge up for retention this year. That's no fun. And it might not even be the right thing to do. I give up.

(I also refuse to cast a vote for all those judges running unopposed - all of whom happen to be Democrats, which generally means they have Ed Burke's blessing. No thanks.)

*

Cook County Referenda: I believe in all four, but all four are non-binding, and therefore a cynical waste of time.

General Assembly: I live in Will Guzzardi's district. He's running unopposed. I will not give him my vote because that's not an election. They have more choices in Ukraine.

Water Reclamation District: Cynthia Santos should have been the first ward alderman years ago when she tried to knock off Jesse Granato, but I can't vote for her here because this is a chance to vote for three Greens, who are into sewage for real and don't seem capable of competing for real offices. So it's partly a pity vote.

CORRECTION: I was thinking of Cynthia Soto. Sorry.

State Referenda:

1. No. (Cynical ploy - playing the crime victim card.)

2. No. (Cynical ploy - obviously the answer is Yes, but the question itself notes that no instance of this type of voter suppression has ever been reported. This is really about voter ID laws.)

3. No. (Cynical ploy - it should be raised to $15.)

4. No. (Cynical ploy - state law already seems to cover it.)

5. No. (Cynical ploy - if the point is to move to a progressive tax structure, let's do that instead of putting forth silly ideas like this, as good as it may feel.)

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:56 AM | Permalink

November 3, 2014

Investors Want (Viable) Third Political Party

The majority of investors (58 percent) at all wealth levels believe the U.S. would benefit from a third viable political party, according to the latest survey from Spectrem Group's Millionaire Corner.

Ultra-wealthy investors, however - those with $5 million or more in net worth, not including primary residence - are divided about the issue: 50 percent think a third viable political party would be beneficial, while the other half do not.

To Improve Congress' Approval Rating . . .

image1627356.jpgInvestors feel the following would be effective (listed in order of importance):

1. Have political ads that are fact-based rather than attack-based.

2. Put a limit on political spending to help decrease the need for a candidate to be wealthy to run for office.

3. Limit the time campaigning can take place, such as 90 days prior to the election.

4. Change the term of the House of Representatives to every 4 years so they don't have to worry about re-election every 2 years.

Other findings include:

* Men are slightly more likely than women to support a third viable political party (61 percent of men versus 55 percent of women).

* Of the 3 percent of investors who do not typically vote, most non-voting investors are lower income - those with a net worth less than $100K.

-

Previously:
* Millionaires Not So Sweet On Halloween.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:41 PM | Permalink

Election 2014 Talking Points From The American Petroleum Institute

* With zero precincts reporting, we already know one thing: Our candidate will win. Americans are voting for energy.

* Candidates from both sides of the aisle took note and recognized America's potential to be an energy superpower.

* Both Democrats and Republicans embraced pro-energy policies, calling for approval of the Keystone pipeline, for safe development of domestic oil and natural gas resources, and for restraining the urge to overregulate hydraulic fracturing.

* Our energy campaign was not about a political party - it wasn't even about candidates. It was designed to encourage voters, all voters, to make energy a voting issue.

* We did this because an electorate that is educated on energy issues will demand of all candidates, for every office, a commitment to honest, common-sense discussions of how we can achieve energy security.

* In making these demands, voters chose energy and chose a better future for our nation.

* America's Energy, America's Choice wasn't just an advertising campaign, it was a conversation. We held up our end: by distributing information through our state networks, through grassroots outreach to millions of voters, and through conversations with groups around the country.

* A recent Washington Post report calculated that environmental groups spent more than $85 million trying to throw the election and derail America's domestic energy revolution. But voters overwhelmingly chose to support jobs, economic growth, and energy security by demanding an all-of-the-above energy policy.

1. Steyer spent millions of dollars to win races. But in many states where he was active, like North Carolina, both candidates supported the KXL pipeline, his key issue. That shows money doesn't win elections; being on the right side of issues wins elections.

2. Voters care about the economy and jobs. The energy sector - particularly oil and natural gas - has been the bright spot creating jobs in our economy.

3. There's a lesson here for candidates up for re-election in 2016: pro-energy policies win.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:37 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: In Lieu Of The Bears

The sports news chasm created by a bye week can only be filled by a smorgasbord of sports. Here are several reports on local franchises in a sort of chronological order:

* The Hawks have given up a total of two goals in their last two home games . . .and lost both.

On Sunday it was the Hawks alumni team, aka the Winnipeg Jets, who came out on top. Former red-sweater-wearer Michael Frolik scored the only goal on the first shift of the game with an assist from fellow former Hawk Andrew Ladd. The home team then had 59 minutes and 40 seconds to even the score. It wasn't enough.

Well, a fan might say, the Jets have had a hot goalie, haven't they? He must have stood on his head, and kept the five-hole closed and . . . all the other delightful things we say about hockey goalies when they play well, and say again, and say again.

Except Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec (the starter who back-stopped the Jets' 1-0 shootout victory at the New York Rangers the night before,) was on the bench. Back-up Michael Hutchinson blanked the Hawks in only his second start and third appearance this season.

* It was Saturday evening that saw the Bulls squeeze in a thrilling victory over the Timberwolves between episodes of As The Injuries Turn.

Earlier that day, it appeared Derrick Rose and his sprained ankle would be in the lineup. Then it appeared he would be on the bench but ready to play if necessary. Then he was declared out. Fortunately Jimmy Butler, who sat out the season's first two games with an injured left thumb, returned to provide much needed offense, including the game winning free throws with 0.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Butler's soapy storyline also included the fact that he declined to sign a contract extension before a Friday deadline, meaning that he will be a restricted free agent next off-season. A fan had to ask, was Jimmy disgruntled? Would he seek greener pastures after the coming season? That narrative came to an abrupt halt late on Saturday when Butler said it was absolutely still his plan to re-sign with the Bulls. The key ingredient in it all was the belief that the salary cap will go way up next summer thanks to the NBA signing a huge new TV deal recently. In other words, there should be considerably more money available to the Bulls to sign Butler to a big deal a little further down the line.

The other guy in the injury news was Taj Gibson, who at least had a handle on his infirmity right from the start. The power forward stated that he was worried his ankle would swell up between his injury Friday and the Saturday game. Sure enough, he was declared out of the lineup shortly after the Bulls arrived in Minnesota.

* And on Friday the Cubs announced that they will introduce new manager Joe Maddon this afternoon. They are apparently so excited about the hire that they will hold the introductory news conference at a bar. Hey, if you were the Cubs and one of the best managers in the game essentially fell into your lap, you'd want to get the party started as quickly as possible as well.

Okay, so perhaps the press conference is being held at the Cubby Bear because Wrigley Field is finally undergoing major renovations. And the event is only open to the media. Still, once the media availability is over, those assembled will have to crack open at least one cold one, won't they?

Maddon becomes the third manager/coach in Chicago with a record of piling up victories in regular seasons and having at least some success in playoffs. One of those three, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, has of course taken his team even further than that on two occasions. The other is coach Tom Thibodeau, who is sort of the anti-Maddon in terms of being set in his ways and maintaining ferocious intensity at all times.

Who knows what will happen with these teams as the Days of Our Lives continue this week. The only sure thing is that there will be no shortage of news.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:26 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"Nik Wallenda successfully completed his controversial Chicago skywalk Sunday, breaking two world records and defying critics who claimed the stunt was too dangerous to perform without a harness," the Tribune reports.

I wonder if Wallenda paid those critics to ramp up the hype. Not only did Wallenda make the walk(s) look like a piece of cake, I'm sure it virtually was a piece of cake for him.

Wallenda engaged with the crowd and TV audience during his first walk, repeatedly commenting on the loud cheers coming from Wacker Drive and the bridges along the river.

"Listen to that roar," he said. "I love Chicago and Chicago definitely loves me."

Wallenda chatted during his walk.

Wallenda is a pro; while I'm sure he works very hard at his craft, and it's certainly not danger-free, he could do these walks quite literally blindfolded better than 99 times out of 100. Probably something on the order of 99,999 out of 100,000.

"The skywalk came after relentless build-up from the Discovery Channel, which aired the event live and rarely missed an opportunity to remind the audience that seven members of Wallenda's family had died while attempting high-wire stunts."

True enough.

But that doesn't mean the danger of the spectacle wasn't ginned up.

"Wallenda did not step onto the wire until just after 7:30 p.m. - about 90 minutes into the program and after interviews with his wife, father, uncle and Pastor Joel Osteen.

"Wallenda's family repeatedly expressed concerns about the incline during the broadcast, though those concerns may have been exaggerated in the name of compelling television."

Ya think?

Wallenda can also count on local scourges like Eric Zorn wherever he goes. Zorn wrote in September that he would refuse to watch such a ghoulish stunt.

"Because, really, it's the possibility of a spectacular death on live TV that will draw huge audiences."

That's not really so. People, for sure, watched to see if he would fall and die, but I doubt many were pulling for that to happen. People tuned in to watch the man accomplish what to us is a spectacular feat. He was being cheered on, not cheered off the wire.

John Kass also turned watching Wallenda into a moral issue.

"I refuse to watch," Kass wrote over the weekend. "If Wallenda walks without safety lines, he risks death. If he walks with safety gear, then what is the audience watching, really, but a danger fantasy without risk?"

Wrong. The idea of watching him walk without a safety harness is that you are watching an endeavor with actual danger; if he's going to wear a safety harness, well, you and I could make that walk too. Big deal. Put Kass up there with a safety harness. So what. But put Wallenda up there without a net, both literally and figuratively, and you are now watching a man whose craft leaves little room for error.

I wonder if Zorn and Kass refused to watch Evel Knievel back in the day. Folks didn't watch him because they wanted to see him die; they watched him because he was a badass whom they wanted to see make every spectacular jump he thought up.

I loved Evel Knievel, but I don't have much interest in Nik Wallenda, by the way. I did watch the livestream, though. Thousands of Chicagoans actually gathered downtown to watch for themselves. They enjoyed themselves far, far more than they would have had Wallenda fallen to his death. They were there to watch him live.

Election Day Beachwood
* The Beachwood Radio Hour #30: ILGov2014.

Anti-Rauner, not pro-Quinn. Plus: Karen And Toni's Guy; Never Let A Bribery Scandal Go To Waste; This Is A Chickenshit Town; Bruce Rauner vs. Bill Brady; Kass Is For The Combine.

* ILGov2014: The George Ryan Connection.

Deadly consequences in pursuit of profit and power.

* Election 2014 Talking Points From The American Petroleum Institute.

Fighting back against rich environmentalists.

* Must Like Puppies.

A new litmus test.

* A Few Rich People Vs. The Rest Of Us In ILGov2014.

Large donors dominate.

* Investors Want (Viable) Third Party.

Don't they already have two?

* Still to come in the next 24 hours: Beachwood Election Guide 2014!; our final pre-election Political Odds; The [Endorsement] Papers; ILGov2014: Election Notebook; and quite possibly more!

*

Field report:

-

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
In production!

Area 2nd Grader Proves Anyone Can Do The Weather
Station managers reassess budgets.

Crime, Prejudice & The Eternal Thank You
In Local Book Notes.

Area Folk Hero Tops College Football Poll
Bag boy represents.

SportsMonday: In Lieu Of The Bears
A bunch of other stuff happened.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #24: The Maddoning Is Happening
Still time for Cubs to screw it up! Plus: As The Bulls Turn; Go Ahead, Sleep On The Blackhawks; and The Phil & Marc Show.

-

BeachBook
* Freestyle Chicago.

LA Reid, Ben Affleck, Richie Cunningham, Mike Krzyzewski . . .

* Politics Insider: Kyle Orton For Congress?

* Today's Key Fact: You Are Probably Wrong About Almost Everything.

* Confessions Of An Uber Driver.

* Guard In Elevator With Obama Not A Felon After All.

* Mr. Miller Doesn't Go To Washington.

"Being 'on message' with the press called on a similar pragmatic readiness to be dull. The day after the endorsement, I gave a local CBS reporter a dozen versions of the same planned soundbite. We both knew what I was doing and why. He was only going to use three seconds of a five-minute interview; I was trying to make it the three we wanted. Soon we were sharing a complicit shrug that basically said, 'Isn't it weird that it has to be this way?'"

Ah, but it doesn't have to be that way. Just stop.

* Belichick Breakdown.

Missing the Bears this week? Here's Bill Belichick - smiling and talking - breaking down the key sequence against the Bears last week.

* Personality Politics And The Decline Of Political Journalism.

I like Doug Henwood and I'm certainly not a Clinton apologist but the facts are the facts, and nobody knows them like Gene Lyons.

* What's In A Scoop? The White House Has A Strategy For That.

-

Tweeting Wallenda

*

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Neither tight nor rope.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:57 AM | Permalink

The College Football Report Top Ten: Florida Folk Hero Rises To #1

1. Mike McNeely.

Hero to Gators fans, walk-ons, producers for human-interest story pieces, and "bashiers" everywhere, Mike McNeeley of Florida had a good weekend. He sparked the Gators, 3-3 going into the weekend, to an upset win over rival Georgia in the World's Largest Cocktail Party by taking a fake field goal off the right edge for a touchdown. To top it off, he worked his usual shift at the local supermarket on Sunday. What a story.

2. Oklahoma.

The Sooners rushed for 510 yards in a 59-14 laugher over Iowa State, with three players rushing for over 100 yards. We thought this sounded pretty impressive until we learned that OU became only the second offense to accomplish that feat - this year. Ho hum. Oklahoma will face #13 Baylor on Saturday for a chance to re-enter the race for the Big 12 title and playoff spot.

3. Indiana.

A graduate assistant at IU showed some love for the women of sports media on Saturday, with several ladies appearing on the team's placards used to signal in playcalls. While entertaining, maybe the Hoosiers should take a page from Oregon (which pioneered the unbreakable visual codes under Chip Kelly) and stick to furry rodents.

4. The Big 12.

The eight-member Big 12 is sneaking up the rankings. Although #6 TCU and #9 Kansas State have been on the radar for a few weeks, #10 Baylor and #16 Oklahoma are starting to pick up steam.

5. The Big Ten West.

#15 Nebraska, #25 Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota will try to inject some drama, and possibly spark some interest in the conference's morose fan base, down the stretch. As the weekend wrapped, each team has only one loss and all will face off starting with Iowa vs. Minnesota in Week 11.

In the East, #11 Ohio State and #7 Michigan State will vie for the Big Ten's playoff spot which will, almost without a doubt in our opinion, get slotted in with the SEC, Pac-12, and Notre Dame or Oklahoma in January.

6. Vincent Testaverde.

Yes, Vinny Testaverde's son plays quarterback. We did a triple-take at this headline. Vincent (Don't Call Me Vinny) Testaverde took the field for Texas Tech after Tech's starter went down. The freshman had a very Testaverde-esque outing, going 15 of 26 for 116 yards and an INT.

7. A $47,190 Helmet.

Someone picked up the headwear from Chris Davis, Auburn's kick returner in last year's amazing Iron Bowl, for a tidy sum on Sunday. (Not to be outdone, another bidder walked off with Babe Ruth's 1934 contract for $278,300.) In case you've forgotten, the runback by the Tigers of Alabama's game-winning field goal attempt was easily the best play of the 2013 season, maybe ever.

98. Michigan's Next AD.

The University of Michigan is reportedly targeting Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips to replace Dave Brandon, who resigned (under duress, presumably) from his position. We'd advise Phillips to stay home. Not only is the UM job a thankless chore, university president Mark Schlissel has "yet to move forward and define a specific job description." Doesn't that sound worrisome? Shouldn't the list of responsibilities start and end with "Direct the athletics department"? Maybe one other item: under "Other duties as assigned" should appear "Restore respectability to one of the nation's most storied football programs." Good luck, Jim!

99. Maryland Team Captains.

In one of the goofier pregame stunts, the Terp team captains refused to shake hands at the coin flip. Just like that, bombastic sports radio commentators everywhere had plenty of material. We should all take a breath and recognize that college football is played by college kids, and college-aged kids do silly stuff, on the field and off.

100. Laquon Treadwell.

Our best wishes for a healthy recovery go out to Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who suffered a broken leg in the fourth quarter of the game while sprinting toward the end-zone for what might have been the game-winning touchdown. (Caution: the video is pretty nasty.)

-

Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:14 AM | Permalink

ILGov2014: The George Ryan Connection

Twenty years ago, on November 8, 1994, a tragedy occurred in Wisconsin that so impacted Illinois history we are still feeling the effect of that tragedy in 2014

Recollections of that tragic incident will be recalled in the memories of some as informed and considerate voters decide who is the lesser of two evils in this upcoming election. The Illinois culture of corruption reached an all-time low while an Illinois official attempted to cover-up events connected to this tragedy in order to protect his public image. That same official eventually became Illinois' 39th governor.

On that day, an Election Day, Scott and Janet Willis said a prayer with their six youngest children at their Chicago Southwest Side home asking God to watch over them before they began a journey to Milwaukee. Later that same day, while riding in their family minivan on the interstate not far from their planned destination, a rear taillight assembly dropped from the semi-trailer of the vehicle in front of them. What happened next is so horrific that any parent reading about it in the Chicago newspapers the next day must have felt pain and emptiness deep inside their hearts.

The minivan drove over the fallen piece of sharp metal, which struck the vehicle's gas tank. Ben, Joe, Sam, Hank, Elizabeth and Pete were killed in the ensuing fire. Scott and Janet survived with severe burns. George Ryan was elected to his second term as Secretary of State, the constitutional official in charge of issuing Illinois driver's licenses. His opponent Pat Quinn, was only able to get 38% of the vote.

* * *

For two years prior to the Willis accident, two investigators from the Department of Inspector General of the Illinois Secretary of State had been investigating leads that driver's license examiners were accepting bribes in exchange for issuing commercial driver's licenses.

Additionally, there were allegations that the bribe money was being funneled to the campaign war chest of George Ryan, Citizens for Ryan. Those investigators consistently ran into roadblocks set by their immediate supervisor, Inspector General Dean Bauer, a close friend and political appointee of Ryan's.

The day after the fatal crash, those same two investigators determined that the semi-tractor that lost the part that caused the deaths was driven by Ricardo Guzman, an unqualified truck driver who bribed Marion Seibel, a McCook facility driver's licenses examiner supervisor and a previous target of several bribery investigations. They immediately opened a case. No sooner, Bauer ordered the case closed stating, "Let the Wisconsin authorities handle it."

Concerned about obstruction of justice, a serious crime on both state and federal levels, the state investigators agreed to meet with Don Norton, an investigator with the United States Department of Justice. The secret meeting occurred in January 1995 and the investigators began a routine of passing on information of cover-ups, bribery and official misconduct occurring in the Ryan administration.

Less than six months later, one investigator was fired and the other was demoted and transferred. Ryan dissolved the department responsible for investigating the bribes, but retained his faithful crony Bauer in the position of inspector general.

Quietly over the next three years, the federal government began to unravel the information provided by those two investigators and other concerned state employees. That federal inquiry resulted in a raid in September of 1998 conducted by the U.S. postal inspectors on a driver's license examining station in Melrose Park. The investigation now had a name: Operation Safe Road

Three months after the driver's station raid, despite the bad publicity and finger-pointing George Ryan was elected Illinois' 39th governor over downstate Democrat Glenn Poshard. Prior to the election, Scott Lassar, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern Illinois District, publicly announced that Ryan was not a target of the Operation Safe Road investigation. Lassar was trying to be fair, but later regretted the unusual proclamation.

In the years that followed, Ryan clearly was the target. A house of cards began to fall all around him. Despite 45 Safe Road convictions for bribery, fraud and extortion during the four years of his administration, Ryan continued to conduct business as usual, the old-style pay-to-play politics. He was so tarnished by scandal, though, that he withdrew from running for re-election in 2002, paving the way for Chicago Democrat Rod Blagojevich to win the governorship on a reform platform. (Unfortunately, his Republican opponent's name was Jim Ryan; no relation to George but not helpful.)

Over the next few years and under the direction of Pat Fitzgerald, who succeeded Lassar, the feds continued to dig up evidence in Operation Safe Road, all the while indicting and convicting another 35 individuals, including state employees, Ryan cronies and longtime wheeler-dealers. The Citizens for Ryan Campaign and Scott Fawell, Ryan's chief of staff were co-defendants at one trial. The investigation came to a head in December 2003 when Ryan himself was handed a 22-count indictment.

"The charged conduct by former Governor Ryan reflects a disturbing violation of trust," Fitzgerald said. "Ryan is charged with betraying the citizens of Illinois for over a decade on state business, both large and small."

In September 2005, the long overdue trial began and lasted until the following April. Ryan was convicted on all counts. "One Hundred Percent Guilty," a Daily Southtown headline said.

Ryan was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison. He left his home in Kankakee to begin serving his time in an Oxford, Wisconsin, facility on November 7, 2007, Another former governor, Jim Thompson, drove him there.

* * *

It has been 20 years since that the Willis accident. Some of the voters in this upcoming election were not born when it occurred. The youngest Willis children, Elizabeth and Peter, if they were alive now, would just be 20-years-old and casting their first votes for governor.

Do any of this campaign's candidates deserve them? Have any lessons been learned?

Pat Quinn, now the incumbent governor, faces two serious scandals of his own. One is the patronage hiring 103 people to jobs at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Sounds familiar. Patronage hiring ran rampant under Ryan; during his trial, prosecutors released a "favors list" detailing jobs requested and filled by fellow pols. The other is the $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, in which the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority doled out anti-violence grants to various social service organizations through Chicago aldermen in the home stretch of Quinn's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

The state's auditor general has since shown that the program, which was supposed to help save lives, was a dysfunctional political honeypot of political favors and misfires.

Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate, has no record of scandals in office because he has never served as an elected official. But he, too, has life-and-death blots on his record. For example, a federal bankruptcy trial currently underway is weighing allegations that Rauner's investment firm participated in a fraudulent scheme to avoid liability for a string of deaths at nursing homes.

Then there are the lives impacted by the dozen bankruptcies in the portfolio of Rauner's firm. Certainly, no one is going to bat 1.000, but did Rauner profit, as Quinn's campaign alleges, from the misfortune of others?

George Ryan's operation sold driver's licenses for campaign cash. Corrupt, but seemingly trivial until you consider the tragic result. The actions of Quinn and Rauner also carry ramifications. We must consider those when we go to the ballot box - and long before and after that. In short, we must not turn a blind eye to corruption. Its consequences may be deadly.

Ed Hammer is a retired police captain and author of the book One Hundred Percent Guilty. He can be reached through his website.

-

Previously by Ed Hammer:
* George Ryan's Park Bench
* George Ryan's Dogs and Ponies
* George Ryan's Other Jailhouse Interview
* Bugging The Chicago School Board
* Cop vs. Teacher
* Signs of Change
* Pols vs. Teachers
* The Terre Haute Redemption
* Rahm's War On Teachers
* About Those Indicted Nurses
* Body Language Bingo: A Guide To Watching The Presidential Debates
* George Ryan's Day Of Independence
* The Ironic George Ryan.
* George Ryan Is Unrepentant.
* Must Like Puppies.

-

See also: Honoring A True Illinois Hero.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:48 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Polyphia at the Beat Kitchen on Saturday night.


-

2. Soulsharer at Cairo Ale House in West Chicago on Saturday night.

-

3. The Darksiders at Cairo Ale House in West Chicago on Saturday night.

-

4. Vortis at Cairo Ale House in West Chicago on Saturday night.

-

5. Twiztid at Mojoes in Joliet on Saturday night.

-

6. Adrian Belew Power Trio at the Old Town School on Saturday night.

-

7. Spillage at Reggies on Friday night.

-

8. The Drastics at Mayne Stage on Friday night.

-

9. Sidewalk Chalk at the Double Door on Thursday night.

-

10. The Fall Four at Beat Kitchen on Sunday night.

-

11. The Contortionist at Beat Kitchen on Saturday night.

-

12. Physical World at Township on Friday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:38 AM | Permalink

Local Book Notes: Crime & Prejudice

"The most comprehensive study to date on the roots of crime found that the central factor in how people perceive the safety of a neighborhood is not disorder or even the presence of boarded-up stores and abandoned buildings, but the number of African-Americans (and to a lesser extent Hispanics) who live there," Michael Greenberg writes in the New York Review of Books. "This perception was true for blacks and whites alike."

That study? "The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, a recently completed, decade-long study on the roots of crime."

Scene From A Chicago Bookstore
The Eternal Thank You.

Triumph's Triumph
"Triumph Books, a sports books publisher based in Chicago, is well known for its instant books, such its glossy, fully illustrated tribute to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, released just 10 days after his death in a crash in 2001," Claire Kirch writes for Publishers Weekly.

"Dale Earnhardt: Remembering the Intimidator has sold a total of 325,000 copies in its initial paper and subsequent expanded hardcover editions, becoming one of Triumph's top sellers. The company's newest instant book will cover the San Francisco Giants, winners of the just-concluded World Series. Triple Crowned shipped Saturday, November 1, and has a 25,000-copy first printing."

Triumph is now celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Beloit Blues
"Author and longtime Beloit College Professor Tom Warren is gearing up to release his third book, Discovering Beloit: Stories Too Good To Be True?," Whitney Helm writes for the Beloit Daily News.

His first fictional endeavor is set in a futuristic Beloit, yet hinges on the central problem that is the lack of investigative journalism.

The story focuses on retired Beloit College Professor John Marshall Bridlington, affectionately called "Gov," a former Springfield Bureau journalist. Gov takes a job as a high school teacher for classes held on the Beloit College campus. His class consists of five students and throughout the class they make discoveries about Beloit and themselves.

In their world, the Chicago Cubs come to Beloit, there is a "chain-gang" of former criminals working at the college and other discoveries.

"Journalism is suffering. Newspapers are vulnerable and because newspapers are vulnerable they lay off people and investigative journalism suffers. When investigative journalism suffers, we all suffer," Warren said.

"Warren [is] a retired professor at Beloit College and a former paperboy for the Rockford Register-Republic and the Chicago Daily News."

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:00 AM | Permalink

Area 2nd Grader Proves That Anyone Can Do The Weather

Mount Carmel's Charlie Hale as the subject, eight-time Emmy award-winner Paul Konrad as the control.


-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:34 AM | Permalink

A Few Rich People Vs. The Rest Of Us In Illinois' Governor's Race

In this year's campaigns, bigger wallets give a small set of mega-donors an outsized voice, according to new information released today by Illinois PIRG Education Fund and Demos.

In the congressional primaries, just 426 donors who gave $1,000 or more to candidates outspent the at-least 13,315 small donors who gave less than $200, and 64% percent of all contributions came from donors giving chunks of $1,000 or more.

In the last quarter of the Illinois governor's race, where campaign contribution limits have been lifted, the numbers are even more stark: one individual donor has outspent the at-least 3,208 small donors who gave less than $200, and 85% of all contributions came from donors giving $1,000 or more.

"Some argue about which party benefits the most from the new Wild West of campaign finance, or claim that so long as both major candidates in an election are well-financed, our democracy is working the way it should," said Abe Scarr, Illinois PIRG Education Fund Director. "But that misses the forest for the trees: small donors' voices are increasingly drowned out by the spending of a small cadre of large donors, and ordinary citizens are the ones who lose out."

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions undermining campaign finance rules, most notably Citizens United v. FEC, Illinois elections have become increasingly flooded by large donations.

And big money, often from out-of-district donors, can have an increased effect in primaries because often, spending in the primaries is lower than in the general election. The effect of this "money primary" is that it systematically disadvantages grassroots-fueled candidates who appeal to ordinary voters, but not to big donors.

The Illinois PIRG Education Fund and Demos analysis examined contributions in congressional primaries in all states except Louisiana (which holds its primary on Election Day), and compared fund-raising from large donors (contributions of $1,000 or more in at least one race) and small donors (who gave $200 or less). Among its findings:

  • Just 426 large donors in Illinois contributed as much as the at-least 13,315 small donors combined in its congressional primaries, ranking it 13th in the nation. The state with the greatest inequity between small and large donors was Texas, with a single large donor (a self-financed candidate) exceeding all small contributions from a minimum of 8,767 small donors.
  • Nationwide, fewer than 5,500 large donors outspent at least 440,000 small donors. If that were a single race, it would mean that a candidate who got 10,000 people to give a donation would lose out in the money race to someone who only got 125 contributions.
  • In terms of the percentage of primary funds coming from large donors, Illinois came in 29th, at 64%; the top slot was taken by Texas, with 80% of primary contributions coming from large donors.

"If our primaries just help select the candidate with the most appeal to big donors, our democracy suffers," said Scarr. "Mega-donors shouldn't get louder voices by virtue of their deeper pockets."

The Illinois PIRG Education Fund further examined the latest quarterly reports from the Illinois governor's race, analyzing all individual contributions but excluding all corporate, party and PAC contributions as well as contributions that candidate Bruce Rauner made to his own campaign. Among its findings:

  • A single donor gave more than twice as much as the at-least 3,208 small donors combined.
  • Small donors account for more than 50% of all contributors, but less than 7% of all money contributed.
  • 85% of all money contributed came from donors giving $1,000 or more.

There are successful, proven models to empower small donors, so that their voices play a more central role in our democracy, such as providing tax credits and public matching funds for small donations.

For example, in New York City's 2013 city council campaigns, small donors were responsible for 61% of participating candidates' contributions, when funds from a matching program are included. In 2009, all but two of the 51 winning candidates participated in the small donor program, showing that candidates are able to raise the money they need to win without looking for large-dollar contributions.

Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb is one of many local elected officals supporting small donor financing programs. "Cities benefit from having lots of candidates with diverse life experiences who are willing to run for office to help solve complex problems," Abu-Taleb said. "Even smaller towns like mine have many residents who would qualify, but may not think it is financially possible to run."

Said Rey Lopez-Calderon, executive director of Common Cause Illinois: "Even candidates and some donors themselves are tired of the fundraising grind. Public financing systems encourage participating candidates to connect with average voters. And with a robust matching system, candidates can tell regular voters - with confidence - that their small contribution will make a difference."

Added David Melton, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform: "While small donor matching systems are not a panacea for the multiple problems created by our current campaign finance system, they offer a path toward a significant improvement in that system by giving politicians the opportunity to rely on average voters to fund their campaigns rather than relying on the ultra-rich or special interest money."

-

See also: Mr. Miller Doesn't Go To Washington.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:37 AM | Permalink

November 1, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Hour #30: ILGov2014

Anti-Rauner, not pro-Quinn. Plus: Karen And Toni's Guy; Never Let A Bribery Scandal Go To Waste; This Is A Chickenshit Town; Bruce Rauner vs. Bill Brady; Kass Is For The Combine.


SHOW NOTES

:00: Strawberry Rock Show.

1:46: Speedy Ortiz at the Empty Bottle last Saturday night.

3:18: Chuy For Mayor.

* The [Tuesday] Papers.

* Backed by Preckwinkle, Lewis.

* A middleshot, not a longshot.

* A rebuke to Fioretti.

* It's a runoff, dummies!

11:01: Ex Hex at the Empty Bottle last Saturday night.

* The Week In Chicago Rock.

14:30: Never Let A Bribery Scandal Go To Waste.

* Red-light Rebekah.

* The [Wednesday] Papers.

* We elect a city clerk to run our parking sticker program.

* We elect a city treasurer to run . . . our treasury.

* Nuisance tickets.

* Consistently lacking in integrity!

* Who ordered 2.9 second-tickets?

24:02: St. Paul and the Broken Bones at the Metro on Thursday night.

* Deb Mell: "I love the red-light cameras."

26:12: Riding Uninspected Elevators Is Always Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt.

* Rahm should be forced to make his kids ride every elevator in the city that hasn't been inspected. That would be more than three-fourths of them.

28:10: Illegal Election Raffle.

* The problem with a good idea is it's against the law.

* Doesn't grind my gears.

32:00: Ruby Fray at the Burlington on Tuesday night.

32:31: ILGov2014.

* The Political Odds.

* Steve Bogira demolishes Sun-Times polling.

* Rich Miller demolishes Sun-Times polling.

* Jim Kirk, Michael Ferro in hiding.

* Feder: "In recent weeks, sources said, Ferro has been exerting pressure on editors regarding coverage of Rauner."

And? That's it? Do tell.

Please tell me their lawyer hasn't pinned their hopes to a phone bill.

* Hinz: "My colleague Rich Miller has his own thoughts, which will publish later today. Check out his piece about how he was dismissed by the Sun-Times after penning a column critical of Mr. Rauner."

Rich? Still waiting.

* This is a chickenshit town.

43:42: Bruce Rauner vs. Bill Brady.

* Kirk Dillard vs. Montgomery Burns.

* The horribleness has not sunk in.

* Rauner has not run a business.

* Black TSA agents love Whitey.

53:39: Twin Peaks at Lincoln Hall on Thursday night.

54:30: Kass Is For The Combine.

* A safe harbor for Bruce and Diana?

59:14: The Maddoning Is Happening.

STOPPAGE: 1:10.

-

For archives and more, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:03 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Speedy Ortiz at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.


-

2. Ex Hex at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

-

3. St. Paul and the Broken Bones at the Metro on Thursday night.

-

4. Ruby Fray at the Burlington on Tuesday night.

-

5. Orchestra of Spheres at Beat Kitchen on Monday night.

-

6. Twin Peaks at Lincoln Hall for their record release party on Thursday night.

-

7. The Mercury Tree at Reggies for Progtoberfest on Saturday night.

-

8. Slowdive at the Vic on Thursday night.

-

9. Artillery at Reggies on Tuesday night.

-

10. Riddle House at Reggies for Progtoberfest on Saturday.

-

11. The Ready Set at Bottom Lounge on Sunday night.

-

12. Metro Station at Bottom Lounge on Sunday night.

-

13. Thank You Scientist at Reggies for Progtoberfest on Saturday.

-

14. Running at Permanent Records' Bronze Anniversary at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

-

15. Jolly at Reggies for Progtoberfest on Saturday night.

-

16. Spock's Beard at Reggies for Progtoberfest on Saturday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:24 PM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

Turns out petulant corporate assbag was not the best Halloween costume this year.

Market Update
There was a big shakeup in Public Safety Threat futures this week, as Slow-Moving Lava out-traded A Nurse. For our money, though, you're better off with blue-chip earners Bees and Hail.

Lewis Shoe-In
Powerful. Moving. Inspiring. Now, what's Chuy Garcia going to do to combat Rahm's pathetic record on Trick or Treating?

Costume Balls
Maybe the brutal Halloween weather explains why the Sun-Times has decided to dress up like the year 2000. Or why CPS decided to dress up like it gives a shit about community involvement.

Hell Ride
Seriously, though, it was like Rahm Bilandic out there last night. Our kids deserve better, Chicago.

-

The Weekend Desk Tip Line: We accept you.

-

The Beachwood Radio Network

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #30: ILGov2014.

Anti-Rauner, not pro-Quinn. Plus: Karen And Toni's Guy; Never Let A Bribery Scandal Go To Waste; This Is A Chickenshit Town; Bruce Rauner vs. Bill Brady; Kass Is For The Combine.

* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #24: The Maddoning Is Happening.

But Cubs could still screw this up. Plus: As The Bulls Turn; Go Ahead, Sleep On The Blackhawks; and The Phil & Marc Show.

-

Today's College Football Picks
Duke? Duke.

-

ILGov2014: Must Like Puppies
Testing the humanity of our candidates.

-

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Speedy Ortiz, Ex Hex, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Ruby Fray, Orchestra of Spheres, Twin Peaks, The Mercury Tree, Slowdive, Artillery, Riddle House, The Ready Set, Metro Station, Thank You Scientist, Running, Jolly, and Spock's Beard.

-

Breeders' Binging
Bring on the bacchanalia!

-

The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report
"Jim and Greg celebrate the 35th anniversary of Pink Floyd's The Wall with a Classic Album Dissection."

-

The CAN-TV Weekend Viewing Report: Hearing on Body-Worn Cameras for Police.

"The Illinois General Assembly weighs the pros and cons of police wearing body cameras while in the community at a joint Judiciary Committee hearing in Chicago."

Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.

-

BeachBook
* Chicagoist: Lessons In Social Media For Deb Mell.

Includes this tweet:

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

*

Posted by Natasha Julius at 9:49 AM | Permalink

Must Like Puppies

Today I became convinced that the best way to test the quality of a political candidate is to determine if he or she likes puppies. I do not know about you, but I never will vote for a candidate, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, who is not a canine lover.

What convinced me that this is valid criteria to select a candidate is an article on the Huffington Post about Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro). Bost is running for Congress this year. His slogan is "Passionate Leadership for Southern Illinois."

Apparently his passion was expressed back in 1986 when he shot and killed a neighbor's beagle. Now, the dog did bite his daughter in the face - after she provoked it. And I love dogs. But my two daughters come before any animal. I will do anything to protect my princesses. Bost's case is a slightly different. He took the law into his own hands. Impatient that the authorities were not responding to his complaint, he grabbed his gun then went to the dog's cage and killed it.

A jury did find Bost not guilty of any criminal charges. When reacting to attacks on children, it is very American for juries to be sympathetic for parents seeking personal justice.

Bost has had several contacts with the local police over the years, both as a subject and a victim. He has a reputation for being passionate on the floor of the General Assembly. Democrats describe him as unsound and having a volatile temper. There are several videos on YouTube where you can watch Bost and decide for yourself.

What I want to do is develop a puppy test for all candidates. Here's how it goes: Whenever office contenders are out making a political stump speeches, bring a cardboard box full of 8-week-old puppies to the event. After the candidate begins speaking, let the puppies go free as close as possible to his feet.

Think about it. If he kicks the cute cuddly critters, would you vote for him? What if he screams and swears and then calls out to his entourage to remove the animals? How about if he simply goes on with his speech, ignoring the whining, peeing and pooping?

Me, if he stops talking, bends down and starts talking baby talk all the while rubbing the pups' furry little ears, he's got my vote.

-

Ed Hammer is a retired police captain and author of the book One Hundred Percent Guilty. He can be reached through his website.

-

Previously by Ed Hammer:
* George Ryan's Park Bench
* George Ryan's Dogs and Ponies
* George Ryan's Other Jailhouse Interview
* Bugging The Chicago School Board
* Cop vs. Teacher
* Signs of Change
* Pols vs. Teachers
* The Terre Haute Redemption
* Rahm's War On Teachers
* About Those Indicted Nurses
* Body Language Bingo: A Guide To Watching The Presidential Debates
* George Ryan's Day Of Independence
* The Ironic George Ryan.
* George Ryan Is Unrepentant.

-

See also: Honoring A True Illinois Hero.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:18 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - Our Aretha.
TV - Tribune: Sinclair Blew Sure Thing.
POLITICS - Dems Fake FCC Oversight.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Trying To Prove God Exists.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Foxconn Flooding Alert.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Email:

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter



Beachwood Radio!


Ask Me Anything!