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The [Monday] Papers

Just to review:

"A massive rock formation 7 miles below West Salem, Ill., moved just an inch or so at 4:36 a.m. Friday, but that was enough to cause the 5.2 magnitude earthquake that broke windows and cracked walls near the epicenter, shook Chicagoans in their beds and sent shock waves that people felt as far away as Kansas and West Virginia."

A massive rock formation 7 miles below West Salem, Ill., moved an inch, and the result was a 5.2 magnitude earthquake felt as far away as Kansas and West Virginia.

It's a weird world.

Children's Game
I'm not saying this wasn't independently arrived at, I'm just sayin':

"Here's an idea for the Chicago Children's Museum: Move it to Northerly Island and rename the island Children's Island."
- April 18, Beachwood Reporter

"Option 2: Children's Island."
- April 20, Chicago Tribune

Here's an idea: Children's Museum limericks!

Writing Roger
Three letters to the editor about the New York Times's recent ode to Roger Ebert. I agree with two of them.

"In commercials and appearances, Senator Barack Obama has cast his opponent in one of the most negative lights of the entire 16-month."
- "Trailing in Pennsylvania, Obama Sharpens Tone," New York Times

Geez, the guy will do anything to win.

Class Action
"No-Salary Internship Can Pay Off."

For those who can afford to work for free.

Hard Lesson
"Our best public schools are first-rate, producing more intense, involved, and creative A-plus students than our most prestigious colleges have room for," Jay Matthews writes for Wilson Quarterly, reprinted on the Sun-Times Op-Ed page today.

"The top 70 percent of U.S. public high schools are pretty good, certainly better than they have ever been.

"Our real problem is the bottom 30 percent of U.S. schools, those in urban and rural communities full of low-income children."

And it's not the fault of the students - or the parents. Like with the latest outrage at violence in our city, nobody wants to look at the plain economic truth of poverty and suggest an economic solution.

Baby Brian
"Before next year's NFL draft, the Bears should consider adding a question to the Wonderlic test given potential picks," the Trib's David Haugh suggests.

"How long is a five-year contract?

"A. 5 years

"B. 3 years, according to my agent's calendar

"C. Depends if you make NFL history

"D. Length is a relative term

"From 1000 Football Drive in Lake Forest to Phoenix, this contract stuff has to expire soon. Right?

"The Bears have so many players unhappy about their money situation that the team should move voluntary off-season workouts from Halas Hall to Merrill Lynch. Apparently this was the most underpaid 7-9 team in the NFL last season."

Cryin' Brian
"I realize I signed a contract five years ago. But you know what, what happens when a guy signs an eight-year contract and he gets hurt the second year?"

Um, he gets paid for the time he played?

"They cut him the next year. What happens if a guy signs an eight-year contract and he plays like crap the first three years?"

Um, he gives some of the money back?

"They cut him. So when a guy plays great five or six years into his contract, what's wrong with rewarding him with a new deal?"

Nothing. On the other hand, demanding a new deal . . .

"Is there a difference?"

Between playing like crap for three years and getting cut and demanding a new deal? Um, yeah. In the first instance, the player takes the money and runs. In the second instance, the player demands more money and runs.

"I do feel like I've outplayed my contract."

Me too! I mean, who doesn't?

"It's not all about the money. I want to feel appreciated."

We could bake you some cookies . . .

"Who wants to be the Bears' executive who tells the public Brian Urlacher won't be playing this season because of a contract dispute?" the Trib's Rick Morrissey asks.

Ooh, ooh! Me! Me!

I'm not sure public sentiment is with Baby Brian on this one.

Ugly Urlacher
Urlacher denied Mike Mulligan's report that word around the league was that he was demanding a trade and threatening retirement in his negotiations.

"That's just a gossip column."

It wasn't. It was a report based on multiple sources by an actual reporter.

"[Urlacher] laughs when asked about reported trade demands by his agents and reiterated his desire to remain a Bear for years to come," the Trib says.

"Every negotiation opens up with a little bit of posturing back and forth," he says. "My agents are talking with the Bears and I try to stay out of it."

So maybe you don't even know if you've threatened retirement.

Urlacher also told his personal media caddy Jay Glazer that "that's just negotiations."

In other words, Mulligan got it right. Maybe he should demand a new contract for having to put up with the likes of Urlacher.

Cub Scrubs
Marty Brennaman's right, although it's neck-and-neck with White Sox fans. Each succeeding generation of Cubs fans (and owners!) get it less and ruin it more, and it's hard to care anymore.

Jim Coffman is out of town so his column will not appear today or next Monday. Marty Gangler and Ricky O'Donnell are here, though, and they have new Cub Factor and White Sox Report columns today.

* Guess which Cub Marty just named his newborn son after?

* Guess which spring training injury might be the best thing to happen to the Sox this season.

Tower Trial
Another hung jury, in case anyone is paying attention anymore, in what once was hugely overplayed, scary front-page news in Chicago and is now relegated to the briefs column.

True, much of his work is a crime against nature ("Arthur's Theme," blech!), but "Sailing" and "Ride Like the Wind" are good songs. Be a man and admit it.

The Beachwood Tip Line: To be free again.


Posted on April 21, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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